The road from Achiltibuie north to Lochinver is known locally as the 'wee mad road', and you'd be mad to miss this thrilling route which twists and winds its way through some the northwest's most stunning scenery.
The village of Lochinver is a working fishing port and the last sizeable village before Thurso. It has a good tourist office (see below), lots of accommodation, a bank with ATM, post office and petrol station.
Phone code: +44 (0)1571
Local Sights & Activities for Lochinver
The best place to start is the Assynt Visitor Centre, which houses the Tourist Information Centre. It has displays on the local geology, history and wildlife and there's also a ranger service with guided walks throughout the summer. Info - The centre is open Apr-Oct Mon-Fri 1000-1700 and Sun 1000-1600. Tel. 844330. Those looking for local souvenirs should head for Highland Stoneware, Tel. 844376, www.highlandtrail.co.uk/stoneware.html, a local pottery factory just outside the village on the road north.
A few miles south of Lochinver, beyond Inverkirkaig, is the trail along the river to the Kirkaig Falls. The path starts near the Achins Bookshop, Tel. 844262, which has a good stock of Scottish titles and a café. Follow the path for about two miles till it branches right to the falls in the gorge below. Continue along the main path for about another � mile till you reach Fionn Loch, with superb views of mighty Suilven. The walk up to the falls and back should take around 1 1/2 hours. This is one of the main approaches to the foot of the mountain.
Lochinver Hotels & Accommodation
For really good food, try the excellent Caberfeidh Bar & Restaurant, Tel. 844321. All dishes are cooked to order using local produce, all meat is from the local butcher, the fish is landed local and delivered fresh daily. A traditional pub with food, cooking only the best local ingredients and produce available. Real ale on draught too. Highly recommended. For their website see The Caberfeidh Bar & Restaurant
Apart from the hotels listed above, good food can be also found at Lochinver's Larder Riverside Bistro, Tel. 844356, on the way into town on the A837. You can eat in or takeaway and prices are mid-range.