Ullapool | Highlands, Top Locations in Scotland

Ullapool in Scotland is a picturesque fishing town on the shores of Loch Broom and one of the destinations you’ll likely stop at when travelling the famous North Coast 500. This gateway to the Northern Highlands is a great place to stay overnight or for a few days, with tons to explore and things to do in Ullapool.

If you choose your next holiday destination here, it’s an excellent base for exploring Scotland. Visitors to Ullapool can check out Wester Ross and the Highlands, as well as Inverness, which is only an hour’s drive away. You can even catch a ferry service from the ferry port to reach the Isle of Skye, Lewis, or Harris.

Ullapool also has a few excellent self-catering accommodation and dining options, like the Ferry Boat Inn and Arch Inn on Shore street. If you’re looking to embrace the outdoors and discover some of the natural settings Scotland offers, Ullapool is one of your best bets.


Where is Ullapool?

The picturesque fishing town of Ullapool is nestled on the shores of Lochbroom; the gateway to the Northern Highlands.

If you choose here for your next holiday destination you will have a great base for exploring Scotland. There is also an abundance of things to do in Ullapool itself. Visitors to Ullapool can checkout Wester Ross and the Highlands and Inverness is only an hour’s drive away. Ferries are also available if you want to cross over to Stornoway and Lewis.

If you are looking embrace the outdoors and discover some of the natural settings that Scotland has to offer during your trip Ullapool has lots to offer.

Things to do in Ullapool

Tourists visiting are spoilt for choice as there is a wealth of things to do in Ullapool, and the town’s proximity to the lochs, islands, and wildlife of Scotland makes it a perfect town to visit.

Take an adventure while you’re here and climb some local mountains, go wild swimming along the town’s coast or experience something entirely new! Ullapool is an excellent destination with a fishing history, and the British Fisheries Society was founded here in 1788.

You also can’t talk about visiting Ullapool without speaking about the natural attractions, outstanding museums and galleries, and hidden gems! See our guide for the top things to do in Ullapool.

Loch Broom

Loch Broom

The West Coast of Scotland has a thriving ecosystem, and many visitors consider it a genuinely untouched landscape; this loch is no exception!

A simple walk along the shores of Loch Broom shows off its beautiful wildlife, with red and black-throated divers and red deer being a common sight. If you want to get closer and out onto the waters, it’s easy to hire a kayak or canoe from Ullapool pier or harbour!

Rhue Lighthouse

Rhue Lighthouse

Guarding the entrance to Loch Broom, the Rhue Lighthouse’s unique design and location make it a great place to stretch your legs after a long drive.

The Rhue is short, cute even, and a beautifully designed lighthouse with splendid gold-and-white colours. The Lighthouse sits on a rocky headland that looks over the sea – it’s a gorgeous place to enjoy the setting sun.

A quick trip to Rhue Lighthouse and back should only cost you about 20-minutes of your time, but the magnificent views are priceless.

Ardmair Beach

Ardmair Beach

Head north along the main street from Ullapool, and you’ll come across the tranquil Admair Beach.

While Ardmair isn’t the typical sandy beach that you can find in Scotland, it’s a prime place to go crabbing and rock pooling. Even if it’s a small break from your drive, skipping stones with the kids before tackling some of Ullapool’s attractions is the perfect bit of fun to break up the day.

Corrieshalloch Gorge

Corrieshalloch is a fantastic example of a deep gorge created by glacial meltwater, a rare sight to see in Ross-Shire.

The Carrieshalloch Gorge is just outside Ullapool, so if you’re driving to Ullapool from the South, you will pass right by the gorge. This natural phenomenon is impressive, and you can walk along the suspension bridge with the mile-long valley below you!

Make this the last stop on your journey to Ullapool. You will not be disappointed!

Ullapool Museum

ullapool museum is one of the top things to do in ullapool

One of the exciting things to do in Ullapool is a trip to the town’s museum.

Ullapool Museum holds fascinating artefacts, exhibits, and collections for you to see. Ullapool’s long history is kept in this Category A listed building, so always keep your camera ready.

Are you interested in Scottish history? Visitors to the museum can learn about the social history of Lochbroom, the bone caves, crofting, fishing and lots more!

This is a great hang-out for the family as the museum has an exciting children’s activity area.

Ullapool Golf Course

Golf ullapool

Stop at one of the country’s most scenic spots if you are visiting Scotland on a golf trip.

You can book in advance if you want to play here or simply ‘walk-on’ and play the course without booking a tee time. With beautiful views of Ullapool and the surrounding area, there’s no better place to spend your Thursday evenings, or any other evening for that matter!

Ullapool Clock

Ullapool Clock

Said to be the most photographed clock in the Highlands, we can’t blame you for grabbing a picture with this eccentric clock in Ullapool.

The Ullapool Clock was erected in 1899 and sits on the corner of Quay Street and Argyle Street. Its quirky black-and-white colours and later lights give off the impression of a human-like quality, with a big friendly clock face to boot!

You can’t miss this curious attraction while wandering the high street of Ullapool.

An Talla Solais

An Talla Solais

In the heart of Ullapool sits An Talla Solais, a superb gallery that features the sublime works of talented artists from the North West Highlands.

The gallery provides studio space, exhibits, and galleries for up-and-coming artists to make their mark. Anyone who loves to visit galleries should take some time to enjoy the works of inspired youths, and there’s always something new and exciting that pushes the envelope at An Talla Solais!

Don’t be afraid to ask if a particular piece is for sale; you may find your next living room decoration here.

Meall Mhor – Ullapool Hill

ullapool hill is great fun

Are you looking for your next trail walk? The summit of Meall Mhor holds some of the best views of the Highlands in Wester Ross.

Thankfully it’s a short walk from Ullapool, so you’re only going to be spending your energy on the hill walking itself! At the very top, you’re treated to a broad panorama of Ullapool, the Ullapool River, Loch Broom, and mountain scenery in the distance.

Handa Island

Handa Island features Toridonian sandstone cliffs and tens of thousands of seabirds. A day trip here can include spotting otters, Arctic tern, snipe, Arctic skua, oystercatchers and, of course, puffins. Lots and lots of puffins.

The only downside is that the island gets very busy in the summer and when we went there was a large queue to get off the island.

Keep in mind that puffins only nest on Handa May to July.

Bone Caves

The bone caves are a geological site. Polar bear, reindeer and lynx bones were found here, hence the name. Another find was a 2000-year-old ivory pin. Bones and pins aside, this is a fantastic walk through a stunning valley. View the route on Walkhighlands.

Achmelvich Beach

Another one of my personal favourite things to do in Ullapool is visit Achmelvich Beach. Achmelvich Beach is an hour drive away from Ullapool but is totally worth it. This stunning beach is perfect in Summer and one of my personal favourite. A perfect trip here involves a picnic and a swim in the clear turquoise water.

Boat Cruise

boat trips in ullapool

While visiting this part of Scotland, take advantage of some of the wonderful boat cruises that are available. 

If you are staying in the centre of the town you can take a boat trip from Ullapool Pier. Whether you are looking for something under an hour to a half-a-day ride, providers around Ullapool will find something that will fit your needs. 

During your trip, you will take in the sites of some of Scotland’s most natural coastlines and wildlife as seals and dolphins frequent the seas around Ullapool.

On our last visit here, one of the top things to do on our agenda was a boat trip around the summer isles.

We booked a day trip on the Summer Queen around the summer isles. It was a cracking day and we both got sunburnt (yes in Scotland). What made the trip was the knowledge the sailors had. They communicate with local conservation groups and coast guards. This means that if there are sightings of wildlife they know.

On our trip we saw:

  • Seals
  • White-tailed eagles
  • Loads and loads of rare seabirds that I cannot remember the name of anymore 🙁

No seals, unfortunately, but maybe next time!


pub ullapool

When it rains, one of the best things to do in Ullapool is to visit the local pubs. Indeed, one of our favourite pastimes in Ullapool is visiting all of the Scottish pubs. You are spoiled for choice with live music and vibrant atmospheres in the summer months.

The locals are super friendly and nothing beats a pint in the Ferry Boat Inn looking over Loch Broom.


Another favourite of ours is a road-tripping through Sutherland.

This is in my humble opinion some of Scotland’s most beautiful scenery. Sutherland is made up of vast plains, towering mountains (most surprisingly under the 3000 ft Munro mark) and stunning beaches. A drive to Durness, Achiltibuie (said Ack Ill Ta Boo Ay) or Lochinver is an absolute must!

Drive the Wester Ross Coastal Trail

Wester Ross Coast Trail is one of the top things to do in ullapool
Loch Gairloch

If you don’t have time for the North Coast 500, why not drive through the Wester Ross Coastal Trail instead?

This winding road is filled with hairpin turns, mountain swerves, and an extraordinary coastal view. Road trips are some of the best holidays we can remember from childhood, and the Wester Ross Coastal Trail gives that experience to any family you may take along with you.

Make sure to have a navigation menu, personal tools, and that you’re topped up on snacks and drinks because it will be a fantastic ride.

Torridon is one of the top things to do in ullapool
Liathach from Beinn Eighe

A top tip would be to detour into Torridon where bold Liathach and Beinn Eighe stand tall – simply breathtaking. The exposed sandstone in the Torridon hills is some of the oldest on the planet. Beinn Eighe often features in lists of the best hikes in Scotland.

Hop Aboard Shearwater Summer Cruises

Shearwater Summer Cruises

Cruising through the waves of the Scottish Highlands is an entertaining way to spend some time in Ullapool, especially on the Shearwater’s ‘Summer Queen’.

Hop aboard the excellent Shearwater Summer Cruises, which shows off the beautiful Summer Isles and the Wester Ross Protected Area. With the wind in your hair, it’s a great way to experience the sea life that inhabits the waters around Ullapool.

Seals, whales, dolphins, and much more are familiar and exhilarating sights you’ll remember forever!

Ardessie Falls

Ardessie Falls

The magnificent Ardessie Falls are a short walk away from the nearby town of Dundonnell, with picturesque scenic views of the falls and the Loch Broom.

Multiple impressive falls slowly make their way down into the loch below. The pounding and rushing waters are utterly spectacular, making this gorgeous attraction a must-see!

Keep in mind the path can be pretty wet or muddy, so always prepare accordingly.

The Seafood Shack

Feeling slightly hungry while you’re in Ullapool? The Seafood Shack is a personal favourite of many who come to this fishing town!

With a well-equipped kitchen, make sure to stop by West Argyle Street to taste some of the best seafood that the Highlands has to offer. Not only does the restaurant pride itself on serving fish caught that morning, but it’s often that they have live music in their lively guest lounge.

Wash their good food with a brew or dram from the Seaforth Bar on Quay Street, and you’ll be set for the day!

Accommodation in Ullapool

Ullapool is packed with small independent B&Bs and holiday homes as well as larger hotels. There are a few big hotels; The Royal and The Caledonian are some of the best hotels in Scotland. However, your best bet when visiting Ullapool is to stick to smaller accommodation. We’ve found B&B hosts to be really helpful and knowledgable and it has really made our trips in the past!

More Things to do in The Highlands

Thinking Of Booking A Trip? Check Our Top Accommodation Options In Ullapool

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