LOCAL WALKS IN AND AROUND ASSYNT
KNOCKAN CRAG TRAIL
Distance 2km/1.25 miles Time 1 Hour Ascent 185m DIFFICULTY *
This interpretative trail brings the geology of the Moine Thrust to life as the path climbs past the exposed rocks and up onto the top of the Knockan Crag. From here there are spectacular views over Assynt. The trail includes sculptures and poetry as well as places to sit and a treasure hunt for younger children.
Easy to follow trail with some sections of rocky steps. As the path climbs to the top of the crag it can be exposed and therefore waterproofs and good footwear are needed.
Knockan Crag visitor centre on A837 just south of Elphin. Start Grid Ref NC188091
LEITIR EASAIDH ALL-ABILITIES PATH, LITTLE ASSYNT
Distance 2.5km/1.5 miles Time 45 minutes Ascent 25m DIFFICULTY *
There are few walks in the northwest set-up for wheelchairs (and those who don't want to get wet boots!) so Leitir Easaidh is all the more welcome. This trail visits two lochs with shelters and toilets, and has stunning views across this wild landscape to the surrounding mountains.
Excellent constructed path with easy gradients; suitable for wheelchairs and prams. Toilet facilities at two points on the walk.
Leitir Easaidh car park, A837
CLACHTOL BEACH AND THE BROCH
Distance 3km/2 miles Time 1 - 1.5 hours Ascent 40m DIFFICULTY *
This lovely short walk includes a visit to Clachtoll beach with its beautiful white sand and the crumbling iron-age broch of An Dun.
Close-cropped grassy coast to the broch; bouldery shore edge beyond then minor road.
Clachtoll beach car park. Start Grid Ref NC039273
Distance 3km/2 miles Time 1 hour Ascent 120m DIFFICULTY *
Culag Woods on the edge of Lochinver are owned and managed by a local community trust and have been made into an excellent facility for short walks. They give lovely views and contain several sculptures and surprises.
Woodland paths, rough underfoot. The section up to the viewpoint can be muddy.
Road up beside football pitch, near pier in Lochinver. Start Grid Ref NC092222
UAMH AN TARTAIR, KNOCKAN, ELPHIN
Distance 3.75km/2.25 miles Time 1 - 1.5 hours Ascent 78m DIFFICULTY *
Uamh an Tartair - the Cave of the Roaring - is a spectacular pot hole with a cave below, into which pour the waters of the Abhainn a' Chnocain above Knockan. The cave should not be confused with another of the same name above Inchnadamph.
Track at first, then very boggy moorland path marked by posts.
Elphin. Start Grid Ref NC214104
ACHMELVICH BEACH AND ALLTAN’ABRADHAN
Distance 6km / 3.75 miles Time 2 hours Ascent 170m DIFFICULTY *
Achmelvich bay has a stunning and popular beach with beautiful white sand and is perfect for swimming – if you can brave the cold! The walk to Alltan’abradhan is along a good path to visit a ruined old mill and hidden cove, there is also a small beach if you walk down after the mill. There is also the option to hunt for the hidden Scott's 'castle' located on private property behind The Shore Caravan Site – SORRY NO DOGS ALLOWED
Good path to Alltan'abradhan. There is no definitive path to Scott’s Castle, please ask at the site reception for directions.
Achmelvich Beach car park. Start Grid Ref NC058248
BONE CAVES CIRCUIT, NEAR INCHNADAMPH
Distance 4.5km / 2.75 miles Time 1.5 - 2 hours Ascent 210m DIFFICULTY **
Beautiful and popular walk in a limestone valley to the dramatic bone caves. These cave openings part way up a steep side of the valley are where the remains have been found of species such as lynx, reindeer and polar bear which once roamed here.
Straightforward walk on a clear path which is narrow and steep at times near the caves. The insides of the caves themselves can be wet and slippery.
Car park on the A837 between Elphin and Inchnadamph. Start Grid Ref NC254179
LOCH AN T-SABHAIL CIRCUIT, LITTLE ASSYNT
Distance 4.5km / 2.75 miles Time 1.5 - 2 hours Ascent 150m DIFFICULTY **
Assynt's interior is a wild landscape of rough and rocky moorland, speckled with crags and hillocks and dotted with hundreds of lochans. Away from the monolithic mountains it is little visited; this route gives a good introduction to this wilderness.
Clear, constructed path
STARTING POINTLittle Assynt Field car park. Start Grid Ref NC153251
FALLS OF KIRCAIG, INVERKIRCAIG
Distance 7km / 4.5 miles Time 2.5 - 3 hours Ascent 165m DIFFICULTY **
A walk up a beautiful wooded glen to the moorland above for a visit to the impressive Falls of Kirkaig. There is also a bookshop & café at the start of the walk called Achins
Well marked path, rocky in places. The descent to view the falls is very steep and rocky with a dangerous drop - great care is needed.
Inverkirkaig car park. Start Grid Ref NC085193
TRALIGILL CAVES, INCHNADAMPH
Distance 7km / 4.5 miles Time 2 - 2.5 hours Ascent 242m DIFFICULTY **
This walk up the Traligill Glen visits the impressive entrances of the largest cave system in Scotland. The views of the surrounding mountains are excellent.
Track and then a path; slightly wet for a short section. The caves are dangerous and should not be entered - and keep away from the edges of the pothole.
Car park near Inchnadamph Hotel. Start Grid Ref NC251216
RIVER INVER AND GLENCANISP CIRCUIT
Distance 7.5km / 4.75 miles Time 2.5 - 3 hours Ascent 210m DIFFICULTY **
This superb circuit heads up the beautifully wooded River Inver before following an old path across the moors to reach a beautiful loch with amazing mountain views.
Good paths though faint at times.
Lochinver village centre. Start Grid Ref NC093226
THE OLD MAN OF STOER AND THE POINT
Distance 7km / 4.5 miles Time 2.5 - 3.5 hours Ascent 360m DIFFICULTY ***
A visit to the Old Man of Stoer, a spectacular sea-stack. The walking is rough but the coastal scenery impressive; the return is over a low hill with fantastic views in clear weather. This is the best walk in Assynt for whale and dolphin spotting.
Rough and wet walking along the coast, pathless at times. Return over the hill probably gives easier going. Care is needed by the cliff edges.
Car park just short of the Stoer Lighthouse. Start Grid Ref NC004327
EAS A’ CHUAL ALUINN – BRITAIN’S HIGHEST WATERFALL
Distance 9.75km / 6 miles Time 4.5 - 5.5 hours Ascent 521m DIFFICULTY ***
This rough walk takes you into the heart of Assynt's rocky landscape, past pretty lochans and streams to reach the top of Britain's highest waterfall, Eas a' Chual Aluinn. The route leads to the best vantage point near the top of the falls, although the entire drop into the deep glen below cannot be seen.
Very boggy near start, then clear path, but rocky and rough. Care should be taken near the falls as this area is very dangerous.
Parking area on bend on A894 between Kylesku and Lochinver junction near north end of Loch na Gainmhich. Start Grid Ref NC239292
ACROSS ASSYNT: ELPHIN TO LOCHINVER
Distance 19km / 12 miles Time 5 - 7 hours Ascent 298m DIFFICULTY ***
This superb linear cross-country walk heads right through the wild heart of Assynt, passing between its remarkable mountains. The walk as described assumes transport will be arranged but there is also an infrequent bus service.
Path or track for almost whole route; indistinct at times. Outflow of Lochan Fada may be tricky to cross in spate.
Footpath sign / parking spot on A835 between Elphin and Ledmore junction. Start Grid Ref NC233121
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