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Smoo Lodge Walking Holiday 2019-10-29T11:27:01+00:00

Smoo Lodge Luxury Walking Holiday

Luxury Photography-Walks in the Far NW Highlands

19th – 24th April 2020

28th June – 3rd July 2020

21st – 25th September 2020

12th – 16th October 2020

Highlights

– Walk some of the best rugged coastal & mountain scenery in the remote North-West Highlands of Scotland.

– Explore this beautiful wilderness whilst being led by an experienced local mountain guide and a photographer, who will be happy to help you improve your shots.

– Retreat is based in an 18th C. Highland sporting lodge with exclusive use of its superb luxury accommodation.

– Great food & drink, prepared by our in-house cook, who creates delicious dishes fusing Asian-influenced cuisine with the best fresh local ingredients.

– Group size limited to 6 persons.

– Price from £1380/person, including all meals, transport (including pick up and drop off from Inverness if required) & guiding.

Day 1 : Dornoch to Duncansby Head & John O’Groats

We meet in Inverness at 09.30 AM and transfer in our minibus to the northeastern tip of mainland Scotland, for a coastal walk to photograph from the lighthouse and pyramid-like sea stacks of Duncansby Head, near John o’Groats. There are fantastic views of the Orkney Islands and opportunities to watch & photograph the seabirds flying from to & fro the massive seabird colonies on the cliffs & stacks. After a quick stop at John o’Groats for tea, we drive along the north coast to the lodge in Durness. Upon arrival we check-in, un-pack and enjoy a hearty dinner.

4 km / 2.5 miles | 200m / 650 ft. ascent | approx. 2-3 hours / coastal walk

– Lunch & Dinner is provided

Day 2 : Sandwood Bay 

We take a short drive to Kinlochbervie, where we’ll meet up with our Mountain Guide who will lead us to the UK’s most remote beach at Sandwood Bay. We’ll hike through crofting lands, desolate moorland and a snaking path through the dunes to get to the stunningly beautiful white sands. From here we can see and photograph the beach, the crashing waves, the sea stack Am Buachaille (The Herdsman), a haunted house and surrounding landscape. Fantastic views can be enjoyed of the Far North’s mountains and you should also keep an eye out for the ghosts of sailors, or a glimpse of the elusive mermaid!

13 km / 8 miles | 5-6 hours| fairly level track through crofting land and moorland, with lochans, sand dunes and the option to walk higher at each end of the long bay to enjoy the vista.

– Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner is provided

Day 3 : Explore Cape Wrath

An unforgettable experience where we walk & photograph in one of the most isolated and least populated parts of mainland UK. Crossing the Kyle of Durness in a small passenger, we take a minibus across the bleak moors to the iconic Stevenson lighthouse (1827) at Cape Wrath, where we can take a short break in one the UK’s most remote cafes, before walking east along the tops of the dramatic cliffs of Clo Mor (highest in UK mainland), home to extensive seabird colonies.

We visit the idyllic Kearvaig bothy, on green pasture and above a secluded beach between the soaring cliffs. A sea stack can be seen from here and Great Skuas & Golden Eagles may be seen overhead. We head back across the rough ground to the road, where get a lift back to the ferry.

N.B.This trip is subject to weather, ferry & MOD operations. There will be an alternative option, should this not be possible on the day.

16 km / 10 miles | approx. 6 hours | 600m /1698ft ascent | moorland, coastal path, beach, rocky shore, cliff top walk, moorland, minor road, ferry crossing and minibus ride.

– Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner is provided

Day 4 : The mountains and beaches of Assynt

We drive down the stunning west coast road heading for the dramatic landscape of Assynt. We start with a walk up the northern slope of the narrow summit ridge of Stac Pollaidh. We explore its castellated crags and photograph the spectacular vistas across the Inverpolly nature reserve, with the neighbouring mountains of Cul Mor and ‘hypnotic’ Suilven.

Next we’ll drive towards Inverkirkaig, with magnificent panoramic views of the mountains and coastline. We visit to Lochinver, before taking the narrow & winding coast road towards the Point of Stoer, with the option to stop off to explore and photograph several of the stunning beaches. There are more opportunities to shoot in the ‘golden hour’ and experiment with long exposures at twilight on our evening drive back to the lodge. ​

11km / 7 miles | 8 hours | 660m / 2150ft ascent | good paths, moorland, very steep walk & some scrambling (mountain), springy turf, sandy beach, rocky shore, track & minor road.

 – Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner is provided

Day 5 : Smoo Cave, Ceannabeinne & Faraid Head

First we head to photograph Smoo Cave, Britain’s largest sea cave, its waterfall and the views from the headland. Then we move to Ceannabeinne, where there are remains of a clearance village, before dropping down to the fabulous beach below which has dramatic rock formations. We can work on landscapes & seascapes here, as well as exploring shape, form, texture, tone & pattern.

After dinner, we head out again for evening walk & photography trip around Balnakeil Bay & Faraid Head. Here we explore the beautiful coastal scenery of the peninsula, which extends 2 miles into the wild waters where the Atlantic Ocean and North Sea meet. Great views can be seen in all directions and you should keep a look out for Puffins, Gannets, Terns & other seabirds, as well as Grey Seals, Porpoises & Whales. We aim to shoot in the golden hour, when the light can reveal the form and features of the land in beautiful warm tones, as well as perhaps perfecting long exposures at twilight.​

16 km / 10 miles | 7 hours | 380m / 1250ft ascent | Long flight of steps, rough coastal path, way-marked route through croft pastures with high bracken in places,hill tracks. Sandy beaches, track, cliff top paths and some rough/boggy terrain.

 – Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner is provided

Day 6 : Coast & Crofting – Oldshoremore 

After departing the lodge, we go to Oldshoremore to explore on foot and photograph this beautiful beach that has interesting geology at each end of the bay. We might also have time to follow a coastal path through crofting land and machair, abundant with wildflowers, passing tiny hamlets & small piers as we head to the smaller coves & beaches. We drive through the middle of the county, along the shores of Loch Shin, arriving in Inverness by 4.30 PM.

4km / 2.5 miles | 2 hours | 30m / 110ft ascent | Sandy & pebble beaches, rocks & pools near the shoreline, rough coastal walking with some pathless sections and a small scramble near the beginning.

– Breakfast & Lunch is provided

Rooms & Pricing… 

6-day luxury walking & photography activity-break, maximum of 6x people, inclusive of exclusive use of luxury accommodation, 5 x evening meals with drinks, 6 x lunches, mountain guide, photographer and transport from/to Inverness.

Clo Mor (petite classic double room, based on single occupancy) – £1580 per person

Ceannabeinne (classic double room, based on single occupancy) – £1650 per person

Ceannabeinne (classic double room, based on a couple sharing) – £1380 per person

Dionard (superior twin or double room, based on two sharing) – £1420 per person

Smoo (deluxe room), based on a couple sharing – £1550 per person

Our All Inclusive activity holidays include all accommodation, meals, guiding and travel during the trip.  We do not include drinks or any gratuities you may choose to leave.

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Further information & booking enquires: Please contact Kyunghee Hendy-Cho  • Telephone:+44 1971 511423 • Mobile: +44 7795 548090 • Email: info@mycreativecompass.co.uk