- Ullapool Latitude: 57.895418 Longitude: -5.161313
- Ullapool Postcode IV26
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Over 400 years ago, Loch Broom, one of the sea lochs of the northwest stretching into the mainland of Scotland, was famous for its herring. But the fishing fleet was not local. Rather it was the Dutch who reaped the benefit of the 'silver darlings'.
Their success did not escape the attention of the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh, whose members, in 1587, passed an Act which penalized the Dutch when fishing there. Early in the 18th century, the Government called for' a report on the 'commercial exploitation of the herring, and from this the British Fishery Society was formed.
The Society lost no time in creating a fishing station at what is now Ullapool. Since 1788, when the pier, an inn and storehouses were erected, Ullapool has enjoyed a fluctuating prosperity which has been enhanced in recent years with the appearance of 'Klondyker' ships. These are factory ships mainly from eastern Europe, but also from as far away as Egypt and Taiwan, which buy huge quantities of mackerel from local and north-east fishing boats for freezing and processing.
The economic spin-off from these ships, coupled with its role as a popular tourist base, and as the ferry terminal for the Minch crossing to Stornoway on Lewis, has provided this West Highland town with a well-to-do atmosphere.
Pride of place is seen in the many small but substantial dwelling houses, whitewashed and prim, many of which date from the early 19h century.
The white houses of the fishing port and resort of Ullapool make a most attractive picture, set on the shore of Loch Broom. In summer the waterfront is a lively throng of yachters and holidaymakers. Ullapool makes an ideal touring centre for the Wester Ross coast and is an unrivalled centre for sea angling.
The village was laid out in the late 18C by the British Fisheries Society and flourished as a fishing port during the herring boom. Fishing is still an important activity, based on the Minch fishery and in season the trawlers anchor in the loch while a fleet of factory ships can usually be seen in attendance at the mouth of Loch Broom. The port is also terminal for the car ferry to Stornoway, and a haven for many small pleasure craft in summer various boats sail to this group of offshore islands where seals and seabirds are the principal attractions. For further details apply to the tourist Information office In the car ferry terminal or to the various huts on the waterfront. The road follows the northern shore of loch Broom in its most pleasantly attractive mountain setting.
The loch sides are dotted with houses and traces of former field patterns are visible on the south side. From a point near the head of the loch there are particularly attractive views both up and down this 21 mile long loch. The falls of Measach in the wooded cleft of the mile long Corrieshalloch Gorge the waters of the River Drama make a spectacular sight as they drop over 150 feet. The bridge over the chasm and a viewing platform provide excellent vantage points. Northwards to Lochinver is 37 miles, through splendid scenery punctuated by some of the most impressive peaks. Just before Morefield there is a very fine view of Ullapool below in its loch side setting with beyond the blue waters of Loch Broom stretching away to its mountain fringe. From the lay-by on the top of the rise a path leads out to the point of a craggy promontory from where there is a view of Loch Broom, the outer bay of Loch Broom, the anchorage for factory ships in season, and the Summer Isles in the distance. Ardmair is a hamlet on the shore of Loch Kanaird.
Before entering the small valley look back to the view over Isle Martin in Loch Kanaird, and out to sea. The road crosses Strath Kanaird, and Ben More Coigach (2 438ft·743m) rises to the left as sheer as a cliff wall. Kneckan Information Centre. - The centre is on the edge of the Inverpolly National Nature Reserve covering an area of 26 827 acres. This glacially scoured countryside with its many lochs and lochans, the largest of which is Loch Stonascaig, has three important landmarks, the peaks of Cui Mor (2786ft·849m), Cui Beag (2523ft·769m) and Stac Pollaidh (201 Oft·613m). These upstanding masses of Torridonian Sandstone lie on a base of Lewisian gneiss. The geological sequence exposed at Knockan Cliff is explained on the nature cum geological trail from the centre. From the centre there is a view across the main road of the main peaks, with from left to right Cui Beag, Stac Pollaidh and Cui Mar with its whitish quartzite summit. Before reaching Ledmore junction there is a view to the left over the waters of Cam Loch to the sheer slopes of Suilven (2399ft·731 m), a twin peaked mountain when seen from the north or south the road passes Loch Awe and its outlet the river Loanan with to left and right the majestic forms of Canisp (2779tt-846m) and the rounded outliers of Ben More Assynt (327 3ft- 998m).
The Inchnadamph area at the head of land Loch Assynt is a Cambrian limestone outcrop noted for its under ground features. To visit the lnchnadarnph Nature Reserve visitors must obtain prior permission from Assynt Estate office. Prior to the forking at the loch side road there is a splendid view of the ruins of Ardvreck Castle, a 16C MacLeod stronghold. Following his capture in 1650 the Marques of Montrose was imprisoned here before being taken to Edinburgh and executed. Loch Assynt. - The road along this 6 mile long loch is particularly scenic.
The waters are flanked to the left by Beinn Gharbh, with at times Canisp peeping from behind, and to the right the lotty peak of Uuinag (2654ft-B08m\. The road follows the loch's abrupt change of direction and then the winding River Inver across a hummocky, loch dotted landscape to come out at Lochinver this is set round the head of a sea loch, this attractive village with its mountainous backdrop is best seen from the sea. It is a busy holiday centre, in particular for the outstandingly beautiful scenery of the Stoer Peninsula, with its many charming crofting communities and sandy coves. The port is a haven for a busy fishing fleet and pleasure boats.