Seasons

Each of the seasons in the Highlands has a distinctive beauty of it’s own.  As the daylight hours reduce and the icy tentacles of winter envelope the mountains, through to the freshness of new life that Spring brings, followed by long balmy days of summer and the burnt colours of Autumn.  Each season has a majesty that just has to be savored.

Winter

Graham Smith

Winter weather in the Highlands will often be considered to be harsh, and you certainly will encounter some wild and stormy experiences.  However, such days are often interspersed by calm and frosty days with crystal clear skies.  Open your mind to the vagaries of the weather and you will be surprised.

As the old saying goes, it’s not the weather that is cold and stormy, it’s just inappropriate clothing.  This is the key to enjoying the Highlands in the winter.  Pack your warmest clothes and a good waterproof, and your time here can be as good as any other time of the year, and let’s not forget that there are less people around, so you may even find that you have the best spots all to yourself

Despite daylight hours being short, for the photographer, the low angled sunlight can create the most perfect days for capturing the stunning winter landscapes.  And at this time of the year, the majestic red deer are often found at lower levels and always posing for the lens.

The area is a mecca for the outdoor mountain lover, and Glencoe boasts what is regarded as the best ski resort in the UK set in the most dramatic of locations.  It may not be the biggest resort but this family run site offers winter fun for all of the family.

The mountains take on a whole new disguise in the winter months and are a huge draw for winter climbers from around the globe.  Whilst not being the highest mountains in the world, the Northerly latitudes and moisture laden air flowing in off the Atlantic Ocean mean that the ice conditions can be superb.  A real test for the modern day climber and one of the reasons that mountaineers who regularly test their skills on these mountains are among the best in the world.

A holiday is not always about being on the go all hours of the day though, and there will undoubtedly be times when you fancy some comfort, and to put your feet up.  It may be cold outside, but there will be plenty of opportunity for culture, fine foods, and a warm drink in front of a cozy roaring fire.  Just check out the range of visitor centres, museums, shops, galleries and eateries to while away the hours and relax and unwind.

And don’t forget – on the walk back to your accommodation you can always relive your childhood days and stamp in a few puddles on the way.

Scottish Hogmanay’s are not to be missed and legendary throughout the world – another great reason to experience the Highlands at this special time of the year.

Spring

C SusansBrecklet Walk Gardens 1

After the short days and long nights of winter in the Glen, the arrival of Spring brings with it a welcome warming of the weather.

Everything starts burst into life. Trees turn from their skeletal forms as their buds burst into life and their leaves unfold, and within a matter of weeks they add a flush of green to the natural woodland that grows throughout the area.

Bulbs emerge from the soil displaying a carpet of colour throughout the woodlands, and St Johns Church has the one of the finest displays of bluebells anywhere in the country with the mountains as a magnificent backdrop.

Birdsong reaches a peak and migrant birds arrive to feast on the abundant insect life.  Keep an eye out for swallows and martins, cuckoos and buzzards, and if you’re lucky the stunning Golden eagle soaring high over the mountain tops.

The area is awash with Rhododendrons – whose blooms are quite spectacular early in the season.

Walks at this time of the year are what you’ve yearned for all through the winter – a bit of sun on your face and even the chance to wear shorts and a t-shirt on a bright and warm Spring day.

Activities that are not suitable during the winter months all start to operate again – just check out the vast array of things to do in the area – from kayacking to via ferrata, from segways to fast boat tours.  It’s time to seek adventure and throughout the area you really are spoilt for choice.

Spring in the Glen is very popular for a very good reason, why not experience it for yourself.

Summer

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Summer in Scotland brings with it very long days and short nights.  With so much daylight, the summer months are the warmest and you can expect plenty of sunny days.  But remember that whilst it is summer, the weather can still be unpredictable, but at least at this time of year the rain will be a lot more bearable !!!!!

With the long daylight hours, trees and plants thrive, and the whole area sports it’s full green coat of leaves.  The ferns and bracken grow tall, the Larch trees have all regained their needles and the heather starts to bloom with a display of vibrant pinks and purples across all the mountain sides.

Birds are busy feeding their young chicks, young deer graze continuously to fatten themselves up for the winter ahead

Whilst it can be busy during the summer months, there is such an abundance of things to do and places to visit, you are sure that you can still find places to get away from it all.

Autumn

David Duncan

 

Autumn brings with it the richest tones from the colour palate of nature.

The bracken and ferns and the leaves on the trees turn from deep greens through yellows and to burnished copper hues

As the days shorten, the sun gets lower in the sky, the landscapes turn into a photographers dream.

Walking at this time of the year bring the extra rewards from this visual feast of colours

Woodland walks through a sea of orange leaves bring out the child from within as you can’t help yourself from throwing them in the air

Ballachulish Quarry  becomes the setting for a firework extravaganza, and the acoustics that the steep slate walls of the quarry provide from the exploding fireworks is something that must be experienced

Don’t be afraid of the strange noises bellowing through the Glen from the mountainsides.  This is the time when stags start rutting to win the prize of mating with the hinds.

Birds and animals are storing food for the winter ahead

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