The history of Ullapool goes back to the iron ages and Pictish settlements along the coast and glens, the ruins of which can still be found. The Vikings influence is still present in many of the place names, 'Ullapool' itself is said to be derived from the Norse ‘Ulla-Bolstadr’ meaning ‘Ulla's steading’, probably from the 8th Century. The location and good harbour saw the village become more established in the 1780s as a herring port, much of the original village being designed by the famous engineer Thomas Telford. Much of the local history is recorded and presented in Ullapool Museum, a former Telford Church that offers multi lingual support and can assist search for ancestry.
Fishing and the sea have continued to play important roles in the growth and economy of Ullapool. Boats from all over the world visit to fish, change crew, restore and land their catch - some of which is offered in the local restaurants and bars. Similarly, cruise liners visit the village and their passengers disembark to visit the village and tour to nearby attractions. Ullapool harbour is also the ferry link to Stornoway and the Hebrides, our new ferry the MV Loch Seaforth recently began sailing and passes in front of us at Tigh Na Failte. We also have tour operators that sail from the village to see and land on the Summer Isles, taking in the myriad of sea birds and wildlife on route.
Culture and Events
Ullapool plays host to number of festivals including annual book, music, dance, beer and guitar festivals. We are also home to a number of bars and restaurants that provide visitors with food and drink as well as music throughout the summer. We have a number of photographic, art and crafts shops and galleries including the world famous Highland Stoneware pottery where you can watch beautiful pieces being crafted, inspired by the local scenery and environment. Throughout the summer the local Pipe Band and Highland dancers perform at the band stand at the ferry car park on Thursday evenings as well as events and gathering in the village and area.
Ullapool has a smokehouse where you can watch the fish being processed and buy hot and cold smoked salmon and trout and cheeses. We also have a 9 hole golf course on the shores of Loch Broom and a leisure centre with pool, sauna and gym.
There are some great hill walks around Ullapool and within easy drive of the village are some stunning hills and climbs for all levels. The roads make for good excursions and days out, north to Coigach and Assynt where you will find the communities of Achiltibuie, Lochinver, Stoer and Drumbeg. South and along the coast is Dundonnell, Inverewe, Gairloch and Skye. Both routes take in stunning scenery and nature and offer the chances to see animals, geology and scenery that is unique to the region, the North West GeoPark has some of the most amazing geological features in the world and Corrieshalloch Gorge are a must.
Some of the better known hills include:
An Teallach: a 40minutes drive from us at Dundonnell, its three challenging peaks adorn the skyline, quite steep and rocky terrain, maybe not for the faint hearted.
Beinn Dearg Mor: Another peak in the Dundonnell and Fisherfield Forest, with an elevation of906 metres.
Staic Pollaidh: on the way to Coigach, not as challenging as there is a more constructed path around the peak. The views are amazing towards Cul Beag and the Assynt hills with lochans below.
Suilven: A Corbett at 915 metres above Lochinver, very distinctive with its twin peaks. Extremely remote and of rough terrain.
These hills and walks more can be found at www.walkhighlands.co.uk
Links to the other activities, events and businesses mentioned here are linked to in our links page.