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Top 21 images of the Hebrides

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.

Typical Hebridean beach views with their Caribbean colour schemeimages of the Outer Hebrides

    1. Beautiful beaches at Seilbost and Luskentyre on Harris in the Outer Hebrides.
images of the Hebrides

2. The hills of Harris (which we explore on our Western Isles Wilderness itinerary) offer stunning aerial views of the beaches

 

images of the Hebrides

3. With colours like these it’s no wonder numerous artists seem to have moved to the Hebrides and produce artwork inspired by the seascapes surrounding them.

 

images of the Hebrides

4. What a view this beach has to offer. The hills in the distance make this beach so much more attractive to the eye.

 

images of the Hebrides

5. Where are all the people? Exploring the beaches of Harris in Spring is still a joy when you have it to yourself.

 

images of the Hebrides

6. When visiting the Hebrides, you’ll probably come across a lot of ruins (though there are also some very new eco-friendly buildings being put in place as well). It’s a shame to see the houses in ruins, but it is a visible reminder of the history of the clearances and the hardship of life in the islands.

 

images of the Hebrides

7. Sun, sea and sand combine to give us the peaceful shoreline by the beach on Harris.

 

images of the Hebrides

8. Glorious stretches of sandy beaches in Caribbean colours but without the crowds.

 

images of the Hebrides

9. The wisps of cloud and the intense turquoise colour of the sea with the rocks in the foreground make this a very attractively composed image. Makes you think more of the tropics than the Hebrides!

 

Other aspects of the Hebrides

images of the Hebrides

10. The most famous stone circle in the Outer Hebrides – the Callanish Stones on Lewis.

 

images of the Hebrides

11. There’s a lot more to the Hebrides than just beaches, birds and Caribbean colours. Most people know about tweed but did you also know that there used to be a whaling industry on Harris? This is the old whaling station

 

images of the Hebrides

12. A driving tour of the Outer Hebrides won’t give you any views like these. The hills of Harris are a stunning wilderness playground to explore.

 

13. Exploring the hills of Harris. Watch out though there are few if any way marked paths which might come as a shock to some of our continental visitors.

 

images of the Hebrides

14. It’s views like these of the hills of Harris which are far less common in the promotional material of the Hebrides, which tends to concentrate on the beaches and seascapes.

Local residents

images of the Hebrides

15. Of course no set of images of the Hebrides would be complete without one of sheep. Sheep are everywhere in the Hebrides but at least they are somewhat profitable in the wool which can be used to make tweed

 

images of the Outer Hebrides

16. One of the local residents observes the tourists disdainfully from his/her comfy abode.

 

images of the Hebrides

17. The traditional thatched cottages of the Hebrides; the Blackhouses cause many a tourist to sigh romantically – but these were genuinely home to many islanders a relatively short time ago.

 

images of the Hebrides

18. A weaver’s cottage on Lewis where the world famous Harris tweed is still made on the traditional peddle loom. The tweed can not be called Harris tweed unless it is made in the Hebrides on a manually powered loom.

 

images of the Hebrides

19. It’s the cloud wisping across the sky which makes this image of Macleod’s Stone so evocative. I’m sure there are plenty of images associated with it.

 

images of the Hebrides

20. Weaving in progress on Lewis. The majority of Harris tweed is now made on Lewis and though has been prized by fashion designers the physical process of producing Harris tweed is not attracting as many artisans as its popularity would indicate.

 

images of the Hebrides

21. Heading for the tops of the hills on Harris. There;s much more to the Hebrides than just the beaches. Though much or the Hebridean islands are flat and denuded of trees, there are also a surprising number of hills to explore of selected islands.

 

 

 

SHARING YOUR TRIP PHOTOS

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.

THANKS AND CREDITS

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.

For further information about our walking holidays in Scotland (which always include photographic opportunities) please return to our home page

walking holiday scotland: looking for a special place with a hint of wilderness? Spectacular scenery? Unique hikes?

walking holidays

Panorama of the Torridon skyline (taken by David Webster on a guided walking holiday with Scot Mountain Holidays

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.

Where 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

What is special about Torridon?

“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

 

walking holidays scotland

Spectacular coastal views are a feature of walking in Torridon

 

walking holidays scotland

The spectacular sandstone peaks of Torridon, over 2500 million years old (taken by Jim Smith on our Classic Torridon itinerary in 2008)

 

guided walking holidays

It’s not all rocky peaks in Torridon. There are also nature reserves to explore.

 

walking holidays Scotland

The weather’s not always perfect (it is Scotland) but can sometimes add drama to the scenery.

 

walking in Scotland

There’s unusual wildlife to spot as well in some spots.

 

walking holiday scotland

What a panorama! Skye eat your heart out.

Where to eat in Torridon?

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

Why book a guide in Torridon?

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

 

Further reading:

http://www.stevecarter.com/ansh/history.htm

 

pub walks in Scotland

Pub walks in Scotland: the best way of relaxing after a walk, no matter how hard or easy it may have been

Top 6 pub walks in Scotland (focused on the Highlands)

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.

 

1. The Old Bridge Inn

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.

pub walks in Scotland

Classic view into the Cairngorms from the Rothiemurchus estate

Recommended walks:

  1. From Boat of Garten: Follow the Speyside Way from Boat of Garten to Aviemore, past the golf course to the doorstep of the Old Bridge Inn (6 miles). This is a great family route, relatively flat. The route can be extended after or before lunch to explore some of the Rothiemurchus estate. If you time your day right, you could also combine your exploration with a ride back on the Strathspey Steam Railway; the more mundane option, would be to hop on the local bus back to Boat if you have explored too far around Aviemore.
  2. This walk also lends itself to family cycling and can be extended through to Glenmore to enjoy tea and cake at the Red Squirrel cafe. This would be potentially a linear route, depending on the capabilities of your party. Alternatively check with Scot Mountain Holidays for a transfer to Glenmore, walk/cycle the Old Logging Way to the Old Bridge Inn, then follow the Speyside Way back to Boat of Garten.
  3. Inverdruie to Loch an Eilean

Check out our self-guided mountain biking holidays which include some of these routes.

2. Cairngorm Hotel or the Winking Owl

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.

pub walks in Scotland

Relaxing in the Cairngorms while out on a family walk

Recommended walks: Craigellachie Nature Reserve

3. The Moulin Inn

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!

Hogmanay Scotland

Relaxing with a pint (brewed on the premises) at the Moulin Inn

 

pub walks in Scotland

Ben Vraikie above Pitlochry

Recommended walks: Ben Vraikie

For other suggestions in the Pitlochry are try WalkHighlands.

4. Applecross Inn

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.

pub walks in Scotland

Stunning scenery of Torridon

Recommended walks:

An easy walk between two beautiful sandy bays with great views of Raasay, Skye and Rona. The walk can be done in either direction or as a return walk – the time and distance given are for one way.

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.

5. The Clachaig

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.

Recommended walks:

  1. Loch Achtriochtan & lower Glen: this is one of the most photographed views in Scotland. The beautiful lochan surrounded by the majestic peaks of Glencoe is a truly spectacular setting.
  2. or for a bit more than a family walk/ a morning out before your pub lunch – Glencoe is rightly famous for its mountain walks
  3. If you want to spend longer exploring Glencoe do check out the various options on WalkHighlands where all the routes are graded according to length and difficulty
  4. Bidean Nam Bian (moderate to challenging) – mountain walking experience required and good navigation skills or book a guide.
  5. A wee bit further on and best attempted on a good day: The Buckle

Further reading:

https://www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/getoutside/local/loch-achtriochtan-highland

https://www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/getoutside/guides/top-5-short-hikes-in-scotland/

6. The Sligachan, Skye

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.

Skye Munros

Sunset over Am Basteir from Sligachan on the Isle of Skye during the Skye Munros itinerary

Recommended walks: 

  1. Part of the Skye trail
  2. Fairy Pools – not exactly on the doorstep and becoming way too popular to enjoy any peace and quiet (plus parking is an issue these days) but still worth going if you can visit off season.
  3. Further options from WalkHighlands

Optional extra:

Dores Inn

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.

Recommended walks:

  1. Part of the South Loch Ness Trail: the route north will take you into Inverness. In theory you could get to Dores on public transport from Inverness and walk back along the South Loch Ness Trail (7 miles). Then no one needs to be designated driver.
  2. Routes from Foyers, a wee bit further down the Loch
  3. Aldourlie Castle circuit 

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

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