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Loch Ailort Travel Guide - Scotland

Of the many nooks and isles that divide the Sound of Arisaig, perhaps one of the most charming yet most often overlooked is Loch Ailort, a freshwater pocket divided from the main sound by Ardnish to the north. Settlements at Loch Ailort were sufficiently built–up by the seventeenth century to support an inn, and the area was significant enough a century later to warrant inclusion in local maps. Less than a century later the community would be linked with the rest of Scotland via railway, brainchild of Thomas Telford's "Road to the Isles" project from Fort William to Arisaig.

Throughout the nineteenth century railway and road projects would further connect Loch Ailort, spurring the construction of local services for the workers such as a hospital and schoolhouse, and even an classical–style eight–arch viaduct of concrete engineered by Robert "Concrete Bob" McAlpine, father of the West Highland Railway from Fort William to Mallaig.

Today Loch Ailort stands at the crossroads of the A830 and A861, and boasts a spectacular Catholic Church, Our Lady of the Braes, notable for being featured as a location in films. The Loch Ailort Inn is still in service, as well as a shooting range, public telephone services, and local industries such as fish and food farming.

The loch itself is renowned as calm and placid, its beaches protected from the region's major winds. The ruins of an Iron Age fort can be explored by the public on the offshore islet of Eilean nan Gobhar.

Scottish Holidays is currently accepting photographs of Loch Ailort and would be delighted to publish your pictures of the area on our webpage for other fans of Loch Ailort to enjoy. To submit a photo, please contact us.