Highland Scenic Tour

Ben Nevis
Ben Nevis from Gairlochy

With its vast rounded summit and slopes to the west and south that plunge into Glen Nevis, Ben Nevis (4406ft, 1344m) is the highest in the british Isles. The safest route for climbing to the summit is from Achintee in Glen Nevis. The distance from here is 5 miles. This track dates back to 1883 and was constructed to service the observatory. In 1893 it was proposed that a railway was built to the summit and plans followed for rack railway, approx. 4.75 miles in length with a gradient of 1 in 2-62. From Corpach one can view the north-east face which has become a real challenge for climbers. The view from here with Loch Eil and Loch Linnhe are especially beautiful in the evenings.

Loch Ness
Ariel view of Loch Ness from Invermoriston
The township of Invermoriston lies on the west side of Loch Ness and at the east end of Glenmoriston, the traditional country of the Grants. A little of Torgyle, further up the Glen, a small cairn at the edge of the road leads to mysterious footprints. The explanation offered is that in 1828 an itinerant preacher Finlay Munro, was interupted while holding an open-air service; the preacher declared that he spoke the truth and to prove it the very ground would bear witness from him. His two footprints still remain beside a larger cairn.

Smoo Cave
Smoo Cave, Durness, Sutherland
Situated in the far north-west of Scotland, amidst glorious coastal scenery, is this cave within limestone cliffs. It has 3 chambers, the largest being the first one which is 120ft high and 203ft long with an arch like entrance of 53ft in height. Unfortunately it is difficult to get through to the second chamber for it has an 80ft high waterfall decending into it. Despite this it is well worth the climb down from the road to see this magnificent cave, so much talked about by visitors to the far north.

Soldiers Leap, Pass of Killiecrankie, Perthshire
Here the River Garry beneath sheer wooded slopes make its way through Soldiers Leap. This is so called because it is said that Donald MacBean, of the MacKay Army cleared it in retreat after the Battle of Killiecrankie. This took place near Urrard House on 27th July, 1689.

Loch Maree
Loch Maree in Winter
Situated in the heart of Wester Ross is this magnificent loch, which is 12.5 miles long and 2.25 mile wide. High above is the multi-peaked mountain, Beinn Eighe (3306ft, 1010m) which has 7 peak standing magestically along a 7 mile ridge. Slioch (3208ft, 980m) stand to the north. It is an enormous mass of Torridonian sandstone. Its summit can be reached by the use of Gleann Bianasdail track. The loch itself is amazingly beautiful with many wooded islands. One of these isles, Isle of Maree has the ruins of a chapel on which was said to be St. Maelrubha's hermitage in the 7th century.

Balmoral Castle
Balmoral Castle from the north, Aberdeenshire
Still very much associated with Queen Victoria as well as the present Royal Family, this fine castle stands amidst Royal Deeside, before Lochnagar. Queen Victoria first came here with her family in September 1848. The Royal party included The Princess Royal, the Prince of Wales and Prince Alfred. The castle we see now was designed by William Smith. Prince Albert was a major influence to the final design which is baronial. The stone is Invergelder granite, which was quarried on the estate. The building was made to house one hundred people. Lochnagar has eleven summits over 3,000 feet and is South of Balmoral and north-west of Loch Muick. The main summits are Cac Carn Beag (3786ft, 1155m) and Cairn an T'Sagairt Mor (3768ft, 1047m).

Loch Ness and Mealfuarvonie, Inverness-shire
This attractive view is from the well-wooded eastern shore of the Loch, between Dores and Foyers. Mealfuarvonie (2284ft, approx. 697m) is the most conspicuous of the hills on the wester side of Loch Ness. From its summit there are extensive views of Glenmore Albin and north to Ross-shire and Caithness.

The Five Sisters
Five Sisters
Winter over the Five Sisters and Loch Duich from Letterfearn, Ross-shire.

The Tour Continues...

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