May 19th to 25th
June 23rd to 29th
July 21st to 27th
August 18th to 24th
September 22nd to 28th
Single Room Supplement: £200
6 days walking
6 nights B&B
6 evening meals
Transport from Edinburgh
Depart from Edinburgh: 9am Sunday
Return to Edinburgh: 2-3pm Saturday
The first half of your trip will be spent in and around the area of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs. This is an area of tremendous beauty, now Scotland's first officially designated national park. Loch Lomond itself is the largest freshwater loch in Scotland and Britain and has a rich variety in scenery throughout its length. Its southern half is surrounded by low hills and has many small rocky, forested islands and fine beaches. The northern half of the loch is surrounded by 3000ft peaks including Ben Lomond to the east and Ben Vorlich and the Arrochar Alps to the west.
The latter half of the week will be spent further north in the area of Glencoe, which is altogether more rugged country. In addition to having some of Scotland's most awe inspiring mountains, the Glencoe area is rich in both history and culture, being the site of the famous massacre of the Clan MacDonald in 1692 as well as having featured in movies such as Highlander and Braveheart. Our journey into this area will include a walk along part of the West Highland Way, giving us time to soak in the scenery and truly appreciate our arrival in this part of the country.
This holiday includes 6 days guided walking and 6 nights accommodation - 3 nights in the Loch Lomond area followed by 3 nights in Glencoe. Departure will be from Edinburgh at 08.30 am on the first Sunday of the holiday, returning the following Saturday at around 1pm.
Our itinerary for the week will include a mixture of high mountain walks and less strenuous days, culminating in an ascent of Ben Nevis - Scotland and the UKs highest mountain! The walks described below follow our typical itinerary for the week.
Day 1 (Sunday): 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', with tremendous views overlooking Loch Katrine in the middle of the Trossach hills - a great reward for little effort! As well as walking up Ben A'an, we will also be taking in the moorland, forests and numerous lochs of this area. A short journey after our days walking will take us to our accommodation at Loch Lomond.
475m/1500ft, 4m/6km, steep path, 4-5 hrs
Day 2 (Monday): Ascent of Ben Lomond - "I'll take the High Road .." Ben Lomond stands alone, a solitary distinctive mountain on the eastern side of Loch Lomond. This is a relatively long day's walk with a steady gradual climb up the south ridge leading to the summit. The views are spectacular however, looking out over the loch and to the many mountains further north. On the west side of the mountain, the steeper Ptarmigan ridge (first mapped by local legend Rob Roy himself) offers an interesting variation for the descent and leads us happily in the direction of the Rowardennan Hotel for some post walk refreshments. Accommodation Loch Lomond
974m/3195ft, 6m/10km, good steady path, 6-7 hrs
Day 3 (Tuesday): Ascent of the Cobbler - Situated within a small range of mountains to the west of Loch Lomond- 'The Arrochar Alps' - Ben Arthur, otherwise known as The Cobbler, has a character all of its own. Of moderate height, this small mountain provides a thoroughly enjoyable ascent that surpasses many of the surrounding higher 'Munros'. For those who enjoy heights, there is also an optional final pinnacle, accessed through a somewhat airy "window" near the summit - not for the faint hearted! This part of the country is riddled with long, fjord-like sea lochs between the mountains and there are excellent views west to the coast.Accommodation Loch Lomond.
881m/2890ft, 5 miles/8km, good to steep rocky path, 6 to 7 hours
Day 4 (Wednesday): West Highland Way -Today we'll transfer to your new accommodation in Glen Coe, but will take time on the way north to appreciate the changing scenery with a lower level walk along part of the West Highland Way. This is Scotland's most popular long distance walking route, a total of 152km (95 miles) long and stretching all the way from just north of Glasgow to Fort William. We'll follow what we consider to be the finest section of this route, starting from the Bridge of Orchy Hotel and finishing up at the head of Glen Coe at the Kingshouse Inn (12m/18km, 5-6 hrs).
The route to Glencoe also takes us through some breathtaking scenery - past Loch Tulla, with it's ancient Caledonian forest and over Rannoch Moor, where the scenery opens up beneath increasingly dramatic mountains. The final rise before the descent to the Kingshouse Inn at Glen Coe then gives us our first view of "The Buachaille" at the head of Glencoe - a very humbling experience!
Day 5: (Thursday): Ben Nevis - Your first day from Glen Coe offers the opportunity for an ascent of Ben Nevis, our highest mountain. Our ascent of 'The Ben' is straightforward and on good paths but is always physically challenging. The view from the top, when not blanketed by mist, is all encompassing and well worth the effort.Accommodation Glencoe.
1344m/4410ft, 6m/10km, good steady path, 8-9 hrs
Day 6 (Friday): Hidden Glen of Glencoe - Our plan for today is 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! (200m/650ft, 2-3m/4km, rough path, 3-4 hrs).
As an alternative more challenging day we may sometimes complete an ascent of Buachaille Etive Mhor. Towering above Rannoch Moor, this stunning peak dominates the entrance to Glen Coe and Glen Etive and the wide vista over Rannoch Moor is one of the most extensive in the country.
1022m/3200ft, 4 miles/6km, 6-7 hours
Day 7: (Saturday): Return to Edinburgh - Today is the final day on the tour. After our last breakfast we will head off back south, passing through Glen Coe and arriving back in Edinburgh at approximately 1:00 pm.
Accommodation and Meals
Your accommodation for this tour is normally in large guest houses in the Loch Lomond and Glencoe areas, although on occasion we may use small hotels. We have a good relationship with all the establishments that we use and you can be assured of excellent facilities and a warm welcome throughout the trip. All our accommodation is hand-picked and situated within the most beautiful areas.
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 to challenging” – suitable for people with a good level of fitness who enjoy walking or the outdoors but who needn’t necessarily have any previous hillwalking experience. Most people find this trip slightly more challenging than a "moderate" grade trip but incredibly rewarding, fulfilling and enjoyable! The hikes are varied throughout the tour - several days involve mountain ascents in the order of 2000-3000ft (Ben Nevis 4,400ft!), but with a couple of less strenuous days also (see our full itinerary above).
Walks each day are mostly between 5-7 hours, with the exception of Ben Nevis which is a longer day (8-9 hours) and distances covered each day vary between 4-6 miles (6-10km). Terrain is mostly on mountain paths, but you should be prepared for some rugged and rocky terrain on a couple of days. If concerned at all 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.