Take a stroll on The Gaelic Alphabet trail, head up Ben Resipole or take a wildlife safari on the shore of Loch Sunart. This day trip is centred around the northern shores of Loch Sunart and takes in the small coastal village of Salen and the small settlement of Resipole. There are some lovely short walks around the small inlet at Salen, including the Salen Woodland Walk and the Alphabet Trail, which can be combined together into a longer walk. Stop off for morning coffee at the Salen Jetty Shop or sample the local cuisine by taking lunch at the Salen Hotel.

Head off east towards the small settlement of Resipole and visit the local art gallery at Resipole Studios. For the more adventurous, why not climb the highest peak on the Ardnamurchan, Ben Resipole. From the peak, there are some spectacular views on a clear day of Loch Shiel, Loch Sunart, the Small Isles and Skye. For the wildlife enthusiast head down to Garbh Eilean Wildlife Hide and search for otters along the shores of this sea loch and seals basking on the small island. Scan the skies for white-tailed eagle and golden eagle using the spotting scope provided.

The Salen Alphabet Trail is well worth a visit. The trail introduces the walker to the Gaelic alphabet through the use of native trees, reflecting the importance of nature and plants to Gaelic culture. The trail also skirts by a small loch, Loch Na Dunaich, the 'Little Loch of Sadness' where according to local legend young children were lured into the loch by a Kelpie (a mythical water-horse) and never returned. So beware!

Another short walk nearby takes in Sailean nan Cuileag, Bay of the Flies, a natural harbour formerly used to export goods, such as charcoal, oak bark and brushwood. This lovely short walk provides an ideal opportunity at low tide to explore the coastline in search of otters, seals, coastal birds and diving duck. All in all a great day out.

 

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 ( Sunart )

Reasons To Visit: Village

Salen is small coastal village on the shores of Loch Sunart overlooking Salen Bay and not to confused with Salen on the Isle Of Mull. The Gaelic name for the village reflects its "small inlet" location which has provided a safe anchorage for centuries. The village is served by The Salen Hotel, a traditional Highland Hotel, built in the Victorian era, which is a great place for a pub lunch or evening meal. There is also a jetty, with visitor moorings, and shop (The Salen Jetty Shop), where you can purchase local produce and crafts, as well as refreshments.

Salen Bay is a great place to look for coastal wildlife, including otters. There are some lovely walks nearby, including the Salen woodland which skirts around Salen Bay through Atlantic oak woodland, and the Salen Alphabet Trail.


Reasons To Visit: Walk

As well as being a top dragonfly stalking site, The Gaelic Alphabet Trail provides an interesting introduction to the importance of nature and plants to the Gaelic culture.  The information boards in the car park, just east of Salen on the A861, introduce the Gaelic alphabet which has eighteen letters, each of which is associated with a species of tree. You can follow the trail around Loch Na Dunaich and into the nearby Salen Oakwoods across the road looking out for the alphabetic signature plants.  For a longer walk you can also continue past the wee Lochan and head up into the hills for a short circular walk with some amazing views over Loch Sunart.  

This is a good site for a range of dragonflies and butterflies in the summer months and a great short walk after lunch in The Salen Inn or before afternoon at The Salen Jetty Shop.


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 ( Sunart )

Reasons To Visit: Walk, Beach

Sailean Nan Cuileag, or The Bay of Flies, is a natural harbour formerly used to export goods, such as charcoal, oak bark and brushwood.  The Viking's were also reputed to have stored their boats over winter in the harbour.

There is a small car park with an interpretation board and picnic table just off the A861 east of Salen.  The bay is reached by a short walk on a well defined path passing through Atlantic oak woodland.  The path is quite steep in places and access to the rocky beach is across an area of boggy salt marsh.  It is a good place to look for otters on Loch Sunart and the wooden mushrooms on the shore make for interesting photographs.


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 ( Sunart )

Reasons To Visit: Walk, Corbett

Ben Resipole, a Corbett, is the highest peak on the Ardnamurchan, and affords spectacular views of Loch Shiel, Loch Sunart, the Small Isles and Skye on a clear day.  The route is strenuous and the path is muddy and indistinct in places.  However, the walk is enriched by the changing vegetation as you climb from Atlantic oakwood to birchwood, to moorland following the ailt mhic chiarain watercourse and then onto the rocky summit.  You can park and start the walk by Resipole Holiday Park, though please check at reception if you leave your car there. You can either return by the same route or via the old mine path and the historic coffin cairn route. 


Reasons To Visit: Wildlife Hide, Walk

The Garbh Eilean Wildlife Hide on the shores of Loch Sunart provides an ideal spot to search for otters and common seals in the loch and on the shores of Loch Sunart. There is a car park near the hide with disabled parking facilities and the hide itself is reached by boardwalk.  You can also park up the road at Ardery and take a lovely walk through the heath and woodland to the hide.  That walk is well surfaced, though has steep hills.  

Otters, common seal are regularly seen around Garbh Eilean, and there is a small heronry on neighbouring Eilean a Chuilinn.  This is also a good spot to watch out for white tailed eagles and common tern too in the summer months. The hide is surrounded by Atlantic Oak woodland and the surrounding area is quite a good place to look out purple hairstreak butterflies in late summer.