The Gairloch area has so much to offer....

Wester Ross is one of the jewels in Scotland's crown and Gairloch lies at its heart. No day is long enough to cram everything in if the weather is good, and if it is bad there is more than enough to keep you busy. 

We thought that you might like to know what has drawn our extended family back to Badachro for almost 70 years without a break.

Badachro and the Isle of Skye from the Gairloch hills

First, there is the sheer beauty of the area. The hills, lochs, rivers, open moor and pockets of native woodland border a deeply serrated and rocky coastline studded with beautiful beaches, while out to see, across the deep blue Minch, the Isle of Skye and Outer Hebrides continually draw the eye westward.  

Red Point Beach

Second, and equally important, is the atmosphere. This is a land rich in Highland history and culture and it has a very different feel to Lowland Scotland or England. It is a spiritual place and the longer you stay and the more you visit the more you will appreciate just how special it is.

Loch Claire in Glen Torridon with Liathach and Beinn Eighe beyond

Finally, there are all the great activities that you can enjoy here:

Beaches

Torridon Beach at the mouth of Loch TorridonOpinan is the closest to the Cottage (3 miles) - a lovely beach with amazing views out to Skye. However, Red Point, with its two fantastic beaches, lies a few miles further on and is our favourite.  Gairloch beach lies at the head of the loch, 5 miles from the cottage, while Big Sand stands sentinel on the north side.

Walking & Climbing

An Teallach - a magnificent hillWester Ross is a dream come true for walkers and climbers, offering everything from short strolls on sandy beaches to woodland tracks to long hikes over the moor to remote beaches and the ascents of some of the wildest, most rugged and spectacular hills in Scotland - the Torridons, Fannichs, Slioch and An Teallach to name but a few. 

See this website for some great routes  : WalkHighlands 

Boat Trips

The sea is so important to Gairloch that you must venture out at least once:
 
Dry Island Shellfish Safaris - Aird Cottage overlooks Dry Island and there you will find local skipper Ian McWhinney and his traditional creel fishing boat. Ian's family has been fishing from Badachro for generations and you could not find a better guide to the area. He will take you of a tour of the sea loch, pointing out places of interest, and you can watch him bring up his creels. Fascinating and enjoyable for all ages. Our favourite - 01445 741263

"Sealife" Glass-bottomed Boat Trips Tripadvisor's No 1 attraction for Gairloch. Enjoy the teaming wildlife both above and below the waves.

Hebridean Whales Cruises - Join the RHIB, Orca 1, which can whisk you across the Minch in a jiffy in search of a wide range of cetaceans and sea birds, including puffins, or board the MV Kerry for a more leisurely tour of inshore waters.

Gairloch Marine Life Centre & Cruises - Daily boat trips running throughout the season from Gairloch Pier to see a wide range of wildlife.

Salmon & Trout Fishing 

Wild brown trout fishing near BadachroGairloch is rich in wild brown trout lochs and also has salmon fishing available. Permits and guide books are available locally. 

Sea Angling

Sea fishing for pollock and mackerel is popular and a number of boats will take you out by arrangement. For those with their own craft, Badachro offers a sheltered anchorage.

Golf

Gairloch boasts what in our opinion is one of the most challenging and picturesque 9-hole courses in Scotland. You can buy a day, weekly, or monthly ticket.

Cycling

Cycling around Gairloch is a real pleasure, though many of the roads are single track so care must be taken.

Horse Riding

Excellent horse trekking is available from the Gairloch Trekking Centre at Flowerdale.

Kayaking

Kayaking on Loch Maree - Slioch beyondIf you have your own equipment and know what you are doing you can enjoy some great trips on and around Gairloch and Loch Maree - but you do have to take care.

 

Bird Watching

The best advice is to bring your binoculars. Around Gairloch you could easily see birds of prey like sea eagles, buzzards, peregrine falcons, merlin and golden eagles, while on hill lochs and on the coast there are frequently black and red throated drivers, and on the coast, terns, gulls, bonxies (great skuas), mergansers, oyster catchers and much, much more.  Otter in Shieldaig Bay, Gairloch

 

 

 

 

 Museums & Visitor Centres

Gairloch Heritage Museum - Award winning museum featuring local archaeology, history and culture.

Beinn Eighe National Nature Reserve - Boasting some of Scotland's finest mountain, pinewood and loch-side scenery

Gardens

Inverewe Garden - An outstanding National Trust for Scotland garden famed for its rhododendrons and azaleas and plants collected from around the world.

Attadale Gardens, Loch Carron - Lovely West Highland Garden - can be reached via Achnasheen or Glen Torridon.

The Hydroponicum, Achiltibuie - A fascinating collection of exotic plants growing in a water culture in beautiful and remote Achiltibuie. 

Where To Eat

Badachro Inn from the seaThere are a number of very nice places to eat in Gairloch but we prefer to stroll to the Badachro Inn and back along the shore. 

Badachro Inn - A wonderful setting at the mouth of the Badachro River, overlooking the Bay. Sit with a pint watching the small boats come and so or enjoy a very pleasant meal in the pub or sun room. Martin, the owner, is always on hand with a cheery word.

Shopping
 
Strath, some 6 miles away, has good shops, including two licensed grocers, an excellent butcher/fishmonger, attractive gift shops, a hairdressers and the post office. In fact everything you are likely to want on holiday. There is a branch of The Bank of Scotland (with 24hr autoteller) in Gairloch.

However, on Sundays the only shop open is on Gairloch Pier. It is also the closest to Badachro and sells groceries, bread, milk and papers - very useful.

Petrol and diesel is available in Gairloch, but not on Sundays.