'The Wild & Rugged North-West' has 2 length options;
the 4-day and the 7-day
The 4 Day Trip & Trek
Cost: £758 pp based on 2 sharing a room, subject to availability in a very finely appointed hotel. Includes accommodation, all transport, guide, boat trip and cave admission. Excludes meals (other than breakfasts) and drink.
Single Supplement: £848 for the whole package, same exclusions
Budget Cost: £614 pp based on two sharing a bunkroom, subject to availability. Same package and exclusions as above.
Pickup from Edinburgh for 09:30 departure.
Going north up into the Highlands at Dunkeld and over the barren Drumochter pass.
Packed lunch overlooking Loch an Eilean after a climb and wander through the Caledonian pine woods. Grading: moderate to difficult over some rough sections without a path. Distance: 5.5kms Height: 155m
Over the Slochd pass and descend to Inverness and Moray Firth. Saunter down on foot to view the Falls of Rogie Grading: Easy along paths, steep in places. Distance: 1.5kms. Height: 80m
Break to view the spectacular Corrieshalloch Gorge. Grading: Easy on steep paths with a head for heights required over the suspended bridge above the deep gorge. Distance: 2kms. Height: 93m
Travel over to the west coast for accommodation in Assynt.
Travel around the spectacular, glacier carved Assynt region with its summits of rocky towers and buttresses.
Depending on group’s wishes, ability and the weather, we could either tackle an ascent of Cul Beag with dramatic views of Stac Pollaidh. Grading: strenuous, steep hill climb. Distance: 7.5kms Height: 720m. OR a low-level, more sheltered walk if climbing Cul Beag isn’t possible. This lower level alternative would be up a wooded river valley with plenty of cascades and then over a rocky landscape with the peak the Vikings called ‘Suilven’ – meaning ‘the pillar’ – often in view. Grading: Moderate with hill section and bogs. Distance: 6.5kms. Height: 130m
At the pretty coastal village of Lochinver, we’ll visit a famous pie shop and take our purchases for a picnic at a nearby sandy beach.
Drive past the stunning peaks of Quinag, and return to same accommodation.
Day 3 The order of this itinerary is weather and tide dependent but will include the following:
Drive and then walk to the impressive Inchnadamph hill caves where Neolithic man lived and a polar bear skull was found. Grading: Moderate walk along paths which are narrow and steep near the caves. Inside the caves it can be wet and slippery. Distance: 4.5kms Height: 210m
On to Kylesku for a highly recommended boat trip to see seals and possibly otter and other wildlife on the sheltered waters of a sea loch. We will sight Britain’s tallest waterfall.
Drive to the far north, over the Kylesku straits and via the broad sweeping, desolate hills of the remote NW corner of Scotland. First we’ll reach the lovely stretch of water known as the Kyle of Durness before reaching the town of that name.
Visit Smoo Caves. Good grippy footwear necessary due to slippery rocks. Requires agility to get into a rubber dingy down a ladder step.
Return to Kylesku and an evening meal at the vibrant inn and on to accommodation.
Visit the ruins of Ardvreck castle on the shores of Loch Assynt. Grading Easy. Distance: 1km height gained: 10m
Heading eastwards through Strath Oykel passing through the beautiful woodlands of Rosehall, we’ll take in some of the Pictish Trail at Hilton, Balintore and Nigg, looking at the splendid incised stones of the enigmatic Picts who left these fascinating expressions of their mysterious culture in stone.
Cross the Cromarty Firth on the Nigg ferry and visit the charming town of Cromarty.
Onto Inverness going south through the Cairngorm National Park back to Edinburgh.
Stop en route to enjoy the Hermitage Falls near Dunkeld Grading: Easy round walk of 1km along the level.
Return to Edinburgh around 19:00
The 7 Day Trip & Trek - The Wild & Rugged North-West & Skye
Cost: £1,162pp based on 2 sharing a room and subject to availability. Includes cost of boat trips, but excludes accommodation, meals and drink.
Single Supplement: £1,357 same package and exclusions as above
Budget option: £934 pp based on sharing a dorm in a hostel, for same package and exclusions as above.
The Tour: same description for days 1 to 3. Then the itinerary includes Skye and is based on the mainland. Trip returns via Loch Ness and Glen Coe.
Heading southwards along the outstanding beauty of the west coast, we’ll pass the extremely rugged and much photographed An Teallach
Visit the Inverewe gardens – the work of a visionary who many thought crazy, creating a place of beauty and peace against an austere backdrop. Grading: easy paths. Distance: 2km. Height gained: 20m
Aiming for a boat trip to Isle Maree, visiting this special retreat of St. Mael Rubha and the graves of a Viking prince and princess. Hear tales of an island steeped in history, in a setting of outstanding splendour.
Drive SE along Loch Maree – the loveliest of lochs - with the fine stocky mass of the peak named Slioch dominating the view.
We’ll pass through Glen Torridon bordered by impressively steep mountains that seem unclimbable and along the sea loch to the attractive coastal village of Shieldaig with its palm trees, for a walk to the An Aird peninsula jutting out into Loch Torridon where we might see otters and herons; or the easy option of some refreshment. Grading: Moderate along some good paths, then rocky and wet sections. Distance: 4.5kms Height: 165m
Take up our evening accommodation in this region.
Day 5 Visiting Isle of Skye
Photo stop at Plockton
Passing by Kyle of Lochalsh, over the water to Skye
Driving up to the far north-west tip, we’ll walk out to Neist Point with its lighthouse, stunning cliffs and far reaching views to the Outer Hebrides.
Drive over the Trotternish hills with their impressive formation and ascend to the Old Man of Storr.
Meal out at a local inn with visit to the colourful island capital of Portree before returning to the same accommodation back on the mainland.
A day to be flexible with less time driving. Option of either a hill climb or a tour around the Applecross peninsula with local walks to a sandy bay with fine sea views and woodland walks. Drive over the Pass of the Cattle with options of further walks by coast and into the hills
Back to the same accommodation
Stop at the iconic Eilean Donan Castle which appears on calendars and film sets.
On through Glen Shiel overshadowed by the tall and very steep ‘Five Sisters of Kintail’ then east to Invermoriston and Loch Ness, then driving the southern section of the loch to Fort Augustus and morning coffee.
Many photographic opportunities of Loch Ness and the happy commotion of boats going through the series of locks at Fort Augustus on the Caledonian Canal.
Down the Great Glen with views of Ben Nevis (Britain’s highest mountain) and up Glen Nevis for a walk either to a waterfall and gorge or upto an Iron-age hillfort.
Southwards along the sea of Loch Linnhe and onto Glen Coe steeped in stories of cattle raiders & massacres in an epic setting and on over the eerie Black Mount
Tour ends with a drive down the entire length of Loch Lomond for late afternoon/evening drop-offs in Glasgow & Edinburgh.