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Walking Level 2

North-west Highlands

Hiking tour to Torridon and Sutherland in the undiscovered North West Highlands. These are some the most remote and scenic parts of mainland Scotland and by many regarded as the finest areas of wild land in Scotland. Here we'll walk through stunning scenery and enjoy the solitude of secret places.

Highlights

  • View across Loch Torridon
  • Hike on Bealach Na Ba, Applecross
  • Geology of Assynt and view from Knockan Crag
  • Ruins of Ardvreck Castle, Loch Assynt
  • The ever changing shape of Suilven
  • Walking among the stunning scenery of Sutherland

Hiking tour in the North West Highlands of Scotland

If you love remote places, open moorland, spectacular mountains and a long coastline, this walking tour has it all. You'll walk in Wester Ross and Sutherland with three nights in Torridon and four nights in Scourie.

Torridon and Applecross, Wester Ross

Torridon is a mecca for lovers of wild places. The sandstone mountains that give this district its reputation, are huge, brooding monoliths. The impressively gouged glacial trench Glen Torridon and Loch Torridon runs between these magnificent peaks, bordered by pinewoods and beautiful vistas, offering great coastal and mountain walks.
The Applecross peninsula is famous for Britain's most spectacular pass, the Bealach Na Ba. To the east of the pass are a series of dramatic ice-scraped corries while to the west the mountains gently slope down to the coast with both coral white and red sand beaches.

West Sutherland

Northwest Sutherland is one of the most sparsely populated and yet hauntingly beautiful landscapes in Britain. It has a stark, eerie landscape and  strange isolated mountains and deserted sparkling sandy beaches. The vast, undulating moorland on Lewisian Gneiss that could be three billion years old, is studded with a maze of a thousand fresh-water lochans. Up from this rise a series of remarkable mountains. These peaks are very steep and completely separate from one another. They are eroded into fantastic, individual shapes, making this one of the most memorable landscapes in Scotland. According to Norse legend, this was where the gods practised mountain building. They did it on a grand scale. Each hill is a set piece, a stand-alone, an island amongst islands.

Wildlife

The moorland, mountains and coast  support a large variation of wild flowers, birds and mammals to enjoy during the walks. It is a stronghold for white-tailed and golden eagles with golden plovers and deer on the moors and during our coastal walks there is a chance to see dolphins and even whales.




Day-by-day Programme

The programme will be subject to variables such as weather and the abilities of the group and changes may also be made to take account of lambing, deer stalking, etc. Any such alterations will always take into account the need to maintain the overall character of the holiday.

Hiking tour in the north-west Highlands map

 

 

  1. Saturday: Glasgow - Inverness - Torridon
  2. Sunday: Aird Mhor, Falls of Balgy and Shieldaig
  3. Monday: Applecross peninsula
  4. Tuesday: Torridon - Sutherland
  5. Wednesday: Falls of Kirkaig and River Inver
  6. Thursday: Handa Island and Little Assynt
  7. Friday: Old Man of Stoer and Clachtoll Broch
  8. Saturday: Scourie - Inverness - Glasgow


Saturday: Glasgow - Inverness - Torridon

We'll meet in Glasgow around midday and travel to Inverness. From there we'll continue to Torridon, our base for the the first 3 days.

Sunday: Aird Mhor, Falls of Balgy and Shieldaig

We start our holiday with a very scenic walk south of Loch Torridon offering stunning views across the loch to the Torridon mountains and down to the sea. The walk starts with going round a peninsula covered in Scots Pine forest. We continue inland along the river Balgy to the Falls of Balgy where the river drops down in a powerful cascade. Our route continues upstream to Loch Damh, surrounded by mountains. From here we will walk down a track back to the road.
We'll visit Shieldaig after the walk, one of the most picturesque villages in the Highlands. We can either potter around the village or go for a short clifftop walk on the peninsula north of Shieldaig.

4.75 miles/7.5 km, 575ft/175m of ascent
and
2.75 miles/4.5 km, 540ft/165m of ascent

Ardvareck Castle, Assynt

Ardvreck Castle, Loch Assynt

Monday: Applecross peninsula

Today we drive south along the coast and onto Britain's most spectacular pass, the Bealach Na Ba. Weather permitting, our first hike on the peninsula will be from the highest point of the pass into the Applecross peninsula. From here we'll walk up Sgurr a' Chaorachain 2600ft/792m. Our walk starts at 2000ft/600m, so it is a nice short hill walk with spectacular views into the surrounding corries and mountains, getting better with every step. On a clear day the views are all the way to the Isles of Raasay, Skye and Rum.
We will visit Applecross after the walk, another pretty village, where we’ll have a number of walks to choose from, including the a walk to the Coral beaches.

4.5 miles/7 km, 1230ft/375m of ascent
and
2.25 miles/6 km and 558ft/170m of ascent

Tuesday: Torridon – Sutherland

We'll travel north to Sutherland. Our journey will take us along the scenic coastal route with spectacular mountain and coastal scenery. Suilven, the showpiece of Assynt dominates the landscape north of Ullapool. This is a hill of many shapes. From the south it is a long, drawn-out sugarloaf, with an obvious depression in the middle, from the east it can look like the Matterhorn, rising from its bedrock plinth of Lewisian Gneiss to a narrowing spire. From the north it forms a huge rounded bastion of quartzite capped sandstone.
There will be short walks along the way and since we will be in the North West Highlands UNESCO Global Geopark some of the walks during the second half of the tour are geology themed, starting with the Knockan Crag interpretative geology trail on our way north. We'll also visit the ruins of the fifteenth century Ardvreck Castle on the shore of Loch Assynt, built by the MacLeods of Assynt.

Up to 4.5 miles/7 km, 770ft/235m

Wednesday: Falls of Kirkaig and River Inver

Two walks today, starting with hiking up along the river Kirkaig to spectacular falls and beyond them for another great view of Suilven. The walk starts in a beautiful wooded glen with hazel and birches. We soon leave the woodland and continue on open moorland. As height is gained mountains begin to come in view. The falls plunges 20 meter down the gorge. After having admired the falls we continue along the glen for even better views of the Assynt mountains.
Back in Lochinver we’ll walk through mixed woodland beside the fast-flowing River Inver which rushes over rocks with many small waterfalls.

5 miles/8 km, 575ft/175m of ascent
and
Up to 2 miles/53. km, 195ft/60m of ascent

Handa Island, Sutherland

Handa Island

Thursday: Handa Island and Little Assynt

We'll travel further north for a short boat ride to Handa Island. The north west coast of Handa Island has magnificient Torridonian sandstone cliffs rising from the Atlantic. Each summer, nearly 100,000 seabirds breed here, including internationally important numbers of puffins, guillemots, razorbills and great skuas. People lived on the island until 1847 and the remains of their houses are still visible. We will walk around the island watching the seabirds and having great views back to the mountains of Assynt.

Depending on how long we'll spend on Handa Island, we'll have a walk in Little Assynt, a little visited wild landscape of rough and rocky moorland, speckled with crags and hillocks and dotted with hundreds of lochans.

4 miles/6.5 km, 395ft/120m of ascent
and
2.75 miles/4.5 km, 495ft/150m of ascent

Friday: The Old Man of Stoer and Clachtoll Broch

On our last day, we’ll do a rough walk to the Old Man of Stoer, a spectacular sea-stack. The return walk is across the moor and a low hill with fantastic views in clear weather up the Sutherland coast backed by the mountain Foinaven and inland the mountains of Assynt - Quinag, Canisp, Suilven, Cul Mor, Cul Beag and Stac Pollaidh.
On our way back we will stop at Clachtoll for a short walk to the beach and the remains of Clachtoll Broch.

4.5 miles/7 km, 1180ft/360m of ascent
and
2 miles/3 km, 130ft/40m of ascent

Saturday: Scourie – Inverness - Glasgow

We'll drive back to Inverness from where we'll take the train to Glasgow, arriving in the late afternoon.



Northwest Highlands walking tour photos

Loch Torridon

Loch Torridon

Falls of Balgy, Torridon

Falls of Balgy, Torridon

Bealach na Ba

Bealach na Ba

Applecross Bay

Applecross Bay

Corrieshalloch Gorge

Corrieshalloch Gorge

Knockan Crag, Assynt

Knockan Crag, Assynt

Suilven

Suilven

Little Assynt

Little Assynt

Clachtoll Broch

Clachtoll Broch

Old Man of Stoer

Old Man of Stoer



Accommodation

This is in a carefully selected mansion house in Torridon and guest house accommodation in Sutherland. You can rely on the quality of the accommodation that we find for you - its comfort, its food and the professionalism and welcoming nature of those who run it. The type of the accommodation means that all the rooms are different in size and facilities. In the accommodation in Torridon the single rooms have shared bathrooms.
Details of where you will be staying will be sent to you with further details of your holiday.

Evening meals

Dinner is not included in the price except from the last night in Torridon, but your guide will take you out for supper every evening. We usually eat in a different place each evening, giving you the opportunity to try a range of Scottish dishes and ambiences.



Am I fit enough?

This walking tour requires a good basic fitness. The holiday combines walking with visits to places of interest. Daily distances will be up to 7.5 miles/12 km plus varying amounts of ascent. Most of the hiking will be on paths, tracks or quiet roads, although the surfaces can be wet and rough. There will be some steep sections along the way, but no climbs greater than 1300 feet/390m, even in total.

If you're still not sure whether or not you can cope after you've read this along with the details of the week's programme, please get in touch to discuss it further.



Dates & Prices

Description 8 days (Saturday to Saturday), accommodation in Torridon (3 nights) and Sutherland (4 nights) in carefully selected guest houses.
Walking An attractive, well thought out walking programme; up to 6 miles (10 km) in a day, and mostly on paths or tracks - though paths may be wet and/or rough in places. An equally attractive programme of visits to places of interest will complement the walks.
CodeDatePriceRemarks
NH231 27 May-3 June 2023 £1640 Single room: £215 extra
NH232 19-26 August 2023

The price includes:

  • The services of our well-qualified, well-informed and welcoming guide.
  • Small group - usually between 6 and 12 participants.
  • An attractive, well-thought-out walking programme (6 walking days); of up to 6 miles or 4 hours in a day, and mostly on paths or tracks - though paths may be wet and/or rough in places.
  • An equally attractive programme of visits to places of interest to complement the walks. Some of these visits may themselves involve a short walk from the nearest available parking.
  • Carefully-selected accommodation (sharing a double/twin room), breakfast and picnic lunches on walking days.
  • One evening meal in your accommodation with traditional music.
  • Transport by minibus, train, ferries and boats, as needed, throughout your holiday and from / to Glasgow, at its beginning and end.
  • Entrance fee to museums, if visited.
  • Short evening get-togethers to set the scene for the next day's walking.

and most especially

  • Personal care and attention in all that we do for you.

For general information and booking, please click here.