A road trip around the North Coast – from Gairloch to Lochinver (part 2)

Managing to arrive at Ullapool for lunch was an achievement. The route from Gairloch had been so pretty that we stopped more than we drove. But isn’t that what vacation in Scotland is all about? The NC500 really had sucked us in and we wanted to see it all on our drive up to Lochinver. But first lunch at The Seafood Shack. What I remember most vividly about Ullapool though is the Bookshop. It has a great selection of books and can compete easily with bigger stores. The selection was great and I bought two of my seven books from this trip here.

bookshop @Ullapool

First stop after Ullapool was quick detour to the Rhue Lighthouse. I am not sure why nobody else got out of the car, but the small lighthouse with the many sheep in front of it was definitely something to take a picture of.

Rhue Lighhouse all the way in the back @Scotland

From there it was back on the ‘main road’, on the way to Ardmair and passing this wonderful view.

somewhere between Ullapool and Ardmair @Scotland

A couple more kilometers further we didn’t see the coast anymore but rather mountains. I think we stopped every couple of minutes because the scenery changed constantly and was almost breathtakingly beautiful. Scotland really invites you to travel slow.

in the vicinity of Strathcanaird @Scotland

between Drumrunie and Knockan @Scotland

The sky got darker when we neared Elphin and it all looked a bit flatter. We had maybe traveled another couple of minutes.

around Elphin @Scotland

The dark sky didn’t leave us although there was a hint of blue again. Shortly before Loch Assynt the landscape changed to this wonder.

driving towards Loch Assynt @Scotland

a single tree standing proud near Loch Assynt @Scotland

And then we had finally made it to Ardvreck Castle on the shores of Loch Assynt. There is not much left of the original castle, which is from the 15th century. Nevertheless it is quite pretty to look at. And you can still climb around a bit. Also it was standing next to a tombolo, which I have seen the first time on Shetland.

Ardvreck Castle @Scotland

the view from Ardvreck Castle @Scotland

Ardvreck Castle from the back @Scotland

Upon leaving the castle and rounding the bend we came to this view of little tree islets in Loch Assynt. It’s just magic what is happening here. Basically you can never close your eyes when you are in Scotland.

trees standing in Loch Assynt @Scotland

And there was more to come. When we had arrived in Lochinver and settled down at Tarradh Guest House (comfy rooms, amazing breakfast), we used the last of the light to discover the area. In Inverkirkaig, not far from Lochinver, we found another bookstore called Achins. The store is combined with a coffee shop, so a great opportunity to read your new treasures. It does close at 6pm though, so we were on our way soon.

With the last of the light we drove back to the guest house and a stag and four does crossed the road in front of us. So amazing to see one up close. Yours, Pollybert

stag crossing @Lochinver

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