+44 (0) 1479 831 331 info@scotmountainholidays.com

 0 items - £0.00

All things hiking Holidays blogs and reviews

Autumn seems to be racing up right now. Munro bagging in autumn has it’s own rewards. The day’s are starting to draw in but it’s not necessarily a bad thing. The leaves are starting to turn on some of the trees here in the Highlands bringing splashes of bright red to the landscape. The later start to the day means we’re approaching a time when we’ll be able to see the colours of dawn. We can already see the evening colours (when there are any) without being up late into the night. The cooler temperatures mean we can get the fire on once more and dust off the pie recipes.

It’s a fantastic time to get out in the hills and maybe bag a few Munros. Here’s a reminder of why autumn is a great time to be out and about if you can get away outside of the school holidays.

Review: Autumn Munros – munro bagging in autumn in the Highlands

Paul Chapman’s first walking holiday in Scotland was on the munro bagging week we run in Autumn. Paul has now been on several holidays with us including recent trips to Arran and the Outer Hebrides. Here’s his review:

MEMORIES OF SCOTLAND

My first walking holiday with Scot Mountain Holidays was “Autumn Munros”. I had never walked in Scotland before then and was looking forward to some excellent walking. I finished the holiday having experienced a lot more than that.

Wildlife sightings

munro bagging in autumn

One of the joys of walking in the mountains in the autumn weather is the increased chance of walking above the clouds

We were three days into the holiday doing Craiggowrie. It had been a lovely autumn day, the walking had been everything I hoped for. Late in the afternoon, with the light beginning to fade we started to make our way off the ridge and down into a corrie. As we started our descent; we saw a group of white snow bunting busily feeding among the heather.They were not really very bothered about us, but as we stood and watched they suddenly took off in alarm, flying low over our heads. Looking up we could clearly see a Golden Eagle soaring effortlessly above us. It had obviously spooked the bunting. You hear about these birds and see pictures of them, but standing in the heather on the side of a Scottish mountain watching one soaring effortlessly above you is an experience that can’t be forgotten.

We continued down towards the floor of the corrie, but then a couple of hundred metres ahead of us saw a group of red deer. There was a stag and a number of hinds. As I watched he calmly led his harem away from us, head held high displaying his magnificent antlers, confident that he was the monarch of the glen. At that point I knew what proud meant. As we stood and marvelled, a second stag with his own group of hinds appeared on our right, equally as majestic and again with a full head of antlers, and he too calmly led his hinds away from us and over the hillside.

Finishing the day

munro bagging in autumn

A herd of deer watch the munro bagging walkers nearby

We continued on, reaching the floor of the corrie as the light faded and soon had to use our head torches. As we walked out of the glen the light disappeared completely.We walked along the track in pitch black with just the light of our torches to show the way. As we walked I could see nothing except a small circular pool of light created by my head torch. Then I started to hear noises. It was a stag roaring in the night, seemingly not far from us. As we continued, more stags started to roar and I looked up. All I could see were the eyes of the deer, like red pin pricks shining through the black of the night.

The volume seemed to grow as we walked through that dark night. Although twenty minutes before there seemed to be two stags and a dozen hinds on the hillside. The deer seemed to be many hundreds of metres away from us. Now there seemed to be many, many, more, close to us, all bellowing into the night. Later I was told that they roared to control their harems. It was rutting season. Whether I was there or not was of no interest to them.

As I thought about the experiences of that day I knew I was hooked on Scotland.

I’ve been back 5 times now and never been disappointed. I may be a “townie” but always feel a lot nearer to nature when in those hills. Each day there is worth innumerable days in a busy, congested city. Now I just keep looking forward to my next visit.

Useful links

Check out the Autumn Munros itinerary

 

For full details on all our walking holidays

 

Have you tried any of our self-guided itineraries?

Guided winter walking in Scotland

What a week of Guided winter walking in Scotland – almost 4 seasons in one week! From full whiteout blizzard to stunning views for miles from the summit of Braeriach, enhanced by a broken spectre with 2 silhouettes in the middle.

From conditions like this:

Guided winter walking in Scotland

Wintry conditions on the summit of Cairngorm at the beginning of the week

To glorious views like this:

Guided winter walking in Scotland

Stunning views to compensate for the lack of snow cover in the Cairngorms (courtesy of Claire Grogan)

 

The weekend at the beginning of the trip offered the worst of the weather, but unfortunately if you have to get back to work … maybe next time those who couldn’t stay on will be treated to views similar to those from Braeriach at the end of the week.

Quotes and reviews:

“Thank you again for a very enjoyable week. Andy’s knowledge of the mountains and of the geology, flora and fauna, together with the welcoming and homely atmosphere and Rebecca’s cooking makes for a great combination”

Guided winter walking in Scotland – the highlights from Gentle Giants/Classic Winter Cairngorms – January 2017

These are just a selection of some of the points which have made the week so memorable and will hopefully serve as talking points when everyone gets home.

Group:

included

– a diverse group of individuals (including one couple) united by a common interest.

Guided winter hiking in Scotland: Wildlife highlights:

We saw a vole and it didn’t just pop out and disappear; it stayed and snuffled around searching for food. We have a really good view of it.

Sightings of ptarmigan became quite common place as the week went on. The first was exciting but by the end of the week, we’d had at least 5 sightings. Ptarmigan sightings were exciting for one of our guests whose young grandson (under 10 years old) is a keen birdwatcher, so it was something he could share with him.

We spotted golden eagle and mountain hare in the white winter plumage.

winter wildlife Cairngorms

A ptarmigan makes walking across the snow look easy

Guided winter walking in Scotland: weather highlights

Many a hiker would love to be treated to a broken spectre. It adds a certain “je ne sais quoi” to the day and provides a talking point. Everyone wanted to see the pics (and it certainly proved popular on our social media.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BPhU-QVhzFg/?taken-by=scotmountainholidays

Guided winter walking in Scotland: Scenic highlights

Panoramic photos courtesy of Claire Grogan

Guided winter walking in Scotland

Stunning winter views in the Cairngorms highlighted by a slight wisp of cloud to add character to the picture

Guided winter walking in the Cairngorms

Loch A’an sparkling in the sunlight peeping through the drifting cloud

Guided winter walking in Scotland

Clear dry air in winter makes for views which stretch for miles across the Cairngorms and beyond

Guided winter walking in Scotland

Not so wintry in the Cairngorms but still enjoying the company and repartee as the group ascends the ridges in the Cairngorms

 

Check out our Facebook album for a fuller collection of the photos taken during our trip.

Guided winter walking in Scotland: Recipe requests

Lentil loaf – a great vegetarian recipe to have up your sleeve for parties/dinners with friends.

Other food: Recipes going live shortly:

Beetroot brownies

Banana and fruit loaf pudding

Grasmere gingerbread

Raspberry and pine nut bars

Tear and share tomato and cheese bread

Summary:

A great group who enjoyed the variety of walking options during the week and did perhaps feel that they accomplished more in the week than they would have done without Andy’s guidance.

All content © Copyright Scot Mountain Holidays 2024

Responsive web design by Summit Web Solutions

Want to hear more?

Join our newsletter for a lifetime of hiking adventures!

Subscribe now!

Thanks!

Follow us