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 - all about the local culture, history, and people. Award winning museum. Telephone 01445 712287. Opening times for the Museum are March until October 31st . Monday - Friday 10am - 5pm (last admission 4.30pm), and Saturday from 11am until 3pm. Closed Sundays.
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 new 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.