Richard Langley describes an easy/moderate circular walk that follows the River Inver then loops back across the Assynt landscape back down into Lochinver.

Around four hours.

After a recommendation from someone at the Lochinver Book Shop, I decided to walk the Inver Loop which can be done clockwise or anti clockwise, I took the clockwise route.

Starting at the Inver Bridge, I followed a woodland track with the river cascading down through wonderful ancient woodland of hazel, downy birch, and rowan. It was quite exhilarating.

The Inver is an inviting river for the returning Atlantic salmon and it must be a wonderful site to see them leaping in the autumn. The river widens out along the upper reaches fed from Loch Assynt high up on the Assynt foreland around Suilven.

After stopping for lunch and sitting on a large boulder above the falls there was an unusual sight… a shrub coming to leaf with small raspberry like buds there, just growing out from the ravine. It was a young larch, an incredible sight to see such a magnificent tree growing out from the riverside. This tree of Lapland is known for its protective powers against evil spirits. Its buds are also edible.

Young Larch growing out from the ravine

As the river widened out, there was an inspiring view of the wide mountain Quinnag, spreading out across the distant northern horizon.

upper reaches of the River Inver with Quinnag to the North

Just before a lodge on the Assynt estate the path stretched out to the south across a scorched land of heather and bog.

Looking back to the river there were some magnificent ancient Scots Pines towering above the river. Buzzards were also spiralling around. It made an iconic view.

Upper reaches of River Inver cutting through the peat bog

Once gaining the higher ground, Suilven revealed itself across the ancient gneiss foreground and what a sight it was, this time only a mile or so away and looking even more impressive.

Assynt with Suilven dominant to the South

Looping back towards Glencanisp Lodge with dusk approaching there were glimpses of Nacreous cloud, first hidden then totally exposed, the full spectrum visible as the lower dark clouds scudded past. In Scandinavian folklore this spectacle was believed to be a bridge connecting earth with divine realms, hard to disagree on such a day. What a surreal moment at the end of this fabulous walk.

Nacreous skies before dusk

Another beautiful walk from Lochinver;

Lochinver to Achmelvich Beach

The Inver Loop – a circular walk from Lochinver