I am lucky enough to live in one of the most beautiful places in the UK, The Scottish highland and not just the Scottish highland but the stunning little village nestle on the west coast called Mallaig. I have lived here now for over 8 years and I can honestly say it's one of the most beautifully scenic places in Scotland.
Behind the village, we have towering mountains and in front, we have Skye and the Small islands. Somehting I have never written about is things to do here in Mallaig. I have given so many friends and friends of friends advice on things to do when you are here on holiday but I have never actually written a post on it so today I thought I would grab a cup of tea and talk all things Mallaig with you all.
Top 5 things to do here in Mallaig
1. The beaches
We are surrounded by beautiful white sandy beaches. There are so many to enjoy. There are a couple which is the most well known Camusdarach beach and Tougal also known as the silver sands of Morar. On a sunny day, you can easily mistake our beaches for tropical shore. I am not dropping the biggest secret when I tell you a well known holiday company may or may not have filmed an advert for the Caribbean here.
There are so many things to do at the beach from swimming to kayaking to even horse riding. There is a local riding centre located nearby. For me, nothing beats a beach day with a picnic.
I would be doing an injustice if I didn't take a minute to say. Please do be careful at the beaches and remember the tides do change and take all the necessary precautions. I am a part of the RNLI here in Mallaig and a couple of little tips. If you are kayaking please pack your phone in a waterproof pouch this can save your life in an emergency. Remember to respect the water at all times and if you do get in trouble please call 999 and ask for the coastguard.
2. Boat trips
From our wonderful village, you have access to some of the most wonderful shorelines in the UK. Yes, I am completely biased but a day out on a boat here is an incredible experience. You can travel to Skye, the Small Isles of Rum, Muck, Canna and Eigg or head to Knoydart one of the most remote areas of mainland UK only accessible via a boat or a very very long walk.
There are a couple of options.
First I highly recommend hiring Minch Adventures for a private charter. This is of course the higher end experience but believes me, this is one of the best. Billy the captain at Minch adventure will take good care of you and help you plan whatever type of trip your heart desires From fishing to wildlife spotting to mountain biking trips. If hillwalking is your passion this can be arranged with a personal guide. Fancy longer trip with overnight stay this can be arranged on one of the small isle or Knoydart.
Billy and his wife Eilleen offer a really bespoke experience not only are they local to the village but they really go the extra mile for their guests. They are both very knowledgeable about the history and geography of the local area and this really shows through on their tours.
I am lucky enough to have experienced this and their highland hospitality is second to none. I can promise you, if like me you love to learn new things and want to really experience the lesser-seen side of the Mallaig area Minch adventures is for you.
Next is the more budget option
There are two options If you are looking to head out to one of the small isle (weather permitting) You can use Calmac ferries. There head to the small isle daily in the summer. You will need to check the timetable but you can go out to one of the small isles and spend a few hours then return to Mallaig. Normally you get a couple of hours on the island to explore before your ferry back.
If Knoydart is more your style then you can get the western isle ferry which will take you to and from Knoydart again dropping your off for a couple of hours to explore.
Both options make really good days out there really is something special about seeing the west coast from a boat or ship.
There is no way I could miss this off the list. Hillwalking in this area is amazing. No matter what your fitness level there will be a lovely walk for you.
Mallaig is surrounded by hills and this is part of its majestic beauty. I don't have enough space to list all my favourite walks so I will mention a couple.
Before I do a note to dog owners. Unfortunately, our local Poo fairy has been overworked and underpaid the last year so she has retired. So there is no new poo fairy to pick up muck at this time in the village. If you could please pick up and dispose of your dog mess yourself we would be very thankful.
This was a lesser-known walk when I moved here but with every year this one gets busier. Locally we call this Rhu beach the real name is Port Na Murrach it's about 3.5 miles in total there and back with about 400 ft of climbing. This is a lovely walk over a couple of small hills to a very remote beach. The scenery here is second to none.
If you do this walk please be aware there are sometimes very large cows down near the beach. worth nothing if you are taking your dog.
The circular walk.
This is a really good one if you are in the village. This starts just along from the harbour and takes you up behind Mallaig toward Knoydart. Here you will be spoilt with a birds-ey view of Mallaig and knoydart. This is a quick one taking about an hour. The circular walk is a popular one to do if you do have a spare hour or two in Mallaig and you want to see more of the scenery.
The beautiful Morar loch you might know it as the home to the second most famous monster in Scotland Morag But if you don't you might know it as been the deepest loch in the UK.
This Loch is beyond words in beauty. I am not too sure what gives the loch its beauty. Is it because it is remote? the way the mountain cup the water? the beautiful little islands and trees? The distant eerieness of the deepwater I honestly can't tell you why this is just so special.
There is a single track road around one side of the loch which you can drive there are some parking spaces so you can park and have a nice walk around the loch.
4. The food
Mallaig is famous for its seafood but there is so much more to Mallaig than just seafood. Yes, that is important too of course.
There are lots of options for meals here.
The tea garden is lovely nice local food with the choice of sitting inside or outside in the lovely seating area covered in flowers. They have a great menu with light bites to meals. They make killer prawn roll if you are after trying the local seafood.
For the best cake, you have to head to An Cala they make the best cakes, If you are lucky enough to go when they do their strawberry tarts this is defiantly a must eat! to be honest I haven't had a bad cake in there.
Old quay bakehouse is the bakery here in Mallaig and it is not your run of the mill bakery. This is Greggs who? This is a more high end and particularly delicious bakery which offers everything from croissants to sausage rolls and stunning tarts.
You need to head back to the bakery. The little round building beside the bakehouse is The Crannog Pizzeria these pizzas are divine. All are made to order and stone-baked in their specially build pizza oven. You will not be disappointed with this option.
For meals, there are a lot of options here in Mallaig for pub meals head to the Chlachain or the Steam inn both do great pub food in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere. Also, the place to go if you fancy a pint or two.
Head to the west highland hotel for a fancier affair with the likes of venison and oysters being on offer.
5. The outdoors
We have covered walking but Mallaig is built for the outdoors. So here are some more outdoor ideas to make the most of your visit to Mallaig
This is a great way to see the loch and the coast area. You can hire kayaks at the Arisaig hotel. There is nothing quite like the feeling of floating along in a kayak when you get to experience seals and dolphins up close.
we have one of the most spectacular roads in the UK. I think if you have ever driven up here from Fort William you will agree this road is hard to beat. I drive it a lot and I never get sick of the view. with every change of weather the view changes and gets better. So why not take your bike and see if a bit slower.
this has boomed in the last years, hasn't it? Long gone are the days this was a sport for the super hardly outdoor enthusiasts. why not pack your wetsuit and go for a nice refreshing dip in the loch or the sea. The choice is yours.
This is another sport that has exploded lately. Loch Morar is the perfect place for a nice relaxing paddleboarding adventure.
Whatever your outdoor activity remember to be safe and If you are heading out alone or with friends or family be safe and enjoy our little slice of heaven responsible.
I hope you have enjoyed this little insight into things to do here in Mallaig.