This Gairloch village provides a wonderful taste of Wester Ross on the North West coast of Scotland. From the wonderfully untamed landscape and coastline to the amazingly friendly Highlanders who live in Port Henderson, this is a place that you will never forget.
If you’re a fisherman, the rocks at the shore are perfect for landing fish from these crystal clear waters, with Pollock and Mackerel being the most common fish to be lured by your spinner. Many a night’s dinner has relied on our father (Hector) or brother (Duncan) bringing back a string of fish with that wonderfully subtle scent of the sea – and always accompanied by a proud grin!
For kids, young and old, the numerous rock pools provide a wonderful glimpse into another world and hold a wealth of fascinating creatures; including sea anemones, tiny fish and hermit crabs to poke and coax out of their lairs. When there have been storms at sea there is always a big flat jellyfish or two stranded on the beach. Never touch – but poking with a bit of driftwood is an inevitable need! There are so many things that we could tell you about that made our regular childhood visits magical and enthralling but you and your children will discover them for yourselves so it would be unfair to tell you about them all here!
A BBQ on the beach has always been a favourite for Duncan and his family, best done before the sun sets so as you tuck in to your catch of the day, the sky delivers a sunset rivalling any in the world.
If you fancy a walk, head out from the back of the croft along the rocks or over the hill. It’s a lovely walk with a good chance of catching sight of the odd seal or two frolicking in the waters just off shore, an eagle soaring on the thermals or a local fisherman heading out into the bay for the daily catch.
For the vigilant few; a clump of white heather will materialise out of the purple hue of these heather covered hills. They’re rare but we can guarantee they’re there, so if you do find one, pick a sprig and keep it – it’ll bring you luck.
This walk will bring you to possibly the tiniest village you’ll ever visit, but a place where our immediate family began, Badaninal. This is where our father was born and grew up. There is still no road to it, just a track. Back then there were just two houses (now there are three) and a rocky path that our father and his brother hiked as part of their walk to the equally tiny school in the bay side village of Badachro each morning and afternoon.
I will bring the fishing enthusiast back into the story now, as there is a huge gently sloping rock at Badaninal known as the Creag. Not only has this been an excellent place to catch a bite but also the perfect landing rock, due to its perfect slope up from the water. As a fishing enthusiast staying at Chrissie’s Croft; to not cast your spinner from the Creag would be a crime! The turn of the tide has delivered a bounty well beyond the appetites of a full house, in fact in the past we have often fed half the village!
And while you’re in Badaninal, don’t forget to challenge your kids to find the little cave near the Creag we used to sit in while Dad would fish.
Aside from the natural discoveries you’ll make around Port Henderson, it’s inevitable that if you take a wander through the village you’ll meet a local or two. These wonderfully friendly neighbours have lived here all their lives and we deem them as an extension of our own family for the hospitality and friendship they have shown us and our Great Aunt Chrissie over the decades. We know that once you have stayed in Port Henderson, you will return – so offer them your spare fish! Friends made here last a lifetime.