Ullapool is a small village on the shores of Loch Broom in Ross and Cromarty in the Scottish Highlands. It's a ferry port and most visitors are just passing through on the way to & from Stornoway on Lewis. Reasons to stay are for hill-walking and exploration of the wild mainland scenery.
Ullapool is almost 60 miles (100 km) northwest of Inverness, which has the nearest airport and railway station. Follow A835 and allow 75 min.
By bus: Scottish Citylink Bus 961 takes 80 min between Inverness and Ullapool. These are timed to meet the ferries so they run twice a day M-Sa and once on Sunday. An adult single is £15 and in summer you'd best book ahead.
Another bus service from Inverness is Stagecoach route 61, which also runs twice per day M-Sa. This takes 100 minutes and goes via Dingwall. A single costs £10.80 or a return £19.50 (£9.10 single/£16.40 return from Dingwall, July 2020).
On schooldays only, Bus 890 runs to Ullapool from Kinlochbervie in the morning, taking 2 hours via Laxford Bridge, Kylesku and Elphin, and returning north in the afternoon. An earlier Bus 891 continues from Ullapool to Dingwall, starting back around 14:45.
By boat: Calmac ferries sail between Ullapool and Stornoway on Lewis, taking 2 hr 30 min. They sail year-round, with two sailings M-Sa, one on Sunday Nov-Mar and two Apr-Oct. Return fares are £108 per car and £20 per adult passenger including the driver.
Buses and ferries converge on 1 Ullapool ferry pier on the shores of Loch Broom.
Ullapool is small and easily viewed on foot, but you'll need your own wheels to get around the countryside.
The main attraction of Ullapool is the beautiful situation it is in beside the loch and surrounded by typical west Highland scenery. The town is pretty and can be wandered around in half an hour or so. Most people also end up walking over to the pretty but still functioning harbour, down to the loch or up the hill behind the town that, for very little effort, provides a wonderful view over the town and over to the Summer Isles.
- 1 Ullapool Museum, 7 & 8 West Argyle Street IV26 2TY, ☏ . Apr-Sep: M-Sa 10:00-17:00. Museum in a Thomas Telford church built in 1829, with temporary exhibitions. Adult £4.
- Clear night skies: you need to go a mile or so out of the village to get completely clear of skyglow, then the Milky Way and other celestial objects swim into view.
- Ullapool is a great base for walkers and Munro-baggers - see Ullapool walks for details of routes.
- There are cruises to the nearby Summer Isles on the sedate "Summer Queen" or on a bouncy RIB.
- There are regular concerts in the Ceilidh Place, Seaforth and Macphail Centre next to the secondary school.
- The local pipe band parade in the village on Thursday evenings in summer.
- Ullapool Book Festival is held annually in mid-May. The next event is 7-9 May 2021.
- The Guitar Festival is 3 days of acoustic guitar music in early October at the Macphail Centre. The next event is 2-4 Oct 2020.
- Banks: Bank of Scotland is on West Argyle St, one block back from the ferry pier, open M W F 10:00-15:00. Royal Bank of Scotland is 100 yards east of it, open M-F 09:30-16:45. There's also an ATM in Tesco.
- 1 Tesco, Latheron Lane IV26 2XB. M-Sa 07:00-22:00, Su 08:00-20:00. Well stocked medium sized supermarket.
- The Frigate (see "Eat") also has a small deli.
- Saturday market is held along Quay Street April-Sept, Saturdays 09:00-17:00. Crafts and local produce: organic vegetables, seafood, smoked cheese and fish, bakery.
- Fuel: Lochbroom filling station, 400 yards east of the ferry pier, has 24-hour pumps. The well-stocked shop is open M-Sa 07:30-21:00 and Su 08:30-19:00.
- Ullapool Bookshop, Quay Street IV26 2UE, ☏ . M-Sa 09:00-21:00, Su 10:00-17:00. Great selection of general and Scottish titles.
- Several arts and crafts shops in Ullapool, and see also Ceilidh Place bookshop.
- The Frigate and the Seaforth Bar are decent budget eating places next to the ferry terminal, open daily.
- Lucky House a few blocks back is no better than okay, was Jade House until April 2019. Closed Tuesday.
- Essence Of India, West Lane, IV26 2UT, ☏ . Daily 17:00-23:00. Classic-style Indian food, they don't stint on the cooking oil.
- 1 The Arch Inn, 10-11 West Shore Street IV26 2UR (harbour front), ☏ . Food daily 12:00-14:30, 17:00-21:00. Offers a nice atmosphere and live bands. Food service often very slow.
- 1 Broomfield Holiday Park, West Lane, Ullapool IV26 2UT, ☏ , fax: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Camping and caravan site open mid-April thru Sept, close to town and ferry pier on the shore of Loch Broom. Tent £17, caravan £21.
- 2 Ullapool Youth Hostel, Shore Street IV26 2UJ, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Check-in: 16:30-22:30, check-out: 10:00. Great hostel on the sea front open April-Oct. Clean & safe, a few minutes walk from the ferry pier and the Citylink Bus Stop. Good kitchen and internet access. Guests can use the lounge till 12:00, then you need to be out until 16:30. Dorm £25 ppn.
- Over a dozen small guesthouses and B&Bs in town, with various rules on dogs, children and minimum stays.
- 3 The Ceilidh Place, 14 West Argyle Street IV26 2TY, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Open all year, it's a hotel, restaurant, bookshop, café, pub and arts venue. This place is in all the "Best of - " books about Scotland and for good reason. Good food downstairs, relax upstairs in the guest lounge. Comfy rooms, live music in the bar. It's Scottish without being tacky, you will find no Jimmy Hats or dodgy tartan here. B&B double £100.
- 4 Riverview, 2 Castle Terrace, Ullapool IV26 2XD, ☏ . Has returned to B&B after a spell of just offering self-catering lets. Clean and welcoming All rooms have en-suite shower rooms, flat screen TV/DVD players, tea/coffee making facilities. No children or pets. 2 night minimum stay so it doesn't work as a stopover for the ferry. B&B double £100.
- 5 Caledonian Hotel, Quay Street, IV26 2UG. 83 room hotel in turreted old building, often used by coach parties. Worn-out décor. B&B double £80.
- Get on a ferry to Stornoway
- North West Highlands Geopark
- North to Achiltibuie, The Summer Isles and Lochinver
- South to Gairloch