Wester Ross (Scottish Gaelic: Taobh Siar Rois) is a western area of
Ross-shire county of Scotland, notably containing the villages on the
west coast such as:
* Kinlochewe (inland)
Wester Ross is geographically regarded as the western watershed of Ross-shire, but administrative and political boundaries diverge from this and have been subject to several changes and inconsistencies.
Wester Ross is a popular scenic tourism destination, although the level of this has declined considerably since the 1970s. Tourism still forms a major part of the economic activity of the area, particularly with the dramatic declines in fishing over the same period.
Wester Ross contains notable beauty spots such as Loch Maree, Inverewe Garden, Corrieshalloch Gorge, Glen Docherty and Bealach na Ba. But it is its mountains for which Wester Ross is renowned, in a unique and very old landscape.
The area is well known for its spectacular mountain scenery, especially the Torridon Hills which includes such peaks as Beinn Eighe and Liathach. 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:
* Beinn Eighe
* Beinn Alligin
* Beinn Dearg
Hills between Glen Torridon and Strath Carron share much of the splendour and character of the main hills, although perhaps less of the drama:
* Beinn Liath Mhòr
* Sgorr Ruadh
* Maol Cheann-dearg
* Beinn Damh
* An Ruadh-stac
* Fuar Tholl
The Torridon Hills exhibit some of the most dramatic mountain scenery in the British Isles, surpassed in grandeur probably only by the Cuillins of Skye. Other notable peaks include An Teallach and Slioch. The landscape 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. The area is thinly populated, so walkers need to come fully prepared. Under winter conditions, many walking routes become serious expeditions.
Wester Ross is featured in the lyrics to the song Letter from America (Song) by The Proclaimers, and Kishorn Commandos by North Sea Gas, which relate the wild lifestyle of construction workers on the Ninian Central Platform in Kishorn. Many other songs refer to or are named after areas, geographical features and villages of Wester Ross, notably Loch Maree Islands, which has been recorded by many artists including Calum Kennedy.
Major outdoor scenes in the films Stardust (2007 film) and The Eagle of the Ninth (film) were shot in Wester Ross
Wester Ross is the locale for the adventures of John Macnab in the book by John Buchan.