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Holiday Activities



About the area - Tourist information for Strathkanaird, Ullapool and the West coast ..
Things to see and do, places to visit in and around Wester Ross and the West Coast.

This unspoiled West Coast area of Scotland offers many areas to explore. Here are but a few..

The Shearwater
The Shearwater

The Highlands' capital of Inverness is one hour's drive away from the Ullapool area and offers a wide range of attractions to suit all ages and tastes.

The fishing village of Ullapool is 8 miles away. Ullapool itself was established by the British Fisheries Society in 1788 and designed by Thomas Telford. Many of the older buildings, including the museum, still remain from his original plans.
Today you will find facilities such as supermarkets and local craft shops, along with ferry trips to the Hebrides, morning and afternoon cruises to the Summer Isles with the Shearwater and Seascape cruises. There is fishing, golfing, sports and swimming centre, award winning bars and restaurants and a host of activities for those seeking outings and ways to enjoy their time here. Many bands and musicians play in Ullapool, and we have our own festival Loopallu, and a Guitar Festival gaining recognition internationally. Take a look at Undiscovered Scotland for some further links to the region.

In the summer, the harbour comes alive with boat trips out to the Summer Isles, just three miles off shore, from where sea birds, dolphins, porpoises and otters can be observed in their natural habitat.

More Detail

Eating Out

There are no shortage pubs and restaurants throughout Ullapool and family fare can be had throughout. One of the local delicacies is the freshly caught seafood that arrives daily in the harbour which are served in generous quantities. For a list of Ullapool's bars and restaurants visit www.ullapool.com. Ullapool also has its own Tesco supermarket located in the heart of the town.

Leisure Centre

A fully equipped Leisure Complex is situated in the village. The facilities include a swimming pool and sauna, indoor and outdoor courts and a fitness room.

 
Stac Pollaidh
  Tanera Ferry
Boat Trips

From Ullapool, local boats (the Shearwater and Seascape Expeditions) make trips around the Summer Isles; the coastal scenery is magnificent and marine life includes porpoises, Atlantic grey and common seals, sea birds aplenty and, more rarely, dolphins and killer or Minke whales. From Achiltibuie the Hectoria, a converted trawler, takes visitors to the seal colonies around the Summer Isles.

Further north, there are boat trips in to see the stalactites and stalagmites within the vast Smoo caves at Durness, or make the short ferry crossing (May to end of September) to Cape Wrath Lighthouse, built in 1828 - crossing by boat is the only way to reach this remote headland.

Handa Island, a Scottish Wildlife Trust reserve, is well worth visiting and ideal for families with young children as the walking is very easy. The ten-minute crossing from Tarbet (about an hour's drive from Ullapool; ferry operates April to end August/early September) lands on one of Handa's sandy beaches, then from the information bothy a boardwalk and path snakes around the perimeter of this gorgeous little island. From mid-May to August the sky here is thick with Arctic and great skuas guarding their nests; until late-July hundreds of puffins sit snug against the steep cliffs and until mid-July 150,000 guillemots dive-bomb the sea.

Golf

Ullapool has its own nine-hole golf course on the shores of Loch Broom. The club welcomes visitors to its 'challenging course, full of character'.

Under two hours' drive from Ullapool there are good nine-hole courses at Gairloch, Durness and Strathpeffer. The cliff-top course at Durness boasts a unique challenge with its 'hole over the Atlantic' at the ninth, and Gairloch is probably one of the prettiest courses you'll ever play. The 18-hole course at the Royal Dornoch is a longer journey, but keen golfers will find it's worth every mile.

 
Local Brown Trout
  Trout fishing

Fishing

There are many hill lochs in this area that are abundant with wild brown trout. Some, such as Loch Cam, even have arctic char which have been landlocked from the last Ice age. You can also fish for mackerel from Ullapool harbour and Lochbroom. For the more adventurous boats can be hired for sea fishing.

Permits are available for salmon and trout fishing on local lochs and rivers.





 
Suilven
  Suilven
Geo Park

The area north of Ullapool is of great geological interest and has recently been awarded Geo Park Status. Knockan Crag Visitor centre, at the southern end of the Northwest Geopark, tells the history of the rocks and is only a 30 minute drive away.

Visit the Hydroponicum, a unique water based garden, in Achiltibuie. Tours, coffee and snacks available.

Local Shops - Ullapool (sells petrol/diesel) has a host of shops including its own Tesco in the heart of the village.

Local Artists

Ullapool has a thriving Arts & Crafts community with its own Art Centre in an talla solais. The Art centre has a generous gallery space and invariably has somrthing new on display throughout the summer. If you have an interest in attending art and/or craft courses this is the ideal opportunity and there are a number of beginner's and intermediate courses/workshops here every year. For the more adventurous there is the annual Summer Isles creative writing & poetry course on the beautiful Tanera Mor - the largest of the Summer Isles. For further information, and to book in advance you can visit the following sites.. www.wildtiles.co.uk, www.bridgehouseart.co.uk and the above mentioned www.antallasolais.org.

Museum

Ullapool has an excellent, award-winning Museum, housed in a beautifully restored Telford church building, and in the new Theatre/Community School complex there is an up-to-date well stocked library which also provides internet access.

Bird Watching

Over 100 species of birds including eagles, red and black throated divers, curlew and snipe. Handa Island bird reserve is just 1 hours drive north, where you can see breeding seabirds including puffins and arctic skua. Boat trips leave every 15 minutes in season.

 
Sea Cliffs at Reiff
  Sea Cliffs at Reiff

Walking/Climbing

Mountains such as An Teallach, the Fannichs and the Torridon range are all close. With its stunning and varied scenery, this area is a walker's paradise. There is a collection of interesting and varied walks around lochs and hills, ranging in length from 3 to 30 miles. This area is unrivalled in the variety and scale it offers including delightful coastal routes as well as the famous ancient sandstone hills of Stac Pollaidh, Suilven and Ben More Coigach.

Not far away on the cliffs at Reiff is some of the best rock climbing in Scotland. The cliffs are well known in climbing circles and many people come to this area for the challenge. The area offers an amazing array of steep sandstone sea cliffs, many of which are non-tidal. There are several different areas, with walk-ins ranging from 5 minutes to one hour.


Two useful mountaineering sites which cover this area can be found at www.scottishclimbs.com - News, Discussion forum, Competition results, Guides to traditional, sport, and bouldering areas across Scotland including many photos and articles also www.ukclimbing.com one of the most popular sites for climbers and walkers.

 
Leckmelm Gardens
  Leckmelm Gardens

Leckmelm Gardens

There are easy drives to Leckmelm Gardens outside Ullapool, Inverewe Gardens and boat trips from Kylesku which go inland up the sea loch to visit Europe 's longest waterfall or to Kerracher Gardens.

Wildlife

Other wildlife includes dolphins, seals, otters, stags, wild cats, pine martens and golden eagles. Ocassionally anglers come to fish for sea bass from Achnahaird beach.

Beaches

The West Coast has many stunning beaches, from the large flat unique stones of Ardmair beach 3 miles north of Ullapool and further a field the sandy expanse and dunes of Achnahaird. Also beautiful sandy beaches at Clactol, Achmelvich, Oldshoremore, Mellon Udrigle, Balnakeil and Sango Bay. Pack a picnic and take pleasure in a day at the beach.

Coigach Sunrise  Stac Pollaidh
Trout Loch Stac Pollaidh
Other sights include

 
Ardessie Falls
  Ardessie Falls

  • Ardessie Falls between Dundonnell and Badcaul.
  • Sandy beaches at Gruinard and Mellon Udrigle (photos).
  • Inverewe Garden colourful sub-tropical garden owned by the National Trust for Scotland open daily all year round. Its location is further north than Moscow. Visitor centre with restaurant and shop open April to October. Guided walks with the gardener during the summer season take place Monday to Friday starting at 1.30 pm. Telephone 01445 781 200.
  • Poolewe: popular tourist spot, swimming pool, church built by Thomas Telford.
  • Gairloch: youth hostel, beach, golf course, craft shops, cycle hire, campsite. Check out The Mountain Restaurant in the square at Strath, also its associated craft and book shop.The award-winning Gairloch Museum is open 10am - 5pm Monday to Saturday from April to mid-October is near the tourist office and The Steading restaurant. It includes a shop, library, archives, Pictish carved stone, reconstructed croft-house room, schoolroom, lighthouse interior and lots of displays on local lifestyles.
  • Gairloch Marine Wildlife Centre & Cruises - daily boat trips between March and October where you may see porpoises, whales, seals and dolphins, plus a huge variety of seabirds. Tel: 1445 712636.
  • Rua Reidh Lighthouse at Melvaig. Accommodation and outdoor activity centre.
  • Hiking around Loch Maree and the Beinn Eighe Nature Reserve.
Other helpful Sites :

Ullapool and the Area :

Helpful Scottish web sites :




For availability, prices & to book go to Hill Cottage/Scottish Cottages
For Informal enquiries contact Hector MacDonald : Tel +44 (0)1854 612 333