Looking forward to the Easter break? For many of us, Easter will be the first chance to get away from it all since Christmas – perhaps even last summer.
And this year it’s early. Which means even more of us will barely have had a chance to think about where we might go never mind planning the particular routes, climbs or paddles we might try.
So if you’re short of time, in need of inspiration, or simply want to make best use of your time away with a guaranteed classic, why not try one of our top three recommendations from the Highlands.
For the best hill walking: spend a day on Slioch
A lonely summit amid a gargantuan landscape of massive glaciation, sinuous lochs and wild corries, Slioch is one of the jewels of Torridon.
Approach from Kinlochewe, follow the path to the north of the Kinlochewe River to the head of Loch Maree. After a short distance, a bridge crosses the burn that drains Lochan Fada before the path strikes up the steep slopes above. Follow this to the corrie and then strike north for the summit of Sgurr an Thuill Bhan. From here a fine airy ridge walk follows (pictured above) to reach the summit of Slioch, 981m.
For the best sea kayaking: explore the Summer Isles
Put simply, the Summer Isles (north-west of Ullapool) have all that is best about sea kayaking. From wild shores battered by Atlantic swells and towering cliffs riddled with caves to sheltered lagoons home to seals and otters, there is something here for everyone.
Staying north of, or inside Tanera Mor and Tanera Beg, will keep you sheltered from bigger seas and offer some stunning scenery through which to paddle. But if bigger swells and more demanding kayaking is what you want, then explore the outlying islands, Priest Island being a particular highlight. Or head out around Rubha Coigeach, remembering to keep an eye out for whales – it was here I saw my first minkie.
For the best mountain-biking: stick to the sandstone slabs of Torridon
Rapidly gaining recognition as an area offering some of the best natural riding in the UK, there are few descents that equal the drop to Annat, Liathach providing a spectacular backdrop beyond. Actually there is one, and it’s very close by. But I’ll leave you to find that for yourself. It’s much more rewarding that way, really.
For those in the know, the Scottish Highlands are simply without equal, especially at Easter. Too early for the midges, the Easter period is often blessed by dry, easterly airflows and high pressure; but don’t blame me if it rains. It is Scotland after all.
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