Leisure Centres, Museums & Visitor Attractions
Wester Ross has several indoor facilities including leisure centres / swiming pools at Gairloch, Poolewe and Ullapool.
Gairloch Leisure Centre (attached to the local high school) is open to the public every evening, all weekend and every day throughout the school holidays. The centre has a fitness centre, climbing wall, tennis / badminton facilities, outdoor football areas and so on. Telephone: 01445 712345.
Poolewe indoor swimming pool: Telephone 01445 781345
Lochbroom Leisure at Ullapool has a full size facility that combines a leisure centre and 25m swimming pool with sauna. Facilities include multi sports games hall, fitness room, indoor climing wall, floodlit outdoor courts. Telephone 01854 612884
Generally speaking, these cover the history and cultural heritage of the area - Wester Ross has a rich history of Vikings, battles, Gaels, more battles, Celts, and so on. There are also a number of visitor facilities aimed at informing you about our diverse natural environment. Some of the finest geological sites in Europe are to be found here, and indeed the modern science of geology was pretty much kicked off here in the first place.
The Applecross Historical Society runs the Heritage Centre situated opposite Clachan Church and graveyard, and near the site of ancient St Maelrubha's monastery. Open from Easter to the end of October - Monday to Saturday from 12 noon to 4pm.
Attadale Gardens: Started by Baron Schroder in the late 19th century, Attadale Gardens include hill paths meandering through 20 acres of conifers and rhododendrons, along with many low level walks and attractions.
Totally transformed after the 1980 storms by owner Nicky Macpherson, it is an artist’s garden designed to frame the magnificent views of Skye and the surrounding hills. Waterfalls, Monet bridges, meconopsis, bamboo and candelabra primula are reflected in dark pools. Sculpture lurks in unexpected places.
Made in Lochcarron - arts, crafts and information centre. Situated at the Smithy Community Hub, half a mile west of Strathcarron junction or 1 mile east of Loch Carron golf course. Open 10am to 5pm, Monday to Saturday. Run by the Kirkton Woodlands and Heritage group. Tree-house and picnic area also on site. Telephone 01520 722882.
Kinlochewe / Loch Maree:
Beinn Eighe National Nature Reserve: Altroy Visitor Centre (just outside Kinlochewe, heading towards Gairloch). Interactive displays, child friendly, "all abilities" trails, information on the Nature Reserve, along with walks, and local wildlife. Telephone 01445 760258. Open daily from 10am to 5pm.
Gairloch Heritage Museum - Converted nuclear bunker showcasing the history, culture and natural heritage of this beautiful area of the North West Highlands. Open Monday -
Saturday 10am - 6pm (except Thursdays - 8pm). Closed Sundays. Telephone
Pool House - New attraction opening in March 2021, for house tours and with a tea room and gift shop:
Nestled on the seashore and alongside a river, Pool House is a fascinating, quirky and characterful Highland home. Move through 300 years of rich history and discover the dramatic events that have taken place within these walls and the many notable people that visited the house over the years. A courthouse in the 1700’s; the setting for a marital battle that scandalised Victorian society; through to becoming a WW2 headquarters, there is something to delight, engage and captivate in every room.
If your fascination lies with the paranormal, then you may hope to catch a glimpse of one or more of our three phantoms. Perhaps the sorrowful young lady who place may place a hand on your shoulder, the butler making his way to polish the silver or the pianist who lost his life in the river but still plays the piano from time to time in the middle of the night.
The interior of the house is predominantly 19th century in style but is neither a museum nor a time capsule as it is still a much loved family home. You will find Victorian bathing machines, Chinese marriage beds, antique doll’s houses and many collectibles and curiosities of the time giving an insight into the upper middle-class lifestyle of the Victorian landed gentry. Children will enjoy the period toys and games on display and examining refugee wartime memorabilia. They can see a week’s worth of rations and take away some WW2 recipes to prepare at home. They can even try their hand at a quiz as they tour the house.
To book your guided tour, please email firstname.lastname@example.org are only able to accept walk-ins if there is space available. Tours run on the hour.”
Inverewe Gardens. Internationally famous sub tropical gardens with Visitor Centre, shop & restaurant. Telephone 0844 493 2225
Russian Arctic Convoy Museum: This is a project to develop a museum in memory of those who braved the convoys between Loch Ewe and Russia during the Second World war. Although not quite a museum as yet, the RACM project operates an intriguing and thought provoking exhibition looking at the history, artefacts, and information surrounding these convoys. This is open at their visitor centre in Birchburn, Aultbea, from 10am - 4pm. Tel: 01445 731137
Leckmelm Arboretum: Just a few miles before Ullapool, Leckmelm Arboretum was laid out in the 1880s and many of the trees and rhododendron specimens date from that time. These include Wellingtonias, Cedars and Chilean pine. Some of the trees are record-breakers!
Lael Forest Walks:In the 19th century tree hunters travelled the world collecting rare seed and planting them in arboreta – specialist tree collections – like this one. Spend some time in the exotic freshness of this extraordinary woodland and enjoy making your own discoveries.
Ullapool Museum. Exhibitions and displays centering around the history of the Ullapool and Wester Ross areas. Telephone 01854 612987
Knockan Crag. Just a few miles North of Ullapool lies Knockan Crag. The science of geology was virtually born here, and this is one of the most important geological sites in the world. There is an excellent (unmanned) visitor centre here, along with walks and trails aimed at creating a clear understanding of the forces at work beneath your feet.
The Museum of Childhood can be found here, and is situated in what used to be Strathpeffer station! The museum’s collections are mostly themed around childhood although the museum was originally based on the doll collection of local lady, Angela Kellie. Over the years though the collections have expanded through donations and now feature toys and games, clothing and textiles, education material, photographs, books and larger items such as prams and cradles. The museum also now collects items relating to the local history of Strathpeffer and the railway station.