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  • Writer's pictureBrooke McKinnell

Magestic Torridon a hill walkers paradise

Updated: Apr 18, 2023


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I adore the west of Scotland. One of my favorite locations is the majestic Torridon. I took an old friend from Wales on a mini west coast tour, going from Torridon to Lochinver. The weather wasn't on our side, but the mist and rain amplified the atmosphere. We also visited out of season, so it felt like we had the entire place to ourselves. Let me tell you about this beautiful place surrounded by spectacular hills and magnificent wildlife.

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Torridon is a small village located on the west coast of Scotland, within the Highland region. It is surrounded by stunning mountain ranges, including Beinn Eighe and Liathach, and is a popular destination for hillwalking, hiking, and mountaineering.

Aside from outdoor activities, Torridon also allows visitors to explore the local wildlife, with red deer, otters, seals, and eagles among the creatures that can be spotted in the area. The village has a few amenities, including a hotel, pub, and small shop.

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Some of the popular attractions in the area include the Torridon Countryside Centre, which provides information about the local flora and fauna, guided walks, and other events, and the nearby Loch Maree, which is renowned for its natural beauty and fishing opportunities.

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The hills


Torridon is surrounded by several impressive mountain ranges that offer stunning hillwalking and mountaineering opportunities.

Liathach - This is one of Scotland's most famous and challenging mountains. It features two munros, Spidean a'Choire Leith and Mullach an Rathain, over 3,000 feet high. Liathach offers some of the most dramatic and breathtaking views in Scotland.
Distance11.5km / 7.25 milesTime8 - 10 hoursAscent1326m (Profile)Start Grid RefNG935566


Beinn Eighe - This is another Munro with a height of 3,314 feet. It is the oldest National Nature Reserve in Britain and boasts a variety of flora and fauna, including ancient pine forests, red deer, and golden eagles.
Distance18km / 11.25 milesTime7 - 9 hoursAscent1116m (Profile)Start Grid RefNG958569


Beinn Alligin- is a mountain range with two munros, Tom na Gruagaich and Sgurr Mhor, over 3,000 feet high. The range offers spectacular views of the Torridon hills and the surrounding area.
Distance10.5km / 6.5 milesTime7 - 8 hoursAscent1190m (Profile)Start Grid RefNG868576


Beinn Damh - This Munro is 3,027 feet high and is located south of Torridon. It offers panoramic views of the Torridon hills, Loch Torridon, and the surrounding area.
Distance12km / 7.5 milesTime5 - 6 hoursAscent980m (Profile)Start Grid RefNG889542


These are just a few of the many hills and mountains in the Torridon area that offer breathtaking scenery and challenging hiking opportunities.


For mountain biking and mountain guides


 

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Wildlife


The Torridon area is known for its diverse wildlife, with many species inhabiting the mountains, lochs, and forests. Here are some of the wildlife species you might encounter in Torridon:

Red deer - These majestic animals are the largest mammal in the UK and can be seen grazing in the hills and glens around Torridon.

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Otters - These elusive creatures can be found along the area's coast, rivers, and lochs. They are often spotted fishing or playing in the water.

Golden eagles - These magnificent birds of prey are rare but can sometimes be seen soaring over the mountains in Torridon.

Pine martens - These elusive mammals are mainly active at night and can be seen in the forests around Torridon.

Seals - These marine mammals can be seen basking on the rocks along the coast and in the lochs around Torridon.

Red squirrels - These charming creatures can be seen darting through the trees in the ancient pine forests of Beinn Eighe National Nature Reserve.

Dolphins and whales - These marine mammals can sometimes be seen offshore around Torridon.

Torridon is a great place to experience Scotland's wildlife's natural beauty and diversity. It's essential to respect the wildlife and their habitats and observe them from a safe distance.



 

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History of Torridon


The history of Torridon stretches back thousands of years, with evidence of human settlement dating back to the Neolithic era. The area was once home to the Picts, an ancient Celtic people who left behind several stone circles and standing stones in the surrounding hills.

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During the medieval period, the area was controlled by various clans, including the MacKenzies and the MacLeods. In the 16th and 17th centuries, the region was frequently raided by the notorious Clan Donald, known for its acts of violence and plunder.

The 18th and 19th centuries saw significant changes in the landscape of Torridon as wealthy landowners began to clear the ancient Caledonian pine forests to make way for sheep farming. Many of the small communities in the area were displaced or forced to abandon their traditional way of life.

In the 20th century, the area became famous for outdoor enthusiasts by establishing Beinn Eighe National Nature Reserve and new hiking trails and mountaineering routes.

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Today, Torridon is a vibrant and thriving community that welcomes visitors from all over the world. Its rich history and natural beauty inspire and enchants those who visit the area.



 

©2023 Wanderscot

Things to see in and around Torridon


Torridon is a beautiful area of the Scottish Highlands with many attractions and things to see. Here are some of the top things to see in Torridon:

Beinn Eighe National Nature Reserve - This is Britain's oldest National Nature Reserve and offers visitors the chance to see ancient pine forests, rare wildlife, and stunning mountain landscapes.

Loch Maree - This is one of the most picturesque lochs in Scotland, with clear waters and beautiful mountains. It's an excellent place for fishing, boating, or enjoying the scenery.

The Torridon Countryside Centre- provides information about the local flora and fauna, guided walks, and other events.

Shieldaig Island - This tiny island is located just off the coast and is home to a colony of seals and a wide range of birdlife.

Inverewe Garden - This stunning garden is located just a short drive from Torridon and is home to a wide range of exotic plants worldwide.

Lochcarron Weavers - This traditional weaving mill allows visitors to see skilled weavers and purchase high-quality woolen goods.

Torridon is a beautiful area with a rich history and diverse wildlife. Whether you're interested in outdoor activities, wildlife watching, or simply enjoying the stunning scenery, there is something for everyone to see and do in Torridon.


 


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Calum, the famous stag

Calum is a famous resident here who has sadly become more reliant on tourists for feeding than his innate behavior to forage. Please, when visiting, do not feed him, as the locals and rangers do this for him through supplements. I once found him trying to eat oranges that someone had left him (with the peeling still on). I was also told about visitors feeding him sweets which can cause severe harm. Please also do not approach him during the rutting season (autumn). Calum is a friendly toothless chap otherwise. He will approach you and probably stick his face through your window. He's getting to be an old chap now. Please remember he is a wild animal. Thank you.
 


Places to stay and eat Torridon


There are several places to stay and eat in Torridon, catering to various budgets and tastes. Here are some recommendations:

Places to Stay:

The Torridon - This luxurious hotel is set in a stunning location and offers a range of accommodation options, from rooms in the main house to self-catering cottages.


The Kinlochewe Hotel - This traditional hotel is located in the heart of the village of Kinlochewe and offers comfortable rooms, a restaurant, and a bar.


Torridon Youth Hostel - This budget-friendly hostel is located in a beautiful setting and offers a range of accommodation options, including private rooms and dormitories.


Sheildaig Lodge - This boutique hotel is located in the nearby village of Shieldaig and offers stylish rooms, a restaurant, and a bar.


The famous Calum the stag ©2023 Wanderscot

Places to Eat:

The Torridon Inn - This traditional Scottish pub offers a warm welcome and a range of locally sourced food, including seafood, meat, and vegetarian options.

The Kishorn Seafood Bar - This family-run restaurant is located in the nearby village of Kishorn and serves fresh seafood and other local dishes.

The Whistle Stop Café - This friendly café is located in the village of Kinlochewe and serves delicious homemade food, including soups, sandwiches, and cakes.

The Waterside Café - This café is in Shieldaig and offers stunning views over the loch. They serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as well as drinks and snacks throughout the day.

There are plenty of great places to stay and eat in Torridon, whether you're looking for a luxury hotel, budget-friendly hostel, traditional pub, or seafood restaurant.

Happy traveling and remember, take only memories and leave only footprints.
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