Thursday, 08 June 2023
Latest forest information
Some of the bridges at Ariundle are closed for safety reasons:
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.
Ariundle Walking Trails Route Card (PDF)
Ariundle Trail (diverted)
A trail notice is in effect
Several of the bridges on this trail have been closed for safety reasons. The upper bridge is open, but a circular route from the car park is not currently possible. We hope to have this resolved by April 2022.
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.
Allow 1½ hours
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
You'll find refreshments in Ariundle, and public toilets, places to eat, shopping and information at Strontian.
Car parking information
The charges to park at this forest car park are:
- £1 for up to 1 hour – all vehicles
- £3 for all day
- Blue Badge holders park free. Please display your Blue Badge clearly.
Payment can be made using RingGo.
Please park with care and consideration. In particular please park in designated parking areas only and do not block entrances or gates. Nearby car parks with free parking can be found in our Forest Search, marked as a 'P' without the £ symbol.
Annual parking pass available:
Available in advance by downloading the application form and emailing to the Regional Office. Please read our Annual Pass terms and conditions (PDF) before applying.
Valid at Braveheart (Glen Nevis), Loch Linnhe, Loch Oich, Aros Park (Mull), North Face, Ariundle, Glencoe Lochan, Glengarry, Glen Righ, Àrd-Àirigh, Garbh Eilean Wildlife Hide, Barnluasgan, Sutherland's Grove, Strone Hill, Glen Lochy, Fearnoch, Carradale (Grianan), Carradale (Port Na Storm), Ardcastle, Achnabreac.
Valid at all Forestry and Land Scotland car parks except Tentsmuir.
Stay the Night
Motorhomes and campervans that are self-contained and have their own toilet facilities will be able to stay overnight at this car park from 1 April – 31 October 2023.
There is a £7 charge to Stay the Night at all participating car parks. Payment can be made through RingGo with details of how to do this at each car park.
To help plan your stay, please see the details below:
- Height barrier – No
- Motorhome capacity of car park – 2
- Suitable for large vehicles/caravans – No
- Parking notes – Car park on slight slope - levelling blocks recommended. Please leave a 4m gap between other motorhomes and park in bays.
Please visit our Stay the Night page for full details, participating locations, best practice, and terms and conditions of use.
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.
PH36 4JA is the nearest postcode.
There are buses from Fort William to Strontian every day except Sunday. Find timetables at Traveline Scotland.
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An atmospheric walk with stunning views of Loch Sunart
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Walk through native woodland to our lochside wildlife hide