Explore the Scottish Highlands with our Whisky and Walks Walking Holiday
FoodSome provided. Details below
Difficulty Level2 Two
We often find that visits to the Scottish Highlands on walking holidays are accompanied by an appreciation of one of the country’s most famous products, scotch whisky. So we thought we’d officially combine the two and plan an adventure.
Join a friendly group on a journey around the Scottish Highlands, taking in some beautiful small walks followed by visits to some of the classic whisky distilleries. We’ll be visiting the islands, the western Highlands, and of course Speyside in this 6 day exploration of whisky, with some excellent scenery thrown in to get you thirsty.
In a nutshell:
- Explore 4 different whisky distilleries, with advanced tasting sessions of different ages and styles of whisky.
- Admire the coast, mountains and countryside near each distillery on 3 guided walks.
- Be accompanied by a Large Outdoors host and guide who will look after the planning and driving and allow you to sit back and enjoy the journey.
- Stay in comfy accommodation and sample the best local food.
We’ll pick you up from Glasgow at midday, provide you with a packed lunch, and then set off for Kennacraig, where we get the ferry to Islay. After settling into our accommodation on the island, we’ll head out for dinner at a great local restaurant, getting you in the mood for the adventure ahead.
Islay is well known as a heaven for whisky lovers, with 8 working distilleries on the island, including Bowmore, Ardbeg and Lagavulin. We’ll have a sit-down breakfast at 8am, make our packed lunches with ingredients provided, and then head out on a few hours’ walk, taking in the best of the scenery.
Once the walk is over we’ll head to our first distillery, where we’ll be treated to a tour and talk about how whisky is made, as well as a tasting session. From here we’ll head back to the accommodation on Islay, where your host will either be busily preparing your evening meal, or we may go out again.
Right next to Islay is the Isle of Jura, a far wilder place with only one whisky distillery named after the island itself. We’ll get an early ferry over the straights (so close it only takes 5 minutes!) and head out on another walk, perhaps climbing one of the famous Paps of Jura, or looking out for wildlife on the shore.
After our visit to the Jura distillery to taste some of their excellent whiskies, we’ll head back on the ferry to Islay and stay our final night there.
Today is partly a day of travel, one that takes us further north into the Highlands. We’ll have a relaxing morning and then get the 10am ferry from Islay up the coast to Oban, where we transition from the island whiskies to ones from the West Highlands. On reaching Oban, we’ll visit the distillery in the town, which lies nestled between buildings right next to the waterfront.
Oban is a beautiful place, with views out to Mull and steep slopes covered in woodland. You’ll have a few hours to explore the town before we jump back in the van for more travel – this time to take us deep into the whisky producing region of Speyside.
Waking up near the majesty of the Cairngorms, we’ll head out after breakfast on the last of our walks, either exploring one of the local hills or striding out through the great forest of Rothiemurchus.
After lunch we’ll visit one of the Speyside distilleries, all clustered on or near the banks of the great river Spey, which starts its life in the mountains and ends in the North Sea. These distilleries form one of the great whisky producing regions of Scotland, and their names will already be famous to you – Aberlour, Glenfiddich and Glenlivet amongst others!
For our final night we’ll head out to one of many excellent local restaurants nearby before heading back to our accommodation.
It’s time to pack up and leave the hostel for the journey back south. The drive will take a few hours, and we aim to drop you in Glasgow by midday, hopefully with a new appreciation of combining two great ideas – whisky and walking!
Who will be looking after you...
We will be staying in a variety of hostels and guest houses during this trip around the Scottish Highlands. Once you are collected in Glasgow all transport, ferries etc are included.
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What our members have to say...
I have attended Large Outdoors weekends for the last two years , achieving many challenges in the British countryside. Every weekend has been very well organised, in beautiful locations, wonderful walks, nutritious food with lovely people.
I have learned new skills and gained confidence in the outdoors from the mountain leaders. I thoroughly enjoy every weekend and always look forward to the next.Elizabeth BrooksMember Since 2014
Since my first Large Outdoors weekend I have rediscovered my love for the countryside, met so many great people and had a whole lot of fun. I've sailed around the Inner Hebrides on a luxurious yacht, climbed the 3 national peaks Snowdon, Ben Nevis and Scafel Pike, danced my socks off at the Halloween and New Year celebrations and fallen in love with the beautiful Isle of Skye. Every trip has been amazing fun and I have met so many lovely people and made friends for life. Cheers Large Outdoors!Karen RobertsMember Since 2012
I thoroughly enjoyed the experience from beginning to end. The host Kendra was very welcoming upon arrival at the youth hostel, all walkers and climbers were friendly and we got on great as a group. The home cooked food was amazing and the idea of 'kitchen angels' worked really well. The rock climbing instructor and his son were brilliant and helped us all, providing constant guidance and encouragement.Penny GraingerMember Since 2016
I love the concept of the Large Outdoors weekends and I like to have at least one or two booked for the future, to have something to look forward to. A weekend trip finds me visiting some fabulous parts of the country: Northumberland, Dorset, Brecon Beacons, Lake District, North York Moors... hills, mountains, moors and coast - all well covered by the amazing choice of locations to pick from, with decent (or lovely!) accommodation, great food and qualified walk leaders. They're also very good value.Sue LangfordMember since 2008
I have been joining Large Outdoors on their outdoor adventures for many years now. I wasn’t always an active person and as a self-confessed city dweller I never thought I would appreciate so much of what is on offer when you leave the suburbs behind you. Large Outdoors has not only made me appreciate what natural beauty is on our door step, it has also given me the confidence to challenge myself and see things differently.Shad EverettMember since 2009