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    My favourite time: Winter in the Highlands

    By Rachael Gavan, Head of Travel
    More by Rachael

    Winter in the Highlands is good for your soul.

    The whole team feels that way, it’s one of the reasons we’re so passionate about our trips and we’re amazingly lucky to be able to step out from the office and be right in the middle of our playground.

    Winter Skills – The Cairngorms and Creag Meagaidh

    Each season brings something new, another adventure, a new special place and some more food for your soul but there’s something magic about winter.

    I don’t know what it is, maybe it’s because I got my first pair of skis at 2 years old, maybe it’s because I still love Christmas more than… I was going to say any other holiday but let’s be honest I love it more than pretty much anything at all. Maybe it’s because we had snow days more frequently than most when I was growing up but, I adore winter.

    Each year I eagerly wait for the first orange hues to appear on the trees and mark it as an event the first time I see my breath in the evening. Last week we had our first proper snowfall in the village. I always know when it’s snowed during the night, a tingling in my bones and the soft light glowing through the curtains.

    I think for a lot of people as soon as the Christmas period is over they feel like winter should be over too but more often than not the best winter days are still to come.

    winter in the highlands

    Knoydart in winter


    winter in the highlandsGoing for a walk on a cold snowy day must be one of my favorite things to do. Blue bird skies and sunshine causing the snow to sparkle like it’s strewn with diamonds. The tracks of birds and animals can be followed giving you a rare glimpse into their daily lives. Above the trees and into the hills it’s the silence that strikes you; snow deadens the sound until all you can hear is your own breathing as the deliciously icy air fills your lungs. Having a quick bite to eat (flapjacks are a mountain day must!) surrounded by snowy peaks is one of those moments where your heart aches because you are somewhere so beautiful it feels like you’re walking in a dream.

    The days are short and before long the watery sun starts to descend, a few clouds gather ominously in the distance, yellow and gray and full of snow. Heading for home the first stars start to appear and then the moon, silver and luminous lights a glowing path in the dark.

    The cheery lights of home are welcome, as are a hot bath and a hearty meal. Part of the joy of a winter day outside is a winter evening inside, curled cozily by a crackling fire with a good book and fluffy socks. Just before bed, if the night is clear I’ll pop outside; hands wrapped firmly around a last cup of tea and look up. The stars are amazing in the dark sky of the highlands, millions of tiny jewels on a velvet cloak. If I’m lucky, very lucky, the sky will glow green as the Northern Lights dance across the night but I’ll be eyeing those clouds, hoping for snow in the night and fresh tracks in the morning.



    Meet the Author: Rachael Gavan

    “I grew up in the countryside just outside of Edinburgh and have always loved being in the outdoors. Some of my best memories growing up involved heading to the Highlands with my family and a car packed full of bikes or skis, camping gear, walking boots and hundreds of books. After university, I spend a few years travelling the world but I always knew that the Highlands of Scotland was where I was meant to be. Being part of the Wilderness Team allows me to spend my days talking about the wild places of Scotland and dreaming up new adventures. I feel lucky every day that I can share our beautiful home with travellers from all over the world and hopefully, they can take a little bit of Scottish magic with them.”

    View profileMore by Rachael

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