Aside from excellent fishing and shooting, the Altnaharra Hotel also has a lot to offer when it comes to walking and climbing.

Ben Loyal
Ben Loyal, the Queen of Scottish Mountains, is 2506ft high thus making it a ‘Corbett’.  Corbetts have to be 2,500 and 3,000 feet high with a relative height of at least 500 feet. This granite mountain has 4 peaks with the highest being ‘An Caisteal’. From the summit you can enjoy fantastic sea views and you should also be spot Ben Hope and Loch Loyal. Allow a good 5 to 6 hours walking time for this mountain plus an additional 25 minutes each way for the drive to and from the hotel.

Ben Loyal
For a detailed route see: http://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/sutherland/ben-loyal.shtml

Ben Klibreck
Ben Klibreck means ‘hill of speckled’ stone and at 3165 ft is classed as a ‘Munro’. Munro’s are Scottish mountains that are over 3000 feet. The summit of the mountain is called ‘Meall nan Con’ and offers views of the expansive central Sutherland moorland. Most walkers start from Vagastie Bridge which is about a 10 minute drive from the hotel. The slopes of this remote mountain are steep and the route can often be quite boggy. Allow between 4 to 6 hours for climbing.

Ben Klibreck
For a detailed route see: http://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/sutherland/ben-klibreck.shtml

Ben Hope
Ben Hope sits close to the shores of Loch Hope and is 3041 feet high, making it the most northerly Munro. It You will pass waterfalls, bogs and burns at the start of the walk up with the path then becoming very steep and rocky for most of the ascent. A reviewer from the Scotsman recently said that the Ben Hope summit panorama is ‘one of the best from any mountain’. On a clear day you can see the Orkney Islands as well as Ben Loyal and Ben Klibreck.  There is parking available on the A838 where a sign indicates the start of the route up. The parking place is approximately a 35 minute drive from the hotel. Again, allow between 4 to 6 hours for climbing.

Ben Hope
For a detailed route see: http://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/sutherland/ben-hope.shtml

Borgie Forest WalkOther Walks

Borgie Forest
If you are looking for something less mountainous in the local area include then try the Borgie Forest walk. The walk follows a gently descending footpath through shady trees and along the banks of the River Borgie. The path is just under 2km and suitable for all ages and abilities.
See:
http://www.altnaharra.com/activities/borgie-forest-walk/
Rosal

Rosal
Part of the Strathnaver Trail can be walked from Rosal Forest which is approximately a 25 minute drive away from the hotel. Rosal fell prey to the highland clearances during the 18th Century with the small town being turned in to pasture land. From the forest car-park there is a circular walk which takes 1.5 hours to complete and includes several ruins. The route is marked out by boards which provide information on the history of the area.
See:
http://www.altnaharra.com/activities/strathnaver-trail/
http://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/sutherland/rosal-strathnaver.shtml

Loch Hope

Photo taken by one of our guests on his ascent of Ben Hope looking down on Loch Hope

If you’re looking for a challenge in 2013 or you’re already a Munro bagger then look no further than The Altnaharra as your base for climbing the two most northerly Munros.

You’ve probably heard about The Munros.  They’re the mountains dotted around Scotland which are over 3,000 feet in height.  There are 283 of them in all and they’re so named in honour of Sir Hugh Munro who first catalogued them.

Here at the Altnaharra Hotel we’re lucky enough to be practically a stones-throw from Scotland’s two most northerly Munros.  We have a view of the stunning Ben Klibreck (3,156ft: 961m) from many of our windows and Ben Hope (3041ft: 927m) is just a short, and very picturesque drive away.  So if you’re a serial Munro bagger, or a newcomer looking to set yourself a 2012 challenge The Altnaharra is an ideal choice for your luxury base-camp.

Every year, quite a few of our guests climb one or both of our local mountains.  Ben Hope is an isolated monolith with a relatively easy ascent to the south.  More challenging approaches can also be taken, however whichever route is taken, the view of the lochans and moors is fantastic on a clear day.   The slightly higher Ben Klibreck has numerous ascent options, from Crask to the south, Altnaharra to the north or by the easiest and most popular route from the A836 to the west.   In good weather, it is possible to climb both mountains in the same day and we can supply our guests with a packed lunch.  However if you’re taking a more leisurely approach, just do the one and join us for a great pub lunch in our Ghillies Bar!

Check out more details about Munro climbing on www.munromagic.co.uk or  www.walkhighlands.co.uk/munros.  Both sites have good tips, advice and reviews of ascents of both Ben Klibreck and Ben Hope.  The munromagic site is particularly useful for its location maps, safety tips and weather reports.  Clearly it’s recommended to take particular note of the weather before attempting to climb a Munro as walking is done at entirely your own risk.