Days Out From The Lodge - the Achiltibuie to Lochinver Loop
A Great Day Out That Ticks Every Box
Welcome to another thrilling escapade from our ‘Days Out From The Lodge’ series! Today, we're steering you through the breathtaking Achiltibuie to Lochinver loop, a hidden gem along the NC500 that promises to be the highlight of your Scottish Highlands break. We highly recommend a few days away from the rigours of the NC500 to take in every breathtaking nook and cranny of this stunning wee corner of the Highlands. Our 2024 booking calendar is now open; why not pop a spring/summer trip into your diary?
The Journey Begins
Strap in for a spectacular drive that unveils the raw beauty of the Assynt region. The Achiltibuie to Lochinver loop, though a mere 60 minute drive, promises a journey through a mesmerising single-track road with panoramic views of the famed Summer Isles, a group of islands, rocks and skerries off the Coigach peninsula. Regular cruise boats take visitors around the islands during peak season; or, if you’re a keen kayaker, book a day out with Kayak Summer Isles for an up close and personal tour of the islands, caves and beaches. Fancy a leisurely walk on a white, sandy beach? Nearby Isle Ristol is accessible by foot when the tide is low.
Stac Pollaidh Scramble
If you're feeling adventurous make a pitstop for a short but intense scramble up Stac Pollaidh. Referred to as Scotland’s miniature mountain, 'Stac Polly' is the quickest and easiest ascent in the area. With incredible views over the Inverpolly Nature Reserve, Loch Lurgainn and the iconic Suilven, Stac Polly has become very popular with climbers of all abilities. With its familiar rocky ridge, the thrill of conquering this giant is unparalleled, and the views from the top are a reward in themselves. If you’re not a seasoned climber, we recommend tackling this beauty in the warmer spring and summer months. Don't forget your camera – you'll want to capture the moment!
Achnahaird Beach Bliss
Need a breather? With views of Canisp, Suilven and Stac Pollaidh, and considered one of Scotland’s best beaches, Achnahaird Beach is your sandy haven for a relaxing stop-off. Enjoy the tranquillity of this relatively quiet spot, the golden sand beneath your feet, and the soothing sounds of the waves. It's a perfect excuse for a picnic or simply to unwind before moving to the next leg of your Grand Day Out. For wildlife spotting, nearby Inverpolly Nature Reserve, with its heather moorland and peat bogs, is home to otters, golden eagles, wild cats, and pine martens.
No day trip is complete without a spot of well-earned retail therapy. As you explore Achiltibuie, make sure to pop into Achiltibuie stores. They boast a fantastic selection of fresh fish, seafood, and local produce, as well as a range of delightful local crafts, including Ali Mac candles, with scents inspired by the surroundings. Though eating out options are somewhat limited, the Summer Isles Hotel serves up delectable dishes during the high season and Am Fuaran Bar and Restaurant is well known for its delicious local seafood.
For the thrill-seekers, plan an activity with Hamlet Mountaineering and Kayaking for an adventure through the inland lochs of Coigach and Assynt, including Loch Lurgainn for views of the iconic shape of Stac Pollaidh and the mighty summit of Cul Beag. Whether you're looking for an afternoon paddle or a 5 day expedition, Tim and Laura will arrange the perfect adventure. The options are as diverse as the Assynt landscape itself.
Falls of Kirkaig Delight
Lying south of Lochinver and close to the settlement of Inverkirkaig are the Falls of Kirkaig, a spectacular 20-metre high waterfall. A pleasant 4-mile woodland walk awaits in this northern part of the loop, surrounded by nature's symphony. It's a must-visit for those seeking a touch of serenity.
Off the Beaten Track to Lochinver
Prepare for a journey off the beaten track as you loop north towards Lochinver. This part of the adventure is not for the faint-hearted, but the lovely viewpoints and walking opportunities make it an explorer's dream. While you’re in Lochinver, don’t forget to stop off at its famous pie shop, Lochinver Larder, for a feast of delicious handmade luxury pies.
Back to the Lodge for some Rest and Recuperation
When you get back to the Lodge, you can look forward to relaxing in comfort and warmth, sharing tales with fellow travellers over a cuppa or a cold beer, and getting a great night’s sleep in your cosy room, dorm, or suite. For a break with a difference, book our 3-bed walled cottage, or a cosy cabin or shepherd’s hut for two. Please note that the main Lodge is closed for bookings from mid-November to March, but you can still book the Walled Cottage or Steading Suites for a winter break.
Book your holiday at Inchnadamph now and start planning your Assynt adventure!