Wester Ross is the informal name for that part of Scotland where the Highlands meet the west coast. Its borders are not precisely defined, running from somewhere close to Skye to the vast expanse of rock and moorland north of Ullapool. It is a wild and remote place; what it lacks in people it more than makes up for with mountains, lochs and white sand beaches. A road trip along its length brings vistas to rival California’s Pacific highways, bookended by Applecross in the south (more about which you can find here) and Achmelvich in the north.
Achmelvich campsite is without doubt one of the best located sites in Scotland (vying for top spot with Horgabost on the Isle of Harris). It lies in dunes, a short walk from a spectacular bay which you can have all to yourself with some canny off-season travelling. As the sun goes down and the shadows play on the sand, the sea turning quickly from blue to silver to gold to black, and the deafening sound of silence drifts on the breeze, it is hard to imagine anywhere more beautiful.
Many an hour can be passed on the beach, exploring its rocks and coves, fishing for your supper, taking a trip out on to the water in a boat or kayak or simply sitting and taking it all in.
When you want to stock up on supplies, or fancy a meal sat at a table under a roof, the small fishing village of Lochinver is just three miles away and happy to oblige on both counts. Lochinver is also the starting point for those hiking to the foot of Suilven, one of Scotland’s most distinctive mountains, a sharp ridge that rises high above the treeless landscape, dominating the skyline.
More than one route leads to the base, each providing the walker with a different face of Sulivan. From some angles it is a steep pyramid, from some a wind smoothed dome, from others it appears as the silhouette of a sleeping giant. The terrain is rough and the way is long, particularly if you want to include an ascent of the mountain itself. I was satisfied with the view from below.
For the previous post in the series click here and stay tuned for more of Scotland’s secrets.