Cafe Rhu, Arisaig, Lochaber

Places to Visit in Lochaber

Na Garbh Chriochan (the Rough Bounds)

"Where Bonnie Prince Charlie first landed and last departed, fugitive Jacobites hid in caves, sail ships Jane, Lucy and British Queen carried many hopes to the new world. Where, despited clearance and emigration, potato blight and deer forest, poverty and hardship, a new road and railway were eventually driven, a fishing industry flourished, and where communities have survived." - from 'Arisaig and Morar - A history' by Dennis Rixson

Arisaig

"Until the early part of the 19th century, the shores around Arisaig bay to Rhu were home to a thriving community. Then in 1801, over 1000 crofters were cleared off the land and shipped to Nova Scotia to make way for sheep as part of the dreadful Highland Clearances. Take a walk around here and amongst the bracken, you will see the stones and turf walls which are all that remain of their homes." - Road to the Isles

Morar

A small village lying between Arisaig and Mallaig surrounded by some of the most beautiful beaches in the country. There are camping and caravaning facillities available here and an abundance of things to do for outdoor people who appreciate breathtaking scenery, sunsets and a quiet village life. There are no shops here, but local amneties can be supplied in Mallaig, which is 3 miles away.

Mallaig

A pretty fishing village, lying at the end of the Road to the Isles and the West Highland Line. The village is still a working fishing port and fishing had thrived there for 50 years but grew in size when the railway was introduced in 1901. The railway paved the way for Mallaig to become the largest fishing port for herring in the 1970's. The railway meant the fish could be transported to cities within hours and this gave the place an economic boom. Now, the processing of the fish is largely done in other places but the village still has a busy fleet.

The harbour is now also used as a base for many boating excursions and a gateway to the surrounding isles, with frequent ferries to Skye and the Inner Hebrides. Train links which were used for fish are now mainly used as transport links for local people and also visitors wanting to view the spectacular scenery on the West Highland Line between Fort William and Mallaig. The Jacobite Steam Train also runs a daily service between June and October, where one can ride on one of the only two steam trains still operating in the country.

If you are in Mallaig, you can get more information about the history of the place in Mallaig Heritage Centre. The local book shop also sells literature about the area and local walking maps for the many picturesque walks in the surrounding hills.

Eigg

The Isle of Eigg is a place where geology and landform are constant sources of interest. It good for birdwatching with breeding populations of various raptors: Golden Eagle, Buzzard, Peregrine Falcon, Kestrel, Hen Harrier and Short and Long-eared Owl amongst many other bird species. From April to September, weekly guided walks with the island's resident warden enables the visitor to discover Eigg's many birds, nature and flowering species. For more information, visit
Eigg Community website

Rum

The Isle of Rum in the Inner Hebrides is one of Scotland's finest National Nature Reserves with sea eagles, deer, goats, otters, seals and many other animals. In the Summer, you can do guided walks by Scottish National Heritage highlighting the nature and wildlife of the Island and there are nature trails around the village of Kinloch.

"Once the core of a volcano, the island was one of the earliest human settlement sites in Scotland. Today it holds some 200 archaeological sites and monuments. Rum was the base for reintroducing sea eagles to Scotland. Since the late 1950s it's also been the setting for important red deer research and a native woodland restoration programme." - from the SNNR website

Kinloch castle

Rum is also home to Kinloch castle, which was built in 1900, and is an example of grand Edwardian work. The castle and contents were passed onto the Countryside Commission for Scotland (now Scottish Natural Heritage). In 2003 it was featured on the BBC 'Restoration' program and was one of the finalists. Much interest was raised and a determination to have it restored to its former glory. Today, you can stay at the hostel and bistro located in the servants quarters, at the back of the castle. Read more information about Kinloch Castle on the Rum Community website.

Knoydart

The Knoydart peninsula is only accessible by boat from Mallaig or by a 20 mile hike on foot. Its a great place for walking, hiking, fishing and deer stalking.. Knoydart is also home to The Old Forge, which is classed by the Guiness Book of Records as the remotest pub in Mainland Britian.

Glenfinnan

Glenfinnan is below a steep, scenic drop and sits at Loch Shiel, where 3 glens meet. The famous viaduct carries the train across to the station where you can find out more information about the railways's history at the Glenfinnan Station Museum. The viaduct also holds the remains of a horse and cart which fell into the concrete structure before it set! Glenfinnan is home to many scenic walks, a National Trust Visitor Centre, Loch Shiel Eagle Watch Cruises and especially popular is the Glenfinnan Gathering and Games which is held in August every year, on the Saturday closest to 17th August, the date on which the Jacobite standard was raised.

Bonnie Prince Charlie

Glenfinnan is where Prince Charles (Bonnie Prince Charlie) first landed in Scotland to head the Jacobite Uprising, Scotland's last rebellion in 1745-46. Bonnie Prince Charlie was ambitious to win back the throne for his father King James VII, who had lost it in 1688. He got some early success and defeated government forces at Preston Pans and marched as far South as Derby. There was then a long retreat Northwards before his army were defeated in Culloden in April 1746. For the next 6 months he was hunted throughout the West Highlands and Islands. The Glenfinnan Monument was built in 1815 to commemorate the raising of Prince Charles' standard.

Glenuig

Glenuig is a tiny community of just over thirty folk located in the Parish of Moidart. The village looks west across the Sound of Arisaig towards the Small Isles of Eigg, Muck, Rum and Canna. The area has been inhabited for thousands of years and the traces of these earlier residents are everywhere around.

Glenuig Hall

Through determined fundraising, notably through the Glenuig Music Festival (1983-1993) the local community built the magnificent Glenuig Hall which hosts many musical events combined with regular theatrical productions.It has become one of the busiest venues in the highlands for promoting artistic, cultural and community events.
Many ask how a small village with an adult population of only 35, situated in one of the more remote parts of Lochaber, can continue to host such a variety of events.

(Image 1 © Doreen Longmuir, Image 2 & 6 © Christopher Dyer, Image 3,4 & 5 © Jennifer Douglas, Image 7, 9 & 11 © Ally Weir, Image 8 & 15 © Ian Steel, Image 12 & 14 © Simon Brown, Image 13 © Adam Brown)

Rhu

Rhu

Rhu, Arisaig

Eigg and Rum from Arisaig

Sunset from Mallaig

Sunset from Mallaig

Silver Sands

Evening at Silver Sands

Glenfinnan Monument

Glenfinnan Monument

Eigg and Rum

Eigg and Rum

Lochailort

Lochailort

Glenuig

Glenuig

Loch Shiel

Loch Shiel

Castle Tioram

Arisaig

Beinn Resipole, Moidart

Beinn Resipole, Moidart

Kinloch Castle, Rum

Kinloch Castle, Rum

Ben Nevis from Loch Lochy

Ben Nevis from Loch Lochy

Rum from Eigg

Rum from Eigg

Loch Leven

Loch Leven

Wildlife around the Arisaig Area
Arisaig childrens art for sale in aid of Arisaig Primary School
Cafe Rhu Pinboard

Wildlife in the Area | Cafe Rhu Pinboard | Road to the Isles Photo Gallery