Dalness is so remote, even the man from the mountain search and rescue squad hasn’t heard of it. “Dalness? Where’s that?” Note to self: don’t get lost in Dalness. It’s not listed on our sat nav system either. So, earlier this morning we entered the exact GPS co-ordinates for Dalness, before doing the only sane thing any self-respecting petrolhead should do with a car and a handful of days: tighten scarf and drive to the glorious Scottish Highlands.
Driving the Deluge
According to the UK’s Met Office, Dalness is the wettest location in the UK. It ‘enjoys’ an average annual rainfall of 3.3 metres. Fortunately, it also sits in the middle of some of the most spectacular Highland scenery you’ll find.
The roads aren’t too shabby either - great swathes of asphalt that sweep majestically along valley floors and slice into the sides of humbling mountain ranges. The roads and eco-system of the Scottish Highlands are one of the best locations open to Europe’s driving public 24/7, 365 days a year.
When we eventually do find it, the first question is who measures the rainfall in Dalness? Bar a herd of inquisitive deer, we don’t see a soul. A map of the surrounding area shows Dalness as falling within the southwestern boundary of the National Trust for Scotland’s 5,800-hectare Glencoe and Dalness Range.
Dalness lies only a few miles west of the A82, between Fort William and Crianlarich. It’s signposted toward Glen Etive and the unmarked road that winds its way there races the River Etive, which traces the valley floor. The burnt orange heather that gives the surrounding scenery its distinctive hue is getting a good watering. Water pours continuously from the skies and cascades off the hillsides. Rivers rage and lochs lap high against the shore while rain is being driven horizontally by vicious winds.