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  • The Far North of Scotland

    Some of Scotland's most dramatic and beautiful scenery laid bare in one day. Scotland at its most absolutely beautiful

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  • Far Northern Highlands

Northern Highlands of Scotland

North of Loch Ness and Fort William, the land takes on three aspects - mountains, coast lines of often startling beauty and wild and uninhabited moorlands. Welcome to the Far North!


North from here stretches a dramatic shoreline of deep sea lochs and sheltered coves of pure white sand backed by towering mountains and looking across to numerous Hebridean islands (see Outer Hebrides Guide). West of Fort William, via the lyrical 'Road to the Isles', is Mallaig, now the main departure point for ferries to Skye. Further north is Ullapool, one of the main ferry ports for the Outer Hebrides and the ideal base from which to explore the wild and near-deserted far northwest.

North of Ullapool you enter a different world. The landscape becomes ever more dramatic and unreal - a huge emptiness of bleak moorland punctuated by isolated peaks and shimmering lochs. A narrow and tortuously twisting road winds its way up the coast, past deserted beaches of sparkling white sand washed by turquoise sea. There's not much tourist traffic this far north and once you get off the main road and on to the backroads, you can enjoy the wonderful sensation of having all this astonishingly beautiful scenery to yourself.

Activities

Walks

  • Achnahaird Beach

    Lovely crescent of sand in Wester Ross that is considered one of Scotland's best beaches

  • Stac Pollaidh Walk

    Moderate 2 hour walk, well posted and with excellent views.

  • Beinn Eighe NNR

    Scotland's first national nature reserve and and home to a wonderful variety of local wildlife. For visitors who would like to find out more about Beinn Eighe, there‚Äôs a visitor centre open from Easter to October just outside Kinlochewe.  The three trails which start here are open all year and a further path links the visitor centre with the village of Kinlochewe. The visitor centre has a small shop area with tourist information and a shop selling books and products about nature.

  • Balmacara Estate

    Large NTS managed estate on south of Lochalsh peninsula. Excellent easy walking on trails through woodland, lochside and coastal. Ideal for younger kids as well.

  • Beinn Eighe National Nature Reserve

    While most of the Torridon massif is managed by the NTS, Beinn Eighe (which means 'File Peak' in Gaelic) is under the control of Scottish Natural Heritage. It is Britain's oldest National Nature Reserve, set up in 1951 to protect the ancient Caledonian pine forest west of Kinlochewe. It has since been designated an International Biosphere Reserve and extended to cover 30 square miles. The reserve is the home of a great variety of rare Highland wildlife, including pine martens, wildcats, buzzards, Scottish crossbills and golden eagles. There's also a wide range of flora which can best be appreciated on the excellent mountain trail described below which climbs from the ancient pine woods through alpine vegetation to the tundra-like upper slopes.

Popular Visitor Attractions

  • Inverewe Gardens

    Northern headland gardens started by Osgood Mackenzie in 1862. The North Atlantic drift allows exotic shrubs, trees and bamboos to flourish.

  • Strathnaver Museum

    Interesting little museum in Bettyhill that chronicles the histories of the very far north of Scotland from the Norse through the clearances to the present day. Espeical focus on Clan Mackay and local Gaelic customs.

  • Attadale House & Gardens

    Sunken garden with spectaculare views. Readers of Gardeners' World magazine choose Attadale Gardens as their favourite Scottish garden in their 2010 Gardens to Visit guide.
  • After the Gold Rush

    Your chance to pan for gold at the site of the old gold rush near Helmsdale.
  • Achiltibuie Hydroponics Garden

    Home to the somewhat legendary hydroponicum (now closed) and a centre for growing plants out of soil. Very interesting, and you can buy kits as well.