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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.

To see pictures of the course please visit our gallery

Dates 2021

Our introductory hill walking holidays run for 5-nights from Sunday to Friday and start from £849 per person.
The above is based on single occupancy. A £100 per person discount is applied for art, craft and activity guests on a shared occupancy basis.

April 25th to 30th 2021
June 27th to July 2nd 2021
October 10th to 15th 2021

If you’re coming on one of our holidays and would like to bring a friend, partner, or member of your family who doesn’t want to do one of our courses, then we have you (and them!) covered. Accompanying guests can enjoy full board catering and shared accommodation with you. Please add them on at the checkout stage.

How to book
To book online, please click on your preferred date above.
For any questions or to book direct please call 01877 382 991 or email mail@gartmorehouse.com
If you have any questions, you may like to take a look at our FAQs but if you have any further queries, please contact our team directly.

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

Example Walks

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.

Sunday
Check in is from 4pm where you will receive a warm welcome from our team.
Once you are unpacked and settled, we invite you to enjoy some tea or coffee and home baking in the lounge where you can relax after your journey.
If you have never been on a holiday like this before, we understand how anxious you may be. That’s why, come 6pm, everyone will gather in the lounge for the Welcome Talk and Meet & Greet, giving you the chance to meet both your fellow guests and your tutor before the start of the course on Monday. Your tutor will talk you through what to expect from the week, discuss what you would like to achieve during your stay, and answer any questions you may have. 
From there, dinner is served at 6:30pm in the downstairs dining room.

Monday to Thursday*
Throughout the week, tuition runs from 10am to 4pm with regular breaks for tea and coffee so you can relax and have a natter with your fellow guests about everything you’ve been up to so far.
All your meals are served in the dining room.
Evening tea and coffee is available in the lounge at 9pm.

*Wednesday
After a few days of working hard on your craft, you may like to take a break and head out to explore a little bit of the local area with a scenic sail across Loch Katrine. If you would prefer to stay in the house, then you are free to pursue your craft at your leisure but please note that your tutor will not be on hand for tuition on the Wednesday afternoon.

Friday
Check out by 10am

What’s Included

  • 4 days of specialist tuition from Gavin Clarke
  • Full board catering
  • En-suite accommodation
  • Complimentary afternoon trip to Loch Katrine
  • 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). Transfers from Glasgow or Edinburgh Airports are available at an additional cost.

 

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. 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.

 

Reviews from previous introductory hill walking guests:

  • ‘With regard to the accommodation, this was more than comfortable, the food delicious and plentiful and all the staff warm, friendly and helpful.’ – Guest, Introductory Hillwalking Holiday
  • ‘A lovely old house brought back to life, well done.’ – Guest, Introductory Hillwalking Holiday

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