When somebody gives you an opportunity to stay in their house in one of the most beautiful parts of the world, you just don’t say no. Even if it means driving over 1500 miles with 3 kids and stealing 2 cousins to keep them company.
Because the more kids you have the easier it is, right? Despite honeymooning in the West Coast of Scotland and having driven a pre kid road trip around the coastline of Scotland, we somehow missed out Lochinver. Obviously I can’t possibly do any of the driving as it would make Craig anxious, so I thoroughly enjoyed the travel catching up on work and emails and watching box sets.
The kids are fairly well road travelled and don’t complain provided they are hooked up to music, movies and have their kindles. We split the trip by stopping off in East Lothian on the way up and Glasgow and Newcastle on the way back but nevertheless this was our most epic mileage with kids to date.
Somehow we took a slightly wild road from Ullapool via Tesco’s to stock up, twisting through mountains and valleys and having several near misses with multiple deer and sheep to reach Lochinver where my brother met us with his girls to add to our crew.
Despite being fairly isolated the village of Lochinver is well equipped with several eateries and a Spar shop for any forgotten essentials. We settled in quickly and Craig was in charge of our weeks itinerary.
There was a lovely walk in the woods in search of wild pigs in the Culag woods https://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/ullapool/culag-woods.shtml which take you from the village thru some easily marked paths to a beautiful beach. I think the pigs may have been scared away by the singing of the girls but there were lots of little distractions to keep the kids going including wishing tree, a troll poll and a wigwam in a play area. The beach was well equipped with picnic tables and swings.
Clearly the kids needed to go to the beach daily and Achmelvich did not disappoint. With pristine white sands and clear turquoise water it was perfect for a chilly dip, dam building and jelly fish hunting. Well equipped with buckets, spades and a net from the village newsagent, the kids were happy to potter for hours.
We ate out once a day and were spoilt for choice. Peet’s offered large children’s portions and a great choice for grownups from pates to pizza with friendly staff very accommodating of a large party in wellie boots.
The Lochinver Larder opened at 9 and served lovely pies and Cullen skink. More moderate children’s portions and busy on sunny days. The An Cala Cafe served fish and chips but a strictly bring your own wine, free corkage
The Greenlees and Son butcher sold delicious bacon and sausages with rolls from the Spar shop to ensure well fuelled children to get thru the mornings activities.
One of our favourite walks was along LochInver and the Glencanisp circuit . Again a well marked path so no issues getting lost and beautiful scenery, stags galore.
A circuit route around Stac Pollaidh https://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/ullapool/stacpollaidh.shtml went without issue. Being so far from and A and E department made me slightly wary with the kids as I didn’t fancy any 6 hour round trips to Inverness with broken bones but we escaped without incident or falls.
The weather was warm but variable as only Scotland can offer but we were only unable to get active on one day due to rain and we had a little road trip to The Jammery for hot chocolate, scone, rocky road and jam. Obviously. Exactly enough seating for just seven!!
So although remote and a fair old way from Norfolk, we can thoroughly recommend a family adventure to this incredible location. All the kids want to go back and the time on a beach like Achmelvich will be ingrained in my memory forever.