From the village of Laide on the A832 a single track road heads slightly west of north along the western shore of Gruinard Bay. This passes the farmstead of Udrigle and the tiny scattered settlement of Achgarve before heading slightly inland, then emerging at the coast again at Mellon Udrigle, the first view of which is shown in the header image.
A junction just short of Mellon Udrigle allows you to go still further up the coast, to the crofting hamlet of Opinan. But if you take this turn on your way out, make certain not to miss Mellon Udrigle on your return, for it is a remarkable gem.
The settlement itself is no more than a few farmsteads and cottages huddled together, as if for protection from the elements, to the north-east of the beach at Camas a'Charaig. Most people stop short of the village in the parking area amid the dunes.
From here, an excellent wood planking path, complete with nearly as many passing places as the road from Laide, leads you the short distance to Mellon Udrigle's main attraction. The north-east facing beach of Camas a'Charaig comprises a broad expanse of white sand sloping gently into a turquoise sea. It is backed by dunes and framed by rocky promontories, and is one of the most attractive pieces of coastline you'll find in Wester Ross.
On its own, the beach would be well worth going out of your way to visit. But what makes it really special is a distant mountain vista possibly unequalled from any low level viewpoint in Scotland. To the north-east the views include the distinctive side-on profile of Suilven, near Lochinver, some 25 miles distant, and carry on round taking in the mountains of Coigach, including - we think - a glimpse of the top of Stac Pollaidh. To the south-east the views conclude with a glimpse of An Teallach before becoming lost in the more local humps and bumps of the peninsula you are standing on between Gruinard Bay and Loch Ewe.
And the spectacular scenery doesn't end when you head back towards Laide. As you approach the farmstead of Udrigle you are presented with an excellent view of An Teallach, some 12 miles to the south-east.
Gruinard Bay In Fiction
Bloody Orkney by Ken Lussey (29 June 2021).
It’s November 1942. Bob Sutherland, Monique
Dubois and the Military Intelligence 11 team fly in to review security in Orkney. But an unidentified body has been found.
It becomes clear that powerful men have things they’d rather keep hidden and MI11’s arrival threatens the status quo.
Bob and Monique visit Gruinard Bay in the novel.