Mar
30

Easter far from the Madding Crowds (NW Highlands) (38169)

Event Overview

SYHA Gairloch Sands

30th March to 2nd April 2018

Escape to the beautiful North West Highlands to get away from it all for the Easter weekend, to a place where you will find empty beaches, mountains that fill the horizon and tranquil lochs.  We don't think Thomas Hardy ever made it this far north, but we're sure the area would have given him inspiration, as it could do to you....

We are going to be based at a recently renovated hostel in the SYHA network for three nights as we explore the area.  We are planning to mainly explore on two feet as there is a great select...

SYHA Gairloch Sands

30th March to 2nd April 2018

Escape to the beautiful North West Highlands to get away from it all for the Easter weekend, to a place where you will find empty beaches, mountains that fill the horizon and tranquil lochs.  We don't think Thomas Hardy ever made it this far north, but we're sure the area would have given him inspiration, as it could do to you....

We are going to be based at a recently renovated hostel in the SYHA network for three nights as we explore the area.  We are planning to mainly explore on two feet as there is a great selection of walks in the locality, from bimbles round lochs to full on mountain days for the mountain goats in the group.

Check out the tabs below for more information on how to get up here and what to bring.

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What to bring

The main activity planned for the weekend is to explore the area, good walking boots are a must along with clothing for any weather. You are advised that you pack extra layers for warmth for when you are out of the hostel, as temperatures at Easter can be anywhere from scorchio to chilly!

Boots:  Hiking boots are arguably the most essential piece of kit when hiking just about anywhere.  Walker’s should make sure that their boots are both waterproof and breathable, and provide good ankle support.  Boots should also be in good condition.

Socks: A good comfy pair of walking socks is essential really; they keep your feet warm and drier than normal socks.

Gaiters:  Gaiters attach to the bottom of walking boots and extend to just under the knee.  They provide waterproofing for the bottom half of the leg.  They are not essential to have but you will feel the difference if you have them when walking through muddy or boggy ground - which is almost guaranteed in Scotland.

Walking Trousers:  You should have a suitable pair of trousers for walking in, jeans are not suitable as they take on water when wet and will make you cold.  The same goes for jogging pants/tracksuit clothing. 

Waterproof Trousers:  Waterproof trousers are essential in case of wet weather. They are also good to be worn as a second layer as they can act as a windproof barrier, keeping the legs warm. 

Base Layer: A breathable base layer should be chosen in order to let sweat escape from the body.  This could be a cheaper sports top or you could go top of the range with a merino top, as cotton T-Shirts can become damp and uncomfortable when climbing a mountain.

Other Layers: On top of your base layer, you can have a variety of options such as a micro fleece, a fleece jacket or a rugby/sports top can sometimes be good.  Having one or two additional layers gives you flexibility when the weather is changeable – the more layers, the more flexible you can be in adapting to the weather.

Waterproof Jacket:  A good waterproof jacket is one of the most important pieces of kit you will require when hiking.  Walkers should look for a jacket that is both waterproof and breathable in order for them to be protected from sweat.  Materials such as Gore-tex are often the best choices but they can be expensive unless you shop sensibly, don’t forget your OutdoorLads discount for Full Members at Cotswold outlets.

Hat: As most heat is lost through the head a good hat is essential. 

Gloves: Gloves are essential in the colder months, windproof or better still waterproof gloves are the best choice.

Rucksack: A good Rucksack that is comfortable to wear is essential, and required to carry both food and equipment.  Day sacks should have a capacity of around 30 litres.  As an option you could store your items in waterproof bags inside just in-case or ensure the bag has a waterproof bag to pull over the top.

Mobile Phone: If you choose to bring your phone, then you are well advised to buy a waterproof bag or if that is not possible a simple food/freezer bag will suffice.

Food & Drink

Friday evening - please bring an item for the buffet

Saturday & Sunday breakfast and dinner along with Monday breakfast are included in the event cost.

Saturday & Sunday lunch - you will need to bring with you.

Tea & coffee is provided at the hostel over the weekend.

Meeting & Times

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What's going to happen

Friday evening:

We have the ODL buffet and this is also an opportunity to catch up with other ODLers you may have not seen for a while or meet new guys. If this is your first event, don't worry as you will be made very welcome.

There will also be a briefing to let you know what activities are planned for the weekend.

Saturday & Sunday:

We have a full two days exploring the area, the landscape being a mix of rough coastline with occasional beaches contrasting with a couple of large and well known ranges of mountains just inland from where we are staying.

Mountains! To the south is Torridon with Liathach, Beinn Alligin and Beinn Eighe - to the east is the Fisherfield area and An Teallach.

For those of a lower altitude disposition there are walks along various sections of coastline, along Loch Maree and in the Poolewe area.

Inverewe Gardens (£10.50/ free for NTS members)

Glass Bottom sealife boat tours (£18.50)

If the weather turns nasty we could do indoor climbing at the local leisure centre

Or just chill in the Badachro Inn

Monday:

Time to clean the hostel and head home. There may be a short walk of an hour or two duration in the area for those who are in less of a rush to get away.

Getting to Gairloch Hostel

Public transport:

By bus - Westerbus operate one service to Gairloch on a Friday (Service 700 to Laide) which departs from Inverness bus station at 17:20 and arrives into Gairloch at 19:25. You could walk the remaining 2.7 miles to the hostel but you may want to ask for a lift from another member.

By train - The nearest ScotRail station is Achnasheen on the Kyle of Lochalsh line from Inverness. Departures are at 13:35 (arr 15:00) and 17:54 (arr 19:20). You will need to arrange a lift from another member as the hostel is 32 miles from the station.

By road:

From Glasgow - Head east out of the city on the M8 and drop onto the M80 signposted for Stirling. The M80 joins onto the M9 and becomes the A9 at the Keir roundabout (Dunblane), continue north on the A9 past Perth and onto Inverness. From Inverness stay on the A9 over the Kessock bridge to the Tore roundabout where you want to take the second exit, signed Ullapool and Dingwall A835. At the Maryburgh roundabout continue following the signs for Ullapool A835 to Garve. Shortly after leaving Garve you want to turn left where signed for Gairloch A832 and follow this road along Glen Bran to Auchnasheen, where you turn right at the roundabout in the village.  Stay on the A832 through Kinlochewe onto Gairloch where opposite McColls shop turn left onto the road for 'Melvaig B8021', the hostel is 2.7 miles on your right hand side.  Car parking can be found at both sides of the hostel.

From Edinburgh - Head north west out of the city on Queensferry Road (A90), staying on this road across the Forth bridge and north on the M90 to Perth. At junction 10 follow the signs for Inverness, joining the A9 at Broxden roundabout. Follow the directions as from Glasgow from here.

Facilities in the area

There is a small McColls convenience store in Gairloch village. You are advised to do your shopping in Inverness, where Tesco, Morrisons, Asda and the Co-operative all have large stores.


Event Reference No:
38169