- Enjoy some of the finest hiking in Britain on this tour of National Parks in Scotland and England
- Discover the amazing contrast of landscapes from the majestic mountains of the Highlands to the rolling Dales of Yorkshire
- Try the various Scottish and English delicacies such as whisky in the Highlands, cream tea in Yorkshire and Kendal Mint Cake in the Lakes
- 9 nights accommodation in country inns and hotels
- All meals, from lunch on Day 1 through to lunch on Day 7 (Meals included indicated as B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner
- The services of an experienced and knowledgeable guide / driver throughout
- All transport throughout the trip starting in Aviemore and finishing in Penrith
- Water taxi across Loch Lomond on day 4
- Ferry across Windermere on day 8
- Boat trip on Ullswater on day 10
Blue Graded Walking Holidays
Blue graded walking holidays are suitable for fit and experienced hikers. We walk at a good pace and you can expect to be out for 6-8 hours a day. You will not always be on a path and the terrain underfoot can be rough and boggy, including boulder fields and mountain tops. Some of the daily walks will involve a mountain ascent of over 3000ft / 900m high. Daily distances will be typically up to 16km but may be longer occasionally. Daily hike details are available in the itinerary.
9th Sep - 18th Sep 2018
Dave PickenMeet Dave Picken, expert guide and bee-keeper extraordinaire.
5th May - 14th May 2019
Ben WalkerBen Walker may hail from the Lake District but he can be found all over the world leading trips!
23rd Jun - 2nd Jul 2019
Andy HealdA man of the mountains, Andy has done all the Munros twice so far and has trekked and climbed in over 30 countries and 6 continents!
15th Sep - 24th Sep 2019
Alan WrightMeet Alan, avid nature expert and worldwide trekker.
This walking holiday is based from a variety of welcoming accommodations from award winning pubs and inns to a grand lakeside hotel.
Accommodation is a choice of double or twin rooms with ensuite facilities. If you require a single room see below.
Great food is of paramount importance on all Wilderness Scotland trips and we will enjoy excellent regional cooking throughout this all- inclusive trip.
There is no single person supplement charged to solo travellers however you will be required to share a room with another person of the same sex. If you wish to reserve a double room for single occupancy a supplement of £345 is charged. Availability of single rooms is limited so please request this at the time of booking and we can check if a single room is available for you.
You will be met by your Wilderness Scotland Guide at Aviemore Railway Station at 10:00am on Day 1 of your trip. The trip will finish and you will be dropped at Penrith Railway Station at 3.00pm on the final day. Your guide will meet you in the centre of the station. It is a small station so your guide should be easy to find and holding a Wilderness Scotland sign.
New for 2018! Hike in the best scenery to be found in Scotland and England on this unique tour of 4 National Parks
In Scotland, we will hike in the wild Highlands in the Cairngorms and then Loch Lomond and the Trossachs. We then head to England to explore Northumberland, the charming and rugged Yorkshire Dales and the Lake District.
They may be relatively small areas, but the National Parks are incredibly diverse. In the Cairngorms you will find vast rolling mountains with glens filled in by heather and pine forests. In Loch Lomond and the Trossachs silvery lochs and rugged green peaks await you. Moving on into England we find moors and fields lined with stone walls and old barns. Finally in the Lake District – a recently designated UNESCO World Heritage Site – we hike on the fells that inspired the romanticist poetry of William Wordsworth.
We spend at least 2 nights in each location, staying in charming country Inns and hotels. During each day you will be accompanied by an expert guide experienced in hiking in each of these regions as we venture to the summits of fine hills and mountains.
Day 1 – Rothiemurchus and the Cairngorms
We meet at the train station in the small town of Aviemore, in the Cairngorms National Park. We begin the trip with a favourite local hike over Meall a Buachaille. The route first takes us through a pass with beautiful Caledonian pine forest and the remarkable ‘Fairy Lochan’ before we reach a small bothy at the head of the pass. We climb steeply but steadily from here on a good trail all the way to the summit, which offers wide-ranging views of the Cairngorm mountains and north to the Moray Coast. Completing the circuit, we then transfer across the National Park to the pretty village of Ballater in Royal Deeside. (L, D)
Hike details: 9km, 550m ascent, 4-5 hours
Day 2 – Lochnagar & Loch Muick
The peak of Lochnagar in Royal Deeside is thought by many to be the finest in the Cairngorms. Its northern flank boasts spectacular cliffs that perfectly frame the small loch that gives the mountain its name. There are many options for great hikes in the shadow of Lochnagar, ranging from a circuit of the loch to hikes up the various peaks surrounding it, including Connacraig, which offers outstanding views. Of course, there’s also Lochnagar itself! Our guide will select a route to best show off the qualities of this beautiful glen and the princely peaks that surround it. (B, L, D)
Hike details: From 12km – 20km, up to 930m ascent, 4-7 hours – depending on route chosen
Day 3 – Braemar Glens then transfer to Loch Lomond
This morning we enjoy a final Cairngorms hike, starting near the village of Braemar. We do a low level circuit through the nearby glens and woods. Starting with a wonderful waterfall where Queen Victoria was fond of picnicking, our hike takes us up Glen Quoich. We hike through a deep cleft in the hillside which brings us into Glen Lui, finishing near the Linn o’ Dee waterfall. We then head south as we transfer to Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park. Our accommodation is in the village of Balmaha nestled on the shore of the loch, a staging point on the famous West Highland Way trek. (B, L, D)
Hike details: 16km, 400m ascent, 5 hours
Day 4 – Hiking Above Loch Lomond
Today we enjoy a hike on a rarely trodden route that offers perhaps the best views of Loch Lomond. A short transfer takes us to the pretty village of Luss on the west shore. Leaving the village we strike up a grassy ridge. The ascent is slow and steady from the start, with views expanding all the time. Near the top, it levels off for a bit and the views over Loch Lomond and its many wooded islands is nothing short of stunning. Pushing on to the summit, the loch views are replaced by mountain vistas as we gaze north towards the Arrochar Alps and across the loch to Ben Lomond. We return to Luss through a glen and have some free time to explore this picture-postcard village. We then jump on a late afternoon water-taxi, which takes us across Loch Lomond and back to Balmaha. (B, L, D)
Hike details: 12km, 725m ascent, 4-5 hours
Day 5 – Hiking in the Trossachs
We explore the north side of the National Park today, with a hike up an iconic peak that the author Sir Walter Scott claimed to offer the finest views in all of Scotland – and who are we to argue? This is another local favourite which follows a well-established trail. The ascent takes us through mixed forest and then onto open ground with views across the Southern Highlands. However, it was the vista over Loch Katrine that enamoured Sir Walter Scott to this hill – and we’re confident you’ll be suitably impressed too. Back at the inn, enjoy a pint with hikers on the West Highland Way – they are at the start of a trek north – but tomorrow we head south over the border into England. (B, L, D)
Hike details: 14km, 725m ascent, 5-6 hours
Day 6 – Hiking Hadrian’s Wall
We enjoy a leisurely transfer south and cross the border into England and Northumberland National Park. We also cross the historic border of the Roman Empire, still visible in the ruins of Hadrian’s Wall. Construction started on the wall around 1,900 years ago and some sections are still in remarkably good condition. After lunch in a nearby cafe we start walking from the remains of Housesteads Fort. Our hike today takes us to one of the best-preserved and most scenic spots on the wall – Sycamore Gap – which has featured on the big screen many times. After the hike, a short transfer takes us our third National Park – the Yorkshire Dales. (B, L, D)
Hike details: 6km, 150m ascent, 2 hours.
Day 7 – Hiking the Yorkshire Dales
Today we head to the village of Askrigg in beautiful Wensleydale. From Askrigg we will hike high along the valley walls to the the village of Aysgarth. Here we admire Aysgarth Falls before wandering back to Askrigg along the peaceful riverside. We will stop at a local tearoom for lunch with a chance get a bite of the delicious local Wensleydale cheese! (B, L, D)
Hike details: 18km, 320m ascent, 5-6 hours
Day 8 – Hiking the Yorkshire Dales and transfer to the Lakes
An early start for our last morning in the Dales – we begin in the Eden valley, which is dominated by the limestone plateau at Orton and Great Asby. This wild and wonderful landscape is home to rare plants and dwarf trees which have adapted to survive in this harsh environment. With the remains of ancient stone circles and forts there is plenty to see as we wind our way across the limestone pavements. On returning to the village of Orton, we visit the local chocolate shop and its tiny factory. We then transfer west into the Lake District. This afternoon we’ll take a small ferry across Lake Windermere before visiting Hill Top, Beatrix Potter’s 17th-century farmhouse.(B,L,D)
Hike details: 6km, 200m ascent, 2 hours
Day 9 – Hiking the Lake District National Park
Today we’ll hike to St Sunday Crag in the Fairfield group of the Eastern Fells. Starting from Patterdale we’ll follow a long ridge that takes us to a craggy summit with dramatic gullies and beautiful views to the ridges of Helvellyn. Then w head west along the ridge to Deepdale Hause before a steep climb takes us over Cofa Pike to Fairfield. We’ll descend to Grisedale Tarn, the legendary resting place of the crown of the king of Cumbria. We’ll also visit the Brothers Parting Stone which marks the place William Wordsworth last saw his brother John. Hiking back down the valley we admire the rocky crags on either side, keeping an eye out for rock climbers as we go. Back at the comfortable inn we’ll enjoy a farewell dinner this evening. (B, L, D)
Hike details: 15km, 750m ascent, 5 – 6 hours
Day 10 – Final Hike then Depart
After breakfast this morning we’ll stroll a short distance to board a traditional steamer that will ferry us half way up Ullswater to Howtown. From here we’ll hike back to Glenridding. We’ll pass through forests and over and on to rocky beaches following the shoreline of the lake enjoying the view as we go. There will be time to stop for lunch at a local café before arriving back at the van. We’ll then transfer to Penrith Railway Station to end the trip at 3:00pm. (B, L)
Hike details: 11km, 250m ascent, 4 hours
Prices and Dates
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2018 Trip Dates
2019 Trip Dates
Every client receives a feedback survey when they return from their guided, self guided or tailor made holiday with us.
Once completed the review is published on our website just as soon as our database updates. The little touches and details are important to us and where issues are raised we make positive changes to our trips to improve your experience.
That's why we read each of our client's reviews and although we don't respond to all of them, if it's glowing feedback then we get the satisfaction of helping to make your holidays truly memorable.
by Karren Driver 11/08/2018
The guides and their knowledge, humour and skill made this trip special.
We were lucky enough to have 2 guides during our 10 day hike. Gill for the Scottish part and Hayley for the Lakes District. Both were very different personalities, both were excellent human beings and great fun!
Accommodation and Food
While all the accommodation was very good, one particular place was exceptional. The Black Swan was beautifully decorated, careful attention to detail, quality inclusions, wonderful staff and exceptional food!
Gill was a wonderful, well read, experienced, kind, knowledgeable and friendly guide. She made us feel included and part of the group, even though from totally different backgrounds.
Hayley was a ball of energy, which became very contagious. A free spirit, full of life, experience, wisdom and a wicked sense of fun. Made my trip especially memorable and makes me want to come back and do some more hiking trips.
The Bottom Line
Wilderness Scotland is a very professionally run organisation which is superbly represented by its guides. The guides bring the tours to life, explaining the landscape, wildlife and history of the places visited. Without the local knowledge, the trip would be just walking through beautiful landscapes. It's the extra "bits" the guides contribute with their wit, wisdom and energy, that make the whole experience extra-ordinary!
by Jon Maxwell 03/08/2018
Gil and Hayley were very knowledgeable and attentive to our needs. The experiences, restaurants, and facilities were first rate. Balmoral was a surprise treat.
Accommodation and Food
Ravenstonedale and Rowardennan stood out.
Gil was very experienced, knowledgeable, flexible and kind.
Hayley was very knowledgeable on the Lake District and we really enjoyed her taking us on backroads.
Both were dynamic and very attentive and adaptable to the group’s needs.
The Bottom Line
This trip is an excellent blend of experienced staff, careful planning, and flexibility. An example: with recent focus on the royal family, our guides adjusted our schedule to enable us to visit Balmoral. It was a memorable tour, and led to a scenic and idyllic hike on the grounds, a visit to the Queen’s place of worship, lovely tea and scones served by locals, and a chance to purchase iconic Lochnagar single malt, all the while enjoying unscripted chats with locals about their queen and country.
by Lisa Paulo 28/06/2018
I appreciated the professionalism of the emails.
I am sure any gaps in understanding anything was on my behalf.
I think working with clients abroad is challenging. I had difficulty getting the payments through due to my bank thinking it was some type of fraudulent activity. I probably should have known this but it was such a pain I almost didn't proceed with booking. I think using the phone to attempt to book limited some possible options that may have otherwise been clear if using a computer. I would have liked to pay a bit at a time but there didn't appear a mechanism to do this without calling the office.
It would have been helpful to know that there was not any type of laundry service. I did query about this but did not receive any response - maybe I sent it to the wrong email.
TEAM WILDERNESS RESPONCE:
Thanks so much for your feedback. We’re so sorry you had issues with payment. It is sometimes the case that if your making payments that are not typical your bank blocks them just to double check they are authentic. Better safe than sorry but it is annoying to then have to call your bank to confirm!
I am also really sorry you didn’t receive a response to your email. We’ve had a look on our system and can’t find that message so I’m not sure where that went astray.
The trip overall was phenomenal. I appreciated Keith's patience with group dynamics. Scotland's land is breathtaking and I want to come back and embrace more of it. My daughter will have memories for a lifetime. I felt fortunate to have Rupert along. It helped Kiera, who was much younger than the group to find more connection and enjoyment - and the photos were so very appreciated.
My only disappointment was not being able to complete the hikes I had anticipated. I expected rain but did not take into account that wind might prohibit the full climbs. This was no ones fault, but I had picked this specific trip to equally challenge my own physical limits... it was so disappointing at one point I had to take a time out as I began to regret ever coming. This was such an important part of the trip for me. To have spent so much time in training and preparation & the financial expense I struggled to refocus on finding joy with what was...
Maybe one opportunity knowing that the weather can be a deterrent is having a more robust Plan B that would allow exposure to more of the culture. We were able to come to some plan but it was painful to get there...
TEAM WILDERNESS RESPONCE:
The weather in the UK can be unpredictable and we do say on all of our trips that the itinerary is subject to the weather and will be changed at the discretion of the guides. The safely and enjoyment of the group is our number one priority. I do understand it’s disappointing not to be able to do a hike you’ve been looking forward to but it sounds like you had a great time on the trip anyway.
Accommodation and Food
Everything in this regard was exceptional. I would change nothing.
Keith was amazing. He understands the need to keep the group together and balance pace with abilities. I appreciated his gracious style and knowledge he shared.
I don't know how you can manage when you have clearly identified the physical expectations of the hikes. It was frustrating at points to have to slow down and compromise for hikes due to some team members lack of preparedness. Keith managed this process with great professionalism... and I tried to not be too much of a poopy pants about it.
The Bottom Line
I have already shared your company with several...
by Christine Jackson 25/06/2018
Loved the small size of the group and hiking off the beaten path.
Accommodation and Food
Accommodations were good or great (Black Swan). The Rowardennan Hotel at Loch Lommond was passable, but it didn't truly have internet access (only via Facebook and even that was spotty). We were there 3 days, so that was not good. I did like staying at least 2 nights in each place.
TEAM WILDERNESS RESPONSE:
Thanks very much for your comments. We are pleased to hear that you found the accommodation to be good overall. We have worked with the Rowardennan for a number of years on a few of our trips, and feedback has generally been positive, but your comments have been noted. Having said this, for various operational reasons, we have decided to change the accommodation we stay at in Loch Lomond next year.
Keith was phenomenal when it came to the environment. He was very knowledgeable regarding the geology, flora and fauna and he was an attentive and experienced hiking guide. Even though this is a "outdoor sport" tour, I would have enjoyed a bit more insight on the culture/history of the places we visited, but I don't think that's Keith's area. We had the good fortune to have Rupert from the corporate office join our tour. He was very personable and kind and a great complement to Keith.
The Bottom Line
I would recommend Wilderness Scotland. I think the UK National Parks tour was fantastic -- just maybe a bit too long. It might have been nice to mix in a few more non-hiking activities given the length (ex: canoeing, kayaking, sight-seeing).