Ben A'an and The Trossachs
Boreraig and Suisnish
Coire Mhic Fhearchair
May 12th to 25th
June 9th to 22nd
July 7th to 22nd
August 4th to 17th
September 8th to 21st
Single Room Supplement: £300
Includes: All transport, guiding and 13 nights full board accommodation.
Excludes: Final night accommodation if staying in Edinburgh, additional tourist attractions, castle entrance fees etc.
B&B, Guest House and small hotels
Depart from Edinburgh: 9am Sunday
Return to Edinburgh: 2-3pm Saturday
Truly discover Scotland with this 14 day moderate walking and hiking tour featuring what we consider to be some of the most scenic and dramatic parts of Scotland!
We've included as much as possible within this holiday to let you experience the many different landscapes of the Scottish Highlands, but without it being a mad rush!
You'll experience stunning mountains, deep lochs, beautiful forests, wild coastlines and some of the most remote and rugged parts of Scotland. Highlights include Loch Lomond and the Trossachs, the West Highland Way, Glencoe, an ascent of Ben Nevis, the Isle of Skye, the wilderness of the North West Highlands and finally the majestic mountains of the Cairngorms National Park area.
This walking holiday will not only feature a superb range of mountain and lower level walks but will also include several rest and sightseeing days, giving you the chance to appreciate highlights along the way such as Eilan Donan Castle, Loch Ness, Culloden battlefield and other areas of interest.
The holiday includes 13 nights accommodation and a total of 11 days walking, with several days between for accommodation transfer and a bit of rest and sightseeing. You'll be seeing a lot of Scotland, but mostly on foot with no real big drives or days traveling on the road! With the exception of the last few days, the journey taken is mostly south to north, following the west coast route all the way and the scenery throughout is spectacular!
The first 2 days and nights are spent in the Loch Lomond and Trossachs area – Scotland's first National Park, a widespread mosaic of forests, lochs and mountains. We then move further north to Glencoe, which is more rugged and dramatic and from here, you'll have the chance to ascend Ben Nevis, Scotland and the UK's highest mountain, as well as explore the glen itself. Four nights are then spent on Skye – the most famous of all Scottish islands! Although 2 weeks could easily be spent here, we have just 3 days to give you a taste of what this island can offer in all its variety. Crossing back over to the mainland we then head even further north into the wilderness area of Torridon, where we have 2 days walking amongst some of the largest and rugged mountains we know. Our final few days then see us heading east via Inverness and south into the Cairngorms area – Scotland's second National park and also extremely beautiful. Our last day of travel returns us back to Edinburgh by early afternoon.
Day 1 (Sunday): Ben A'an and The Trossachs - We will depart Edinburgh at 9:00am and head off west to the Trossachs for a relatively easy first days walking up Ben A'an. This is a fine low 'mini mountain' in the heart of the Trossach hills – often referred to as "Scotland in miniature" due to the numerous lochs across the area and range of small mountains. There are simply tremendous views overlooking Loch Katrine from the summit of Ben A'an. A short journey after our days walking will then take us to our accommodation at Loch Lomond.
3m/5km, 1100ft/340m, good path, steep in places, 3-4 hrs
Day 2 (Monday): Ascent of Ben Lomond - Ben Lomond is a relatively high mountain and a long day's walk, however the views from this summit are spectacular, looking out over Loch Lomond and to the many mountains further north. This mountain also happens to be our most southerly "Munro" (mountain over 3000ft) and is a worthy challenge for the start of our week! Accommodation Loch Lomond.
7m/11km, 3100ft/940m, good paths, steep in places, 6-7 hrs
Day 3 (Tuesday): Lost Valley of Glencoe - Today we'll transfer to your new accommodation in Glen Coe, but will take time on the way north to appreciate the changing scenery as you move deeper into the Highlands. In the afternoon we will head off for a shorter walk into the "Hidden Glen" of Glencoe. This is a stunning location, surrounded by high peaks and ridges and formerly used by thieving clans as a hideout for stolen cattle! Accommodation Glencoe.
2.5m/4km, 1150ft/340m, rough path, 3-4 hrs
Day 4 (Wednesday): Ben Nevis - Today offers the opportunity for an ascent of Ben Nevis, Scotland and the UK's highest mountain. Our ascent of 'The Ben' is straightforward and on good paths but is always physically challenging. The view from the top however (when not blanketed by mist), is all encompassing and well worth the effort. Accommodation Glencoe.
11m/17km, 4430ft/1345m, good path, 8-10 hrs
Day 5 (Thursday): Transfer to Skye - With time for a little shopping in Fort William and a look around the town, mid morning will see us on our way to Skye - or Eilan a' Cheo as it was named by the Gaelic poets. Amidst much controversy, a bridge across to the island was constructed in 1995, however we'll still take the seaward route - via boat from Mallaig and 'over the sea to Skye' - surely the best way to arrive on the island! We arrive on the southernmost part of the island at Armadale and may visit the Clan Donald Visitor Centre here or perhaps go for a short walk before heading on to our accommodation.
Day 6: (Friday): Boreraig and Suisnish - This is a fine coastal walk in the south west of Skye to the deserted villages of Boreraig and Suisnish – former crofting communities destroyed during the "Highland Clearances" of the mid 1800's. Now just scattered ruins, these places give testimony to a bleak period of Scottish history and are wild, lonely places to visit. The views throughout the walk are wonderful and varied - Loch Eishort to the south, the Isle of Rhum not far away and adjacent mountains Bla Bheinn and Clach Glas to the West. Accommodation Skye.
10m/16km, 1150ft/350m, good paths, 6-7 hrs
Day 7 (Saturday): Coire Lagan - Today's walk gives you the chance to enter into the heart of the Cuillin mountains. Coire Laggan is one of the many bowl shaped hollows (corries) leading up into the higher peaks and is deserved in its reputation as the most spectacular of them all. Along the way, we stop to admire the Eas Mor waterfall, considered to be the finest waterfall on Skye. The way to the Corrie is initially on good paths, but gives way to rougher walking in its upper stages Accommodation Skye.
6m/10km, 1950ft/590m, paths, rocky in places, 5-6 hrs
Day 8 (Sunday): The Quirang and Meall na Suiramach - The Quirang is an incredible maze of rock pinnacles and cliffs towards the northern end of the Trotternish peninsula in the north of the Island. Wandering amongst the cliffs, we'll take as much time as we need to explore this fascinating area before returning via the spectacular viewpoint and cliff-top walk of Meall na Suiramach Accommodation Skye.
5m/8km, 1100ft/340m, paths, steep in places, 5-6 hrs
Day 9 (Monday): Transfer to Torridon Area - Sad to leave though it will be, an early morning start will return us back over to the mainland and heading further north into the rugged mountains of Torridon and the north-west highlands.
En route we will also stop at Eilan Donan Castle – one of the most picturesque and filmed castles in Scotland. Here you will have plenty time to take a tour of the castle. The onward drive is through beautiful and remote scenery. Once established at our accommodation further north, you may have time for a late afternoon stroll before dinner. Accommodation Torridon area.
Day 10 (Tuesday): Coire Mhic Fhearchair - Today's hike in the Torridon area is into the majestic Coire Mhic Fhearchair - one of the finest and most impressive corries in Scotland. The corrie lies at the northern end of Ben Eighe - one of the three Torridon "giants" - and has a large amphitheatre, surrounded on three sides by the imposing cliffs of the mountain. The walk into the Corrie is extremely pleasant, with wide open views across the Torridon landscape. Accommodation Torridon area.
9m/14km, 1800ft/540m, rocky path, 6-7 hrs
Day 11 (Wednesday): Camas Mhor and Rubha Reidh cliff top walk - Today we walk a circular route including Rubha Reidh Lighthouse and the isolated and spectacular Camas Mhor bay to the north west of Gairloch - giving us dramatic seascapes and views back to Skye and northwards to the mountains of Assynt.
6m/10km, 660ft/200m, minor roads, rough ground and cliff-top paths, 5-6 hrs
We then travel east to our final area, Speyside. Accommodation Newtonmore/Aviemore area.
Day 12 (Thursday): Culloden Battlefield, Clava Cairns - We will take time along the way to explore some of Scotland's history, with visits to Culloden battlefield, the Clava Cairns and of course the obligatory stop at Loch Ness!
Day 13 (Friday): Cairngorm Mountain Wander - Today we introduce you to the delights of the Cairngorms with a thoroughly enjoyable walk of hugely varied character into the foothills of the Cairngorm mountains. We head up through the beautiful Caledonian Forest above Loch Morlich and then into the Larig Ghru - a famous pass cutting right through the heart of the Cairngorms. Taking in a small summit along the way we may then traverse the "Chalmain Gap" - a strange rocky incision where we have some boulders to negotiate before a gradual descent back down to Loch Morlich. Accommodation Newtonmore/Cairngorms area.
If the weather and visibility is good, we may make an alternative higher level hike today up onto the Cairngorm plateau itself - a high level mountain plateau cut by deep, spectacular corries. The plateau lies at an elevation of around 1000m, however for this walk we would start from around 600m - a good way to start the day!
10m/16km 1540ft/470m, good paths, 6-7 hrs
Day 14 (Saturday): Transfer to Edinburgh. Final Evening of Tour - After breakfast we depart for Edinburgh, with an optional visit to a whisky distillery en-route. We arrive back in Edinburgh early afternoon, giving you some time to spend in the city if you wish.
Overnight accommodation in Edinburgh is not included in the tour. If you wish to catch a flight or train from Edinburgh mid to late Saturday afternoon please let us know so this can be accommodated.
Accommodation and Meals
Accommodation is varied throughout the tour. In most areas we use large guest houses or small hotels with excellent facilities. In Torridon and Skye we may sometimes use smaller bed and breakfast houses. In these more remote areas please note that single rooms are very hard to obtain and that as such, en-suite facilities for singles may not always be available - particularly during July and August. We will advise you when you book. All our accommodation is hand-picked, situated within some spectacular settings and a warm welcome from your hosts is assured throughout the tour.
Evening meals are included throughout the tour for the whole group and are either taken at the guest house/hotel or in a local inn or restaurant. Our guest houses offer a set menu, all with excellent home cooked food, restaurants will provide a wider choice of courses. Vegetarians will always be catered for and other specific dietary requirements can normally be catered for if we know in advance. At all the places we visit we make a special effort to ensure that your evening meals are a highlight of the trip, with excellent food on offer and a relaxed and welcoming ambiance. Packed lunches are not included.
Grading of Walks
The walking throughout this tour we class as "Moderate" – suitable for people of good fitness who enjoy walking or the outdoors but who needn't necessarily have any previous hiking experience. Walks each day are mostly between 5-7 hours, with a couple of longer days (e.g. Ben Nevis is 8-9 hours) and are varied throughout the tour, with some lower level walks with little ascent and several more challenging days involving mountain ascents of around 3000ft (Ben Nevis 4,400ft!) – please see our full itinerary above. The first four days of the tour are generally found to be the most challenging.
Distances covered each day vary between 6-14 miles (9-21km). Terrain is mostly pathed, however on some days you should be prepared for rough or boggy ground. If concerned about your suitability for the level of walks please just contact us for further details - your enjoyment of the trip is important to us. Please read our grading guide here.