Glens, Forests and Lochs
Walks in Scotland:
We’ve put together some of our favourite walks in Scotland to make up this week for you. All the walks are guided by our experienced, qualified local guides, usually Andy. Andy has over 20 years experience leading walks in the Highlands of Scotland. His interests in and around the walks really bring the walk alive. He is always keen to spot and identify wildlife and flora you spot along the route.
These walks are all low-level along the glens and through the forests which make the Highlands such a fabulous outdoor playground.
Your chances of spotting wildlife and foraging berries along the way are really high. Groups often come back with boxes full of wild raspberries or bilberries to add to our dessert menu, or put on the table for breakfast.
- We hit some of the key visitor spots along the routes we’ve planned:
- we’ll go to Loch Ness – but not in the same way as most other visitors, we’ll pick the quiet spots away from the crowds
- we’ll visit a distillery – at Glenlivet – the first, official “legal” distillery in Scotland
- if we’re lucky we’ll spot red squirrels, red deer and grouse
- you’ll be part of our family for the week and hopefully you’ll go away longing to come back again.
HIGHLIGHTS: walks in Scotland
- 7 nights at Fraoch Lodge, Boat of Garten
- all meals included (breakfast, packed lunch and 2 course evening meal)
- pick up from Aviemore station or Inverness airport
- transport to the walks
- 5 days guided walks (day walks returning to base)
- Distillery tour at Glenlivet distillery
- 1 day off to try something different, book a massage, visit Loch Ness or just relax with a book
- visit the Speyside Wildlife Evening Mammal Watch hide (must be pre-booked)
- tour of Urquhart castle on Loch Ness
- visit a local pub
- local brewery tour at Cairngorm Brewery
- ride the Strathspey steam railway
- RSPB’s Abernethy Reserve
- Loch an Eilean
- Glen Tilt and Blair Castle
- Loch Ness and Glen Affric
- Braes of Glenlivet and Glenlivet distillery
When to come to the Cairngorms
Why visit the Cairngorms National Park?
Top 10 tips: preparing for a hiking challenge
Arrive: Fraoch Lodge on evening before walking begins; try to aim for between 5 & 7pm so that you have time to settle in and meet the other members of the group before dinner 7.30 pm. Andy will run through some housekeeping and general tips for the week before dinner if everyone is here in time, then we’ll sit down for a meal together.
Day 1: With over 4500 recorded species of plant, animal and fungi, the RSPB’s Abernethy Reserve is a very strong contender for the most biodiverse area of Britain. It holds the largest remnant of the beautiful and ancient Forest of Caledon – an outstanding example of what once covered vast areas of the Highlands. Our route very gently rises from forest, past long abandoned Black Houses to remote open moorland for ever changing and expanding vistas: with mountains as our backdrop this is a wonderful walk.
Day 2: A walk through the exceptional Rothiemurchus Estate is always a winnner. The mix of woodland, lochs, moorland, crofts and rivers all in the cradle of the high Cairngorm mountains makes for a fantastic variety of views. We pass by picturesque and much photographed Loch an Eilean and its 800 yr old Castle on the loch, stronghold to Robert the Bruce’s grandson, the much disliked “Wolf of Badenoch”. We end the day by dropping into a traditional pub to quench our thirst and the opportunity to sample some of the local real ales. As dusk falls we return to the estate’s wildlife hide to view the creatures of the Highland night including: Pine Martin, Badger and Red Deer.
Day 3: Here are the words of Queen Victoria on describing her trip up Glen Tilt: “We came upon a lovely view – Beinn a’ Ghlò straight before us – and under these high hills the River Tilt gushing and winding over stones and slates … and the air so pure and fine but no description can do it justice”. We take a walk up this beautiful glen, again distinctly different. before returning to the grandeur of Blair Castle, the ancient seat of the Dukes and Earls of Atholl, as well as home to Europes only private “army”, the Atholl Highlanders. Going back nearly 750 years and steeped in the rich cultural heritage of Scotland, the castle has a fascinating and illustrious past. You have the opportunity to take a tour around the 30 opulent rooms or you can just relax in the gardens.
Day 4: is a rest day, a day to yourself, a chance to explore the local area under your own steam; pop up to Inverness for the day; or simply relax. The options are numerous: you could hire a bike or take a leisurely stroll to the nearby RSPB Osprey Centre and beautiful Lochs Garten and Mallachie. Alternatively you could take the Steam train or follow the Speyside Way to the equipment shops and café’s of Aviemore. We top the day off with a fantastic meal out at our local restaurant, Anderson’s, a few doors up the road.
Day 5: We are off to Loch Ness and Glen Affric, one of the most scenic glens in Scotland and regarded as the “jewel in the crown” of Scottish conservation. It’s a must on any decerning travellers itinerary. Surrounded by high peaks and waterfalls, and set in a deeply glaciated valley, it is scenary typical to the west highlands and a walk round the Loch Affric is an absolute must.
Day 6: sees us heading over to the secretive Braes of Glenlivet and another distinctive area of the Cairngorm National Park to follow in the footsteps of whisky smugglers. Our route takes us through an ever changing patchwork of rolling hills, fields and woodland to eventually arrive at the Glenlivet Distillery for a tour and a tasting. Depart: after breakfast, the day after the activities finish.
Depart: after breakfast, the day after the activities finish.
We asked our guests what sets Scot Mountain Holidays apart, why they return year after year:
“the social aspect” – “the camaraderie, food and conversation” –
“the company of the hosts” – “so warm and welcoming” –
“a profound sense of belonging” – “the welcome of Rebecca’s home cooked meal” – “Andy’s skills as a guide, naturalist and leader” – “stewardship, sustainability and a small footprint” – “in harmony with the land” – “a slice of rural Scottish life”Scot Mountain Holidays is the ONLY adventure tour operator in Highlands of Scotland with a combined home and guest lodge. We strive to be more than just an tour. We aim to provide you with a ‘home away from home’ on your adventures. We thought of no better way of doing this than to welcome you into our own home.
We have owned and operated Fraoch Lodge as our home base and business since 1999. In that time, we have come to embrace our guests as members of our extended Highland family.
We have achieved Gold Star Awards from the world’s most highly respected green accreditation scheme, Green Tourism, and were awarded Highly Commended in their Green Star Awards 2013 for both Scot Mountain Holidays and Fraoch Lodge. We offer a Green Travel Discount of £15 to any guests who travel to us by public transport. Our primary aim is to minimise the carbon footprint of our holidays, and to this end we donate 1% of the price of our tours to the RSPB’s Abernethy Reforestation project.
It is a holistic approach we have to the care of the environment. Andy your adventure guide has a passion for the natural world – whether it’s the flora, fauna or fungi. He has a background in geology and a lifelong interest in natural history, as well as being a keen gardener. He knows a Golden Plover from a Dotterel, a Green Shank and a Dunlin. He also makes no apologies to being very excitable upon spying a Golden Eagle!
For further information, please don’t hesitate to check out our Environmental Responsibility page, or contact us directly at email@example.com.