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Winter Walking – Winter Highlands: North West

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Price from: £595

Next trip: 11th February

Duration: 4 night(s)

View prices & departures

Location: North West Highlands

Comfort: Classic

Difficulty: 3

21 review(s)
  • Experience the beauty of the Scottish Highlands in winter through a series of easy, low level walks
  • Marvel at the incredible star-scapes of this dark-sky region, and seek out the Aurora Borealis on an evening walk
  • Enjoy the tranquillity and welcome of the Highlands in winter, where the warmth of the people counters the cold air outside

Green Graded Winter Walking Holidays 1-3

Our Green grade walking trips involve straight forward hiking, following generally good trails with no major ascents. These walks are pretty leisurely and will last for around 5 hours each day. The terrain underfoot will usually be on paths or hill trails, which may still be muddy or rough in places. The daily walks are mainly glen and coastal hikes, with some ascents of low level hills, up to around 1,500 feet / 450m high. So to help you decide if you are fit enough for this trip, ask yourself:

Can you comfortably hike for 6 miles (10km), including some ascent, with rough ground in places? Have you done this recently?

In Wester Ross, we stay for 4 nights at a traditional Highland Inn which is located on the edge of the coastal village of Gairloch. The 3-star inn is well known for its outstanding cuisine and has won several awards for its meals, including AA Seafood Pub of the Year for Scotland in 2005.

The Inn retains great character with open fires and, as you would expect, a well stocked bar but it combines this with modern comforts. Although it is located on the coast, the inn is close to many wonderful mountain areas such as Torridon and Fisherfield, making it the perfect base for our time exploring Wester Ross.

Single guests willing to share will be accommodated in a twin room with a member of the same sex. For this itinerary, a supplement of £80 per person will be payable where a single, en-suite room is required. This is subject to availability as per our booking terms and conditions.

You will be met by your Wilderness Scotland Guide at the fixed seating area in the centre of Inverness Railway Station at 2.30pm on Day 1 of your trip. It’s a small station so you should find the group and guide quite easily! If you are travelling by car, you may prefer to meet the group at the inn in Gairloch. If you would like to meet the group at the inn, please let us know at the time of booking and we will give you directions and timings. For full details on how to get to Inverness, please see our website: Travel to Scotland.

by Claire Johnson 20/04/2014

4Pre-Trip Service

4Trip Comments

4Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

3The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Trip Comments
For the amount of money the trip costs, I'm afraid I was unimpressed by the food at the Inn. Pasta dishes appeared to be heated from frozen. The bread was the worst kind of pre-packed variety. Lunches seemed to vary, if you asked for cheese and pickle, you received four rounds of bread, a request for tuna and cucumber resulted in two rounds, often without cucumber and with the meagrest scraping of tuna. I also had to change rooms due to something running around in the loft most of one night. This prompted no apology from anyone at the Inn.
Accommodation and Food
Your Guide
Kirsty went out of her way to find something of interest for all of us.
The Bottom Line
For the amount of money the trip cost, I would have expected the food to have been considerably better than it was.

by Christopher Walker 02/04/2014

4Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

4Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Clearer start and particularly finish times.
Trip Comments
More than met my expectations. Grading scale was helpful. A great way to experience Scotland at this time of year. Highpoint was the group ,friendly and fun. I had a great time.
Accommodation and Food
Clearer start and particularly finish times.
Your Guide
Kirsty is a little gem. Each day was well organised and thought through. Very personable and friendly, she made it possible for everyone to have a great time.
The Bottom Line
I have already passed on the WS name to friends. I hope to be able to do many more trips with you. Each day had its highlight but the red sand beach at Opinan and the veiws of the Torridon Mts would rate highly.

by Lyn Stagg 02/04/2014

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
I was able to talk through my concerns about whther I could manage the level required and greatly appreciated this part of the service.
Trip Comments
Difficult weather, snow (higher up), sleet, hail and rain, but there was some sun!
My high point was completing the first walk and thinking, actually I can do it!
Accommodation and Food
I was able to talk through my concerns about whther I could manage the level required and greatly appreciated this part of the service.
Your Guide
Kirstie was really really helpful and very encouraging to me as my experience of this kind of walking was nil. She always made sure that there were stops along the way. Tea and cake was welcome and I have pictures of these!
The Bottom Line
The sea eagle (amazing) and red kites were the high spot for me, as well as good company food, and surroundings. I would highly recommend Wilderness Scotland. Never did find out why my head torch caused hilarity!

by Maureen Toth 29/03/2014

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
The detailed kit list was extremely helpful. I appreciated having Kirsty's phone number to contact her when I arrived at the Inverness train station.
Trip Comments
Such great variety of scenery and activities. Well organized and we were kept informed of plans for each day.
Accommodation and Food
The detailed kit list was extremely helpful. I appreciated having Kirsty's phone number to contact her when I arrived at the Inverness train station.
Your Guide
Kirsty was very knowledgeable of the places we walked. She was also very considerate of all the group and our needs. I liked that there were options to stay back from parts of the walks.
The Bottom Line

by Judith Ayling 26/03/2014

4Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

4Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Trip Comments
Kirsty's guiding is exceptional.
Accommodation and Food
Your Guide
As above, Kirsty's guiding is exceptional.
The Bottom Line
Great trip. Best moment was the trip with Kirsty to Red Point Beach, views out over the snowy tops and snowy Skye.

by Hazel Clark 26/03/2014

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Trip Comments
Lots of high points - esp. seeing a white tailed eagle fly very close to us along the coast and amazing views of the hills in Assynt.
Low point was the fact that the hotel's cappucino machine wasn't working (shallow, I know...)
Accommodation and Food
Your Guide
We have been on a trip with Kirsty before. She is exceptionally good in my view - great interpersonal skills and she dealt with a slower member of our group with such a light touch. Her knowledge of the area/wildlife is impressive and her enthusiasm for the outdoors is infectious. There was one afternoon when the sun came out unexpectedly and so she drove us to an amazing beach when the programme for the day had finished. She really didn't have to do that and it ate into her own down-time (which must be very limited on these trips) and involved her in nearly an hour of extra driving.
The Bottom Line
A great and varied trip

by Anne Whiteford 26/03/2014

4Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

4Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Trip Comments
Accommodation and Food
Your Guide
Kirsty was very supportive and managed the group well. She was sensitive to the different needs of individuals in the group.
The Bottom Line
I enjoyed the trip and getting out in the countryside at this time of year. The trips are well described and deliver what is promised.

by David Hartwell 13/03/2014

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Trip Comments
Accommodation and Food
Your Guide
Mark had a superb knowledge of the area, backed by his expertise, and a total enthusiasm for what he does and imparts to others.
The Bottom Line
An uplifting few days break in a wonderful part of the UK. Highly recommended, even if the weather tries to defeat you at times.

by Caroline Bottoms 12/03/2014

4Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

4Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
I booked late and had to chase for the equipment list and the joining instructions, which had already been sent to others.
Trip Comments
really well chosen walks, just right for the group and the conditions
Accommodation and Food
I booked late and had to chase for the equipment list and the joining instructions, which had already been sent to others.
Your Guide
really knew and loved the area, very helpful without being intrusive. I'd be delighted if he turns up as guide on a future trip!
The Bottom Line
I was hoping for a challenge, and got one. Following the advice provided meant I had the right kit, and could enjoy the walks without having to worry. I know Scotland quite well, but this was my first trip in winter. Vety rewarding - I'll be back!

by Brian Harris 12/03/2014

5Pre-Trip Service

4Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Trip Comments
All good except the unpredictable. e.g. weather, no Northern Lights spotting & no sea otter sightings.
The fault of no-one.
Accommodation and Food
Your Guide
Mark was both informative and likeable and made an effort to communicate with all members of the group.
The Bottom Line
Very easy excursions into local varied landscapes.
Do NOT expect to lose weight on this walking holiday as the food is both local produce and delicious,and the exercise is not strenuous.

Prices and Departures

Trip Date
Price
Availability
Trip Status
 
11th Feb - 15th Feb 2015
£595
6 place(s) left
18th Feb - 22nd Feb 2015
£595
6 place(s) left
4th Mar - 8th Mar 2015
£595
6 place(s) left
11th Mar - 15th Mar 2015
£595
6 place(s) left

Trip Details

This walking holiday is perfect for those of you keen to explore the beautiful Scottish Highlands in winter – without the need to don crampons or pick up an ice axe.

All of the hikes are low level but spectacularly scenic, making them suitable for anyone with a reasonable level of fitness.

We’ll leave our cosy accommodation after breakfast and be finished hiking early afternoon, leaving free time to enjoy the culture of the Highlands in winter – or simply to snuggle up by the fire and read a book!

Trip Itinerary

Day 1 – Travel to the Winter Highlands

We meet in Inverness and travel north-west to the coastal village of Gairloch. With the summer visitors long gone, Gairloch is a quiet and sleepy village during the winter months. After checking into our waterside inn, we’ll gather round a log fire and discuss the days ahead before dinner.

If the night is clear, we may venture out for a short walk before or after dinner, enjoying the spectacular star-scapes to be seen in these dark skies, which are free of light pollution. If we’re lucky, it may even be possible to see the Aurora Borealis or Northern Lights – predicted to reach a new peak for winter 2013/14.

Day 2 – The Winter Forest – Fire and Ice

Today’s walk explores the Flowerdale Forest, which surrounds the inn where we are based. Walking straight from the door, we’ll explore the forest and rivers which run through it. If the weather is very cold, some of the waterfalls may have frozen, forming spectacular icy cascades. If it is milder, the rivers and waterfalls will be roaring torrents as the snow-melt runs through.

Our gentle day of exploring ends mid-afternoon, when we return to the inn. At this point, you can choose to enjoy a couple of hours relaxing next to the fire, or join our guide on a visit to a very local and quite unusual whisky distillery!

Day 3 – The Winter Coastline and Storm-Watching

The coastline in the north-west sees long, sandy beaches sweep dramatically up to rocky headlands. We’ll enjoy a coastal hike, looking both at the nearby mountain landscapes but also out to sea. On crisp, clear days, the views extend to islands as far away as the Outer Hebrides. However, some of the most dramatic views are to be had during a storm, as huge waves roll in and pound the headlands.

Day 4 – Winter Mountain Vistas

We won’t be walking up any of the snow-covered mountains on this trip but they are fantastic to see and photograph. Today’s low level hike takes us into a glen with spectacular views of the mountains, clad in winter raiment. As usual, we’ll return to the hotel mid-afternoon, leaving enough time to finish that book by the fire before dinner.

Day 5 – Winter Walk and Return to Inverness

On our final morning in the winter Highlands, we’ll take a short coastal walk, savouring the cold, crisp air and snowy views before we travel back to Inverness, arriving early afternoon to allow time for connections south that day.

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Prices and Departures

Trip Date
Price
Availability
Trip Status
 
11th Feb - 15th Feb 2015
£595
6 place(s) left
18th Feb - 22nd Feb 2015
£595
6 place(s) left
4th Mar - 8th Mar 2015
£595
6 place(s) left
11th Mar - 15th Mar 2015
£595
6 place(s) left

Trip Photos

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Trip reviews

For the amount of money the trip cost, I would have expected the food to have been considerably better than it was.

Claire Johnson
20/04/2014

3

I have already passed on the WS name to friends. I hope to be able to do many more trips with you. Each day had its highlight but the red sand beach at Opinan and the veiws of the Torridon Mts would rate highly.

Christopher Walker
02/04/2014

5

Rated 4.9 out of 5 based on 21 review(s) of Winter Walking – Winter Highlands: North West

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