The lively 18th-century fishing village of Ullapool has much to offer. Built around its harbour, the village has a variety of shops including supermarket, bookshops, camping and climbing supplies and a hardware store. There are banks, a post office and, each Saturday, a produce and craft market. Many of the pubs host live traditional music and restaurants range from local seafood to Indian cuisine. Wi-Fi is available in every cafe and the Public Library, which is in the school.
The arts are well represented; we have a museum, an art gallery, a theatre (the Macphail Centre), and visiting musicians, theatre and dance companies may also perform at the village hall or the Ceilidh Place. The village and surrounding area have proved a magnet for artists, photographers and craftsmen working in a range of media such as textiles, ceramics, precious metals and wood – their work is exhibited locally in various public spaces, while studios to visit include James Hawkins (landscape artist) at Rhue and Eric (ceramics) and Meira Stockl (textile artist) at Lael Falls.
For local events, attractions and news read the Ullapool News published every Friday.
The Gulf Stream, acid soil and long summer daylight hours contribute to the exceptional growing conditions here. The three gardens below are close enough to visit on a day trip.
At Inverewe Gardens on the shores of Loch Ewe, more than 2,5000 species of plants flourish. Osgood Hanbury Mackenzie created the gardens in 1862 and, here, Himalayan rhododendrons, Tasmanian eucalypts and a wide variety of Chilean and South African plants number among the mostly exotic species thriving at a latitude more northerly than Moscow. Just three miles from Ullapool, Leckmelm Gardens features some magnificent trees – including a fabulous spreading beech – and a rich variety of plants. Leckmelm is much smaller (and much more peaceful) than Inverewe but very well worth a visit.
The closest and best wide sandy beaches are at Gruniard and Achnahaird – each about an hour’s drive from Rhidorroch and each with easy access from the roadside.
Sandwood Bay, despite being further away (three miles north of Kinlochbervie) and needing a four-mile walk to reach, rewards your effort with two miles of golden sand and terrific surf. Diving, sea fishing and windsurfing can be organised locally.
Ullapool’s nine-hole golf course stretches along the coast to the north of the village. Non-members are very welcome and clubs are available for hire. Further north, the nine hole course at Durness with its famous “hole over the Atlantic” – to reach the ninth green, your ball must fly over a deep chasm in the Atlantic. Gairloch, too, has a nine-hole course – reckoned to be one of the area’s most attractive.
During the summer months boat trips run from Ullapool Pier out to The Summer Isles and Isle Martin. You are certain to see seals and sea birds such as Arctic terns, guillemots and razorbills and, with a little luck, whales, dolphins and porpoises may put in an appearance. In addition to the boat trips listed below, The Hectorian operates from Achiltibuie to the Summer Isles, there are crossings from Tarbet to Handa (administered by the RSPB), from Keodale to the Cape Wrath lighthouse, and from Kylesku to Eas-A’Chual Aluinn, the tallest waterfall in Britain.
For more information visit Kylesku Cruises, Seascape Expeditions or Summer Queen Tours.
Tennis & Swimming Pool
The Lochbroom Leisure Centre is open to visitors; racket-hire for outdoor tennis courts, fitness suite, swimming pool and sauna.
For more information visit Lochbroom Leisure Centre.
East Rhidorroch Office
Phone 01854612265 or 01463731360
©2013 East Rhidorroch Estate