Welcome to Gairloch


Gairloch
THE PARISH OF GAIRLOCH IN ROSS-SHIRE, SCOTLAND

AN INTRODUCTION


Gairloch is located on the north-west coast of Scotland and enjoys the beneficial effects of the Gulf Stream, thus ensuring that winters are never too severe.

The area of Gairloch is made up of all the villages and hamlets from Red Point at the south west end, to Rua Reidh Lighthouse at the north-west point.

The mountain scenery surrounding Gairloch is some of the finest in Europe and this part of the coast is blessed with excellent beaches. Also the geological events that have helped shape the highlands throughout its earlier existence have left a legacy of extremely interesting rock structures. For instance, the Loch Maree fault exhibits beds of huge conglomorate that can be seen in various places; one of the most interesting is at the north end of the beach at Camus Mor.

The area provides a wealth of activities for the visitor, wonderful views both of the sea and outer isles and of the Torridon mountains which create the dramatic backdrop to the south, clean sandy beaches, history at every turn, whales, dolphins, porpoises and seals in abundance and some of the best and most varied walking in Scotland.


Beach at Gairloch.  Photograph courtesy of Gairloch Heritage Museum.

Gairloch has long been a holiday resort and was popular with Victorian visitors who came in on regular steamers from the south. In those days most visitors stayed at the 150 bed Gairloch Hotel, built in 1872. Nowadays the visitor has a lot more choice with a great variety of accommodation and plenty of places to wine and dine all around the loch.

A BRIEF HISTORY
From Bronze Age hut circles and virtified fort remains (Sands river and Gairloch beach) to present day, the area has had a colourful history influenced mainly by the area's easy access by sea and inaccessibility from the land! History is evident all around the area with such examples as the Destitution roads, still used although mainly upgraded, deserted "runrig" settlements, ruined croft houses and Flowerdale House, seat of the Clan Mackenzie. Early this century Gairloch saw mass emigration to the Colonies and the population plummeted until the last few decades when burgeoning tourism brought new income to the area. The custodian of Gairloch's local history is the award-winning Gairloch Heritage Museum which depicts the full story of the area.


Leaflet produced by Gairloch Heritage Museum
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