Poolewe is a small, but attractive village at the head of the sheltered sealoch of Loch Ewe.
It used to be a bustling little port with connections to the Outer Isles, however it is famous nowadays
for being only a mile down the road from the world famous Inverewe Gardens. Founded
by Osgood Mackenzie in 1862, on a barren peninsula overlooking the village of Poolewe, these are
recognised as one of the finest gardens in Europe, with a plant collection of international importance.
With over 130,000 visitors from all over the world each year, Inverewe has become a mecca for garden lovers who
marvel at the rich diversity of plants which thrive in this remote corner of the Highlands.
Favoured with the milder climate created by the Gulf Stream Inverewe Garden, now in the care of the National Trust
for Scotland, is well named as the ‘Oasis of the North’
On the western side of the loch, the coast road to Cove offers a highly scenic trip,
with excellent panoramas of almost all the hills to the North West of Ross-shire and indeed all the way up toSutherland.
Loch Ewe was also one of the main convoy assembly lochs during WW11, and a string of disused
fortifications along much of the lochside testifies to the substantial activity that went on here in those days.
Carrying on towards Aultbea along the main road, the road gains height over Loch Ewe, showing
the full extent of the loch, with Isle Ewe at its centre. The large pier on your left at the lochside is a NATO
refuelling base.
Eventually, the road takes you to Aultbea, with shops, hotel, and garage facilities accessible by turning off the
main road and along for nearly a mile. To the right, as you come into Aultbea, are signs pointing to the
River Ewe at Poolewe Loch Ewe Distillery – the only business of its kind in the entire area.
With views back across Loch Ewe to the Torridon Mountains, the minor road along the east shore of Loch
Ewe is also well worth a visit for the many charming townships along the way. Staying with the “unique”
theme, you will come to the “Perfumerie” – producing a range of high quality perfumes and soaps. At
the road end you can walk to the cliffs and watch the marine life of Loch Ewe & the Minch.


As you come closer to Gairloch, the road winds through Kerrysdale, You now arrive at one of the main centres in Wester Ross. This is a collection of settlements arranged around Loch Gairloch, which are collectively referred to as “Gairloch”, although they are all essentially separate communities.
Continuing past the busy harbour area, you pass the golf course, bank, beautifull beach, and local garage. While most of the shops are located at “Strath”, there are a scattering of shops, facilities, hotels and B&B throughout.
There are a number of boat trips available from the pier at Gairloch. Our favourite is the sea life trip operated by the Gairloch Marine Life Centre. However there is also a glass bottomed boat trip and whale watching trips.
Gairloch also has a leisure centre and Heritage Museum that you can visit.