Coigach is a region that we discovered in 1990 when we ventured north from our base at Gairloch looking for a new area to explore and mountains to climb - we returned time and again over the next five years. This region and Assynt, the neighbouring district to the north, offer a characteristic landscape that is unique to Scotland. The central parts of the area are uninhabited and dominated by hundreds of lochs and water courses that hinder cross country routes; the roads form the only means of access and these are sparse as any glance at the map shows. Set into the landscape are the mountains - modest in size (no Munros in this region) but with each standing isolated from its neighbour and having an individual character.
Coigach offered two advantages to us: the main road north bypasses the district and carries the bulk of the tourist traffic with it - and the beach and campsite at Achnahaird. Any suggestion to return for a few days is warmly received and engineered into the travel plans. A traditional jaunt up Stac Pollaidh is always good fun - or just to unwind and soak up the scenery; you do not need a reason to return to the region.
Coigach is the northernmost region in Ross and Cromarty and first comes into sight as a great long cliff providing a backdrop to the Ardmair Bay - this is the long ridge of Ben Mor running 700m high behind the bay. The main road north from Ullapool leaves the shores of Loch Broom here and starts a long detour inland, not reaching the sea again until Kylesku, and passes around the eastern boundary of the district. As noted above you can pass Coigach by with only a glance to the left (if the skies are clear) to the unmistakeable craggy mountain of Stac Pollaidh. The western coastline takes in the cliffs under Ben Mor Coigach, the Summer Isles, the peninsula of Rubha Coigeach and Ennard Bay. To explore the region take the single track road that follows the northern shores of three lochs to reach the communities strung along western seaboard. Beyond Stac Pollaidh a narrow road strikes north picking its way to Inverkirkaig and Lochinver in Assynt; this makes a circuit but misses the main centres of the district. The northern boundary is defined by the River Kirkaig, Fionn Loch and Loch Veyatie.
There are also no low level or cross country paths across the district: a coastal path closes the gap on the western seaboard not covered by the road between Blughasary and Culnacraig - and this far from an easy stroll; there is a walkers route from the road just west of the junction at Drumrunie to the ridge of Ben Mor Coigach, from where you can descend easily to Culnacraig.
Details of current activities in the area can be found at www.achiltibuie.net.
|A tour of the mountains.|
|A tour of other attractions.|
|Start from the south on the A835 from Ullapool.|
|Start from the north of the region on the A835 where the road passes under the Knockan Cliffs.|
|Start at the village of Achiltibuie.|