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A quick album from our Skye Munros trips in 2022 – Skye Black Cuillin Munros (excluding climbing gallery) and Skye Black Cuillin for Hillwalkers, based in Portree.

If you’re considering joining us in 2o23, places are already limited (one place remaining) on the climbing itinerary. Take a look at the images below for an idea of what to expect when you join us next year. As you can see the weather wasn’t always perfect, but there still seem to be lots of smiling faces even if the jackets, hats and gloves did come out on occasion.

Portrait images will not display in the gallery except in landscape format which makes them awkward to view so they are only displayed in the gallery where they are displayed correctly.

For full versions of the images please check out this link to our google album.

Midges in Scotland have a reputation which far outweighs their size, but perhaps not their numbers.

Here in Scotland, we’re not subtle in our campaign to drive the visitors away. We emphasise the rain and then we start with the midge stories. And still people want to come. Well we’ve come up with a plan for you. We’re going to try and make sure you go back home without mentioning midge horror stories and without any stories of being drenched by rain. Our plan: visit the east.

How avoid the midges during your vacation in Scotland

1.Come between late September and late May

In the Highlands of Scotland, particularly in the Cairngorms, we can have an early frost in September or a late frost in May. Midges can’t survive a frost. If you arrive in Scotland, before the weather has warmed up too much you are unlikely to see many midges. Also if you visit in May or early September, you are also likely to encounter the best weather conditions Scotland has to offer. May 2018 (and June) have been exceptional in sunlight terms, but there is also now an increasing issue with the swarms of midges. Over on the west coast, it can be difficult to find builders at this time of year. Their work requires that they remain stationary or at least around the same site for extended periods of time, and the midges just won’t leave them alone. However, direct sunlight and windy conditions do mean that there are few if any midges around.

glencoe in winter

This photo was taken in Glencoe in March. This is when you can really enjoy hiking in the area. There is still snow on the ground, so it is not for the faint-hearted but there are no midges in Scotland and the air clarity is amazing. Perfect for photography.

We plan all our west coast walking holidays around both the best weather conditions and the height of the midge season. We rarely if ever, go to the west of Scotland between June and the end of August.

2. Visit the Eastern part of Scotland, including the Cairngorms National Park

We have our home base in Boat of Garten in the Cairngorms National Park for a number of reasons. High on the list is the lack of midges, in general. On a still, damp morning/evening, you definitely become aware of their presence in season, but more often than not we rarely encounter them. They can be a bother in the Cairngorms, but the drier weather here and the sometimes windy conditions, keep the levels of midge down to manageable levels.

Midges in Scotland do love damp forest conditions though as the trees provide them with shelter from the wind and the sun, so be careful if you picnic in the woods.

midges in Scotland

Relaxing in the shelter of the trees – beware the midges on a wind free day.

3. Go to museums, distilleries and castles on dull, dank days

On still, damp days our best advice would be to engage in something high speed (eg mountain biking or road biking or zip lining) which will keep the midges away from you as you generate your own “wind” ie slip stream. You’ll be moving too fast for them to keep up.

Failing something high adrenaline you could just admire the scenery from the seclusion of your car, being sure to insulate yourself from the outdoors with your air conditioning system or alternatively indulge yourself in a bit of culture or city life for the day.

There are plenty of museums you can visit, even in the Highlands. Or try a castle or distillery.

We recommend the following distillery tours:

Tomatin (especially if you have under-18s in your party)

Glenlivet (regular tours which are translated into most major European languages)

Glenfarclas (a more unique and family atmosphere than other distilleries)

Aberlour (highly regarded and recommended to us)

Or try to Speyside Cooperage – a unique opportunity to see the traditional coopers at work making and refurbishing the casks which are a vital part of the whisky industry.

whisky tour

A cooper hard at work repairing casks at the Speyside Cooperage

4. Enjoy the wind

Midges are so tiny that they can’t tolerate any more than a very light breeze. There is a fine balance in how much wind you can enjoy before it starts to affect your enjoyment of your day out, but hopefully you will find there is a strong enough breeze to keep the midges away, but not too strong to prevent you from enjoying your hike. The strength of wind you can tolerate yourself will depend on your experience and body mass. If the wind is starting to push you around, you’ll stop enjoying your day out and be concentrating too much on trying to maintain a straight line to your destination.

5. Avoid the west coast

This is probably the hardest one to do if this is your dream vacation to Scotland. Almost everyone has at least one west coast destination on their itinerary, usually Skye. Stock up on plenty of repellent if you’re heading over between June and mid-September.

6. Check out the average rainfall before you leave, drier areas of Scotland have fewer midge hotspots

average rainfall

7. Check the midge forecast

8. Make sure you’re not out and about at dawn and dusk.

This is relatively easy advice to follow in early summer as dawn takes place so early and dusk so late, but by August it is worth being aware of the sunrise and sunset times.

If you’re planning an active vacation in Scotland, it’s worth checking out our programme as we have planned to include the best of the weather and the best of the midge free opportunities across the Highlands. We can also plan a tailor-made trip for you. If you base yourself with us we have good access to most other areas of the Highlands (except Skye and the Outer Hebrides) and can make the most of the best weather where ever it is.

Other precautions you can take:

If you must insist on going to areas where you’re likely to encounter large numbers of midges, take the following precautions:

Use Midge Repellents: Arm yourself with effective midge repellents to keep the bugs at bay. Apply repellent to exposed skin and clothing, and reapply as needed, especially after swimming or sweating. There are natural alternatives to the dreaded DEET which can work just as well. Try to find bog mrytle scented creams (like the creams provided by Highland Soaps); midges are repelled by bog myrtle. Or look out for organic skin creams like Beastie Be Gone by Anderson Aromatics. The most widely available commercial repellent is Smidge. You’ll find this in most outdoor shops.

Cover Up: Minimize exposed skin by wearing long sleeves, pants, and socks, particularly during dawn and dusk when midge activity is highest. Light-colored clothing may also help deter midges, as they are attracted to dark colors.

Invest in Midge Nets: If you plan to spend time outdoors in midge-infested areas, invest in a midge head net or jacket to create a physical barrier between you and the bugs. These lightweight nets can be worn over hats or clothing and provide effective protection without the need for chemical repellents.

Plan Activities Wisely: Be strategic about your outdoor activities to minimize midge encounters. Avoid lingering in areas with standing water or dense vegetation, as these are prime midge breeding grounds. Instead, opt for activities such as hiking, cycling, or sightseeing in more open and exposed locations.

By following these tips, you can enjoy a midge-free vacation in Scotland and fully appreciate the natural beauty and cultural treasures that this remarkable country has to offer. With a little preparation and precaution, you can make unforgettable memories without the hassle of midge bites. So pack your bags, embrace the Scottish spirit, and get ready for an adventure like no other!

For a light-hearted summary take a look at the video below:

Fraoch Lodge

Announcing the winner of our guided walking weekend

We want to send a big thank you to everyone who participated in our latest contest and helped make it a success! In the end, we had over 300 entrants which was a fantastic result. We also received valuable feedback from the entrants which will be put to good use.

And a special congratulations to Diane Smith, the winner of our Gentle Giants Giveaway Contest. Congrats also go out to Claire Waugh and Clint Dillon for winning the runner up poster prize of the impressive panoramic view of the Cairngorms National Park.

The Prize


The Gentle Giants Trip is a great opportunity for Diane Smith and their ‘plus one’ to bag a couple of Munro’s on their guided walking weekend with our very own Andy Bateman. Andy will safely lead the way, sharing his years of in depth knowledge of the area and its natural terrain. On this particular trip, the Munro’s ascended will be Ben Macdui and Cairn Gorm in Cairngorms National Park. Did you know that a mountain has to be at least 3000ft in order to qualify as a Munro? And did you know that Ben Macdui is the second highest mountain in the British Isles after Ben Nevis in Fort William?

Orientation Point Ben Macdui

Not only will Diane have a full weekend of walking, but they will take in some spectacular views on the way, such as Loch A’an as they ascend Ben Macdui…

walking weekend in the Cairngorms

Loch A’an (Avon)

Diane will have a delightful view of The Lairig Ghru (with the local pronunciation “Laarig Groo”). It is a spectacular mountain pass through the Cairngorms of Scotland. Historically used as a route between Deeside and Strathspey, in particular, a drove road for taking livestock on foot from one place to another.

walking weekend

The Lairig Ghru

In addition to the walking

And it doesn’t stop there. After an active day out on the hill, Diane and company get to put their feet up at Fraoch Lodge and enjoy a cuppa and cake o’clock which always goes down a treat. Tidying them over until it’s time for a delicious and hearty home cooked supper to set them up for the following days adventure.







All in all, the competition was such a success that we’ll be holding them more frequently. You’ll have a chance to enter to win our next giveaway coming soon 🙂 We look forward to welcoming …….. to the Scottish Highlands to enjoy their prize. 

How to bag all the Skye Munros in a week:

Every Skye Munro and all the hospitality in a single package

May 2016 was the month for the west coast to shine. The two weeks we picked to take our guests on an exploration of Skye and Knoydart proved Andy’s method of following UK weather singularities as guidelines for our trips really pays dividends in seizing optimal conditions; it was glorious wall-to-wall sunshine – no one had brought enough sunscreen, t-shirts or shorts.

Am Basteir, Skye

View of Am Basteir from Sligachan (taken by John Cromie).

We set off from Boat of Garten around lunchtime with a quick detour to Aviemore station for the first of our scheduled pick-ups, then we were on to Inverness airport. (Multiple pick-up options offer the most flexible transport to our clients.) We then traveled to Skye and met the last of our guests in Sligachan; they were already on the isle.

Sunset over the Cuillin Munros

Sunset over the Cuillin hills in Skye

The concept

Itineraries and payments were arranged in advance, leaving the guests to travel stress free over accommodation, food and guiding. We arranged a comfortable cottage for the group and Rebecca created and catered the menu. Late evening meals were always an option so guests needn’t worry over hotel dinner hours. We are happy to do this, as we did on Skye, as some evenings all were more interested in enjoying the glorious hilltop weather before heading back to eat.

Skye Munros

Topping out on the Inaccessable Pinnacle in glorious sunshine weather, Skye May 2016

The walkers and climbers were able to concentrate on their activity while the support team (Rebecca and Gregor) took care of the food and pick-ups for linear routes, ensuring everyone’s comfort and satisfaction, because as a team we are always focused on exceeding expectations!

In brief

Skye for Hillwalkers and Skye Black Cuillin Munros

Price: £845 Hillwalkers; £915 Munro-baggers.

Number of days: 7 nights on the Isle of Skye; once a year offer.

Accommodation: Self-catering cottage (all meals prepared by your hosts).

Achievement: 12 Munros.

Guides: 2 Instructors.

Our menu included (sample): Spiced beef and bashed beans. Salmon with soya sauce and ginger. Venison pie. Chicken with lentil and rosemary. Tomato and goat cheese tart. Self-saucing chocolate pudding. Fruit cheesecake. Wild garlic soup.

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