Hiking, History & Culture in the Scottish Highlands and Islands - Hike Group 1

Prepared with pleasure exclusively for Marathon Expeditions

Wednesday 14th May – Wednesday 21st May 2025

Number of Travellers: 30
Duration: 8 Days / 7 Nights

Overview

Hiking, History & Culture in the Scottish Highlands and Islands

Hike Group 1

For travel May 14th, 2025

Departure date to link before the run trip

 

Trip Overview

This itinerary is designed to offer hiking, history and cultural experiences on a journey through the Scottish Highlands and Islands. Starting and finishing in Edinburgh, we’ll hike in Loch Lomond National Park, on a tiny Hebridean island, Glencoe and the Great Glen Way. Along the way, we’ll visit ancient sites and Castles.

Itinerary Highlights

  • Visit the Wallace Monument, commemorating Sir William Wallace (his story told in the movie, Braveheart), perched high on a volcanic crag overlooking the historic town of Stirling.
  • Stay in and hike through Loch Lomond National Park and enjoy breathtaking Scottish scenery.
  • Visit one of the finest concentrations of neolithic and bronze age sites in Scotland, with ancient burial cairns and standing stones.
  • View ancient castles and visit a small highland whisky distillery.
  • Hike on a tiny remote island, which less than 100 people are fortunate to call their home.
  • Hike through the rugged wilderness of Glencoe and West Highlands.

 

Start / Finish – Edinburgh / Edinburgh 

Edinburgh is easily accessible, connected by regular flights from various cities in the UK and Europe, as well-as some direct flights from the US. It’s also on the UK mainline rail network, with the sleeper train being an attractive option for the journey to/from destinations in the south of the UK. The airport is just 20 minutes from the city center and is connected by tram, bus and taxi.

Day by Day

Day 1 - Wednesday 14th May - Meet in Edinburgh early afternoon

Meeting in Edinburgh early afternoon, we leave the city and head north-west into the Scottish Highlands.

We break the journey for a leg stretch walk to visit the William Wallace monument, a landmark that tells the story of the patriot and martyr who became Scotland’s national hero (his story told in the movie, Braveheart).

We then continue onwards and enjoy a leisurely check-in to our hotel.

Overnight: The Buchanan Arms, Drymen, Loch Lomond

Meals included: Welcome Dinner

Total transfer time c. 1hr 45mins. 

NB. Optional pre-nights available in Edinburgh.

Walk Details: 2 km / 2 miles | 170 m / 558 ft elevation gain | Approx: 1 hrs

Day 2 - Thursday 15th May - Hike overlooking Loch Lomond

Today we have our first trek with a classic hike up an easy peak offering unbeatable scenery over Loch Lomond.

Conic Hill is a small summit (358m high) with an almighty view. It lies on the Highland Boundary Fault, and also forms part of the West Highland Way.

A popular climb, it starts in the forest and then breaks out as you climb higher. The view across Loch Lomond from the summit is one of the best in Scotland.

Afterwards, we celebrate our first Scottish hike with a visit to a Highland whisky distillery, to see the magic and mystery behind Uisge Beatha “The Water of Life,” and maybe sample a dram too.

We then return to our hotel, where the rest of the evening is free for you to enjoy one of the local restaurants of your choice.

Overnight: The Buchanan Arms, Drymen, Loch Lomond

Meals included: Breakfast and Packed Lunch

Transfer time c. 20-30mins each way. 

Walk Details: 6 km / 4 miles | 400 m / 1,312 ft elevation gain | Approx: 4 hrs

Day 3 - Friday 16th May - Visit Inveraray Castle and Kilmartin Glen

After breakfast, we set off for the west coast.

At the head of Loch Fyne, we visit Inveraray castle, the 18th-century home of the Duke and Duchess of Argyll, and the seat of the Clan Campbell.

Later, visit Dunadd, the birthplace of Scotland, before we stop for a walk through Kilmartin Glen, one of the finest concentrations of neolithic and bronze age sites in Scotland.

This is an easy hike between Kilmartin Castle and Nether Largie which connects several ancient burial cairns and standing stones.

Afterwards, a 15 minute drive takes us to our hotel, which boasts one of the finest views in Scotland from its dining room.

Overnight: Loch Melfort Hotel, Arduaine, near Oban

Meals included: Breakfast, Packed Lunch and Dinner.

Total transfer time c. 2hrs – 2hrs 20mins.

Walk Details: 4 km / 2 miles | 50 m / 164 ft elevation gain | Approx: 2 hrs

Day 4 - Saturday 17th May - The Green Isle of Kerrera

Today we board a small passenger ferry to hike on an island steeped in rich history featuring ancient kings, feuding Highland clans and a 16th century castle. This little island is truly one of Scotland’s hidden gems.

We take a small boat (passengers only) across the Sound of Kerrera to this small island, which has about 100 residents. We enjoy a superb hike which takes a circular route covering the southern half of the island. On the way, we pass the ruins of Gylen Castle, once a stronghold for the Clan MacDougall.

After hopping back across to the mainland, we return to our hotel to relax in the comfortable surroundings of the hotel.

Overnight: Loch Melfort Hotel, Arduaine, near Oban

Meals included: Breakfast, Packed Lunch and Dinner.

Total transfer time: c. 1hr each way.

Walk Details: 10 km / 6 miles | 300 m / 984 ft elevation gain | Approx: 5 hrs

Day 5 - Sunday 18th May - Hiking in Glencoe

Today we transfer back inland to hike in world-renowned Glencoe.

We are spoilt for choice in Glencoe and today we will come face-to-face with one of the imposing sights in one of Scotland’s most famous mountains.

A further transfer then takes us to our next hotel, where we will enjoy this base for the next 3 nights.

Overnight: The Inch Hotel, Fort Augustus (or similar)

Meals included: Breakfast, Packed Lunch.

Total transfer time: c. 2hrs 45mins.

Walk Details: 11 km / 7 miles | 655 m / 2,150 ft elevation gain | Approx: 5 hrs

Day 6 - Monday 19th May - Magnificent Glen Affric

Today will be one of our most scenic days as we hike the trails of Glen Affric, widely regarded as one of Scotland’s most beautiful valleys.

Blanketed by Scots pines, the glen’s slopes reach up to resplendent peaks that overlook the pristine waters of Loch Affric. There are countless options for great hikes in this glen, so we’re spoiled for choice. Our guide will decide on the best hike which will ensure magnificent views of this unique wilderness of pinewoods and moorland.

A short transfer takes us back to the hotel to enjoy a well-earned relaxing evening.

Overnight: The Inch Hotel, Fort Augustus (or similar)

Meals included: Breakfast, Packed Lunch.

Total transfer time: c.1 hr each way.

Walk Details: 15 km / 9 miles | 350 m / 1,148 ft elevation gain | Approx: 6 hrs

Day 7 - Tuesday 20th May - The Great Glen Way

For our last day we have several options to hike various hills along the “Great Glen Way”, so we’re spoiled for choice.

Our guide will decide on the best hike to ensure a magnificent views of West Highland mountain grandeur, and there are Corbetts, Munros or low level trails along the bank of Loch Ness.

Afterwards, we will enjoy a wonderful evening, reminiscing about our Scottish adventure together and a farewell dinner.

Overnight: The Inch Hotel, Fort Augustus (or similar)

Meals included: Breakfast, Packed Lunch & farewell Dinner.

Total transfer time: c.30-40 mins each way.

Walk Details: 12 km / 7 miles | 700 m / 2,297 ft elevation gain | Approx: 6 hrs

Day 8 - Wednesday 21st May - Transfer to Edinburgh

After breakfast we transfer south to Edinburgh.

On route we stop for a leg-stretch walk, perhaps at the Falls of Bruar, a beautiful short walk with good views of the gorge and falls.

We then continue on towards Edinburgh, where the trip ends.

Meals included: Breakfast.

Total transfer time c. 3hrs 30mins.

NB. Optional post-night available in Edinburgh on request.

Walk Details: 2 km / 1 miles | 100 m / 328 ft elevation gain | Approx: 1 hrs

Trip Details

Inclusions Read More
  • 7 nights accommodation in small hotels on a double/twin share basis.
  • Breakfast each day.
  • 6 Packed lunches (Days 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 & 7).
  • 4 Evening meals (Days 1, 3, 4 & 7).
  • Additional snacks while hiking.
  • The services of qualified and experienced WS guides from Day 1 to Day 8 (1 guide per 8 people in the group).
  • All private transfers as required on Day 1 to Day 8, starting and finishing in Edinburgh.
  • All guided hikes, visits and activities as mentioned in the itinerary, specifically:
    • Day 1 – Wallace Monument.
    • Day 2 – Whisky distillery tour.
    • Day 3 – Inveraray Castle and Kilmartin Glen.
    • Day 4 – Kerrera day trip.
  • Gratuities for hotel and restaurant staff, as well as local guides.
  • Trip design and delivery.
  • 24/7 in-country trip support.
Exclusions Read More
  • Meals and drinks not mentioned in the inclusions
  • Activities and entrance fees not mentioned in the inclusions
  • Flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Gratuities for the lead guides
  • Pre & post night accommodation
Important Contact Numbers Read More

Wilderness Scotland Office

(9:00 am – 5:30 pm)

UK: +44 (0)1479 420 020 US: 866 740 3890

Out of Office Hours

(5:30 pm – 9:00 am)

On Call Phone: +44 (0)7766 794 640

Emergency Services

999

Arrival & Departure Read More

Your guide will meet you at Edinburgh (NB. pre-night option) at on the first day of your trip.

You will be returned to Edinburgh (NB. post-night option) at on the final day of your trip.

Pricing Read More

Guest group size: 20 – 30 guests at £2,875 pp

Single supplement: £750 (max. 3 single occupancy rooms available)

Includes 1 x free place for Marathon Expeditions leaders (Jenny)

TOTAL Group size: 31 travelers

NB. Trip confirmed on 20 guests

 

NB. Pre & Post nights STILL TO BE CONFIRMED

 

The above prices includes 1 x free place for Marathon Expeditions leaders (Jenny), not included from the above group size allocation ( 30 x guests and 1 x expedition leader – 31 travelers).

Please also see the Partner Agreement (to follow) for terms and conditions about the running of this itinerary.

 

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