Lochinver in the parish of Assynt, is ideally located on the north-west coast of Sutherland, for exploring near and far. There are numerous sandy beaches stretched along a beautiful coastline, our closest being at Achmelvich, only a 5 minute drive by car.
Lochinver village is only a twenty minute walk away, for all local amenities. There are several establishments offering quality food from hotels, restaurants, pubs, coffee shops and even a local butcher. There is a small supermarket and filling station, newsagents, picture and gift shops, doctor’s surgery, post office, visitor and ranger centre and a ships Chandlery at the far end of the village.
Peet’s Restaurant is situated next to the harbour and they serve top quality, freshly cooked food, sourced from the Scottish Highlands and from the Lochinver harbour itself. Their Lochinver Restaurant offers delicious food with a happy and friendly atmosphere, an excellent place to visit during your stay at Caisteal Liath.
Close to the chalets is the Highland Stoneware Pottery where a large range of hand painted ceramics are made and decorated and you are free to enter the pottery and see the artists at their work.
Three miles south from the village is Inverkirkaig where Achins book and coffee shop is situated at the beginning of a lovely walk up to Kirkaig falls or for the more energetic, those who are intending climbing Suilven, our famous sugar loaf mountain.
Achiltibuie has a smoke house selling award winning smoked salmon as well as other smoked fish, meats and cheeses and there is also the Hydroponicum offering you a guided tour to see plants of all types being grown without soil.
Knockan Crag and Visitor Centre has two trails around the crag, pointing out the common rock types and the Moine thrust – an ancient fault line where older rocks lie on top of younger rocks.
Ullapool is a 40 minute drive from the village and there are numerous gift shops, eating places and a swimming pool for those not wanting to venture out for a dip in the sea. There are also sea cruises on offer here either short cruises around Loch Broom or further off around the Summer Isles. Seals, dolphins and porpoise are often seen as well as sea birds end even sea eagles have been spotted.
Further south of Ullapool there is much to explore, there are the Inverewe Gardens which is a full day out, but well worth a visit or venture further south to the Isle of Skye. There is a lot to see on the beautiful Isle of Skye including a visit to Laurence Broderick who is a sculpture using bronze and stone, there is also the Skye Brewery where you can purchase many of their beers or visit Skye Knifemaker making custom made knives.
Closer to home there are the bone and Traligill caves at Inchnadamph and along Loch Assynt are the ruins of Calda House and Ardvreck Castle, which have been recently restored by Assynt Historical Society making the buildings now safe to visit.
Heading north there are numerous places to visit such as ‘split rock’ and the old salmon bothy and ice house at Clachtoll. Close to Stoer and the Stoer Head Lighthouse is ‘the Old Man of Stoer’ a 60 metre high sea stack of Torridonian Sandstone. At Drumbeg a little further along this coastal road is The Little Soap and Candle Company, a local company making handmade scented candles and soaps for that ideal Scottish gift.
Handa Island Bird Reserve is a little further on, where puffins, razorbills and guillemots can be seen nesting April – July and Great Skuas, Arctic Skuas, Fulmars and Kittiwakes from May – September. Binoculars are a must.
Durness on the far north coast has a very large limestone cave known as Smoo Cave which can be accessed either by boat or a footpath and is a must to see. Close to Durness is the Balnakeil Craft Village, beach and golf club.