Shieldaig is a small coastal village in Wester Ross in the North West Highlands.
We base a number of our trips here and nearby, such as the Applecross and Torridon walking trip and our Sea Kayaking for families.
- Shieldaig is thought to derive from the Norse ‘Sild-vik’ meaning Herring Bay, which indicates the large number of herring that used to head up into Loch Torridon.
- The village was established in 1800 to attract families to take up fishing for a living. The Royal Navy also saw it as an opportunity to help build up a stock of trained seamen who could be called upon during the Napoleonic Wars.
- People were attracted to the village by the offer of grants from the Admiralty to support housing and boat building, and Shieldaig flourished.
- After Napoleon’s demise in 1815 the official support disappeared.
- But Loch Shieldaig and the surrounding waters offered the locals a great herring resource and the village continued to prosper due to the success of its fishing fleet.
- At present the fishing industry is limited to prawns and mussels.
- Our accommodation Tigh an Eilean means House of the Island, as it reflects the view of Shieldaig Island from many windows, and it is pronounced “Tee an Eelan”.
- In 1970, Shieldaig Island was bought by the National Trust.
- It is believed that the Island was planted with Scots Pine from the Speyside area 120-130 years ago, by the then owners the Fisheries Board. They used the Pine to make poles for fishing nets.
- The NT would like to prevent cross pollination with the nationally important Scots Pine of Glen Shieldaig, so are slowly over a time scale of 100-200 years, replacing the existing trees with local pines.
- Shieldaig Island is a SSSI (site of special scientific interest) and has a thriving bird population, including Herons, Kestrels, Black Guillemots, Long Eared Owls and Mergansers.