Gairloch Visitor Information Guide

Written on . Posted in Towns and Villages in the Scottish Highlands

Gairloch,  This is a busy West Highland coastal village situated at the head of the loch of the same name and on the A832, and serves as the focal point for a number of small communities in the area.

It is popular with visitors who enjoy the pleasures of the sea coast and sandy beaches, this is largest parishes in Scotland and contains no fewer than 23 mountain peaks of 2000 ft and over.

Flowerdale House and  5th­century mansion with rather fine gardens, looks over the loch to distant views of Skye.

The intense interest in local history in recent years has culminated in the establishment of the Gairloch Heritage museum, in a converted farmstead, which has on display a comprehensive overview of life in the area from prehistoric times to the present. The village is a port for whitefish landings.

Explore Wester Ross and the north west Highlands. Situated on the shore of Loch Gairloch amongst the awe-inspiring scenery of Wester Ross, Gairloch offers a wealth of spectacular scenery and activities for visitors, with safe, sheltered, sandy beach offering good parking and toilets. Big Sand Beach is another safe, sheltered, sandy beach with water sports available from Big Sand, and at Redpoint, there are lovely views to Raasay, Skye and the Western Isles, There are marine wildlife tours that can be taken from the harbour you can take a short trip around the bay, in a glass bottom boat or take a fast rib out into the open waters of the Minch to do some whale spotting, Sea angling is also popular in this area and you can hire a boat from the Gairloch harbour or go on a fishing charter trip.

The hill lochs around Gairloch are full of wild brown trout; there are also certain lochs with pike fishing, as well as salmon and sea trout available locally. Fishing these lochs is by permit and you can buy these from the local tackle shop. The area has plenty of rocky coastline to explore as well as the Rubha Reidh Lighthouse. There are a large number of walking opportunities from gentle strolls along Flowerdale, a delightful waymarked walk up a sheltered glen to a pretty waterfall.

The Flowerdale Glen was given its English name by the Mackenzies of Gairloch the owners of the estate after its impressive displays of wild flowers, Here you can find several serious mountains, Inland is a vast area of little-visited, rocky peaks known to walkers as 'The Great Wilderness'. The camping and caravan park at Big Sand has caravans to rent as well as space for touring caravans and campers, also on this road you will also come to the Youth Hostel. Gairloch and the West Highlands area of Wester Ross has many quality Hotels Bed and Breakfast, Self catering, and pods for you to stay. A naval base was established on the east shore of Gare Loch at Faslane, two miles south of Garelochhead. Today's Faslane is an enormous naval base stretching for a mile and a half along the shore of the loch.

As you drive north towards Garelochhead this manifests itself as huge quantities of razor wire lining the seaward side of the road. Here you will find Faslane home to the UK's nuclear missile-armed submarine fleet. The road was built by the military it sweeps around the north of Garelochhead and down the Rosneath Peninsula to the west of it leads to the Royal Naval Armament Depot at Coulport, on Loch Long. Coulport is, by design, no more approachable than Faslane, three miles to the north of Garelochhead, The Finnart Oil Terminal can be found here tankers of up to 100,000 tons can moor here and unload their cargoes, which are then sent via a 55 mile pipeline to the oil refinery at Grangemouth.


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