Looking for great family adventures in the highlands? You need not look farther than Inverness. Known as the gateway to the Scottish Highlands, Inverness is a delightfully charming city that has so much to offer, from breathtaking landscapes to fascinating museums, delectable gastronomy to a profound history. Here are the adventures that await you in this small but lively city.
- Climb Ben Nevis
Standing at 4,406 feet above sea level, Ben Nevis is Britain’s highest peak. The mountain draws over 1000 hikers annually, making it one of the most famous trekking destinations in the country. Although not as difficult to climb as other peaks, Ben Nevis should not be underestimated. The summit is often covered with snow even in summer, and the routes could get very cold and windy the higher you climb.
If you’re a beginner, it is best to take the route that starts at Achintee Farm. This moderately challenging trail leads to the gorgeous Lochan Meall at-Suidhe, the enthralling lake that is a popular resting point for climbers. From there, the trail becomes increasing rough and steep until you reach the summit where you find ruins of an observatory built in 1883. If the weather is fine and the skies clear, you can see the mountains of Glencoe from a distance.
2. Day Out at Corrour Lodge
Experience a one of a kind family retreat in a rural setting. Corrour Lodge is a unique luxury Scottish lodge alternative to the usual 5-star family accommodation, providing utmost comfort in the midst of the solitude of the wilderness.
The Corrour Lodge is a modernist structure built of granite, steel and glass, set in a 26,000-hectare estate comprised of hunting grounds, a deer forest, and a 25-hectare garden that includes alpines and rhododendrons. Surrounding the lodge are cottages where more guests can stay.
The lodge is more than just a retreat house. It offers fun activities that you and your family will surely delight in. Take scenic nature walks, or try pony trekking, horseback riding, and biking. Go deer stalking, clay pigeon shooting and archery, or spend hours canoeing, boating, and fishing.
3. Walk around Loch Ossian
Loch Ossian is a narrow lake located at the eastern border of the Rannoch Moor. The loch and its surrounding area are a popular destination for avid hikers and outdoor enthusiasts alike.
Located in the remote parts of the Corrour Estate, Loch Ossian is nowhere near a public road. The nearest access to the lake is the Corrour railway station. Once you arrive at the station, you have to walk a few miles through stunning scenery to reach the lake. Despite its remoteness, the effort of getting there is all worth it.
On the western banks of the lake, stands Loch Ossian Youth Hostel, recently re-opened as an eco-lodge that boasts of solar panels, dry toilets, and organic menu. The hostel serves as a meeting place of adventurers who want to explore the lake and its picturesque trails.
4. Visit the Hootananny
Great food, great drinks, great music – all these you will find at the Hootananny. It is more than just a pub and a venue for live music. Here, people gather to enjoy each other’s company in a cosy and casual setting. A visit to the Hootananny is a fantastic and interesting way to learn a thing or two about Scottish traditional music and understand the proud heritage of the Highlands. Warning: the music can get loud and lively and you will be persuaded to dance. Join in and have fun. After all, you are here for adventure in Scotland.