From the outskirts of Ullapool, Rhidorroch's eight-mile-long private estate road runs through Glen Achall. Long and flat, this quiet route provides peaceful, easy walking for all, safe cycling for children and a great track for runners. Red and sika deer, cattle, sheep and unusual birds can be seen close to the road, river and lochside and on your passage through areas of rare Caledonian pine and mixed woodland.
Experienced bikers and more energetic walkers may take on the challenge over the eastward hill track to Oykel Bridge. This is a distance of about 16 miles over rough ground but you can stop half way and spend the night in the tidy Bothy by Loch Damph. The estate road also provides ready access for the walk in to Seanna Braigh, one of Scotland's most remote Munros.
Rhidorroch encompasses a network of easy walking tracks on Ullapool Hill which look over the village rooftops towards the head of Loch Broom and west out to the Summer Isles; the top of the hill is a marvellous place to watch the sun set. The Ullapool Hill network can be reached from the estate road – a short walk from Glastullich cottage.
Rhidorroch and its surrounding area offer the chance for plentiful sightings of many varieties of resident and migratory birds. Golden eagles use the glen as a hunting ground and nesting area (seen from Cadubh's sun porch) and sea eagles and ospreys are occasional visitors. Relatively rare birds including black throated divers and whooper swans are seen frequently here. And, to name only a very few more, there are woodcock, snipe and lapwings, wrens, dippers, buzzards and sparrowhawks – an extensive list is available from the estate.
The dramatic quality of light and intense colours of this magnificent land and sea scape cannot fail to inspire. Early morning mist rising from the glen, the loch mirror calm; Tintoretto pinks and blues turn to hot dark reds and golds at sunrise and sunset and there's no street-lamp orange here to spoil clear, star-spangled moonlit nights. Hill, moor, mountain, a river in spate, the wiggles and turns of gurgling hillside burns, the white-water roar of the falls; sand, sea, surf, rainbows and the northern lights. Live subjects, too, increase the artist's scope still further; from stag to leaping salmon, tiny rare orchid to grand old Caledonian pine, gentle cattle and grazing sheep to predatory golden eagle.
House guests have their own boat available at all times. Fishermen staying at the cottages are welcome to fish the west end of Loch Achall from the bank at any time. Loch Achall gives the opportunity for a basket of trout and, occasionally, a salmon.
The estate cares meticulously for its red, sika and roe deer and the herds are strong and healthy. You may need to go no further than your kitchen window to enjoy close sightings of these fine beasts in their natural environment. Sharp eyes and a bit of luck and you might be rewarded with a pine marten, otter, or badger.
Grazed farmland, open moor, rocky hillside, peat bog, woodland, sand, shingle – such variety within the estate is more than matched by the multitude of flowers and trees that the land supports. All the colours of the Highlands can be seen at Rhidorroch. White-topped cotton grasses, butterwort and sweet-smelling bog myrtle thrive in the rain-fed peat bogs. Heathers, wild berries, foxgloves, wild roses, bright yellow gorse and broom, rare orchids, alpines and mosses.
The woodland in the glen largely comprises silver birch, alder, rowan, aspen and ancient Caledonian pine. The estate is active in replanting native trees and, in particular, the Caledonian pines: Rhidorroch is home to the most north-westerly native Caledonian pines in the country and is continuing to germinate and grow these rare and beautiful trees from their own seed source.