Ullapool Hill and The Braes Visitor Guide

Ullapool and Braes

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This Ullapool Hill and The Braes walking trail will take you on a stunning walk from the harbour in the delightful Scottish town of Ullapool, all the way up to the outcrop of Meall Mor and around a circular route through the hills and back to the town centre.

ullapool boat

About Ullapool Hill and The Braes

The beautiful town of Ullapool is the starting point for this walk where you’ll begin at the harbour which is a perfect place to take photos of Loch Broom.

The harbour is also a great place to get hot drinks from one of several cafés near it or failing that there’s a supermarket a short walk away where you can stock up on picnic supplies.

The nature reserves around Ullapool are home to a wide variety of Scotland’s wildlife and walkers can enjoy looking for pine martens, wildcats, buzzards and golden eagles as they explore the area.

The surrounding hills draw in thousands of tourists every year who delight in hiking through the thick purple heather in the summertime, but this walk is well worth doing at any time of year.

As you follow the trail you’ll head into The Braes which is a popular hiking area for tourists throughout the year, with the highest point on the rocky outcrop of Meall Mor offering fantastic views of the surrounding countryside.

Don’t forget to take your camera either because the meandering Ullapool River flows into Loch Achall in the distance, which is a brilliant photo opportunity.

highlands

Visiting Ullapool Hill and The Braes

The walks around the entire region surrounding Ullapool have to be some of the prettiest in Scotland and thousands of hillwalkers come to the region each year to enjoy the peace and quiet of the quiet crofting communities that surround Loch Broom.

While there are small beaches close to the lochside at Ullapool you’ll find some incredibly beautiful beaches further up the coast at Achmelvich and Clachtoll – frequently described as two of the best beaches in the world.

Once you’re in The Braes you’ll find yourself in the midst of a glorious range of mountains and remote peaks broken up with a smattering of trees and open fields of heather which are particularly lovely in autumn but worth walking through year-round.

There are plenty of spots in this part of Scotland that are great for camping but be aware that there aren’t many tourist facilities here (which I think is a good thing) so make sure you bring plenty of food and fresh water with you on your walk.

And whatever you do, above all else, remember to pack some anti-midge spray if you’re visiting in summer. I personally swear by Smidge, which you can buy from Amazon.

I’d also advise you to have either a map of the area installed on your phone or a paper map in your backpack – both of which can be purchased from the Ordnance Survey online store. Buy OS Explorer Maps direct from Ordnance Survey.

Discover more places to visit in the Scottish Highlands with: The Best Places to Visit in the Highlands – Ultimate Visitor Guide.

The highlights

  • It’s a beautiful walk with great views. The entire area surrounding Ullapool is the perfect spot to switch off from the world.
  • If you don’t have time for The Braes walk I recommend just walking Ullapool Hill. It’s a truly breathtaking place (but don’t forget to prepare for midges – read my Midge Guide for advice).
  • Ullapool is one of the prettiest places in Scotland in my opinion but it’s quite remote so don’t expect to find a McDonalds anywhere nearby, although there is a Tesco in the centre of the village.

Visiting tips

  • Ullapool is a very pretty little village. Make sure you take a walk along the shore of Loch Broom before you leave.
  • You can take a wildlife-spotting boat tour on Loch Broom. Take a look at Shearwater Cruises who operate from Ullapool.
  • If you’re on a sightseeing tour in the area you might like to visit Eilean Donan Castle as you drive north past Skye. From there follow the A890, the A896, the A832 and the A835 for the finest road trip in Scotland.

Directions to Ullapool

Ullapool,
IV26

Click map for directions

Google Map of ullapool scotland

Explore this area with a detailed paper map from Ordnance Survey:

  • An Teallach & Slioch – 435 Explorer.
  • Beinn Dearg & Loch Fannich – 436 Explorer.
  • Coigach & Summer Isles – 439 Explorer.
  • Gairloch & Ullapool – 19 Landranger.

OS Explorer Maps: Best for walking, mountain biking, and finding footpaths. 1:25,000 scale (4cm = 1km in real world). Buy OS Explorer maps direct from Ordnance Survey.

OS Landranger Maps: Best for road cycling, touring by car, and finding attractions. 1:50 000 scale (2 cm = 1 km in real world). Buy OS Landranger maps direct from Ordnance Survey.


Walking map of Ullapool Hill and The Braes

Time

This walk can be done fairly easily in 1.5 to 2.5 hours, with the total distance coming in at around 5 miles.

Difficulty

The walk is a mixture of town pavements and off-road paths which are in good condition, however they can get fairly muddy after a downpour. The maximum ascent is about 280m which walkers of average fitness should have no problem with.

Route

Click the map for details

Ullapool Hill Map

From the harbour follow Shore Street to the junction of Mill Street and head north up the A835 through the town centre. At the junction of Broom Park road turn off the A835 and head west until you reach the sign for Ullapool Hills. From here you will pass through a wooden gate and begin the climb up into the hills.

The path here is well worn so just follow it until you reach a red and white marker post which is a great place to stop and admire the view over the town. Continue following the main path until you reach a metal indicator which details the view of the surrounding hills and lochs, and keep left at the next path junction.

Ullapool Hill and The Braes Visitor Guide 10

When you reach the next fork in the path, follow the red markers and climb up to the summit of Meall Mor for some amazing views across Loch Broom and Loch Achall before retracing your steps back to the path fork.

Continue following the white markers on the left until you reach the gate that leads into the forest, head through the plantation, and pass through another gate near a mobile phone tower.

At this point you will be back on man-made roads which will lead you near a housing estate and towards the A835. Turn right at the first T-junction, then right again at the second, and continue down to the pavement onto the A835.

Follow this road all the way back to Ullapool harbour and admire the views at the side of Loch Broom as you walk alongside it.


Things to do near Ullapool Hill and The Braes

  • Ullapool Museum. 7 & 8 W Argyle St, Ullapool IV26 2TY. A community-run museum situated inside a Category A listed building in the centre of Ullapool. The museum serves to inform visitors about Loch Broom, the history of Ullapool and the people who lived in the surrounding region. There are exhibitions of crofting and fishing as well as an extensive archive for family history research.
  • Loch Broom. A sea loch that opens from the Summer Isles on the north-west coast of Scotland to the River Broom approximately 7 miles to the south-east. The loch is a popular visitor destination for visits to the Summer Isles and Ullapool. Regular ferries from Ullapool sail to Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis and Harris.
  • Lael Forest Garden. A835, Garve 2RS. A man-made garden of trees close to the banks of Loch Broom. The arboretum contains trees and shrubs from nearly every country on earth and there is a waymarked trail that allows visitors to explore the forest in a circular route.
  • Dun Canna. Ullapool IV26 2TW. A remote historic landmark that overlooks Loch Kanaird. There is a small section of shingle beach next to it and there are low-level mountains walks a short distance away to the north.
  • Ullapool Sea Front. W Shore St, Ullapool. A shingle and sand beach on the edge of Ullapool that offers visitors stunning views across Loch Broom. The beach is popular with campers thanks to parking areas off West Terrace road.

Accommodation in Ullapool

  • Argyll Hotel. 0.1 miles.
  • The Ferry Boat Inn. 0.1 miles.
  • The Arch Inn. 0.3 miles.
  • Morefield Motel. 0.4 miles.
  • Caledonian Hotel. 0.1 miles.

FAQ’s about Ullapool

Does Ullapool have a beach?

Ullapool has a seafront with a narrow shingle beach on the shore of Loch Broom.
Address of car park: Ullapool IV26 2XB

Directions map: Google Maps

What is Ullapool known for?

Ullapool is traditionally known as a fishing village, but in recent years it has become a tourist hub due to its picturesque location on the shore of Loch Broom. Ullapool is also a great base for visits to the North Highlands as it’s the largest settlement for many miles around.

Is Ullapool worth visiting?

Ullapool is definitely worth visiting. Tourists have a wide variety of activities to take part in around Ullapool, whether it’s walking in the surrounding hills, taking a boat trip to the nearby Summer Isles, driving the NC500, or enjoying the coastal walks around Loch Broom before returning to the village to sample its superb fresh seafood.

What visitor facilities are there at Ullapool?

Ullapool has a car park, cafés, pubs and restaurants, pleasure cruises, car parking, public toilets and gift shops. Visit the official Ullapool website for updated information on available facilities.


More places to visit in The Highlands

  • North Morar Visitor Guide
    North Morar is a remote region of Lochaber in the Scottish Highlands that lies between Loch Morar to the south and Loch Nevis to the north. The peninsula is a popular destination for hill walkers, but it also sees crowds of tourists arriving from the Jacobite steam train which has its final destination at Mallaig – an attractive fishing village on the northern tip of the North Morar peninsula.
  • Loch Morar Visitor Guide
    Loch Morar is a freshwater loch in the Lochaber region of the Scottish Highlands. The loch is the fifth-largest in Scotland and is the deepest body of freshwater in the United Kingdom, with the deepest sections plummeting to an incredible 310 metres. As well as being a popular location for water sports, Loch Morar offers visitors a number of superb lochside walking trails and several secluded beaches.
  • Silver Sands of Morar Visitor Guide
    The Silver Sands of Morar are a series of celebrated beaches located on the Morar Peninsula, south of Mallaig. These stunning white-sand beaches are a favourite spot for tourists due to the crystal-clear turquoise waters along this stretch of coastline, as well as the stunning views of the Small Isles.
  • Bealach na Ba Visitor Guide
    The Bealach na Ba is a twisting mountain pass on the Applecross Peninsula in Wester Ross, Highland. This single-track road rises over 2,000 feet (0.61 km) at its highest point and is famous for being one of the most scenic drives in the world, as well as one of the most dangerous due to its tight hairpin bends.
Ullapool and Braes

By Craig Neil

Craig Neil is a specialist 360° photographer from Edinburgh, Scotland. When he's not zooming around the country with his trusty camera in hand he can usually be found working on the Out About Scotland website and Vartour virtual tours.