The Best Of Arisaig (A-Z), for 2023
We're working through the alphabet for the BEST of Arisaig in 2023. Best beaches, best gigs, best activities, best food, best craic...the list goes on..
A - Arisaig Americana Music Festival
Takes place from the 2nd-4th of June. It is a true celebration of Roots, Bluegrass & Alt Country, West Highland style. This years line-up; The Horsenecks, Dean Owens & The Sinners, Good Guy Hank, Kirsten Adamson, Claire Coupland and Rain Of Animals.
The weather was glorious and the sessions were plentiful. Between The Astley Hall, Arisaig Maine, Sound Bites and us, we had music galore in the sunshine.
B - Beautiful Beaches
We're spoilt for choice with an abundance of beaches around Arisaig. From roadside to hidden gems, whatever the weather, they're always stunning. Wild swimming, stand-up paddleboarding, kayaking, fossicking and frolicking...a day out for everybody.
C - Crustacean Station
You know summer is coming when Arisaig Shellfish Shack is open again. Local scrumptious fresh seafood & baked goodies, served with smiles by the lovely shack team. Open Friday to Sunday, and amazing seafood platters available by pre-order. RUN, don't walk before they sell out.
D - Dancing Dolphins
They're obviously loving the heatwave! Large pods of Dolphins are being spotted en rout to the Small Isles. Check out Arisaig Marina for availability on sailings and get yourself on a boat trip! Photo by Arthur Campbell
E - Eat
Our village may be small, but we cater for all! The pub serves up lunch (12-2) and dinner (5-9). Monday - Friday is Happy Hour Food. See the menu here. Other local eateries and catering; Arisaig Bread Shed, Arisaig Marina, Arisaig Shellfish Shack, Soundbites Cafe and The Old Library.
F - Feis Na Mara
The wild and wonderful Feis na Mara music festival will be bringing three days of predominantly Scottish music, from traditional to modern, to the village. It is our favourite festival of the year, with a real party vibe full of colourful outfits and happy faces. You'll be find glitter on yourself for days after.
G - Gardens
It's a lovely walk through the gardens of Làrach Mòr on the Arisaig Estate in the former kitchen gardens and nursery of Glen House. The gardens were developed as a woodland garden by John Augustus Holms in the 1920s to support an extensive collection of rhododendron species.
H - Highland Games
The Highland Games is a MUST. On the last Wednesday of July, Traigh farm hosts the event which is a fantastic family friendly day out. From stalls, Highland dancing, traditional games to bouncy castles and all age running races. It's followed up by an almighty Ceilidh dance at the Astley Hall in the village.
J - Jacobite Steam Train
The Jacobite (or Hogwarts Express) pulls into Arisaig station at least twice a day from April to mid October and we HIGHLY recommend heading up to the UK's most Westerly railway station to get a closer look. While it's an amazing experience to board the Jacobite Steam Train and take the 84 mile round trip from Fort William to Mallaig, we reckon the sight and sound of the engine as it chugs it's way over SIX viaducts and carves through some of Scotland's most majestic scenery, is even more impressive! travelling on the train itself is magical, but packing a wee picnic and setting up in a secluded spot with a view is also a scenic experience.
K - Kayaking
Jump on a sea kayaking tour and discover the magical skerries and secluded beaches of Arisaig. There is also an abundance of wild life and the crystal clear water is to die for!
L - Lochs
It's not ALL just about the stunning coast here. Just 5 minutes up the road is Loch Morar. This serene, calming beauty spot is the deepest loch in Scotland! The depth was measured at 1017 feet, which would submerge the Eiffel Tower with 30ish feet to spare. It makes a great location for a fresh water dip, kayaking, paddle boarding and hiking. Check out the walking guide on our website for more information on the hike from Bracorina to Tarbet.
M - MV Sheerwater
A hop across the road takes you to Arisaig Marine, where you can jump aboard the MV Sheerwater to the Small Isles. Eigg and Muck are perfect for a day trip. Take a picnic or enjoy the delicious lunches the café offers. AND you might even spot sea life along the way. Check out the time-table on Arisaig Marines website to plan your visit.
N - Nova Scotia
Arisaig is so good, they made another one! In the 18th & 19th centuries, our Arisaig was a thriving community where fishing and crofting played a crucial role in the economy; however, like much of the Scottish Highlands & Islands, it was devastated by the Highland Clearances. Over 1,000 crofters from this area were forced from their lands to make way for sheep.
When John Ban Gillis landed in Nova Scotia in 1791 he found a beautiful sheltered cove with many similarities to his home community of Arisaig, and so the other Arisaig was born!
O - Open mic night
One Saturday every month, Highland Sounds host an open mic in the bar. Any skill level, style or instrument welcome. October 14th is the last one for year year! So come down and dance, sing, tell a joke or just support the performers.
P - Public transport
Isolation and remoteness play a big role in why Arisaig is so attractive. As you edge further into the wilds, your phone/radio signal, and most importantly, your stress levels drop!
However, when looking at Arisaig on the map, your stress levels might take a jump as you work out how on earth you're going to reach us. Well, fear not, Arisaig has surprisingly excellent transport links!
Q - Quiet
Although it may not be sunbathing weather, October is one of our favourite months in Arisaig. We're nearing the end of September and the colours are everchanging, the beaches are empty, and the fires are warming as we head into the magic of Autumn and the spooky season. Who doesn't love a good storm and getting cosy?
R - Rutting season
Lovely Autumn brings the annual rutting season. We're now hearing the loud roars of the stag's as they compete for the attention of the females. The males also size each other up and often engage in a full-on physical fight, by charging and locking antlers, showing off in hope to impress the Doe's.