About the Area
Following the Road to the Isles, the Jacobite steam train (made famous by the Harry Potter movies) operates in the summer from Fort William to Mallaig.
Make sure you stop at Glenfinnan Station where you can visit the Museum, have a meal in one of the old dining cars or even stay overnight in a restored carriage! All amidst spectacular scenery which you can enjoy by exploring woodland walks and the Viaduct Trail.
Also not to be missed at Glenfinnan is the monument to Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Jacobite Uprising of 1745-46. The National Trust for Scotland Visitor Centre tells you all about this famous episode in Scottish history.
And while you are in Mallaig, don't forget to pop into Andy Race's fish shop and see some of the catch from the local fishing fleet.
The Road to the Isles Marketing Group liaises with the VIC (Visitor Information Centre) in Mallaig. Details of all members are available here and help can be provided to arrange last minute accommodation bookings. It is also a coffee shop and offers a wide range of souvenirs, etc.
At Arisaig, don't miss the award-winning Land, Sea and Islands Centre. Displays include information about local crofting, fishing, church history, marine life, nature, archaeology, Bonnie Prince Charlie, and those who trained in the area for the Special Operations Executive (SOE) during World War II. A small shop sells crafts, cards, books, photographs and prints. Local tourist information is also available. WiFi access is available. This centre is run on a voluntary basis. Free admission (donations welcome). Summer 2014 opening times are Monday to Friday: 10am - 6pm; Saturday: 10am - 4pm; Sunday: 2pm - 5pm. Reduced opening times in the winter months. Telephone 01687 450771.
Photos & Arts & Crafts
Mallaig Art Gallery is situated in Station Road, Mallaig. It offers a wide selection of Original and Limited Edition Prints by Scottish Artists - Andrew Fairbairn (our own local artist), Pam Carter, Stuart Herd, A.J. Barber, Dronma, Duncan MacGregor, Philip Raskins, JoLoMo, Caroline Cooke and many more. Also on sale are jewellery and gifts from individual crafts people - Jewellery by Tartan Twist, Alexis Dove and Angela Learoyd, Glass from Allister Malcolm and Pottery from St. Andrews.
Alexander Mathieson is a local photographer specialising in photos and postcards for sale featuring the wonderful scenery along the Road to the Isles from Fort William to Mallaig, plus the Small Isles, steam trains, ferries and pictures of Highland transport.
Fresh fish, seafood and the famous Mallaig kippers are available in many local hotels, restaurants and in the fish shops.
At Mallaig harbour, Fish Merchant Andy Race has a shop and also offers a mail order service selling a variety of freshly caught seafood.
Ardshealach Smokehouse and Fine Foods is a small family business in Glenuig. The shop sells a range of smoked produce such as fish, meats and cheese, including Scottish salmon from small independent farms which are committed to sustainable and environmentally friendly farming. Open Monday to Saturday from 10am to 5pm. Tel: 01687 470266. Mail order service available.
For something a little different while you're on holiday, why not order an authentic Thai take-away meal from Sunset in the village of Morar? Place your order at any time and your meal will be ready for collection between 5pm and 10.30pm everyday except Mondays (phone 01687 462259). This can be particularly handy if you are self catering in the area and don't want to cook for yourselves.
Details of restaurants, tearooms, cafes and hotels in the area are listed on the Eating Out page.
Boat Trips & Watersports
Arisaig Marine offers boat trips to the Small Isles.
Arisaig Sea Kayak Centre offers sea kayaks, sit on top kayaks and Canadian canoes for hire by the day or week. Tuition, coaching and guiding available. Telephone 07887 522 811.
AquaXplore - offers wildlife and sightseeing tours by Rigid Inflatable Boat from Skye to the islands of Soay, Eigg, Rum and Canna.
BellaJane - Bella Jane Boat Trips offers tours from Elgol, Skye to beautiful Loch Coruisk, the seal colony and the Cuillin Mountains.
MV Western Isles offers cruises from Mallaig to Knoydart.
Sea.Fari Adventures offers scheduled boat trips from Mallaig to go whalespotting and look for other marine creatures and seabirds. Contact Peter Fowler. Tel: 01471 833316 / Mobile: 0797 3509387.
Misty Isle Boat Trips operate from Elgol to Loch Coruisk on the Isle of Skye.
Sea Knoydart provides fast, comfortable and safe transport to and from Knoydart, the surrounding islands and almost anywhere you might want to go on the west coast of Scotland. Expeditions (with accommodation on Knoydart) can include visits to Eigg, Muck, Rum, Canna, Soay, Skye, Loch Coruisk, Eilean Donan Castle, Castle Tioram, etc. See birds, seals, porpoises, dolphins, whales, basking sharks and even sunfish. Lophelia is a 12-passenger luxury RIB. Contact Mark Woombs - tel: 01687 460046. Boat charter also available.
Sea Knoydart also incorporates Knoydart Sea School which is a Royal Yachting Association recognized powerboat school.
Rockhopper Sea Kayaking offers trips and instruction around the Fort William and Lochaber area. Sea kayaking is available for half-day, full day and multi-day trips with fully qualified guides and instructors. Contact Stewart Hood (Tel: 07739 837 344)
Ewan MacDonald organises fishing, charters and boat trips on Loch Morar. He can pick you up and drop you off at many otherwise inaccessible points - ideal for walkers. Phone 01687 462520.
For fishing on Loch Morar, phone 01687 462388 for permits and boat hire.
Boat cruises are also available on Loch Shiel near Glenfinnan.
The great outdoors are all yours to explore throughout the gorgeous scenery of the west coast of Scotland. Whether you are interested in hiking, cycling, fishing or wildlife spotting, there's plenty to see and do.
There are many local walks which you can take by yourself.
From Glenfinnan station and museum you can enjoy signposted woodland walks and the Viaduct Trail.
Guided walks are available with the Sound of Arisaig local Ranger Angus MacIntyre (tel: 01687 462983) from May - September. Click here for online calendar or download the PDF booklet of Lochaber area guided walks.
The Wild Lochaber festival is held from 17 to 25 May 2014 with a full programe of events including boat trips, wildlife safaris, forest walks and much more.
Traigh Golf Course (9 holes) is situated between Morar and Arisaig.
Plenty of activities are on offer at the Snowgoose Mountain Centre (at Corpach, near Fort William) including canoeing, kayaking, dingy sailing, mountain biking, hill walking and snowsports, plus mountain skills courses.
Guided off road Quad Bike Tours can be arranged in the Fort William area. All equipment provided. Fully trained staff.
SkyeWalk.co.uk is a useful web site outlining walks you can take throughout the Isle of Skye.
There are lots of local events in our region - click here for a calendar with details of this year's Highland Games, festivals and agricultural shows. Look out for posters and ask at the local tourist offices to see what other special activities are happening when you visit the region.
Whenever and however you visit the Road to the Isles, you are assured of a warm welcome and an unforgettable holiday amidst spectacular scenery.
Accommodation in the area: