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Wester Ross

Arguably the most dramatic landscape in the UK with huge mountains rising from the fjord-like sea lochs. This is world class scenery and a visit to the west coast from Alcaig is an absolute must during your stay. Roads are few and far between in Wester Ross and the area lends itself to day trips by making long loops from the A832 or A896.


Corrishalloch Gorge & The Falls of Measach


This mile-long, 200 feet deep canyon near Braemore Junction was formed at the end of the last Ice Age by rapid meltwater. Inside the gorge is a bridge over the Falls of Measach and there's a fantastic viewing platform further downstream that juts out over the abyss.

The Falls of Measach

    Ullapool


Quick and easy to reach via the A835 over the Dirrie More, Ullapool is a bustling port in a scenic location on Loch Broom and where to catch the ferry to Stornoway. It's also a good place to get a boat trip to the wildlife-rich Summer Isles with Summer Queen Cruises.

Ullapool

    Gruinard Bay


A lovely sandy beach with easy access from the road. It looks out over Gruinard Island once infamous for the testing of Anthrax during the Second World War but now totally cleaned up and the home to nesting White Tailed Sea Eagles.

Gruinard Bay

Mellon Udrigle

There are plenty of stunning white-sand and turquoise-water beaches on this coast and this is one of the best. But it's north-facing so visit on a day with a southerly wind. A magical spot – one of those places you're almost loathe to tell anyone else about.

Mellon Udrigle

Inverewe Gardens

It may be on the same latitude as Labrador in Canada or Russia's St Petersburg but this is a tropical oasis in Northern Scotland thanks to the Gulf Stream. These world-famous gardens have exotic species from all over the world feature in the gardens. Admission 10.50 adults.



Gairloch

    The main beach in Gairloch is another stunner: sheltered and the bay is gently-shelving and shallow and therefore has warm water (relatively speaking.) This is the quickest west coast beach to get to from Alcaig on a hot summer's day.


In the summer half of the year Gairloch Marine Wildlife Cenre and Cruises do excellent wildlife-spotting tours around the islands in the bay. Common dolphins, otters and porpoises are regularly sighted and there's always the possibility of seeing a whale in these waters.


Gairloch

Loch Maree

A 12 mile long loch of exquisite beauty and home to lots of rare species such as black-throated divers which breed here in the summer. The loch is backed by the impregnable-looking mountain called Slioch.

Loch Maree
Beinn Eighe National Nature Reserve

At the Kinlochewe end of Loch Maree is this reserve, the first ever created in the UK. The scenery is unbeatable: beautiful tracts of Caledonian forest rise up from Loch Maree towards the glittering, quartzite screes of Beinn Eighe. There's a visitors centre and two trails well worth doing. The Woodland trail is a short easy stroll but more impressive is the Mountain Trail which is about 6 miles and involves some climbing but rewards you with some stupendous views. Leaflets to guide you through the walk are readily available at the car park.

Beinn Eighe

Loch Clair & Loch Coulin

I would argue this is the best low level walk in Scotland. It's 6 miles around the two lochs with no climbing and mostly on good, dry paths bar one rather boggy section. The views across the water to Beinn Eighe and Liathach are magical. So are the tracts of Scots Pine and birch you walk through along the way. Pick a clear day and have a a picnic beside the river near the bridge at the far end of Loch Coulin.

Beinn Eighe from near Loch Coulin

Applecross & The Bealach Na Ba

A tranquil and remote peninsula with great views across the Inner Minch to Skye and Raasay. Until the 1970s the only way to reach it was via the Bealach Na Ba. Applecross itself is a nice little hamlet with a good pub - the Applecross Inn).

Until the 1970s the only way to reach Applecross was via the Bealach Na Ba. Meaning “The Pass of the Cows”, this route is the highest road in the UK at 2053 feet (627m). The gradient in places is 1 in 4 (25%) and the single track road has some switchbacks best negotiated in first gear! From the top there are sensational views to Skye. Don't attempt in snowy or icy conditions but otherwise this route is highly recommended.

Applecross scenery

Plockton

A very attractive sheltered village on Loch Carron. It's justifiably very popular with tourists in the summer but very relaxed outside of peak season. There's good seafood to be had in the hotel and lots of lovely short walks in the area. Plockton Shores is a good place to eat and Calum's Plockton Seal Tours guarantees you sightings of them in the surrounding waters.

Plockton

Attadale Gardens

Fabulous gardens with exotic species, sunken gardens, water gardens and great displays of flowering rhododendrons in May and June.


Eilean Donan Castle

If you have a mental picture of a Scottish castle then it's probably this one. It's featured in countless films and has a superb setting on a small island where Lochs Duich, Alsh and Long meet. Open 10am-6pm from the beginning of March to 22 December.

Eilean Donan



Tel: 01349 862031 Alcaig Cottages, Easter Lodge, Alcaig, Conon Bridge, Highland IV7 8HS Site by David Marsh