The attractive little fishing port of Ullapool, on the shores of Loch Broom, is the largest settlement in Wester Ross.
Local Sights & Activities for UllapoolSightseeing
Ullapool's attractions are very much of the outdoor variety and include the Falls of Measach, Achiltibuie and Stac Pollaidh. There are also many good local walks and cruises to the Summer Isles (see 'Tours' below). It's worth taking a stroll around the harbour to watch the comings and goings of the fishing fleet and you might even see the occasional seal or otter swimming close to the shore.
The only real 'sight' as such is the Ullapool Museum and Visitor Centre in a converted church in West Argyle Street. It has some interesting displays on local history, including the story of those who set sail from here in 1773 on board The Hector, the first ship to carry emigrants from the Highlands to Nova Scotia in Canada. Info - Apr-Oct Mon-Sat 1000-1700; Nov-Mar by prior arrangements only, Tel. 612987.
Ullapool's favourite pub has to be the Ferry Boat Inn (or 'FBI' as it's known locally), on Shore St. It has a Thu night live music session year round and during the summer you can sit outside on the sea wall and watch the sun go down as you drain your glass. Another good place for a drink is the Arch Inn, at the other end of Shore St. The bar of the Seaforth Inn has live music on a Fri night, which has been described by one local as 'raucous'. For something a wee bit more sedate and civilized, head for The Ceilidh Place, where you can enjoy a quiet drink in the cosy Parlour Bar or take advantage of their varied programme of events. There's live music nightly (except Sun) throughout the summer and on a Mon in winter, also ceilidhs and poetry readings. The clubhouse opposite stages plays.
Ullapool Hotels & Accommodation
There is no shortage of places to stay in Ullapool, ranging from hotels to numerous guesthouses and B&Bs, a couple of good youth hostels and a campsite.
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Ferry Boat Inn, Shore St, Tel. 612366, www.ferryboat-inn.com On the lochside, decent accommodation and food and the best pub in town.
Point Cottage Guest House, 22 West Shore St, Tel. 612494, www.pointcottage.co.uk Lovely old fishing cottage at the quieter end of the loch-front.
Brae Guest House, Shore St, Tel. 612421. 8 rooms, open May-Oct. Comfortable guesthouse on the loch-front.
Eilean Donan Hotel, 14 Market St, Tel. 612524. Friendly and central.
Strathmore House, Strathmore, Morefield (1 mile north of town), Tel. 612423, Open Apr-Oct. Friendly, comfortable and good value.
Ullapool has a very good SYHA youth hostel on Shore St, Tel. 612254, open Feb-Dec, where you can pick up some good information on local walks, also bike hire, internet and laundry facilities. There's an independent hostel, West House, on West Argyle St, Tel. 613126, open all year. It has the full range of facilities, including free internet for guests, hires out mountain bikes and runs local bus tours.
The only campsite is at Broomfield Holiday Park, Tel. 6120020, on Shore St at the west end of the village, with great views across to the Summer Isles and a laundrette on site. It's open Easter-Sep.
There are more guesthouses on Garve Rd, heading south out of town, and lots of B&Bs along Seaforth Rd and Pulteney St.
The Frigate Cafe (incorporating Ullapool Catering Co), is situated on Shore Street (Tel 612 969), offering breakfasts, lunches, dinners or drinks and snacks daily 7 days a week. This beautiful cafe offers stunning views overlooking the Harbour and Loch Broom. A friendly welcome is guaranteed here and the Strawberry Tarts in the summer are infamous! Food is made fresh with all ingredients from local producers and supporting local suppliers.
The Ceilidh Place is one of those places that tourists seem to hang around for hours or even days. It exudes a laid-back, cultured ambience. The self-service coffee shop does cheap wholefood all day during the summer, while the restaurant serves more expensive full meals, with an emphasis on vegetarian and seafood at night. There's even outdoor seating. Open 1100-2300. Also live music and various other events (see below). The Tea Store, opposite the TIC on Argyle St, has good value snacks. Ullapool Catering (Tel. 612969) make up great picnics from local organic produce at goodo value prices. You can also get decent, cheap pub food at lunchtime and early evening in the Ferry Boat Inn, the Seaforth Inn and the Arch Inn (see below).
There's plenty of choice across the range, from one of the UK's top hotel/ restaurants to the humble seafront chippie
Travel Directions to Ullapool
Ullapool is the mainland terminal for ferries to Stornoway (Lewis). Scottish Citylink buses, Tel. 08705-505050, to and from Inverness connect with the ferry to and from Stornoway. For further details of ferries, see the Outer Hebrides chapter, or contact the local CalMac office on Shore St, opposite the pier, Tel. 612358. There are also buses to places further north, and south along the coast. Buses stop at the pier near the ferry dock.
The Tourist Information Centre is at 6 Argyle St, Tel. 612135. It is well run and provides an accommodation booking service as well as information on local walks and trips, and has a good stock of books and maps. Easter-Jun and Sep-Nov Mon-Sat 0900-1800, Sun 1300-1800; Jul and Aug Mon-Sat 0900-1900, Sun 1300-1800; Nov-Easter Mon-Fri 1300-1630.
During the summer the MV Summer Queen runs 4-hr cruises to the Summer Isles, with a 45-min landing on Tanera Mór. These leave Mon-Sat at 1000 from the pier. There are also 2-hr wildlife cruises around Loch Broom, Annat Bay and Isle Martin, which leave daily at 1415 and also on Sun at 1100. Cruises can be booked at the booth by the pier or by calling, Tel. 612472. Walking tours can be arranged daily with Northwest Frontiers, Tel. 612628, with the very experienced Andy Cunningham, and Celtic Horizons, Tel. 612429.
Scottish Citylink buses run 2-3 times daily (except Sun) between Ullapool and Inverness, connecting with the ferry to Stornoway. There are also buses daily (except Sun) to and from Inverness with Rapson's Coaches, Tel. 01463-710555, and Spa Coaches, Tel. 01997-421311. There's a service to Lochinver (1-2 times daily except Sun, 1 hr) with Spa Coaches and Rapson's Coaches, Tel. 01463-710555, and Spa Coaches, Tel. 01997-421311. There's a service to Lochinver (1-2 times daily except Sun, 1 hr) with Spa Coaches and Rapson's of Brora, Tel. 01408-621245, and to Achilitibuie (twice daily Mon-Thu, once on Sat, 1 hr) with Spa Coaches. There's also a daily bus to and from Gairloch, which continues to Inverness, during the summer only. Cycle hire At West House independent hostel (see 'Sleeping' above); around £10 per day.
Banks - There are 2 banks the Royal Bank of Scotland in Ladysmith St and the Bank of Scotland has a branch on Argyle Street.