The area east of Lochinver is a remote wilderness of mountains and moorland dotted with lochs and lochans. As well as being a favourite haunt of hardy climbers and walkers, Assynt is a paradise for anglers. Most of the lochs are teeming with brown trout, and fishing permits are readily available throughout the area from the TIC in Lochinver or at local hotels, guesthouses and B&Bs. There's also salmon fishing on the River Kirkaig, available through the Inver Lodge Hotel, and on Loch Assynt through the Inchnadamph Hotel.
The A837 Lochinver-Lairg road meets the A894 to Durness 10 miles east of Lochinver at Skiag Bridge by Loch Assynt. Half a mile south of here by the loch is the ruins of Ardvreck Castle. The castle dates from 1597 and was the stronghold of the Macleods of Assynt until a siege of the castle in 1691, when it was taken by the Seaforth Mackenzies. Before that, the Marquis of Montrose had been imprisoned here following his defeat at Carbisdale in 1650. Access to the castle is free, but the ruins are in a dangerous state and should be approached with care.
To the east of the road lies the Inchnadamph National Nature Reserve, dominated by the massive peaks of Ben More Assynt and Conival, which should only be attempted by experienced hill walkers. A few miles south of the village of Inchnadamph, at the fish farm, is a steep, but well-marked footpath up to the Bone Caves. This is one of Scotland's oldest historical sites, where the bones of humans and animals such as lynx and bear were found together with sawn-off deer antlers dating from over 8,000 years ago. Phone code: +44 (0)1571
Loch Assynt & Inchnadamph Hotels & Accommodation
Inchnadamph Hotel, Tel. 822202, . co.uk An old-fashioned Highland hotel on the shores of Loch Assynt, catering for the hunting and fishing fraternity (see above). Nearby is the Inchnadamph Lodge, Tel. 822218, , or Assynt Field Centre, which offers basic hostel accommodation in bunk rooms, as well as twin, double and family rooms. Continental breakfast is included. It's open all year, but phone ahead between Nov and Mar. It's ideally situated for climbing Ben More Assynt and guides are available.