Looking across Loch Moidart's South Channel from Castle Tioram

What to do in Moidart

Glenuig, Loch Moidart and Castle Tioram

Wild and remote landscapes are just a short distance from the shores

If you are heading to Moirdart from the Corran Ferry, you will drive through Acaharacle (roughly pronounced 'Ah-ha-ra-call' and not 'Ak-a-rack-all') and over the 'new' bridge over the River Shiel. If you are staying in Moidart for your holiday, you would be better served by driving through Fort William and westwards towards Mallaig, turning off at Kinlochailort, along the shores of Loch Ailort and through Glenuig.

Moidart is bounded by Loch Shiel to the east and Loch Ailort to the west. For me, living in Strontian, you cross into Moidart when you have driven through Acharacle, crossed the River Shiel and passed the turning to Doirlinn/Castle Tioram.

The old bridge over the River Shiel near Acharacle
The 'old' bridge over the River Shiel just a mile south of the new on just outside Acharacle. Well worth visiting here is Autumn for the colours in the landscape.

However you choose to get here, you will find some remote places waiting for you if you are able to step off the main road through from Lochailort to Acharacle. Whether that is on foot, bike or boat, you do not need to go far to discover beautiful beaches, rugged mountains and some of the best sea kayaking on the West Coast of Scotland.

There is one place on Moidart that is the gateway to so many potential adventures but is becoming overrun with wild campers, kayakers and camper vans. The car park is almost impossible to get space in during summer and the bins left overflowing with rubbish that should have been taken away by the people who carried it in wrapped around their sandwiches, crisps and beer. This is one of very few tourist 'hot spots' on the peninsulas, probably due to its proximity to the ruins of Castle Tioram. If you do go there, please park considerately, take ALL your rubbish away with you and watch out for the big ditches that are appearing in the track on the way into the car park!

Castel Tioram and kaykers
Castle Tioram was built to stop invaders heading into Loch Moidart (and possibly up the River Shiel). Today, it is a ruin on a 'dry' island and is the start (or finish) point for many adventures on the water along the West Coast of Scotland.
Looking up Loch Shiel with canoe in the foreground
Looking up Loch Shiel, you see the mountains of Moidart to the left (west) and Ardgour on the right (east). Glenfinnan sits at the northern end of Loch Shiel.

Kayaking in Glenuig and Loch Ailort

Without a doubt, Glenuig, Loch Ailort and the Sound of Arisaig is a fantastic place to head for a kayak adventure over several days. But be warned, the weather can change suddenly and it gets the full force of the winds from the west. Waves can be carried in from the Atlantic before a storm hits the coast and for several days after it has passed.

"If in doubt, sit it out."

And perhaps head to Loch Moidart (or even Loch Sunart) where it will usually be more sheltered from the winds and definitely from the swell.

Parking is always an issue during summer at Glenuig. Please respect the signs and wishes of the local residents at Smirisary and park with consideration to everyone else.

Rough seas in the Sound of Arisaig near Glenuig
Rough seas are all too common in the Sound of Arisaig near Glenuig. While the good days are just stunning, you will want to be sure of your weather and tide forecasts before you head out on the water - even for a short journey.

Walking in Moidart

Moidart has its fair share of mountains over 800m on the peninsulas. There are 11 over this height on the peninsulas, all remote and tough going. Moidart's mountains may be some of the less technical ones, but are still long days out. There are also more family friendly walks to remote places to be had in the region. A short circular walk from Castle Tioram along the road to a blue cottage and straight up from there. Turn left after the lochans, down past a village evicted during the clearances and to the main track, the 'Silver Walk'. Turn left to head back to the carpark - on very high Spring tides, this path can get cut off with sea water. It can also be a little slippery when wet.

Golden sands of Smirisary Beach with Eilean Shona in the background
The walk to Smirisary Beach is not as easy one as the ground is often very wet and uneven in places. It is not far or arduous, and a bit of an adventure, a great place to head with your family for a swim in the sea.
Walker heading down to Loch Moidart through a cleared village
On the circular walk mentioned, you'l pass through the cleared village on the way down to Loch Moidart. It is relatively easy navigation and, apart from the initial climb, never very steep. It is ideal for families with children who like to walk and great for wild swimmers.
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