Evidence of human settlement along the coast of this region dates back thousands of years and there are still ruins and archaeological sites of interest near to the village. The Vikings were very active in the area, and the name 'Ullapool' is derived from 'Ulla-Bolstadr' meaning 'Ulla's steading' after one of the Norse settlers.
The modern village came about in 1788 when the British Fisheries Society decided to develop the village as a port for herring which was bountiful at the time. The original street layout was designed by Thomas Telford along with many of the original building, some of which still exist today.
Ullapool & The Harbour
Ullapool's safe harbour has played an important role in the development of the modern village. In the 2nd half of the 20th century herring and mackerel were landed in huge numbers leading to what became known as the 'Klondyke' industry, large factory ships from all over the world, anchoring in the loch and bay processing fish.
The arrival of the Stornoway Ferry made Ullapool the main link to the Isle of Lewis and whilst we still have many local and international boats landing here, we also have cruise liners, yachts and sports craft visit and land here too.
Culturally, Ullapool has developed as a well known venue for arts, music and a number of festivals throughout the year. Our book festival is celebrating its 10th year, Loopallu continues to be popular as a music festival for visitors and acts from throughout the UK and internationally and the Guitar festival is famous on the guitar scene.
We also have an arts centre, a number of studios, a famous pip band, dance festival and many live acts playing throughout the year in the bars in the village.
Our location in the heart of the north west highlands makes us an ideal base for visitors wanting to explore the wonderful and largely unspoilt landscapes, coastline, beaches, villages, hills and mountains. We are the gateway to the North West Geopark with some of the best geological features in the UK and have boats touring the Summer Islands and ferry link to the Hebrides.
We are surrounded by wildlife and nature and offer an opportunity to get away from everything whilst being only an hour from the airport and rail links at Inverness.