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The only settlement of any size on a peerless section of the north-west seaboard, this coastal community makes a good base for touring the Northern Highlands.

Ullapool – with wilderness Scotland all around

Like Wick on the east coast, Ullapool’s early story is bound up with the herring shoals. The British Fisheries Society, created to ease unemployment in the Highlands, founded a fishing station on the promontory here in 1788. A grid of streets was laid out behind the Loch Broom shore, to a design by the famous engineer, Thomas Telford. The decline of the fishery started in the 1830s. Not until almost a century later, in the age of the steam drifter and trawler, was Ullapool’s natural advantages as a port and anchorage again exploited by the Scottish fishing fleet while fishing the Minch.

Later still came the factory ships (called ‘klondykers’) from Russia and other parts of eastern Europe to anchor in the loch and process catches bought direct from other fishing boats – another chapter in Ullapool’s fishing story. Today, there are still landings of whitefish and shellfish at the port. Ullapool is also a ferry port for an important link to the Western Isles.

As a touring base, Ullapool is popular with visitors, and has a very lively air in the main season. It has a good range of shops and visitor facilities, including a local museum.

Accommodation in Ullapool:

There is a great choice of places to stay in Ullapool: several hotels; a good selection of guest houses and bed and breakfasts; plus two hostels and superb camp-site overlooking Loch Broom. There is also a good choice of attractive self catering properties in and around Ullapool. For a full list of accommodation in Ullapool, Gairloch, Sheildaig and Lochcarron see below:

Fishing in Northern Highlands Fishing in the Northern Highlands »

A huge and unspoilt area, the Northern Highlands have a vast amount of fishing including some of the best salmon and trout rivers and lochs in Scotland and its varied coastline from the Minch to the North Sea has many marks for the adventuresome sea angler.

Golf in Northern Highlands »

The Northern Highlands is one of the most stimulating places in Britain to play a round of golf, with many varied links courses including Dornoch the ‘St Andrews of the North’.

3 Puffins Northern Highlands Highland Wildlife »

Northern bird specialities in plenty here, including divers and skuas; some of Scotland’s best seabird cliffs plus superb botanical sites, especially on limestone. Unspoilt country - lots to enjoy.

Attractions in around Ullapool »

There is plenty to do in an Ullapool. The harbour is always active with fishing boats coming and going. From here the Summer Queen and Seascape Expeditions run regular cruises to Summer Isles. The town with its spacious streets and many fascinating shops has a very special character. Just back from the harbour is the award winning Ullapool Museum and Highland Stoneware Pottery. Nearby are the special gardens of Inverewe, Achiltibuie and Leckmelm.

Activities in and around Ullapool »

The Loch Broom Leisure centre has a swimming pool and a multi-sports hall. The Ullapool Golf Club, with its challenging 9 hole course by the shores of Loch Broom, welcomes visitors. An excellent signposted walk offering superb views over Ullapool and Loch Broom is the 5k Ullapool hill walk. The start is just off the A835, next to the pottery. Just to the north of Ullapool is Scotland’s first Geopark with some of the most spectacular mountains in Scotland .

Eating Out »

There are many options with a good choice of coffee shops, pubs and restaurants. With fresh fish being landed daily Ullapool is well known for its seafood. Among the top places to eat are the Ceilidh Place; Seaforth; Ferry Boat Inn; and the Gallery Cafe.

Highland Wildlife »

There are many good wildlife watching opportunities near Ullapool. The Isle of Handa to the north is one of the best places in Scotland to see Arctic and Great Skuas close up. Gruinard is a hotspot for Sea Eagles, while with Summer Queen and Seascape Expeditions there is every chance of seeing whales, dolphins and porpoises.