We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Scrabster to Ullapool--most scenic route?

Gig Harbor...
Level Contributor
827 posts
10 reviews
Save Topic
Scrabster to Ullapool--most scenic route?

Could any of you please tell us the most scenic route to drive from Scrabster (ferry arrives about noon) to Ullapool where we will spend the night before heading to Lewis? When I look at the map, I see three possible ways to get there, but can't tell which provides the best scenery. Thank you!

Stanley, Falkland...
Level Contributor
32,789 posts
75 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Scrabster to Ullapool--most scenic route?

You need a better map - I can see dozens of ways.

I haven't tried them all, but I would strongly recommend the coastal route via Bettyhill, Durness, and south via Kylesku. Hardly a mile without breath-taking scenery.

If you have time, it could be worth the detour around Lochinver. Warning - the roads are narrow and twisty, and the scenery is matchless.

Just north of Ullapool is the Moine Thrust - where North America used to be joined to Scotland. The mountains you pass have some of the oldest rocksin the world.... Enjoy

Gig Harbor...
Level Contributor
827 posts
10 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Scrabster to Ullapool--most scenic route?

Hello,

Thank you very much for the information. I do have a good map (AA road atlas, 4 miles to the inch) and have been checking the drive times for different routes. The one you suggested looks lovely but the rac.co.uk route planner says it takes 6:26 to drive it without any photo stops. Do you think that is accurate? We wouldn't get to Ullapool before early evening, which is probably a bit late. The A 836 south from Tongue is about 40 minutes faster, but is it scenic? Or would we get better scenery if we used the fastest route, A9 and A835 which gets us to Ullapool in four hours and then use the saved time to drive up to Castle Assynt and, time permitting, Lochinver?

Stanley, Falkland...
Level Contributor
32,789 posts
75 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Scrabster to Ullapool--most scenic route?

Hi,

I tend to use www.viamichelin.com or theaa.com.

Michelin says the route via Durness is 139 miles, and takes just under 4 hours, which seems about right. The scenery is stunning. The road is single-track part of the way. Durness has connections with John Lennon, and has a large sea cave, I believe.

The route down the A897 to Helmsdale, and then via Lairg, is probably the best driving roads, 3.5 hours and 133 miles. This is the main commercial route. Pretty but not outstanding.

Slightly shorter is via Strathnaver, the A871, through Altnaharra and Lairg: 120 miles, and 3hours 12 minutes.

Strathnaver was one of the glens de-populated by the Clearances, so its possible you will see no habitaion for about 30 miles. Bleak and moving.

I assume you are coming from Orkney. Won't you have travelled there from, say, Inverness, using the A9?

www.undiscoveredscotland.co.uk.

This site has lots of info, including driving routes.

Gig Harbor...
Level Contributor
827 posts
10 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Scrabster to Ullapool--most scenic route?

Hello Peterscot,

Thank you for your help; I appreciate it. If I can ever reciprocate with information about northern coastal California or Yosemite, let me know.

Stanley, Falkland...
Level Contributor
32,789 posts
75 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Scrabster to Ullapool--most scenic route?

Yosemite.... one day, I hope.

Have you any interest in John Muir?

A Trust named after him owns 'wild' land in Scotland. One of the best bits is Sandwood Bay, just south of Cape Wrath, near where you might be passing. Its not near the road so you may not have time. But you will have so much other scenery going that way.

california
Level Contributor
792 posts
1 review
Save Reply
6. Re: Scrabster to Ullapool--most scenic route?

Northern California is North of San Francisco. Monterey is central California.

I live in Northern California, you don't.

Gig Harbor...
Level Contributor
827 posts
10 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Scrabster to Ullapool--most scenic route?

Dear Dodger 70,

Thank you for letting me know that you don't consider Monterey part of northern California. I am familiar with northern coastal California since we travel there frequently, so I did say exactly what I intended too.

Gig Harbor...
Level Contributor
827 posts
10 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Scrabster to Ullapool--most scenic route?

Dear Dodger 70,

Thank you for letting me know that you don't consider Monterey part of northern California. I am familiar with northern coastal California since we travel there frequently, so I did say exactly what I intended to say.

New York City, New...
Destination Expert
for Madison
Level Contributor
1,267 posts
24 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Scrabster to Ullapool--most scenic route?

The coastal drive is beautiful. We took a couple of days to do it a few years ago. The starkness of Sutherland is really amazing with the Lochs and mountains. We did a side trip on the B869 that goes from Unapool to Lochinvar. It was spectacular, but very, very, very windy and the rocks were incredible. At times it was hard to know where the road ended and the rocks began. It takes quite a bit of time so watch your timing if you decide to take it. Enjoy your drive.

Pam

PS I'm going to vote for Monterey being in Northern CA. I think that the great divide is somewhere south of Salinas or Fresno. Or perhaps, we need a map of where the water is to really determine this. ; )

10. Re: Scrabster to Ullapool--most scenic route?

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 31 December 2009, 06:16