Torridon is home to some of Scotland’s most magnificent mountain panoramas and a paradise for hikers, climbers and nature lovers. It is also worth stopping for a couple of days while driving the North Coast 500 around northern Scotland.
Torridon has an endless list of things to do and experience. To help you plan your visit, below are a few walks and hikes for all levels of experience. On these walks, you will explore Loch Torridon coastline, Glen Torridon, admire Highland wildlife, and walk up one of the Torridon’s best summit.
The area name Torridon is used to describe the area to the north of Loch Torridon, on both sides of Upper Loch Torridon, and on both sides of Glen Torridon as it heads west and then curves round to the north towards Kinlochewe.
Torridon is an ancient and enchanting wilderness of water and rock. The Torridonian sandstone that forms the bulk of all the mountains dates back 750 million years.
The iconic mountains of Torridon are Beinn Eighe (1010m), Liathach (1055m) and Beinn Alligin (986m), with each mountain having two Munros to their name.
How to get there by car
From Inverness follow A835 north-west towards Ullapool. Turn left onto A832 after the village of Garve, signposted Kyle of Lochalsh. Once at Achnasheen, continue on the road to Kinlochewe. In Kinlochewe, pass the hotel on the left, and take the next road left (A896) to Torridon. It is 16 km on a narrow road with passing places to Torridon through Glen Torridon.
By public transport
There is no good public connection for Torridon. If you are coming from Inverness, first you need to take a train to Strathcarron. Four trains a day (from Monday-Saturday) run from Inverness via Achnasheen, Achnashellach and Strathcarron to Kyle of Lochalsh. Between Strathcarron and Torridon runs DMK Motors Bus 702.
Public transport around Torridon is very limited. The easiest way to get around is by car.
Where to stay
You can check the Bed and Breakfast, Self Catering and Hotels accommodation for Torridon and Shieldaig here.
There is also a free (with honesty box) local camping site with toilet and shower facilities at the entrance to Torridon village. Another campsite is in Shieldaig. In Alligin you can find a designated camping area without facilities.
In Torridon village is also a Youth Hostel, which is seasonal with opening times. The National Trust also has two renting accommodation; one is a larger house for groups.
At Craig, you can find a bothy. It is located at an isolated spot on the coastal walk from Diabaig to Red Point.
1. Shores of Loch Coulin and Loch Clair
This walk heads past Loch Clair and then around Loch Coulin with views of the Torridon mountains (Beinn Eighe and Liathach) from across the water.
Distance: 9km (5.5 miles), Time: 3:30 hours, Ascent: 110m
Small layby car park on the A896 opposite of turn off for minor road to Coulin Lodge. 57°34’08.8″N, 5°20’31.2″W; 57.569100, -5.342000
From the car park walk down the minor road as it goes around the edge of Loch Clair.
When you reach a bridge at the head of the loch, do not cross it, instead, follow the signed track straight ahead through the gate and continue alongside the short section of river between the two lochs. After passing through woodland, you come to the more open ground. Here, take the trail to the right heading slightly downhill, across the heathery ground. Go through a gate and follow the trail, which skirts the edge of Loch Coulin before heading southeast away from the loch alongside a small stream. This section can be indistinct and boggy.
Soon you reach a hydro track north of the lone house at Torran Cuillin. Turn right onto the track, passing the house and in a loop down to the larger bridge over the River Coulin. Cross the bridge and continue straight ahead to the house at Coulin. Here continue straight ahead past the house and follow the track as it curves back round towards the loch.
Follow the track as it passes behind Coulin Lodge, some estate buildings and houses, crossing the bridge and retrace your steps to the car park.
2. Torridon village walk
This route combines two walks from the edge of Torridon Village. The first heads past a deer farm to reach a wildlife hide by the shore of Loch Torridon. The second walk from Fasag takes a trail above the road to visit the ruined township.
Distance: 6km (3.75 miles), Time: 2 hours
The car park at the Torridon Countryside Centre (National Trust for Scotland): 57°32’34.8″N, 5°30’06.1″W; 57.543000, -5.501700
Begin walking from the car park by heading along the track, ignoring another track off to the left. The track passes through a gate and reaches the paddock on the left, that is part of a deer farm, and you can see stags through the fence. At the end of the paddock, take a detour path to the left along the line of the fence to reach a wildlife hide. This is an excellent spot to watch for oystercatchers, ringed plovers, sandpipers and other birds.
After visiting the hide, return to the paddock corner. Turn left here to the original track, continuing to the left of the white building and house. At the parking area turn right into a path between two fences and continues just above the loch shore. Before reaching the main road at Fasag, you need to cross a footbridge and pass through a gate.
From here, you can walk back to the start. If you want to expend walking, turn left along the road to visit the old township. Walk until you reach the jetty, and almost opposite, take a path off to the right. The start of the trail is just beside the national speed limit sign. The trail runs parallel to the road but at a higher level. Soon the trail becomes a little rougher and heads into birch woods before it descends to the road. Turn left and walk back along the road through the village to the car park.
3. Loch Torridon boathouse walk
A short walk along the shore of Loch Torridon with good views across Loch Torridon to the mountain of Beinn Alligin.
Distance: 2 km (1,2 miles), Time: 1 hour
The car park at Torridon Inn: 57°31’41.9″N, 5°31’34.9″W; 57.528300, -5.526360
From the car park walk behind the Torridon Inn and over a bridge, turn right along the track and fallow blue marker for the boathouse walk. At the next fork turn left, pass the garden, and emerge at the shore. Turn left and follow the track along the coast.
Ignore a path coming in from the left and continue past a house on the left. Immediately after the house, turn sharply left onto a waymarked path and climb uphill.
Continue on the path through a tunnel of rhododendrons and turn left at a junction ignoring the path to the right. The path continues through pine woodland until you reach a track. Turn left here to follow the track back through the woods to the start of the walk.
4. Shieldaig peninsula
Explore the coastline on this beautiful short walk from Shieldaig onto the An Aird peninsula.
Distance: 4.5km (2.75 miles), Time: 1:30 hours
The car park at Shieldaig near the public toilets. 57°31’32.2″N, 5°38’57.4″W; 57.525600, -5.649280
From the car park walk up the road as far as the bend and then carry on ahead alongside the primary school. Follow the track left to pass below the village football pitch. At the next fork, turn right up a stony track. The track continues past the ruins of small houses and crosses heather moorland, leading to a cairned fork. Turn left here up slabs of rock, marked with arrows on the rocks.
The route passes through birch trees and then down a rocky step to cross a heather moor. Keep to the left of the barn, after which the trail splits. A detour straight ahead leads to a viewpoint across Loch Torridon.
Return to the previous junction and go through the gap in the wall to follow white stones to the far side of the bay. You have two options here, either ascent the rocky steps aided by a chain handrail or take the easier trail to the right descending through the trees. After a short boggy section through bracken and reeds, the trail emerges at a strip of grassy grazing in front of the house at Bad-callda. Turn right before the house to head inland on a grassy track.
Turn left along the track over rocky ground to descend through trees. Eventually, the track turns right, and you come to the cairn where you left the track earlier. Turn left here to follow the trail back to Shieldaig.
5. Beinn Alligin
The name means the Mountain of Beauty in Gaelic. Beinn Alligin includes the Munros of Tom na Gruagaich and Sgurr Mhor and is the easiest of the three famous Torridon ridge traverses. It provides one of the best mountain views anywhere.
Distance: 10km (6.25 miles), Time (summer conditions): 6 – 7 hours, Ascent: 1110m
The car park on the west side of the Abhain Coire Mhic Nobuil river (about three kilometres west of Torridon village): 57°33’32.0″N, 5°33’50.1″W; 57.558900, -5.563910
You have two options for a full traverse over Beinn Alligin, either clockwise, from the west side, or anti-clockwise, from the east side. The anti-clockwise route (described below) scramble the Horns first fallow by ridge walk with two steep but short ascents up to the Munro summits. The clockwise route climbs up through Coire nan Laogh, and if you wish to avoid the Horns or if the weather is poor, you can return from Sgurr Mhor summit back the way you came. Choosing this option will reduce the difficulty of the walk. For me, it is an easier hike if you start from the east side (right side of the river).
Take the path on the right (eastern) bank of the Abhainn Coire Mhic Nobuil river, through a pinewood. After about 2 km, you will reach a footbridge. Cross the bridge and follow the path for a few hundred meters until the next fork. Take the left path and continue along river uphill to cross it on another footbridge to reach another fork in the path marked by a small cairn. Take the left path and climb steeply up, with some scrambling on boulders.
Do the climb towards the first of the three Horns. You can then choose to scramble over the ridge horns or choose a steep bypass path to the left of the Horns. After the last of the Horns ascent up steeply towards the ridge of Sgurr Mhor. Sgurr Mhor at 986 metres is the second and highest of Beinn Alligin’s two Munro summits.
From the summit cairn walk south to a descent path that leads around the Eag Dhubh, a gully. Then continue along the ridge, passing over a minor summit before you head up the narrow ridge of Tom na Gruagaich with some easy scrambling. Soon you reach the triangulation point marking the summit of Tom na Gruagaich, Alligin’s second Munro (922 m).
From summit go southwest and then south into Coire nan Laogh, where a clear path makes a steep descent down back to the car park.
What makes this location ideal is the fact that there are so many different walks, from beginners looking for beautiful scenery and an easy stroll to serious hill walkers looking for a major ridge walks (Beinn Eighe, Liathach and Beinn Alligin).