Hillside Cottage is situated right on the edge of one of the most dramatic and awe-inspiring regions in the Highlands, recently afforded “Geopark” status and now the largest geo-park in Europe. Here majestic mountains interspersed with pretty lochs make this a climber’s and hill walker’s paradise. One of the most famous being Stack Polly but there are also plenty of others to choose from for committed hill-walkers and climbers. The nearby town of Ullapool, just 8 miles away is absolutely charming. Built as a model town by Thomas Telford, its whitewashed buildings and wide sweeping harbour never fail to impress the visitor. Seals can be seen bobbing amongst the fishing boats as they unload their catches. There is an excellent selection of restaurants, bistros and small shops along the seafront and boat trips run from the harbour to explore the coastline, including a wonderful pleasure trip out to the nearby Summer Isles. Ullapool is also the terminus for the ferry to Stornoway in the Outer Isles. The nearby coastal area of North West Sutherland is renowned for its pristine sandy beaches, ancient settlements and incredible sandstone mountains. On a trip through the West Coast visitors pass through an area known as Assynt. Here visitors can explore the Bone Caves (a series of caves and tunnels which have recently been found to contain bones and fossils of long extinct animals, dating back over 4500 years) and the ruins of Ardvreck Castle perched on the edge of Loch Assynt, before arriving in the pretty fishing port of Lochinver. The nearby white shell beach of Achmelvich is simply stunning. Canoeing, sailing, body boarding, golf, fishing (sea, river and loch), horse riding, mountain biking, climbing and hill walking are all enjoyed in the area.