Garbh Eilean Wildlife Hide
All FLS visitor centres are currently closed. Walking and mountain bike trails remain open, as do most toilets and car parks, but do check below for local updates for closures.
We want to ensure your visit is an enjoyable and safe one.
Make sure you follow the Scottish Government’s FACTS advice – helping to protect yourself, your family and your local community, and follow the Scottish Outdoor Access Code helping to keep Scotland beautiful.
Spot seals, herons and otters on Loch Sunart
It’s easy to reach this hide, just a short stroll from the car park, where you can soak up superb Loch Sunart views as you watch for the local wildlife.
Common seals often bask on the shores of Garbh Eilean (the ‘Rough Island’), and there is a heronry on the smaller island beside it. At different times of the year you should also see a range of seabirds over the loch and, if you’re lucky, rarer species such as golden eagles and white tailed eagles.
The distinctive hide was built by local people, using locally grown and milled wood. It blends in beautifully with the landscape. There are binoculars and a telescope at the hide, so you’ll get an even better view of whatever’s out there as well as being able to talk to an expert.
The shores of Loch Sunart are home to some of the finest temperate oakwoods in the British Isles. These are remnants of an extensive band of coastal woodland that once stretched down the Atlantic coast of Europe from Norway and Scotland as far as Spain and Portugal.
These semi-natural woodlands are home to some of Europe’s best collections of lichens, mosses and liverworts. The Atlantic Oakwoods here are nationally important. We and other landowners and communities are working in partnership as the Initiative Sunart Oakwoods to conserve and restore this endangered habitat.
Garbh Eilean Wildlife Hide Trail
A short stroll through the oak trees to a magnificent wildlife hide above Loch Sunart's rocky shore.
Wide, smooth gravel surface with a moderate slope. Includes a section of boardwalk out to the hide.
Allow ¼ hour
There are panoramic views from the attractive wooden hide, which overlooks two small islands. Common seals often bask on Garbh Eilean, the 'rough island', and herons gather on the other, while many seabirds are passing visitors. Sit back, enjoy the views and, if you're lucky, you might spot otters and sea eagles fishing in the loch and golden eagles soaring overhead.
Facilities & access
The car park can hold five cars, and the short trail down to the hide is suitable for everyone.
There is more parking and a picnic bench suitable for visitors with wheelchairs at nearby Ardery.
The hide has bench seats and viewing openings to look through, with binoculars usually available.
Grab a refreshment
Go to Strontian for food and drink, shops, fuel, and public toilets.
Stay the Night
Our Stay the Night trial has now ended. The participating car parks have now reverted to no overnight parking permitted, in line with all our car parks.
From Strontian, take the A816 west for about 5¼ miles (8.5 km). Garbh Eilean car park is on the left.
PH36 4HY is the nearest postcode.
There are buses from Fort William to Kilchoan via Strontian and Salen every day except Sunday, which pass Garbh Eilean car park. Check timetables at Traveline Scotland.
Get in touch
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