Coordinates: 58°01′N 5°20′W / 58.02°N 5.34°W / 58.02; -5.34
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The Post Office in Achiltibuie
Achiltibuie is located in Ross and Cromarty
Location within the Ross and Cromarty area
OS grid referenceNC025085
Community council
Council area
Lieutenancy area
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Postcode districtIV26
Dialling code01854
UK Parliament
Scottish Parliament
List of places
58°01′N 5°20′W / 58.02°N 5.34°W / 58.02; -5.34

Achiltibuie (/ˌæxɪltɪˈbi/; Scottish Gaelic: Achd Ille Bhuidhe or Field of the yellow-haired boy[1]) is a long linear village in Ross and Cromarty, Highland, on the Coigach coast of northwestern Scotland, overlooking Badentarbet Bay to the west. Loch Broom and the Summer Isles lie to the south. Located 10 miles (16 km) northwest of Ullapool as the crow flies. Achiltibuie is the central community of a series of townships and communities stretching from Culnacraig, through Badenscallie and Polglass (where the community hall, the primary school and the Piping School Cafe are located), Polbain, and Reiff to Achnahaird.


The first post office in the village opened on 28 July 1884.[2]


For a time the Summer Isles Smokehouse attracted visitors.[3] In 2013 the community had hopes to re-establish the business.[4]


The Hydroponicum, a facility for growing fresh fruit and vegetables indoors using hydroponics, was built in the village in the 1980s by Robert Irvine, then owner of the Summer Isles Hotel. The Hydroponicum was known for growing exotic fruit such as bananas all year round. It attracted up to 10,000 visitors a year until it was sold in 2007 to a company based in the Isle of Man. New greenhouses have since been built apart from the original hydroponicum buildings, and the new owners continue to grow fruit and vegetables for local businesses and residents. A community buyout attempt in 2011 by the Coigach Community Development Company fell through when the site's sellers pulled out.[5] The building has now been demolished. Some of the former staff of the Hydroponicum run a small-scale activity known as The Achiltibuie Garden, situated nearby.[6]

Notable residents[edit]

  • Tom Longstaff (1875-1964), mountaineer.
  • Lucy Irvine (b. 1956), writer, lived very briefly in the Summer Isles Hotel with her father, who owned it and the Hydroponicum.
  • de:Reiner Luyken (b.1951), former foreign correspondent of the German weekly paper Die Zeit

Notable recent achievements[edit]

'Coigach Community Rowing' the crew members of which coastal rowing club are all local, won the World St. Ayles Skiff Rowing Championships in July 2013 and a mixed crew from the club won the Alan Spong Trophy for 1st Mixed crew 4-oar rowing at the Thames Great River Race in September 2013.[7] Coigach Community Rowing hand-built their two St Ayles rowing skiffs, the 'Coigach Lass' and the 'Lily~Rose' and race under the auspices of the Scottish Coastal Rowing Association, which is the governing body of St Ayles class coastal rowing around the world.[8]

The Brochs of Coigach designed by SBA Architects Ltd were shortlisted in 2011 for the RIAS Andrew Doolan Best Building in Scotland Award. They are two unique buildings landscaped into a hillside. They were Regional Finalist of the Civic Trust Awards 2013. [9] In 2015, they were highly commended in the inaugural Scottish Rural Awards. [10]

Cultural connections[edit]

The Roman epic movie The Eagle, based on the 1954 novel The Eagle of the Ninth by Rosemary Sutcliff, was filmed on location in Achiltibuie for a week in October 2009. The main location was Fox Point, Old Dornie. The Pictish village which was constructed at Fox Point was used on most days of the filming. Other sites included Achnahaird beach where a horse chase was filmed and Loch Lurgainn.[11]

The village and its residents featured in The Wee Mad Road (2008) by Jack and Barbara Maloney.[12]

Achiltibuie is also the setting of a humorous German book about Scotland by Reiner Luyken, Schotten dicht (2015) published by Ullstein Verlag, Berlin.[13]


  1. ^ Mac an Tàilleir, Iain (2003), "Gaelic Place Names" Retrieved on January 1, 2012
  2. ^ Mackay, James A. (1989) Scottish Post Offices, p. 28, Dumfries: published by the author, ISBN 0-906440-48-3
  3. ^ Brown, Catherine (10 May 1997). "They're wholly smoked". The Herald. Retrieved 14 December 2016.
  4. ^ "Achiltibuie smokehouse could return to public ownership". BBC News. 22 February 2013.
  5. ^ "Achiltibuie site community buy-out falls through". BBC News. 21 November 2011. Retrieved 23 September 2014.
  6. ^ "New Life for Achiltibuie Smokehouse?". Caledonian Mercury. 27 February 2013. Retrieved 11 August 2015.
  7. ^ "Great River Race- Results 2013". Retrieved 27 April 2020.
  8. ^ "St Ayles Skiff". Retrieved 27 April 2020.
  9. ^
  10. ^’s.
  11. ^ "Scotland: the Movie Location Guide: The Eagle - Achiltibuie". Retrieved 14 March 2023.
  12. ^ The wee mad road : a midlife escape to the Scottish Highlands. WorldCat. OCLC 221154071.
  13. ^ "Schotten dicht: Nachrichten aus Schottland und Achiltibuie". Ullstein Verlag, Berlin. Retrieved 11 September 2017.

External links[edit]