Hillwalking in Assynt
My First attempt at Hillwalking in Assynt
Hillwalking in Assynt can be both fun and exciting. The first hill I ever climbed was Quinag in Assynt, Sutherland. As starter hills go it’s a bit of a bruiser but also a great grounding in what hill walking is all about. Being between 2500 & 3000 feet, Quinag is ‘just’ a Corbett and so not quite a Munro. That doesn’t make it a doddle to climb however, with three distinct peaks to summit, a ‘don’t look down’ ridge above 2000 feet and a leg sapping start and end walk through peaty, heathery terrain.
The view at the top makes it all worth it, as I was very pleased to find. You can see Suilven, the lonely mountain, to the south. It is one of the most recognisable hills in the country and looked magnificent that day. You can also see all of loch Assynt and Ardvreck castle to the south east, then tracing the NC500 route west towards the coast, you can just about make out Lochinver and Achmelvich beach. With a big enough camera lens I’m sure I could even spy our shiny new pods. That’s a reason to buy new camera gear, right?
The Long Road In
The two hills mentioned above don’t see the same amount of summits as more popular hills in Scotland, like Ben Lomond or Schiehallion. Part of the reason for this is how inaccessible the hills in Sutherland are, both in terms of distance from major cities and in terms of walking routes. There are very nice paths nearly all of the way up Ben Lomond & Schiehallion, but when hillwalking in Assynt, you have to navigate your own way to the top. This can be off-putting to some, but is the main appeal to others and it is wonderful to have the summit all to yourself after a few hours of huffing & puffing to the top.
The other part of the problem, for tourists and natives alike, is that accommodation in Sutherland (particularly in Assynt) is not plentiful. We hope that North Coast 500 pods will allow more hill walkers the opportunity to experience these unique and breath-taking hills, whilst having a comfortable place to rest sore legs, treat their blisters in the sea water of Achmelvich beach and relax by our fire pit with friends and other hill walkers.
Hillwalking in Assynt again
I’m a little older now, but looking forward to taking on these hills again, safe in the knowledge that at the end of a long hill walk, I’ll be staying in the most luxury accommodation in Sutherland that I’ve ever known.
Oh, and If hill walking just isn’t your thing, the only other way to say you’ve experienced Quinag, Canisp, Suilven or Stac Pollaidh is to stay in one of our pods, which take their names from these iconic mountains.