Ullapool is a small seaside town in North West Scotland, remote and idyllic in its own little part of the world.
It is a port town linking the mainland to the western isles of Lewis and Harris, where you can catch a ferry over the water to Stornaway (Lewis' ferry port) a couple of times a week. Ullapool is easy to get to from the Highland city of Inverness where you will cross wild terrain and pass deep-water lochs, woodland and mountains en route. The dramatic scenery and landscapes of the Highlands will take your breath away and you will find your ETA will slacken due to the ridiculous amount of photos you will want to take!
Being set on the NC500 driving route, which takes you on a 500-mile round-trip across the rugged Highlands of Scotland, this is a bustling tourist town with a strong community spirit. The locals are characteful people with a positive and friendly outlook on life, which you will see in their welcoming attitude and great customer service throughout the pubs and shops.
The harbour is filled with fishing boats of all sizes and time can be spent watching the fishermen at work sorting out their catch for the day. Based right next to the sea, you can walk through the town to the sound of sea birds and smell the salty sea air. The beach is but a 5-minute walk from the high street and is the perfect spot to sit and take in the views, birdwatch amongst the pebbles, or enjoy a BBQ on those long summer evenings.
Ullapool restaurants & places to eat
There are many cafes, restaurants and shops to explore and the museum and leisure centre can offer entertainment for the days where the weather isn't so kind. Local food produce and seafood is available in the shops, and also in the local food establishments where you can sit down with a pint and enjoy a tasty meal. Here are our recommendations
- The Arch Inn: 10-11 W Shore St, IV26 2UR
- The Seaforth Bar and Restaurant: Quay St, IV26 2UE
- The Ceilidh Place: 14 W Argyll Street, IV26 2TY
- The Seafood Shack: W Argyll Street, IV26 2TY
Make sure you try out the locally caught langoustine, prawns, lobster, crabs and haddock!
The award-winning fish and chip shop rests on the seafront, giving you the chance to enjoy your Scottish fish and chips with a view. Choose from locally caught haddock and cod, or go for one of its many other options. Just make sure you shelter your food from the seagulls! If you are a foodie and want variety to your holiday menu, make sure you stop in at these places to enjoy lighter meals and alternative snacks:
- West Coast Delicatessen: 5 Argylle Street, IV26 2UB
- The Frigate: 6 Shore Street, IV26 2UJ
- The Tea Store: 27 Argylle Street, IV26 2UB
Ullapool is also an artist’s dream with many local painters, potters, musicians and free spirits residing or performing here. You can pick up unique local artwork, jewellery and crafts in the two gift shops on the main street and, if you are a bookworm, there is a fantastic book shop next to the harbour which will keep you browsing for hours. Here are some of our favourite shops:
- The Captains Cabin: Quay Street, IV26 2UE
- Made in Ullapool: 1 W Shore Street, IV26 2UR
- Highland Stoneware: North Road, IV26 2UN
- Ullapool Bookshop: Quay Street, IV26 2UE
Ullapool walks and mountain climbs
This part of the North West Highlands offers so much in terms of natural beauty and Ullapool is surrounded by rugged mountains just waiting to be climbed: Bheinn Ghobblach to the west, An Teallach to the south west, Beinn Dearg to the south east, and Ben Mhor na Coigich to the north. If you make it up any of these, you are promised breathtaking panoramic views which will keep you and your camera busy for hours. You can then reward yourself in the evening by sampling the local ale, An Teallach, in one of the traditional Scottish pubs. Before you head up the larger Munros, Ullapool Hill can be the warm-up. It provides a gentle climb up to an amazing viewpoint – a nice one for the dog perhaps!
Everything from easy walks to Munro climbing, painting to stalking, bird watching to kayaking is at your feet and there is something here for everyone! Remember to take your camera as you will discover sights you will not want to forget.
Further afield is the magical area of Achiltibuie which is a small remote village north of Ullapool. It is so small in fact that some would be surprised to hear there is a shop, a post office and a youth hostel. There is also a hotel where you can go for a late lunch or early dinner whilst on your adventures. The village overlooks Badentarbat Bay which is a lovely big white shingle beach and here you will find a water-powered corn mill which dates back to the 1800s. The views on the drive out here are spectacular, and it's worth fitting it in of a day to sample a little bit more of the wild west.
Self-catering holiday cottages in Ullapool
So come and visit Ullapool and experience life further north into the rustic wildness of Scotland. Tourists come from all over the world to this part of our country and often return over and over again, as one visit just simply isn’t enough! If you think that Ullapool looks like a great destination for a Scottish break, take a look at a selection of our holiday cottages in and around Ullapool which can be the perfect base for exploring more of the west coast of Scotland too.
A lovely self-catering holiday home, situated in a breathtaking location on the shores of Loch Broom.
- Extensive views over the loch and to the hills beyond
- Enjoy the unspoilt beauty of the area and the rugged wilderness
- Large sunroom offering a warm and sunny place to sit
- Spacious living room has an open fire, perfect for long cosy evenings after full days of exploring
- 1 dog welcome
An impressive shooting lodge positioned in an outstanding location only half a mile from the head of Loch Broom.
- A Victorian lodge modernised to create comfortable and stylish self-catering accommodation
- Amazing interior: antique furnishings, grand floor-length curtains, large ornate carpets and framed paintings
- There are a wealth of bedrooms and extensive bathrooms and shower rooms throughout the property
- The spacious and well-equipped kitchen is a cook’s delight with its pretty blue timber units, Aga and traditional wooden dining table
- 2 dogs welcome
A spacious, modern and welcoming holiday home named after the bay it overlooks, just minutes from Ullapool.
- Enjoy spectacular views over the sea and Coigach mountains beyond
- Cleverly designed for privacy whilst making the best use of the stunning views
- All first-floor bedrooms are sea-facing and the master bedroom ‘suite’ has luxury private bathroom facilities, patio doors and private balcony
- Patio runs the full length of the house offering the perfect setting for BBQs and hot tub fun!
- 2 dogs welcome
A charming spacious property set on the banks of Loch Broom with views towards Ullapool.
- Fabulous sea views from all the bedrooms
- Spacious living room with open fire for cosy nights in
- Conservatory with wood burner and table tennis with views over the loch
- Feast on locally caught seafood in one of Ullapool's restaurants and pubs
- 2 dogs welcome
If you haven't yet made plans for summer, why not take a trip to Ullapool and experience all this for yourself? With so many things to do, the area is great for those who want to hill walk, mountain bike, road bike, take road trips and leisurely walks, go birdwatching, seal spotting, food sampling and everything else!
Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing,
please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.