|This article does not cite any references or sources. (September 2009)|
|Scottish Gaelic: An t-Allt Beithe|
The Aultbea Hotel on the foreshore
Aultbea shown within the Highland council area
|OS grid reference|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|UK Parliament||Ross, Skye and Lochaber|
|Scottish Parliament||Caithness, Sutherland and Ross|
Aultbea (Gaelic: An t-Allt Beithe) is a small fishing village in the North-West Highlands of Scotland. It is situated on the shores of Loch Ewe, about 30 km west of Ullapool. The village has two hotels, a Primary School, the Aultbea Hotel and the Drumchork Lodge Hotel, which won the accolade of top whisky hotel in the world in 2006. The Drumchork Lodge Hotel is the home of the Loch Ewe Distillery.
Aultbea has two churches, a shop, a masonic lodge, a butcher and a craft shop. Aultbea also has a NATO base; large ships often come inshore to refuel here. There is also an annual "fun day" where most people from the village and surrounding area turn up and play football or socialise over a home baked scone as well other activities.
The nearest airport is in Stornoway. The nearest railway station is at Achnasheen which has trains either to the Inverness or through scenic Plockton to Kyle of Lochalsh. There is also a ferry service to the Isle of Lewis in the relatively nearby town of Ullapool. This service was once proposed to be based in Aultbea but due to Aultbea's remote setting Ullapool was granted the ferry port. Not too long ago there was also to be a rail track to Aultbea but again the decision went against the village as demand for such a service was expected to be low.
Aultbea has an amateur football team, although they play 14 miles (23 km) away, Gairloch and Aultbea merged into one team under the name Gairloch Aultbea United or GA United. Nowadays its just Gairloch juniors that play in GA. Most of the population support Scottish Premier League side Ross County F.C., based in Dingwall 70 miles (110 km) away), as they are the closest league team to the area.
Aultbea offers sandy beaches as well as rocky shores which all look out at the Isle of Ewe across the water. Scattered around the area are the remains of World War II buildings and barracks. Next to the local football pitch is a display board, which describes the role of the buildings in detail. Aultbea has views out to Cove and the Isle of Lewis, as well as the nearby Torridon Hills. There is a small, red bar situated at the side of the Aultbea Hotel which offers great views of the shore and bird life.
The coast is affected by the Gulf Stream, bringing relatively warm waters. These are ideal for jellyfish, which can swarm the local waters, as well as visiting dolphins. The Northern Lights are visible on occasion depending on the weather and time of year, winter being best.
Places to go
Near Aultbea is a perfume studio and cafe, which serves as a unique attraction to the area. There is also a woodcraft shop which sells homemade crafts and cakes and teas within its cafe. The main shop is known locally as Aultbea Stores where essentials can be purchased. A butcher's business lies settled amongst a patch of trees as well. The two hotels both have restaurants and sell bar meals. There are also many walks into the hills or nearby Laide Wood. The area also boasts many fishing hotspots through nearby rivers and lochs.