Ride Overview - Wild West Highlands Ride
A challenging horseback riding vacation in Scotland. This ride starts outside Fort William to parts of the Great Glen Way. Your trail then traverses through the hills of Invergarry and the beautiful caledonian pine forests of Glen Affric to the stunning wild mountains of Kintail. From Kintail, your inland path will provide stunning views of the Cuillin Mountains from Skye to Strath Carron. Your final day takes you through wild country, past rugged mountains, and over high passes. Your ride finishes at Torridon in the brooding shadow of Liathach and Ben Eighe, some of the highest mountains in the UK. There will be plenty of opportunities for fast riding through the forest sections of this ride. However, due to the nature of the trails, the hill sections are mostly ridden at a walk with short spells of trots. In the hills, you will ride at a pace that allows you time to appreciate the stunning scenery!
This Scottish equestrian tour is quite a tough one. You need to be a confident rider, comfortable up to canter. You also need to be physically fit enough to lead your horse on foot sometimes on the steep and very rough ground. Due to the remote nature of the area we ride through, the accommodation en-route varies, between top quality hotels and B&B’s depending on what is available in the area you will be riding through that day. This is real mountain country and the scenery is stunningly beautiful. The high trails are challenging but the views are unbelievable! This is wild Scotland at its best!
“The combination of gorgeous, happy horses, lovely staff and beautiful scenery to ride through makes your rides an absolute gem.”
Ride Itinerary - Wild West Highlands Ride
There are 2 tracks for this ride. The 1st track begins with Fort William. The 2nd track reverses the below itinerary by starting at Inverness.
You start your ride at Gairlochy, a few miles from Fort William. There are stunning views of Ben Nevis and the Grey Corries where we then join the Great Glen Way. Your ride will follow the trails beside Loch Lochy and Loch Oich before entering the Inchcardoch Forest and arrive at your accommodation for the night in Fort Augustus.
From Fort Augustus, your trail ascends through the Inchcardoch Forest following an ancient drove road. You will enjoy stunning views again in all directions of the Monadliath hills to the South and the hills of Glen Affric and Kintail to the North and West. The trail ends for the night in Tomich.
Today will be a long day. Your ride departs Tomich and heads west along beautiful Glen Affric. You will enjoy some nice faster riding before your trail turns challenging through the Allt Granda gorge near a stunning waterfall. Next, your horse will carry you down a farm track to Shiel Bridge for the night. The scenery today is ruggedly beautiful.
It will be a shorter ride today to give both the horses and riders a bit of a break! From Shiel Bridge, you will ride beside the shore then head into the forest at Inverinate, before joining the tiny minor road that climbs high above Loch Duich for amazing views of the Five Sisters of Kintail and the length of Loch Duich to the Cuillins on Skye. The night will be spent at Dornie, famous for the Eilean Donan Castle, the most photogenic castle in Scotland!
Leaving Dornie behind, you will ride the length of Loch Long before heading over the hills on an old hill track to Strath Carron. Loch Carron is a very beautiful loch, surrounded by high hills on all sides.
From Strathcarron, your trail follows the river through fields and forests and then join the hill path taking your ride high over the Bealach na Lice pass. There is a couple of places where you will have to lead the horses but not for long stretches. Your destination is the summit of the highest hills where stunning views will greet you. Once your horse crosses the pass, the iconic Torridon hills stretch out before you – Liathach, Beinn Alligin and Beinn Eighe – an amazing view! The trail then descends to Torridon, where you will spend your final night before leaving for Inverness in the morning.
After breakfast, transfer to your train station.
Ride Details - Wild West Highlands Ride
Dates: August 2nd – 9th
Airport/Train: Glasgow then take the train from Glasgow Central Queen Street Train station to either Fort William or Inverness
Riding Days: 6
Riding Ability: ADVANCED: Confident and in control at all paces including posting trots, two point canters and gallops in open spaces. Comfortable in the saddle for 6 hours or longer. Capable of riding across rivers and along narrow ascending and descending trails. Capable of leading horses along narrow trails.
Daily Riding Hours: 5 – 6
Horses: Native Highland ponies, Irish Cobs, crossbreds
Saddles: Treeless endurance
Group Size: 3 – 8
Non-riding Activities: hiking, biking
Lodging: 3 * inns and B & B’s
*Price: $3,325.00 per person, double occupancy $365.00 single occupancy
*Price is based on USD/GBP exchange rate and will be fixed at final payment.
Included: 6 nights’ accommodation, horse, tack, guide, all meals, transportation provided to Inverness and Fort William after the ride
Not Included: airfare, transportation to Fort William or Inverness for the start of the ride, pre and post-ride hotels
Wild West Highlands Ride: Gallery
Wild West Highlands Ride