Driving to the Coigach and Polbain is nowadays not too much of a problem with the improvement that has taken place in the roads. It is without doubt a long drive but once beyond the Clyde/Forth Valley traffic is rarely heavy and the driving is quite relaxed. Below is a map of the local area. The Coigach and Polbain are clearly marked as are the main routes in from Inverness via Ullapool to the south-west, from the south via Gairloch and from Sutherland and Caithness to the north and north-east.
There are several alternative ways of getting to the North-West Highlands through the gateway of Inverness. Getting to Inverness is comparatively easy. It is the onward connections that cause the problems. Not only are connections not always convenient but they are complicated by few services running on Sundays, considerable variations of services from day-to-day, between schoolmarm time and the school holidays and summer and winter. In this section we look firstly at an overview of the theoretical alternatives. In the next section we look at the alternatives that in themselves work or that we make work in order to link up with the packages we offer.
Our nearest airport is at Inverness. It lies about 5 miles east of the town, has recently been much improved by the building a new terminal and a regular bus service to the town centre.
Served by a limited number of international flights the airport is much better served from other points in Scotland and there are now fairly frequent flights by British Airways from Gatwick, by Easyjet from Luton and Gatwick, 30 miles respectively south and north of central London, and from Belfast, and by British Midland from Heathrow.
The airlines have excellent on-line timetables and booking systems. For Easyjet simply click on:
For the British Airways' London service and for information on services from other parts of Scotland, click on:
British Midland's London service and for information on
services from other parts of Scotland, click on:
The nearest stations to the Coigach are Garve on the Inverness-Kyle of Lochalsh line and Ardgay or Lairg on the Inverness-Wick/Thurso line, both of which have limited services.
The nearest main railway station is Inverness, which is served from all parts of Scotland, the rest of the UK and by the London sleeper. Every evening, with the exception of Saturdays, the Sleeper leaves London between 2110 and 2130 and from Inverness between 2000 and 2030.
The full timetable is available by clicking on:
It is also possible to travel in one day from London to Inverness and from Inverness to London. The timetable for these services is available by clicking on:
or by registering with and clicking on:
THE TRAIN LINE
Buses serve Inverness from all parts of Scotland and the rest of the UK. A more limited service runs on to Ullapool to connect with the ferry that passes through the Summer Isles in view from our house and crosses The Minch to Stornaway on the Isle of Lewis. For a complete timetable of services from the rest of the UK and from Scotland to Inverness and beyond to Ullapool, simply click on:
From Ullapool there is every weekday a twice daily service from The Coigach to Ullapool. It, and the once a Saturday service, both picks up and drops of passengers right in front of our house. The timetable is as follows. Departure and arrival times in Achiltibuie vary according to the exact pick-up and drop-off point:
Term Time School Holidays
Ullapool 0900 1400 0900 1400 0851
Achiltibuie 1130 1630 1130 1740 1130
There are also limited services that can drop you off at Drumrunie, which is where the road from the Coigach joins the A835 or picks up at Elphin just to the north of Drumrunie.
The Coigach has its own excellent taxi service run by Margaret MacKenzie. Her taxi can take up to 4 passengers and a considerable amount of luggage. She charges roughly 50p per mile and can be booked either through us or directly by telephoning 01854-622226. Using the taxi allows you to be collected from and delivered to the bus at Ullapool, the trains at Ardgay or Garve or even Inverness town or airport.