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