Scotland Traveloholic

Ultimate Ardnamurchan Guide

Beautiful beach covered with incredible white sand, remarkable turquoise sea and magnificent views of the tiny islands… Does it sound like the description of Scotland? Oh, yeah! It is the Ardnamurchan, a hidden gem of Scotland!

A wild, remote yet beautiful place full of wonderful scenery situated on the west coast of Scotland.

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Things you should know before visiting the Ardnamurchan

Ardnamurchan is a 50 square mile peninsula located on the west coast of Scotland. This place is relatively difficult to reach due to its remoteness from the mainland and therefore is usually overlooked by outside enthusiasts.

Some people may think that there is nothing interesting here, however, this place is unusual and ideal for those who appreciate peace and quiet and wish to slow their lives a bit as well as to relax.

This peninsula has only one road, there is no entertainment centre or nightclub, this place is meant to make you break away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and finally have a rest.

How to get to the Ardnamurchan 

Distant places usually require a lot of time to reach them, but isn’t it worth it? Isn’t the journey itself a part of an expedition and an extraordinary adventure? To reach Ardnamurchan you can choose between two options – by ferry or by road. 

If you decide to take the ferry I recommend the Corran ferry between Ballachulish and Fort William or the Tobermory ferry from Mull Island to Kilchoan 

If you prefer to drive there by car, prepare yourself for the wind single track roads to the islands via Lochailort and Salen.

No matter which type of transport you’ll choose, the journey will take you some time, but it will certainly reward you with beautiful views that you’ll see once you get there.

Top 5 things to see and do in Ardnamurchan 

There are many beautiful places to see in Ardnamurchan but I chose five that perfectly reflects the unique atmosphere and beauty of this place.

Ardnamurchan Lighthouse 

There is little to compare with a spectacular view and a magnificent lighthouse on the edge of the land.

This building is located at the westernmost remote point on the British mainland.

It is a beautiful and at the same time historical place, because the granite lighthouse of Ardnamurchan, with a height of 36 meters, safely guides ships through the waters of the west coast of Scotland since 1849.

I must also point out that Ardnamurchan Lighthouse was added to Hebridean Whale Trail and it is a wonderful place where you can easily spot many different species of whales, dolphins and cetaceans.

You just need to simply patiently wait and watch the sea. The mixture of the historic lighthouse with the beautiful scenery and wonderful animals creates an unusual place that is worth visiting (don’t miss out to visit the cafe!)

Sanna Bay

I know that a sandy white beach is not very much associated with Scotland, but here it is, and it’s stunning!

Sanna Bay is a place where you won’t trip over the sun parasols, deckchairs and tourists.

It is a perfect place to relax and have a picnic on the beach. It may be a little bit windy but it doesn’t stop you from enjoying the beautiful panoramic view.

Looking out at the sea, you can also admire the dolphins, whales and the spectacular view of the Small Isles of Rum, Eigg, Muck and Canna. This place will really make you feel like you are on holiday and you will definitely have some good quality relaxation.  

There are several ways to get to this picturesque beach, and that is by driving from the Poirturaik side and walk to the beach or drive directly to the parking lot, which may take a little bit longer.

Anyway, no matter how and how long it will take you to get there because the views always will definitely compensate you all the effort.

Ardnamurchan Natural History Visitor Centre

Ardnamurchan NHVC in a fantastic way presents to the natural environment of Ardnamurchan. This is not a zoo where animals are kept in cages, this is an oaza full of a natural environment full of diverse species.

This place is divided into three interesting areas, that is the Living Building where the wonderful animals live.

The Lochview Tearoom where you can enjoy a delicious traditional Scottish breakfast and a cup of tea as well as The Antler Gift Shop where you can buy things like handmade jewellery, original wildlife bronzes and uniquely handcrafted wooden pieces.

This place will surely appeal not only to children but also to adults who would like to get to know the flora and fauna of this magnificent peninsula, which is located away from the mainland.

Ardnamurchan Distillery

I perfectly understand that views and monuments are not everything that we need on our holidays, therefore, I have to mention the distillery in Ardnamurchan.

The distillery is famous for being the most western located distillery in Scotland.

Originally founded in 1826, Adelphi Distillery opened its distillery in Ardnamurchan not so long ago, in 2014, so it has not yet produced single malt whisky from Ardnamurchan, but the time is coming, prepare for 2021 when the beverage is planned to be released.

In the meantime, you can enjoy the other alcoholic beverages that the distillery has in the offer.

Castle Tioram (Dorlin)

I mentioned the magnificent lighthouse, the beautiful beach, the unusual distillery and the great centre which presents the nature of this beautiful region so it is about time to mention the castle and being more precise, the ruins of the castle located on the island Eilean Tioram in Loch Moidart.

The name Castle Tioram means “dry castle” and it is a magnificent ancient monument that traditionally serves as the home of the MacDonald clan.

The period when the castle was built is not exactly known, but it dates back to the time between the 13th and 14th centuries. The castle has undoubtedly survived many years, however, due to serious structural breakdowns and general poor condition, the castle has been closed to visitors since 1998.

Nevertheless, the ruins are still breathtaking and create an extraordinary view that you can enjoy. It is worth seeing because it is a wonderful place and reminds us of the power of the past centuries.

Travel Tips

Distant locations have it in common that there are not many shops, restaurants or cafe, but there are an intimate atmosphere and peace.

Therefore, when going to Ardnamurchan, prepare yourself for the fact that there is one petrol station in Kilchoan and two shops – one in Kilchoan and the other in Acharacle.

In addition, all roads are single track roads.

The whole peninsula has only them and because of that the journey from Salen to Kilchoan which is only 20 miles takes an hour or more. It is also worth remembering to act fair on the road and let others overtake you at the places dedicated to it. 

The remote places have not only small disadvantages such as their accessibility but also many advantages such as the fact that you have plenty of opportunities for wild camping on the peninsula.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to wake up on a meadow with a view of the sea? I think it is a unique experience that is worth a shot at least once in your life.

Every place has magic in it and it is worthwhile to let yourself discover it.

You don’t always have to go to a place where the guide shows you around on the run because so much is worth seeing there.

Each of us needs a moment for ourselves, a moment to stop, think and move forward in life with extra strength. You really deserve a good relax, so take advantage of it in Ardnamurchan.

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