Smoo Lodge Luxury Walking Holiday
Luxury Photography-Walks in the Far NW Highlands
Sunday 30th June – Tuesday 2nd July 2019 (3 days / 2 nights)
– 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.
– 3 days / 2 nights, from 30th June to 2nd July 2019.
– Group size limited to 6 persons.
– Price from £699/person, including all meals, transport & guiding.
Day 1 (Sunday 30th June 2019): Inverness to Balnakeil Bay & Faraid Head
– Meet in Inverness at 09.30 AM, drive directly to Durness, via Lairg, arriving around 1.00 PM. Half day walking/photography.
Day 2: Mountain Day, e.g. Ben Loyal
– Full day walk/photography, with scenic drive around Loch Eriboll to Tongue, then across the moors to climb Ben Loyall.
Day 3: Coast & Crofting (Oldshoremore)
– Half-day coastal walking/photography, then Drive to Inverness, arriving by 6.00 PM.
Day 1 | Balnakeil Bay & Faraid Head (coastal walk)
After meeting at Inverness train station, or the airport, a few miles outside, we head directly to Durness, where we check-in to Smoo Lodge, our luxurious accommodation. We unpack and have a buffet style lunch, before heading out for our first walk & photography trip around Balnakeil Bay & Faraid Head.
We start from Balnakeil, with its picturesque ruined church and imposing 18th C Balnakeil House, perched on an outcrop of rock. We head north along the beach and out onto the peninsula of Faraid Head, extending 2 miles into the wild waters where the Atlantic Ocean and North Sea meet, from where we explore the beautiful coastal scenery. The headland provides great views in all directions, with the nearby hills providing a stunning backdrop. We’ll keep a look out for puffins, gannets, terns & other seabirds, as well as seals, porpoises & whales. There is an optional ‘beach clean’ on the walk back.
We can warm up over a rich & delicious hot chocolate from Cocoa Mountain, before heading back to the Lodge for our first dinner. There is the option to return to the Balnakeil after dinner, to catch the sun setting over the bay, so we can shoot in ‘the golden hour’, when the low angle and warmth of the light can reveal the form and features of the land in beautiful amber tones. You could also try some long exposures at twilight.
Walk details (Balnakeil Bay & Faraid Head walk):
7-8km / 5 miles | 3-4 hours | 80m / 265ft ascent | Sandy beaches, track, sand dunes, coastal & cliff-top paths and some rough/boggy terrain.
Lunch & Dinner is provided.
Day 2 | Mountain Day: Ben Loyal
We drive to the village of Tongue, from where we’ll head off to climb Ben Loyal, known as the ‘Queen of Scottish mountains’. This multi-topped granite peak rises from the surrounding peatlands, and dominates the skyline for miles around, alongside neighbouring Ben Hope (the most northerly Munro). Once at the summit, we should be able to enjoy panoramic views that include other mountains, the Kyle of Tongue & Tongue Bay, and across the coast to the Orkney Islands. Time permitting, we may be able to stop-off on the way back at the photogenic Moine House and visit some sites of archaeological interest around Loch Eriboll.
Walk details: Ben Loyal (Route Options)
14 km / 9 miles | 6-7 hours | ascent of 800m | path with a stiff climb & rough moorland.
– Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner is provided.
Day 3 | Coast & Crofting – Oldshormore
After departing the lodge, we head to Oldshoremore, where we will spend several hours exploring and photographing this beautiful beach, with interesting geology at each end of the bay. There may also be time to follow the coastal path, weaving through crofting land and machair, abundant with wildflowers, passing tiny hamlets as we take in the smaller coves & beaches between Oldhsoremore, Polin, Droman pier & Sheigra. After a picnic lunch, we drive through the middle of the county, along the shores of Loch Shin, arriving back into Inverness by 6.00 PM
4km / 2.5 miles | *2 hours available (*including time for photography) | 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…
3-day luxury walking & photography activity-break, maximum of 6x people, inclusive of exclusive use of luxury accommodation, 2x evening meals with drinks, 3x lunches, mountain guide, photographer and transport from/to Inverness.
Clo Mor (petite classic double room, based on single occupancy) – £749 per person, inclusive of 20% discount.
Ceannabeinne (classic double room, based on single occupancy) – £799 per person, inclusive of 20% discount.
Dionard (superior twin or double room, based on two sharing) – £699 per person, inclusive of 20% discount.
Smoo (deluxe room), based on a couple sharing – £749 per person, inclusive of 20% discount.
Further information & booking enquires: Please contact Kyunghee Hendy-Cho • Telephone:+44 1971 511423 • Mobile: +44 7795 548090 • Email: email@example.com