Gairloch consists of a string of tiny crofting townships scattered around the northeastern shore of the loch of the same name.
It's a great place which attracts a large number of visitors who come for the many beautiful beaches, excellent walks, golf and fishing, and the chance of seeing seals, porpoises, dolphins and whales in the surrounding waters.
Local Sights & Activities for Gairloch
If the weather's bad (as it sometimes can be) or if you're interested in local history, then visit the Gairloch Heritage Museum, which is beside the tourist office on the A832 to Poolewe, a few yards beyond the turn-off to Strath. Included are archaeological finds, a mock-up of a crofthouse room, schoolroom and shop, the interior of the local lighthouse and an archive of old photographs. Info - Apr-mid-Oct Mon-Sat 1000-1700. £2.50, concession £2, children £0.50. Tel. 712287.
The waters around Gairloch are home to a wide variety of marine mammals such as seals, otters, porpoises, dolphins, minke whales and even killer whales. You can take a wildlife-spotting cruise with Sail Gairloch, Tel. 712636. The cruise lasts two hours and leaves daily from Gairloch Pier (subject to weather conditions). It can be booked at the Gairloch Marine Life Centre by the pier.
The most sucessful Whale watching boats are run by Hebridean Whale Cruises who specialise on the offshore feeding grounds and are the only way to the magnificent Shiant Islands from mainland Scotland. Info and bookings Tel. 712458.
For information on sea angling trips, contact the chandlery shop at the harbour, Tel. 712458.
For those who prefer dry land, try a quad bike tour of the Flowerdale Deer Forest with Highland Trails. Book at The Anchorage post office/craft shop at the harbour or at Flowerdale estate office, Tel. 712378.
Pony Trekking in the beautiful Flowerdale Glen can be arranged by phoning 712652 or 07769838528 at Gairloch Trekking Centre
Gairloch Hotels & Accommodation
The Old Inn at Gairloch is a traditional Inn serving excellent beer and food.
There are numerous cheaper B&Bs scattered throughout the area. Most of the owners will provide maps and information on local walks. On the main street in Strath, near the shops, is Bains House, Tel. 712472, which is friendly and great value. On the road that turns off to the right by the Millcroft Hotel, beyond the fire station, is Duisary, Tel. 712252, open Apr-Oct. In Charleston, by the harbour, is Mrs A MacIver, Tel. 712388, open Feb-Nov.
There are a couple of hostels in Gairloch: Auchtercairn Hostel, Tel. 712131, open Mar-Nov, is at Gairloch Sands Apartments, just before the turn-off to Strath; 3 miles beyond Gairloch, on the road to Melvaig, isCarn Dearg Youth Hostel, Tel. 712219, open 15 May-3 Oct.
There are a couple of campsites: Gairloch Caravan & Camping Park, Tel. 712373, is at Strath, with full facilities and close to all amenities.
Sands Holiday Centre, Tel. 01445 712152, open Easter-Oct, is at Big Sand, about a mile beyond Strath. Camp next the beach and has a great little cafe on site that comes highly recommended. There is also wifi on site and in cafe for those who need to instagram their stay, etc.