Fodor's Travel Talk Forums

Fodor's Travel Talk Forums (https://www.fodors.com/community/)
-   Europe (https://www.fodors.com/community/europe/)
-   -   Exploring western scottish highlands (https://www.fodors.com/community/europe/exploring-western-scottish-highlands-1023051/)

Hsa Aug 15th, 2014 02:52 PM

Exploring western scottish highlands
 
Hello

I am 31 male planning a first ever trip (and that too solo) from London to the western side of the highlands for four nights end of this month. budget constraints apply. main focus is outdoors - walking, hiking and cycling. plan is to fly to inverness early morning (trains seem too expensive/time consuming), take a tour of the city then catch the bus to Fort Williams, settle in any decent b & b in the vicinity. (preferring fort williams area over inverness primarily due to better scenery/walks etc, correct me please if wrong)

day 2; climb ben nevis or steall falls or any other scenic route not exceeding 6 to 8 kms.
day 3; get to Mallaig by train (buy one way ticket on spot) or explore other option. Roam around, take ferry to Isle of Skye. stay some where close to Broadford
day 4; explore the area
day 5; catch the bus to inverness airport

Is the above doable without being too much on the road ? everything is open, suggestions are more than welcome. Thanks

janisj Aug 15th, 2014 06:43 PM

>>plan is to fly to inverness early morning (trains seem too expensive/time consuming), take a tour of the city then catch the bus to Fort Williams, settle in any decent b & b in the vicinity. (preferring fort williams area over inverness primarily due to better scenery/walks etc, correct me please if wrong) <<

No reason to take a tour of Inverness. The best bit is just the river running through town and you certainly don't need to pay someone to show it to you.

Fort William (no <B>s</B>) is a central location - but not such a terrific town.

The main problem w/ trains is you've left it quite late so the bargain fares are likely gone. But if it was me on such a short trip, I wouldn't faff about w/ Inverness or Ft Wlliam.

If you have firmly decided on Flying . . . I'd fly to Inverness and immediately take the train to Kyle and spend as much time on Skye as possible. You might have to spend the first night in I'ness depending on flight/train times.

Hsa Aug 15th, 2014 11:40 PM

Thank you, that is surely a better suggestion. Flying seems more viable although i would not mind the train either. Any special reason for preferring Skye?

sheila Aug 16th, 2014 01:29 AM

The scenery and the climbing are both better. And Fort William is, frankly, a bit of a dump. How good a climber are you? Another option is Torridon. Again, with the fly to Inverness, bus to....Kinlochewe. Mixture of big scary mountains, pretty loch, lower grade walking. Walking/climbing guides will help.

Not that there's anything wrong with your first suggestion, but you'll struggle to get anywhere other than Ben Nevis, and Fort William's not that great a prize

Gordon_R Aug 16th, 2014 02:03 AM

I'll though in another suggestion. There's no necessity to fly all the way to Inverness if your objective is to walk/hike in the western side of the Highlands. There are many more flights from London to Glasgow, where you could easily pick up a train heading north from Queen St on the scenic Mallaig line. You could stop off overnight en-route in one of several great hiking centres. For example along Loch Lomond for The Trossachs, or further up at Rannoch Moor or Spean Bridge. From Mallaig you could then take the ferry over to Skye. I also wouldn't bother with Fort William.

There's some good walking itineraries and practical info at:-
http://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/

You also need to assess your level of experience, fitness and equipment in relation to the possible hiking routes on offer. Although the Scottish mountains are not particularly high by international standards, the weather conditions can be notoriously unpredictable (even in summer) and there are regular news reports of people getting into serious difficulties.


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 08:08 PM.