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The Empty Quarter

6 days, 7 nights
Tour Type:
Guided Walking holiday
Group size:
2 - 8
3 out of 5


A hiking holiday in Scotland is an experience hard to beat. Empty of people maybe, but not of hillwalking interest. This is the very distinctive wilderness of Assynt & NW Sutherland, where the superlatives really start to flow – ‘island mountains’ rising abruptly from a vast loch-pitted tableland. The sense of space is superb. These are the most eye-catching of mountains with fantastic walking.


HIGHLIGHTS of your hiking holiday in Scotland

  • Starting and finishing at Fraoch Lodge to break up the travel
  • Accommodation throughout the walk in a cosy, cottage in the Assynt area
  • Full board included throughout your trip
  • 5 days guiding
  • Transport included by 9 seater Caravelle
  • Transfers from Aviemore station and Inverness airport included



  • Suilven (which features in the full length movie “Edie”)
  • Stac Pollaidh
  • Ben Mor Coigach
  • Cul Mor
  • Quinag


5 reasons to go hiking in Scotland

I’d like to go hiking and see some famous sites. What tour do you suggest?

How to choose a hiking guide in Scotland




Hiking holiday in Scotland (Assynt, the Highlands of Scotland)

Arrive: Fraoch Lodge on day of arrival, preferably before 7pm so that you have time to settle in and meet the rest of the group before dinner.

Day 1: We head Northwest for the dramatic looking peak of Quinag. The array of rocky features belies a relatively easy but exhilarating tramp in typical Assynt splendour. We return from the mountain to our accommodation nearby.

Route info: distance – 14km / 8.75 miles; walking time, excluding breaks – 7.5 – 8.5 hours; ascent – 1130m
NB stats shown are for the whole horseshoe walk including all 3 Corbetts of Quinag. We may well be doing a shorter version of this route.

Hiking Holiday in Scotland

Spectacular Quinag dominates the view from Kylesku.

Day 2: We climb Cul Mor. Standing head and shoulders above its neighbours it’s a formidable peak. From its plinth, its craggy south, west and northern slopes sweep up at great angles to its summit plateau. Fortress like, it dominates the view across the loch strewn wilderness to the Atlantic beyond.

Route info: distance – 13.5km / 8.5 miles; walking time, excluding breaks – 4 – 5.5 hours; ascent – 808m

Day 3: With Ben Mor Coigach you couldn’t ask for more from a hill. It has complex landforms, a nice ridge, and several tops. The biggest advantage of BMC is that you can see Suilven, Stac Pollaidh, Cul Mor and Beg all in one view from here, with the Summer Isles and An Teallach, Beinn Dearg and Fannichs, and Western Isles filling the remaining quarters.

Route info: distance – 10.5km / 6.5 miles; walking time, excluding breaks – 5 – 7 hours; ascent – 870m

Day 4: From breakfast onwards this is a day off. It’s a chance to explore Ullapool a little more, or go for a gentle walk along the shore. The day is rounded of with us all going out to dinner at a local restaurant.

Day 5: Suilven – the area’s most depicted mountain – its western prow stands defiant ahead of this fin of a mountain. The approach is a wonderful gander leading to an enthralling ascent of this incredible peak.

Route info: distance – 19.5km / 12.25 miles; walking time, excluding breaks – 7 – 9 hours; ascent – 834m

Hiking holiday in Scotland

Spectacular views abound in Assynt even though the mountains are not the grandest in height.

Day 6: We head up to Stac Pollaidh before heading back to Fraoch Lodge. This modest but striking mountain gives a superb viewpoint to view the week’s routes.

Route info: distance – 4.5km / 2.75 miles; walking time, excluding breaks – 2 – 4 hours; ascent – 510m

Depart: morning after walking finishes.

Hiking in Scotland

What more could you ask for from a hiking holiday in Scotland?

We take the whole ethos with us when we run trips away from our home base of Fraoch Lodge. The whole family team journeys out with you and provides for you no matter where our base is.

Fraoch Lodge, Boat of Garten

Andy and Rebecca displaying their awards at Fraoch Lodge

Accommodation Assynt –

We’ll book a well-appointed cottage large enough for our group and in Ullapool, Lochinver or nearby. The cottage will have wifi but may not have a TV signal. In 2016, we are staying at Dunvegan House in Ullapool.

Scot Mountain Holidays will be hosting, guiding and catering with the best of Scottish produce. As there will be limited opportunities to restock our supplies while over in the Hebrides we will be planning the menu in advance and would ask that you make sure to give us all your requirements in advance. If there are any Scottish specialities you definitely don’t want to try, please say.

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

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