NC500 – Day 3

Handa Island

On Day 3 of the NC500 we travelled from Durness to Lochinver. We made only one stop along the way at Handa Island, a Scottish Wildlife Nature Reserve. Read on to learn more about how to spend a day at Handa Island!

Handa Island

We arrived at Tarbet at 10am this morning, which is the small town where you can pick up the boat to Handa Island. The boat costs £20 pp for a return ticket, and no booking is required. It is just over a 6km walk to make your way around the whole of the Island, and it really is a bird watchers paradise! Each spring, tens of thousands of seabirds migrate to the magnificent Torridonian sandstone cliffs that rise from the Atlantic on the north west coast of Handa Island. This wild island is an internationally important breeding site for guillemots, razorbills and great skuas that spend the summer breeding and feeding in the rich waters around Handa. The island is only accessible during the summer months, where a warden and volunteers keep visitors safe and entertained. It is thought that in the 1800’s the uninhabited island once had a population of 65.

After completing the walk around Handa Island, grab some lunch at the nearby Shorehouse restaurant. The restaurant serves the most incredible Handa Prawns & Crab salad which is not to be missed.


After completing a great but tiring day at Handa, we headed to Lochinver. Lochinver is a magnificent fishing village in the northwest of Scotland, boasting views of mountains and the sea. It is also home of the famous pie shop, Lochinver Larder. This is a restaurant that foodies NEED to stop at on the NC500. The selection of pies is incredible with meat, fish, sweet and vegetarian options all available. We went for the venison and cranberry! That was Day 3 of the NC500 complete for us, what was in store for Day 4?

Route Details

Balnakeil Bay (IV27 4PX) – Handa Ferry (IV27 4SS) 45 mins

Handa Ferry (IV27 4SS) – Lochinver (IV27 4JY) 45 mins

Where to Stay

Tarradh Cabins are the perfect place to stay in Lochinver. The cabins have unbelievable views over the bay and the nearby Suilven mountains. The sun was shining when we were there, so the view over the bay gave a whole new meaning to the term ‘bonnie Scotland’.


Looking to spend a week completing the NC500? Read our itinerary – NC500 in a Week.

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