Whatever your level of fitness or expertise the area around Plockton, and the west coast has some amazing scenery and walks to explore.
Plockton and surrounding area
Plockton and the surrounding area is part of the Balmacara Estate which is owned and managed by the National Trust for Scotland. The area is characterised by low coastal moorland inter-mixed with small crofting townships, sheltered bays, coral beaches and outstanding views over the sea to Skye, the Cuillins and Applecross.
There are numerous walks through native woods, across open moorland, around the coast and crofting townships. You may be lucky and spot the elusive otter or the rare pine marten. There is an abundance of interesting and attractive flowers and plants to be found around the margins of the traditional crofting townships of Drumbuie, Duirinish and Plockton. The woodland walks at Lochalsh House offer more sheltered seclusion overlooking Loch Alsh amidst old policy trees under-planted with a mixture of Rhododendrons, Bamboos, Ferns, Hydrangeas and Fuchsias. The Balmacara Square Visitor Centre is the ideal spot to begin your tour. Here you will find walks leaflets, interpretation panels and a touch screen interactive computer programme providing a huge amount of information on the area and its people and their history. For the kids, there is a simple crofting game – go on try being a virtual crofter for a year. The Square is also an ideal place for a picnic beside the old millpond.
Guided walks in Plockton and Drumbuie take place throughout the summer season (1st April to 30th September). More detailed information is available from the visitor centre in Plockton and the Estate Office at Lochalsh House (contact detail below).
The highest local mountains are the Five Sisters of Kintail, which are a mecca for more experienced hill walkers and mountaineers. This classic ridge walk includes 3 munros and spectacular views across the sea towards Skye.
Cuillin mountains, Isle of Skye
A short drive from Plockton and over the Skye Bridge leads you to the famous Red and Black Cuillin of Skye. These dramatic mountains have been the scene of many adventures and are still regarded as some of the hardest peaks in Scotland. The famous Inaccessible Pinnacle is the only Munro peak that requires a rope to ascend.
Ian Oxton’s Walking Book
Kyle man Ian Oxton has written ‘A Beginner’s Guide to Hillwalking in South West Ross’. It is available throughout the village and from his website on a donation basis, all proceeds going to MacMillan Cancer Support.