Updated: May 6
If you’re struggling to figure out how to spend your holiday at The Highland Club – no fear! We’ve created a 5-Day Itinerary which you can follow to the T or scrounge for your own inspiration!
Day One – Fort Augustus and Loch Ness
Urquhart Castle Opening time: 9:30am Postcode IV63 6XJ
30 minutes driving from The Highland Club, on the west side of Loch Ness, is the ruin of a medieval castle. Take a morning trip down to Urquhart Castle for a unique experience of medieval Highland culture. Learn more about the history of the castle and Loch Ness with an audio-visual presentation, which is available in six languages, examine the ancient artefacts, or simply enjoy the panoramic views of Loch Ness from the battlements.
Prices: Adult – £9.00 Children – £5.40 Concession – £7.20
For more information, please visit https://www.historicenvironment.scot/visit-a-place/places/urquhart-castle/
Loch Ness Cruise
After viewing Loch Ness from a raised perspective in the morning, take a cruise or a speedboat to experience the Loch down on the water. There are 4 different rib boat trips, with varying lengths and prices, whilst afternoon cruises depart at 1pm and 2pm. View Urquhart Castle from below and feel the wind blow through your hair. Hopefully Nessie will come up and swim alongside you!
To book or find out more, see here.
After the beautiful ride over Loch Ness, wander the Caledonian Canal and watch the locks open and close whenever a boat passes through Fort Augustus. If you venture into the Caledonian Canal Visitor Centre, you can find out more about the history of the Caledonian Canal.
Enjoy a delicious dinner at The Boathouse on the shores of The Highland Club, in fact it is the only restaurant on the south shores of Loch Ness. Whilst looking over the water on tables outside or inside, treat yourself to freshly made meals and a dessert – we recommend the sticky toffee pudding!
To book a table, please call 01320 366 682
Croquet, chess, & snooker
You can now idly walk back to your apartment from The Boathouse and perhaps enjoy a game of croquet on the Monastery Lawn! Alternatively, play a game of giant chess in the Cloister-Garth or play pool, snooker or table football in The Refectory. These are all amenities provided to you by The Highland Club.
For more ideas, there will soon be a blog post on activities in Fort Augustus. Keep an eye on our blog pages!
Day Two – Ready, Set, Action!
Morning and Afternoon
Pack a lunch and then head down to Girvans Bike Hire and hire out a bike for the day. The price for a full day adult is £24, for a full day child it is £16. Each bike comes with a lock and a helmet. Check when you have to return it.
For an easier route, you can cycle down the Caledonian Canal for a picturesque and flat route that won’t be too straining. For those more adventurous, challenge yourself by trying a Great Glen cycle route! The upper Great Glen Way trail winds through the mountain forest to give you panoramic views out over Loch Ness.
Girvans Bike Hire Website: http://www.girvanshardware.co.uk/index.php/fort-augustus-bike-hire Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 01320 366 864
Great Glen Cycle Routes Please visit: http://www.highland.gov.uk/ggw/
If you only want to cycle in the morning, there are many other activities around Fort Augustus. Close to Urquhart Castle there is Borlum Farm where you can go horse riding. Experience the Highlands in a unique form and make a new friend in the beautiful surroundings that the north of Scotland offers.
For more information, please visit: www.borlum.co.uk
For more ideas, there will soon be a blog post on sports in and around Fort Augustus. This includes golf, fishing, WOW balls and mountaineering amongst many more options. Keep an eye out for this update!
Try your hand a Scottish meal! There will soon be a blog post with fantastic Scottish recipes that you can try out! Then enjoy a film in your apartment’s private lounge or if you’re feeling more active, wander down to the Pepperpot Lighthouse, supposedly the UK’s smallest lighthouse, and Loch Ness View Point, both at the mouth of the Caledonian Canal entering into Loch Ness. Experience a sunset standing there with a stunning view of this famous Loch.
Day Three – Train
A Great Rail Trip
If you fancy getting away for a few day, you can get a train ride from Fort William to Mallaig. Whilst this doesn’t seem like a notable train ride, you pass by the Glenfinnan Viaduct – famous for the Hogwarts express. Fort William is about 50 minutes away via car. You can also get local buses from Fort Augustus to Fort William.
Depending on the train company you can actually go over the Glenfinnan Viaduct with the Jacobite Steam Train. However, booking the Jacobite Steam Train with West Coast Railways needs to be done in advance as this journey is very popular. Otherwise, you can take the Scot Rail from Fort William to Mallaig. The train ride is around 1 hour and 30 minutes. The Scot Rail tickets can be as cheap as £14!
For more information please visit: https://www.scotrail.co.uk/
Isle of Skye
From Mallaig, there are ferries that ship you to the bottom of the Isle of Skye, Armadale. In the summer, Armadale has a sheltered beach where you can go surfing. There are also puffin, rock doves and oystercatchers that live around the area providing plenty of opportunity for animal lovers. There are also the Armadale Castle gardens, the seat of the MacDonald Chief in the museum. Elsewhere, Portree (the capital of Skye) is about 1 hour drive away. So if you want to go to other locations on the island, it is easy to book a hire car to meet you at the ferry station for adventuring further in. You can go to the famous Fairy Pools or walk the Old Man of Storr to get your own photograph of the stunning landscape. You can buy lunch at many of the local restaurants or pack your own lunch – there is plenty of choice!
However, it is important to note that whilst the first train to Mallaig from Fort William is at 8:30am, the last train from Mallaig to Fort William is at 6:15pm. Though this seems like limited time for a day trip, it is easily possible to experience a lot of what the Isle of Skye has to offer over the day!
For more information about ferries: https://www.calmac.co.uk/mallaig-armadale-skye-ferry-summer-timetable
Day Four – Fort William
Ben Nevis Mountain Range
Take the only mountain gondola in England the 650 metres up Aonach Mor for a scenic view of Ben Nevis and the Highlands. There are plenty of walking trails across this mountain so feel free to explore the area. If you pack a lunch, you can enjoy your home cooked food in a stunning location. If not, there is a café and restaurant by the top of the Gondola.
Ben Nevis Distillery
For fans of Scotch whiskey, enjoy an afternoon spent in a distillery opened in 1825. Learn how about how Scotch is made and even taste-test it! Find out how the water from Ben Nevis makes Ben Nevis Whiskey so legendary.
For more information, please visit: http://www.bennevisdistillery.com/
Afterwards, spend some time wandering around Fort Williams – there is plenty to see and do there.
Every evening from late June until September, the Skipinnish Ceilidh House in Fort Williams offers a Ceilidh Show from 8:30-10:30pm. Ceilidh is a fantastic part of Celtic culture and introduces you to traditional music and dancing, the translation of ceilidh from Gaelic being party! So wear some dancing shoes and enjoy the show!
For more information please call 01397 705 666
If you are at The Highland Club on a Thursday or Friday in July and August, there are also Ceilidh Evenings at the Ben Nevis Mountain Range’s Snowgoose restaurant. Learn how to dance a Ceilidh to live traditional music and enjoy a delicious Scottish dinner 650m up in the Highlands.
For more information please visit
Phone: 01397 705 825 Email: email@example.com
For more ideas, there is a blog post on activities in Fort William, Inverness and elsewhere.
Day Five – Fort George
Around 65 minutes away by car, is the site of the famous Battle of Culloden. The battle took place after the two Jacobite Risings in which Highlanders tried to restore the Stuart house to the throne. On 16th April 1746, 1,000 Jacobites were slain on this field. Artefacts are displayed in the Visitor Centre, along with exhibitions to show exactly what happened that day.
For more information, please visit http://www.nts.org.uk/Visit/Culloden
Fort George & Highlander Museum or Dolphin Watching
Alike Fort Augustus, Fort George was built to combat the Jacobite rebels. But by the time it was complete, the Highlander threat had been defeated. So Fort George has been a base for the British Army. The Highlander Museum, a regimental museum also houses artefacts of Scotland’s military history.
For more information, please visit:
Highlander’s Museum: http://www.thehighlandersmuseum.com/
Alternatively, if you’ve had enough history for one day, you can head to the other side of Moray Firth to Fort George to Chanonry Point. That is the best point to go dolphin watching, in particular bottlenose dolphins. Or you could book a boat trip around the Moray Firth coastline to get great views of Fort George or the dolphins!
To find out more or to book a boat trip around the Moray Firth coastline, please visit http://www.moraydolphins.co.uk/
For more options on boat trips, please visit www.dolphinspace.org – this site lists credible and responsible boat companies who provide tours with fantastic views of wildlife without disturbing the animals or damaging the environment extensively.
Games and The Boathouse
After all these days out-and-about, you should relax in your home away from home! Go out for dinner at The Boathouse or make a delicious meal in your kitchen. Then enjoy all the different games around The Highland Club from boules to table tennis to chess!
Post first published 18th April 2018