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Wilderness Walking – Cape Wrath & The North West Highlands

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Price from: £1,075

Next trip: 27th June

Duration: 6 night(s)

View prices & departures

Location: North West Highlands

Comfort: Classic

Difficulty: 5

15 review(s)
  • Explore a region of contrasting landscapes, seeking out white sandy beaches, towering sea cliffs, wild glens and iconic peaks
  • Visit Scotland’s most north-westerly point, a rugged headland surrounded by sea cliffs and teaming with bird life
  • Enjoy exceptional Highland hospitality at our carefully selected small hotel, beautifully situated with views over the sea

Blue Graded Walking Holidays

Our Blue grade walking trips involve climbing some of Scotland’s best mountains and ridges. The walks are conducted at a good pace and you may be out hiking for 8 or 9 hours a day. The terrain underfoot can be anything from stalker’s paths to rough or boggy ground, boulder fields and mountain tops.

The daily walks will occasionally involve a mountain ascent of over 3000ft / 900m high. To help you decide if you are fit enough for this trip, ask yourself:

Can you comfortably hike for 10+ miles (16+km), climbing mountains and covering a variety of challenging underfoot conditions? How often do you do this?

Our accommodation for this trip is Kylesku Hotel, which puts us in a prime location for the walks planned for the week. The hotel is an old coaching inn dating from 1680, and is situated by the former ferry slipway on the shores of the loch. With fresh seafood landed daily, dining here is a real pleasure!

We do not charge single person supplements to people booking on their own. However you will be expected to share a room with another person of the same sex. It may be possible to book a single room, provided one is available. Please request this at the time of booking and we will let you know if one is available. For this trip, a supplement of £225 is charged if a single room is required – please see booking form terms and conditions.

You may be interested to note that our Wilderness Walking holiday based in Knoydart has no extra charge for single rooms, although there are a limited number available.

You will be met by your Wilderness Scotland Guide in the centre of Inverness Railway Station at 13:00 on Day 1 of your trip. It’s a small station so you should find the group and guide easily! For full details on how to get to Inverness, please see our website: Travel to Scotland.

100% Unedited Reviews

Our clients receive a feedback survey automatically after finishing their guided, self guided or tailor made holiday with us.

Once it's submitted the review is automatically published on our website just as soon as our database updates. We read all our client's reviews and although we don't respond to all of them, where issues are raised we make positive changes to our trips to improve your experience and if it's glowing feedback then we get the satisfaction of helping to make your holidays truly memorable.

5 star 12

4 star 3

3 star 0

2 star 0

1 star 0

by Richard Smith 30/09/2014

3Pre-Trip Service

4Trip Comments

3Accommodation and Food

0Your Guide

4The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
it would be helpful for those of us coming from overseas to have been given information regarding transportation options to Inverness.

TEAM WILDERNESS RESPONSE:
Thank you for your feedback. In the trip dossier we direct you to our website where we offer a host of travel information to assist with travelling to Scotland - http://www.wildernessscotland.com/faq/travel-to-scotland/ Failing that we are a phone call away and always happy to answer any questions like this and provide a bespoke response for your own personal requirements.
Trip Comments
It was disappointing that we were unable to visit Handa Island which had apparently closed for the season not sure why you would not have been aware of this.Also we missed the ferry to Cape Wrath and therefore did not have sufficient time for a hike across the moors.

TEAM WILDERNESS RESPONSE:
The RSPB warden leaves Handa Island on 1st September but the ferries normally keep running for a week or so into September. On this occassion the ferry operator decided not to run the boat but at short notice, hopefully the alternative arrangements for the day were equally enjoyable. With regards to Cape Wrath, we were in touch with the boat crew prior to the scheduled departure time, however, they had another group of the same size arrive before your group did and they assumed that was the Wilderness Scotland group and just set sail once they were onboard. Certainly some communication we can improve on to try and ensure we don't come across this situation again and our operations team are fully aware of the situation.
Accommodation and Food
it would be helpful for those of us coming from overseas to have been given information regarding transportation options to Inverness.

TEAM WILDERNESS RESPONSE:
Thank you for your feedback. In the trip dossier we direct you to our website where we offer a host of travel information to assist with travelling to Scotland - http://www.wildernessscotland.com/faq/travel-to-scotland/ Failing that we are a phone call away and always happy to answer any questions like this and provide a bespoke response for your own personal requirements.
Your Guide
It was unfortunate that John became ill, hopefully he has fully recovered, having three guides was obviously not ideal.

TEAM WILDERNESS RESPONSE:
Unfortunately these things are beyond our control and we respond to any given situation like this the best we can. On this occassion, one of our suitably qualified office team was able to step in and guide the rest of the trip so as not to interrupt your enjoyment of it. We also work with the best accommodation providers who are also able to help manage these situations, on this occasion by taking you on a boat cruise until the new guide arrived providing a unique boating experience. Three guides is not ideal but thankfully John is fully recovered now :-)
The Bottom Line
I thought the pre-trip service could have been more proactive also surprised no free T-Shirt which to me is great advertising and always end the trip on a positive friendly note.

TEAM WILDERNESS RESPONSE:
We are always looking to improve our service. We will be in-touch directly to discuss what we could have done better with the pre trip service. As for the T.shirts, it is something we have been looking into for each of our trips and may be something we introduce in the future.

by Antoinette Norman 18/09/2014

4Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

4Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Our experience was very good however we did receive a free extra meal due to some confusion with the starting time in Inverness. This confusion did not involve us as we travelled separately from the main group.
Trip Comments
We loved every minute of the holiday. I don't think we had a low point apart from hearing that our guide John had been hospitalised due to stomach problems.The high point must have been achieving the summit of Conival. The weather was exceptionally kind to us as well.
Accommodation and Food
Our experience was very good however we did receive a free extra meal due to some confusion with the starting time in Inverness. This confusion did not involve us as we travelled separately from the main group.
Your Guide
All three of our guides were excellent, enthusiastic and knowledgeable and wanted to pass on their knowledge to the participants. We were also very confident in them as mountain leaders and felt safe at all times. We were sorry that John was taken ill and hospitalised and wish him well for the future.

TEAM WILDERNESS RESPONSE:
We are please to say that John has made a full recovery.
The Bottom Line
Excellent, we would travel with Wilderness Scotland again and are considering Knoydart for next year.

by Rona Fitzgerald 09/09/2014

4Pre-Trip Service

4Trip Comments

4Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
The mix up with meeting time was a pity as it meant we traveled a day earlier.

TEAM WILDERNESS RESPONSE:
Thank you for your feedback. Apologies for the mix up with the meeting time. This was an honest mistake by human error. The trip dossier always stated the correct time. Our apologies for the inconvenience caused. Hope you enjoyed your dinner to make up for it.
Trip Comments
Better than good but excellent is a diffiuclt one to use - the overall experience was very good.
Accommodation and Food
The mix up with meeting time was a pity as it meant we traveled a day earlier.

TEAM WILDERNESS RESPONSE:
Thank you for your feedback. Apologies for the mix up with the meeting time. This was an honest mistake by human error. The trip dossier always stated the correct time. Our apologies for the inconvenience caused. Hope you enjoyed your dinner to make up for it.
Your Guide
All three were both professional and personable with different strengths.
The Bottom Line
Could do with more clarity about what is covered for dinner e.g. 2 courses - it was a bit confusing as we were not sure - the trip notes could specify what is covered.

TEAM WILDERNESS RESPONSE:
Thank you for your feedback. We do include details of meals included on the trip itinerary, however we will look at ways to make this clearer.

by Nina Taunton 08/09/2014

4Pre-Trip Service

4Trip Comments

4Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

4The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Trip Comments
The walks were well planned and varied, and the choice of hotel was optimum. However, quite a few of us thought that there was rather too much time spent in the bus, particularly on the Cape Wrath day. This was a shambles all round, through no fault of the guide. It is a pity that the ferry and the bus service at the other end are not run by the same company. As it was, another group took our booked place on the ferry, even though we were dead on time, so we had to wait for the next one, which did not leave till 2pm! This left us with about 20 mins on Cape Wrath itself, which merits a whole day's walking. Shame also that the island trip could not take place. Again, not the guide's fault. But surely trips like this could be better co-ordinated?

TEAM WILDERNESS RESPONSE:
It was unfortunate that confusion between the local boatman and the local bus meant that our time on Cape Wrath was limited to an afternoon trip rather than a full day. This was exacerbated by the condition of the road to the lighthouse, which had been damaged in the recent storm, adding an extra 20 minutes to the journey each way. However, we did spend 3 hours on Cape Wrath, with an hour at the point itself. Hopefully the other two short hikes we took near Durness in the morning helped make up for the delay in getting over to Cape Wrath itself.
Accommodation and Food
Your Guide
We had 3 guides. John was taken ill very suddenly and dramatically on our 3rd day with him. Stevie stepped in, so of course his performance would be of the best! I was particularly grateful for his guideance on my first ever Munro. And Tim was great too.
The Bottom Line
It is not a cheap deal, but the company provides a well thought out itinerary and heeds individual requests and needs. It provided me with a very positive first experience of Scotland. This was mostly as a result of the trouble the guides took to ensure the well being of every one of us, and the excellent personalised service Kylesku hotel provides. Perhaps less travel time, and more time spent on the highlight of the holiday, Cape Wrath. Our day there turned out to be a mess, yet it was billed as the centrepiece of the trip.

TEAM WILDERNESS RESPONSE:
Hopefully the short hike and the visit to the cave helped make up for the fact that we were only able to spend the afternoon at Cape Wrath, rather than the full day. We're glad that you enjoyed the trip - congratulations on hiking up your first Munro!

by Pam Landry 13/08/2014

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Rachel was wonderful in responding to email inquiries in a very timely fashion
Trip Comments
Wilds of Assynt -
Participants were wonderful and connected very well. Lots of high points with each and every hike/walk. Spectacularly breathtaking scenery & personal experiences! John Ormiston certainly contributed greatly to the success of this trip & the connection of the group.

Cape Wrath & Northwest Higlands: - high points were very numerous with each and every day of hiking/walks. Great group of participants but didn't connect as a whole as they did on the Assynt trip. Above and beyond the high points of the scenery and untamed wilderness speaking with the locals at the Kylesku about their connection & commitment to such a remote area was a great way for me to come away with a holiday experience that was very comprehensive.
Accommodation and Food
Rachel was wonderful in responding to email inquiries in a very timely fashion
Your Guide
Wilds of Assynt: John Ormiston was an incredible guide - professional, passion for sharing everything Scotland, knowledgeable, fun, organized, very skilled in group dynamics, informative, flexible, great sense of humor, great sport!

Cape Wrath & Northwest Higlands: Kirsty Chuchla-friendly, knowledgeable, skilled, personable.
The Bottom Line
Very well organized trips. Knowledgeable guides that had the ability to provide a memorable experience in an incredibly untamed wilderness, On a personal level the Wilds of Assynt was a life changing experience for me with the experience being strengthened by the Cape Wrath & Northwest Highland trip.

by Georgia Hill 30/07/2014

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
I booked my trip quite late, and the office staff were really helpful with organising transport up to Inverness at the last minute. They were lovely and easy to email as well, and it was really nice to have top class customer service.
Trip Comments
My personal high point on the trip was climbing up Conival and Ben More Assynt but I also enjoyed every single day of the trip. The variety in terms of activities was really good, as it was nice to go low then high as it allowed me to see lots of different parts of Scotland. Cape Wrath was outstanding, I would have loved to have gone on a longer walk there. Generally, the activities on the trip were perfect, and I thoroughly enjoyed every single day out and about in Assynt and Cape Wrath, Durness area.
Accommodation and Food
I booked my trip quite late, and the office staff were really helpful with organising transport up to Inverness at the last minute. They were lovely and easy to email as well, and it was really nice to have top class customer service.
Your Guide
Kirsty Chuchla was a fantastic guide, she was really knowledgeable about the local area and could answer any question that I had throughout the week. I really enjoyed that she would often present us with options to suit every member of the group. I also really loved learning about the history of the area, and it was really nice to have got to known her over the week. I would love to go a Wilderness Scotland week where she was the guide again, the best guide I have ever had on any holiday I've been on.
The Bottom Line
I would definitely recommend Wilderness Scotland to a friend or a colleague. I had a fantastic week, with a great guide, great accomodation and brilliant walking. Would definitely go again.

by Matthew Phan 27/07/2014

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Trip Comments
Really enjoyed this. Kirsty was an excellent, knowledgable and patient guide, really easy to talk to and cheerful. We were also lucky to have had a great group with loads of humor. The views were stunning of course, and we had very good weather most of the way through. Only quibble is perhaps we could have done somewhat tougher hikes, but we understand it is calibrated to the group. Kirsty was great in giving different options with respect to difficulty levels too.
Accommodation and Food
Your Guide
Loved the music (Peat Moss Fairies and Runrig) -- made it a very 'Highland' experience!
The Bottom Line

by Katherine Boynton 26/07/2014

4Pre-Trip Service

4Trip Comments

4Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Great! My questions were answered as well as my concerns.
Trip Comments
Best part - going to Handa Island and seeing a Puffin for the first time! Low point was when my knees decided that the steep downhill from Ben Stack was too much for them. Unfortunately my knees prevented me from participating in any other steep downhills for the remainder of the trip.
Accommodation and Food
Great! My questions were answered as well as my concerns.
Your Guide
Kirsty Chuchla saved my trip. She is fantastic. Not only is she a great guide, she knows the environment, flora and fauna, she is also great fun. You can tell she loves being a guide and this enthusiasm is contagious. Mostly, I have to thank Kirsty for being such a supportive person and such great help - When my knees started giving me problems she helped me get down the Ben Stack hillside with encouragement and wouldn't let me feel badly about slowing the group down. She had alternative plans ready that I could do when the current days activities would be too much for my knees. I was very happy with the alternate plans and had one wonderful afternoon and one glorious day. I never felt left out from the days activities and the group remained solid. I came home with wonderful experiences and not as a failure - I have to thank Kirsty for that.
The Bottom Line
I am crazy about Wilderness Scotland - this was my 3rd trip with you and it was great. You choose wonderful hotels, the food has always been good (this year the best!). Mostly, the guides make the trip, and I have not had a bad guide yet. Thank you for being so thorough and having so many great trips to choose from.

by John McMillan 23/07/2014

4Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

4Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

4The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Would have liked more information on the trips, but realise that this is dangerous with the Scottish weather. Glad we chose Ben More Assynt though I didn't get all the way up. Disovered I was starting a summer cold when I got down.
Trip Comments
Probably the high point was Stac Pollaidh as the weather was perfect, so the views were simply great.
Our group from four different countries gelled really well, making it a very enjoyable week.
Accommodation and Food
Would have liked more information on the trips, but realise that this is dangerous with the Scottish weather. Glad we chose Ben More Assynt though I didn't get all the way up. Disovered I was starting a summer cold when I got down.
Your Guide
Kirsty was a little gem, always smiling, and with plenty of good information to impart. The most enjoyable guide I have ever had!
The Bottom Line
It was expensive compared to other holidays on offer. This is not surprising considering the quality of the hotel and the use of a profesional guide.

by Emilia Semberg 21/07/2014

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Trip Comments
I think it was a good mix with long walks, shorter walks and hill climbing. I do not think it can get any better than it was :)
Accommodation and Food
Your Guide
Kirsty is a superb guide and a wonderful person who made this trip to a fine one for everyone in the group!!
The Bottom Line
I am very satisfied and happy with the whole trip, the group was nice and we had an awesome guide.
I do hope that I will have the opportunity to do another trip with you.

Prices and Departures

Trip Date
Price
Availability
Trip Status
 
27th Jun - 3rd Jul 2015
£1,075
Places available
1st Aug - 7th Aug 2015
£1,075
Places available

Trip Details

Sculpted by the forces of nature and the historical influence of the Highland Clearances, this is an intriguing and captivating corner of Scotland, which few tourists reach.

The trip is perfect for those wishing to explore the truly remote wilderness areas of the Highlands.

You will hike to beautiful, remote golden-sand beaches and through genuine wilderness, also ascending some of the finest small peaks in Europe. You will also experience the rich and varied wildlife in these areas, from the plethora of sea birds to be found in the early summer at Cape Wrath and Handa Island, to the possibility of sighting golden eagles in Assynt.

Adventurous days on the hill will be balanced by relaxing evenings in a friendly and comfortable Highland hotel where the excellent cuisine will leave you ready for the challenges of the next day

Trip Itinerary

Day 1 – Travel to North-West Highlands

We meet early afternoon in Inverness and travel north-west, through ever more spectacular scenery, arriving at our small hotel late afternoon. After settling in, there is time for an early evening walk along the golden sands of Oldshoremore Beach.

Day 2 – Walk to Sandwood Bay

Sandwood Bay is a remote and special place – a 2km long sandy beach located 6km from the nearest road and reputedly haunted by a ship-wrecked sailor. We hike across the moors on a good trail before exploring the beach and the solitary sea-stack of Am Buachaille which guards it.

Distance 14km, 6hrs.

Day 3 – Hike to Cape Wrath – Scotland’s most north-westerly point

Cape Wrath is a wild and rugged headland, inaccessible but rewarding to its few visitors each year. A small boat takes us across the Kyle of Durness, and from here we are transferred to Cape Wrath itself. From the lighthouse, we walk above towering cliff-tops and hike across the moors to beautiful sandy coves before eventually returning to the ferry.

Distance 13km, 7hrs.

Day 4 – A Hike up Ben Stack

Ben Stack is a superb little mountain, often ignored by hill-walkers due to its lower height. However, it makes for a great mountain walk with some of the best views in the Highlands across the rugged wilderness of the north-west.

Distance 11km, 6hrs.

Day 5 – Walking and Wildlife on Handa Island

Handa Island is home to towering sea-cliffs, wild flowers and, at certain times of year, 180,000 seabirds. Guillemots, puffins, razorbills, great skuas, arctic skuas, fulmars and kittiwakes all nest there. We will hike a trail which circumnavigates the island, admiring the wonderful views and beautiful wild flowers, and discovering its fascinating history.

Distance 12km, 5hrs.

Day 6 – A Mountain Day

There are many excellent options for mountain walks in this area, so we don’t want to limit our choice! Options include Ben Hee, Arkle, Meall Horn or even one of the peaks of Quinaig. Our guide will check the weather (which can vary locally) and will choose a peak based on this and the feeling of the group. Whichever option is chosen, a fine day out lies ahead with the satisfaction of reaching a summit and enjoying open views across the mountains of the North West Highlands.

Distance Up to 18km, 7hrs.

Day 7 – Hiking up Stac Pollaidh, 613m

The mountain of Stac Pollaidh makes for a superb hike. We leave the hotel and travel south, passing Ardvreck Castle as we travel to Assynt. This area has recently been awarded Geopark status by UNESCO in recognition of the stunning natural scenery. We follow a good trail to its upper slopes, where we’ll enjoy the views north over Loch Sionascaig to the hills of Assynt. This panorama is wilderness at its best and will stay with you long after we return to Inverness late afternoon.

Distance 6km, 3hrs.

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Prices and Departures

Trip Date
Price
Availability
Trip Status
 
27th Jun - 3rd Jul 2015
£1,075
Places available
1st Aug - 7th Aug 2015
£1,075
Places available

Trip Photos

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Trip reviews

100% Unedited Reviews
I thought the pre-trip service could have been more proactive also surprised no free T-Shirt which to me is great advertising and always end the trip on a positive friendly note.

TEAM WILDERNESS RESPONSE:
We are always looking to improve our service. We will be in-touch directly to discuss what we could have done better with the pre trip service. As for the T.shirts, it is something we have been looking into for each of our trips and may be something we introduce in the future.

Richard Smith
30/09/2014

4

Excellent, we would travel with Wilderness Scotland again and are considering Knoydart for next year.

Antoinette Norman
18/09/2014

5

Rated 4.8 out of 5 based on 15 review(s) of Wilderness Walking – Cape Wrath & The North West Highlands

5 star 12

4 star 3

3 star 0

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