Scottish Highlands Discovery Tour

Glens & Lochs of the Scottish Highlands

Code: LLHCR

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Activity types:

  • Coastal
  • High Mountains
  • History
  • Rural peace
From £365.00 - 3 to 7 nights

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Prices are per person

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Holiday overview

Our Discovery Tours really get into the heart of the  countryside. These are sightseeing tours by minibus, visiting places not normally reached by a full-sized coach. Small groups and friendly leaders make this a great way to enjoy Britain at its best.

Alltshellach is situated in one of the most spectacular locations in Britain, with grounds sloping down to Loch Leven and overlooked by high peaks of Glen Coe. Nearby are famous names such as Ben Nevis and Glenfinnan. Given the terrain the drives are inevitably longer than some of our other Discovery Tours, however the magnificent views more than compensate.

Holiday Highlights:

  • Visit Glenfinnan Monument at the head of Loch Sheil, a place of inspiration for Bonnie Prince Charlie, and the dramatic atmosphere of Glencoe
  • Spectacular Highland glens such as Glen Roy and Glen Shiel 
  • Inveraray, with plenty of time to explore, with its French-style castle and old jail
  • Stunning west coast scenery and the bustling port of Oban
  • The magnificent setting of Eileen Donan Castle, situated on an island at the meeting point of three great sea lochs

Great reasons to join us

  • Great value: all prices include Full Board en-suite accommodation, plus five full-day mini-coach tours, with plenty of stops at places of interest and short walks of up to 1½ miles
  • Knowledgeable leader: learn more about the history and landscapes of Scotland from your knowlegeable leader
  • Accommodation: a magnificent lochside location with outstanding mountain views and superb indoor pool
  • Sociability: we pride ourselves on the social atmosphere of our holidays - explore together, eat together and relax together

Accommodation

Visit Scotland 4 star guest accommodation logo at HF Holidays

Alltshellach is a fine Highland residence, situated on the dramatic shores of Loch Leven. With magnificent mountain views, excellent accommodation and a superb indoor pool, it is extremely popular with all outdoor enthusiasts.

Bedrooms
Alltshellach has 37 bedrooms, all located in the main building. Many of the rooms enjoy excellent views of the loch and the surrounding mountains.

Our classic bedrooms offer comfortable accommodation and an en-suite bathroom with bath or shower. They also have TV, hairdryer, and tea and coffee making facilities. Single rooms are available for an extra £8 per night.

You can enjoy extra space or exceptional views plus additional facilities including a towelling robe and complimentary slippers when you upgrade to a premium bedroom. Premium rooms are available at just £5 extra per person per night.    

If you are travelling with your family, we have a selection of 3 and 4-bedded family bedrooms. These have all the facilities of our classic rooms plus full sized twin or double beds for adults and bunk beds or occasional beds for children.

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Facilities

All our Country Houses are tailored to the needs of walkers and outdoor enthusiasts and have excellent boot and drying rooms.

There are three lounges, one of which was once a chapel when the house was lived in by the Bishop of Argyll. The multi-purpose ballroom can either be used for dancing, as a painting studio, or as a games room with table tennis. Our Highland bar is always well-stocked with whisky and local beer and there is always a social buzz after a hard day on the hills. Free Wifi is available in some public rooms.  There is also a range of board games and books.

The heated indoor swimming pool and spa, including changing rooms and swim jet, is also very popular with our guests.

Alltshellach is surrounded by extensive gardens that slope down to the shores of Loch Leven.

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Food

All holidays at our Country Houses are Full Board with all meals included, from dinner on arrival to breakfast on the day of your departure.

Start your day with our extensive breakfast. Choose from a wide selection on the cold buffet and/or a full cooked breakfast. Maybe enjoy a lighter option of fruit and yoghurt followed by scrambled egg, go for porridge followed by a full Scottish breakfast, or select something in between.

Choose from our famous self-select picnic lunches - everything you need to keep you going on a day outdoors. Your own choice of sandwiches is prepared to order, and you can add crisps and snacks, fruit, nuts, chocolate bars, sweets and biscuits as you wish.    

Our house-based Leisure Activities include an in-house lunch (generally soup, sandwiches etc).    

The relaxed dinner is a highlight of any stay at our Country Houses. With tables seating up to 10 and no seating plan, it offers a great opportunity to get to know your fellow guests. There is always a choice of dishes for every course, featuring good British cooking and often local specialities. A vegetarian option is always available.

All our Country Houses have a well-stocked bar serving local beers, wine and spirits.

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Evening

Guided Walking: enjoy a glass of wine or local beer in the bar before a talk about the next day's walks. After dinner there will be an activity or entertainment which you will be welcome to join. These vary from week to week but could include a talk from a representative of the National Trust for Scotland or the John Muir Trust. You could relax in our lounges, have a whisky from the well-stocked bar, or you may even be entertained by a Scottish piper.

Leisure Activities: many of our Leisure Activities holidays continue into the evening with programmed sessions. Other holidays will have the evenings free, and you will be welcome to join in other social activities that may be happening in the house.

Family holidays: our activity leaders are on hand to organise children’s activities and games for younger children before dinner. These could include rounders, outdoor games, or crafts. After dinner there are further activities for the whole family.

Self-Guided Walking: there may be evening social activities happening in the house during your holiday, and you will be most welcome to join in. However, not all self-guided holidays will have evening activities available – if these are important to you, please check before booking.

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Accessibility

Arrival & car parking facilities

  • There is ample free car parking available at the house
  • The surface of the car park is level, gravel in the car park with tarmac in front of the entrance
  • It is possible to load and unload cars directly at the front door
  • Assistance can be provided with luggage

Main entrance

  • There are two steps at the main entrance (10cm and 6cm high)
  • The front door can open double to 145cm wide
  • There is a permanent wheelchair ramp into the new west wing. The width of the ramp is 135cm and it leads to a 90cm wide door. Having gained access via the ramp, all facilities are available without encountering any steps
  • The floor surface is short pile carpet
  • There is no lift

Public areas – hall, stairs, corridors etc

  • All public areas are carpeted
  • The minimum corridor width is 150cm. The main staircase is carpeted and 6ft wide
  • There are eight bedrooms on the ground floor (four doubles, three twins and one twin specially adapted for wheelchair users)

Public Rooms – lounges / conservatory

  • Various public rooms, all on the ground floor
  • West wing lounge, which measures approximately 5m x 14m, has a variety of sofas, chairs and coffee tables. Wide doors (173cm) leading to the pool and patio. Door leading to the chapel / main lounge is 130cm wide
  • The small lounge has sofas and armchairs
  • Ballroom has two access doors (100cm and 148cm wide). Doors to the patio are 110cm wide

Public WCs

  • The unisex toilet on the ground floor is next to the bar. Access is via two steps (14cm high), door width 36 inches
  • Wash basin height 85cm
  • There are two additional toilets (one male, one female) in the swimming pool changing rooms

Dining room & bar

  • Dining room is on the ground floor with a combination of round and square tables, all 71cm high, each seating eight to ten diners
  • Seats are without arms, 46cm high, with 56cm high backs
  • Waitress service at all meals
  • Bar area consists of two high tables and ten bar stools, two access doors, 130cm and 110cm wide
  • During dinner, bar drinks and wines available to order in the dining room

Leisure Facilities

  • Indoor swimming pool and spa pool located in the west wing, access from the west wing corridor
  • Flooring is a mixture of tiled and compressed rubber
  • Within the pool area, there are two alarms, first aid post, a rescue hook and a life buoy
  • The size of the pool is 6 x 12m
  • A 40cm step to gain access to the spa pool

Bedrooms

  • All the bedrooms are en-suite
  • The bedrooms are a mixture of singles, twins and doubles
  • All rooms are en-suite

Room 26: (designed for wheelchair users)

  • On the ground floor of the west wing approx 15 m from permanent wheelchair ramp
  • Two single divan beds, both 60cm high
  • Available floor space beside the beds approx 3m x 4m
  • Door width 95cm
  • All furniture movable
  • Alarm call button by bed, sounds alarm and flashing light in the corridor and outside the manager’s office
  • Touch lamp bedside
  • Door width 92cm. Level entry
  • Bathroom area 195cm x 270cm (not incl shower area)
  • Level entry shower designed for wheelchair users, 115cm sq with support rail and lowered manual shower controls. Shower chair available
  • Toilet seat height 46cm, support rails on both sides
  • Support rails for wash basin. Taps are lever / turn
  • Pullcord alarm in the bathroom sounds an alarm and flashing light in the corridor outside the bedroom and manager’s office

Grounds and gardens

  • Six steep steps leading from patio to lawn and six shallow wide steps leading from another patio to the croquet lawn

Additional Information

  • 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

 

Itinerary

During your Discovery Tour you will have the opportunity to visit many fascinating places of interest. The following is a suggested programme, but your HF Holidays' leader may adjust it at their discretion, taking into account factors such as weather, local opening times or the wishes of the group.

Saturday: Arrival day

You can check in to your room from 2.30pm onwards. Tea and coffee are available throughout the afternoon in the lounge. We invite everyone to dinner at 7.30pm. This is the first occasion when everyone meets together. After dinner we’ll introduce your leader and tell you more about your holiday.

Sunday: Glen Nevis and Glencoe

Our holiday starts with a short walk in the atmospheric glens of Glen Nevis, formed after the last ice age. After lunch we visit the Glencoe Visitor Centre, set in historic Glencoe with information and an exhibition on the geological history of the glen and, of course, the massacre of Glencoe.

Monday: Oban and West Coast Islands

We travel south and cross the Clachan Bridge over the Atlantic to the Isle of Seil where a short boat trip takes us over to old slate isles, or you can visit the glorious 1930’s An-Cala gardens. The pretty harbour town of Oban gives us a chance to visit the whisky distillery, shops or climb to McCaig’s Folly for fantastic views.

Tuesday: Plockton and Iconic Eilean Donan Castle

We head northwest up the Great Glen visiting the Commando memorial and Gardens with stunning views of Ben Nevis, weather permitting. We continue through beautiful Glen Garry to the scenic village of Plockton, a favourite with photographers and artists alike. After lunch we visit the iconic Eilean Donan Castle, which appears in many movies, before we head home. 

Wednesday:  Free Day

A free day for you to explore the local area or to relax in the Country House.

Thursday: Romantic Inveraray Castle and Loch Awe

Travelling through historic Glencoe and over Rannoch Moor to Bridge of Orchy for a short easy walk to Inveroran Inn for coffee. We visit scenic Inveraray with free time to explore the castle, old jailhouse or shops. Our return journey takes us by Loch Awe, atmospheric Kilchurn castle, with a stop at St Conan’s Kirk or the Cruachan Power Station for coffee.

Friday: Ardgour and Glenfinnan

Today we take the Corran ferry to Ardgour and walk in the ancient Ariundle oakwoods, stopping for coffee at the Ariundle Centre.  The ruined Castle Tioram, reached via Loch Sunnart, is our next stop for lunch, then onto mysterious Glenfinnan where in 1745 Bonnie Prince Charlie raised the standard. We end the day by visiting Neptune’s Staircase on the Caledonian Canal.

Saturday: Depart after a leisurely breakfast

For maximum flexibility, admissions are not included; please remember to bring your National Trust or English Heritage cards, for reciprocal arrangements in Scotland, if you have them. Otherwise please allow up to £80 for entrances; (there may be concessionary and group discounts which may reduce this price).

Sometimes things happen beyond our control – the weather, traffic jams or changes at the places we visit. If we need to adjust your holiday programme, for whatever reason, your leader will help smooth the way.

Local area

Alltshellach is situated beside the shores of Loch Leven. This is a spectacular location with magnificent views of the surrounding mountains.

About 2 miles away, across the loch is the village of Ballachulish. Here you’ll find a post office, food store and bank. A much wider range of facilities can be found in Fort William, about 14 miles to the north.

As the adventure capital of Britain, the Lochaber region is a popular destination for all outdoor enthusiasts. During your stay in Glen Coe you may enjoy visiting the following activities and places of interest:

Oban    
The bustling harbour town of Oban, about 45 minutes' drive south of Alltshellach, is a popular destination. There's always plenty of activity around the harbour and its well worth the walk up to McCaig's Tower, a remarkable folly built in the style of a Roman ampitheatre, with commanding views over the town.

Ice Factor         
Try your hand at ice climbing on the indoor wall at nearby Kinlochleven. www.ice-factor.co.uk

Jacobite Steam Train   
Ride the Jacobite steam train from Fort William to Mallaig. This stunningly scenic line includes the famous Glenfinnan viaduct, featured in the Harry Potter films. Steam trains run every day and early booking is reccomended. www.westcoastrailways.co.uk/jacobite

Isle of Lismore                
The peaceful island of Lismore is ideal for a relaxed exploration. You can hire bikes at Port Appin, about 30 minutes' drive south of Alltshellach, then take the short ferry crossing to the island.

Isle of Mull
Reached by car ferry from Oban, or Lochaline, Mull is one of the most popular Scottish islands. You could visit the colourful harbour at Tobermory or the abbey on Iona. www.calmac.co.uk/mull

Eilean Donan Castle
Nearly 80 miles drive north from Alltshellach is this romantic and much photographed Scottish lochside castle.  Located on a small island just offshore, the castle is isolated by the sea at high tide, only accessible via a stone bridge. www.eileandonancastle.com

Travel

Alltshellach, Onich, Fort William, Invernesshire PH33 6SA

New at HF HolidaysA long way North, but always wanted to visit? Take the train or fly to Glasgow and we’ll help you from there.

Our own station / airport transfers: We offer a coach transfer between Glasgow Buchannan Bus station**, Glasgow airport and Alltshellach every Saturday. The pickup is at 4.15pm from Glasgow Buchanan Street Bus Station** and we depart from Glasgow airport at 4.45pm. We will arrive at Alltshellach at 7pm which is in time for dinner on your first evening. On departure day the transfer will get you back to Glasgow airport by 11.30am and to Buchanan Street Bus station by 12.00 noon. The transfer is £25 return and £15 for a single trip, but a place must be reserved in advance by calling our Reservations team on 0345 470 7558.

** Buchanan Street Bus Station is about 15 mins walk from Glasgow central station (frequent buses are available) or 5 minutes walk from Glasgow Queen Street station.

By train: The nearest station is Fort William, but Glasgow may be more convenient. For train times and general rail enquiries visit www.nationalrail.co.uk or call 03457 484950 (from outside the UK call +44 20 7278 5240).

By taxi: If you can’t meet our station transfer and prefer to travel all the way to Fort William, the 15 mile journey to Alltshellach can be made by taxi. There will be lots of taxis at Fort William station that will take you to Alltshellach.

By car: From Glasgow take the A82 towards Crianlarich. Continue on the A82 towards Fort William. Head for Ballachulish keeping the village on your left. Go straight on at the roundabout over the steel bridge and take the second right B863 to Kinlochleven and the seafood restaurant. Alltshellach is 400 yards further on, on your right. Look out for our sign. A large car park is available in the grounds with free parking. 

To help you plan your journey, use www.traveline.info

Leaders

Chrissie Le Marchant

Chrissie grew up in Yorkshire and spent her early years exploring the North York Moors. Having obtained a degree in Geology and Geography, she spent the next few years working for an international mining company, prospecting in the West Country and gold mining in Africa, driving home overland from Johannesburg via India.

She spent the next few years raising children and working for two National Parks, Snowdonia and Dartmoor. After training as a teacher of design technology she returned to civil engineering building roads. Eventually she became a Blue Badge Tourist Guide and has worked in the West Country and southern England and all over Europe as a guide and tour manager.

As a ‘Deviationist’ on the Ffestiniog Railway she drove trains, tipped wagons and appeared on Blue Peter and has been leading railway holidays for several years.

 

Maie Semple

Maie has lived all her life in Kirkintilloch, known as the canal capital of Scotland. She has been a tour guide in Glasgow since 1997 and also tours in Edinburgh, the Scottish Highlands and North of England. Having a love of Scotland she studied Scottish History, Scottish Architecture and Design and History of Geology in Scotland at Strathclyde University. She has also completed all the Munros in Scotland (hills over 3,000 feet numbering 277). Maie has been a leader with HF Holidays since 1994, at first leading Walking holidays in the UK, and now leading City Break holidays in Europe and Discovery holidays in England and Scotland.  

Reviews

Date & Rating Customer Review HF Holidays says
17 May 2016, 7:17 p.m.

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very welcoming feel about the house

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consideration and care towards guests
9 May 2016, 10:04 a.m.

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Well organised and enjoyable

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overall very good especially fine guidance!
4 May 2016, 1:48 p.m.

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The staff were helpful and attentive and dealt with an emergency in a calm and sympathetic manner

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the planning was excellent and the amount if walking involved was adapted to members' abilities and just what was required.
4 Sep 2015, 3:42 p.m.

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very good but fairly expensive

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very good guide and coachdriver
4 Sep 2015, 9:10 a.m.

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I have traveled with HF for many years now, and they excel in every respect.

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This was a thoroughly enjoyable holiday. Great itinerary, very comfortable lodging, excellent meals.
Thank you for your feedback following your holiday in Glen Coe. It truly is a beautiful place. We're glad you enjoyed your HF Holidays experience, until next time.

HF Holidays Ltd.
8 Jul 2015, 6:01 p.m.

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The holiday itself was very excellent. However the office did not take cognisance of where to send information to me and the office was rather slow in replying to my requests and sending receipts.

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Excellent itinerary and transport also leader. Guest house great with good food.
4 Jul 2015, 5:46 p.m.

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Would like precise details about the correct pick up points for Glasgow Airport and indeed Glasgow bus station, St the airport I was told to go to bus stops 1&2 and that the HF coach logo would be displayed. This was not correct for both statements! Travelers from the bus station found the same problems!

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A very enjoyable holiday.
25 Jun 2015, 10:46 a.m.

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very enjoyable

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wonderful location. friendly, well-managed hotel
5 Sep 2014, 9:27 a.m.

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Always reliable for good organisation, excellent holidays with knowledgeable leaders; always fun and good company in great locations.

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Gave us a good idea of the Highland area both for scenery and history.
31 May 2014, 7:06 p.m.

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Good time had by all

Dates & Prices

Date Description Nights Brochure price Buy today for Book
6 May 2017 LLHCR - Discovery Tour - Glen Coe 4 £505.00 £505.00 Book Now
6 May 2017 LLHCR - Discovery Tour - Glen Coe 7 £855.00 £805.00 Special Early Booking offer - £50.00 off pp Book Now
10 May 2017 LLHCR - Discovery Tour - Glen Coe 3 £365.00 £365.00 Book Now
22 Jul 2017 LLHCR - Discovery Tour - Glen Coe 4 £505.00 £505.00 Book Now
22 Jul 2017 LLHCR - Discovery Tour - Glen Coe 7 £855.00 £805.00 Special Early Booking offer - £50.00 off pp Book Now
26 Jul 2017 LLHCR - Discovery Tour - Glen Coe 3 £365.00 £365.00 Book Now

Prices are per person

Information

  • Standard single room: (2016) £8 per night; (2017) no supplement
  • Premium single room: £15 per night (2017 only)
  • Premium twin/double room: (2016) £5 per person per night; (2017) £10 per person per night
  • Non-member associate fee: (2016) £5 per person; (2017) £10 per person