Ullapool, Scotland: The Ultimate Guide

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The Scottish peninsula is dotted with many seaside towns and fishing villages, but perhaps none quite so scenic as the beautiful Ullapool in the northwestern point of Inverness, Scotland.

This peaceful area of The Highlands can be reached by those travelling the country’s famous North Coast 500 route and makes for a delightful pitstop for an afternoon at the beach or a romantic night in one of the country’s cosiest coastal towns.

If you’re planning a trip to this picturesque location, here’s everything you need to know.

Read More: Accommodation in Ullapool: 14 Beautiful Places You Can Book Today

ullapool scotland

Where is Ullapool?

Ullapool is nestled comfortably into the Scottish north coast and overlooks Loch Broom, roughly 45 miles northwest of Inverness in the Northern Highlands region. The nearest airport is Inverness, and for those travelling via car, you will need to stick to the A835.

Ullapool Pronunciation

‘Ullapool’ is pronounced exactly how it sounds: ‘uh-luh-pool’. Although the Scots are proud of their native tongue, Gaelic, the spoken language of the country is predominantly English.

Things to Do in Ullapool

Although the town is modest in size, there is no shortage of things to see and do. Here are a few must-dos to get you started!

Catch Some Rays at Ullapool Beach

Scotland may not be known for typical ‘beach weather’ but that doesn’t mean its abundance of seaside spots can’t be enjoyed to the fullest.

Ullapool’s offering is the tranquil Ardmair Beach, which is full of white pebbles, rock pools, and epic views of the nearby Highland mountains. Irrespective of the weather, a walk along Ardmair is a must, and in the summertime, typical beach activities such as swimming, kayaking, and paddleboarding can be enjoyed.

ullapool scotland beach views

Go Golfing

Scotland, which is one of the golf capitals of the world, has no shortage of clubs, and those visiting the area can pop by Ullapool Golf Course for a round or two.

The great thing about the golf course here is no booking is required, so those visiting the town as a last-minute plan needn’t miss out. And shouldn’t! The course is home to some of the best views of the area!

Puffin Spotting on Handa Island

If puffin spotting is a must then Handa Island is the place to do it. This isle is home to a handful of Toridonian cliffs, which are a hotbed of seabird activity! The best time to see puffins in all their glory is during their mating season, which is between May and July.

puffins on the isle of staffa in scotland

Watersports & Boating on Loch Broom

Ullapool’s local loch offering is the lovely Loch Broom, which is an ideal place for wildlife spotting, as well as watersports. Because Broom is a sea loch, it has its own harbour and pier. And while you’re there, why not take a boat or kayak out to the Rhue Lighthouse?!

Admire Corrieshalloch Gorge

The Highlands is known for its abundance of incredible gorges and glens – many of which boast an epic waterfall or two – and Corrieshalloch Gorge is one of them.

However, what makes this particular gorge so special is that it is something of a natural phenomenon and was formed by glacial meltwater, which is a rare occurrence in this particular area. 

As sights (and waterfalls) go, this one is pretty spectacular, reaching over 82 feet high, and has a footbridge below to truly admire the gorge in all its glory.

Read the Full Guide to Corrieshalloch Gorge

Corrieshalloch Gorge scotland waterfall

Embedded within the Ullapool community is a strong love of art, with artists from all over The Highlands showcasing their talent at the An Talla Solais Gallery, which can be found in the heart of the town.

Explore the Bone Caves

Any landmark with such a gloriously gothic and spectacularly spooky name like ‘the Bone Caves’ deserves to be explored, right?!

As a geological site, the location gets its name from the profusion of ancient animal bones found there, namely polar bear, brown beer, arctic fox, reindeer, and lynx, all of which used to roam freely in the country. As well as this, a 2000-year-old ivory pin was also found inside the cave.

Climb Meall Mhor

Hiking enthusiasts seeking out the best trails in the Ullapool area won’t want to give Meall Mhor (AKA, Ullapool Hill) a miss!

Work up a sweat by climbing to the summit of the hill and gape in awe at some of the best panoramic views in this area of Wester Ross. Be mindful that some of the slopes of the Mhor are rather steep, so don’t forget to pack your best walking shoes!

meall mhor ullapool hill

Ullapool Restaurants

Ullapool may not be huge, as towns go, but the foodie scene is pretty good!

West Coast Delicatessen

If you like family-run non-chain eateries, grabbing a coffee or some picnic items from West Coast Delicatessen is a great way to support local trade – and enjoy some fine homemade eats!

Waterfront Bar & Restaurant

If you’re looking for a sit-down meal or a cocktail or two – and with a view of the moonlight dipping into the bobbing waves of the North Sea – the Waterfront Bar & Restaurant is the perfect option for a romantic Ullapool date night. 

The Ferry Boat Inn

It is a cardinal sin to visit a seaside town in any part of the UK without popping into the local old-school inn for a meal – fact!

As well as providing a range of homecooked meals, the Ferry Boat Inn has a well-stocked bar that is rife with local whiskies, for those looking to enjoy a dram or two of Scotland’s finest export!

The Arch Inn

Speaking of inns, The Arch Inn, which sits on the lip of Loch Broom and boasts excellent views of the nearby Fannich Hills, has a menu so good that the eatery was featured in Lonely Planet’s ‘Ultimate Eatlist’.

Tea on the Wall

Britain is famous for its love of tea, so a tea room visit is a must on any tourist’s bucket list. But this isn’t any old tea room. 

Tea by the Wall allows you to dine in, if you wish, as well as take your tea (and cake) out to the nearby sea wall to enjoy your hot drink while watching the waves of Loch Broom crash below.

Ullapool Hotels

Those wanting to spend a night or two in this picturesque seaside town can take advantage of the following accommodation options.

How to Get to Ullapool

The Highlands can be rural and remote, but places like Ullapool are suprisingly accessible and easy to find.

If you’re coming from overseas, we recommend flying into Inverness Airport and renting a car, as opposed to relying on public transport. From there, you will find Ullapool circa 55 miles west of the airport if you follow the A835. 

This is a SUPER scenic drive and along the way you’ll view the beautiful landscapes of Gairloch, Loch Maree, An Teallach, Achiltibuie, and Coigach.

Many travellers doing the popular North Coast 500 route often stop at Ullapool for a meal or a night in one of the beautiful hotels, as it is an easy detour – and one that is well worth it!

Rent a Car in Scotland

If you’re looking to rent a vehicle to explore the beautiful Ullapool and surrounding areas, there are several great rental companies, including:


Why is Ullapool famous?

Ullapool is known and loved as one of The Highlands’ picturesque coastal towns and is adjacent to the tranquil waters of Loch Broom. The town is often referred to as ‘the gateway’ of The Highlands.

Is it worth visiting Ullapool?

There is plenty to do when visiting Ullapool – especially for those with a love of the great outdoors. The Highlands is considered one of the most ‘unspoiled’ places in the UK, meaning there are plenty of hiking trails, lochs, mountains, glens, and beaches to enjoy.

What does the name Ullapool mean?

Many places in Scotland get their name from the country’s original language, Gaelic. However, owing to Viking invasions, certain places have names with Norse origins, and Ullapool is one of them.
Supposedly, ‘Ullapool’ loosely translates to ‘Ulla-Bolstadr’ meaning ‘Ulla’s steading’.

Does Ullapool have shops?

Yes, Ullapool is a small but lively town with a decent selection of local, indie shops, including a deli, a gelato shop, and two bookstores.

Does Ullapool have a train station?

Unfortunately, there is no direct train link to Ullapool and the nearest station is in nearby Garve, which is considered a small ‘sub-station’. For more direct links to and from the area, you will need to travel to Inverness station.

Does Ullapool have a beach?

Just north of the town is one of the area’s most beautiful beaches, Ardmair Beach, which is a rock beach known for its incredible views of nearby mountains and peaceful currents of Loch Broom.

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