Spend the festive season in the Scottish Highlands, socialising and walking in this beautiful place. There’s something magical about walking in winter. Whether it’s the frosty footsteps, the clear crisp air, or the breathtaking views, it’s a wonderful time to go walking. Join our festive breaks and choose from a guided walking holiday in the company of one of our knowledgeable leaders. We pull out all the stops on our festive holidays, with fabulous food, lots of seasonal entertainment and great walks and activities. The walks are tailored to the time of year and will remain flexible to suit the weather conditions. Each day three grades of walk will be offered. So wrap up warm, lace up your boots and go for an invigorating walk. The walks in the West Highlands can be sublime at this time of year, however they can be also be challenging because of the combination of short daylight hours and sometimes extreme weather. We will not be walking on terrain which demands specialist skills and equipment such as ice axes and crampons.
- Plenty of exercise to walk off the festive excesses
- A choice of guided walks in spectacular winter scenery
- Just relax, soak up the party atmosphere, enjoy wonderful festive fare and leave all the organising to us
- Evening activities include dancing, quizzes and festive celebrations
- Cosy Country House and a special festive cheer
- Wonderful meals – full selection at breakfast, your choice of picnic lunch, an excellent evening meal and plenty of festive treats
- A programme of organised walks and activities
- The services of experienced HF Holidays’ guides
- Any transport to and from the walks
On our Guided Walking holidays, we believe that choice is key. Our walks descriptions will help you choose according to your interests and fitness. The walks are grouped together with care by local experts to give the best experience. While every effort will be made to adhere to the described itinerary, we may occasionally vary the sequence shown here or substitute an alternative route to suit local conditions or for other operational reasons, potentially at short notice.
You're welcome to check-in to your room from 2:30 p.m. onwards (upgraded rooms from 1 p.m.) Please join us for afternoon tea.
Lismore island is a year round favourite and tends to remain “green” when other areas are covered in snow, so we’ll hope to enjoy its delights today on the easier walk. However, strong winds can prevent the ferry from running, in which case we look to the mainland coastline nearby for some super alternatives. The medium option follows a route through glens Duror and Fhiodh, in the heart of the mountains. The harder walk heads towards Glen Coe to ascend Meall Mor which rises above Glencoe Village.
Historic Glen Coe, scene of the famous massacre, is the focus for today’s walks. The easier takes in the wonderful views from “Hospital” Lochan, sitting just above Glencoe village itself. The finish is at the Clachaig Inn, a climber’s hostelry steeped in history. The medium walk visits the famous Lost Valley, and the harder may tackle Sgorr na Ciche (the Pap of Glencoe), a relatively low top sitting right at the north west end of Glen Coe, with incredible views.
We’ll build up an appetite as we explore locally. Our shortest walk goes along the shoreline of Loch Linnhe on a cycle track that follows the route of the old railway from Ballachulish, before returning the same way. En-route we can visit the monuments to James Stewart and the Appin murder that features in ‘Kidnapped’, written by Robert Louis Stevenson. Stretch your legs further on the medium walk as we take good forest tracks and paths towards Ballachulish, via Gleann a’ Chaolais, on the other side of the iconic bridge. The harder walk has the pink quartzite summit of Sgorr Dearg in its sights, weather permitting.
We travel east up Loch Linnhe towards Kinlochleven, one-time centre of an important aluminium smelting industry and where all today’s walks finish. The easier walk starts with a gradual ascent to Mamore Lodge, and joins the old military road for a foray to the foot of the giants of the Mamore hills. The medium starts from Callert on the northern shore of Loch Leven, and takes a steep path up to a low point on the main ridge before continuing on the West Highland way to Kinlochleven. The harder takes a similar line but heads for the summit ridge taking in Mam na Gualainn and Beinn na Caillich before its descent to the village.
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before making your way home.
Situated in a stunning location on the shores of Loch Leven, Alltshellach is a stately Scottish house set amid a rugged landscape. The house is a picture of Highland solidity, with spectacular views of craggy mountains and grassy slopes beyond the loch. This pocket of domesticity lets you admire nature at your leisure though, sipping tea or G&T as you watch clouds scud across the sky. In fact, this one-time home of the Bishop of Argyll & the Isles has been recast as a hiker’s hotel, with an air of old-world splendour, excellent accommodation, a generous indoor pool, three lounges and a supremely cosy Highland Bar that’s well-stocked with local beer and whisky, all of which is (almost) enough to distract you from the vast vistas over the waters. But it’s the great outdoors you’re here for and the house is ideally situated for accessing the Mamores, the mountains of Glen Coe and tackling Ben Nevis as well as bagging munros and spotting local wildlife.
At the house
- Excellent boot and drying rooms
- Three lounges
- Multi-purpose ballroom
- Highland bar
- Free WiFi is available in some public rooms
- Range of board games and books
- Heated indoor swimming pool
- Extensive gardens with views and access to Loch Leven
All holidays at our Country Houses are full board accommodation including evening meal on arrival to breakfast on the day of your departure. All of our Country Houses have a well-stocked bar serving local beers, wine and spirits.
- Start your day with our extensive breakfast
- Take your fill from our famous self-service picnic lunches
- A relaxed social dinner is a highlight of any stay at our Country Houses
Just relax and take it easy, or if you'd like to continue to chat with our guides and fellow guests then why not grab a drink or take part in one of our optional evening activities.
All of our bars are stocked with locally sourced drinks so you can really soak up your surroundings.
- Fire procedure is displayed in each room and explained to guests on arrival. Guests requiring assistance at an evacuation are identified at this time and door hanger cards are issued on request
- A small fridge is available for storing medication Good signage for fire escape routes
- One bedroom key issued per room (second key available on request)
- Assistance dogs accompanying visually or hearing impaired guests are welcome; dogs must be kept on a lead or harness at all times
- Information can be provided in large print
- Staff has had disability awareness training
Tea & coffee-making facilities, TV, Hairdryer, Toiletries, Wi-Fi
There are 38 comfortable bedrooms, all in the main house, with a range of ‘Good’, ‘Better’ and ‘Best’ options to choose from. Rooms radiate cosiness thanks to little touches – a remedy for even the dreichest day. Those with a view are worth the extra spend, as you’ll be overlooking the gardens and loch. The Best rooms include Room 21, a spacious corner room with lovely views of Loch Leven, while Room 23 is a stately showstopper that was once the official Bishop’s bedroom, complete with original features and cracking views.
All ‘Good’ rooms are ensuite and furnished to a high standard. There are also several ‘Better’ and ‘Best’ Rooms that are either larger or have a desirable view, a more luxurious mattress, larger television, enhanced toiletries and a fluffy bathrobe & slippers – upgrade your stay for just an extra £15-20 per person per night. You can choose a specific room for an extra £30 per room, subject to availability. Upgrade supplements still apply
Free Wi-Fi, boot room and drying room, extensive gardens, heated indoor swimming pool, multi-purpose ballroom, library and board games to borrow
After a day exploring, return to the house and its specially tailored walkers’ facilities. Stroll the gardens that dip down to the loch. The small peninsula at the bottom of the lawns is called An Dunan and often becomes an island at high tide – look for prehistoric rock art cut into the slabs on its side. Make time too to plunge into the heated indoor swimming pool and do a couple of lengths under the watchful eye of the mountains through the panoramic windows. Inside the house, head for one of the communal areas: you’ll have three to choose from and can kick back, relax and catch up with other guests. Later, stop in the Highland Bar for a nip of whisky or a nightcap – the comfy seats make a fine spot for a dram and there’s a range of good single malts to choose from that’ll have you believing you’re living a laird’s life.
Food & Drink
As at all of our country houses, holidays are full board, from afternoon tea served as a welcome treat through that evening’s meal to a hearty breakfast on the day of departure. Lunch is a chance to stock up on our famous picnic snacks. Food at Alltshellach is full of Scottish flavours and focusses on locally sourced and seasonal produce. Once a week the dining room hosts a Local Food Night, when you might be treated to Cullen Skink Soup and a trio of smoked salmon, mackerel pate and steamed mussels with Highland oat cakes, while mains may include Highland game and ‘Barlotto’, a type of nutty risotto made from barley instead of rice. Finish off with a spoonful of Iron Brew Ice, chocolate and marmalade mouse and Atholl brose, a luxurious blend of honey, whisky and carefully selected herbs for a flavour of the Highlands.
For accessibility and assistance information, please contact our expert team on 020 3974 8865
What to Bring
To enjoy walking/hiking comfortably and safely, footwear, clothing and equipment needs to be suitable for the conditions. Safety is our priority and Britain is famous for its changeable weather, so our advice is to come prepared for all eventualities.
- Footwear with a good grip on the sole (e.g.Vibram sole) is the key to avoiding accidents
- Walking/hiking boots providing ankle support and good grip are recommended (ideally worn in), and specialist walking socks to avoid blisters
- Several layers of clothing, which can be added or removed, are better than a single layer (include spares)
- Fabrics (lightweight and fast drying) designed for the outdoors are recommended
- Waterproof jacket and waterproof over trousers
- Warm hat and gloves. Gaiters are an optional but useful extra
- Denim jeans and capes are not suitable on any walks
- Rucksack with a waterproof liner
- Thermos flask for hot drink
- Water bottle (at least 1 litre)
- Spare high-energy food such as a chocolate bar
- Small torch
- First aid kit – your leader’s first aid kit doesn’t contain any medication or blister kits (such as Compeed)
- Walking poles are useful, particularly for descents
- Insect repellent
- Sun hat
- Sun cream
All holidays are subject to availability and prices are subject to change.
Non-Member fee: £10 per person.
|Date (Start - End)||Version||Price||Status||Trip Notes||Book|
|30 Dec - 04 Jan||2020 Itinerary-New Year||£827||Available||Book Now|
5 nights from £827pp
...or call 020 3974 8865