Experience the charm of Loch Achilty
Loch Achilty is a small picturesque loch set within sloping birch and oakwoods, not far from Contin. At the far end of the loch is a charming pebble beach with quiet picnic places hidden amongst the silver birch, rowan and heather. In summer, wildflowers bloom and butterflies flit. In autumn the brilliant colours of turning birch and oak leaves are reflected in the calm waters of the loch.
The nearest public toilets are in Contin forest car park (seasonal) or in Strathpeffer, where you'll also find shops and places to eat.
Mountain biking trails
Look out for a small, tree-covered, artificial island or crannog close to the south shore of the loch, which can just be seen from the picnic area. Standing about ½ metre above the water level and made of evenly-coursed stones, this platform probably supported a family home which was easy to defend in times of trouble.
On the road to the picnic site you'll see a forestry sign and a gate on your right leading into Achilty Oakwood. There are no formal trails to follow here, but you are welcome to explore these beautiful oakwoods on your own. Tread gently and look out for willow warblers and pipits, as well as woodland flowers growing amongst the sessile oaks.
How to get here
From Inverness, follow the A9 north to the Tore roundabout. Take the second exit onto the A835 (for Ullapool and Dingwall) and continue for 12 miles (19.2 km) through the village of Contin. Shortly after the Achilty Hotel you'll see a minor road signposted to Loch Achilty. Turn left here and follow the road for just under a mile (1.6 km) to the head of the loch. The picnic area and car park is on your left at grid reference NH 426 563.
IV14 9EN is the nearest postcode.
Sorry, there is no public transport to Loch Achilty picnic area.
There's lots to see in and do in this small area of Ross-shire. Visit the sensational Rogie Falls and explore the forest trails in Contin and Blackmuir Wood. There's another quiet picnic place at Grudie on the Achnasheen road.
Our map guide to the Forests of Ross and Cromarty will help you discover more wonderful woodlands.
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