This is a beautiful, natural, west coast bay with a large expanse of silvery white sands and beautiful clear azure waters. It offers a quiet sheltered retreat, where on a clear day you can see Suilven behind the beach. There is a caravan park close by and free parking is available. This is a good beach for canoeing, sailing and there are wonderful walks in the Assynt.
Achmelvich is taken from the Gaelic words meaning plain/meadow and sand/dunes. It is a perfect description for the large beach with perfectly golden sand.
Europes smallest castle, Hermit’s Castle, is housed in Achmelvich. The castle isn’t ancient and was only built in the 1950s. It was slept in for a weekend by the builder and hasn’t ever been a home to anyone since. After being vandalised in the 1970s, the castle has been used as a bothy for the public. The name interestingly comes from the concept of an anchorite’s cell as the doorway into the castle is very small.
The harbour nearby, in Lochinver, is one of the busiest harbours in the Highlands. Ships from Spain and France still land their catches here. The harbour had a redevelopment in 1990s to ensure if was still predominant in the fishing industry.
Achmelvich has a wide variety of wildlife that brings in visitors from all areas. The surrounding area been noted for cetaceans, dolphins, seals, basking sharks, otters and an array of birds. From the beach, you can see the distinct outline of Mount Suilven and the surrounding Inverpolly National Nature Reserve.
Achmelvich is close (3miles, 4.8km) to the pretty village of Lochinver. Lochinver is the largest settlement from Ullapool to Durness. The surrounding area is very popular with tourists and motorhomes. It is often a stop off point en route to other areas, regardless of the rural, bendy roads.
Achmelvich beach is on a minor road sign posted to Achmelvich. Take the B869 about 1/2 a mile from the village of Lochinver on the A83.
Water quality information
This beach is a designated bathing water site. Further information about water quality at this site can be found on the SEPA website. Please observe local signage and only swim where it is safe to do so.
Contact detailsSandy Fraser