Welcome to the Batbox, Lochinver. With turquoise seas, white sandy beaches and dramatic, otherworldly mountains, Lochinver and Assynt is one of Scotland’s most stunning regions. Let’s check in to one of my favourite cabins in Scotland and explore.
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We’d come to Assynt to climb the mighty Suilven, but driving down through Glen Oykel with its long views of the mountains, along Loch Assynt, past Ardvreck Castle and beneath the majestic Quinaig, I have to admit that arriving in Assynt truly blew me away.
Our home for the next few nights was to be The Batbox, a luxury wooden cabin with incredible views of Cuil Mor and the Rubha na Breige peninsula sitting high on a hillside above Loch Kirkaig.
The Batbox – Lochinver accommodation
Just 10 minutes drive from the foodie village of Lochinver, the Batbox gives you total seclusion in touching distance of an excellent meal. Accessed by a short path up a hill, with a comfy double bed, small kitchen, luxury bathroom, covered deck and living space with views to die for, this is hutting in style. Climb a little further to the picnic bench and you are rewarded with a gorgeous view of the bay.
At The Batbox you are well looked after by owners Gita and David who live just down the hill – they will be there to welcome you and give advice on the area, but then you have the place to yourselves. Batbox comes along with a welcome pack of two cold local beers to crack open on arrival and for breakfast an organic loaf, & excellent jam and porridge oats – all important for that long walk you will be doing the next day!
Read more: How to climb Suilven
After a long day out on this hills, by night, relax in front of the log fire and those windows – all you can see are stars, then there is the occasional hooting of a tawny owl, the rustling of a deer and bats shooting by – and if you are lucky one of those west coast sunsets that Assynt is famous for… There is no need to close the blinds at Batbox, there is no one there to see!
5 Things to do at the Batbox (if you aren’t climbing Suilven!)
- Visit (some of) Scotland’s best beaches – with turquoise waters, black rocks and white sands and an incredible view of Suilven, Achmelvich is one of Scotland’s most famous beaches. Vying for the crown of Scotland’s best beach is Clachtoll which is about 30 minutes further west. You choose your favourite, they are both stunning.
- Catch the ferry to Handa Island – a tiny ferry from Tarbert near Scourie will take you across to Handa Island a nationally protected wildlife reserve. Stroll along the island’s boardwalks, and spot puffins, kittiwakes and eagles soaring over the sea stacks. Tickets are £15 a person, don’t forget water.
- Climb Stac Pollaidh – with a well-made path to the summit, easy and fun scrambling over its pinnacles and ridges and incredible views of the mountains of the Inverpolly Nature Reserve, and at just under 2000ft, Stac Pollaidh (pronounced Stac Polly) is one of Scotland’s best hill walks. How to climb Stac Pollaidh.
- Visit Ardvreck Castle – once a 15th-century stronghold of Clan MacLeod, longtime owners of the Isle of Skye and the Isle of Lewis and Harris. Ardvreck Castle sits on the banks of Loch Assynt and is 20 minutes east of Lochinver and on the North Coast 500.
- Explore the paths around Lochinver – looking for low-level strolls? Hike out to the Old Man of Stoer a spectacular sea stack off the coast of Assynt, or to Clashnessie Falls, a 15m high waterfall. The best family-friendly stroll is through the Culag Woods on the edge of the village.
Read more: Things to do in Lochinver and Assynt
Where to eat Lochinver
- You have to try a Lochinver pie – sold at Lochinver Larder on the village’s main street are pies spoken about in hushed tones across Scotland. From traditional steak, haggis, and venison, to cauliflower cheese, the pies are stuffed full of filling and well worth the eye-watering price tag.
- If you prefer a more traditional tea, The Caberfeidh restaurant in Lochinver also serves up excellent meals – try the local scallops, stews and salads off the blackboard. Make sure you book, The Caberfeidh is a popular local restaurant and mentioned in the Michelin guide. There is a public bar serving local beers and outside is a large beer garden if the midgies are hiding.
- Looking for fresh seafood? The Kylesku Hotel serves up locally caught seafood on the banks of Loch a’ Chàirn Bhàin. Try the Langoustines – straight out of the loch!
How to get to Lochinver and Assynt
While much Assynt is visited by driving the famous North Coast 500 you need to detour off the route between Unapool and Ullapool to visit Lochinver. Batbox is located in the hamlet of Inverkirkcaig, 10 minutes drive south of the village.
If you aren’t driving the NC500, Lochinver is around 5 hours north of Glasgow and Edinburgh and 2 hours from Inverness. Whilst the best way to explore Assynt is by car – there are daily bus services. To get to Lochinver catch the Far North Bus service 804 from either Durness or Ullapool.
Love, from Scotland x
Note: Batbox might be off-grid lux but up on the hillside there is no internet or phone signal – you are truly remote from the world here. If you can’t live without being connected, then book the Lazy Bed Cabin.
I’m Kate – a travel writer and photographer living in Scotland. Love, From Scotland is the Scotland travel guide that shows you where to stay and how to get outside in Scotland.