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Get off the Beaten Track with Scot Mountain Holidays

In May 2015 we were asked to organise a trip for 2 days and 3 nights which had to end at the Craigellachie Hotel and needed to include a hike in the Cairngorms National Park.

We ran a tailor-made trip including a guided ascent of Ben Macdui, which was far more than could have been accomplished without Andy’s guidance. Even in May the temperatures on the high Cairngorm plateau are not much above freezing level. It is essential to wind proof clothing and plenty of warm layers. Fortunately Andy always has spare clothing to loan to walkers in his group and though his supply of hats may not be too flattering, at least they are warm.


On day 2: Diana and Ted walked through to Aviemore along theSpeyside Way, one of Scotland’s waymarked long distance routes. This was a contrasting walk with the previous day on a wide relatively level track facing the mountains they had been exploring the previous day. A wee bit of a warm down walk was needed after the exertions of the previous day.

On day 3: we had very limited time before meeting up with some of the wedding party at the Craigellachie Hotel for a private whisky tasting at the Macallan distillery. Fortunately we left promptly and headed straight out to Culloden Battlefield visitor information centre (Diana was anOutlander fan, keen to see the battle sight and experience some of the atmosphere).

We also hit the Speyside Cooperage to see the Coopers (who make the whisky barrels) at work. The Cooperage is only around the corner from the hotel, but would still have been a wee bit of a challenge to get to on their own.


Without the help of Scot Mountain Holidays, Diana and Ted may well not have been able to hike to the summit of Ben Macdui, despite their previous hiking experience in the States. They would also probably have needed to hire a car and may never have got to Culloden Battlefield.

Vacations organised by Scot Mountain Holidays

Guided hiking vacations

Multi-activity adventures

Self-guided Mountain Biking breaks


Useful links for planning your trip to Scotland

Email us if you think we can help plan your vacation in Scotland – we can hit all the Highland hotspots and include some off the beaten track surprises you might not know about.

For inspiration check out our Pinterest board and our Flickr account.

Can you rank these images with your favourite at number 1?

All images taken on the Magical Mull hiking vacation with Scot Mountain Holidays, led by Andrew Bateman in September 2014. We’re heading back again in September 2014. Perhaps these images will persuade you to join us if you have some time free this September …

Mull isn’t all about the mountains as you’ll gather from the range of shots we’ve chosen below. Food, architecture, crafts and traditions play a part as well.

Something you might not know about Mull:

We stay at Torlochan Farm on Mull which is a stone’s throw from Australia. What do we mean? Governor MacQuarie of New South Wales orginally came from Mull. He is now interred in the family mausoleum on Mull which is maintained by the National Trust of New South Wales, so a tiny part of Australia on Mull!


Photo caption: you couldn’t get a more iconic and easily identifiable image of Mull than this one of Tobermory, which is the image most people would most easily associate with Mull


Photo Caption: Some of the rugged coastal scenery which is typical of Mull




Photo Caption: check out the geological formats. These columns are very similar to those found at Fingal’s cave and the Giant’s Causeway over in Northern Island. Much of the Giant’s Causeway can be under water. On Mull though there are quite extensive sections of columns to be seen.



Photo Caption: who doesn’t aspire to see a hairy coo when they come to visit Scotland?



Photo Caption: Duart Castle – one of the top tourist spots on Mull, unfortunately covered in scaffolding during our stay.



Photo Caption: Climbing a hill on Mull


Photo Caption: Amazing scenery – you can see ridge after ridge, rolling away into the distance



Photo Caption: what a spread of seafood from Cafe Fish in Tobermory



Photo Caption: they might not be Munros but they are still imposing mountains – Mull viewed by hikers.


Photo Caption: mystical woodland on Mull


Hiking Vacations across the Highlands of Scotland

Adventure vacation in Scotland for all the family

Mountain Biking in Scotland

Private guiding


Exploring products from Scot Mountain Holidays

Highlighting Scotland’s most famous export – Scotch or whisky is a feature of this trip. Link in with the Speyside Whisky festival and join us for the first trip of the year departing soon for Whisky month (May) – https://scotmountainholidays.com/tours/19/4871/mountains-and-malts

A wild and secret exploration in Knoydart, home to Britain’s most remote pub and the mountains where Bonnie Prince Charlie i supposed to have hidden after the battle of Culloden: https://scotmountainholidays.com/tours/7/4871/wild-knoydart

A great all round exploration of Scotland’s adventure and culture. Dress up as a Highlander and sample haggis; hike in the remote hills; mountain bike through glorious forests feasting on wild berries and plenty more – https://scotmountainholidays.com/tours/51/4871/visit-scotland-highland-family-adventure


Related blogs from Scot Mountain Holidays

Other news items from Scotland – scotmountainholidays.com/index.php/blog-search-results/?akID[18][atSelectOptionID][]=2

Useful links

The Scotsman

The Herald

BBC Highlands News – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/scotland/highlands_and_islands

VisitCairngorms Events

National Visitor Information – www.visitscotland.com

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