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Mr. Plod - on 15 Mar 2019

I would appreciate some advice about a trip for later in the year. I've walked in the Lakes and the Alps although nothing too strenuous.

I've been to Scotland on rare occasions but enough to realise how "big" it is and how remote it can be. I'm looking for possibilities for a week or ten days of walking. I plan to travel north by car and am not averse to camping although I prefer B & B. I'm not looking for anything too remote and would enjoy somewhere where I can enjoy a pint or a wee dram at the end of the day. I am happy to consider either one day treks or maybe two to three days.

I would welcome any suggestion. Thanks.

PS When is the midge season?

pps. Travelling solo

Post edited at 15:26
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Ramblin dave - on 15 Mar 2019
In reply to Mr. Plod:

God, where to start! Personally I'd consider Ullapool. There's some driving involved to get from there to the walking, but it's a pretty and lively little place and then has amazing hills in all directions - classic ridgy things to the South and East and then the amazing sandstone lumps of Coigach and Assynt to the North West. Classic daywalks with lots of great two or three day options as well.

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In reply to Mr. Plod:

In terms of locations, you may need to narrow it down a bit!

Good functional bases with lots of hills nearby include: Aviemore, Braemar, Fort William, Glen Coe village, Gairloch, Ullapool, Crianlarich, Newtonmore, Kyle of Lochalsh/Broadford  ... They're all surrounded by brilliant countryside but some of them are nicer than others. For general loveliness of setting my first preference would be Gairloch.

In terms of suitable walks, if you're looking for ideas then have a look at the UKH route cards. Searching the map is one good way to find stuff, but it does rather help if you have a general grasp of what is where, hill-wise: https://www.ukhillwalking.com/logbook/r/find.php

If you want some specific walk suggestions then it'd be best to narrow it down to a particular area (Torridon, Assynt, Glen Coe, N.Cairngorms etc) and then ask on here for recommendations  

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Wee Davie - on 15 Mar 2019
In reply to Mr. Plod:

Plenty of options listed so far by earlier posters. Midge season really kicks off towards late May. After that you'll be needing repellent unless the weather is pretty breezy. Look for high pressure weather coming and you'll have a superb time. 

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skog on 15 Mar 2019
In reply to Mr. Plod:

Further to all of the above, if you're camping and can be flexible, if you make several alternative plans and simply choose to go where the weather's best, you'll have the best chance of having a great time.

If the weather's pushing in from the east, head to the west, if it's pusing in from the southwest head to the northeast, if it's blowing down from the north you may be best in the Southern Highlands ... you get the idea!

It's a hilly enough place that you can generally find decent, or at least better, weather in one corner or another.

And personally, if it's good everywhere, I'd head to the North West (Kinlochewe, Gairloch, Ullapool, Lochinver or Durness), or to Skye.

Post edited at 17:10
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jonnie3430 - on 15 Mar 2019
In reply to Wee Davie:

> Midge season really kicks off towards late May. 

Just to add for Mr Plod, midgies generally aren't a problem if you're moving, it's when stopped that they can swarm if there's no wind, generally at dawn and dusk. All I do to combat this is long sleeve top (Montane featherlite is epic for this, light but not too hot,) and trousers, sometimes tucked into socks with a midgie net on. I'm not a fan of repellant and with the above don't need it and aren't affected by them.

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Mark Bull - on 15 Mar 2019
In reply to Mr. Plod:

For day walks, midges are rarely more than a minor nuisance if you keep moving any time there is no wind. It is worth organising your kit to minimise the time spent hanging around outside your car at the start and end of walk. 

Camping, however, is a totally different matter: even with repellent and a head net it can be pretty trying at times! 

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Mr. Plod - on 15 Mar 2019
In reply to All,

Thank you all for the replies. As a starter I've been looking at the Lairig Ghru although I understand there are logistical problems about the start and finish. I'm just consulting the map as I type this.

Are there any navigational considerations with the LG? An option MIGHT be to leave my car at Braemar and head for Bob Scotts bothy for an overnight stay.

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Mike-W-99 on 15 Mar 2019
In reply to Mr. Plod:

You could do linn of dee to glenmore one day on the Lairig Ghru. Camp or stay at the hostel. Then back the next day over the lairig an laoigh (potentially tricky burn crossing). 

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Fiona Reid - on 15 Mar 2019
In reply to Mike-W-99:

Staying at the hostel works pretty well as you can then just carry your day sack plus maybe some dry socks/pants/t-shirt.

There's a shop nearby to get lunch for day 2 and the hostel or Glenmore Lodge can provide dinner. The hostel can also do breakfast  

The burn crossing on the Lairig an Laoigh can be a pain but if you do that on the return trip you'll hopefully have dry feet for most of the trip... or take some crocs/similar and carry your boots over. 

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Mr. Plod - on 15 Mar 2019

Just been looking at the options for Aviemore back to Braemar. Seems do-able by train in about three hours to Aberdeen(£17)then bus to Braemar.

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Raskye - on 15 Mar 2019
In reply to Mr. Plod:

Oh God here we go again.... Another TMB saga of endless questions ;)

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Rob Parsons on 15 Mar 2019
In reply to Mr. Plod:

> In reply to All,

> Thank you all for the replies. As a starter I've been looking at the Lairig Ghru ...

My opinion: you would be far better just planning days up particular hills, or sets of hills. The Lairig Ghru is just a pass.

Good sense in previous comments about midges by the way: they're rarely a real problem when you're on the move in the Scottish hills.

Enjoy your trip, wherever you end up: you have a lot to go at!

Post edited at 20:08
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Iain Thow - on 15 Mar 2019
In reply to Mr. Plod:

If you're using public transport and want a good through route then Glen Tilt plus the Lairig Ghru allows you an easy return by train from Aviemore to Blair Atholl. Two longish days or three easy ones. You would need to carry a tent or use the bothies at Tarf (a few miles detour) and Corrour. If you want to climb hills loads of good suggestions above.

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Wanderer100 - on 15 Mar 2019
In reply to Rob Parsons:

> My opinion: you would be far better just planning days up particular hills, or sets of hills. The Lairig Ghru is just a pass.

To be fair, there's plenty of hills either side of the Lairig Ghru. 

To the Op. Parking up and leaving from the Linn of Dee you can walk into Derry Cairngorm then over Ben Macdui before returning to the Lairig Ghru and staying overnight at the Corrour Bothy. Next day you can climb up to the Devils Point and then follow the high edge of the pass over Cairn Toul, Sgurr an Lochain Uaine and onto Braeriach. You then have options to either go onto Glenmore via the Chalamain gap and stay at the Lodge going back down the Lairig an Laoigh or return to the bothy and walk out over Carn a Mhaim. 

> Enjoy your trip, wherever you end up: you have a lot to go at!

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Eric9Points - on 15 Mar 2019
In reply to Mr. Plod:

If you're thinking of the Larig Ghru you might be better doing a circular route from the North and staying overnight at Bob Scotts. It would save the hassle of trying to get from Braemar to Derry Lodge.

Personally I'd maybe go to Torridon and do a Munro a day or Assynt and do Suilven, Ben Mor Assynt, Sgurr am Fhiddler etc, etc. Another option might be to drive to Kinloch Hourn (sp?) walk in to Barrisdale bothy and do a Munro from there then walk back. You might find it something of a revelation and the bothy is very good.

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Heartinthe highlands on 15 Mar 2019
In reply to Mr. Plod:

England 

I would appreciate some advice about a trip for later in the year. I've walked in Torridon and the Alps although nothing too strenuous.

I've been to England on rare occasions but enough to realise how "big" it is and how crowded it can be. I'm looking for possibilities for a week or ten days of walking. I plan to travel south by car and am not averse to camping although I prefer B & B. I'm not looking for anything too busy and would enjoy somewhere where I can enjoy a pint or a pickled onion at the end of the day. I am happy to consider either one day treks or maybe two to three days.

I would welcome any suggestion. Thanks.

PS When is the football hooligan season?

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Wanderlust - on 15 Mar 2019
In reply to Heartinthe highlands:

> PS When is the football hooligan season?

Pretty much the inverse of the midge season, funnily enough 🤔 

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