A Highland Tour: (3) Gairloch


Gairloch is a nice day visit from Ullapool, perhaps with another stop or two along the way. The road between the two villages along the coast has been rated as one of the top six drives in the world. By anybodies standards it is a truly beautiful journey. Look out for views of the magnificent An teallach. Of note is the arresting sight of Gruinard Bay, a long horseshoe-shaped sandy bay looking over to Gruinard Island. The latter became infamous during the last war as a biological warfare testing base by military scientists resulting in its nickname ‘Anthrax Island’. It’s uninhabited for obvious reasons so you won’t be popping over there for a visit. Do stay for refreshments and splendid sea air at beautiful Gruinard Bay however – most worthwhile.

Gruinard Bay

Another pleasant visit in the district of Gairloch is Inverewe Gardens near Poolewe. The large grounds were the brainchild of Osgood McKenzie who made full use of the Gulf Stream’s protective climate.

Inverewe Gadens

Gairloch itself has a pretty harbour and some nice shops and places to eat. Round to the south of the Loch sits Badachro with its ancient inn overlooking the sailing boats in the harbour. Further along at the road ends lies glorious Redpoint. On my last visit, there stood a single hotel and a few homes. The real beauty is in the fabulous beach of white sand. Redpoint is yet another point of past emigration and has its own tales to tell. Now though all that remains is Redpoint’s emptiness and vast natural beach which can resemble a lunar landscape.

Beach at Redpoint






6 thoughts on “A Highland Tour: (3) Gairloch”

  1. Nice photos and descriptions. I enjoyed reading your travels, though I’m a bit puzzled by the reference to Achnasheen and mountains. If you travel the coast road from Ullapool to Gairloch, through Gruinard, you wouldn’t get anywhere near Achnasheen!

  2. Thanks for your comments and for your correction, Alex. I was confused, it was actually An teallach I was thinking of when I wrote that. Cheers!

  3. Hi Stuart,
    Just passing thru and thought say hello, lovely photos of Gairloch.
    Ive been many a time and i think its now part of me. Got to go at least once a year!

  4. Hi Joanne

    Thanks for your comments.

    Oh I wish I could visit there once a year! It’s been a while now since I was in lovely Gairloch, in Port Henderson precisely. Walking in Flowerdale Forest, beautiful Big Sand and the sheer loveliness of the beaches at Redpoint. Not to mention the Badachro Inn with it’s views over the harbour.

    I’m glad to hear of someone else who appreciates the place as much as I did.


  5. stayed for 2 weeks in a croft in aultbea – round the corner from Gairloch
    any way to continue – on our 2nd day in the Highlands we drove into Gairloch and ‘spotted’ the local pub – upon entering we noticed the guest beer for the week was – wait for it – HOME ALES!!! – wed travelled over300 miles to feel at ‘home’!! the best was it had sold out!

    ps some 20 years ago

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