On the road to Ardnamurchan
The journey to your holiday cottage in western Ardnamurchan is a unique and beautiful road, weaving through glen, mountain, woodland, and loch, and skirting the shoreline for miles with spectacular views out to sea and over to the isles. Along the way you may be in need of a coffee, some lunch, a spot to stretch your legs, or somewhere to pick up a few bits and bobs, and we have plenty to recommend.
Corran Ferry to Salen
If you’re starting your journey by making the short crossing of the corran sound on the ferry then you’ll soon pass through the small village of Strontian (‘Nose of the Fairies’ in Gaelic), where you can find petrol pumps, have a spot of lunch in the Strontian hotel, or buy some things in the village shop or local pottery. By taking the left after the bridge and heading straight to the end of the road, you’ll find the Ariundle Centre, aka Cosy Knits, where they practice spinning, weaving and natural dying using wool from their hand-reared sheep. They also offer lunch, home baking and local crafts.
After Strontian village the road will take you around Loch Sunart and after passing the Resipole campsite you may wish to drop into the Resipole Art Gallery, which has consistently excellent exhibitions, just beyond Resipole campsite on the road to your right. Fifteen minutes on from Resipole, take a left at the Salen junction (at the tall white house) for Western Ardnamurchan.
Glenfinnan to Kilchoan
Heading from the Fort William area whisk along Loch Eil, through the glen and be ready to try and spot the ‘Harry Potter’ steam train puffing over the Glenfinnan Viaduct. Next you’ll arrive in the small village of Glenfinnan, instantly recognisable for it’s towering monument with ‘The Unknown Highlander’ gazing out from the top. It was here, in 1745, that Bonnie Prince Charlie raised his war flag marking the start of the Jacobite Rising. In the visitor centre there is a shop, café and an exhibition about the Prince’s campaign from its hopeful beginnings to its ugly end at the Battle of Culloden.
Just after Glenfinnan a worthwhile visit is the Dining Car Café, an old train carriage, which has been beautifully and quaintly restored to its former splendour, serving simple lunches, tea and home baking. It is indefinitely stationed at its final stop at the old Glenfinnan train station, which had been converted into a small and interesting museum about the infamous railway from Glasgow to Mallaig.
Continuing on, take a left at lochailort onto the shore-hugging road to Glenuig, enjoying spectacular views out to Eigg, Muck and Rhum. If you fancy some delicious local smoked salmon, meats, cheese and preserves stop at the Ardshealach Smokehouse in Glenuig.
To stretch your legs take a detour to the right just as you come into Acharacle village following brown signs to Doirlinn Castle/ Castle Tioram. At the end of the road you can park and walk across the sand (tide permitting) to the island of Eilean Tioram on Loch Moidart, home to the 14th century, majestic Castle Tioram.
In Acharacle village there’s a wonderful and very popular tearoom on your left past the hotel, excellent for lunch, teas, coffees and home baking. Ten minutes on from Acharacle take a right at the Salen junction (at the tall white house) for Western Ardnamurchan.
Salen to Kilchoan
Salen (‘Salt’ in Gaelic) has a lovely little shop on the left by the shoreline if you’re in need of some essentials, a coffee or an ice cream. Next, follow the road along Loch Sunart into the Ardnamurchan Estate and look out for otters in the bay. At Glenmore visit the Ardnamurchan Distillery or stop at the Natural History Centre, which has an excellent wildlife exhibition with a range of activities for adults and kids, and a lovely café. When the road begins to skirt along a hillside plunging down to the shore you know you’re at Camus Na Gael. There’s a spot to park on the left if you want to take in the view or walk down the track and explore the ruins of a crofting community and ancient burial ground. Drive behind the back of the mighty Ben Hiant, past Loch Mudle and count the deer grazing in the heather. Soon you’ll come to the crossroads with Eigg, Muck and Rhum to your right and the road to Kilchoan village and views over to Mull on your left. Welcome to Western Ardnamurchan!