Hiking and Biking in the North Highlands
The Scottish Highlands is a premier wilderness area in Western Europe and the Land Reform Act of 2003, ensures that any person may access any part of the countryside – what is known in Scotland as ‘The Right to Roam’. With such freedom and space, endless excursions are possible, exploring many of the most dramatic and scenic locations. Links House is very well located on the far north east coast, with easy access to locations all over the North Highlands, including the stunning west coast. Excursions by foot or by bike can be led by qualified guides or self-guided, depending upon guest requirements
Excursions from Links House
Links House has an active Hiking & Biking programme to meet the needs of varying levels of fitness and motivation!
Local Hikes and Bikes: 3-5 Hours
The immediate area around Dornoch has a great variety of terrain that includes long stretches of sandy coastline, mixed woodland and forests and numerous hills and mountains. All the Local Walks and Local Bike rides are within a half hour drive of Links House, the closest being the walk up Struie Hill, which can be seen from the Hotel. Click here to download map
Full day hikes
Many options are available for full-day hiking excursions and a selection of these are shown on the Map below. For much greater detail on some of the best Walks in the North Highlands, see the Walk Highlands website – www.walkhighlands.co.uk. The four areas to explore, that are all accessible to Links House are:
- Sutherland & Caithness
- Ullapool, Assynt and Easter Ross
- Torridon and Gairloch
- Loch Ness and Affric
Mountains – Munros and Corbetts
The term ‘Munro’ refers to Scotland’s 282 mountains over 3000 feet (914m) – named after Sir Hugh Munro, first President of the Scottish Mountaineering Club. He catalogued all 282 of the 3000 feet mountains back in 1891. Corbetts are the 222 mountains between 2500 and 3000 feet. Many of these mountains are within a 2 hour drive of Links House.
Some of these mountains are easy to climb – others are more severe and although do not require technical equipment, hikers should wear and carry appropriate items. This should include robust hiking boots, warm clothing, gloves and hat, waterproof top, fluids/packed lunch, mobile phone and Map/GPS.
This northern region of Scotland, with its miles of empty roads and access to off-road terrain, will satisfy even the most discerning of Bike enthusiasts. Links House can provide British Cycling qualified guides for Off-Road Bike trips and can advise on the most suitable Road Bike trips.
The North Coast 500 route has led to a marked increase in the number of road cyclists touring this region of Scotland. Classic routes such as the Bealach Na Ba in the Applecross peninsular, the UK’s steepest climb of six miles to a height of over 2000 feet. There are numerous road cycling routes all over the North Highlands with stunning coastal sections and inland routes that link the western and northern coasts to the east coast. All are accessible with vehicle support.
Mountain Bikers in all parts of Scotland can access an extensive network of Estate tracks, to explore the most remote areas of the country. These tracks can be anything from a tarmac surface to a precarious narrow mountain track of earth, grass and rock. Most of these tracks are only shown on OS Landranger or Explorer Maps but enable riders to criss-cross parts of the country that most people never get to see! Some of our off-road Mountain Bike trips are shown on the maps below.
One of the most challenging and exciting of our Off-Road bike rides is a full traverse of North Scotland, from west to east coast – a 40 mile cross-country epic, starting in Ullapool on the west coast and finishing at Bonar Bridge, where the Dornoch Firth meets the Kyle of Sutherland!
Bike Hire (Mountain Bikes only) and transport to drop off and pick up guests can be arranged – packed lunches or picnics will also be prepared for full day excursions. Early booking is advised.