Monday August 3, 2015
It is no surprise that Scotland is such a popular destination for hikers. With just under 300 peaks above 3,000ft, known as Munros, there is plenty of choice for people to choose from. The highest Munro, Ben Nevis sits at 4,406 feet above sea level, making it the highest mountain in the UK and it attracts around 225,000 visitors per year. It is located near the town of Fort William where accommodation and a range of other activities can be found.
When people mention hiking or walking in Scotland the South of Scotland is frequently overlooked. The Scottish Borders alone has over 1,500 miles of walking routes and with many picturesque towns, the Scottish Borders is ideal for hiking and enjoying outdoor sports. Pyramid Travel products is based in Kelso, in the Scottish Borders, an ideal testing ground for our midge protection products. The Scottish Borders is set to become more accessible after the re-opening of the Borders Railway, due to open 6th September 2015.
The Eildon hills from Scotts View near St Boswells in the Scottish Borders
For those who prefer a harder challenge, Scotland promotes a large number of long distance trails boasting a diverse range of landscape and wildlife. It includes the Scottish National Trail, which runs from end to end in Scotland, starting in Kirk Yetholm, Scottish Borders, to Cape Wrath in the North of Scotland. The trail is 864km long and includes parts of Scotland’s famous walks such as St Cuthbert’s Way and the West Highland Way.
What is the weather really like?
Unpredictable. For such a small country the weather varies massively. The winds coming in from the Atlantic can make the West side of the country one of the wettest places in Europe, but places on the East of Scotland can see less rain than Barcelona, unfortunately it’s not the same temperature!
“There's no such thing as bad weather, only the wrong clothes!” – an old saying you should definitely consider when packing for a walking holiday in Scotland, be prepared for sun, wind, rain and probably snow as well.
Are midges a problem in Scotland?
Yes, particularly in the Highlands and the West coast. You will see them flying about in swarms and are almost impossible to avoid. However you can avoid being bitten by taking a few precautions before you go out.
It’s best to wear long sleeved clothing and trousers as midges are unable to bite through clothes. Also try and wear light coloured clothes, as midges are attracted to black or dark colours. A good repellent is a necessity. Repel Midge repellent is made in Scotland and is designed specifically to repel the Scottish midge with powerful and immediate protection. If you are going to be outside for prolonged periods a midge net or midge jacket are recommended. Midges are most active in low light conditions so try and avoid being outside during dawn and dusk.
A severe reaction to midge bites.
Along with midges, ticks are another biting insect in Scotland. These are especially common in woodland or long grass areas, often the most common terrain for hikers. Ticks can be avoided in much the same way as midges, by wearing long sleeves and trousers along with a repellent. Also be sure to check your body for ticks at the end of every day, as a single tick bite can lead to Lyme Disease. For more information see our Lyme Disease and Tick Protection Guide or Dangers of Tick Bites.
What else to expect?
Along with the stunning landscape and unpredictable weather Scotland also has an extensive amount of wildlife to offer hikers, aside from the midges. On land you can find deer, foxes, birds of prey and much more. While seals, dolphins and even whales on some occasions can be spotted from costal hikes.
A Red Stag captured roaring near Torridon - Image from: http://discovertorridon.co.uk/about-torridon/
Wherever you go in Scotland midge protection should be packed before you travel, allowing you to enjoy your holiday.
If you have enjoyed reading this article, you may also be interested in this Blog Post:
Lyme Disease in London Parks & Tick Bite Prevention.
Walk Highlands http://www.walkhighlands.co.uk 2015
Visit Scotland http://www.visitscotland.com 2015