About The Area

Gairloch and Wester Ross

Wester Ross has been a popular destination for visitors for many years, and Gairloch is the perfect location to explore this dramatic Highland region. The long, sandy beaches and waters warmed by the Gulf Stream make it a perfect location for a beach holiday or an active watersports break, and the well-known peaks of the surrounding mountains are a magnet for hillwalkers and climbers.

As the local centre of population, the village is also well supplied with shops and services, providing everything you need for a stay or a stop-off on the world-famous NC500.

Things to do

The village has its own family run butcher shop in Strath, Kenneth Morrison Ltd, which also sells fresh fruit and vegetables. Gift shops and a bookshop are also very close to the site, along with Art Fund Museum of Year Gairloch Museum, in its dramatic new home in a cold war nuclear bunker. Another interesting museum is located at Aultbea, telling the story of the Russian Arctic Convoys.

One more great option in wet weather is Gairloch Leisure Centre, just 500 metres away where there are classes and activities including a gym and a soft play area. Facilities and activities are all open to visitors as well as locals. Full details of all the activities and opening hours can be found here.

Most people come to Wester Ross for the outdoors, whether it’s a round at Gairloch Golf Club or a dolphin and whale cruise, fishing expedition or glass bottom boat trip from Gairloch Pier, two miles away, or canoeing and sea kayaking. If you didn’t plan to get our on the water and would like to start, Ewe Canoe provide paddling adventures for kids, adults, families and groups.

Gairloch Trekking Centre also gets you close to the water, with pony trekking on the beaches at Red Point (if you’ve seen the film “What we did on our holiday”, you’ll recognise some of the views across the sea). And if you want to explore further afield, the area is home to Climb Torridon and Go Further Scotland mountain guides, who can help you safely explore the dramatic mountains of Wester Ross.

As well as sea fishing, the area is popular for river fishing, including the famous River Ewe sea trout reaches. Ask at Loch Maree Hotel for fishing on the 11 square mile loch.

Just to the north of Poolewe, Inverewe is a heritage garden built to benefit from the microclimate created as the Gulf Stream meets the Highlands. It is home to a range of rare and unexpected plants, including Californian redwoods and a productive walled garden by the shore. Operated by the National Trust for Scotland, it also has a visitor centre, gallery, boat trips and an interactive museum at Inverewe House.

Food and drink

There are several restaurants in Gairloch and nearby, as well as sandwich shops, a chip shop and a popular Chinese takeaway, so if you don’t want to make your own meals there are lots of options to choose from , many within walking distance.

The Millcroft Hotel

Known for using fresh local produce for all its food, from a heart Scottish breakfast to homemade evening meals overlooking Loch Gairloch. The bar has real ales hand-picked whiskies and a selection Scottish gins. The main bar welcomes dogs, so you can take your furry friends with you for an evening out.

The Myrtle Bank Hotel

Using fresh Scottish produce, from seafood to venison, to produce a modern take on classic Scottish dishes. The lounge bar has views to Skye and the Western Isles, and evening meals are served here from 6pm. There is a beer garden, very popular in the summer months and perfect for an evening drink overlooking the loch.

The Shieling

Open for lunch from Tuesday to Saturday, and has a great location looking onto the water, with table outside. Small well-behaved dogs are welcome on the terrace and in the lounge.

The Old Inn

This traditional coaching inn has its own brewery and smokehouse, as well as great selection of whiskies and over 50 Scottish gins. They also source their seafood from the harbour and salad, herbs and vegetables in Gairloch.

Gairloch Hotel

Overlooking the beach, the Gairloch Hotel provides local and modern European food in its spacious dining room with views out to sea. The bar is a cosy spot for a quiet drink or get-together for larger groups. At the other end of the beach, it means you may have a spectacular sunset on the walk back along the shore.

The Badachro Inn

Just across the bay, a dining conservatory looking out onto Isle Horrisdale as well as the main bar, both offering bar lunches and informal evening meals. You can also eat outside on the large decked area overlooking the wee harbour. The locally sourced menu specialises in seafood, with catches delivered straight from the pier. It's also the home of the Stag & Dough mobile pizza oven, unless the converted horse box is out on the road.

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