Gaelic: Ceann Loch Iù
|Ross, Skye and Lochaber|
Kinlochewe is a village in Ross-shire, in Wester Ross, within the parish of Gairloch. It stands near the head of Loch Maree in the magnificent valley of that loch, and serves as a junction between the main Ullapool road north, and that which heads west to the coast at Loch Torridon. Loch Maree was at one time also known as Loch Ewe, hence the village's name.
Kinlochewe has a couple of shops, a hotel and bunkhouse, mountain chalets, several bed and breakfasts, a post office (with internet café), and one of very few petrol filling stations for many miles in any direction.
To the north of the village, by the car park, is a First World War (1914–18) memorial. Two sergeants from the Seaforth Highlanders are remembered. Both were awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal, and both later died of their wounds. Others from Canada and New Zealand are also remembered.
The village contains two churches:
- Parish Church (Church of Scotland)
- Kinlochewe Free Church, built in 1873
The village is at the south-east corner of the Beinn Eighe National Nature Reserve, centred around the mountain of that name, which includes some surviving areas of natural forest, the majority of which was cut down from the 16th century onwards for iron smelting which was the major industry in the area. A short but steep woodland trail runs through pine forest on the lower slopes of the reserve, giving fine views over Loch Maree and the mountain of Slioch on the other side of the loch. A longer, rougher mountain trail climbs further up the slopes of Beinn Eighe.
Although many peaks in the North-west Highlands exhibit Torridon geology, the Torridon hills are generally considered only to be those in the Torridon Forest to the north of Glen Torridon. Specifically, these are:
The landscape around the village is dominated by the Torridonian sandstone, a Precambrian and very old rock formation. Each of the Torridon Hills sits very much apart from each other, and they are often likened to castles. They have steep terraced sides, and broken summit crests, riven into many pinnacles. There are many steep gullies running down the terraced sides. The summit ridges provide excellent scrambling, and are popular with hill walkers and mountaineers. However, like many ridge routes, there are few escape points, so once committed, the scrambler or hillwalker must complete the entire ridge before descent.
In 2005 and 2006, the narrow, winding A832 road that snakes into the valley and the village from Glen Docherty in the south-east, was widened and improved for easier access.