Autumn walking holiday in the Scottish Highlands
Description of Autumn walking holiday in the Scottish Highlands
This superb autumn walking holiday in the Scottish Highlands immerses you in some of the most spellbindingly beautiful scenery in the British Isles. Led by a knowledgeable local guide, your small group will enjoy some easy-going walking around several locations in the renowned Glen Affric and the Great Glen.
During October the forests of the glens and valleys turn beguiling shades of amber and gold which, combined with the fresh autumnal air, makes walking in the Highlands an absolute joy. This is rutting season too, and you’ll often hear the sound of stags roaring off in the distance.
The pace is relaxed giving you plenty of time to pause and take photographs whenever you please, and to get to know your guide and the rest of your group. Exact routes will be finalised on the day according to weather conditions and your guide’s expertise, but you’ll be based in Fort Augustus, at the foot of Loch Ness, with excellent walks leading off in all directions.
Your accommodation for these four memorable nights will be at a luxurious, eco-conscious Highlands hotels where you can expect a warm welcome every afternoon, and a cosy fire going. Meals are a major highlight of this trip, making good use of Scotland’s famous ‘natural larder’ to bring you locally sourced fish, meat and vegetables, dramatically lowering the carbon footprint of your holiday.
A small group walking holiday may be the best way to discover the Scottish Highlands. You feel connected with nature, you enjoy sights that those in cars or coaches miss entirely, and because your guide knows these areas so well, you can simply relax and enjoy the stunning autumnal foliage all around.
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PlanetWe are firmly committed to responsible tourism and all of our tours reflect that commitment. Our holidays are purposefully designed to provide a visitor experience that maximises the positive benefits of tourism while minimising any negative impacts.
Leave No Trace & Our Guides
We are staunch advocates of the Leave No Trace principles, in which our guides are fully trained. On all of our activities, our guides will ensure that the impact on the environment, wildlife and local community is minimised. During your trip, our guides will teach you how to do this so that the knowledge is spread on your travels in Scotland and further afield. Our guides are ambassadors for Scotland's wild places and are passionate about sharing their knowledge. Your guide will not only lead your activities but tell you all about Scotland's flora, fauna, geology, history and culture. On this trip to the Scottish Highlands we’ll visit a section of woodland managed by one of our charity partners and learn about native reforestation.
Our trips focus on enjoying the landscapes through human power, so by walking, biking or paddling through them. We minimise motorised transports as much as possible.
This walking holiday to the Scottish Highlands starts and finishes at a mainline train station to encourage the use of public transport. Hiking is the main activity of the day so you’ll be walking 8-15 kilometres a day so that you can fully immerse yourself in the impressive landscapes of this region.
Accommodation & Meals
We’ve handpicked the accommodation that you will be staying at during this trip - an eco-conscious hotel on the southern end of Loch Ness that is also a Victorian landmark building. Expect warm Highland hospitality and equally warm fires roaring in the hearth to sit next to after a day's walking.
Scotland is known for its fantastic natural larder so we try to source all food and drink provided on the trip as much as possible locally, and endeavour to take our clients to establishments that celebrate seasonal Scottish produce, meat and dairy.
In the Office
It's not just on trips that we promote sustainable processes! We operate our holidays out of a carbon-neutral headquarters which is powered by renewable energy. We reduce, reuse and recycle, using environmentally friendly products from local suppliers where possible. In addition, our office car park hosts two public EV charging stations, and we subsidise staff usage. We encourage car-sharing and compete monthly for the most environmentally friendly commute!
In preparation for our trips, we strongly encourage our travellers to bring a reusable water bottle and lunchbox on their holiday to discourage the use of single-use plastics.
Lastly, we are committed to contributing annually to a nature-based charity that promotes conservation in Scotland.
Although our office staff isn’t 100% Scottish, all members of our team live and work in the Scottish Highlands. Because of this, our passionate personnel are able to give expert insider advice on their own favourite playground and ensure the best experience for our visitors.
We ensure a warm welcome from the locals wherever we go as we’ve always strived to work together with the local community and businesses, ensuring that the economic benefits are shared. We seek out locally owned and family-run hotels and restaurants over chain businesses. Packed lunches and snacks are sourced locally, either directly from the accommodation providers or from small cafes and delis.
On each trip, we endeavour to introduce our visitors to local and unique experiences. On this trip to the Scottish Highlands we’ll go for a walk in a community owned woodland that features a reconstructed iron age fort and shieling.
Some of the areas we visit suffer from over-tourism and we do what we can to manage this consequence. The crowding caused by over-tourism not only negatively impacts the natural environment but also the quality of life of the communities who live and work in the beautiful destinations that we visit. To mediate this we take our clients to the lesser-known spots in any given area, extend our tour departures into the less busy shoulder months to spread the flow of visitors and when we do visit ‘hotspots’ we aim to go outside of peak hours.
We deliberately keep our groups small for several reasons. Having smaller groups mean less disturbance to the environment and the local community. It also means that we can stay at smaller accommodation providers who are not eligible to benefit from mass tourism providers and have a better guide to traveller ratio.
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