Make the Most of your Stay at Birchbrae
1. Canna – Caledonian MacBrayne from Mallaig
2. Knoydart – Bruce Watts from Mallaig. Knoydart is the only inhabited part of mainland Britain inaccessible by road
3. Seafari – RIB rides from Easdale
4. Loch Shiel Cruises – From Glenfinnan
5. Souter’s Lass – from Town Pier in Fort William
Camusdarrach - Our favourite accessible beach
Wonderful views out to the islands of Rum, Eigg and Skye with acres of white sandy beach.
Take the Mallaig ‘Road to the Isles’ to Arisaig. Take the coast road to Mallaig passing Traigh Golf Course on your right. Continue for about 2 miles until you drop down a steep hill. At the bottom on the left is a car park with a sign saying ‘To the Beach’ Walk through the dunes and enjoy.
Calgary Bay - A full day out but well worth it
Calgary Bay is on the North Western corner of Mull. The Bay is sheltered from the Atlantic and has stunning scenery with acres of white sandy beach. There is a tea room a few hundred yards away for refreshments.
Take the Mull ferry from Lochaline to Fishnish. Head for Tobermory (worth a stop) and then Dervaig. Continue on round the coast road and Calgary will take your breath away.
Kentra - Our favourite remote beach and well worth the walk
There are many different beaches each with its own character and it is a wonderful place to scramble over rocks and explore. There are stunning views out to sea and acres of white sandy beach. Take a picnic as it is over an hours walk from the car park.
Take the Corran Ferry and head west to Acharacle. Go through the village and take a left turn to Kentra. A mile down this road turn left (Arevegaig) and go to the end of the road (dead end). Park and walk over the bridge. Keep walking …….and eventually you’ll get there.
Laig Bay - Another full day out but well worth the effort
Laig Bay is on the North Western coast of the island of Eigg. This is a beautiful beach looking out over the Cuillins of Rum (jagged hills) and is a good place to swim. There is a shop and tea room on the island as well as a ‘bus’ service that takes you to the north end of the island.
Take the MV Shearwater from Arisaig (Normally leaves at 10.30am)
Sanna Bay - A beautiful spot on the most westerly tip of mainland Great Britain
Sanna is a great place to explore with lots of rocks and white sand. There are lots of shells as well as rock pools to check for marine life. It is one of the most painted beaches in Scotland.
Take a picnic as there is nowhere to buy food.
Head for Ardnamurchan point and take a right turn as you leave the village of Kilchoan.
- Ardtornish – Lochaline
- Druimavuic – Loch Creran
- Kinlochaich – Portnacroish
- Ardsheal – Kentallan
- Arduaine – south of Oban
- Stalker – view from Oban road at Portnacroish
- Tioram – a mile beyond Acharacle turn left (idyllic)
- Eilean Donan – on the road to Skye before the Skye Bridge (the most photgraphed castle in Scotland)
- Urquhart – on the west side of Loch Ness
- Duart – sitting proud on Mull
- Glenfinnan Monument
- Culloden – battlefield to the east of Inverness
- Glencoe (Visitor Centre)
- Commando Memorial
- Kinloch Castle – on Rum
A very picturesque stroll around a small Loch in Glencoe village. Just down the road from the film set of Harry Potter III, you can enjoy a pint and a snack at the famous Clachaig Inn.
Go into Glencoe Village and pass over the bridge at the far end. Just around the corner is a sign for the hospital on the left. Turn here and bear right when the road forks.
Grey Mares Waterfall
This is a good trip out for the less energetic or able bodied as a proper wheelchair access path has recently been constructed.
The walk goes up through the woods giving nice views of the waterfall.
Grey Mares is in Kinlochleven on the left (signposted) as you enter the residential part of the village. Take the road on the north side of Loch Leven. Call in at the Kinlochleven Seafood Centre on the way home.
Sunart Oak Woods
These are a series of areas that have been replanted with Oak trees, with low level, easy walks through them. The walking is all on Birch wood chip paths and there are nice views out over Loch Sunart. There is plenty of wildlife and a hide at one of the areas.
The Oak woods are between Strontian and Salen on the left, and there are 3 areas you can park and walk from.
This is a picturesque walk with half of the walk in the open looking out over the mountains, and half walking back through the Oak woods.
You can combine a walk here with lunch/snacks at Cosy Knits tea shop just down the road. Well worth a visit for their homemade soup and cakes.
Take the Corran Ferry and head for Strontian. As you go over the bridge out of Strontian, turn right and travel for about 3 miles.
A nice easy walk up through the forests and into the foothills beyond. There are several options of walk, all of varying difficulty. It is probably the best place locally to see Golden Eagle. Keep you eyes on the ridge to the right as you go up the Glen.
Go across the bridge at Ballachulish and take the road to Oban. Turn left just past the Dragon’s Tooth Golf Course and continue to the car park about a mile up the road.
For further walks in the area, visit Discover Glencoe.
One of the lesser known islands, but a great place to cycle and walk.
The wildlife is very different to the normal Highland wildlife and it is a very ‘green’ island. You also get excellent views of the ‘ugly’ Glensanda Quarry which is only accessible by boat.
You can combine a trip to Lismore with lunch at the Pier House Restaurant in Port Appin.
Head towards Oban and turn left to Port Appin just past Kinlochaich House and Gardens in Portnacroish. There is a passenger ferry that runs from here.
An island with vastly different scenery in the North and South but a fantastic place to spend the day.
The Northern loop takes in Tobermory and Dervaig with the option of visiting the island of Ulva. The southern loop takes in the spectacular scenery around Loch na Keal and the mountains around Ben More.
Take the ferry from Lochaline to Fishnish and turn right or left depending on which loop you want to do.
The Small Isles comprise Rum, Eigg, Muck and Canna. Muck has an island community of 28, Canna has 14, Rum is always at war with itself and Eigg was bought out by the community a few years ago. Each has its own characteristics – Rum has Kinloch Castle, Eigg has the Sgurr (Basalt rock peak), Muck has its own windmill to generate electricity and Canna has a bridge across to its neighbouring island of Sanday. Take your pick – they are all worth visiting.
Boat trips run from Arisaig to all but Canna, and a Caledonian MacBrayne service runs from Mallaig.
Called the ‘Sacred Isle’ Iona is probably best known for its Abbey and the grave of John Smith. It is also a very beatiful island with stunning views and white sandy beaches. Take a walk to the ‘Bay at the back of the Ocean’
It is also fun to get to as it involves 3 ferry trips. It is however feasible to do in a day.
The 3 ferries are the Corran Ferry, the Lochaline to Fishnish Ferry, and the Fionnphort to Iona Ferry.
This is a trip that can be bolted on to a trip to Iona or done instead of Iona. It is famous for Fingal’s Cave which inspired Mendelssohn, and for its Puffins in the Summer. Fingal’s Cave is an inspiring experience.
Boats to Staffa leave from both Iona or Fionnphort.
For ferry timetables, prices and online booking, visit the Caledonian MacBrayne website
Hit the road and explore the many miles of breathtaking scenery on offer in the Highlands.
A beautiful glen sitting in the shadow of Ben Nevis. Access to the tourist route up the Ben is from here.
Lots of places for picnics and short walks as well as a scenic drive to the end of the glen. Well worth a visit.
Pop in to the Ben Nevis Inn for a pint or bite to eat.
Access is from the roundabout as you leave Fort William (9 miles)
A series of eight locks at the entrance to the Caledonian Canal. Watch the boats go up as well as down on their way between Inverness and Fort William.
Have a bite to eat at the Moorings Hotel.
There is a good cycle path up past the locks and along the canal side.
Situated on the Mallaig road as you leave Fort William (11 miles)
Aonach Mor is the mountain that sits beside Ben Nevis and in Winter is a major Ski Centre.
There is a gondola (cable car) that runs up to the Snow Goose restaurant at just over 2000 feet all year round. There are plenty of nice short walks and on a clear day, spectacular views down Loch Linnhe.
Situated off the A82 Inverness Road some 5 miles north of Fort William
The chairlift takes you up the mountain side with spectacular views down over Rannoch Moor. There are nice short walks from the top as well.
There is a cafeteria at the foot of the chairlift.
Situated off the A82 to Crianlarich at White Corries (half an hours drive)
A leisurely option if the weather is kind.
The Bay looks out over Loch Linnhe down towards the island of Lismore. There are plenty of short walks and an extensive beach (shingle). You can drive right to the beach.
Take the Oban road to Duror and then turn right at the signpost for the school. Continue for just over a mile.
A local trip taking in a little known or used road with the added benefit of being a round trip. You get wonderful views back across Loch Linnhe towards Ardsheal and Lismore and then return along the side of Loch Sunart. There is a nice beach at Kingairloch and you can stop off at the Inn at Ardgour before catching the Corran Ferry back.
Catch the Corran Ferry and turn left. Pass Sallachan Bay (stop to see the Seals) and then turn left as the road cuts inland.
Skye is too big a place to make lots of recommendations. You probably need a holiday there to explore it all. It is however, a good day trip and can be done as a round trip.
Stop at the Cluanie Inn for coffee and then have a look at Eileen Donan Castle before crossing the Skye Bridge . You might even want to divert to Plockton which is a scenic village where Hamish Macbeth was filmed.Enjoy your day on Skye and come back via the ferry from Armadale to Mallaig. You can stop off for supper at the Fish Market Restaurant in Mallaig.
This is a town that comes to life in the Winter as the capital of Skiing in Scotland. It is however worth visiting all year round. The new Cairngorm funicular railway now goes up the mountain side and you might want to include a visit to the Ospreys at Loch Garten or the Highland Wildlife Park at Kingussie.
On the way up to Aviemore, you will pass Loch Laggan on your right. Look across the water and see Glenbogle House, (real name Ardverike) venue for the filming of Monarch of the Glen.
Another local drive which can be done as a round trip.
The road meanders down the glen following the Caledonian Canal with the locks at Gairlochy and great views of Ben Nevis.
Head for Spean Bridge and take the Inverness road (A82). Turn left at the Commando Memorial signposted Gairlochy. You will pass the Old Pines Restaurant on your right and eventually come out at Banavie on the edge of Fort William. Turn left to come home.
Visit the most Westerly point on mainland Great Britain .
The drive takes a good 2 hours although it is only 50 miles but passes through some wonderful scenery. At the point there is tea room as well as a small museum in the lighthouse. There is also a bird observation point for watching out to sea. You might be lucky and spot a Minke Whale.
Remember to take in Sanna Bay as well.
Woodlands Glencoe | www.woodlandsglencoe.scot
Just across the water, Woodlands Glencoe offers a plethora of outdoor activities from golfing on their 9-hole Dragon's Tooth Golf Course to segways or mountain bikes on the estate to archery and teambuilding. There's lots to enjoy.
Base yourself at Birchbrae Luxury Lodges for a winter sports holiday with a difference! We are located within easy travelling distance of two of Scotland’s top ski resorts: Nevis Range in Fort William and Glencoe Mountain Resort, either one is less than 30 minutes drive from your doorstep!
Nevis Range is Scotland’s most contemporary snowsport destination, with twelve lifts and a capacity to lift 1700 persons per hour and access to some of the best terrain available for beginners and experts alike.
Ski or Board Scotland's original Ski Resort
Glencoe Mountain Resort – the perfect setting for individuals, families and groups.
The resort is situated in an area of outstanding natural beauty on Rannoch Moor and offers stunning views of the iconic Buchaille Etive Mhor.
In winter skiing, snowboarding, sledging and avalanche rescue training are available. 19 runs across 7 lifts catering for skiers and boarders of all levels, including the longest and steepest runs in Scotland.
Of course, its not all about Skiing and Boarding, winter mountaineering in this area is ever popular, for more details visit the Walk Highlands website.
Being located so close to both Loch Linnhe and Loch Leven, it probably won’t come as a surprise to know that the lochaber area as much to offer in the way of Water Sports. Fast boat rides, wildlife watching cruises, canoeing, sea kayaking and diving to name but a few are all available on our doorstep!
Sea Kayaking | www.paddlelochaber.co.uk
Paddle Lochaber; based in Ballachulish with some of the best sea kayaking the west coast of Scotland has to offer. Paddle Lochaber offer half, full and multi-day guided sea kayaking trips, sit on top trips for families and British Canoe Union Courses for anyone looking to gain a qualification.
Vertical Descents | www.verticaldescents.com
Canyoning, Riverbugging, Via Ferrata and more from their base at Inchree.
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