The best part of introducing a new holiday is that you have to go there to explore the walks and visit accommodations. This is always done outside the season and for this recce we headed north for a week away from the office in February. February can be very cold with lots of snow, but not this year. There was hardly any snow and it was dry most of the time. Lesley Bryce, who will guide our first North-west Highlands tour joined us and we had a wonderful and very productive time up north. The walks were great and we are very excited about this new holiday and keen to show our customers another wonderful part of Scotland.
Walking along the shore of Loch Torridon
Torridon and Applecross are full of extremes. The scenery goes from steep and bare mountains with wild rivers to beautiful coasts with lovely beaches and woodland. These contrasting sceneries often found within a couple of miles. The weather was also full of extremes; from mild and sunny weather in Applecross and at Knockan Crag to blizzard conditions on the Bealach na Ba and horizontal rain on the Stoer peninsula. All very Scottish weather.
The huge variation of the scenery made the walking truly enjoyable and we also managed to do a number of alternative walks. We visited Torridon Estate where the group will stay when we are in Torridon. They were closed for the winter but the owners were happy to receive us. We are very pleased with the accommodation and our groups will have an evening with music and food in the house.
Cul Beag, Stac Pollaidh and Cul Mor from Knockan Crag trail
We travelled further north to Assynt which is in the North West Highlands UNESCO Global Geopark. Our first stop and walk was at the Knockan Crag geology trail where the Moine Trust is exposed. Laura and Tim Hamlet, their two young children and their dog were there to meet us. Tim is one of our guides and his wife Laura works for the Geopark. She took us along the trail and explained the geology along the way. If you are not that keen on geology, the views from the trail to Cul Beag, Stac Pollaidh and Cul Mor are spectacular.
View of the Assynt mountains during our hike to the Old Man of Stoer
We said goodbye to the Hamlets and travelled further north to walk in the Lochinver area. We explored walks along rivers with waterfalls and gorges and hiked the Little Assynt trail which is community owned. After that it was time to head to the coast for a walk to the Old Man of Stoer sea stack. After having walked the coasts and sea stacks of Orkney and Shetland we thought the Stoer was a bit underwhelming but the views of the mountains of Assynt made it a great walk and walking along the coast always makes you wonder what is around the next corner.
We finished our week with a walk along Clachtol beach to Clachtol Broch which lies on a rocky outcrop. This broch is recently excavated during which they have uncovered a wealth of Iron Age finds from charred rush matting, stone lamps, and a hearth, to spindle whorls and quern stones.
Are the north-west Highlands in Argyll? No, they are not. The business started with walking holidays in Argyll. That's where the name comes from and we are still based in Argyll. We have been venturing to other parts of Scotland for many years and this walking tour to the north-west Highlands is our latest addition. If you would like to learn more about this tour or any other trip we offer, please click here for an overview of all our holidays.