Torridon Mountains

Beinne Eighe

Loch Maree



Copyright Tom Forrest 2018





Torridon Mountains Wester Ross

Tiered-wall mountains with ramparts high are the hallmark of Torridon a district more beauteous than any other in Scotland. Such is the importance to our national heritage that in 1951 Beinn Eighe National Nature Reserve, the first in Britain was formed. In March 2016 Wester Ross was designated as a UNESCO Biosphere, an accolade of excellence and Worldwide recognition, Beinn Eighe is at the heart of this the Wester Ross Biosphere as the main Core Area. Here also are some of the last remnants of the old Caledonian Forest which once spread across the greater part of the Highlands . In 1967 the adjoining Torridon Estate was gifted to the National Trust for Scotland.

Glacial erosion has played an important part in the creation of the landscape, carving out the corries and the u-shaped glens. The greater bulk of the mountains is Torridonian Sandstone capped with quartzite which has weathered to create mountains of a distinct and individual character. The most westerly,Beinn Alligan, is best viewed from the southern shores of Loch Torridon, or along the path of Coire Mhic Nobuil. It bears the scar of a great gash which cleaves the summit's buttressing wall. The approach to Glen Torridon from Kinlochewe provides one of the most spectacular views that Torridon has to offer. Liathach's, presence is awesome for it overwhelms the senses as it suddenly appears to fill the skyline ahead, climbing vertically from the floor of the glen and boasts three Munro's. Beinn Eighe is of sandstone bedrock capped by a mass of quartzite which has weathered to create the characteristic white screes; this loose covering gives the impression that the mountain is snowcapped. This is seen to best effect from the shores of Loch Clair, whose clear waters also provide the perfect foil to the magnificence of Liathach. Slioch is an outlying peak moated by the isle-dotted Loch Maree. Its grandeur and fortress-like crags can be best seen from points along the Gairloch road and on leaving Kinlochewe toward Torridon . Magnificent sunsets can be viewed from almost anywhere in the area ,the most spectacular of these are from Diabaig looking out to the Minch and Outer Isles and on the road from Achnasheen to Kinlochewe in Glen Docherty looking over the spectacular Loch Maree. It is the magnificence of the mountains and lochs that provides inspiration for artists and photographers and makes the Torridon Mountains so special.


Liathaich                                                            Beinn Eighe                                                                 Caledonian Pine


Kinlochewe and Loch Maree

It is difficult to imagine that the shores of Loch Maree were once a centre for iron-smelting and that this area might claim to have been the birthplace of Scotland's iron and steel industry. The denuded landscape owes much to these enterprises which required vast quantities of wood to produce the charcoal used in the smelting process. The small areas of woodland are therefore the last remains of the great forests of Oak and Caledonian Pine which once cloaked the hills hereabouts.




Flora and Fauna

There is something for everyone in this area , a wealth of walking and climbing routes for all abilities. Wildlife abounds in the form of Golden Eagle ,Sea Eagle, Osprey,Red Deer,Pine Marten, Wildcat, Otter and an abundance of flora and fauna, an Ornithologist and Naturalist's paradise. An area where Eagles fly free, the spectacle of an Eagle soaring freely symbolises the freedom we have to roam this stunning landscape where we can be privy to true nature in its wild state. Beinn Eighe and it's environs in winter has it's own attractions with visitors such as Waxwing, migrating Geese and Swans are a regular sight overhead and on occasions settling overnight in our lochs and pastures. The Entomologist must not be forgotten, the area has an abundance of insect life, of particular interest is the large variety of Butterflies,damsel and dragonflies including some rare, a plethora of rare beetles can be found within the Torridon Mountains area. If photography is your forte, this is the area for you, you will be captivated by it's abundance of landscapes, wildlife. For the  botanist, the area has an abundance of flora and fauna of all descriptions over two hundred varieties of alpine plants and lichens, some extremely rare, grow on the surrounding mountains, gullies and glens. Fishing is available on Loch Maree for Salmon, Brown and Sea Trout. Gairloch has sea fishing and boat trips available from the harbour. A must see is the award winning Gairloch Heritage Museum which provides superb information on the cultural and archaeological interest of the area. 


Caledonian Forest
Pine Marten





Shoreline Loch and River


The Torridon Mountains area has a wide and varied coastal boundary, to the south we have Loch Carron and following north to Loch Torridon, then north to Loch Gairloch and Loch Ewe. We follow the River Ewe inland to Loch Maree, from the Loch many smaller rivers diverge into the many small glens and gorges and upward to small lochs which have been in existence since the end of the Ice Age when the valleys below were gouged out of the surrounding landscape. Travelling east over Glen Docharty, with its superb views of Loch Maree, we head over the high pass and drop down to Loch a Chroisg and Achnasheen with it's geologically significant glacial terraces, taking the route to the south west we enter Glen Carron with its river and small lochs emptying into the sea at Lochcarron. The many rivers and burns which cascade down into the surrounding glens hold a diverse fresh water fish population some of which,  such as Arctic Char, have been living in some of the upland lochans in isolation since the Ice Age.



After a hard day on the hill the body will need sustenance. There are some excellent eating establishments in the area, Kinlochewe Hotel, Gorse Bush Cafe, Ledgowan Lodge Hotel ,Torridon Inn and Torridon Store and Cafe, you will not be dissapointed by the quality of cuisine and service by friendly staff.





Website designed and developed by Tom Forrest

Updated 12th March 2021; Copyright Tom Forrest 2021