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

Sightseeing

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.

Castles Nearby

Ardvreck Castle

Ruined castle that stands on its own promontory overlooking Loch Assynt. Not as old as you might expect but with its wonderful position such a romantic castle...

Walks

Old Man of Stoer/Storr Walk

A good walk to see the iconic Old Man of Stoer

Lochinver Events

Assynt Highland Gathering

Assynt's annual games featuring solo piping, track and field events, Highland dancing, trout and salmon casting, caber tossing, tug o' war and an evening dance.

Lochinver Hotels & Accommodation

Inver Lodge Hotel, Iolaire Rd, Tel. 844496, Fax. 844395, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 20 rooms, open Apr-Oct. A modern luxury hotel standing above the village with great views and excellent restaurant (lunch mid-range; dinner expensive). L The Albannach Hotel, at Baddidaroch, Tel. 844407, Fax. 844285. This wonderful 18th-century house overlooking Loch Inver is one of the very best places to stay in the northwest, and the food offered in the award-winning restaurant is sublime. The price includes dinner. Non-residents are also welcome but booking is essential.

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.

Travel Directions to Lochinver

There's a Postbus service from Lochinver to and from Drumbeg, via the coast road, which continues to Lairg. It runs once a day, Mon-Sat. There are also buses to and from Drumbeg and on to Ullapool, once or twice daily except Sun, with Rapsons of Brora, Tel. 01408-621245, and Spa Coaches, Tel. 01997-421311.

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