The beautiful bay of Loch na Ceall at Arisaig offers shelter to yachtsmen, and can be your starting point for a sea journey of discovery to the Small Isles.
Until the early part of the 19th century, the shores around this 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.
Offshore islets are home to seals and sea-birds, and small fishing boats on the shore suggest that a living is still to be made from the sea. From here you have magnificent views of the Small Isles of Eigg and Rum.
You can travel to the islands with Arisaig Marine - tickets for MV Sheerwater are purchased from the newly built Harbour Office which also houses a small Tea Room & Gift Shop. The Tea Room provides high quality Fairtrade organic coffees, hot chocolate & speciality teas. There is a good selection of home baking and tubs of delicious organic ice cream & smoothies. The Gift Shop offers a wide range of unusual gifts, jewellery, soaps and cards. You can also purchase local walking guides, maps & fishing equipment. A small chandlery is also available all from Arisaig Marine.
This is the area where the renowned west coast sunset can be enjoyed at its best. There can be no more magical sight than the sun as it disappears behind the islands in a riot of pink, red and purple, setting the mountains of Rum and Skye ablaze with colour.
The Land, Sea and Islands Centre opened in 1999 in what used to be an old smiddy in the middle of the village. The Centre includes a viewing room overlooking the Small Isles, a souvenir shop, artefacts on crofting and fishing, a rebuilt forge, wildlife exhibitions and information about wartime activities in the village when Arisaig House and other buildings in this area were used as by the SOE (Special Operations Executive) during the Second World War. You will also find out about Bonnie Prince Charlie, the Warrior Queen and Long John Silver. 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 opening times: 1st April - 30th October 2018
Monday to Saturday 10am - 6pm, Sunday 12 noon - 4pm.
Winter opening times: 1st November - 31st March
Monday 10am - 1pm, Saturday 10am - 4pm, Sunday 12 noon - 4pm.
Telephone: 01687 450771.
In the grounds of Arisaig Hotel, you can try your hand at archery. Sessions every day throughout the summer and by arrangement at other times. Suitable for children aged 8+. Contact Arisaig Archery. Telephone 07479 793 978.
Just 1 km outside Arisaig village, the gardens of Làrach Mòr on the Arisaig Estate offer lovely walks. Set in the grounds of Glen House, this 28-acre woodland garden was planted by John Augustus Holms to display a fine collection of rhododendrons, as well as exotic trees and shrubs. Open daily during daylight hours. Free admission. Click here for route details and parking.
John Silver was born in Arisaig on 2 January 1853. As a young man he went to work on the construction of the lighthouse at Barrahead. The lighthouse designer was Thomas Stevenson, father of Robert Louis. Silver met Robert Louis on a few occasions. Local legend has it that Robert Louis Stevenson took the name for his character in Treasure Island.
In the 12th century, monks who settled at Arisaig called it An Garbh Chriochan (the Rough Bounds). Only in the early part of the 19th century was there a road at Arisaig suitable for a stage coach, and you can still see the hotel which was built to support the coach service.
The imposing church at Arisaig was built in 1849, and the clock in the church was installed to commemorate the famous Gaelic poet Alasdair MacMhaistir Alasdair (Alasdair MacDonald). The present church is sited beside the Medieval Church and Burial Ground of St. Maelrubh.