(Gaelic name meaning… Broken Rock)
A visit to this bustling wee beach will take you through the truly spectacular Assynt landscape; sculptural mountains, pristine coastline and roads that wind through this glorious scenery. Clachtoll beach is a golden oasis within the craggy rocks that mark this coastline.
Keep an eye out to sea as you explore these shores. Dolphins are known to visit Clachtoll; from small groups of large bottlenose dolphins to large groups of the smaller common dolphin. What to look out for? The Gaelic word for dolphin is Lemadair, which means ‘leaper’ and if you are lucky you might also be leaping for joy when you spot one!
A bit about the site
There are some paths but they are not 'all access' being slightly rough and stony. There is free parking near the Assynt Ranger's Information hut, and from the car park to the water/beaches is a two-minute walk on path and grass. There is a public toilet near the car park which is open April to October.
Wondrous creatures in the waters
Look out for
Killer whales (Orca)
Otters Skuas Terns Black guillimots Great northern divers
Mega-groovy in the Minch
During the last Ice Age, most of Scotland was blanketed by ice. As the ice flowed and receded it sculpted much of the landscape we see today, such as the hills and glens that dominate the skyline here. It also made mountains and valleys on the sea floor, now invisble under the waves. Scientists have identified ‘mega-grooves’, huge channels carved from the seafloor by the ice that once covered the area off Clachtoll. Local naturalists monitoring the whales and dolphins off the coast here observe that they seem to follow these mega-grooves, perhaps feeding along the turbulent edges of these underwater canyons. Mega-groovy indeed!
The Assynt Rangers have a great wee information hut right in the car park. It’s chock full of helpful info for your visit, both historical and wildlife related. Next to the hut you will see some enormous bones from a fin whale – the second largest whale! Just up the road at Stoer Lighthouse there are some dedicated local volunteers for the WDC Shorewatch programme who can regularly be found watching out from the car park area. They are really friendly and knowledgeable if you want to say hello!