Sutherland is a haven for hill walkers, below are just a selection of the well-known mountains, all of which are within relatively close proximity to Glenbain and Loanan.
Quinag is an 808 metres (2,651 feet) high mountain range nearby with three summits attaining Corbett status with an undulating series of peaks along its Y-shaped crest. The ascent of all three is regarded as one of the finest hill walks in Scotland, with fine peaks, dramatic ridges and stunning views. The name Quinag is an anglicisation of the Gaelic name Cuinneag, a milk pail, reflecting its distinctive shape.
Canisp is situated in the parish of Assynt, 15 miles north of Ullapool. When viewed from the west, it is a fine cone-shaped Corbett, whilst from the north it appears a steep wall. The shortest ascent is by its eastern slopes which are much more open lower down and afford superb views of the Assynt peaks close by. Reaching a height of 847 metres (2779 feet), it qualifies as a Corbett and Marilyn hill. The mountain’s name translates from the Old Norse language as “White Mountain”.
Suilven, with its remarkable outline comprising of a steep-sided ridge over 1.25 miles in length enjoys iconic status as one of Scotland’s best-known and most easily recognised mountains. Located in the west of Sutherland, it rises to a height of 731 metres (2,398 feet) from the wilderness landscape of Inverpolly National Nature Reserve.
Conival is in the view from Inchnadamph reaching a height of 987 metres (3,238 feet) and is classified as a Munro. It is connected to the adjoining and better known Munro of Ben More Assynt which lies less than one mile to the east by a high, rough quartzite ridge. With its rich diversity of attractions on its slopes, it is popular not just with walkers but also with geologists, biologists and speleologists.
Ben More Assynt
The name Ben More Assynt translates as “big mountain of Assynt”. Located 19 miles northeast of Ullapool it is the highest point in Sutherland boasting a height of 998 metres (3,274 feet). Lying in the east of Assynt, Ben More Assynt is set apart from the area’s better known and more dramatic (but lower) mountains such as Suilven. It is hidden from the traveller on the A837 road by the adjacent Munro of Conival, and the best views of it are obtained from nearby summits. The higher slopes of the mountain are capped by light-coloured quartzite boulders, giving it a distinctive appearance.
The Highlands has so much to offer in terms of beautiful scenery and sights to see. Below are just a few places you may wish to visit during your stay at Glenbain or Loanan.
Handa Island or simply Handa is an island off the west coast of Sutherland. The island is of national importance for its birdlife and maritime vegetation. It is a Scottish Wildlife Trust nature reserve, a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and a Special Protection Area (SPA). A small ferry sails to Handa from Tarbet on the mainland and boat trips operate to it from Fanagmore. The island receives five thousand visitors per annum.
Smoo Cave is a large combined sea cave and freshwater cave in Durness in Sutherland. The cave name is thought to originate from the Norse ‘smjugg’ or ‘smuga’, meaning a hole or hiding-place. Situated around a mile to the east of the town of Durness, the cave can be explored by boat or by the path from the car park on the cliffs. The cave boasts one of the largest entrances to any sea cave in Britain at 50 ft high and is floodlit inside. It was formed by a burn that runs down into the rear chamber as well as erosion caused by the sea.
The small fishing port and resort of Lochinver on the north west coast offers the very best views back across to Suilven. Sitting on a sheltered bay north of Ullapool, the town splits into three parts: the harbour, the village, and Baddidarrach, along the shore of Loch Inver.
A few miles northeast is Loch Assynt which is the source of the River Inver which flows into Loch Inver at the village. There are 200 or so lochans in the area which makes the place very popular with anglers.
The picturesque fishing town of Ullapool is located around 45 miles north-west of Inverness and lies on the shores of Lochbroom. Despite its small size it is the largest settlement for many miles around and an important port and tourist destination. The twice daily ferry for Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis sails from Ullapool.
Cared for by the National Trust for Scotland, the award-winning Inverewe Garden is a botanical garden located just to the north of Poolewe in Wester Ross. It is noted for the variety within its Gulf Stream aided collection. As well as the garden, the wider estate offers plenty to see and is home to red squirrels, red deer, otters, seals and golden eagles.
When travelling north from Inchnadamph on the A837 you can see two ruins at the east end of Loch Assynt. Close to the road is the shell of Calda House whilst the remains of Ardvreck Castle lie a little to the west, on a promontory projecting into the loch.
Here are a few suggestions for enjoying your leisure time when visiting this beautiful part of the world.
For ideas regarding what to do, where to visit etc. whilst in Sutherland, why not check out the excellent website Heart of Sutherland
Fishing and Stalking
Sutherland has some of the best Brown Trout fishing in Scotland. The area around Inchnadamph Estate is famous for outcrops of Durness Limestone, and many lochs have Limestone spring sources. Consequently, several lochs enjoy a Mayfly hatch in June and early July, which can provide some excellent sport. Hind stalking is also available from the 21st of October to the 15th of February. For further information, contact Craig through our contact page.
The River Inver and Glencanisp circuit head up the beautifully wooded River Inver before following an old path across the moors to reach a beautiful loch with fantastic mountain views.
A walk by the River Kirkaig takes you through a beautiful wooded glen to the moorland above for a visit to the impressive Falls of Kirkaig.
There are several excellent golf courses in the county of Sutherland, including Dornoch, Brora and Golspie. The nearest course to Glenbain and Loanan is Ullapool Golf Club in Wester Ross. Opened in 1997, this picturesque course has nine holes with alternative tees for the second nine. Situated on the shores of Loch Broom, this delightful course offers a variety of parkland and coastal holes.