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6 gems to visit in Wester Ross

Written by Fiona

May 19 2022

I am a huge fan of Wester Ross, which is brilliantly now much closer to my own doorstep. Whether you are planning a day’s trip or a much longer break to this stunningly beautiful region in Scotland’s north-west, I have created a list of some of greta places to visit.

Wester Ross is located in the north-west Highlands. It neighbours Sutherland to the north, Caithness to the north-east and Skye and Lochalsh to the south and west.

Wester Ross boasts a wild, rugged and truly wonderful scenery, from the dramatic coastline and vast sandy beaches, through remote moorlands and glens, to lochs of all shapes and sizes and spectacular mountains. Settlements include UllapoolGairloch, Torridon and Lochcarron.

Then region is accessible by car, train and bike, usually via Inverness. The trainline west from Inverness travels to Kyle of Lochalsh stopping at places such as Strathcarron, Attadale and Plockton, which means you can reach Wester Ross in a more environmentally friendly way.

Find out more about Wester Ross.

6 great attractions in Wester Ross

Attadale Garden

Just off the North Coast 500 route but a real treasure to discover, Attadale Garden is a place to wander meandering paths through a range of imaginative mini gardens, such as a water garden, a sunken garden, a herb garden and a Japanese garden. 

Scattered everywhere are sculptures that beckon you to stop to take a closer look, as well as numerous beautiful flowers and plants. 

Look upwards and you’ll enjoy a canopy of trees of all kinds of varieties and heights. Look out from view points towards the coast and across to the Island of Skye. 

This magical and imaginative attraction is conveniently located on the railway line, too, with a station at Attadale and just a short walk from the garden.

Note: Attadale is also the start point for two remote Munros and a Corbett.

Big Sand, near Gairloch.
Rubh Re lighthouse.

Gairloch 

The coastal village of Gairloch is worthy of a multi-day trip. There is so much to see and do in and around the scenic settlement.

Enjoy fantastic sea and island views; huge expanses of sandy beaches; The Alley At Strath Ristretto Bar in Gairloch for ice creams; a cafe and bookshop, The Mountain Cafe Co; and Hillbillies Book Shop.

Gairloch Museum, located in a converted nuclear bunker, is a brilliant rainy day place to visit. Galleries showcase the history, culture and natural heritage of Wester Ross. 

Displays include the original lens from nearby Rubh Re lighthouse, a replica croft house showing how people used to live and an interactive gallery about the natural world, midges and all.

Also see: 11 things I discovered on a trip to Gairloch

Corrieshalloch Gorge

Corrieshalloch Gorge National Nature Reserve is cared for by NTS and offers a short walk with plenty to see in a mile-long box canyon.

You can take a walk down into the gorge on a well-laid path, crossing a high suspension bridge and out to a viewing platform (you will need a head for heights!).

The gorge is breath-taking with the spectacular Falls of Measach and the River Droma rushing through.

Save some energy for a steady uphill back to the car park. 

Diabaig. Credit: Phil Gyford
Diabaig harbour. Credit: Phil Gyford
The small hamlet of Lower Diabeg. Credit: Ken Bagnall

Lower Diabaig

I love Glen Torridon with its magnificent mountains and a long and dramatic coast. From the village of Torridon, a single-track tarmac road leads eight miles along the north shore of Upper Loch Torridon, Loch Shieldaig and Loch Torridon to end at Lower Diabaig.

It’s a very undulating road and seems much longer than it is, especially if you choose to go by bike, which I highly recommend. You can refuel at Gille Brighde Restaurant located in The Old School House.

A track continues from the end of the tarmac road in Lower Diabaig, heading along the coast to a Craig and further in to Redpoint (a total walk of some 11km), where it rejoins a public road,  which then goes on to Gairloch via Badachro. 

Beinn Eighe Mountain Trail 

Walkers can enjoy a remote mountain feel yet on a sign-posted route, the Beinn Eighe Mountain Trail in the Torridon area of Wester Ross.

The path climbs very steeply through a wide range of habitats from magnificent ancient pinewoods to an ice-scraped plateau of quartzite rocks. 

The route is just 6.5km with almost 600m of ascent and the rewards are fabulous views.

From here you could walk on to bag the Corbett, Meall a’Ghiubhais.

Ullapool Hill. Credit: Graeme Yuill
Ullapool Hill. Credit: Chris Wimbush
Path on Ullapool Hill. Credit: Chris Wimbush

Ullapool Hill Circuit

Another rewarding walk is the Ullapool Hill Circuit, which leaves the coastal town of Ullapool to climb to a height of around 270m on Meall Mòr (Ullapool Hill), where you are treated to wonderful views over Loch Broom and down to Ullapool.

See more great walks from Ullapool.

  • I was hosted by Visit Wester Ross for a two-day trip to the area.

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