7-Night Scottish Highlands Christmas & New Year for Solos Guided Walking Holiday

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Duration: 7 nights
Type: Guided Walking
Walking Grade: 3, 4 & 5
from £1,099pp

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.

Holiday Highlights

  • 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

What’s included

  • 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
  • A packed programme of evening activities offering something festive for everyone, including some old HF favourites
  • Any transport to and from the walks

Trip Notes

Trip notes are detailed, downloadable PDFs for each holiday.

Download Trip Notes

You're welcome to check in from 4pm onwards.


Glen Nevis provides the starting point for the easier walk; we follow the river downstream along part of the West Highland Way to Fort William. The medium walk starts at the head of Glen Nevis and explores the dramatic gorge which leads up to the meadows below the superb Steall Falls. The harder aims right for the heart of the spectacular mountain scenery under the north face of Ben Nevis, offering arguably the finest views of Britain’s highest mountain before walking down to Fort William.


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.


Discover more about Alltshellach and the local area for ideas on how to fill your free day. 


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.


For the easier walk today we head to the coastline and the Kentallen Peninsula for a lovely walk on the shores of Loch Linnhe. 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.


Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before making your way home. 


Alltshellach

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.

 

Need to know

Important Covid-19 steps we have taken for guest safety: Please Read

As we slowly reopen in the wake of the Coronavirus lockdown, our country house stays are set to be organised a little differently; extra steps have been taken to keep our guests, house teams and leaders safe while we return to action. We ask all our guests to respect the measures put in place.

Initially the overall capacity of the houses has been reduced. Guests must wear face coverings in public spaces. To adhere to social distancing guidelines, we have taken the necessary steps to space out furniture and seating in public areas. In addition, a one-way system will be in place around the house. Adequate signage will be displayed to support the direction of travel to be followed by guests and house teams.

As a temporary measure, we will not be servicing rooms during a stay. Extra tea, coffee, milk, and toiletries will be made available on request for all guests. It is recommended that guests bring their own toiletries for the duration of their stay. We have removed all non-essential and reusable items from our rooms for the meantime including cushions, hairdryers, bathrobes, bed throws, and printed materials to reduce the number of items that need to be disinfected. Hairdryers will be available on request. Clean towels will be available on request. We will though be increasing the frequency of cleaning in our public areas providing particular attention to frequently touched items including door handles and handrails.

For now, there is no cream tea on arrival day. We have also adapted our food offering to remove all buffets and open food items. Different sittings may be required for breakfast and dinner due to the occupancy and size of the house. Picnic lunches will now be pre-ordered the night before from an order form in the room. The bar in each country house will be open, and we will be offering a table service for drinks. At this time there is no, or only a very limited, evening social programme available. Outdoor swimming pools at those houses that have them will re-open throughout August, except at Freshwater Bay House, where the pool will remain closed for 2020. Indoor swimming pools will remain closed.

For more information and to see all the steps taken, visit our page on how house stays will be adapted.

Rooms

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 and larger televisions – upgrade your stay for just an extra £15-25 per person per night. You can choose a specific room for an extra £30 per room, subject to availability. Upgrade supplements still apply

Facilities

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 (currently closed) 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.

Accessibility

For accessibility and assistance information, please contact our expert team on 020 3974 8865

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Getting to Alltshellach

Find out more about this location including travel details and room types.

More Information

What to Bring

“There’s no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong type of clothing!” goes the adage. Come prepared for all eventualities and you’ll walk in comfort as well as safety. Britain’s famous for its changeable weather, so here’s our advice on what to wear and bring.

Essentials

  • Waterproof walking boots providing ankle support and good grip.
  • A waterproof jacket and over-trousers
  • Gloves and a warm hat (it can be chilly at any time of the year)
  • Rucksack
  • Water bottle (at least 1 litre capacity)
  • A small torch (everywhere in winter, year round in mountains)
  • Sun hat and sunscreen
    Denim jeans and waterproof capes are not suitable on any walks.

Recommended

  • Several layers of clothing, which can be added or removed
  • Specialist walking socks to avoid blisters.
  • A first aid kit inc plasters– your leader’s first aid kit doesn’t contain any medication
  • Sit mat (insulated pad to sit on when you stop for a break)

You might also want

  • Walking poles, particularly useful for descents.
  • Insect repellent
  • Flask for hot drinks
  • Rigid lunch box
  • Gaiters
  • Blister kit (eg Compeed) just in case
  • Waterproof rucksack liner

Guest Reviews

All holidays are subject to availability. Prices are subject to change.
Prices based on two people sharing. Supplements may apply.
Non-member fee: £20 per person.

Holiday Prices

Date (Start - End) Nights Itinerary Price Status Trip Notes Book
2021
23 Dec - 30 Dec
7 Christmas £1,099 Available Trip Notes Book Now
Duration:
7 nights
Type:
Guided Walking
Walking Grade:
3 & 4

7 nights from £1,099pp

...or call 020 3974 8865

For group bookings of 10+ people click here

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