Best time to visit: Summer or any dry day really.
Reasons to visit
Best scenery in Scotland**: Let’s try to put things in perspective. The Isle of Skye is magnificent, its home to some jaw-dropping scenery. However, when I reached Torridon, my first thought way “Wow, is this really better than Skye? Maybe it is”. For someone who has travelled through Scotland, that is pretty much some of the highest praise you can confer to any place.
The deer: Northwest (NW) Scotland is home to so many magnificent deer, especially stags with multi-point antlers. Torridon in particular is a great spot to see them as it has a contained deer park in the village. You can buy some deer food from the nature centre and feed the deer, very few places in the country to do that.
The landscape: Just travelling to the village itself presents some great scenery. Taking a hike in this region takes it to another level. Though there are a couple of difficult yet rewarding hikes in this region, I opted for the easy (yet equally rewarding) Coire Mac Fhearchair hike. Read our own experience and the Walkhighlands description and see for yourself why this hike is touted so heavily as one of the most rewarding hikes in this region (click here for a full list for the region). Some pics below.
Public Transport Logistics
* As the law of averages works no matter where you are, here is the big drawback of visiting Torridon using public transport. You can use public transport to get into the village (and hence the asterix) but getting out can be a nightmare, if not impossible.
The bus that takes you into Torridon from Strathcarron (the nearest railhead, take the Kyle Line from Inverness – Kyle of Lochalsh run by ScotRail) does so only on request. You cannot request the bus to take you back to Strathcarron. I had to walk to the next village 8 km away (Shieldag) to be able to take the bus to Strathcarron & continue towards Skye. Thankful for the friendly bus driver to give me all the tips I needed to know & the family who gave me a lift inspite of my 10+ kg load & limited car space to save 4 km of walking for me.
The only bus that the internet tells me goes out from Torridon is the Westerbus that runs only on School Days at 4:35 PM. The timetable can be found here, however I’d call the Westerbus company to confirm that this is indeed a real bus Get it if you can, camp at Shieldag or stay at a B&B overnight and then continue your journey in peace than walking a long distance like I did.
Food & Drink
Torridon is a tiny, tiny village. The best option for food & drink is to bring your own from the nearest major town. And enjoy it on one of your hikes, it feels heavenly.
The Torridon Inn is the village pub and is actually pretty fancy. Their whisky selection is not bad at all. However, their food leaves a bit to be desired for the price point (or maybe I just ordered the wrong thing off the menu). My pork roast was a deconstructed take on the actual dish and I was not a fan.
On the other hand, I enjoyed my stay at the Torridon Youth Hostel (SYHA) in big part due to their curry club. I consider myself a curry connoisseur & have scoffed at microwave curry meals. However, the SYHA curry club microwave meal consisting of a healthy portion or Chicken Tikka Masala or Beef Madras (the latter being my fave) is LEGIT. Just take my word for it, you shall not regret anything ordered off the SYHA curry club menu. Just the perfect amount of heat in the curry & the rice is pretty fluffy after preparation. The naan is soft after toaster-heating like it should be. This may be the best meal I had the whole month till I eventually went to Dunoon with Yoda to end this trip.
** Torridon is actually not better than Skye, they’re the same level of natural beauty. I realized this after going to Skye straight from Torridon for the third time in 3 years. Damn Skye’s amazing.