Total distance – 4.6 kilometres
Ascent – 80 metres
Walking conditions – Mainly tarmac road and track. The stretch along the footpath can be quite muddy in places, particularly after heavy rain. No difficulties.
Time required – Around 2 to 3.5 hours.
Nearest town – Mallaig
Travelling on the A830 from Fort William to Mallaig is perhaps one of the most magnificent stretches of road in Scotland. Seven miles shy of Mallaig lies the picture postcard village of Arisaig. This is a place my wife has been raving about for years on account of a family holiday where she stayed there as a child. Nostalgia is not necessary for being blown away by the walk from Arisaig to Port na Murrach. Indeed, any moans or complaints about the walk being a little muddy in places, cease to be heard the minute you walk onto the beach.
From Arisaig, drive along the single track road signposted ‘Rhu’ to the parking spot at the end of the public road. From there walk along the private road/track for about 1.4 kilometres. At that point you will reach a private house with a sign pointing to the footpath on the left. This footpath leads past a hut and along a stone dyke. Due to the movement of livestock this can be particularly muddy. It only lasts for about one hundred metres then the going gets easier, although still muddy in places. Keep following this path until you drop down a rocky outcrop onto one of the most idyllic and picturesque beaches you are ever likely to see, with golden sand transported here from Mexico by the Gulf Stream. Make sure you have brought a map so you can identify all the islands and rock features which you see before you. Return via the same route. Oh, and if you go on a Sunday make sure you’ve got enough petrol because it’s a long way back to Fort William.
This little beach is currently very overcrowded with wild campers, kayakers, walkers and pets. It is also agricultural ground on which cattle graze – so can be a bit messy. The walk from the road end (which is a turning point and full with cars and camper vans most days) is up to an hour each way and tricky children under the age of 6. Dogs are required to be kept on the lead around livestock (unless chased by cattle)
Hi Alison, this article is from a few years ago and since then, Arisaig and the surrounding area is much busier with tourists. I witnessed this a couple of weeks’ ago when I was on holiday in Mallaig. However, I also returned to Port Nam Murrach and what a beautiful, fantastic day it was. There were the occasional walkers and kayakers, but not over-crowded at all. This was in stark contrast to the rest of the beaches around Arisaig where there was easy access from the road. I completely understand the frustrations I’d imagine many of the locals will experience where there doesn’t appear to be adequate facilities to cater for these large numbers of visitors.