Walks around Ullapool
A set of good walks around Ullapool in North West Scotland.
There are several good walking trails which start in Ullapool. One of these is to the top of Ullapool Hill, or Meall Mhor (886 ft). Starting from the tourist office, head to the end of Argyle Street, turn left on to North Road and then cross the road at the Far Isles Restaurant. Walk down the lane between Broom Court and the Hydro sub-station and then follow the path which zig-zags up the hillside. There's a good cairned path up to the top of the hill. The views from the top over Glen Achall, and on a clear day, the mountains of Sutherland, are superb. You can return by traversing the hillside to the top of the Braes, or take a track leading to Loch Achall and follow the Ullapool river through the quarry road back to the village. The return trip takes one to two hours.
A relatively easy, but much longer walk, of five to six hours, is to Rhidorroch Estate. Take the A835 north out of Ullapool. Opposite the petrol station and before the bridge, take the road on the right signed 'Quarry'. Go through the quarry keeping to the left, and follow the Ullapool river till you see Loch Achall. Continue along the north bank of the loch for another six miles. East Rhidorroch Lodge is on the right; cross the bridge to get there, then skirt the lodge fences and cross to the track which leads up the southwestern hill. This brings you out to Leckmelm, about four miles south of Ullapool on the A835. This last section offers wonderful views across Loch Broom to An Teallach. From Leckmelm you can also climb Beinn Eilideach (1,837 ft).
A good coastal walk is to Rhue Lighthouse and back. From the north end of Quay Street go down the steps to the river. Cross the bridges and head left by the football field. Follow the path to the left by the duck pond and cross in front of the bungalow. Then follow the shoreline north for about two miles, climbing up the hillside when the tide is high. Follow the path till you reach the little white lighthouse at Rhue Point. To return, take the single-track road out of Rhue back to the main road and up over the hill to Ullapool. It's about six miles in total.
There are many more strenuous hiking routes around Ullapool. The A835 south of town gives access to Beinn DeargBeinn Dearg (3,556 ft) and the Fannichs, a range of hills on the southern side of Dirrie More. There's also An Teallach, a favourite with Scottish climbers. North of Ullapool are the mountains within the Inverpolly National Nature Reserve. These include Ben Mór CoigachBen Mór Coigach (2,438 ft), Stac PollaidhStac Pollaidh (2,011 ft), Cul BeagCul Beag (2,523 ft) and Cul MórCul Mór (2,786 ft).