Suilven - 20km ridge walk/run, Assynt, Scotland

Suilven is an imposing sharks fin of a ridge that dominates the otherwise flat landscape in Assynt, Scotland. To summit the ridge requires a round trip of 20km (12.5 miles) with 750m of ascent, for which you will be rewarded with spectacular views.  It’s a perfect day out for hill walkers or trail runners, and if you want to make the trip more adventurous you can stay in Suileag bothy en route.

Almost all the ascent is up the gully on Suilven, which on a clear day will be visible for most of the relatively easy walk in. From the walkers’ car park on the road from Lochinver to Glencanisp Lodge, follow a good track from the back of the Lodge. About 3km on from the Lodge is a small cairn marking the turn off to the bothy.

 The small cairn marking the turn off to Suileag bothy - the ridge of Suilven is visible on the horizon

The small cairn marking the turn off to Suileag bothy - the ridge of Suilven is visible on the horizon

Carry on along the track for another 2km to cross a footbridge, so that the river is on your left. About 600m after the bridge there is a small cairn marking the point that you leave the track to enter the boggy approach to Suilven, which is a further 2km away.

Almost all the ascent is up the gully on Suilven, which on a clear day will be visible for most of the walk in. Pass between two small lochs to reach the ascent to the ridge. The gully is steep but doesn’t involve any technical scrambling, although it can be quite windy and exposed.

The actual summit requires a technical scramble, we weren’t able to reach the summit as the wind was gusting too strongly. This is an out and back route, so the walk out is almost all downhill.

 Views from the summit of Suilven

Views from the summit of Suilven

Maps: OS Explorer Map 442 Assynt & Lochinver

How to get there: Drive to Lochinver, park at the walkers’ car park on the road from Lochinver to Glencanisp Lodge. Parking at the walkers’ car park is free.

Glencanisp lodge and the surrounding land is owned by the Assynt Foundation who manage the land on behalf of the community of Assynt, to ensure the protection and sustainable development of the area. You can support their work by visiting their honesty shop as you pass through Glencanisp Lodge.