Lochinver stands on the coast of Assynt, about 30 miles (48 km) northwest of Ullapool. Once a major herring fishing port, it has managed to retain its importance even with the decline of the herring and ranks alongside Kinlochbervie as one of the busiest fishing ports on this coast. The harbour is owned and operated by Highland Council, and supports a busy fish market. Given Lochinver's proximity to the North Atlantic fishing grounds, it has become a popular landing point for both the UK whitefish fleet and for vessels from other European countries, preventing them having to sail to more southerly ports and thus maximising the time they can fish.

One of the main attractions to the area are the Sutherland hills which offer excellent climbing. South of the village sits Suilven, Torridonian sandstone on a bed of granite, it rises to a height of 731m (2399 feet) and is often referred to as the 'sugar loaf mountain'. The area around the village has spectacular rock formations and is widely regarded as a geologist's mecca.

The village itself houses the Assynt Visitor Centre and Highland Stoneware, which provide an outlet for local arts and crafts. Related attractions are the oversized chairs, flat-screen television and car made from mosaicked broken pottery. Other facilities include the Culag Hotel (1873) and the more modern Inver Lodge Hotel, a leisure centre, post-office, police station, bank, petrol station, health centre, three churches and a variety of shops. Salmon fishing on the river and brown trout fishing on the lochs are available to tourists in the area.

This area of Assynt is the ancestral home of the Clan MacLeod.

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