Our guest house is located near to the centre of Lochinver which is in the county of Sutherland in the north west Highlands of Scotland. The property stands in an elevated position overlooking the village and harbour. In the photo below it is the large white building in the centre of the picture.
Lochinver is a fishing village on the west coast and is the main centre in Assynt. The main approach to the area is from the south via Ullapool, to the north of which the various mountains of Sutherland begin to appear. The first of these is Stac Pollaidh followed by Cul Bheag, Cul Mor, Canisp, Suilven and Quinag.
Assynt and Sutherland are an ideal holiday location for anyone who enjoys the outdoors with plenty of opportunities for walking, climbing, birdwatching, fishing, etc. Please see our "Useful Links" page for more information.
The many mountains in Sutherland make the whole area ideal for walkers and climbers, whether you enjoy the more energetic high-level hill walks or climbs or whether you prefer gentler low-level walks between the mountains or along the coast.
Alternatively, if you want to have a lazy day on the beach, just a very short distance up the coast from Lochinver is the lovely white sandy beach at Achmelvich - see opposite. This is ideal for families so make sure you pack your swimming costume and your bucket and spade!
Assynt and Lochinver lie at the centre of the North West Highlands Geopark. This is Scotland's first European Geopark and celebrates the important geological features of the area. The spectacular rock and mountain formations throughout Sutherland were formed millions of years ago and some date back up to 3,000 million years.
One of the first main geological sites of interest to be seen on the approach to Sutherland from Ullapool is Knockan Crag (see below). The Moine Thrust runs through the crag and the Visitor Centre (the entrance to which is just a short distance from where this photo was taken) provides information which explains the background to the 'Highlands Controversy' concerning the geology of the area.
The Moine Thrust Belt is a fault line which extends for 120 miles from Loch Eriboll on the north coast of Scotland south-west to the Sleat peninsula on the Isle of Skye. 400 million years ago this geological feature formed the edge of the Caledonian mountain belt and subsequent erosion has left the fault exposed, thus making it of great significance to all those with a passing interest in the geology of the Scottish Highlands.
Above can be seen the outlines of the mountains in the Assynt area of Sutherland which are, from the left: Canisp, Suilven, Cul Mor, Ben More, Stac Pollaidh (the anglicized version of which is Stac Polly).
Below are 2 views of Loch Assynt. The first view is at the eastern end of the loch looking towards Inchnadamph (about which, more below). The other view is towards the western end of the loch showing a couple of wooded islets.
Another interesting geological feature in Assynt is the set of caves at Inchnadamph. There are actually two separate sets of caves about 2 - 3 miles apart. The Inchnadamph Bone Caves are reached via a good footpath starting from a car park 2 miles to the south of Inchnadamph. They are one of Scotland's oldest historical sites and contain the bones of various animals from many thousands of years ago - large brown bear, arctic fox, arctic lemming, lynx, reindeer and even the remains of a polar bear which have been dated as 18,855 years old.
The other set of caves is situated above Inchnadamph itself in Gleann Dubh beside the River Traligill. Here there is an extensive cave system with limestone springs and disappearing rivers. There are also spectacular views of Quinag and Loch Assynt.
To the north of Inchnadamph and Loch Assynt the A894 heads further northwards into Sutherland towards Scourie and Laxford Bridge - and from the latter it is only about 19 miles to Durness and Cape Wrath, the "top left hand corner" of the British mainland.
Between Inchnadamph and Scourie is the spectacular Kylesku Bridge which has featured in a number of TV adverts, usually for cars. The bridge, which was opened in 1984, crosses a narrows where once there used to be a ferry and has the unusual feature of being curved - quite a masterpiece of civil engineering.
Close to Scourie lies Handa Island, a bird reserve run by the Scottish Wildlife Trust. Further north beyond Laxford Bridge is Sandwood Bay, probably the most spectacular beach in the British Isles. It can only be reached on foot, a round trip of 8 miles, but is well worth every step.
Another excellent round trip drive takes in the narrow coast road from Lochinver to Kylesku. A side road from this road leads to Achmelvich where there is a lovely clean, white sandy beach. With waters as clear as this, who needs the Caribbean!
Further up the coastal road is The Old Man of Stoer, an impressive sea stack which can best be seen from Stoer Point. There is a coastal walk of about 2.5 miles from Stoer Lighthouse which takes you to Stoer Point. From here there are excellent views of the Western Isles on a clear day and, if you are lucky, you may spot dolphins and whales, too.