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Ullapool and Wester Ross

Hello all! I've started planning (late, I might add) a 14-day trip to Scotland. I've reviewed quite a few itinerary posts and really getting a lot of insight from the experts here. Like others that have asked for feedback on itineraries, we are looking to stay at least 2-3 nights in any one location to allow for weather and rest. Besides, our party will be myself, my husband, and two grown boys, ages 21 and 19. So, I imagine we need to leave our agenda fairly flexible.

Our challenge is that we want it all - hiking and outdoor activities, beaches, traditional music, pubs, a dram or two of whisky, neolithic sites, history/culture, castles, and quaint villages.

While I am working out an itinerary, I wanted to ask about areas that I've seen very little posted about. I have an itinerary from Secret Scotland that I had hoped to modify a bit to reduce the number of stopovers. I found the Ullapool and Wester Ross areas intriguing and had considered a stopover in that area versus Inverness.

Any thoughts on that area of the country and if it is worth spending time there at the expense of others?

Thanks in advance!

Posted by
323 posts

I would swap Inverness and Loch Ness for Ullapool and surrounds everyday. Particularly Achiltibuie and the Wee Mad Road.

Posted by
1323 posts

Hi, dinahmann,

Yes, 100 times yes! The Northwest of Scotland is among the most scenic areas on Earth.

In addition to the "Wee Mad Road", which is the road between Stac Pollaidh/Loch Lurgainn and Lochinver, you need to take the B869 from Lochinver to Loch Glencoul, then once you get to Scourie, take the unclassified road to Tarbet, and a boat trip out to Handa Island.

However, prior to the above, you definitely need to visit Plockton, then take the A890 to Strathcarron, the A896 through Lochcarron, then the Bealach-na-Ba to Applecross, the coast road round to Shieldaig, then back to the A896 through Glen Torridon. From Kinlochewe, take the A832 through Gairloch to Corrieshalloch, and the A835 through Ullapool to the turnoff for the Coigach Peninsula for Achiltibuie and the "Wee Mad Road".

If that isn't enough scenery, drive up to Kinlochbervie, then hike out to Sandwood Bay from Oldshoremore. Next, drive up to the Kyle of Durness, then take the boat and minibus out to Cape Wrath.

You didn't say when you were travelling, but if it's this summer, you may have trouble finding accommodation for four in the Northwest. You'll be up against visitors driving the North Coast 500 (NC500). If you don't mind roughing it for the time that you're there, there are several hostels along the way.

Even if you can only do a drive through before going on to areas with more accommodation choices, that part of Scotland will remain with you the rest of your lives.

Very best wishes for your travels!

Mike (Auchterless)

Posted by
1143 posts

Another vote for Ullapool and Wester Ross. Book accommodation asap as there isn't a lot in that area.

I assume you have found the Walk Highlands website which is the 'Bible' for walkers.

The Undiscovered Scotland website is also a wonderful source of ideas of places to visit and things to do - many never get a mention in the guide books. Start with the relevant map page and follow the lin ks for text pages with photogrtaphs and information

Posted by
33 posts

Thank you everyone for your feedback! I am struggling to narrow down our itinerary. At this late date, I think available accommodations might drive some of the decisions on locations. Perhaps I should go ahead and start planning our second trip as well!

Posted by
1323 posts

Hi again, dinahmann,

In addition to the Summer Isles tour out of Ullapool, which isn31c recommended, there are also Summer Isles tours out of Achiltibuie on the Isabella. I don't know whether they still land on Tanera Mor, the largest of the Summer Isles, but that island has been built up considerably since our last visit, so there is a good possibility that they still land there as part of the tour.

I hope that you get to see everything that you want to see, but if you don't, then a second holiday is definitely in order!

Best wishes,

Mike (Auchterless)