of Scotland, Wester Ross
In this particularly rugged
area of the western Highlands, red-sands tone peaks rise above
a landscape of moors and hundreds of lochs. Several nature reserves
protect the area's wildlife and terrain. Traditional ways of life
are retained in the crofting and fishing villages that lie along
the shores of the sea lochs. Warm currents of the North Atlantic
Drift allow exotic plants to flourish.
Boat trips around Summer
Isles available from here. Hydroponicum, experimental garden without
soil, open to visitors. Smokehouse by the sea has a viewing gallery
for watching fish curing.
St Maelrubha built a
monastery on this bay in AD 672, declaring it a sanctuary for
all fugitives. Until new road was built in 1970s, one of the most
inaccessible areas of mainland Britain.
Three-storey tower ruin
on shore of Loch Assynt, built 1597 for MacLeods of Assynt. Marquis
of Montrose fled here but was betrayed by Neil MacLeod and taken
to Edinburgh for execution.
This 'Pass of the Cattle',
an old drovers' road, was only road to Applecross until 1970s.
It leads from Loch Kishorn through ascending hairpin bends and
skirts steep precipices on its way.
National Nature Reserve
Britain's first national
nature reserve (1951). It covers some 10,000 acres of mountain,
moor-land and forest, including the 3188f1 Beinn Eighe. On one
side, jagged peaks rise from the surrounding terrain; on the other,
gentler slopes with woodland lead down to Loch Maree. Aultroy
Cottage Visitor Centre located on A832 north of Kinlochewe.
Suspension bridge spans
gorge 200ft above river. River runs a mile down rocky chasm to
plunge over 150ft Falls of Measach.
Cottages of Lower Diabaig
group around Loch Diabaig, rocky cliffs rise straight up from
shore. Exhilarating road along northern side of Upper Loch Torridon.
Village at south-east
end of Little Loch Broom is the ideal starting point for exploring
remote mountain scenery here. Streams tumble into head of loch
from heights of An Teallach, 3,484ft. Nearby is Loch Toll an Lochain,
2,000ft above sea level.
Iron Age fortress on
isolated ridge along Loch Broom. Rocks vitrified when its timber
walls burnt down.
Eas a Chual
Glas Bheinn peak is source
for 658ft falls, longest fall in Britain. Easily seen by regular
boat trips on Loch Glencoul.
Sandy beaches backed
by empty moorland and distant mountains. Narrow switchback road
that skirts bay gives views.
Village at head of Loch
Gairloch has quarter mile of safe, sandy beach where windsurfing
and sailing are popular. Sea-angling boats for hire.
Road along bay's western
shore passes ruined chapel built where St Columba supposedly founded
a church. Bay best viewed from atop Gruinard Hill.
Village at head of Loch
Assynt, near 3273ft Ben More Assynt. Nature reserve has wildcats,
red deer and limestone caves, where prehistoric animal bones have
been found. Salmon and trout fishing in loch
Northern headland garden
started by Osgood Mackenzie in 1862. North Atlantic Drift allows
exotic shrubs, trees and bamboos to flourish.
National Nature Reserve
Over 26,000 acres of
bog, moorland and woodland with sandstone peaks of Cul Mor, Cul
Beag and Stac Pollaidh. Loch Sionascaig has good fishing. Information
centre and carpark in Knockan.
Town at Loch Maree is
popular centre for walkers, climbers and anglers. Area dominated
by Slioch, 'the spear', 3217f1.
Sea loch dotted with
islands. Strome Castle, overlooking loch, blown up during 1603
clan feud. Nearby town of Lochcarron known for its ties and tartans.
Broad sea loch where
ships assembled fur North Atlantic convoys during World War II.
A number of pillboxes and gun emplacements still survive. Loch
fishing, sea-angling boats for hire.
Whitewashed fishing village
at head of Loch Inver. Suilven, 2399ft high, stands in Glencanisp
Forest 4 miles south-east.
Loch with many islands
set amid mountainous terrain. Isle Maree was thought to be home
to Celtic god Mourie. Later, St Maelrubha established hermitage
there, eventually replaced by chapel. Slioch peak at south-eastern
River Oykel flows down
slopes of Ben More Assynt and through ice-gouged valley to Oykel
Bridge. Single hotel stands by road nearby. Bridge just east of
Village lies between
Loch Ewe and Loch Maree. River Ewe, joining lochs, flows through
village. Boats for hire, walks along Loch Maree's wooded banks,
loch and river fishing.
Peninsula ending in headland
of Rubha Reidh extends north from Gairloch into the Minch. Ocean
views from lighthouse at tip of promontory. Road over moors to
Melvaig passes ruined cottages.
Village founded by Admiralty
in 1800 when Britain was short of seamen. Intended as 'nursery'
for Royal Navy, grants were offered to entice people to live there.
Roads from village provide views of Highlands.
Crofting, fishing villages
line each side of peninsula. Safe white sands at Achmelvich Bay
and Bay of Clachioll. Road along peninsula ends at lighthouse
on sandstone cliff. Walk to Point of Stoer along cliffs with nesting
A890 leads along Loch
Carron, up steep grades and down into South Strome Forest. Viewpoint
over loch and Stromeferry near forest. Forest walk from Stromeferry
to lochside viewpoints.
Seen from east or west,
2399ft Suilven appears cone-shaped; from elsewhere it reveals
three separate peaks. Unstable cliff faces make it a dangerous
Islands were once lived
on by fishermen, but herring shoals diminished, leaving just one
isle currently inhabited. They can be visited by boat from Ullapool
or from Achiltibuie.
Torridon, owned by National
Trust for Scotland, has visitor centre giving introduction to
walks through area of red-sandstone peaks. Wildlife from red deer
to pygmy shrew.
Planned town developed
by British Fisheries Society for local herring industry, founded
1788. Lochbroom Highland Museum houses some local artefacts in
one of the original town buildings. Boat trips to Summer Isles,
sea and river angling available.
Small crofting hamlets
dot sea loch's shore. Waters from Loch Damh to south drop down
to Upper Loch Torridon through Falls of Balgy.
Waterfall near Slattadale
on Loch Maree. Named after visit to loch by Queen Victoria in