Access & Parking
The 18,000 hectares of the Glencanisp and Drumrunie Estates are open for access on foot, the whole year-round. But please follow the Scottish Outdoor Access Code www.outdooraccess-scotland.scot Just take photos and only leave bootprints as the saying goes!
You have to be a walker to see the interior of the Estates as there are no roads across them. This land is still mostly wild, and one of the largest such areas in the UK. But there are some fences, especially around areas where we have recently planted native trees, or where we are trying to encourage natural regeneration. There are stiles and gates, so please use them and close the gates behind you if you really feel you must go inside enclosed areas.
There are walking tracks in various places, but you can feel free to wander. Be prepared to deal with bogs, lochs, scree slopes, cliffs and other hazards if you do go off the beaten path. Our north-west coastal weather can also be a hazard itself at any time of the year, not just in winter. There isn’t much signal for mobile phones either. So do use your commonsense.
We just ask that you respect our land and the wildlife here in accordance with the Access Code. Only fish if you have first bought a permit from the Assynt Angling Group because there is a legal protection order in force which stops “free-fishing”. Please stick to the tracks if you are out in the deer management season from 1st July to 15th February. Shooting may then be taking place to manage the size of the red deer population as advised by Scottish Natural Heritage.
There are public roads close to the Estates on nearly all the sides. In the south, it’s the single track road towards Achiltibuie off the A835, in the east the A835, and the A837 to the north, both of which are on the NC500 route. In the west, we don’t quite reach the sea at Lochinver. But at Lochinver, you can take the single track Glencanisp road inland and drive up towards our HQ. There’s a free, Foundation car park just before you get to Glencanisp, at Ordnance Survey Grid reference NC219107. There is some parking at Glencanisp itself, but that is reserved for the folk who make Glencanisp their home or workplace, less able folk, allotment holders and guests staying in the accommodation or attending events or the craft workshops there.
If you are walking, we strongly suggest you take a map and compass or GPS and know how to use them properly, even if you are sticking to a path, and that you follow the general advice of Scottish Mountaineering on hillwalking at:- www.mountaineering.scot/activities/hillwalking. In the Ordnance Survey Landranger 1:50 000 series of maps, number 15 covers us. In the Explorer 1:25 000 series, the estates spread across two maps, numbers 439 and 442.
Public off-road car parking is available at various points on the roads mentioned if you want to start your exploring outside Lochinver. Specific car parking for the designated tracks is mentioned in the details for those routes on this website. Please don’t park on the road anywhere, especially on single-track roads or in the passing places on them, as you can block the road or cause a road traffic hazard for everyone. You might come back and find your car has been towed away.
The walking routes through the estates are featured in many walking guides in print and online. The printed works can be bought in bookshops in Kirkaig and Ullapool and other outlets locally. Walk Highlands is perhaps the most popular and useful online site and they have the GPS waypoints. The routes aren’t signposted much once you are on the way, and they are all pretty tough at times. The nature trail at Glencanisp itself is purpose-built to be easy to access but the terrain means it’s not suitable for wheelchair users.
The geology of the land is special and our friends at the North West Highlands UNESCO Geopark are the experts at it. Check out their website www.nwhgeopark.com and their exhibition at the Rockstop at Unapool for more on this.