Explore this traditional Highland crofting estate, full of fascinating historical features.
Admire the spectacular views throughout the estate.
Discover 17 miles of walking trails.
Visit the planned village of Plockton, dating from 1801, and its historic open-air church.
If ever there was an area of land to entice people of all ages and abilities to enjoy the countryside, it’s Balmacara.
Located on the breathtaking Lochalsh peninsula, this traditional Highland crofting cultural landscape encompasses crofts, farmland, woodland, moorland, villages, coastline, saltmarsh, lochs and islands.
Coastal walks round shingle and coral beaches give spectacular views of Skye and Applecross. There are miles of trails to choose from, joining the dots between sheltered bays and secret woodlands, onto open moors and the pretty crofting villages of Drumbuie, Duirinish and Plockton.
The estate’s semi-natural woodland is a valuable part of Scotland’s natural heritage and there are several Sites of Special Scientific Interest and Special Areas for Conservation.
Balmacara offers an impressive range of outdoor activities, including orienteering, birdwatching and hiking. In addition, many of the trails are perfect for mountain biking. There’s a great choice of walking trails that will take you along stunning shorelines, through traditional crofting country and into pretty whitewashed villages. In summer, brightly coloured meadows compete for your attention with the sparkling blue water in the lochs and sea.
The estate is also packed with fascinating archaeological and historical features, including two scheduled monuments: the open-air church at Plockton, used in the 1840s by the Free Church, and the ancient crannog on Loch Achaidh na h-Inich.
The Woodland Walks are suitable for all ages and offer sheltered trails through Scots pine, oak and birch woodland, along the banks of Loch Alsh and through the policies of Lochalsh House, which is closed to the public.
For a chance to see seals, otters, seabirds and perhaps whales and dolphins, boat trips are available from Kyle of Lochalsh and Plockton.
There are several places to eat and drink in Plockton, where the visitor centre (seasonal opening hours) tells the story of the area and also has information boards.
Balmacara Square has several shops, a gallery and a café, which is open during the summer season.
To really make the most of the area, stay in one of our holiday cottages by the shores of Loch Alsh.
Dogs must be kept under control; on the walks around Lochalsh House they should be kept on the lead.
Car parking is available at Balmacara Square and Plockton. Parking for the Woodland Walks (also NTS) is located just off the A87.
The ranger service runs guided walks and other events throughout the summer.
School groups can be accommodated, with environmental education provided by the Balmacara Ranger Service – please telephone 01599 566325 for further information.
Group visits must be booked at least one week in advance by telephoning the Balmacara Estate Office – 01599 566325. Coach parking is available at Balmacara Square and at Woodland Walks by prior arrangement.
Disabled parking is available at Lochalsh House by arrangement with the Estate Office.
Visual interpretation panels can be found at Lochalsh Woodland Walks, Reraig and in Plockton (at the open-air church and the main car park). There is some audio on the touch-screen panel, with text for those with hearing difficulties.
Balmacara Estate is mainly accessed by A87(T) Inverness to Kyle road but can also be accessed from the north by way of the A890 from Achnasheen and Lochcarron.
Ordnance Survey Refs Woodland Walks car park NG 80052779 Balmacara Square car park NG 80652831 Plockton car park NG 80363333