Ullapool, Scotland, United Kingdom
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Approximately 4¼ Hours
Leaving the attractive seaside town of Ullapool, travel along the pretty shoreline of Loch Broom and through the bare, windswept mountains all around. Take in the views across to Cailleach Head, where a lighthouse guides ships into Loch Broom and Ullapool. The wide strath (valley) of Little Loch Broom leads through quaint crofting villages to the viewpoint above Durnamuck for superb vistas across the loch to Beinn Goblach and the Summer Isles. Gruinard Island guards the entrance of picturesque Gruinard Bay.
Your destination is little Poolewe Village on the sheltered south side of Loch Ewe -- the setting for the world-famous Inverewe Garden & Estate. This mecca for garden-lovers is a haven of exotic plants from across the globe, able to grow in its special temperate climate that results from the Mexican Gulf Stream. Created from a windswept moorland on a rocky peninsula, Inverewe Garden is now under the care of the National Trust for Scotland and makes for a vivid contrast to the wild, heathery crags of the adjoining coast. It is an astonishing achievement. See some of the world's largest-growing trees, planted in holes hewn out of solid rock; delight at amazing displays of Chinese rhododendrons, Tasmanian eucalypts, Himalayan blue poppies, New Zealand daisy bushes, Chilean lantern-trees, Californian dog's-tooth violets, South African bulbs and Mediterranean rock roses. You will also discover some Wollemi pines -- this is one of the world's rarest plants. Covering more than 2,000 acres, Inverewe Garden & Estate is also rich in wildlife.
Follow the Pine Trail for inspiring views of this dramatic landscape; then, return to Ullapool and the ship.
Please note: Wear sturdy walking shoes.