Little Assynt (Leitir Easaidh)
History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
The Little Assynt Estate consists of nearly 3000 acres (1,200 hectares) of land beneath the peaks of Quinag, in the heart of Assynt. The Estate is cared for by the Culag Community Woodland Trust, which also cares for Culag Woods, on the outskirts of Lochinver. The Estate includes the old townships of Little Assynt, Loch Beannach, and Assynt.
The Trust has built one of the few all-ability trails in the northern Highlands, allowing everyone the opportunity to explore some of the Highland's most spectacular scenery. The Little Assynt All Abilities Access Project makes it possible for everyone, no matter how limited their mobility, to enjoy an outing in a 44-acre (16.4ha) area of spectacular Highland landscape.
Leitir Easaidh All Abilities Path
This well-maintained gravelled path is suitable for wheelchairs and prams. The path departs from the free Leitir Easaidh car park on the north-west side of the A837 at grid reference NC172261. From the car park, the trail heads west, skirting the southern tip of Loch Leitir Easaidh to reach Loch na h-Innse Fraoich.
Here, the trail makes a loop to reach an outcrop of high ground. The westernmost point of the trail offers a marvellous viewpoint with exceptional views over the surrounding countryside. From there, the trail loops back to Loch na h-Innse Fraoich.
The entire trail, including the westernmost loop, is roughly 1.5 miles (2.5km) long and will take approximately 45 minutes to explore. The gradients are quite easy and should not be taxing.
There are two composting toilets along the route; one by the shore of Loch na h-Innse Fraoich and the other at Loch Leitir Easaidh. These eco-friendly turf-roofed huts are powered by solar panels and a small wind turbine.
There is a handy interpretation panel with a trail map beside the car park, and picnic tables beside each of the lochs. There are also angling boats at each loch which have been adapted for visitors with limited mobility.
You can extend the walk by taking a trail that branches off the viewpoint loop and heads south and west to reach Little Assynt Field car park, also on the A837.
The Little Assynt Estate includes a wonderful array of Highland scenery, from small lochs to remnants of ancient woodlands. The Trust has helped establish a tree nursery which now provides native trees and shrubs to community landscape efforts around the North-West Highlands.
There is parking on the A837 at the Leitir Easaidh car park, just before you reach the western end of Loch Assynt. Don't go too far! The Little Assynt Field car park is beyond the end of the loch, but the trail here is not meant for all abilities and is not suitable for wheelchairs.
I've visited Little Assynt several times, once in the evening when the last light of the sun illuminated the surrounding landscape. It was sheer magic! Just be aware that, depending on the time of year and the weather conditions, midges also enjoy the area. Come prepared, and you will love visiting Little Assynt as much as I did.
Most photos are available for licensing, please contact Britain Express image library.
About Little Assynt (Leitir Easaidh)
Address: A837, Sutherland, Scotland
Attraction Type: Countryside
Location: On the A837. Park at the Leitir Easaidh car park on the north side of the road, near the western end of Loch Assynt. The nearest postcode is IV27 4HB.
Website: Little Assynt (Leitir Easaidh)
Photo Credit: David Ross and Britain Express
NEARBY HISTORIC ATTRACTIONS
Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low to exceptional) on historic interest
Ardvreck Castle - 4.1 miles (Castle)
Wailing Widow Falls - 4.5 miles (Countryside)
North West Highlands Geo Park - 5.3 miles (Countryside)
Culag Woods - 6 miles (Countryside)
Eas a Chual Aluinn Waterfall - 6.4 miles (Countryside)
Falls of Kirkaig - 6.6 miles (Countryside)
Bone Caves - 7.9 miles (Prehistoric Site)
Clachtoll Broch - 8.8 miles (Prehistoric Site)
Nearest Accommodation to Little Assynt (Leitir Easaidh):
Nearby accommodation is calculated 'as the crow flies' from Little Assynt (Leitir Easaidh). 'Nearest' may involve a long drive up and down glens or, if you are near the coast, may include a ferry ride! Please check the property map to make sure the location is right for you.