I’ve selected images of the Hebrides taken during our Western Isles Wilderness guided walking holidays since 2014. I’ve not put these photos in any particular order of favouritism. They are just the best shots I’ve seen from 3 trips to Harris and Lewis. If you’d like to nominate different images, please just let me know and I’ll either add them or replace my selections with yours.
We have set up a Google album for our Hebrides photos into which we’ve gathered this year’s photos (which have been shared with us along with our own). We’d be delighted if you wanted to add any of your photos here.
Sincere thanks to all who have joined us in the Hebrides and particularly those who have shared photos with us, some of which are highlighted above. Credits include: Looi Oon, Mick Wansborough and Tina Duren along side our own images.
Are you thinking about going a walking holiday in Scotland? You’re probably feeling a bit overwhelmed by the choice of options available to you. Of course, you might be influenced by images you’ve seen on social media. You’ve probably heard about Skye – the Old Man of Storr, the Quirang, the Cuillins. You’re toying with the idea of spending some time there. But Skye is suffering from the volume of tourists who are now adding it to their tour of Scotland.
An alternative is to consider one of the places along the North Coast 500, which is the new buzz route to take in Scotland. One of the best hiking spots along the route, where you can easily find walks to keep you happy for a whole week’s holiday is Torridon.
Torridon is an area of outstanding natural beauty situated around the sea lochs of Torridon & Shieldaig and inland to Kinlochewe. Its combination of rock and water, changing seasons and moods make this an awe-inspiring place to visit
“There are records that show that Queen Victoria loved to travel the road between Torridon and Diabaig in the late nineteenth century. Accompanied by John Brown, amongst others, she described this area as a fine and wild uncivilised spot, like the end of the world, as she wrote in her diary, and she noted that “hardly anyone ever comes here”.” From Steve Carter’s historical perspective of Torridon and Sheildaig
There’s the Torridon Inn of course but if you have your own transport and are prepared to put in a little more effort there is a delightful wee place to eat in Diabaig called Gille Brighde This is where we choose to go on the guided Classic Torridon walking holiday. If you’re prepared to travel a wee bit further or have the option of doing a linear walk you could also try the Applecross Inn, which features in our 6 pub walks blog
Some of the peaks in Torridon are quite challenging and require a small amount of scrambling. Hiring a guide will mean that you will be as safe as possible and he or she will be able to keep you on track timewise so the day does not end up being an epic venture out. Your guide will also be able to interpret the weather forecast so as to make the best of the prevailing weather conditions. For more reasons on why it is beneficial to you to hire a guide read our blog
For other guided hiking options go to our home page for more details
Pub walks in Scotland with good quality craft beers to round off the day would not have been easy in the past. Though Britain is rightly famous for its pub culture, but pub walks in Scotland are not a widely known phenomenon. We can probably attribute this to our Presbyterian heritage. The image of the Presbyterian minister breathing fire and brimstone and going on about the evils of drink and merriment have a lot to answer for.
10 years ago, beer aficionados moaned about the lack of craft beers. Fortunately all this has changed around completely now and we’re spoiled for choice, particularly in the Cairngorms. Those pubs which have maintained their traditional links with brewing and good food are doing very good business. Many of them are in fabulous walking country. We’ve picked out 5 of the best for you to explore on your way round Scotland. You’ll also be pleased to know that we’ve included some of these gems on our hiking tours, like the Highland Extravaganza.
On the banks of the river Spey, looking out over the Cairngorms, the Old Bridge Inn is one of the best pubs. They stock beer from the local brewery (Cairngorm Beers) many of which are on tap. They also have an amazing varied menu and serve both pub meals and restaurant fare. If you have a large group, booking is advised.
Check out our self-guided mountain biking holidays which include some of these routes.
Both the Winking Owl and the Cairngorm Hotel are in central Aviemore, on the main street. The Winking Owl is now owned by Cairngorm Brewery and its primary focus is on serving good quality food and beer. The menu is typical pub fare but is nicely presented and offered with a range of Cairngorm beers. The atmosphere is relaxed.
The Cairngorm Hotel is directly across the road from the railway station. It can get extremely busy, particularly when there are sporting events on. Don’t expect a quiet romantic meal.
Recommended walks: Craigellachie Nature Reserve
The Moulin Inn is a hotel but also a pub. It is extremely popular with walkers as it is at the bottom of the popular route suggested below. It is not be be missed if you are in the Pitlochry area as there is not much else in Pitlochry to write home about, apart from the tearoom. There is usually a comfortable, glowing open fire welcoming guests and the menu is quite comprehensive. We recommend the lamb shank and the raspberry crumble!
Recommended walks: Ben Vraikie
For other suggestions in the Pitlochry are try WalkHighlands.
Rightly famous for their seafood, the Applecross Inn is in a beautiful setting, surrounded by the stunning peaks of Wester Ross. The inn also offers great views across to Raasay and Skye, if it is possible to sit outside without being pestered by the midges. The Inn offers an award-winning menu, using high quality local produce like venison, alongside the seafood. It’s also a great destination for sea kayakers. Judith and her staff are also rightly proud of the Gold green tourism award and are open all year round.
A short hillwalk taking advantage of a start at over 2000 feet. Sgurr a Chaorachain is a Corbett summit, and though easy to reach has very dramatic mountain views.
is deservedly recognised as the home of Scottish mountaineering. The food is top quality and the welcome warm. You will almost always find walkers and climbers relaxing here. The Claichaig prides itself on its friendly atmosphere, its range of real ales and its live music. Check their website for details of whats on during your visit to the area.
Another popular walking pub with an associated campsite like the Clachaig. Unfortunately the position of the Sligachan doesn’t really lend itself to gentle half-day circular walks (the Cuillin are in the way), but the situation is so fabulous that really even if you walk out and back along the same path, you’ll still get the most stunning views that Skye has to offer.
A gem of a pub with plenty of outdoor seating on the south shore of Loch Ness. You can even dabble a toe in the Loch if you want right from the car park. A traditional pub concentrating on serving food and drink. There is a good selection of beers and food. Sunset dining with a view over Loch Ness is recommended, but it is also a great lunch stop too.
Do you know of any great walks which start and finish at pubs in the Highlands? Please get in touch with your recommendations.
If you’d like to go guided on a walking holiday in Scotland please don’t hesitate to contact us for dates, prices and opportunities.
For a full list of all the trips available with Scot Mountain Holidays: cycling/biking, walking/hiking and family adventures – check out the home page