Ullapool to Kylesku

When we returned from the Outer Hebrides in late June we had a couple of days to explore a little further north along the A835 which now forms part of the fiercely trendy NC500 route.

For me, the north west Highlands of Scotland have been the most spectacular in terms of landscape. It is beautiful, remote, empty and strange, particularly to eyes that are more used to the southern counties of the British Isles. It is also, geologically speaking, a different country. The rock found in the Outer Hebrides and NW Scotland is some of the oldest on earth at three billion years old. It is so distinctive that this area of Scotland has been declared a UNESCO Global Geopark, one of only 140 in the world.

Heading north from Ullapool on the A835 we eventually came to a tiny turn off next to the village of Drumrunie. Fifteen miles of winding, single track road later, we found ourselves in the village of Achiltibuie. On our way we passed this lonely post box in one of the remotest locations yet on our road trip.
When we arrived at Achiltibuie we stumbled on their ‘Gathering’. To my eyes it looks a little like a village fete. You can see the Summer Isles in the background. What an incredible place to live!
The start of the hill running competition at the Achiltibuie Gathering. The local runners were struggling with the unusual heat (25C), the warmest day in 22 years.
The road to Kylesku as it winds past Loch Assynt.
A ruined mansion on the banks of Loch Assynt.
A small farm on the banks of Loch Gleann Dubh. The landscape here is stunning but I just can’t imagine living here. There are no roads to this farm, your only way to the nearest shop is by boat.
Eas a Chual, Britain’s longest waterfall! Sadly not quite as spectacular as usual due to the low rainfall in June.
The deck of the beautiful Kylesku Hotel.
The Kylesku Bridge opened in 1984 replacing the Kylesku to Kylestrome ferry or the 100 mile detour via Lairg it would take to get between those two points. The day we visited we stood and watched the water race through underneath, full of jellyfish from the Minch.
Kylesku harbour in the long evening twilight. This was around 11pm.
Loch Gleann Dubh at twilight
Kylesku twilight.