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Hike along gorgeous coastlines; discover forests and waterfalls; drink in mountain panoramas and connect with culture and wildlife in the north of Scotland.
This walking trip is perfect for those wishing to enjoy excellent hiking, encounter the wildlife and experience the best of Highland culture.
The Northern Highlands contain an extraordinary variety of landscapes, wildlife and history for so ‘small’ an area. From the rolling forests, glens and comparatively gentle shores of Easter Ross to the rugged and ancient mountain-scapes of wild Sutherland. Since times long forgotten the people of these lands have lived lives close to the landscape – shaping it and being shaped in return.
Based from our beautiful hotels you will set out each day with your wonderful guide to enjoy this fascinating tapestry of wilderness and history. We will hike to roaring waterfalls, white sand beaches and seek out Dolphins in the waters of the Moray Firth. At all times we will be well catered for with hearty meals made from delicious local ingredients and opportunities to enjoy local music, arts and crafts.
Meeting at Inverness railway station, we transfer north over the Kessock Bridge, heading towards the village of Strathpeffer. We’ll stop and hike at the lovely Rogie Falls, where we can watch the water cascade over the rocks and, in late summer, look out for salmon leaping. Continuing the hike, we’ll follow a circular route that takes us through a forest of pine and silver birch before arriving at a clearing with great vistas across Ross-shire and Loch Achilty. A short transfer takes us to our hotel, arriving in time to settle in before dinner. (D)
Walk details: 7km/ 4 miles | approx. 3 hours
After breakfast, we venture to the east coast and a peninsula known as the ‘Black Isle’. The coast here is one of the best places in Scotland to spot dolphins, so we’ll head to the harbour and join a boat trip to see the local pod. After lunch enjoy a hike along the pretty coastline, taking in the villages of Rosemarkie and Fortrose as well as elevated views of the Channory Point peninsula. Along the way, we’ll pass a memorial where the Brahan Seer – a 17th century futurologist – was burned to death in boiling tar! (B, L)
Walk details: 8km/ 5 miles | approx. 3-4 hours
Our aim today is the little peak of Knock Farril – an impressive ridge and viewpoint. The hike begins in forest and passes a series of wooden sculptures before we reach the Touchstone Maze. This recent project has 81 small standing stones arranged in concentric circles. The stones are an example of different rocks found in Scotland and are aligned with the solstices. Moving on, we climb steadily up the broad ridge to the summit of Knock Farril, where we will find the remains of an Iron Age fort and are rewarded with beautiful views. (B, L)
Walk details: 7km/ 4 miles | approx. 3 hours
After a relaxed breakfast, we leave the hotel and transfer west. Just before reaching Ullapool, we’ll stop at Corrieshalloch Gorge for a short hike to this dramatic chasm. We’ll arrive in Ullapool with some free time to explore this pretty fishing village before lunch in a local café. In the afternoon, there are a number of hiking options, as we venture into Assynt & Coigach. A popular choice is to hike up Ullapool Hill for great views down Loch Broom and inland to this beautiful wilderness region. Afterwards, we transfer to Lochinver, where our accommodation enjoys fabulous views of the mountains. (B, L)
Walk details: 6km/ 4 miles | approx. 2.5 hours
We enjoy a point-to-point hike along the beautiful Assynt coastline today. After a short transfer west, we start hiking at the site of an old grain mill. The millstone was reputedly hewn from the summit of the 731m high peak of Suilven, which dominates the views looking east. The hike takes us towards stunning Achmelvich Beach, passing a secret beach just before the main bay is reached. From here, we follow a quiet road for half an hour or so before cutting across the peninsula on a good trail which takes us back to Lochinver village. Arriving back in the village, we can visit the Highland Stoneware Pottery, to watch the local artists at work and perhaps pick up a souvenir of the trip. (B, L)
Walk details: 10km/ 6 miles | approx. 5 hours
Heading south from Lochinver, we follow a narrow road along the coastline to the trailhead. The hike takes us alongside the pretty River Kirkaig, passing through rich native woodlands. The path is fairly level but gains a little bit of elevation towards the end, offering great views of the iconic Assynt peaks of Suilven, Stac Pollaidh and Cul Mor. Soon afterwards, we reach the waterfall, which roars into a steep-sided ravine. If energy levels permit, we can continue a short distance past the falls for an uninterrupted view of the Assynt mountains – worth the effort!
Afterwards, we continue south to reach the small village of Achiltibuie, which offers outstanding views across the Summer Isles. The village has some craft shops and a bar where you can enjoy a well-deserved drink while enjoying the sea views – a great way to end the trip! We return to Lochinver in time for a celebratory dinner. (B, L, D)
Walk details: 8km/ 5 miles | approx. 4 hours
After a leisurely breakfast, our journey home begins. On the way, there is time for one last venture into the wilderness. We enjoy a short hike in a region known as ‘Little Assynt’, following a good trail to a secluded loch with great views over the mountains and moors of Coigach and Assynt. It’s a great place to stop and reflect back on our week in the wilderness. Afterwards, we enjoy lunch in a café in Ullapool before returning to Inverness. (B, L)
Walk details: 5km/ 3 miles | approx. 2 hours
This itinerary is based in two different locations throughout the course of the week, with 3 nights in Strathpeffer and 3 nights in Lochinver. Accommodation is in a choice of double or twin rooms, with en-suite facilities.
There is no supplement charged to solo travellers, however, you will be required to share a room with another person of the same sex. If you request a double room for single occupancy, a supplement of £300 is charged.
Due to the nature of the accommodations we use, single supplements are limited and are allocated on a first come first served basis.
Food is of paramount importance when enjoying the Wilds of Scotland and throughout the journey varied local produce will be served up in hearty and imaginative meals. Seafood is a speciality with beef, lamb and venison also popular and of course, any special dietary requirements can be catered for.
On this trip, we generally eat dinner as a group however if you would like to make alternative arrangements you are free to do so. Your guide will have an evening off during this trip where they do not eat with the group. They will recommend options for dinner that evening and will help you make any necessary reservations.
You will be met by your Wilderness Scotland Guide in the centre of Inverness Railway Station at 1 pm 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.
|Trip Dates for 2019||Availability||Status||Price||Book|
|11th May - 17th May 2019||Trip Full||CONFIRMED||£1,525|
|20th Jul - 26th Jul 2019||2 place(s) left||CONFIRMED||£1,525||Book Now|
|24th Aug - 30th Aug 2019||5 place(s) left||CONFIRMED||£1,525||Book Now|
Sometimes it's nice to get family and friends together and travel privately for some quality time. This means you benefit from all the features of the group departure, including hand-picked accommodation and expert local guides and we'll take care of it all. Then you can make your choice of departures dates and we'll get back to you to finalise the details.
David loves the lure of wild places. He’s regularly seen heading off with his canoe, camera and tent for a night under the stars. David spent 5 years as an outdoor guide and instructor with qualifications from the Mountain Training Association and British Canoe Association. He is passionate about landscape photography and commended for his many stunning photos of Scotland’s wild places.
- David RussellAsk David a Question
Green Graded Walking Holidays
Green graded walking holidays are suitable for active travellers who are reasonably fit and enjoy moderate hikes. We walk at a comfortable pace and you can expect to be out for 5-6 hours a day. The terrain will be mostly good paths and hill trails but these can still be muddy and rough in places. Some hikes may involve an ascent up to a max of approx 1,500 feet / 450m. Distances will be typically 8-10km but there may be the odd slightly longer day. Daily hike details are available in the itinerary.
Rated 4.85 out of 5 based on 20 review(s) of Wilderness Walking – Sutherland: The Great Wild North
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.
Reviewed on 10/09/2018
Accommodation & Food
The Bottom Line
The trip itinerary was a bit confusing re: meals. The web-site & the itinerary sent to me were different. Took a while to get this figured out.
I think we chose a trip that was too easy for us. It was very nice in many ways but the first few days of the Sutherland trip were a bit boring & not enough hiking. Some days we had 2-3 short hikes which were fine but not as challenging as expected. Wanted to get up on the moors hiking. Lael forest garden was not of interest at all.
Both inns were lovely. Coul House in Contin was perfect. Just what I expected to find in Scotland. Glen Cannisp lodge in Lochinver was wonderful too. Great locations.
Allan Smith was an excellent guide. Extremely knowledgeable, patient & accommodating. He had to deal with hikers of varying abilities which is a challenge & difficult to satisfy the needs /wants of everyone.
It's important to make sure the trip one selects is appropriate for your skill level. We found this company good to deal with & we were very happy with it.
Reviewed on 07/09/2018
Accommodation & Food
The Bottom Line
Overall it was good. I would like to have had a trip info link that would print without graphics (the hike descriptions, meeting place info, etc). The photos in the document use a lot of ink to print
The guide was excellent. The trip matched the description. Only minor issue was that the room for first 3 nights was really small.
I shared with another guest to avoid paying single supplement. Our room at Coul House was tiny. The bathroom door hit one of the beds when it was opened, not great if you want to get up during the night with out waking your roommate. The hotel was nice overall, and the staff was really good. I liked the other lodge..
Alan was very knowledgeable about the areas we hiked.
Overall, I enjoyed the trip. It matched the description on the website, so I knew what to expect for difficulty of hikes. The Lochinver area is really lovely.
Reviewed on 05/09/2018
Accommodation & Food
The Bottom Line
Lots of helpful information in the dossier and equipment list and you kindly sent it all again after I had a computer meltdown and lost everything!
The scenery was fantastic and never ending!
Coul House was superb. Clean, comfortable, well appointed rooms and staff that were readily available to help or answer questions. I had some issues with the room Glencanisp put me in. It was their wheelchair accessible room, so the bathroom was not very comfortable for an able bodied person; the room had no key so I couldn't lock it when we left for the day and the mattress was poor. I assumed they put me there because all the other rooms were full, but found out after two nights that there were quite lovely rooms sitting empty so I asked to be moved for the final night. That room was very nice, but the experience was not as positive as it could have been TEAM WILDERNESS RESPONSE: Thanks very much for your comments, and we are glad to read that you enjoyed both accommodations overall. We are sorry however that you did not like your room at Glencanisp as much as we would have hoped, and we would like to ensure you that we have noted this for the future. Hope to be able to welcome you back to Scotland very soon!
Alan was an absolute delight! He is very knowledgeable about flora and fauna, history and culture - he even read us poetry by Norman McCaig as we lunched at Loch Fionn. He was kind and patient, able to adapt to our varied needs and the changing weather with aplomb.
The trip was completely enjoyable and I would be happy to hike with Wilderness Scotland any time!
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