The Isle of Tanera Mòr lies within the Summer Isles archipelago, just a mile off the Coigach Peninsula in the North-West Highlands of Scotland. It’s a beautiful and remote place and feels far from the rush and clamour of modern life, but the Island is surprisingly accessible: just a two hour drive from Inverness and 45 minutes from the pretty fishing village of Ullapool.
And what a drive it is! The A385 from Inverness takes an easy, scenic route leaving the farmland of the Black Isle, passing through birch woodland of Contin and Garve to the wild open high land of Glascarnoch, then down past spectacular Corrieshalloch gorge to the wooded shores of Loch Broom to Ullapool.
The drive north from Ullapool is astonishing, taking you into the North West Highland Geopark where mountains are huge free-standing lumps of gneiss and sandstone, some of the oldest rocks in the world. 16 miles of good single track road runs below Cul Beg and Stac Polliadh, then takes you back out to the coast where we will be waiting to take you and your luggage across to Tanera for your holiday.
Inverness is well connected by rail, bus and air to the rest of Scotland and the UK. Buses run from Inverness to Ullapool, then onto Achiltibuie (from where we pick you up in our boat). If driving from Inverness take the A9 towards Dingwall. At the Tore Roundabout take the A835 for Ullapool. Follow the A835 through Ullapool, after approximately 10 miles turn left for Achiltibuie and The Summer Isles.
From here the road is single track, with a good number of passing places, and enters the beautiful scenery of the Coigach Peninsula. After 20 minutes or so you will see Achnahaird Bay (where there is a sandy beach at low tide) on your right and reach a junction at which you turn left towards Achiltibuie. When you next see the sea, take the first right turn (a sharp hairpin) and follow the road down past the beach and then round to the left.
Do not turn left onto Badentarbat pier (the pier we used to use), but keep going up the hill, through the houses of Polbain and beyond. After a brief rise, the road descends past a loch on your left, at the end of which is a left turn, signposted to Old Dornie. Follow the road around the harbour, past one concrete pier, to the second pier at the end of the road. The boat will be waiting for you there.
[Map sourced from the Ordnance Survey Get-a-map service and reproduced by kind permission of Ordnance
Survey and Ordnance Survey of Northern Ireland.]
There is useful information at:
Buses from Inverness to Achiltibuie
The bus times below are correct on the 26.11.10. We will make every effort to keep them up to date but we recommend you check them yourself; we aren't responsible for changes to the timetables.
Inverness bus station (Farraline Park) is very near the train station. There are two direct Citylink buses daily, which take you to Ullapool ferry terminal:
From Ullapool, D&E run the bus to Achiltibuie:
The bus driver will be happy to drop you off by the pier in Achiltibuie - just ask him.
Unfortunately the afternoon buses do not connect (we have been asking for this to change for some time!) but there is a special service on Saturday:
The Westerbus leaves Inverness bus station at 17.20 and reaches Braemore Junction (~12 miles outside Ullapool) at 18.40. A connection (which will wait for you!) takes you onto Ullapool (arr 18.58) and, by request, to Achiltibuie for 20.00. Ewens of Ullapool run this connecting service, see www.ewensofullapool.co.uk/public.html; 01854 612 966
Ewens also run a taxi service from Ullapool to Achiltibuie. A ‘normal’ size car is £35 one way (Summer 2010 price); 8-seaters are also available for additional cost. If you are thinking of getting a taxi to Achiltibuie please contact us and we’ll let you know if there is anyone else coming that day who would like to share the taxi – and the cost!
Return bus times:
It’s easy to get to Inverness by bus or train from the south of England. We often use the Caledonian Sleeper. It’s brilliant! Go to sleep at one end of the country and wake up at the other! No awful airport queues, so much time saved (and carbon too). If you book well in advance you can get good prices for a bed, or you can save money by travelling in the seated carriage (the seats are comfier than normal train seats, but it’s still unlikely to be your best night’s sleep). Use www.scotrail.co.uk and keep an eye out for ‘Bargain Berths’. Apparently the overnight coach is perfectly bearable too: www.nationalexpress.com.
Taking the train or bus by day isn’t the fastest option, but it is a more relaxing way to travel than driving, and it’s a beautiful way to see this fantastic country.