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18 Jun 2018

Fall in love with Scotland’s remotest corners

Written by Kate Hopper – Love, from Scotland
Kate Hopper
Glen Affric – Credit: Kate Hopper
In a country the size of Scotland, it might be surprising that there are still parts of the country so remote that it can take a day just to get to them! However, with a huge 17 and a half hours of daylight to play with on the Summer Solstice on 21 June, it is the perfect day to explore Scotland’s remotest corners. Here are Love, From Scotland’s favourite ways to really get away from it all.

1. Climb Suilven – Scotland’s strangest hill

Suilven
Suilven – Credit: Kate Hopper

Arriving in Assynt in North West Scotland is jaw dropping. Imagine a rock landscape, hundreds of lochs, single track roads and turquoise seas, punctured by the most incredible rock formations – you’d think you were on Mars rather than in Scotland. The most famous of these formations is Suilven (pronounced Sool-ven) a 731-metre high, 2km ridge with incredible views from the top.

However, actually getting to Suilven is most of the battle. Whilst climbing Suilven is not technically hard, the hill is 6 miles from the nearest road at Glencansip Lodge near Lochinver and includes a nearly vertical hike to the summit – so come prepared with the right gear, an OS Map and plenty of food and water. Climbing Suilven on the longest day of the year gives you plenty of time to take in the extensive views across to the famous Stac Pollaidh and on a clear day to the Western Isles. 

2. Hike out into West Affric

Glen Affric
Glen Affric – Credit: Kate Hopper

Deep in the heart of Inverness-shire lies Glen Affric, and at its remotest point the West Affric Estate, managed by the National Trust for Scotland. With remnants of the ancient Caledonian Forest, lochs and towering Munros, West Affric is often described as Scotland’s most beautiful glen, but it takes effort to get to – it is at least 5 miles from the nearest road!

To make the most of the longest day of the year, get the bus to or park at the Glen Affric car park and mountain bike or hike into the glen along the Affric to Kintail Way. Walk the 13 miles around Loch Affric or if you want to stay for longer check into the Alltbeithe Youth Hostel or Glen Affric Youth Hostel (SYHA, open summer only) and enjoy the long evening out in the glen. 

3. Camp out on Hushinish Beach, Harris

Wild camping
Wild camping – Credit: Kate Hopper

The Outer Hebrides might only lie 50 miles off the coast of mainland Scotland, but they feel a million miles away. Catch the Calmac ferry from the pretty town of Ullapool to Stornoway and then hire a car to explore the 130-mile island chain which runs from the Butt of Lewis to Barra Head – or if you are feeling energetic bring your bike and bikepack the Hebridean Way.

If you really want to experience life on the edge, camp out above one of the Outer Hebrides white sand beaches – on the longest day you will have plenty of time to get the campfire going before finally watching the sunset over incredible Caribbean blue seas – remember to leave no trace of your visit when you leave. My favourite wild camp spot is Hushinish Beach on Harris which is right at the end of a 15-mile single track road which makes you really feel you have got away from it all. 

Three more ideas for getting remote in Scotland with the National Trust for Scotland

  • Visit St Kilda, incredible islands out in the North Atlantic
  • Climb up above the village of Torridon to get an incredible view of Wester Ross
  • Visit Fair Isle, Scotland’s most remote inhabited island to see the puffins!

Kate Hopper is an Edinburgh-based blogger who likes nothing more than bagging a Munro, planning  road trips and discovering Scotland’s remotest corners. Kate is passionate about showing people how they can get outside and explore Scotland – including how to have a micro-adventure in Scotland’s mountains, discovering Scotland’s islands, driving the beautiful west coast – and a whole lot more in between! Follow Kate on her blog, Love, from Scotland and on Instagram and keep up to date via Twitter and Facebook

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