Hiking in Scotland – 13 Days
Watch for 2018 tour dates released in September! TOUR DIRECTOR: STEWART BENNETT Embrace the dramatic landscapes of the Isle of Arran and Glencoe on this spectacular hiking adventure! Spend seven nights in Alltshellachat, a Highland residence situated on the dramatic shores of Loch Leven, offering magnificent mountain…
Watch for 2018 tour dates released in September!
TOUR DIRECTOR: STEWART BENNETT
Embrace the dramatic landscapes of the Isle of Arran and Glencoe on this spectacular hiking adventure! Spend seven nights in Alltshellachat, a Highland residence situated on the dramatic shores of Loch Leven, offering magnificent mountain views. Each hiking day, you can choose between three guided walks (easy, medium and hard). In the evenings, your leaders will inform you about the choice of walks for the next day and answer any questions you may have. After a sociable evening meal, you could join in an organized activity such as a quiz, talk about the local area, relax in the bar, or use the Country House facilities. With five days of hiking combined with some spectacular sightseeing, this holiday offers the best of both worlds!
About the Terrain
We use paths or tracks where possible, occasionally good ones but more often they are rough, perhaps boggy and often have short, steep sections. Easier hikes are generally through glens, forest and moorland. Medium hikes are generally on good paths though often steep and rocky; Harder hikes cover very rocky and intermittent paths. On both harder and medium hikes, we sometimes take you along exposed sections which may feel airy, or where you might need hands to steady yourself. On some days the hikes start or finish at our Country House, Alltshellach; on other days we use hired transport at the start and/or end of the walks. The cost of all transport to and from the hikes is included in the price of your holiday.
Return airfare from Toronto, motorcoach transportation, 11 nights accommodation, 11 breakfasts, 8 lunches, 11 dinners, all highlights, a DeNureTours Tour Director, Connections Program and all taxes.
Prices are in Canadian dollars, are per person and include HST.
• 5 days of guided hiking
• Isle of Arran sightseeing and guided walking tour
• Arran Distillery Tour & Tasting
• Kilmartin Museum
• Highland Titles walking tour
• Commandos Monument Photo Stop
• St Conans Kirk
• Glencoe Visitor Centre
• 7 night stay at Alltshellach
Isle of Arran: Auchrannie Spa Resort (2 nights)
Oban: TBA (2 nights)
Onich: Alltshellach (7 nights)
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Hiking in Scotland – 13 Day
Day 1-2: Fly to Glasgow, Ferry to Arran
The best of Scotland, in miniature Arran has a bit of everything: mountains, forests, beaches, glens. You can’t miss Goat Fell as you approach on the ferry to Arran – it’s the island’s biggest mountain, and one of the most popular walks, with spectacular views from the top. Wildlife, castles, local cheese, and maltsThe wildlife on Arran is abundant, so pack your binoculars for a chance to see seal colonies, otters, eagles, basking sharks, porpoises, and over 100 species of birds. Also enjoy some of Arran’s local flavor with local cheese, beer and whisky. No trip to Arran would be complete without a visit to Auchrannie. Take a dip in one of the two 20m pools, be pampered at the spa or relax in one of the cosy lounges.
Stay: Auchrannie Spa Resort, Isle of Arran
Meals: L, D
Day 3: Brodick Castle, 3-hour guided hike
The quintessential Victorian ‘Highland’ estate, Brodick Castle, Garden & Country Park is dramatically set against the backdrop of Goatfell mountain, the grand red sandstone Scottish baronial-style castle has stunning views over Brodick Bay to the Firth of Clyde. Enjoy the woodland walks, ornamental Walled Garden and the abundant wildlife in the Country Park. Enjoy a 3-hour guided hike after lunch, or choose to relax at the hotel for the afternoon before gathering with your fellow guest for dinner.
Meals: B, D
Day 4: Isle of Arran Distillery, Ferry to Mainland, Kilmartin Museum, Oban
Isle of Arran Distillery is the only working distillery on an island that was once home to many of the illicit stills. There’s something magical about the alchemy of whisky making, and there’s no better way to appreciate it than by visiting a distillery. As one of the few independent distilleries in Scotland – and one that proudly follows traditional practice – your visit will be a fascinating experience. After taking the ferry to the mainland, visit Kilmartin Museum. How many museums can you go to where you can examine a Bronze Age pot and look out of the window and see the burial mound where it came from? Kilmartin Glen is home to over 800 internationally significant prehistoric and early historic sites and monuments dating back over 5000 years, making it mainland Scotland’s most important archaeological landscape. Monuments include rock art, standing stones, Neolithic and Bronze Age burial cairns and Dunadd Hill Fort, home to the earliest Kings of Scotland. Oban is known as the ‘Gateway to the Isles’ and the ‘Seafood Capital of Scotland’. The town itself lies in a crescent occupying the hills surrounding Oban Bay. The most outstanding feature within Oban is McCaig’s Tower, the Colosseum lookalike which stands above the town and features in many of the postcards to be found on George Street. The Tower is 10 minutes hard walk uphill from the centre of the town but provides spectacular views over the town and onto the neighboring islands. Oban Distillery is well worth the visit too. Nestled right in the heart of the town beneath the steep cliff that overlooks Oban, it is easily recognizable by its tall chimney. Built in 1794, this is one of Scotland’s oldest sources of single malt Scotch whisky.
Stay: TBA, Oban
Meals: B, D
Day 5: Highland Titles, Commandos Memorial, Fort William
The land at Highland Titles is managed as a nature reserve, with a tree planting project to help improve and conserve the beautiful Scottish Highlands, enjoy a Guided walking tour of the reserve. The Commando Memorial, which stands some 17ft or 5.2m high, and comprises a group of three bronze Commandos dressed in typical World War Two uniforms and equipment. They are looking south towards Ben Nevis. The Commandos were established on the instructions of Prime Minister Winston Churchill immediately after the Dunkirk evacuation in June 1940, as a means of striking back against the German armies occupying Europe. They formed an elite force capable of conducting irregular warfare in a range of different environments and went on to serve with distinction across the globe. During the war 1,700 Commandos lost their lives, while many others were seriously wounded: and eight men serving with the Commandos were awarded the Victoria Cross.
Meals: B, D
Day 6: St Conans Kirk, Glencoe Visitors Centre, Green Welly, Altshellach
Saint Conan’s Kirk has been providing the local community and visitors alike with a most enchanting experience. Amid roses, honeysuckle, and ivy, and surrounded by large trees it is steeped in a family history, unconventional approaches to design and magical and almost unbelievable stories that surprise and delight those of every age. It was established as a chapel of ease by the Campbells of Innis Chonan in 1881 it is renowned for the fragment of bone that came from Robert the Bruce, King of Scotland. The Great Moor of Rannoch is one of the last remaining wildernesses in Europe. The area is a vast stretch of land composed of blanket bog, lochans, rivers, and rocky outcrops which makes it a very challenging environment which still supports varieties of flora and fauna. A wealth of plants, insect, bird and animal life can be seen here ranging from curlews and grouse to roe and red deer. Glencoe is perhaps Scotland’s most famous and most scenic glen. It is also Scotland’s most historic glen, and it was recently voted as Scotland’s most romantic glen. Alltshellach is situated in a stunning location; on the shores of Loch Leven, with the spectacular views of the mountains of Glen Coe. Once the home of the Bishop of Argyll & the Isles, it is now a very comfortable base for your Guided Walking holiday. The house is surrounded by extensive gardens that slope down to the loch shore. The heated indoor swimming pool, with its stunning views, is popular with guests, as is the Highland Bar − well-stocked with whisky and local beer, there is always a social buzz after a day on the hills.
Stay: Alltshellach, Onich
Meals: B, D
Day 7: Hike Nevis Gorge, Lairigmor and Kinlochleven
Explore the dramatic Nevis Gorge and Steals waterfalls in the shadow Ben Nevis, or head to the mountains to the north of Lock Leven, with the option to ascent to the summit of Mam na Gualainn.
Meals: B, L, D
Day 8: Hike Lismore and the hills beyond Ballachulish
Today’s hike explores two contrasting landscapes. Our easier walk heads to the tranquil island of Lismore for a day far reaching sea views. The medium and harder walks ascend to the summit of Sgorr Dhearg and Being a’bheireir, the twin peaks visible from Alltshellach.
Meals: B, L, D
Day 9: Hike Glencoe
The immense valley of Glencoe carved its way through some of Scotland’s most dramatic mountains. Discover the valley’s turbulent history and connections to the Clan MacDonald on our easier hike, or tackle one of the impressive peaks that tower over this crucible of Scottish history.
Meals: B, L, D
Day 10: Free day
Enjoy a free day to explore the Western Highlands independently or relax for the day at the hotel.
Meals: B, L, D
Day 11: Hike Ardgour – Strontian and Garbn Bheinn
Today we take the Corrna Ferry across Loch Linnhe to the Ardgour Peninsula for a choice of valley or mountain walks.
Meals: B, L, D
Day 12: Hike The Mamores and hills around Kinlochleven
Our easier hike heads to the lower slopes of Ben Nevis for a classic route below the north face. Meanwhile the medium and harder walks head to the Mamores Mountains – a range of towering peaks, including the rugged summit of Stob Ban.
Meals: B, L, D
Day 13: Return flight home
After breakfast at the hotel, your coach will deliver you to Glasgow Airport for your return flight home.
DAY 7: Nevis Gorge, Lairigmor and Kinlochleven
7 miles (11.5km) with 1,450 feet (440m) of ascent
We follow the River Nevis upstream through meadows to reach the wooded gorge where the ‘Eas an Tull’, the Torrent, churns dramatically between giant boulders. Emerging into the wide vistas of the Steall Meadow with views of the magnificent An Steall waterfall, we visit the wire bridge at Steall before returning to Achriabhach.
8 miles (13km) with 2,050 feet (620m) of ascent
Starting at Callert on the northern shore of Loch Leven, we take a steep path up to a pass on the main ridge. Crossing the ridge, we contour round behind Mam na Gualainn, then descend into Lairigmor the adjacent valley and join the West Highland Way to Kinlochleven.
8 miles (12.5km) with 3,200 feet (980m) of ascent
From Callert we follow the route of the Medium Walk onto the main ridge. We veer east over Callert Lump, then continue on the undulating ridge to Mam na Gualainn and Beinn na Caillich, before descending to join the West Highland Way to Kinlochleven.
DAY 8: Lismore and the hills beyond Ballachulish
9½ miles (15.5 km) with 1,050 feet (320m) of ascent
We take the ferry from Port Appin to the Isle of Lismore and head across the point to the picturesque old fishing village of Port Ramsay. From here the route crosses back to the eastern shores to visit the Pictish Broch at Tirefour before lunch along the shores of Loch Balle a’Ghobhiann. Returning to the western shores we may visit the Island Heritage Centre and the ruins of Castle Coeffin, before following a low ridge past the trig point marking the islands highest point (just 82 metres) and return to the ferry via Port Ramsay. Easy gradients and lots of interest make this our most popular easier walk.
9½ miles (15km) with 3,900 feet (1,180m) of ascent
The walk starts from St John’s Church at virtually sea-level, on the southern shore of Loch Leven. The walk climbs up through forestry tracks and rougher ground to reach the pink quartzite summit of Sgorr Dhearg, then returns down through forestry tracks, and over the Ballachulish Bridge with its wonderful views down the loch to Ardgour and back to Alltshellach.
9½ miles (15.5km) with 3,850 feet (1,160m) of ascent
From St John’s church we follow forestry tracks through Gleann a’Chaolais to reach a woodland path winding uphill alongside the stream to reach the upper slopes. A steep stony gully leads up onto the main Beinn a’Bheithir ridge which is followed eastwards to the summit of Sgorr Dhonuill (1,001m). We descend back into Gleann a’Chaolais and via forestry trails to the Ballachulish Bridge which we cross to return to Alltshellach.
DAY 9: Glen Coe
8 miles (12.5km) with 1,250 feet (380m) of ascent
Starting at the National Trust Visitor Centre in dramatic Glen Coe we follow woodland trails to Glencoe village and onwards to the scenic ‘Hospital Lochan’. We then head down forestry tracks to the finish at the Clachaig Inn, a climber’s hostelry steeped in history. Signal Rock, which tradition has as the gathering point for the MacDonalds of Glencoe at times of emergency, offers an optional historic short loop from here.
8½ miles (13.5km) with 2,900 feet (880m) of ascent
From Glen Coe we ascend Sron Garbh, then follow the long, undulating ridge eastwards to Stob Mhic Mhartuin. We descend to the West Highland Way and down the zigzags of the Devil’s Staircase to Altnafeadh, then on to the Kingshouse.
6½ miles (10.5km) with 3,800 feet (1,160m) of ascent
From Glen Coe we head up through Coire nan Lochan to the twin summits of Stob Coire nan Lochan and Bidean nam Bian – the highest peak in Argyll. We descend through another of Bidean’s magnificent corries back into Glen Coe.
DAY 11: Ardgour – Strontian and Garbh Bheinn
8½ miles (13.5km) with 1,600 feet (480m) of ascent
Crossing on the Corran ferry to Ardgour, we start our walk at the one-time lead mining centre of Strontian and follow the river towards the long-abandoned Bellsgrove lead mines below Druim Glas. We return through the Ariundle Nature Reserve.
9½ miles (15km) with 1,900 feet (580m) of ascent
From Strontian we ascend on an ancient ‘coffin route’ to Bealach nan Cairn overlooking Loch Shiel, then follow the ridge eastwards to Meall Iain, eventually descending through the old workings of the Whitesmith Mine back to Strontian valley.
6½ miles (10km) with 3,150 feet (960m) of ascent
From Glen Tarbert we walk up through forest to join the west ridge of Garbh Bheinn and follow the ridge to the summit. We descend over the long ridge of Sron a’ Gharbh Choire Bhig and back into Glen Tarbert.
DAY 12: The Mamores and hills around Kinlochleven
8 miles (12.5km) with 1,100 feet (340m) of ascent
From the lower gondola station below Aonach Mor we follow pleasant forestry trails alongside the River Lundy and then ascend the ‘North Face path’ through forestry to reach a viewpoint with magnificent views across the Allt a’Mhuilinn to the North-east face of Ben Nevis. Crossing open hillside on tracks we descend past the Glen Nevis Distillery to follow the Great Glen Way past Inverlochy Castle into Fort William.
7½ miles (12 km) with 3,350 feet (1,020m) of ascent
From Achriabhach in Glen Nevis we head up into the heart of the Mamores via Coire an Mhusgain and enjoy dramatic scenery to reach the high point near Sgurr an Iubhair, on the famous Ring of Steall, before descending to Kinlochleven.
8 miles (13km) with 4,100 feet (1,240m) of ascent
From Achriabach we ascend steeply on the northern spur to the airy summit of Stob Ban at 999 metres. After enjoying the spectacular views and the slopes of Sgurr an Iubhair we complete a traverse of the Mamores by following a rough stalker’s path down Coire na h-Eirghe to Kinlochleven, with hopefully time for a drink at the Ice Factor.