Walking

A Guide to Kishorn, Scotland

A Guide to Kishorn, Scotland

Set within a fairytale realm, Kishorn in Scotland’s West Coast Highlands is a place of unbridled beauty. A mystical sea loch surrounded by peaceful villages and hamlets and overlooked by the mountains of the Applecross Peninsula and Torridon Ridge, it exudes a true romance that captures wild hearts. Follow the meandering roads of Wester Ross, hugged by towering pines and valley slopes, and follow the lure of salty ocean air towards the Sea of the Hebrides. Surrounded by the spectacular sights of the Western Highlands and just a road trip away from the spellbinding Isle of Skye, the memories of a lifetime promise to be written between the craggy bens and glittering shores of Kishorn.

If you are seeking inspiration, we have curated a guide to help you uncover all there is to see and do in Kishorn. Whether you are dreaming of a wilderness escape full of relaxation or exploration, there is a huge amount to look forward to with a backdrop of the most breathtaking scenery imaginable.

Places to Visit

Things to Do

Places to Eat

 

Places to Visit

Beautiful Kishorn and its surrounding landscapes are just perfect for immersing in soul-stirring adventures. Capture a snapshot in time with sorties to fairytales castles, bask in lochside romance, and explore hidden gems in style.

Eilean Donan

Eilean Donan Castle surronded by glassy loch water

The thirteenth-century Eilean Donan Castle sits on a small tidal island at the confluence of three great lochs. One of the most famous castles in Scotland, its striking beauty is enhanced by a backdrop of Kintail’s forested mountain slopes and magnificent panoramas that encompass glimpses of the Isle of Skye. Now managed by a heritage trust, it is open to enchantment seekers on select days throughout the year and is home to a visitor centre and café. Visit the castle and step back through the ages, ensconced by mountains that never grow old and a story that only grows greater with time.

Reraig Forest

Pine trees covering the slopes of Reraig Forest Estate

The majestic Reraig Forest Estate intertwines 1,700 acres of wilderness, starting at sea level on the rugged Scottish coastline and rising to eight hundred feet. Planted with a verdant mix of evergreen conifers and native deciduous trees, the forest’s bosky tapestry exudes spectacular beauty. To relish a new perspective of Kishorn’s magical realms, sign up to a guided forest tour with Reraig’s rangers. Highlights include encounters with the woodland’s resident red deer who call the estate home. To avoid disappointment, booking is essential.

Strome Castle

The remains of Strome Castle on a hillside overlooking a loch

A whisper in the rich history of the Scottish Highlands, the striking remains of Strome Castle take pride of place on a rocky headland between Loch Carron and Loch Kishorn. Just three miles from the village of Lochcarron, the fifteenth-century castle was left to ruin following a siege in the 1600s and has slowly been reclaimed by nature. Venture over for a spell at the castle ruins and soak in the views, casting your imagination back to a time where feuding MacDonald and Mackenzie clans laid claim to the castle walls.

Attadale Gardens

The picturesque grounds of Attadale Gardens

One of the best places to visit near Kishorn, the award-winning Attadale Gardens were established by the Victorians and now boast around twenty acres of grounds. Follow the weave of ancient garden paths through spectacular woodland gardens, enjoying a flourishing collection of ferns, rhododendrons, and rare trees. As you walk, uncover hidden sculptures between the greenery and admire stunning views of the Isle of Skye. Particular favourites include the Water Gardens and Japanese Gardens.

Lochcarron Weavers

The timber-clad façade of Lochcarron Weavers

Located on the NC500 in Ribhuachan, Lochcarron Weavers sits between the shores of Loch Carron and the mountain trails of Glen Tullich. Starting in 1938, the famous shop has been creating some of the world’s finest tartan for decades and is a must-visit for bespoke clothing. From custom-made heavyweight kilts to tailored tweed clothing and from luxury knitwear to beautiful tartan scarves, you can find the perfect piece to take home following your Highland retreat.

Plockton Harbour

The picturesque waterfront of Plockton overlooked by cottages

The village of Plockton is positioned within a peaceful bay overlooking Loch Carron. Known as the ‘Jewel of the Highlands’, this picture-perfect idyll features rows of cottages that look over silky waters. A heavenly place to wander, it boasts a tranquil shoreline and jaw-dropping panoramic views over mountains and sea. Put time aside to explore Plockton and its harbour at a relaxed pace, stopping at the local gallery and eateries before taking a spot by the water. In summer, take part in the Plockton’s annual sailing regatta, which is usually held at the end of July each year.

Things to Do

Painted with some of the most incredible land and coastalscapes in Europe, the West Coast Highlands of Scotland are simply breathtaking. A realm where rugged mountains and ethereal sea lochs collide, the region promises a wealth of things to see and do. From walking to wildlife watching, here are some of the best activities in Kishorn.

North Coast 500

The Road to Loch Carron

The North Coast 500, or the NC500, is one of the world’s most beautiful road trips. A magnificent route of more than five hundred miles, it leads voyagers on an incredible journey from Inverness Castle along coast roads and tree-lined tarmac belts to the very north of Scotland and back again. Skirting the North Highlands and Wester Ross regions close to Kishorn, it proposes an unforgettable experience painted with white-sand beaches, ancient castles, snow-capped mountains and beautiful pools in hidden corries. Weave a NC500 road trip into your adventures and unwrap all the wonders waiting to be discovered.

Walking

Views from Applecross Pass over the loch and surrounding mountainscapes

For those seeking glorious walks in the fresh air, Kishorn has a wonderful array of routes to choose from. Providing challenging adventures, the Torridon Hills await with towering peaks such as Beinn Alligin (dubbed the ‘Mountain of Beauty’ or ‘Jewelled Mountain’), Liathach and Beinn Eighe, each over three thousand feet. While nearby summits of Munros beckon to seasoned mountaineers, the lochside swathes of Kishorn, Lochcarron, Shieldaig and Applecross call for more leisurely strolls. Step out from your luxury retreat and walk for as little or as long as you please, marvelling at the scenery unravelling before you.

Cycling

Bealach Na Bà mountain pass road

Depending on what you are looking for, there is an abundance of cycling opportunities in Kishorn to make the most of. Especially well-known is the Bealach Na Bà road, which translates as ‘pass of the cattle’. A winding route that twists and turns through the mountains of the Applecross Peninsula, it follows an old trade road and is the third highest in Scotland. Rising to over two thousand feet, it is a magnet for road cyclists looking to climb and descend through some of the country’s most sublime scenery. Conquer the pass or follow your own route for cycling adventures to dream about.

Wild Swimming

The glassy waters of Loch Carron near Kishorn

Graced with countless bays, rivers, lakes and pools, the area around Kishorn offers a plethora of wild swimming opportunities. Loch Kishorn in particular is graced with gently shelving shores that provide an invigorating introduction. For the best places to swim, talk to locals about where to go and assess water safety. For an unforgettable way to experience life beneath the water’s surface near Loch Kishorn, you can also follow the Torridon Snorkel Trail designed by the Scottish Wildlife Trust.

Kayaking

Clouds reflected in the still waters of Loch Carron in the Western Highlands

One of the best things to do in Kishorn, sea kayaking encourages a whole new way to see the coast and lends itself perfectly to exploring the lochs of Wester Ross. If you have never been before or would like to take part in a guided tour, Mountain & Sea Guides in Lochcarron run taster,  half-day and full-day tours of the coast. Suitable for kayakers of all experience levels, these guided tours lead you safely around the coves, islands and beaches of Loch Carron, Kishorn and more. Tours run throughout the year and can be booked as part of group and private sessions.

Wildlife Watching

Orcas swimming through the ocean at sunset

From the beaches to the bens, the fairytale realm of Kishorn is a haven for wildlife. A wonderful pastime, wildlife watching can be enjoyed throughout the year and offers the chance to see incredible native species amongst spectacular backdrops. Along the coast of Wester Ross, wildfowl, waders and sea birds can be seen along the shore, while otters and seals often make themselves present too. At sea, dolphins, porpoises and whales are some of the most enigmatic wildlife of the Hebrides and can sometimes be spotted during guided boat trips with Calum's Cruises. Meanwhile, inland, deer can often be seen grazing the hillsides. In the sky, look out for the silhouettes of eagles in the day, and at night, keep your eyes skyward for your chance to see the flickering lights of the Aurora Borealis.

Golfing

The manicured course of Loch Carron Golf Club

Established in 1908 and set in one of the most beautiful locations in Scotland, Lochcarron Golf Club is a magnetic attraction for golfers. A nine-hole, par-sixty golf course, it proposes challenging and rewarding rounds in a dramatic lochside setting. Perfect your swing as you make your way around the course and test your skills at each hole. Open all year, you can anticipate an ever-changing backdrop each time you tee off, with only the views to vie for your attention as you play. To refuel, head to the clubhouse afterwards and peruse the selection of food and refreshments.

Places to Eat

Savour the finest food with awe-inspiring vistas with Kishorn’s culinary collection. From seafood bistros overlooking the silhouette of Skye to cute cafés tucked in floral havens, the most moreish moments await.

Kishorn Seafood Bar

Plates of fresh seafood served al fresco at Kishorn Seafood Bar

One of the best destinations for seafood in Scotland is the beloved Kishorn Seafood Bar. Situated in the village of Kishorn on the banks of the loch, this welcoming bistro enjoys spectacular views across the water to the Isle of Skye and the Applecross hills. First opened in 1996, it continues to attract diners from March to October with its incredible seafood offerings, delivered daily to the door from local boats. Peruse the menu and look forward to the freshest dishes of local delicacies, from langoustines and lobsters to hand-dived scallops.

The Bealach Café and Gallery

Inside the glass-fronted interiors of Bealach Café and Gallery

The dog-friendly Bealach Café resides at the foot of the world-famous Bealach Na Bà mountain road. Reached by two wheels or four, it rewards explorers with somewhere magical to soak up the panoramas and savour a delicious repast. Anticipate home-made soups, salads and sandwiches in summer, complemented by freshly baked cakes, scones and pancakes. When the seasons turn, arrive in winter to settle by the wood burning stove and refuel with hearty fare, admiring the awe-inspiring views outside over the Kishorn Estuary.

The Bistro, Lochcarron

The white-washed front of The Bistro restaurant in Lochcarron

Offering the perfect blend of ambience and foodie finery is The Bistro in Lochcarron. Run by Head Chef Maciek Rachowski, who earnedearnt culinary stripes cooking for the Royal Family at Ascot, this award-winning restaurant is a firm favourite amongst locals and visitors alike. Head along Lochcarron’s main street to visit the whitewashed façade of The Bistro in season, ready to be awed by the uninterrupted views over Loch Carron as you go. Inside, you’ll can find a relaxed setting and expertly curated menus composed of fresh seafood and traditional Scottish dishes.

Rockvilla Restaurant, Lochcarron

A plate of belly pork served at Rockvilla Restaurant in Lochcarron

Open seasonally from April to October, Rockvilla Restaurant resides in Lochcarron and boasts spectacular views over the loch and the captivating Cuillin Mountains beyond. The perfect place to savour the beauty, atmosphere and culinary acumen of the Scottish Highlands, it proposes deftly prepared dishes for lunch and dinner. Sit inside or out to enjoy the vistas and select from a menu of seasonal fare, complemented by local ales, gins and whiskies.

The Applecross Inn, Applecross

Inside the cosy bar of The Applecross Inn

The Applecross Inn on Shore Street enjoys a unique location on the banks of Applecross Bay. Overlooking rolling seas towards Raasay and the Inner Hebrides, it makes for a stunning place to stop and while away the time. Sit outside by the water in summer or inside by the fire in winter and choose from menus of traditional pub favourites and local seafood spreads. Nearby, you can also wander over to the Applecross Photographic Gallery which showcases a beautiful collection of images taken around Scotland’s northwest coast.

Applecross Walled Garden, Applecross

The beautiful, flower-lined pathway of Applecross Walled Garden

Close to Applecross Heritage Centre, Applecross Walled Garden nestles within the grounds of Applecross House and beckons for foodie temptation. Open on select days throughout the year, this welcoming restaurant and café uses fresh garden ingredients and produce from the local area to produce mouth-watering meals. Look forward to Sunday roasts and local fish pies in winter and favourites such as homemade burgers and seafood linguini in summer. In warmer months, you can also walk through the picturesque walled garden.

The Shores, Plockton

The waterfront of Plockton near The Shores Restaurant

The Shores restaurant can be found in the gorgeous lochside village of Plockton in the Lochalsh, Wester Ross. A picture of wild tranquillity with tree-covered hills and sandy shores hugging rows of fishermen's cottages, it is a true Highland haven. Walk along Plockton’s waterfront street to reach The Shores and step inside to take a windowside table. On the menu, The Shores’ dishes take influence from the region’s wild spaces and coastal waters and are paired with a selection of local tipples, including Scottish single malts and gins.

Feeling inspired for a wild sojourn? Uncover our luxury cottages in Scotland.

 

Sign up to receive our boutique stories…

Stay connected with retreat magic and be the first to know about our new additions. We promise to only fill your inbox with the dreamiest staycation stories and luxury travel moments.