walkhighlands

Features

Midges and Keds, Clegs and Ticks. Oh my!

As the summer progresses and my skin plays host to various biting beasties, I find myself pondering which of them is the most infuriating. Which of them is most likely to sabotage my outdoors enjoyment? I have my own personal torments, but I’m curious what other people think about our wee beasties. Time therefore, for a famously unscientific poll to see how you, the outdoorsy folk, feel about them. I asked…. Which of these lovely wee critters traumatises you the most when you’re trying to enjoy Scotland’s great outdoors? There are of course a whole host of annoyances out there,

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Posted in Features, Magazine, Nature

Our pick: 12 of Scotland’s most fascinating caves

Caves are perhaps not the first landscape feature people associate with Scotland. Think high mountains, picturesque glens, rugged coastline and stunning sandy beaches – but caves? Here we list 12 of the most fascinating caves for walkers to visit. The Bone Caves, Inchnadamph, Sutherland The celebrated limestone Bone Caves were excavated in 1889 by the geologists Peach and Horne. They found the remains of now extinct animals which once roamed the Highlands including lynx, polar bear, arctic fox and lemmings. It is believed that the caves may have once sheltered both these animals and also the humans who hunted them.

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Posted in Features, Magazine, Our picks

Behind the headlines: Scottish Mountain Rescue

Last year saw a record number of call outs for Scotland’s mountain rescue teams. What was behind this increase – and can the teams cope? Paul Webster interviews Scottish Mountain Rescue statisticians Tom Adams and Andy Morgan to find out the truths behind the heated posts and discussions we often see on social media. PAUL: Can you tell us a bit about yourselves? TOM: I’m Tom Adams, SMR statistician. I have been a member of Oban Mountain Rescue Team for around 9 years. I am a keen walker, scrambler and mountain biker myself. I used to climb a lot but

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Posted in Features, Magazine

I’ve struck oil in the hills!

Everyone has their favourite Scottish animal, the one they’re always on the lookout for, the one that stops them in their tracks. But while I love a white-tailed eagle or a red squirrel as much as the next person, my favourite Scottish animal isn’t big, fluffy or familiar. It’s small, it’s uncommon and it’s downright weird. Erm…..it’s a beetle. Yes, I can hear your inward groans, but bear with me. It’s actually surprising to encounter something utterly alien. By that I mean, we’re all generally aware that insects are enormously varied in appearance but we nevertheless expect the ones we

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Posted in Features, Magazine, Nature

Culbin Sands of Time

David Lintern investigates the beaches and forests of Culbin Sands, a perfect place for family adventures with a fascinating past. Unsurprisingly perhaps, Walkhighlands spends a fair amount of time in Scotland’s high lands, but you can’t be in the mountains every day of the year, and the Highlands is about far more than hills. Our nearest coastline stretches out from Inverness along the Moray firth, somewhere my family and I are slowly learning more about. My other half loves the wide horizons and the sound of the sea, especially. There’s a quiet and curious mix of fishing villages, heavy industry,

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Posted in Features, Magazine

The Oa

Islay resident Katie Featherstone takes readers on a long and rugged walk to discover both the wild nature and the harsh human history of the Oa peninsula. A curiously round protrusion, the Oa forms the most southerly part of Islay. Far from the gentle hills and long sandy beaches for which the rest of the island is known, this peninsula towers above the sea with eroding, rocky cliffs, dramatic sea stacks, and hidden coves. With half the landmass run by the RSPB as a nature reserve, it’s known for its birdlife, particularly choughs, hen harriers, and nesting golden eagles. Only

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Posted in Features, Magazine

Our picks: Scotland’s most remarkable paths

The Silver Walk, Moidart Undoubtedly one of the truly special paths of the Highlands, this fascinating route cut out of the rock through picturesque scenery. The eastern end of the Silver Walk near Kinlochmoidart is currently diverted, but this isn’t the finest part in any case. The best outing is a circuit from stunning Castle Tioram, taking in a deserted hamlet, pine-fringed hill lochs and a view out to the Isles. It’s a stone-cold classic half-day walk – surely one of Scotland’s finest. Kinloch Hourn to Barrisdale Bay, Knoydart The Knoydart landscape ranks amongst Scotland’s most rugged, to the extent

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Posted in Access issues, Features, Magazine, Our picks

Cape Wrath Trail photobook launched to benefit Ukraine appeal

A new book mixing landscape and portrait photography with stories from one of Scotland’s longest walks is to be published, with all proceeds donated to refugee relief efforts in Ukraine and Afghanistan. Thunder Road – voices from the Cape Wrath Trail features portrait and landscape images that photographer and writer (and Walkhighlands regular) David Lintern made while walking the trail in May 2021, alongside the personal testimonies of those he photographed – both visitor and resident. The 240 mile Cape Wrath Trail begins in Fort William and ends at the lighthouse at the most north-westerly point of Scotland, Ministry of

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Posted in Features, Magazine, Photography

In Between Days – the cure for winter blues?

As something of a winter enthusiast I have a hard time letting go of the coldest season, even when…as this winter has been…..it’s the warmest, least frosty and most snow-starved winter I’ve experienced since moving to the Lomond Hills in 2010. Under those trying circumstances I stubbornly ignore the exit signs for as long as possible, not least the big patch of snowdrops that appears outside the house. For weeks I have to pass it every morning, but I make a point of looking in the opposite direction as I do so because I’ve no interest in looking at flowers

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Posted in Features, Magazine

Conditions over Ambitions

Agitated is how I feel when I can’t get out onto the hills. I find it unbearable therefore I am unbearable and a bit of a nightmare to live with for most of January and February (though my partner Paul may argue I’m a pain most of the year round). I swear the skin on the tips of my forefinger and thumb have virtually worn away from the constant swiping as I check and re-check forecast updates. One storm system after the other has swept in over Scotland from the Atlantic. Conditions on the mountains have been fairly grim, and

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Posted in Features, Magazine


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Walking can be dangerous and is done entirely at your own risk. Information is provided free of charge; it is each walker's responsibility to check it and navigate using a map and compass.