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walking in scotland

Scenic Walks In Scotland

by Jeremy Hawkings.

A crisp autumn day is one of the best times of the year to enjoy walking in Scotland. The roads and countryside are generally quiet. There is clarity in the air and every chance of enjoying an Indian summer, that longed for period of sunny, warm weather in autumn, just before winter sets in.

Walking in all its forms appeals to most people. Some might choose to meander along the city streets planning their retail therapy. Others will stroll through leafy neighbourhoods gazing wistfully at the houses and wondering what kind of occupants they have. Some prefer a refreshing woodland walk while others choose a serious climb up a mountain.

In this, the first of two articles, I want to share several of my favourite walks in Scotland, all within easy striking distance of one of the Luxury Scotland properties.

The best walks of course include the company of a dog … and I hope you can take one with you.

Happy walking.

Jeremy Hawkings.
Chief Executive / Luxury Scotland

    

walking in scotland


    

Boath House, Near Nairn

This part of Scotland is renowned for its favourable weather conditions - enjoying the lowest rainfall and highest number of sunshine hours in Scotland and the beach at Findhorn is ideal for a leisurely stroll, although if you wish, you can walk as far as 10 miles to Burghead. Along the shore are relics of the past including old wartime pill boxes that now sit half submerged in the sand.

If you are lucky you may see some of the Moray Firth Bottlenose Dolphins which are very rare in British waters and  some of the largest in the world.  Look for wading birds, shell duck, eider, long tailed, common and velvet scoters and red shank. In the forest areas adjacent to this walk, peregrine falcons, snow buntings pine martens, crested tits and crossbills have been sighted.

If you have time, visit the peaceful eco community of Findhorn. Guided tours begin at the Visitor Reception office at 2pm most days from Easter to November. You can also purchase a Visitor Guide Tour and create your own self guided tour.

Crinan Hotel

For a gentle but rewarding walk, leave the Crinan Hotel, turn right, cross over the canal and make your way along the canal path towards Bellanoch admiring the sailing boats along the way. The Crinan Canal, often described as "Scotland's most beautiful shortcut", was built to save fishing boats the long coastal voyage around Scotland’s rugged west coast. The canal is regularly used by sailors making the transit between Glasgow and the Hebrides.

The observant will see the ruins of Duntrune House over the sands. It was at this house that the first rhododendrons were to have been introduced to UK in 1850 by Joseph Hooker, following his expedition to the Himalayas. Instead they went to another estate a few miles down the Mull of Kintyre, which is why rhododendrons grow so profusely in this area. Continue along the towpath past the swing bridge at Bellanoch and enjoy the views to the west which are truly breathtaking.

After the Oakfield Bridge leave the towpath and you will see the road to Lochgilphead on your left which is the end of this walk.

The canal walk is 7 miles long and will take about 3 hours

    


   

Sheraton Grand Hotel and Spa

There are a variety of good walks in and around Edinburgh. Here is my favourite, The New Town.

The New Town in Edinburgh dates from 1765-1850 and was built to relieve the overcrowding in The Old Town. A competition was held to design the new development which was won by a 21 year old architect James Craig. His formal plan can be enjoyed today.

Start in Charlotte Square which was designed by Robert Adam and is probably the finest Georgian square in Britain. In it you will find West Register House which houses part of the National Archives,  Bute House the official residence of The First Minister of Scotland and The Georgian House which is a delightful museum operated by The National Trust. It is well worth a visit.

From Charlotte Square, make your way through the impressive residences of Ainslie Place and Moray Place, across The waters of Leith, keeping an eye out for St Bernard’s Well, originally discovered by Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, the founder of the Cistercian Order in the 12th Century who lived in a cave nearby. Continue to Ann Street which is unique in that the Georgian Houses have gardens in front of them. Take two left turns and that will bring you over The Dean Bridge, which was built by Thomas Telford in 1832. You will then arrive back in the West End, where you started.

This town walk will take an hour and a quarter excluding the visit to The Georgian House.


Hebridean Princess

Hebridean Princess operate a number of cruises specifically designed for walkers. Feel at one with nature by walking through the wildly beautiful north-west Highlands and Islands. Add to that an expert guide and the comfortable elegance of Hebridean Princess for a unique way to explore the Inner Isles.

With a range of paces, you have the freedom to be as energetic or leisurely as you like. The Footloose series is a particular favourite and I recommend it.

FOOTLOOSE THROUGH THE INNER ISLES

Day One
Embarkation in Oban.

Day Two
Morning — walkers on the Glen walks on Rum, or on Canna if conditions are favourable. Strollers visit Kinloch Castle.  Afternoon — walks from Loch Scavaig to Loch Coruisk.

Day Three
Morning — at Shieldaig, walkers walk from Slattadale to Poolewe. Strollers stroll around the village.  Afternoon— walkers to walk by the Fairy Lochs, whilst strollers visit Inverewe Gardens or stroll in Flowerdale Glen from Gairloch.

Day Four
Morning — on arrival at Ullapool, walkers spend the day at Inverpolly and Knockan Crag and strollers have free time. Afternoon — walkers continue their day, whilst strollers take a coach tour to Corrieshalloch Gorge.

Day Five
Afternoon — at Portree, walkers at Torvaig and the Bile whilst strollers have time for shopping.

Day Six
Morning — walks or strolls on Eigg to An Sgurr, time permitting. Afternoon — walks on Muck.

Day Seven
Morning — coastal walks on Ulva. Afternoon — walkers take a woodland walk to Aros Park at Tobermory, and strollers will have time for shopping and strolling.

Day Eight
Disembarkation in Oban.

In all there are seven Footloose departures during the spring, summer and autumn to choose from. Click here to visit the Hebridean website to view them all.

    

      

Luxury Scotland
Tel: +44(0)1786 821 860 
Fax: +44 (0)1383 825 700
E: dorothy@luxuryscotland.co.uk

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