Jun 15, 2011 at 3:53 pm #1275494
It looks like my company is sending me to London for a meeting in early November. I'm planning on tagging a 7-8 day (or more) backpacking vacation in Scotland before that.
I've never been over there so I have alot of researching to do in terms of getting around. More importantly (of course) is that I would like to take that opportunity to explore the Cairngornms or any other region that anyone would suggest that would be easy to get in and out of by rail or other mode of transportation. Ideally, I could use a hiking partner but this kind of opportunity comes rarely so I'll make due.
Thanks in advance.
EricJun 17, 2011 at 7:42 am #1750314
There is a map of trails here http://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/long-distance-routes.shtml however they all look pretty tame and there are none I would particularly recommend.
The one that is missing and I would recommend is the Cape Wrath Trail http://www.capewrathtrail.co.uk
This is more of a route as there is no marked trail, but will definitely get you into Scotlands wilder areas. There was a post recently in BPL Trip Reports which will give you an idea.
With 7-8 days you will have time to start from Fort William and get up to around Ullapool, then coach to Inverness and coach or train south from there.Jun 17, 2011 at 12:01 pm #1750403
@sparticusLocale: Atlantic Canada
As a new arrival to the UK, I was recently asking a Scottish colleague in the Royal Marines about hiking trips in Scotland. Below was his response to my request for some loops that I could do if I drove up from London. They might give you some ideas.
There are four recognised long walks in Scotland (ie signposted etc) – The West Highland Way (95 miles), The Southern Upland Way (212 miles), The Great Glen Way (73 miles) and The Speyside Way (65 miles). These are easy to find out information about (I’m sure Google will lead you to them). These are all one way routes unless you double back on yourself but where is the fun in that!
There are some interesting routes elsewhere:
1. The Four Highest is about 30 mile circular route starting from Cairngorm Youth Hostel.
2. Blair Atholl/Aviemore Figure of 8 is about 110miles and can start and finish in the same place – either Blair Atholl, Cairngorm Youth Hostel (can be linked with the Four Highest Route above) or Inverey Youth Hostel.
3. Glen Etive and Rannoch Moor is about 90 mile route but requires a train drop off as it is not circular – Rannoch station or Corrour Station are suitable.
4. Knoydart is a 100 mile circular route starting at Alltbeithe Youth Hostel.
5. Loch Mullardoch is another nice little 40 miler circular route going the other way from Alltbeithe Youth Hostel so can be linked to the Knoydart route above.
6. Loch Monar is a 65 mile circular route starting at Scardroy Lodge.
I would say routes 1, 5 and 6 are ‘easy going’ but would say that routes 2, 4 and especially 3 are a little more tricky. There is nothing that would stop an experienced walker – just make sure you have your compass with you!
Edit – and additional link that you might find useful.Jun 18, 2011 at 8:23 am #1750691
Good stuff! I have quite a bit if reading to do. I really appreciate the responses.Jul 9, 2011 at 12:53 am #1757416
I would take the night train to Inverness and the normal train up to Kyle of Lochalsh.
Then head up to Ullapool.
You'll be crossing the Beinn Eighe, passing the Slioch heading over to Shenaval.
On the route you can take a lot munros to enhance your experience.
If you are fast you can enhance your trip to cape wrath.
Slioch and Lochan Fada:
Heading to Shenaval:
One note about the Great Glen Way and West Highland Way: Don't walk them, they suck.
Err. a bit late, sorry.Jul 9, 2011 at 6:59 am #1757449
I appreciate the input. The trip is on for sure and I'll have about 7 days to explore the area before I have to head over to London.Jul 11, 2011 at 8:28 pm #1758292
@jumpbackjackLocale: Armpit of California
Here's a cool video, I don't know if it is where you are going, but it looks like fun. Henry from Tarptent in Scotland Give it a minute to load.Jul 12, 2011 at 3:01 pm #1758560
I was browsing by looking for something else and created an entire account just to answer this because I was so frustrated at not being able to post. Cairngorms are easy enough to get to – Aviemore is a decent base town, but after that you'd be off trains and on buses. Look here:
However, the Caledonian Sleeper will take you all the way from London and deposit you on Rannoch Moor (where there's a hotel) or very near to Loch Ossian hostel. Literally, go to sleep in London, wake up in the wilds of Scotland.
**Takes self off to find a forum that will tell her whether it's suicidal to go back country alone in Yellowstone. Suspects answer is, "Yes."**Jul 14, 2011 at 6:27 pm #1759432
Great suggestions! I feel quite lucky to have the opportunity to explore such a stunning area.
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