Scotland: Hiking the Highlands and the Coast

Trip Overview

AdventureWomen’s hiking trip in Scotland in June 2018 will let you experience the most beautiful parts of this independent and hardy country, from the charming village of Pitlochry loved by Queen Victoria and the rugged landscapes of the Scottish Highlands to the bucolic peace of Scotland’s West Coast.

Scotland’s long distance walking routes are amongst the best walking routes in the world for experienced hikers. They take you through some of the country’s most outstanding scenery, and are fantastic for those who want to discover the countryside on foot.

Begin your Scottish trip in the quaint Victorian town of Pitlochry, where you will enjoy hearty Scottish meals and a leisurely walk through Birnam Woods, made famous by Shakespeare’s Macbeth. Highland Perthshire has some of the most remarkable trees, woodlands, and country gardens in Europe and is a walker’s paradise. With its excellent network of well-marked routes, ranging from gentle strolls to challenging hikes, and surrounded by dramatic scenery, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

Visit Loch Tay for a morning of walking and learning to forage for edible food found in the landscapes around you. Loch Tay is a magnificent dark stretch of water, 15 miles long and around 500 feet deep. It is the largest loch in Perthshire and one of the deepest in Scotland. Create a picnic lunch based around the food you find on your hike!

Next, head to ancient Argyll. Combining stunning scenery and island paradises, Argyll is the ideal area to escape amid awe-inspiring landscapes. The rugged vistas on the mainland are guaranteed to take your breath away.

The next three nights, you will have the chance to get to know the pretty village of Arisaig. On your way, walk on the West Highland Way and head for the edge of the Great Moore of Rannoch, one of the last remaining wildernesses in Europe. The West Highland Way is a 96-mile long distance footpath running from Milngavie to Fort William in the Scottish Highlands. The trail was opened in 1980, and uses many ancient roads passing through spectacular Scottish landscapes.

Arisaig is a lovely collection of largely white-painted buildings scattered between the harbor and the line of the road to Morar. The town is situated on an inlet in the Morar Peninsula at the western end of the legendary Road to Isles. The landscape is characterized by a rocky coast, blue seas, and particularly white sand which all make the village a good base for exploring the incredibly scenic surrounding countryside. The views out to the Scottish islands of Rum and Eigg can be breathtaking, especially at sunset.

Until recently the Isle of Eigg was privately owned. The inhabitants were able to buy the island, which is an inspirational example of sustainable green living, owned and managed by its residents! Enjoy a walk on the Isle of Eigg with a resident naturalist. 196 species of birds have been recorded on Eigg, with about 130 species being seen in a typical year. The variety in habitat also means plant life is abundant and diverse.

Hiking through the Scottish highlands, woods and seacoast trails will relax and delight you. Join us in June on this classic walking tour through Scotland!

 

Main Attractions

  • Stroll through Birnam Woods, made famous by Shakespeare’s Macbeth
  • Walk and learn to forage for food around Loch Tay
  • Hike along the old military road constructed to suppress the Highlander’s rebellion
  • Walk on the West Highland Way, a famous Scottish long-distance hiking trail
  • Explore the Isle of Eigg on foot, a model of sustainable green living

What You'll See and Do

  • Anthropology
  • Cultural Exploration
  • Hiking
  • Local Delicacies
  • Natural History
  • Sailing
  • Walking
  • Wildlife Viewing

If you're curious about this trip, we would be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Scotland: Hiking the Highlands and the Coast

Trip Itinerary

Day 1

Sunday, June 17 - Arrive in Pitlochry
Scotland’s long distance walking routes are amongst the best walking routes in the world for experienced hikers. They take you through some of the country’s most outstanding scenery, and are fantastic for those who want to discover the countryside on foot.

You will be picked up at Edinburgh International Airport and transferred to your hotel.

Enjoy a welcome dinner and get to know your AdventureWomen group!
Dinner

Overnight: Pine Trees Hotel
http://www.pinetreeshotel.co.uk/

Nestled within ten acres of gardens and woodland, this classic Scottish Country House Hotel offers unique four star accommodation in historic Pitlochry. Situated in central Scotland at the gateway to the Scottish Highlands and The Cairngorm National Park, the hotel provides an ideal base from which to explore much of the country’s world renowned lochs, hills, and wildlife.

 

Day 2

Monday, June 18 - Pitlochry
The Highland Perthshire is a walker’s paradise. With its excellent network of well-marked routes, ranging from gentle strolls to challenging hikes, and surrounded by dramatic scenery, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

Start your walk from the town of Dunkeld and walk through Birnham Wood. This area was made famous by Shakespeare, who referenced Birnham Wood in Macbeth. Highland Perthshire has some of the most remarkable trees, woodlands, and country gardens in Europe.

Enjoy lunch on your own in Dunkeld.

Take a distillery tour and see how uisge beatha is made from golden malted barley, water, and yeast, distilled in traditional copper pot stills, and matured in oak casks.

Enjoy dinner as a group in Pitlochry.
Breakfast, Dinner

Overnight: Pine Trees Hotel

 

Day 3

Tuesday, June 19 - Pitlochry
Loch Tay is a magnificent dark stretch of water, 15 miles long and around 500 feet deep. It is the largest loch in Perthshire and one of the deepest in Scotland. During the Iron Age, people lived on defensible, man-made islands on the loch, called crannogs. More than 20 of these crannogs have been identified in the loch.

Transfer to Loch Tay for a morning of walking and learning to forage for food. Create a picnic lunch based around the food you find! (In the event of rain, you will have lunch in a café.)

Visit an ancient loch dwelling - a crannog - and learn how prehistoric people lived in the area.

Enjoy dinner on your own this evening.
Breakfast, Lunch

Overnight: Pine Trees Hotel

 

Day 4

Wednesday, June 20 - Pitlochry to Argyll
Combining stunning scenery and island paradises, Argyll is the ideal area to escape amid awe-inspiring landscapes. The rugged vistas on the mainland are guaranteed to take your breath away. Argyll is of ancient origin, and corresponds to most of the ancient kingdom of Dál Riata. Argyll was also a medieval bishopric with its cathedral at Lismore, as well as an early modern earldom and dukedom, the Dukedom of Argyll.

Walk today from Tyndrum to the Bridge of Orchy. Walk along the old military road constructed by General Wade in order to suppress the rebellious Highlanders.

Enjoy a picnic lunch along the way.

Arrive at your hotel this afternoon and relax after a day of walking. Enjoy dinner on your own.
Breakfast, Lunch

Overnight: Bridge of Orchy Hotel
http://www.bridgeoforchy.co.uk/

The Bridge of Orchy Hotel is surrounded by some of Scotland’s finest scenery, including several munros, lochs and river fishing, distilleries and breweries, and of course the famous bridge itself. The hotel offers rooms with lovely views.

Day 5

Thursday, June 21 - Argyll to Arisaig
The West Highland Way is a 96-mile long distance footpath running from Milngavie to Fort William in the Scottish Highlands. The trail was opened in 1980, and uses many ancient roads passing through spectacular Scottish landscapes.

Walk directly from the hotel on the West Highland Way to Inverarnan. Head for the edge of the Great Moore of Rannoch, one of the last remaining wildernesses in Europe.

Explore Fort William on your own. It is in the center of the Highlands, and has magnificent views of Ben Nevis and the surrounding mountains. Enjoy lunch on your own.

Walk to the pretty village of Arisaig. Centered on the sheltered shore of Loch nan Ceall on the west coast, Arisaig is a picturesque village boasting superb scenery.

Enjoy dinner as a group.
Breakfast, Dinner

Overnight: Arisaig House Hotel
http://arisaighouse.co.uk/

Allow yourself a moment of peace and true contentment in this blissful West Highland Country House Hotel, a remote retreat for eating, drinking, and relaxing. Surrounded by ancient woodland and coastline walks, and terraced gardens, Arisaig House presents an ultimate spot for time spent in pure tranquillity. Feel at home in this family run Country House that offers freshly prepared seasonal meals, picnic lunches, home made treats, and the chance to really put your feet up!

Day 6

Friday, June 22 - Arisaig
Arisaig is a lovely collection of largely white-painted buildings scattered between the harbour and the line of the road to Morar. The town is situated on an inlet in the Morar peninsula at the western end of the legendary Road to Isles. The landscape is characterised by a rocky coast, blue seas, and particularly white sand which all make the village a good base for exploring the incredibly scenic surrounding countryside. The views out to the islands of Rum and Eigg can be breathtaking, especially at sunset.

Walk along the silvery shores of Loch Morar. The loch is the deepest freshwater body in the British Isles. The loch is surrounded by a mix of natural woodland, open hillside, sheep and cattle pasture, and planted woodlands.

Enjoy a picnic lunch today.

Sail along Loch Nevis this afternoon. You may catch sight of the area’s sea life, including an array of seabirds, otters, grey seals basking on rocks, dolphins, porpoises, and even minke whales.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Overnight: Arisaig House Hotel

Day 7

Saturday, June 23 - Arisaig
Until recently the Isle of Eigg was privately owned. The inhabitants were able to buy the island, which is an inspirational example of sustainable green living, owned and managed by its residents. It is shaped like an upturned boat or lion, surrounded by sparkling water.

Take a boat ride to the Isle of Eigg this morning after breakfast.

Enjoy a walk on the Isle of Eigg with a resident naturalists. 196 species of birds have been recorded on Eigg, with about 130 species being seen in a typical year. The variety in habitat also means plant life is abundant and diverse. Twelve species of orchid grow on the island and the island cliffs are home to a good cross section of Alpine and Arctic species such as Mountain Avens and saxifrages. Enjoy a picnic lunch along the way.

Have a farewell dinner with your new AdventureWomen friends. Reminisce over all of the memories you have made and celebrate the end of an incredible trip!
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Overnight: Arisaig House Hotel

 

 

Day 8

Sunday, June 24 - Arisaig and Depart
Enjoy one last breakfast before heading home.

Say goodbye to your new AdventureWomen friends as you transfer to the Fort William train station. Take the train back to Edinburgh and catch your flight home today or tomorrow.
Breakfast

 

If you're curious about this trip, we would be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Scotland: Hiking the Highlands and the Coast

Traveling to Scotland


Traveling to Scotland

Arrive: Arrive at Edinburgh International Airport (EDI) on June 17, 2018 before 1:00pm.

Depart: Depart Edinburgh International Airport (EDI) on June 24, 2018 after 6:00pm. You may want to spend the night of June 24th in Edinburgh and depart on the 25th.

We are happy to help you make your flight and travel arrangements. Please contact us at:

(800) 804-8686 or (617) 544-9393
email: info@adventurewomen.com

 If you’d like to do anything prior to or following the AdventureWomen trip, we’d be delighted to help you arrange any trip extensions you’re interested in.

Note: The recent trend in travel is for travelers to finalize their plans much closer to departure time than was customary in the past. While we try to be as flexible as possible booking last-minute registrants, we must release hotel rooms two to three months prior to departure! Please keep this in mind when making your travel plans.

Passports and Visas

Citizens of the United States must have a passport valid for six months beyond your travel dates with at least two blank facing pages. If you do not have a passport, please apply now!

Health Considerations

We rate this trip as moderate to high energy. You should be able to hike eight miles on varied, steep terrain. We have a partnership with FitForTrips, a company that will design an individualized fitness plan for you to ensure that you are prepared for the trip. Visit https://fitfortrips.com/ partners/adventure-women/ for more information.

You should come with a flexible, adventurous, and enthusiastic spirit, and a wonderful sense of humor that adventure travel requires.

Money

Scottish currency is the Pound Sterling. As of May, 2017, US$1 = £0.77. Visa and MasterCard are more widely accepted than American Express. ATMs will be accessible throughout the trip.

Suggested Gratuities:

  • Main Guide: $15 per day
  • Assistant Guide: $10 per day

How to Register

Call the AdventureWomen office at (800) 804-8686 to determine space availability and register for this trip. We can complete your registration, including taking your credit card deposit over the phone. As a courtesy, we can hold your space for five days while you are making personal and travel arrangements.

If you prefer, you can register online by clicking "Sign Up for this Trip" on the trip page.

Please be sure to read the AdventureWomen policies before registering!

Forms and Final Payment

Once you book, you will need to fill out and return to AdventureWomen:

  • Information Form
  • Booking Conditions Form
  • Copy of Flight Information
  • Copy of Issuing Page of Passport

Final payment is due to AdventureWomen in a cash form (check, money order, or wire transfer) on or before March 19, 2018.

If you're curious about this trip, we would be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Scotland: Hiking the Highlands and the Coast

Included

  • All hotel accommodations throughout the trip
  • All meals as listed in the itinerary
  • All ground transportation
  • All gratuities for meals covered in the itinerary
  • Fully-guided sightseeing as indicated in the itinerary
  • Fully guided walks each day with Gillian Arthur, our Italian-based guide

 

Not Included

  • International airfare to and from Scotland
  • Optional activities as listed in the itinerary
  • Meals not specified in the itinerary
  • Alcoholic beverages not included above
  • Fees for passports, visas, or immunizations
  • Cost of hospitalization or evacuation
  • Items of a personal nature

 

If you're curious about this trip, we would be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Scotland: Hiking the Highlands and the Coast

What To Bring

The weather in Scotland is highly variable. June, July, and August are normally the warmest months, with average maximum temperatures ranging from approximately 59°- 63°F. Scotland’s high latitude means that you will enjoy lovely long summer days and often an extended twilight.

You should dress in casual, outdoor clothing that is easily layered. Waterproof rain gear is essential for this trip. It can be cool in the evenings, so be sure to bring a jacket or sweater.

Clothing and Gear:

  • Duffel bag or small suitcase
  • Daypack (should be large enough to carry spare layers, a packed lunch, and water)
  • Rain cover for daypack
  • 1 pair telescopic hiking poles (optional)
  • Medium-weight, waterproof hiking boots (make sure they are broken in!)
  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • 3-4 pairs hiking socks
  • 2-3 short sleeve shirts (quick dry recommended)
  • 2-3 long sleeve shirts (quick dry recommended)
  • 1 medium weight fleece sweater/jacket
  • 1-2 pairs of pants
  • 1-2 pairs of shorts
  • 1-2 sets of nicer clothes for dinner
  • Gore-Tex/waterproof jacket
  • Gore-Tex/waterproof pants
  • Hat for sun protection
  • 5-7 pairs underwear
  • 2-4 sports bras
  • Sleepwear
  • 3-4 gallon size Ziploc bags (for dirty boots/clothes)

AdventureWomen Essentials:

  • Travel documents (passport, airline tickets, money)
  • 2-3 spare passport photos (in case of lost passport)
  • Your AdventureWomen insulated bottle (good for hot or cold drinks!)
  • Locks for your suitcase/duffel bag (when left in rooms)
  • Travel alarm clock with spare batteries
  • Headlamp or small flashlight with spare batteries
  • Binoculars (8x40/42 models are excellent choices; center focus models are easiest)
  • Digital camera, memory cards, battery charger
  • Power adapters (three round pin sockets and two round pin sockets)
  • Sunglasses, case, and strap
  • Spare glasses, contact lenses, cleaner, saline, etc.
  • Money belt or neck pouch
  • Sunscreen and lip balm with SPF
  • Mosquito repellent
  • Hand wipes/hand sanitizer
  • Toothbrush/toothpaste
  • Soap, shampoo, and conditioner
  • Small packet of tissues
  • Tampons and panty liners (avoid plastic applicators)
  • Earplugs: We recommend Mack’s Pillow Soft White Moldable Silicone Snore Proof Earplugs. Available at most drugstores or at earplugstore.com
  • Assortment of stuff sacks and Ziploc bags
  • 1-2 heavyweight plastic garbage bags for wet swimsuits
  • 1-2 bandanas
  • Reading material/journal

Personal First Aid Kid:

  • Foot powder for moisture absorption
  • Bandaids (cloth, not plastic)
  • 10 individually wrapped alcohol pads
  • Antibiotic cream
  • Anti-itch cream
  • Aspirin/ibuprofen
  • Cold-symptom relief tablets
  • Antihistamine
  • Cough drops
  • Tweezers
  • Ace bandage
  • Antibiotics (as advised by a doctor)
  • Prescription medicines in their original bottles
  • Acidophilus or other probiotic
  • Anti-diarrhea medicine
  • Pepto-Bismol
  • Laxative
  • Emergen-C
  • Eye drops

If you prefer to buy a complete kit, we recommend the Smart Travel first aid kit.

 


If you're curious about this trip, we would be happy to answer any questions you might have.