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.
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.
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.
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.