Hiking the Scottish Highlands

Plus Edinburgh and Glasgow

Hiking the Scottish Highlands

Plus Edinburgh and Glasgow

Walking is a great way to experience Scotland, as it allows you to enjoy the breathtaking scenery, while offering a unique and intimate insight into local culture.

This exciting new tour, geared to the avid walker, includes a week of active sightseeing and hiking through the impressive countryside and picturesque villages in the Scottish Highlands, accompanied by experienced hiking guides. Each day you can choose either an easier walk with sightseeing, covering an average of 7 kms with up to 700 ft of ascent, or a harder hike (without sightseeing) covering up to 14 kms with ascents of up to 1000 ft. During the walking tour portion of our tour we will stay at a First Class Grand Country house in Alltshellach, which has a stunning location on the shores of Loch Leven, surrounded by towering mountains.

This tour program also includes 4 nights in Edinburgh and 2 nights in Glasgow, with plenty of touring included.

*** Participants (even those joining the “Easier Hikes”) must be able to complete up to 9 km of walking on varied terrain.

Tour Highlights:
• Scotland’s capital city, Edinburgh
• Royal Yacht Britannia
• Holyrood Palace and Park
• Stirling Castle
• Scottish Border region including Abbotsford House and Traquair House
• Soak up the splendid Highland scenery, rugged mountains and heather quilted glens
• A cruise on Loch Ness
• Jacobite Steam Train
• Inveraray Castle
• Scotland’s largest city, Glasgow

Tentative Itinerary

Day 1: Depart

We depart for Glasgow.

Day 2: Edinburgh

We arrive in Glasgow and transfer to our centrally located hotel in Edinburgh - Scotland’s capital, for a 4-night stay. This evening is our Welcome Dinner.

Day 3: Edinburgh

Our city tour shows us the Old and New towns before we proceed to Leith - Edinburgh’s exciting new waterfront development, where we visit the Royal Yacht Britannia - voted the UK’s top attraction by Trip Advisor. The yacht was home to The Queen and Royal Family for over 40 years, sailing over 1 million miles around the world. After our visit there will be free time to explore historic Edinburgh Castle, or roam the ancient streets in search of tartans.

Day 4: Arthur’s Seat / Edinburgh

Arthur's Seat (Edinburgh's highest hill) provides a spectacular natural backdrop to the city. It is part of Holyrood Park - Edinburgh's wildest and biggest open space, and we will enjoy a short guided walk.

Day 5: Abbotsford / Traquair

Our tour in the Scottish Borders region begins at Abbotsford - ancestral home of Sir Walter Scott with a stunning riverside location. We will enjoy a 5 km walk through the estate grounds and along the River Tweed, returning to the house for a guided tour. Then we continue to Traquair House, a former hunting lodge for Scottish kings and queens which dates back to 1107. After our guided tour we enjoy dinner in the 18th century cottage, before returning to Edinburgh.

Day 6: Stirling Castle

We leave Edinburgh and stop to visit Stirling Castle - one of Scotland's most historically important sites. Then we proceed to our hotel, Alltshellach House - our base for the next 7-nights. It is surrounded by towering mountains and boasts a stunning location on the shores of beautiful Loch Leven, with lawns and wooded grounds sweeping down to the shoreline.

Day 7: Loch Ness (8km /12km walk)

We begin with a cruise on the infamous Loch Ness, followed by a visit to the ruined Highland stronghold of Urquhart Castle. We then walk to the Bridge of Oich - a taper principle suspension bridge designed by James Dredge.

Day 8: Mull and The Holy Isle of Iona (5km walk)

We take the ferry from Oban to the island of Mull, and then another ferry to the Holy Isle of Iona, where we will enjoy a guided walk. There will be free time to explore the island and its world famous Abbey. We return to the mainland and enjoy dinner in Oban’s award-winning fish and chip restaurant.

Day 9: Glen Coe and The West Highland Way (8km/13km walk)

Starting in dramatic Glen Coe we follow woodland trails to Glencoe village and onwards to the scenic ‘Hospital Lochan’. We then head down forestry tracks to Clachaig Inn - a climber’s hostelry steeped in history. Signal Rock - gathering point for the MacDonalds of Glencoe, offers an optional historic short loop.

Day 10: Ben Nevis and Aonach Mor (5km/13km walk)

We ascend on the Aonach Mor Cable car and visit the two viewpoints of Sgurr Finnisg-aig and Meal Beag, both of which offer stunning views. Descending back to the lower gondola station (by gondola or by walking) we follow pleasant forestry trails alongside the River Lundy to visit the Commando War Memorial (Easier) or ascend the ‘North Face Path’ (Harder) to a viewpoint with magnificent views across the Allt a’Mhuilinn to the northeast face of Ben Nevis. Both groups finish at the Glen Nevis Distillery. Those who wish may ascend the summit plateau of Ben Nevis.

Day 11: Inverary and Loch Fyne (5km/8km walk)

We start at the Loch Fyne village of Furnace and walk to the folk museum at Auchindrain. This excellent circular walk features forests, waterfalls, rivers, pastures and loch views. We will visit Inveraray Castle - the iconic ancestral home of the Duke of Argyll, Chief of the Campbell Clan .

Day 12: Glenfinnan and Mallaig (3km walk)

We first explore Glenfinnan, where the 1745 Jacobite uprising originated, then drive along the picturesque coastline for our walk around the Camusdarach Beaches with the offshore islands of Rum, Eigg and Canna in view. Later we visit Mallaig, with options for a further walk to viewpoints beyond the harbour or a visit to the Heritage Centre. We return to Fort William on the famous Jacobite Steam Train, crossing the famous Glenfinnan viaduct (as featured in the Harry Potter films).

Day 13: Loch Lomond / Glasgow

We first stop at Loch Lomond, one of Scotland’s most beautiful places, for a cruise passing stately homes and castles along the shore. We continue to our city centre hotel in Glasgow.

Day 14: Glasgow

On our guided walking tour of Glasgow we explore the history and architecture of this exciting city. Afternoon at leisure. Glasgow city centre offers some of the best shopping in Britain along some of its lively pedestrian-only streets, and many art galleries and museums. This evening we enjoy a Farewell Scottish Banquet set in a luxury country house in the heart of Ayrshire.

Day 15: Home

We fly home to Canada, non-stop to Toronto.

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Cost per person: $5197
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All airfare and all airport taxes.

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