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Introductory Hill Walking Holidays

Walking holidays are a wonderful way to experience the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park.

Hill walking in Scotland has, since the end of the Second World War, become very popular. Many people may aspire to enjoy exploring on foot, but perhaps lack the confidence to just go for it on their own. During your stay you will enjoy a selection of walks guided by our expert Gavin Clarke. 

The aim of this holiday is to help budding walkers to feel comfortable climbing their first Munro or Corbett. You’ll also pick up a bit of advice on map reading and general advice on safely negotiating your way around some of the best hills and glens in Scotland. We will start the week gently, building up slowly from 4-5 hour walks over a next few days to 6-7 hour walks; perhaps climbing Ben Lomond or Ben Ime (or whatever the group prefers).  Walks will occasionally involve (but not in all cases) treks over pathless heather and rough terrain. 

Example walks include:

Shorter Walks (4-5 hours)

Glen Finglas
Contour around the slopes of Stuc Odhar on good tracks. After a small amount of ascent enjoy lovely views over Loch Venachar and into Glen Finglas. Explore this pretty glen and then return to Brig o’ Turk (where there is a lovely pub – the Byre Inn). 

Medium Walks (5-6 hours)

Stuc Odhar from Brig o’ Turk
Start from the Woodland Trust Visitor Centre at Lendrick and climb up and through the woods above and over Stuc Odhar into Glen Finglas. Return to Brig o’ Turk/the Byre Inn.

Loch Achray to Kinlochard via Ben Venue

Starting from Loch Achray we follow forestry tracks to reach the hill path which follows Glen Riabhach up onto the shoulder of Ben Venue. If time and weather permits we can go up to the summit before dropping down Ledard Glen to reach Kinlochard (6 miles & 2000ft of ascent).

Longer walks (6-7 hours)

Aberfoyle to Brig o’ Turk over the Menteith Hills
A longer walk up and over the Highland boundary fault, starting at Braeval (in the lowlands) and finishing at Brig o’ Turk (in the Highlands). 

Ben Lomond
The most southerly of the Munros in Scotland, iconic Ben Lomond is a popular hike and has well-trodden paths. the views on a clear day are magnificent on this circular walk. Depending on the group’s preferences, a slightly more challenging route via the Ptarmigan Ridge may be possible. 

Dates & Prices 2019

Sunday 25th – Friday 30th August 2019 – £550 per person (5 nights) – FULL
Sunday 8th – Friday 13th September 2019 – £550 per person (5 nights) – LIMITED SPACES AVAILABLE – BOOK ONLINE

Dates & Prices 2020

Sunday 31st May – Friday 5th June – £585 per person (5 nights) – CALL TO BOOK
Sunday 5th – Friday 10th July – £585 per person (5 nights) – CALL TO BOOK
Sunday 23rd – Friday 28th August – £585 per person (5 nights) – CALL TO BOOK

Above is based on single occupancy of an en-suite room (full board basis), should you wish to bring a companion who is not taking part in the course, then they will receive a reduction in the above price; please contact us for details.

How to book

Terms and Conditions
A £100 per person deposit is required to secure your booking. Full payment is due 6 weeks prior to arrival. For craft & activity breaks booked within 6 weeks of course start date, full payment is required at time of booking. Craft & activity breaks are subject to availability and subject to change.

What’s included?
Your five or six night stay will be in the comfort of Gartmore House; all rooms are en-suite with tea and coffee making facilities and many have wonderful views over Flanders Moss Nature Reserve, towards Stirling. Your course includes full board (including packed lunches to take on the hikes); all meals are freshly prepared by our chefs. Enjoy a glass of wine as you relax in the dining room looking out over the views and discussing your day’s work. Bar facilities are available during dinner. 5-Night (or more) courses include an optional visit to Loch Katrine (with one hour cruise) or The Scottish Wool Centre in Aberfoyle (transport is provided).

Complimentary transfers from Stirling train station are available on the arrival and departure days (pick-up from the station at 15:30, departs Gartmore House at 10:00).

Sunday 
16:00 Arrive late afternoon to afternoon tea in the lounge
18:00 Welcome talk in the lounge and meet your walking guide. Discuss the aims of the group and the various walks on offer with your guide. 
18:30 Dinner
21:00 Tea/coffee in the lounge

Monday & Tuesday
08:30 Breakfast
10:00 Walk (picnic lunch is included)
16:00 Return to Gartmore House
18:30 Dinner
21:00 Tea/coffee in the lounge

Wednesday
08:30 Breakfast
10:00 Morning walk in the local area
12:30 Lunch
After lunch there is an optional visit to either Loch Katrine (includes a 1 hr sailing on the loch) or the Scottish Wool Centre in Aberfoyle. Alternatively you can opt to enjoy another walk this afternoon
18:30 Dinner
21:00 Tea/coffee in the lounge

Thursday
08:30 Breakfast
10:00 Walk (picnic lunch included)
16:00 Return to Gartmore House
19:00 Celebratory dinner with entertainment
21:00 Tea/coffee in the lounge

Friday
08:30 Breakfast then check-out
10:00 Latest check-out

What you need to bring:
– Layered outdoor gear (minimum base layer and fleece plus preferably a mid-layer as a spare in your rucksack). 
– Non-cotton (quick-drying) trousers
– Walking boots (waterproof if possible)
– Waterproof jacket and over-trousers
– Day pack for food and spare kit
– Gaiters (advised, but not essential) – these will really keep your feet dry
– Walking poles (if used).  Great for descending if you have knee or ankle issues. Your guide will have a few spare that you can borrow if you don’t already have them or want to try them rather than buying pole/s.

Tutor Gavin Clarke

Gavin Clarke is a retired Chartered Quantity Surveyor who was introduced to the Scottish Hills by his Mum as a 14-year old in 1966 and has, since then, spent pretty much all his spare time exploring the hills and glens of Scotland.  Since 2009, Gavin has been guiding parties as a freelance Mountain Leader, largely around Loch Lomond and the Trossachs (mostly on behalf of Gartmore House). This is his natural stomping ground, and where he started his freelance work in 2012 with Arthur Jones, a now-retired Aberfoyle Summer Mountain Leader. Gavin also spends a bit of time playing in local Stirling Ceilidh bands.

 

‘Exceptional value for money. You made us feel welcome from booking to departure. Nothing ever appeared too much trouble and that level of service is something to be exceptionally proud of. We will return next year to enjoy the house and crafting courses. With heartfelt thanks.’

‘A lovely old house brought back to life, well done.’

‘Lovely atmosphere for learning and relaxation. Afternoon tea ‘treats’ much appreciated.’

‘With regard to the accommodation, this was more than comfortable, the food delicious and plentiful and all the staff warm, friendly and helpful.’

Our team is here to help with any queries that you may have about the course. You may also like to take a look at our FAQs blog post to see if we answer any of your queries there. Don’t forget that our team are happy to assist with any questions – please feel free to get in touch.

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