Walking Holidays

 

This holiday was originally planned for 2008 and has now run its course. If you would like us to run this holiday for you in the future then please get in touch. We can run it (or something similar) for you and a group of friends or we can advertise it to see if we get others interested.

 

The North West Highlands are the hidden gem of Scotland. Wild remote mountains, dramatic sea lochs, spectacular flora and fauna and none of the crowds that you find further south.

This trip runs from Saturday 19th July to Saturday26th July 2008. We'll head up on the Saturday aiming to do a pickup from Fort William Railway station at about 5pm. This is flexible, let us know your requirements as later pickups will be possible.

Highlights of the trip will hopefully include walking the spectacular Foinaven ridge, climbing Suilven (possibly the most beautiful of all the Scottish mountains) and a trip to the Scottish Wildlife Trust nature reserve at Handa Island.

Accomodation

We will be staying at Ardmair Point Chalets 3 miles north of Ullapool. The chalets are situated in a sheltered Sea Loch and have as a backdrop the dramatic ridge of Ben Mhor Coigach. Each Chalet consists of a double room, a twin and two single rooms. There is no single supplement but if you are holidaying on your own and both single rooms are already booked then you may be asked to share a twin room if necessary. If you would like to discuss this further then please don't hesitate to get in touch.

What we'll get up to

We will arrive at the accommodation in the early evening of Saturday 19 July. After dinner we will pore over maps and the weather forecast and plan the following days trip. Some of the highlights of the North West Highlands include.

Ben Mor Coigach (743m)

Rising to the north of Ullapool and visible from our accomodation Ben Mor Coigach is an obvious first days walking on this holiday. It is surrounded by the Scottish Wildlife Trust's (SWT) largest nature reserve. Birds that we can expect to see include raven, ring ouzel, red grouse, ptarmigan, twite, stonechat, whinchat, redpoll and wheatear. The reserve is famous for it's ancient native woodland and dwarf juniper scrub. We will start out from the Achiltibuie Road, pass some small lochs and ascend Ben Tarsuinn. From here we will vere south and join the rocky east ridge of Speicin Coinnich. After dropping westward we will then gain the summit tops of Ben Mor Coigach. We will descend via Sgurr An Fhidlier and return to the road by walking along a mountain stream that runs into Loch Lurgainn. This walk is approximately 15km long.

Image
Photo by kind permission of Gavin Shaw (see links page for originals). Cropping by Lupine not Gavin.
Foinaven (911m)

Foinaven is more of a ridge than a mountain with 5 major tops extending over 5 km. The ridge is composed of quartzite which is shattered in many places to form scree. We will approach Foinaven up Strath Dionard before ascending the ridge proper. If the weather is clear expect spectacular views west over the Atlantic and inland to wild and seldom explored country. Other mountains that we will see from Foinaven include: Arkle, Ben Hope, Quinag, Suilven, and An Teallach. At the end of this day we will drop down to Loch Stack and return to Ullapool for a much deserved pint.

Image
Photo by kind permission of Gavin Shaw (see links page for originals).
Suilven (731 m)

If we do Sulven it will probably be with a small group as the total walk is 23km. Having said that most of it is on the flat but it will still be a long day. We will approach Suilven from the pretty village of Lochinver before ascending via the saddle between it's two distinctive peaks. The mountain is composed of Torridon Sandstone and it's distinctive pillar shape acted as a landmark for Norse sailors.The ridge between the two peaks is approximately 2 km long. A day out on Suilven is a day not to be missed and will no doubt be the highlight for many people on this trip.

 

Handa Island

The Scottish Wildlife Trust reserve on Handa Island is possibly the best place to see a host of Scottish seabirds. Situated just off the coast and near the village of Scourie, Handa is home to breeding populations of Puffins, Razorbills, Guillemots, Arctic Skua, Great Skua, Kittewakes, Red Throated Divers and many more birds. We feel confident to guarantee 99.99% that you will see Puffins when visiting Handa. The island is also a great place to see native wildflowers. Otters are also regular visitors to the Island where they hunt amphibians.

 

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