Ceol na Mara, by dint of its location in Wester Ross, is not the easiest place to get to—but we think that’s part of its charm. Ceol na Mara is in the middle of this map—the building next to it is what used to be the Melvaig Inn. As you can see, it’s pretty close to the sea.
Ceol na Mara is about 75 miles from Inverness (normally doable in under two hours), and about 650 miles from London. Most people come up the A9 to Inverness; we prefer to come up the A82 and through Glencoe. It takes a little longer but it’s more scenic.
You’ll end up on the A832 through Gairloch. At McColl’s you need to take the B8021 road (which has a huge signpost, including Melvaig). If you’re approaching from Kinlochewe it’ll be a left turn; from Ullapool it will be a right turn. Follow the B8021 through Strath and Lonemore, past the youth hostel and Sands Caravan and Camping—where the road becomes single-track—past the turns for Big Sand and North Erradale.
About seven miles from Gairloch you enter Aultgrishan. The road plunges down over a wee bridge, and round an alarming right-hand bend; soon after this you’ll see a large white house with two satellite dishes on the left towards the sea: this is what you’re aiming for. At a skewed crossroads there’s an unexpected bus shelter and a gaggle of wheelie bins; turn left here, towards the sea, and Ceol na Mara is on your left opposite the former pub.
GPS: putting IV21 2DZ into GPS gets you close to Ceol na Mara but not quite there. The new alternative to GPS, what3words, gets you there exactly, using this link:
The nearest main station is Inverness, offering direct trains to and from Edinburgh, Glasgow and London. We’d recommend taking the Caledonian Sleeper—leave London one night at about 9.15 and arrive in Inverness the next morning about 8.40. We’d also recommend travelling first class and making use of the lounge car for a plate of haggis and a dram!
Arnold Clark are located close to Inverness station, and will pick customers up from either the station or the airport.