Aside from excellent fishing and shooting, the Altnaharra Hotel also has a lot to offer when it comes to walking and climbing.
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.
For a detailed route see: http://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/sutherland/ben-loyal.shtml
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.
For a detailed route see: http://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/sutherland/ben-klibreck.shtml
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.
For a detailed route see: http://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/sutherland/ben-hope.shtml
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.
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.