Things to do in Achiltibuie
Things to do around Achiltibuie and area
The best sandy beach is Achnahaird which is a magnificent beach with shallow sea and
pretty safe bathing though there are no lifeguards! There is a small car park at the end of
the road signposted “Beach” in the village of Achnahaird. Its a short easy walk on a made
up path to the beach. There are dunes for shelter, rock pools at low tide and beautiful
views of the mountains.
Don't forget the shingle beach below the house accessed through the garden gate, keep dogs on a lead.
Badentarbet beach is just outside Achiltibuie. It is a small shingle beach, again with
stunning views of the mountains. There is a salmon bothy on the beach, now converted to a
holiday home and a row of old boats and anchors......a reminder of Coigach’s history of
fishing, and its strong connection with the sea, and now also much loved by artists and
Regular boat trips around the Summer Isles and to Tanera Mor leave from the pier near to
Badentarbet beach. The boat trip can be booked from the Post Office opposite Number
97. I recommend this trip.
Drive through Achiltibuie and here are two more small beaches, Badenscallie, below
Coigach’s burial ground take the turning signed to the burial ground.
The second is at Acheninver. Carry on along the road as far as the signs for the youth
hostel where you can park your car and walk down the footpath past the youth hostel to
Acheninver Beach below.
There’s an interesting walk straight out from the house, walk down the garden through the
gate at the bottom of the garden. Head diagonally left down the field there is a gate onto
the beach. Climb over and follow the coast round to the left its fairly easy walking with gates
through fences etc. walk right to the point (Rhua Dunan) we once saw a minke whale here
close to the shore. There is a marvellous rock pool at the point if you go at low tide with
many different crabs, anenomies etc. Follow the coast round still with the sea on your right
you come to lovely sandstone cliffs, you may well see a seal below you. Eventually the path
drops to sea level and you will see the remains of what was once a substantial Broch. The
path takes you up to the road again turn left to head for home along the road. (its about 4
miles round trip)
The cliffs at Rieff are worth a walk especially if it has been or is windy ,there are great
waves and spray. Drive as far as you can north on the peninsula and park at the end of the
road. There’s a little bridge over a short river walk over it and climb the fence and head off
with the sea on your left. If you walk past the cliffs there is a beautiful white sandy beach.
If you turn right out of the house and go right to the end of the road there’s a fine walk up a
river with many waterfalls. Park just before you get to Culnacraig then walk above the
village outside the fencing you eventually reach a stream, follow it upstream its very pretty.
There are many relics of the Iron and Bronze ages around in the form of hut circles. Some
of these are marked on the Ordnance Survey maps that you will find in the bookcase in the
house. Feel free to use them on your walks. The walks I have described are relatively easy
but good footwear is advisable and take care near cliffs etc.
There are obviously plenty of mountains to climb but I would be cautious about going up
some of them on your own except Stac Polly which you will pass on your way to Achiltibuie
on the single track road. There’s a car park with a well made up path which goes almost to
the summit. The views are stunning. its a steep walk but a good path and lots of people
walk up it everyday so you wouldn’t be on your own in case of a mishap.
There is right of access on foot pretty much everywhere is Scotland but respect the
crofter’s animals and always shut gates.
There are several options for boat trips.
The Isabella, Summer Isles Sea Tours, operates from Badentarbet pier and goes
around the Summer Isles viewing seals,
birdlife and the Cathedral Cave on Tanera Bea . Booking is essential tel.
The Shearwater is a bigger boat (with loos etc) that operates from Ullapool with trips
to Tanera Mor and the other islands in the morning and Wildlife cruises in the afternoon.
There is a booking office in Ullapool on the seafront or phone 01854 612472
There is a boat trip that goes out from Kylesku up Loch Glencoul , seals and the highest
waterfall in the UK , Eas a’ Chual Aluinn, can be seen from this boat although the falls are
quite a way off at the end of the loch and are best seen after heavy rain..Telephone the Kylsku Hotel for bookings.
Restaurants and cafes
Coigach has a good choice of places to eat.
In Achiltibuie the Summer Isles Hotel serves very good food in the bar, and there is also a
garden outside where you can sit and have a drink and maybe something to eat too.
The Piping School Cafe also serves delicious food throughout the day, and does
takeaways and some evening meals .
The Fuaran Bar In Altandhu is also a very popular place to eat with excellent seafood and steaks and has a take away menu too
It's essential to book in high season
Achiltibuie has a very well stocked village shop and a petrol pump. You can order live
langoustine and scallops from the shop, they are caught just off shore.
Open Monday to Saturday.
Achiltibuie Post Office
Open Monday Saturday,
Innovative growing using hydroponics resulting
in wonderful fresh fruit and vegetables, &
the prettiest salads you could ever hope to eat!! You can see it from the house, sadly they no longer do guided tours but the produce is sold in the village shop.
Achiltibuie Artists Gallery
Situated in Achiltibuie Community Hall [opposite the Piping School Cafe] the gallery stocks
a variety of beautiful, original artworks & gifts produced by local artists, sculptors and
makers. (and us)
Polbain also has a craft shop full of lovely locally produced gifts and knitwear to look at and
buy. Call in and have a cup of tea or coffee. There is also a small gallery/studio in Polbain called Fisk selling Lesley Muir's excellent spongeware pottery and many other beautiful gifts.
Buy an Ullapool News from the village shop,it has lists of what’s on and where. Ullapool has
quite a lively music scene.
Ullapool & Lochinver are both fishing ports that offer a range of shops, restaurants and
cafes. Highland Pottery and Ullapool Museum are well worth a visit in Ullapool. There is a swimming pool
that is open to the public at various times during the day.
Lochinver & Ullapool also have a Highland Stoneware Pottery shop and there is a very
good bookshop & cafe called Achins Bookshop which is situated between Lochinver and
Achiltibuie near the River Kirkaig and the walk to Kirkaig Falls, this also sells a variety of
gifts. The drive to Lochinver is very pretty and is a must do trip.
Corrieshalloch Falls just south of Ullapool are spectacular, with a suspension foot bridge
The drive to Kylesku is spectacular and there is a great little hotel there that serves very
good food from a lovely restuarant with panoramic views across the loch. There is a boat trip up the sea loch from
just outside the hotel with seals,great scenery, interesting geology and a view of the highest
waterfall in Britain. To get there go to Lochinver then drive through the village and take the
A837 keep going then take the A894 after some spectacular scenery you should see a
sign to Kylesku on your right. If you get to an amazing road bridge over the sea loch you’ve
gone a little bit too far but no matter the bridge is worth a look.
Instead of taking the A837 after Lochinver you could take the Drumbeg coastal road which
is very scenic but a single track and quite slow. Allow for a long day if you do that!
Handa Island near Scourie, is well worth a visit, reached by a short boat trip from Tarbet,
and hosting Guillemots, Skuas, Puffins, Arctic Terns and Fulmars on high sea cliffs.
Knockan Crag is a geological walk and interpretation centre. Go back up the single track
towards Ullapool and turn left when you get to the main road. The path is well sign posted
and interpretation boards explain the geology of the area.
There are not many roads in the area, provided you’ve gone in the right direction you
usually find what you were looking for!
A variety of wildlife such as Otters, Deer, Pine Martens, Golden Eagles, Sea Eagles,
Seals, Dolphins, Orca, Porpoises, Basking Sharks, Salmon & Sea Trout can all be seen in
the area, many from the house. I recommend you bring some binoculars. There is a
telescope in the house but please do not take it on excursions. The key to spotting marine
mammals is to look regularly every 15 minutes for 5 minutes or so. Scan across the sea
and look out for the backs of porpoises or the splash of a dolphin especially on calm days.
If seabirds are congregating around one spot there may well be seals dolphins or
porpoises chasing fish below them. If the sea is calm look out for roughly circular areas of
disturbed water these are usually small fish on the surface which may attract the mammals.
Beautiful rock pools adjoin the beaches.
Orchids can be seen along with many other interesting plants like the insectivorous sundew
and butterwort, and of course the heather will be in flower in August.
We are happy to answer any questions you have whilst you are there either by email or
We love the place dearly and hope you will too
kind regards Tony and Pip