WILDERNESS SCOTLAND is one of our favourite outdoor companies – and every year they seem to come out with even more amazing adventures to take part in.
The trips on offer this year include three of the best road cycling trips you can do in Scotland, a canoe tour of Scotland’s Grand Rivers, a kayaking trip around Orkney, a mountain bike adventure through the Cairngorms National Park and an independent walk in the footsteps of Rob Roy.
Island Hopping – Cycle around nine Hebridean Islands from Barra to Lewis on an easy cycling route that weaves its way through magnificent coastal landscapes and towering peaks, punctuated by white sandy beaches and wild glens. Here Gaelic is the first language and visitors can expect the warmest hospitality and the freshest seafood. Price: £1,195 inc. 7 days’ guiding, 6 nights’ accommodation, some meals, ferries and boat services, all vehicle transport from Oban (start) to Inverness (finish) with ride support and luggage transport. Departures 7 June and 26 July 2014.
Grand Tour of Scotland – This covers 260 miles of quiet and spectacularly scenic roads. Highlights include the historic battlefield of Culloden to what’s considered ‘the most beautiful castle in Scotland’. Ride out from Inverness, through the CairngormsNational Park and Royal Deeside, visit Balmoral Castle and cycle onwards to St Andrews, before finishing at Edinburgh Castle. Price: £1,195 inc. 7 days’ guiding, 6 nights’ B&B, some meals, vehicle transport with ride support and luggage transport. Departures 26 April, 28 June and 19 July 2014.
Mountain Passes – Enjoy challenging climbs and exciting descents through five different mountain ranges. Soak up the views across to Skye and the Outer Hebrides and take in some of Scotland’s most famous landmarks and the UK’s highest road climb which is called the ‘Bealach na Ba.’ The real challenge for cyclists, however, is keeping their eyes on the road while cycling amongst such dramatic scenery. Price: £1,075 inc. 7 days’ guiding, 6 nights’ accommodation, some meals, vehicle transport with ride support and luggage transport. Departure 21 June 2014.
The Cairngorm Trail – This is an easy point-to-point backcountry mountain bike journey over five days in the Cairngorms National Park. The route offers the chance to develop skills with the help of a guide, while riding on superb scenic trails and spotting a wonderful range of wildlife, from red deer to osprey. The trip has four hours of biking per day with the comfort and hospitality of Highland guest houses and scrumptious local cuisine along the way. Highlights include the magnificent Monadhlaith mountain range, sampling the legendary cakes at Inshriach, whisky tasting at Glenlivet Distillery and cycling through the Royal Estate of Balmoral where all trails lead to the Castle. Price: £695 inc. 5 days’ guided mountain biking, 4 nights’ B&B, some meals and snacks, entry fees, vehicle transport with ride support and luggage transport. Departs 17 May, 2 August and 23 August 2014.
Canoeing Scotland’s Grand Rivers – A guided tour by canoe of Scotland’s Grand Rivers Spey, Glass and Beauly as well as some beautiful lochs. Enjoy paddles by day followed by cosy evenings and warm hospitality in charming hotels, ideal for those who like their creature comforts. Learn new canoeing techniques and skills to negotiate river currents and the occasional small rapid. Highlights include venturing through the steep-sided walls of the Aigas Gorge which is a haven for wildlife such as ospreys and otters. You can also paddle on the open waters of Loch Ness and the stunning Loch Morlich, with a backdrop of the high peaks of the Cairngorms. Price: from £895 inc. 6 days’ canoeing, 5 nights’ accommodation in small hotels, most meals, and all transport and specialist equipment. Dates 9 August and 6 September 2014.
The Orkney Islands – Competent kayakers are in for an incredible kayaking adventure around the rugged Orkney islands – a sea kayaker’s paradise. Led by senior guide Mark Cox, paddle to the huge narrow stack at Black Craig, visit caves, and see puffins, colonies of seals, porpoises and killer whales along the way. Witness the dramatic sea cliffs and fascinating caves that surround the seemingly gentle countryside and the stunning coastal scenery with impressive natural arches, towering cliffs and sea stacks. The accommodation arrangements are flexible to cater for the vagaries of the sea conditions: a mix of wild camping and hostel accommodation. Price: £895 inc.6 days’ guided kayaking, up to 5 nights’ hostel accommodation (or wild camping), kayaking and camping equipment, and transport from Inverness. Dates 28 June 2014.
All prices are per person, based on 2 sharing. Maximum group sizes are 7 or 8 on guided trips.
For further information on the 2014 programme contact Wilderness Scotland 01479 420020.www.wildernessscotland.com