The Highland Council Ranger Service run events and guided walks throughout the season which aim to raise awareness and appreciation of the scenery, wildlife and heritage of the Highlands of Scotland. There are a wide range of events and activities and they are aimed at both local communities and visitors alike. Further details of the events in the area can be found on the Countryside Events Page. For details of where the Countryside Rangers will be available at local festivals, Highland Games and other community gatherings in 2015 please see the Festivals and Open Days diary.
There are Sea Kayaking courses run by a local company based in Lochinver. These can be easy half day taster sessions to two or three day camping trips round the coast of Wester Ross and the Summer Isles. Free your spirit as you glide on crystal waters in one of the last wildernesses on the British Mainland.
Assynt and the surrounding area has always been a popular angling destination with documented evidence in angling literature for more than a century. The angling is controlled by two groups, The Assynt Crofters Trust who administer the local fishing close to Clachtoll, and The Assynt Angling Group which supply permits for the larger lochs in the area. These lochs include Loch Vayatie, Loch Cama and Loch Assynt. Most of these lochs are situated within two National Nature Reserves at Inchnadamph and Inverpolly. A lot of the lochs offer stunning views of the Assynt mountains of Suilven, Quinag, Stac Pollaidh.Cul More and Ben More Assynt.
There are a number of boat trips available from Lochinver or round about. visit the Summer Isles from Achiltibuie, or the wildlife of Loch Glencoul from Kylesku. There are trips available round Handa Island from Tarbert, near Scourie.
The bird reserve of Handa Island is home to thousands of seabird which nest on the steep cliffs of the island. A short ferry ride from Tarbert takes you over to Handa but allow four hours for the circular tour of the Island. There is a large Puffin colony on the Great Stack.
Dark skies experience
The overall lack of light pollution and the vast swathes of open space mean that star gazing in the area can be a breath taking experience.
The Milky Way can easily be seen as a ribbon of light stretching across the sky, and many fainter stars not visible in more polluted areas are clearly visible here. The appearance of the Northern Lights, or Aurora Borealis, while often elusive can be considered to be the height of any star gazing experience.
The dark skies of the north Highlands are an attraction for astronomers and photographers alike.
Scotland’s first Geopark
At 3,000 million years old, the rocks at the seashore are even older than the hills – and what hills they are! Where else can you experience a skyline that compares to the ridges of Foinaven and Arkle, or classic hills like Suilven or Stac Pollaidh? In places like this it’s not just the eagles or the peregrines that soar. This is the most sparsely populated corner of Europe. Set yourself free in a place with space to spare.
Every European Geopark encompasses one or more sites of scientific importance that are valuable not only because of their significant geological features but also because they demonstrate outstanding archaeological, ecological or cultural value.
NW Highlands Geopark is special for a number of reasons:
Unimaginable age – Lewisian Gneiss in the area is 3,000 million years old, which means that the rocks you see along the coastline are among the oldest rocks in Britain.
Incredible complexity – the impacts of the Moine Thrust have created a very complicated geological legacy which puzzled and fascinated geologists for decades!
World class scenery – this complex geology has created stunning landscapes where each rock type produces its own unique and evocative habitats.
Important scientific discoveries – since the 19th century the area designated by the Geopark has been a key site for geological research.