I’ve just returned from a wonderful week in Scotland, where typically, what we had planned was scuppered by the weather. The long range forecast was most definitely not in our favour upon leaving for the north and it rained most of the week. So what can you do on a Rainy Holiday in Scotland?
We had planned to do lots of Munros (mountains over 900m) in Scotland because of snow/winter conditions. Bit this was not to be. Lots of rain at low levels, leaves you very soggy for when you hit the snow line and therefore, leaving you very cold. But also lots of rain lower down means conditions are not so great above, white outs/blizzards/poor visibility. However, this didn’t ruin things, we continued to make the most of our rainy holiday in Scotland as for all of us it was our first break in a while.
#1 – Find the Nearest Town to Explore
This obviously depends on when in the year you visit Scotland and where you’re staying. We’re out of season and this is a bit of a pain on the West Coast. It meant lots of closed places – very different to our stays in the Cairngorms at this time of year. On one of the rainy days we headed to Oban (about half an hour away) and checked out Ganavan Sands, somewhere I’d been a long long time ago! It was lovely to get out in the sea air and the view out to the Isle of Mull was totally worth the journey.
#2 – Eat and Generally Be Merry!
Ok so it’s cold and rainy. Which means eating is always fun. F the New Years diet and enjoy yourself. This holiday has been quite lovely as we all enjoy cooking so there’s been something different every day. My favourite day was when we cooked two curries from Rick Stein’s India and made Pilaf and Chapatis to go with. It was quite a feast. We always make it an aim to buy local whilst away (as we would at home). The meat came from the local butchers and it was delicious, especially the venison we bought. We also managed to go out for dinner a couple of times despite being out of season (the above is Venison Pastrami on Sour Dough from Cuan Mor in Oban).
#3 – Forest Walks
Maybe the weather on your stay is a bit much for conquering a mountain or you’re not the mountain type. The forest floor may be boggy, but forests in Scotland are so pretty and worth a wander. When we stay in Aviemore we like to walk around Glenmore Lodge, which has a wonderful forest surrounding it. In good snow conditions you can even do cross country skiing, which is so much fun. In summer you can rent bikes as well! On our recent trip we explored Fearnoch Forest near Taynuilt (pic above). This has good walking trails that Dr W reckons would be good for biking too.
#4 – Easy Walks
Still itching to get outside? Find a short walk nearby on local tracks – check out a local OS maps for easy to access tracks or speak to the person who owns your holiday cottage. On advice from our lovely hosts we headed up to Ben Cruachan Dam. This was very close to where we stayed and gave us a good lengthy walk to blow off the New Year’s
hangovers cobwebs. We also walked to Kilchurn Castle for a look around on a particularly rainy day. This abandoned castle is sat on the edge of the loch, it was just stunning even in the pouring down rain!
#5 – Sleep
Last but not least! For me 2017 was a long year, so a bit of time to sleep was just wonderful. I indulged in naps and lie ins whilst away, because why not?! I am feeling more refreshed and ready to face 2018 because of this. The cottage we stayed in also had a hot tub, so I got to soak my wonky joints, a must for any walking holiday.
Have you experienced a rainy holiday in Scotland? What did you get up to in the bad weather? Let me know in the comments,
P.S. We stayed in Lochawe at Cruachan Lodge. I can highly recommend a stay here, Sam the host is just wonderful and it was the perfect get away.