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Wilderness Walking - Cape Wrath and the North West Highlands

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Wilderness Walking - Cape Wrath and the North West Highlands


Hiking at Cape Wrath and the NW Highlands - Introduction

This trip explores Cape Wrath and the North West Highlands. Sculpted by the forces of nature and the historical influence of the Highland Clearances, it 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

Start: 1pm Inverness

Finish: 4pm Inverness

What's included in this walking holiday:

  • 6 nights accommodation
  • Most meals (see trip dossier for details)
  • All transport during the trip, including boat tranfers
  • The services of a qualified Wilderness Scotland guide throughout the trip

If you think this itinerary sounds too challenging, you may prefer  one of our easy graded walking holidays. Click on this link for details: Walking Holidays in Scotland

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. (14km, 6 hours)

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. (13km, 7 hours)

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. (11km, 6 hours)

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. (12km, 5 hours)


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. (Up to 18km, 7 hours)

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. (6km, 3hrs)

For a detailed itinerary and trips information please see our PDF Trip Dossier

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Dossier Download - What's Included

  • All info in one document
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  • Full kit list
  • Details of the meeting point