Local Walks

There are lots of walks suitable for all ages and conditions all within easy access and requiring no car.  You will also find a range of walks a little further afield ranging from gentle forest walks to quite technical climbing.

What may surprise visitors is the very wide range of conditions and the way the weather can change from rain to sunshine several times a day.  A French Tourist book said to treat a 1000m hill in Scotland as the equivalent of a 2000m hill in France.  Personally I would say a little higher.  For lots of information please see walkhighlands.co.uk.

For a trip into the hills without having to worry much about about experience, Creag Meagaidh nature reserve is a 25 minute drive. There is a maintained path in a sheltered glen.  You will also be able to see 'Glenboggle' of 'Monarch of the Glen' as soon as you gather a little height.

Easy walks

Do remember the old adage "No such thing as bad weather just bad clothing".   I always take a flask of hot soup for the kids and a hip flask for the grown ups.

Gairlochy

The Caledonian Canal goes all the way from the Fort William to Gairlochy.   The walk along  the canal is flat and very easy, even with a pram.  The canal comes out at the  at the southern end of Loch Lochy.  Gairlochy is a short drive, an hours walk or half and hour on the bike.  Take a left at the Commando monument, River Spean on your left.

 

Commando memorial

An easy walk on a well maintained path, high bridge path starts in Spean Bridge village and continues to the  Commando Memorial. Along here were the first shots of the highland rebellion 1745.  The path is well maintained with wonderful views.  Great for kids, mine  especially enjoy skimming stones on the river, if they insist paddling best take wet suits.  Many wild flowers and fungus.   Once at the commando monument follow the road back to the village or if very adventurous one can cross the road and head over the hills back to Taigh A'Chaorrainn.


South Loch Ness

This walk was a real find we had no idea there was somewhere so nice so close by.   Definitely kid friendly, ours got out of the car for short break but then kept going, almost four hours before we were back in the car.  This is the route of General Wades military road, the original road along the the Great Glen to Inverness.  Now part of the great glen walk, there is a maintained path the whole way.  Drive up A82 to Fort Augustus and take a right turn before the bridge over the canal.


Parallel roads of Glen Roy

The parallel roads are a geological feature, they start just above Taigh A'Chaorrainn, so walk out the back garden, past the Shinty pitch and up the hill at the back, alternatively, drive to get  either drive to Roy Bridge, the neighbouring village, and turn into Glen Roy itself.
 

Leanachan Forest

Just at the corner of the Golf course next to  the train station there is a path heading up through the trees.   This path go on and on for a long long way.  There are some short circular routes or  links up with the Witches Trail mountain bike routes which will take you all the way to the Nevis Range.   Walk, run or cycle.   Like little red riding hood, keep to the path, you can get seriously lost heading into the trees.

Creag Meagaidh

For a day out in the hills a level and solid path, the Creag Meagaidh nature reserve is just up the road and provides .  You can feel away in the hills without trekking over rough ground.  For those happy on rough ground there is a route taking in various Munros.
 
Great for families, bird watchers, there are usually deer and other fauna and lots of plant life.


Along the A86, big car park, there is the longer route around to the Lochin or the shorter otter path.

 

Hidden Valley of Glen Coe

Glen Coe  is one of my favourite places,  a great big playground for hill walkers.  Various scenes from Harry Potter and Highlander where filmed in  Glen Coe.

In recent years a number of high level paths have been built, it's quite remarkable how these are built.  With helicopters carrying the stones up the mountains and great skill taken to make sure they blend in with the landscape.

One of these has been built from the the road to the hidden valley, which makes it accessible, I can share the experience.   I have taken children up the path, it is quite dramatic and exposed in places and requires some scrambling over stones.   Take decent boots and wet weather gear, food, mobile phone and so on.   Take care not too go far beyond the path else you are well out of range or leave too late else you might have to come down in the dark, though I  admit the best starry night I ever saw was coming down from Glen Coe in the dark, absolutely no light pollution if not the safest.

Hill walking

For UK walkers there is little to be said that Lochaber is a wonderful area for hill-walking.  For others, hill-walking is easily the most pleasant and motivating way of losing weight and getting fit.  Mountain fitness differs from gym fitness, for one thing, you can't call a taxi, you have to keep going.  Humans are made for walking, in terms of endurance we can keep going much further than most other species.  

A French Tourist book says treat a 1000m hill in Scotland as the equivalent of a 2000m hill in France.  Personally I would say a little higher.  Hill walking in Scotland can be rather like crossing the road, perfectly safe if you are sensible and quite dangerous otherwise.  So do take care and safety is very dependent on the weather.  If you are experienced there are plenty of proper hillwalks.  If you would like to try something a little more technical there are some very experienced mountain guides in the area.

Munro bagging is a very convenient way of choosing hill walking day trips,  my view is that it makes planning an navigation easy (if you are going up then you are going the right way).

Ben Nevis

One has a view of the north side of Ben Nevis from the garden.   I feel the  routes up this side can be a lot more rewarding than the tourist path from Glen Nevis, though best done with a mountain guide or experienced people.  Most people take the tourist path from Glen Nevis which I understand was originally the track used to access the observatory at the top.   To climb Ben Nevis wear proper clothing and watch the weather.   Glen Nevis scene of  "Harry Potter and the Philosophers stone".

Aonach Eagach

The Aonach Eagach Ridge is a  very scary scramble.   Once on the ridge, there is no escape left or right.   Not too technical but it is a scramble rather than a walk which means clambering up and down rocks.   If you are mad enough to try please contact me, it's something I have meant to complete  for  many years.

Corrour to Spean Bridge

Board a train at  London Euston, Glasgow Queen Street or Spean Bridge and find yourself at  Corrour railway station  in the middle of nowhere, just the station, no buildings to be seen not even in the distance.  Brings to mind an  American friend asking if there were any "wide open spaces" in  Europe.  It's been the set for a number of films TrainspottingSecret BritainDe Wisselwachter and to get an idea have a look at this Young Guns video: 


It's a great place to stop.  For the those travelling light there's a trail to Spean Bridge,  through even less populated countryside, either by hiking or by mountain bike.  There is a Bothie half way to rest or sleep in if needs be.   You can follow the track the whole way, I went on a particularly good day, so I took in a couple of Munros:  Stob Coire Easain and Stob a'Coire Mheadhoid on the way so it toook a fair while longer than the track.  I arrived at 8:30am and got into to Spean Bridge around 10pm.   On the way down to Spean Bridge on the other side  pass the Wee Minister, which is a wooden carving, which gives me the heebie jeebies in the half light.

Grey Corries


A very clear view of the Grey Corries from the garden.

Grey Corries