human settlement in Highland, Scotland, UK

Achiltibuie is a community straggling along the west coast of Ross and Cromarty, north of Ullapool in the Scottish Highlands. As well as the village, the name (which in Gaelic means "field of the yellow-haired boy") applies to all the coast between Achduart and Reiff, taking in the hamlets of Polglass, Polbain and Altandhu.

Get in edit

Follow A835 north from Ullapool or south from Ledmore (the junction with A837) to the turn-off at Drumrunie, then take the narrow single-track lane west. There's no through road along the coast from Ullapool, though the historic "postman's path" came this way via Ardmair and you can hike the ten miles. You can also drive south from Lochinver along a twisty, hilly, narrow but scenic and well-tarmacked lane.

KSM Bus 811 runs from Ullapool to Achiltibuie, twice M-F and once on Saturday, taking 80 minutes.

See Ullapool for buses to Inverness and ferries to Stornoway on Lewis.

Get around edit

You'll need a car or bike, or be a hard-core hiker.

See edit

  • 1 Knockan Crag (13 miles north of Ullapool on A835), +44 1463 701600. 24 hours. This is the best place to see and understand the Moine Thrust, which shoved older rock over 50 km northwest above younger rock. The Visitor Centre has displays and short walking trails.
  • 2 Tanera Mòr a mile offshore is the largest of the Summer Isles. Boat trips sail from Bardentarbet Pier at the north end of the bay.

Do edit

Shoreline near the ruined broch at Polglass, Achiltibuie
  • 1 Stac Pollaidh. If you're fit, go up and along its delightful ridge or go around if only moderately fit    
The long ridge of Ben Mor Coigach
  • 2 Ben Mor Coigach   is the Table Mountain of this area, a six-mile ridge of Torridonian sandstone weathered into striking shapes. The summit is 743 m (2438 feet), very prominent as it rears up from sea level. The simplest approach is to drive to the road's end at Culnacraig and ascend from the southwest. It can also be climbed from the car park at Bleughasary from the southeast. Trying to traverse the ridge, to ascend one way and descend the other, is much harder than it looks, with bogs, fast streams and scrambles; allow at least four hours.
  • 3 Achnahaird. It is a lonely village and beach along the lane between Achiltibuie and Stac Pollaidh.    
  • Rock climbing: Rieff has sandstone sea-cliffs suitable for all levels of ability.

Buy edit

  • 1 Achiltibuie Stores, Achiltibuie IV26 2YG, +44 1854 622496. M-Sa 9AM-6PM. Friendly well-stocked stores.
  • Achiltibuie Garden opposite Summer Isles Hotel is just a garden centre speciaising in hydroponics, there's no garden to view.
  • Summer Isles Smokehouse at Altandhu is famous for its smoked venison, lamb, beef, eel, haddock, sea trout and five varieties of smoked salmon.

Eat edit

  • Piping School Cafe, Old Village Hall (400 yards south of Summer Isles Hotel), +44 1854 622777. This remains closed.
  • Summer Isles Hotel (see "sleep") has a good restaurant.
  • Am Fuaran, Altandhu IV26 2YR (by Port a Bhaigh campsite), +44 1854 622339. Food daily 12:30-2PM, 6-8PM. Seafood restaurant, the bar is open 12:30-11PM or later. "Fuaran" means a well or watering hole.
  • Catch your own mackerel off Badantarbet Pier and cook it fresh on a barbeque.

Drink edit

  • Am Fuaran and the Summer Isles Hotel are the only bars.

Sleep edit

  • 1 Summer Isles Hotel, Achiltibuie IV26 2YG, +44 1854 622282. Hotel & restaurant open Apr-Oct, the bar is occasionally open through winter. Ten rooms and bar are dog-friendly. B&B double £200.
  • 2 Acheninver Hostel, Coigach IV26 2YL, +44 7783 305776. Open Feb-Nov, this has heated pods, sleep two, with shower, but the loos are outside down a muddy track. You park 300 yards away and lug your stuff down the path. 2 nights minimum stay, no dogs, no kitchen or other shared facilities in 2022. Pod £90.
  • 3 Brochs of Coigach, Sunnyside Croft, Achiltibuie IV26 2YW, +44 1854 622368. Stylish self-catering apartments built into the hillside, with sheep grazing on the roof. From £1000 / week.
  • Castlehill, Polbain (100 yards east of Brochs), +44 1854 622228. Modernised croft house, sleeps six, with panoramic views over the Summer Isles to the Torridon hills. £500-£750 / week.
  • 4 Port a Bhaigh Campsite, Altandhu IV26 2YR, +44 1854 622339. Well-equipped campsite in the next bay up from Achiltibuie, open year-round. 2 person tent £25, hook-up £31.

Connect edit

As of July 2022, Achiltbuie has no mobile signal from any carrier, nor has its approach road.

The Post Office is the contact point for information and booking for the Summer Isles boat. +44 1854 622200

Go next edit

This city travel guide to Achiltibuie is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.