Ardnamurchan Lighthouse is an elegant Egyptian style, built in 1845. There is also an exhibition centre, small shop and tea room. Immerse yourself in the history and culture of the lighthouse keeper's life. Take the challenge to climb the 152 steps and two ladders to the top of the lighthouse for some spectacular seascapes and for the chance of seeing basking shark, minke whale common dolphin, bottlenose dolphin and harbour porpoise. Find out about the geology and natural history of the peninsula and the surrounding seas. Look out for coastal birds and cetaceans from the small observatory. Take a picnic whilst scanning the coast for otters. Enjoy a cup of tea or an ice cream amidst spectacular scenery.
The Far West - Ardnamurchan Lighthouse and Beaches
Head out west, way out west, to the most westerly point of British mainland on the stunning Ardnamurchan peninsula. Your destination is an elegant Egyptian style lighthouse, built in 1845, with an exhibition centre and tearoom. On route you will have the opportunity to visit some of the best beaches on the West coast of Scotland (Sanna Bay and Bay MacNeil), and drive through a world famous Volcanic ring complex; the solidified magma chamber of a great ancient volcano. Delve into the history of Ardnamurchan by exploring a Neolithic chambered cairn (Greadal Fhinn) or visiting St Comghan's Church. Relax in the small coastal village of Kilchoan, with its shop and community centre, or take a swim in the sheltered bay near the wee village of Portuairk. Enjoy a lovely walk from Portuairk to Sanna Bay or opt for a circular walk to Bay MacNeil. Alternatively, choose one of the other stunning walks nearby such as Sonachan Wood and Heathland or Glendrian and Port Eigin-aig.
This is a great day out, focussed around the west coast of the Ardnamurchan peninsula, where you can immerse yourself in a remote and beautiful landscape with spectacular scenery, stunning coastline and beautiful beaches, with ample wildlife watching opportunities from the coast to the hills.
Reasons To Visit: Beach, Wildlife Hotspot, Walk, Machair, Swimming Spot
Bay MacNeil is a stunning small sheltered beach whose silvery sands are lapped by clear turquoise sea. The beach affords fabulous views of Ardnamurchan Point and The Small Isles. The floristically rich machair is a riot of colour in Spring. A great place for a paddle, swim or kayak, or simply relaxing on a beautiful beach. The beach is accessed via a short walk from the road at Grigadale, near Ardnamurchan Point. Bay MacNeil can also be reached as part of a longer circular walk from Portuairk. Beaches don't get better that Bay MacNeil.
Reasons To Visit: Beach, Walk, Swimming Spot
Portuarik is a wee village near the western most point on the British mainland. As well as being on the core paths to Sanna Bay and Bay MacNeil, Portuairk also has a wonderful beach with wonderful views to The Small Isles. A great place for a swim in the sheltered bay and not to be missed if you are visiting the nearby Ardnamurchan Lighthouse.
Reasons To Visit: Beach, Walk, Machair, Sealife Lookout Point, Swimming Spot
Sanna Bay is arguably one of the best beaches in Scotland, a wide expanse of silvery sand, rock pools galore, amazing dunes, all set against a backdrop of rugged hills. A start point for a walk to Portuairk and Ardnamurchan Lighthouse or a local walk through the dunes to the headland cairns. A riot of wildlife in Spring and Summer and a dramatic destination at any time of year. There is ample carparking near the beach and an informartive interpretation board describing the geology of the region.
Reasons To Visit: Geological Feature
As you drive from Kilchoan to Sanna Bay you pass through the site of the ancient Ardnamurchan Volcanic ring complex. The wee single track road from Kilchoan takes you on a journey through time itself. One of the best places to gain some perspective is just a short walk from the road at the starting point to the abandonded village of Glendrian. Walk up the track from the car park to on of the small rounded hills for some amazing panoramic views of the ring complex.
Reasons To Visit: Historical
Take a lovely walk to the ruined church of St Comghan and beyond. St Comghan and the adjacent burial ground overlook the village of Kilchoan and Kilchoan Bay. The church dates from 18th century but it contains some of the original features of an earlier medieval church ( 12th or 13th century) which are most evident in the west gable-wall. The Church is dedicated to the Irish monk St Comghan (Comgan, Chomhghain); one of several churches he established on his travels in the Highlands and Islands. It was eventually replaced by a new building in 1831 in a location nearby. Take time to wander round the graveyard in search of two decorated stones in the Iona tradition dating from the 14th or 15th century. Further details of history of the church can be found on an interpretation board.
Continue up Glebe hill to a cairn made up of coloured pebbles, taking time to admire some fabulous views over Kilchoan, Kilchoan Bay and beyond.
Reasons To Visit: Tearoom, Visitor Information Centre, Public Toilet facilities
Kilchoan is one of the most westerly villages on mainland Great Britian. A 45 minute car journey along a single track road from Acharacle, and hour away from Strontian and around two hours journey time from Fort William. Kilchoan has a Community Centre with tearoom and toilet facilities as well as a hotel and restaurant, shop, petrol station and ferry terminal. CalMac ferries make regular trips to Tobermory on the Isle of Mull throughout the year and Staffa Tours operate wildlife cruises to the Treshnish Isles and The Isle of Staffa during the summer months.