Achmelvich Bay

Nestled on Scotland’s stunning north west coast, Achmelvich Bay could easily be mistaken for a tropical far-flung holiday destination – just a little on the chillier side. But the jaw-dropping scenery on offer more than makes up for the temperature.

With the islands of Lewis and Harris just offshore, you begin to get an idea of how remote the area is, but this all simply adds to its enticing nature.

The Blue Flag beach is undoubtedly the main draw, but nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts will find plenty to do both locally and a bit further afield.

Getting there and things you should know

Just three miles along the coast from Lochinver (though not the easiest journey), Achmelvich Bay is a gloriously secluded spot. To reach the spectacular white-sand beaches, take the B869 from Lochinver, which itself is on the A837.

Achmelvich Bay also forms part of the wonderful North Coast 500 route – a 516-mile scenic driving route around the north coast of Scotland, which starts and finishes at Inverness Castle.

Well-behaved dogs are welcome and toilets can be found on-site at the free beach car park.

Things to see nearby

With white sand beaches, rocky bays and stunning outlooks to demand your attention, surely little more is required. Which is fortunate, given the remote nature of Achmelvich Bay!

Watersports lovers will enjoy a trip onto the water, where kayakers, water-skiiers and wind-surfers are all common sights, while on dry land, there are plenty of local walking routes and climbing opportunities – including nearby Suilven Mountain.

In the immediate vicinity are just a couple of caravan parks, camping sites and a youth hostel, so you’ll need to head back towards Lochinver for anything more substantial.

For more stunning views, head north along the coast to Stoer Lighthouse and, slightly further along, to the Old Man of Stoer. Around a half an hour drive away, you can also visit the Bone Caves in Assynt. When the caves were excavated, they were found to contain the remains of a range of creatures, reportedly including reindeer, lynx and even polar bears! While in Assynt, fishing is also a popular activity.

Places to eat and drink nearby

Back in Lochinver, you’ll be treated to a couple of lovely restaurants – Peet’s and Lochinver Larder – while An Cala Café is the ideal breakfast pitstop en route to Achmelvich Bay or elsewhere.

If you fancy something a bit more back to nature, why not catch your own dinner? The bay is teeming with haddock, cod, pollack and mackerel.

Did you know…

Achmelvich Bay is home to Europe’s (and possibly the world’s) smallest castle – the aptly named Hermit’s Castle. Built in 1950, it makes for an intriguing oddity on the headland and measures less

than 10m squared in area. You can pop in and see it for yourself, plus as an added bonus, the walk to Hermit’s Castle provides yet more jaw-dropping views.

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