The area surrounding Clachtoll Beach Campsite includes a variety of different habitats.
Travelling around the Assynt area you will notice the landscape is diverse and varied; moorland, lochs, bogs, mountains, woodland, sea cliffs, machair, rocky beaches and of course, sandy beaches such as the one at Clachtoll. We have highlighted some below but the closest to us and a very short walk from the campsite is Clachtoll Broch which is fascinating and is one of northern Scotland’s most iconic archaeological monuments. Surviving in places to first floor level- over 3m above the bedrock- the remains of this spectacular drystone tower are thought to be around 2000 years old. Please see more here https://clachtoll.aocarchaeology.com/
With such a variety of habitat, it's no surprise that the area boasts a wealth of wildlife and marine life, plants and flowers. Pods of dolphin are regularly seen from the campsite as they pass along the coast, as have porpoise, basking sharks and minke whales with the occasional Orca sighting as well. The hebridean whale and dolphin trust work in the area and all sightings can be reported to them is you are keen to be involved https://hwdt.org/
Seals are daily visitors and otters are also seen regularly playing around the coast.
Land and sea birds are in abundance and the woodlands in the area are home to badgers, deer and pine martins.
Inchnadamph is the largest area of limestone in Scotland and great for wildflowers. June is the best month to see some of the more interesting plants such as Mountain Avens, Globeflower, Holly Fern and Serrated Wintergreen. but there are other rarities just waiting to be found. Look out for Red Deer, Golden Eagles and Merlin. Grey Wagtails, Golden Plover and Ring Ouzels also breed here.
The steep cliffs of Handa Island are home to huge colonies of breeding seabirds. 100,000 seabirds gather to breed here, including internationally important numbers of guillemot, razorbill and great skua. Puffins also come to breed here. A short ferry ride takes you over to the Island, but allow 4 hours for a circular walk over the island and along the cliffs.
The caves above Allt Nan Uamh are amongst the most interesting in Scotland. Excavations have revealed bones of the animals that inhabited this part of Scotland during the last ice age, 11,000 years ago. They include brown bear, polar bear, artic fox, reindeer, lynx and lemming. There is a good 1 mile path to the Bone caves from the car park 2 miles south of Inchnadamph on the A837.
Assynt Leisure Centre
Opened on October 16th 2004 is the Assynt Leisure Centre situated next to the harbour at Lochinver. Downstairs is the spacious foyer, the sports hall, fitness room, changing rooms and a multi-purpose room. The sports hall has three full-sized badminton courts and can be used for a variety of different sports.
Stoer Lighthouse mentioned above has superb views over the Minch and is a great place for Whale and Dolphin watching. You will need patience, a pair of good binoculars and a calm day. The most likely species you will see are Harbour Porpoise, Minke Whale and Common Dolphin but Killer Whales are frequently seen as well as Atlanctic White-sided and Risso Dolphins. Look out for grey seals as well as nesting Kittiwakes, Fulmars, Ravens, Peregrines and Great Skuas.
Rivers Kirkaig and Inver
Both the river Kirkaig and the Inver are great rivers for migratory Salmon and where they reach the sea is also good for Otters. Along the banks you can see Grey Wagtails and Dippers as well as Gold-ringed and Common Aeshna Dragonflies. On the shore you may see Red-breasted Mergansers, Eider Ducks and Grey Herons. the woodlands along the river are good for Tree Pipits and if you are lucky you may see one of the resident Pine Martens.
An unmanned visitor centre open throughout the year with information and interactive displays on the landscape and geology of the area. Two circular trails for different abilites, car park and toilets. Situated on the A835 near Elphin
Within reasonable cycling distance of Clachtoll is the small village of Clashnessie.
On route, you will encounter ruins of traditional croft houses and, depending on recent rainfall, a spectacular waterfall that is signposted at the roadside. The beach at Clashnessie is often sheltered when others can be taking a pounding from the westerly winds and is always well worth a visit.
Lochinver Village Hall
On the opposite corner from the Assynt Visitor Centre is the Village Hall. It is one of the places to which the locals flock for ceilidhs, concerts, meetings etc. Visiting musicians and theatrical groups come to Lochinver as part of their national tours, on a regular basis.