*

Ullapool & the North Highlands

The beauty of this stretch of the North West Highlands is truly outstanding: ragged mountain ranges that form mesmerising skylines; hidden white-sand beaches; winding coastal roads that cling precariously to the edge of the land; seascapes and landscapes to make you leap from your car.

Accommodation

Ullapool Self Catering

Perched on the edge of Loch Broom, the picturesque harbour village of Ullapool is an ideal base to explore the North West Highlands. As the mouth of the loch gapes open into the sea, it is also a stepping stone to Lewis and Harris, with regular ferry trips scuttling back and forth to Stornoway.  As well as a gateway to the lovely coastline that snakes either side of Ullapool, there are a number of spectacular mountain ranges on its doorstep, including Stac Pollaidh to the north and An Teallacht to the south.

Driving to Loch Assynt

The Road to Loch Assynt

 

Less than an hour’s drive north of Ullapool takes you to the beautiful Achnahaird Beach, two miles from Achiltibuie.  The coastal road from Achiltibuie to Lochinver is one of the most scenic journeys in the area, but with the Inverpolly Nature Reserve wedged between Ullapool and Lochinver, there is spellbinding scenery to be had whichever route you choose.

If you follow the inland route north from Ullapool you arrive at mountain-flanked Loch Assynt, with the lonely ruins of Ardvrek Castle sitting on its shore.  This is a wonderful photo stop and a good place to drink in the Highland scenery.  You can continue north from here along the A894 but in doing so you miss one of the most memorable drives in the country.  To experience this incredibly scenic drive, continue along the edge of Loch Assynt towards the charming fishing village of Lochinver, and turn onto the B869.  This is known as the Drumbeg Road – a mostly single track gem of a journey that brims over with views that command you to stop and stare.   The road twists through mountain scenery (under the ever-watchful gaze of Quinaig, Suilven and Canisp) and hugs the coastline, which churns up the most amazing seascapes.  Staggered at intervals around the loop you’ll find gorgeous beaches, such as at Achmelvich, Clachtoll and Clashnessie.  It is surely one of the country’s most captivating drives.

Ardvrek Castle in the West of the Scottish Highlands

Ardvreck Castle

 

Returning onto the A894, you journey past Kylesku (in summer you can take a boat trip from here to the tallest waterfall in the UK – Eas Coul Aulin Falls).   Handa Island, with its bird sanctuary, lies just off the coast to the north of Kylesku – just one of the attractions in this remote and untouched northern landscape.   Sandwood Bay, near Kinlochbervie, is regarded as one of the most magnificent beaches in the country and Cape Wrath, the most north-westerly point in the UK, is a sight to behold.  There are also beaches at Oldshoremore, Balnakiel and Durness  to explore and Smoo Cave, on the Durness to Tongue road, is a must-see.  Home to the country’s first Geopark and truly breath-taking scenery at every turn from Ullapool to the north-west tip, this section of the Highlands offers unique and memorable holiday experiences; leaving you with a collection of memories that will quickly burrow deep into the roots of your heart.

Why not start planning your Ullapool self catering holiday with Gael Holiday Homes?

Clachtoll Beach in the North West Highlands

Clachtoll Beach