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We are working hard to make our forests safe again after recent storms. To enjoy your visit safely please plan ahead, follow local signage and park considerately.

Ariundle

Where we are

Latest forest information

We strongly advise that visitors stay away from all forests for now. Many forests all across Scotland have been seriously affected by strong winds over the weekend, resulting in fallen trees blocking roads and trails. In the event of a safety incident, emergency services would be unable to reach many areas. We are working hard to clear obstructions and hope to welcome you back soon.

Several of the bridges at Ariundle will be closed for safety reasons until April 2022. While the upper bridge is open, a circular walk from the car park is not possible due to other closures.

About

A breathtaking Atlantic oakwood, peaceful and serene

Explore these ancient and magical oakwoods, find a Fairies' Road beside the rushing Strontian River and take a boardwalk to discover the wildlife of the woods. Stunning at any time of the year, Ariundle is a riot of red and gold in autumn and a sparkling place to explore in winter.

Ariundle (Airigh Fhionndail – the shieling of the white meadow) is a very special place. It’s one of the richest surviving fragments of rainforests that are restricted to the Atlantic seaboard, otherwise, most notably in Ireland and Norway. Mosses, lichens and ferns grow in abundance in the lush coastal climate and the woods are home to rare and beautiful butterflies and dragonflies. The oak woodland is so important that it has been designated a National Nature Reserve.

Look closely, and you can still find platforms in the woods at Ariundle where charcoal burners built their stacks of wood. A thriving community once lived in the woodland, producing bark for leather tanning and timber as well as charcoal for iron smelting.

Walking trails (1)

Walking

Ariundle Trail (diverted)

A trail notice is in effect

Update January 2021: Several the bridges on this trail will be closed for safety reasons. The upper bridge is open, but a circular route from the car park is not possible at this time. 

This fabulous route passes through one of Scotland’s finest mature Atlantic oakwoods and follows the lovely Strontian River with unforgettable views up the glen to Sgùrr Dhòmhnuill.

Uneven gravel surface with grassy sections. Some narrow, rocky and muddy parts. Short fairly steep slopes. Includes some bridges and a long section of wooden boardwalk.

Moderate trail grade icon
2 ¾ miles / 4.5 km

Allow
1½ hours

More information

The Ariundle National Nature Reserve is rich in wildlife – watch out for butterflies and dragonflies in early summer and golden eagles overhead, listen for woodland birds all year round and spot a host of mosses, lichens and ferns thriving on the damp forest floor.

You can go either way around this circuit, but we like walking anti-clockwise to enjoy dramatic views up the glen.

Facilities and access

Walking
Walking
Parking icon
Parking
Viewpoint
Viewpoint
Picnic area
Picnic area

Life's essentials

You'll find refreshments in Ariundle, and public toilets, places to eat, shopping and information at Strontian.

Stay The Night

Our Stay the Night trial has now ended. All participating car parks have now reverted to no overnight parking permitted, in line with all our car parks.

Car parking information

There is no charge to park in this car park. Please park with care and consideration. In particular please park in designated parking areas only and do not block entrances or gates.

More about parking

Getting here

From Strontian, follow the unclassified road towards Polloch. After 1 mile (1.6 km), turn right at the junction and follow the Forestry Commission signs to the car park.

Using SatNav?

PH36 4JA is the nearest postcode.

Public transport

There are buses from Fort William to Strontian every day except Sunday. Find timetables at Traveline Scotland.

Get directions

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Facilities and activities
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Viewpoint
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A wild, remote glen with sweeping views of Loch Shiel

Facilities and activities
Walking
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Parking icon
Parking
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Picnic area
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Close up of tree bark

Walk through native woodland to our lochside wildlife hide 

Facilities and activities
Walking
Walking
Parking icon
Parking
Wildlife hide
Wildlife hide
Picnic area
Picnic area
Distance from 'Ariundle': 3.22 miles

Get in touch

Have a question or suggestion for improvement?

Phone
0300 067 6650 (option 1)
More contact information

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