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Ariundle Oakwood NNR - Visiting the reserve

Visit Ariundle Oakwood for sheltered walks in a magical woodland habitat, home to many rare plants and insects.

 

 

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Getting here

By car

From the village of Strontian on the A861, cross the bridge over the River Strontian and turn right. Follow this road for 3.5 kilometres to the signposted Airigh Fhionndail car park (Forestry Commission Scotland) at the start of the reserve. The grid reference is NM 825 633.

PH36 4JA is the nearest postcode.

By public transport

The nearest bus stop is in Strontian (3.5 kilometres), which is on the Fort William to Kilchoan route.

The nearest railway station is Glenfinnan (18 kilometres) on the Fort William to Glasgow line. We recommend that you take the train to Fort William and then travel to the reserve by bus.

Map

Ariundle Oakwood National Nature Reserve

Follow signs for FCS Airigh Fhionndail car park two miles north of Strontian.

Access the reserve via a track, which also forms part of the FCS Ariundle Trail leading to the reserve’s woodland walk.

For visitors

Visit Ariundle Oakwood is a good introduction to the reserve.

Toilets

The closest public toilets are at Strontian.

Trails for all

You are welcome to explore the oakwood at any time. Park in the Forestry Commission car park on the access road from Strontian.

There is a track from the car park to the reserve. Shortly after crossing the boundary you can continue on the track or take the woodland or nature trails. Or you can combine these two trails to create a 5-kilometre loop.

Seasonal highlights

You’re sure to find something of interest all year round at Ariundle Oakwood NNR.

Spring

Lesser celandine, wood-sorrel, wood anemone and primrose are among the early flowers on Ariundle’s woodland floor. The glorious unfolding of spring colours is matched by the richness of birdsong in the forest canopy. Summer visiting redstarts, wood warblers and tree pipits join the resident tits, chaffinches and wrens in a glorious spring chorus.

Summer

Scotland's western oakwoods are the UK stronghold for the rare chequered skipper butterfly. Careful management in places like Ariundle Oakwood is helping it to thrive. Look out for it among the purple moor grass, which provides it with food and shelter.

Autumn

The colours of autumn paint the oakwoods red, gold and orange. Listen for the roar of red deer in rut and look for fungi on the forest floor.

Winter

The reserve is an ideal location for a sheltered winter walk. Look out for buzzards in the wood and birds of prey flying overhead. It’s the ideal time to see the mosses and liverworts on boulders, tree trunks and branches and in burn gullies and woodland hollows.