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Kyle of Lochalsh to Assynt choices in Scotland

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Jul 5th, 2012, 03:02 PM
  #1
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Kyle of Lochalsh to Assynt choices in Scotland

Like another recent poster, I have read lots and lots on areas that I am interested in and am still undecided about my itinerary. The question for now is how much ground to cover in the area between Kyle of Lochalsh and Assynt. Should we try to see most of this area over the (roughly) 5 days and nights we have for it or would the scenery be repetitive? It all sounds gorgeous & I would hate to miss any of it.

I am still looking at B&Bs (or possibly inns) in all these areas. Budget is up to $150 total. Most important is the locale: nearish an interesting village, and with good views of countryside, mountains, or lochs. We prefer casual and down to earth places. Don't care about fancy amenities.

My husband and I are renting a car, are most interested in gorgeous scenery. We like remote areas and ruins like Ardvrech & Eilean Donan. Up to half day hikes from time to time. I am definitely not the kind to just sit in one place and kick back (as nice as that sounds in theory). We like driving and are fine with small, difficult roads. We do like to stop & hike a bit, take a lot of pictures, or picnic if weather permits. Prefer small, quaint towns but nice to have a pub to go to within walking or short driving distance.

Possible itinerary for this area:
Day 1 drive to Plockton or Lochcarron areas from Glen Coe/Glen Lyon area
Day 2 To Applecross (via Pass) & on to Torridon by coast road (68 mi 3.5 hr)
Hopefully take the small road towards Lower Diabaig side trip
Day 3 Toward Ullapool via Shieldaig (~88 mi, 3 hrs)
Day 4 Drive to Assynt area (23-37 miles): stay somewhere in area & explore small loop road to Stoer & back to Inchnadamph/Ardvrech area
Day 5 Drive back to Kyle of L via the faster, more direct roads
We are then heading to Skye for 3 nights

I have pondered cutting this shorter somehow & taking the car ferry from Ullapool to Lewis and then heading south to get over to Skye. If we caught a morning ferry would it work to just spend one night on Lewis Harris & go over to Skye? We are Southern Californians and after scenery, not sandy beaches per se.

Day 5 Drive to Ullapool, catch ferry, see Callanish Stones & blackstone houses etc, head towards/into Harris
Day 6 See south of Harris & take ferry to Skye

Thanks in advance for any help.
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Jul 5th, 2012, 03:53 PM
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Hi
I think this is the first time I have heard anyone mention Assynt on this forum. It is a spectacular, wild and empty area which we visited in 2005 (so any advice I have would be out of date). We stayed three nights at Polcraig Guest House in Lochinver and explored all the little back roads as well as the main highway. During our stay we visited Ardvreck (not much left but very atmospheric), Inchmadamph, Kylescu, where we took a boat cruise on Loch Glencoul to see the waterfall, and relaxed on lovely Achmelvich beach on the fine white sand.
We all enjoyed the area despite the changeable weather (but hey, it's Scotland!)The scenery is spectacular but (in 2005 at least) very low on population. As my son remarked, there are places marked on the map, but very little actually on the ground! So if you want a picnic, it is probably advisable to buy food where you can, and take it with you.

Rosemary
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Jul 6th, 2012, 05:52 PM
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Thanks, RosemaryM. What did you think of Lochinver as a village? There are also some B&Bs in the Inchnadamph area so I'm trying to decide between them.
Did you also go to the Applecross, Torridon, or Sheildaig areas? If so, do you think it is redundant to go to all of these areas or are they each special in their own way?
Denise
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Jul 7th, 2012, 02:54 AM
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ESW
 
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Definitely unique in their own way. If you have time try and cover all of them. The west of Scotland is special.
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Jul 7th, 2012, 04:04 PM
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I love Scotland and the west coast is definitely (for me) the pick. Try to see as much as you can. Lochinver is (or was - I find it difficult to realise how long ago 2005 was!)a fishing port and processing area, so lots of fishing boats from lots of different places, and the trucks which come in to take the catch away. There did not seem to be many places to eat out but they did have a small supermarket which sold picnic stuff ready made and a tourist information centre as well. I liked Kylescu as well.

Rosemary
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Jul 8th, 2012, 09:10 AM
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I think that Harris and Lewis deserve more than one overnight but I certainly don't want to discourage you from going. Harris is very different geographically from Lewis, so it's not like you're going to see the same thing if you spend a night on both ends. Plus, drive times are definitely slow there so you need to give yourself plenty of time to get around.
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Jul 11th, 2012, 02:54 PM
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I wanted to thank you all for the advice.

We decided to spend two nights near Lochinver at the Split Rock Croft B&B which is a working croft on the coast about 6 miles north of town. We'll go then take the Ullapool ferry to Lewis & spend one night, drive to Harris the next day, catch the 4 pm ferry to Skye and stay 3 nites there.
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