If you have your own equipment, Achmelvich is a great place to start your voyage of discovery. You can drive right onto the beach to unload your kit and then park at the beach car park. From the shore, you can launch off to explore the secret coves and caves of Achmelvich Bay, and perhaps even meander northwards to admire Split Rock at Clachtoll from an ocean vantage. Often, you’ll be accompanied on your travels by pods of porpoise and dolphin, maybe even a minke whale or two! To the south, you can take in the pleasures of Loch Roe with its colony of seals and at low tide, an atmospheric shipwreck appears from the depths.
For experienced kayakers wishing to hire equipment, Norwest Sea Kayaking will meet your needs. This locally based company also runs a wide selection courses and trips for people of all ages and experiences.
There are a number of sea-faring boat trips available from Assynt, or nearby which provide fabulous opportunities to observe the landscape and aquatic wildlife from a completely different vantage point.
Cam-Mac Boat Trips offer coastal boat tours, sea angling and private charters from Lochinver marina on board the 31ft “Ros Kynoch”, whilst Kylesku Boat Tours offer daily trips up the scenic waters of Loch Glendhu and Loch Glencoul to the majestic Eas a Chual Aluinn, the UK’s highest waterfall. You’ll have a taste of Highland life as you are entertained with interesting stories and anecdotes about locals both past and present.
Handa Island has been designated a place of special scientific interest and its steep cliffs are home to huge colonies of breeding sea birds, including puffins. The island is accessed by a short ferry ride but allow 4 hours to complete the circular walk of the island. Additionally, The Summer Queen sails from Ullapool and offers passengers the opportunity to visit the famous Summer Isles and, for those looking for something more adrenaline-packed, Seascape Expeditions (Ullapool) offer an exhilarating two hour powerboat trip to the Summer Isles enabling you admire the beautiful, rugged landscape and the marine wildlife.
Scotland’s north west coast is home to a rich and diverse array of marine habitats and species. For visitors wishing to experience the wonder beneath the waves, Assynt now boasts two sites, Achmelvich and Clachtoll, which are featured on the Scottish Wildlife Trust’s west Coast snorkel Trail.