Assynt is an area in west Sutherland, in the Highlands
of Scotland, north of Ullapool.
It is famous for its landscape (Inverpolly Nature Reserve) and its
remarkable mountains (Quinag, Canisp, Suilven, Culmor, Stac Pollaidh
and Ben Mor of Assynt).
In 2005 the local community bought Glencanisp estate, including Suilven
and the neighbouring Drumrunie estate. The Assynt foundation aims
to create local employment and safeguard the natural and cultural
heritage for the benefit of the community and future generations and
for the enjoyment of the wider public.
Some of the Wildlife spotted in the area by previous
guests include Heron, Cormorants, Eagles, Seals, Great Skuas and Otters.
The latter have also been seen from the Caberfeidh. Dolphins, Basking
Sharks and Puffins have been seen at Handa Island. Red Deer and Bats
have been seen IN the garden.
Lochinver (Loch an Inbhir in Gaelic) is a small village
on the coast, in the Assynt area. A few miles northeast is Loch Assynt
which is the source of the River Inver which flows into Loch Inver
at the village. There are 200 or so lochans in the area which makes
the place very popular with anglers. Standing guard over the village
is the “sugar loaf” shape of Caisteal Liath- the peak
of nearby Suilven.
Lochinver is the second largest fishing port in Scotland, frequented
by European fishermen primarily from Spain, Portugal and France. Lochinver
underwent a major renewal project in the 1990s where the harbour area
was rebuilt and a new and much improved loading area was created.
This new development involved blasting an area of several hectares
out of the surrounding rock. At present the area is mostly undeveloped
with the exception of the new sports centre.
The back of Lochinver is a beautiful part of Assynt with local tourism
and nature areas being developed in conjunction with small-scale forestry
Suilven is one of the most distinctive mountains in
Scotland. Lying in a remote area it rises almost vertically from a
wilderness landscape of moorland, bogs and lochans, known as Inverpolly.
The mountain forms a steep-sided ridge some 2km in length. The highest
point, known as Caisteal Liath (the Grey Castle), lies at the northwest
end of this ridge. There are two other summits: Meall Meadhonach (Middle
Hill) at the central point of the ridge is 723m high, whilst Meall
Beag (Little Hill) lies at the southeastern end. From the coast to
the west Suilven looks like a large grey pillar, hence the name which
it was given by sea-borne Vikings. From the inland side the mountain
has the appearance of a pyramid. It has also been called Scotland’s