Walk and hike across this landscape and on the the Isle of Skye, with its magnificent sea and mountain views. Congenial hotels provide hospitality, lodging and meals along the way. Our minibus brings your luggage to the next hotel before you arrive. Walks cover from 3 to 9 miles, with ascents of 300 to 1300 feet.
Inn-to-Inn Walking Tours:
Arrive at our hotel in Fort William, which nestles at the foot of Ben Nevis, Britain's highest mountain. An orientation meeting in the early evening is followed by a Welcome Dinner.
Depart in our minibus for the Glenelg peninsula on Scotland’s west coast. This delightful and secluded area of the Highlands was immortalized in Gavin Maxwell’s book, “Ring of Bright Water”. A gentle introductory hike takes us to one of the mysterious 2000-year-old ‘brochs’ which occur throughout this area. We rejoin our minibus to continue to the Isle of Skye via the Ratagan Pass, Glenelg and the romantic Glenelg-Kylerhea ferry. Overnight on the Isle of Skye.
A day touring on Skye. We visit Dunvegan Castle, the ancestral home of the Chiefs of Macleod, said to be the oldest inhabited castle in the Highlands and Islands. An opportunity for a boat ride to visit the nearby seal colony in Loch Dunvegan. Then we drive to the Staffin peninsula and walk up to admire the spectacular pinnacles of the Storr Rocks. Overnight on the Isle of Skye.
We return to the mainland via the Skye bridge and, after a stop at Kyle of Lochalsh for routine shopping, drive to Killilan, the starting point for the first of three linear hikes. At midday we begin our hike, which takes us on an enchanting route up a heather-covered valley, by rushing streams and through forest, arriving in the Attadale gardens by the shore of Loch Carron. The day finishes with a drive to our next hotel at Achnasheen.
Walk through the rugged Ben Damph range by an ancient route used by cattle drovers in medieval times. Our path leads up a wild Highland Glen, through a rocky pass, and by small mountain lakes (lochans). We return to Achnasheen for a second night.
We drive through the Torridon region, with its majestic sandstone mountains, to reach Diabaig, where Loch Torridon merges with the open sea. Hike by a delightful coastal path with, on a fine day, superb views across to Skye and The Outer Isles. Overnight in the beautiful Wester Ross hamlet of Gairloch, overlooking the sea loch of that name.
A well-earned morning of relaxation in Gairloch, starting with a visit to the town’s small but fascinating Heritage Museum, and then time free for shopping or simply browsing. Lunch is taken at the cafeteria at Inverewe Gardens. In the afternoon we visit the world-renowned tropical gardens, the far-sighted creation of Osgood Mackenzie in the 1870’s. Our Farewell Dinner rounds off a memorable week.
Walking Tours with 3 Nights on the Isle of Skye:
Arrive at our hotel in Fort William
Depart in our minibus for Scotland ’s remote and rugged northwest coast. We stop enroute for a visit to Urquhart Castle, whose ruins stand majestically by the shore of Scotland ’s most famous loch -- Loch Ness. We then drive to Glen Affric, and walk one of the trails through a beautiful woodland area of native Caledonian Pine forest. We continue to the small coastal town of Gairloch and check into our hotel.
Drive to Slatterdale by the shore of Loch Maree. Our walk is point-to-point and leads to the village of Poolewe, home of the world-famous Inverewe tropical gardens. We visit the gardens, the far-sighted creation of Osgood Mackenzie in the 1870s. Overnight in Gairloch.
The day begins with a visit to Gairloch’s small though fascinating Heritage Museum, where the way of life, past and present, of this part of the Western Highlands is brought so evocatively to life. Then on to Gruinard Bay, and a walk into the edge of the area of mountains and moors known as the “Great Wilderness”. We visit the desolate ruined village in the Glen of the Forked Shieling, and time permitting climb to the top of one of the surrounding hills to enjoy the views into this magnificent and remote part of the Scottish mainland. Overnight in Gairloch.
It is now time to move to our second base at a hotel on the Isle of Skye. We drive via the Beinn Eighe National Nature Reserve, and in the morning walk the Woodland Trail within the reserve. After lunch in a welcoming inn, we continue to Skye via the Ratagan Pass, Glenelg and the romantic Glenelg-Kylerhea ferry. Overnight on Skye.
A day touring on the Isle of Skye. We visit Dunvegan Castle, the ancestral home of the Chiefs of Macleod, said to be the oldest inhabited castle in the Scottish Highlands and Islands. Then we drive to the Staffin peninsula and walk up to admire the spectacular outcrops and pinnacles of the Storr Rocks. Return via Portree to our hotel. Overnight on Skye.
This final day gives an opportunity to see what is regarded by many as the most dramatic and magnificent mountain panorama in the whole of Britain, the view of the Cuillin Mountains from Loch Coruisk. The loch can only be approached by boat or on foot, and it is planned to go in by boat and walk out to Sligachan through the Druim Hain pass. (If sea or weather conditions make it impossible to carry out this plan, an alternative walk will be arranged). Our Farewell Dinner at the hotel on Skye will have been well earned.
After breakfast participants have the choice of a ride via the Skye road bridge to Inverness, with drop-offs in the town center or at the airport, or a return to Fort William by the Armadale-Mallaig ferry. Drop-offs can be arranged at the train station at Mallaig or Fort William, or participants can be taken south to Glasgow Airport, or beyond.
Walking Tour of the Isles of Skye, Lewis, and Harris:
Arrive at our hotel in Fort William
We start with an exploration of the Moidart region of the Scottish Highlands. This beautiful area to the south west of Fort William has especially close connections with Bonnie Prince Charlie and the 1745 Jacobite uprising, and we retrace his route from his first landing point on the Scottish coast to Glenfinnan, where he raised his banner and declared himself king. The day includes a walk by the wooded shore of Loch Moidart and a visit to ruined Castle Tioram. We return to Fort William for a second night.
The time has come to depart for our Hebridean adventure, but before leaving the mainland we stop by the shore of Loch Duich to enjoy a short walk amidst the verdant scenery of Glen Croe. This is followed by a visit to Eilean Donan Castle, the ancestral seat of the MacKenzies of Kintail. Then it’s over the bridge to the Isle of Skye and our next hotel, on Skye, where the following two nights are spent.
The day is spent on Skye, and starts with a short visit to Portree, the largest town on the island, for routine shopping. We then drive to the northern end of the island, with a stop at the aptly-named Kilt Rock. Our walk leads through the spectacular rock scenery of the Quiraing, where the contorted basalt outcrops and pinnacles seem to be frozen in time. Return to the hotel for a second night.
In the morning we visit Dunvegan castle, the ancestral home of the Clan Macleod, who also held extensive lands in the Outer Hebridean Islands of Lewis and Harris. We then drive to Uig, the embarkation point for the Western Isles, and take the ferry to Tarbert on the Isle of Harris. Lunch will be onboard. After arrival at Tarbert we drive to our hotel in Carloway, on the north west coast of the Isle of Lewis, our home for the next three nights.
Our exploration of the Isles of Harris and Lewis begins with the famous Standing Stones of Callanish, one of the most important prehistoric sites in the whole of Britain. We then drive to Great Bernera and enjoy a picturesque walk taking in stunning coastal scenery, an iron age village and one of Lewis’s finest beaches, a magnet for brave (or foolhardy) bathers! Overnight at our hotel on Lewis.
Our final day is spent amidst the dramatic scenery of the mountains of Harris. We drive to the tiny coastal village of Rhenigadal, and walk to Urgha by a dramatic, though well-built, trail which for centuries provided the only land communication between the two villages. After lunch the walk continues to Maruaig by a trail which was again originally constructed as a main road linking Harris with the lowlands of Lewis to the north. Return to the hotel at Carloway for a well-earned Farewell Dinner, and overnight.
After breakfast we offer the choice of a transfer to Stornoway Airport, from which there are direct flights to Glasgow, Edinburgh and Inverness (and connections to London), or a return to Fort William (and onward to Glasgow) by our minibus.
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