22 Jun 2015

Ben Nevis + the Isle of Skye

At the start of the month a bunch of us spent 4 days in beautiful Scotland. It was exciting for a number of reasons - we were planning to take on Ben Nevis, do a bit of camping and spend a couple of days on the Isle of Skye - but to top it all off, it was my first ever visit to Scotland!

We took the Caledonian Sleeper which, although the part between Edinburgh and Fort William was v.cool (absolutely stunning scenery), I wouldn't do it again. All the berths were sold out - and stupidly expensive - so we took the 'reclining seats' option which was, to be honest, a bit shit. I can't say that any of us felt rested or got more than an couple of hours sleep. I am glad we did it though, but next time, flying might be a better option. 

We camped the first night (in the shadow of Glen Nevis I believe) after walking to the incredible Steall Falls. The next morning we rose early and started our Ben Nevis ascent at about 9am. Unfortunately for us the weather was absolutely horrendous. After about an hour of walking it started to pour with rain and continued to do so for the next 6 hours. To cut a long story short, most of us didn't make it to the summit - visability was incredibly poor (I'm talking 8 metres at most, which, on a mountain isn't particularly great) and there was tonnes of snow! 6 of us turned back at around 300 vertical metres from the top (that's about an hour's walking) as this is where the snow got really bad, I'm talking up to our knees! Two of my friends did in fact make it to the summit and another of my friends completed the three peaks that weekend (we were actually on Ben Nevis at the same time). I cannot tell you how impressed I am with the three of them! The truth is, I was massively ill-equipped - none of us had a map or gps - which was very very stupid. People were v.friendly and informative on the climb, we bumped into a number of people who advised us to go as far where the snow got really bad and, although it was gutting to miss the summit, I am glad we listened to them. The walk itself was actually alright, Ben Nevis isn't as steep as Scafell Pike and nowhere near as scrappy as Snowdon, it's just a pity that the weather was so bad. Annoyingly I also manged to twist my ankle on the descent - only about 15 minutes from the bottom thankfully - but it swelled something rotton and  put a stop to any long walks for me for the rest of the holiday.

Once we'd all re-grouped in the cafe at the foot of Ben Nevis we got into the car and drove to the Isle of Skye. It might sound odd but this drive was probably one of my favourite parts of the holiday. The views were just incredible. We stayed in a cottage by the coast on the north west of the island - surrounded by hundreds of sheep, cattle and views of a giant waterfall. The Isle of Skye was very different to the mainland, more Scandi than Scottish I thought, it reminded me a lot of Iceland - crazy changeable weather, mountains everywhere, black sand beaches, little houses dotted about the wind swept land - I bloody loved it and could've quite happily stayed for a week! We saw a lot of v.moody and atmospheric weather throughtout the trip (which is not actually a bad thing) but as is sod's law, the best weather was on the day we left, so good we actaually saw the outer hebridies. Along with Edinbugh and Glasgow, that might be somewhere I need to visit next! Scotland, you beauty, you can be damn sure I'll be back!


  1. I think you did so well to even get near the top! We are off to Scotland all around Skye and Edinburgh in September and I am super excited! x

    Jasmin Charlotte

    1. Gah! I am soooo jealous of that trip, you are going to have the most amazing time! X

  2. The Highlands and Skye are just so beautiful, I long to go back sometime soon. I really hope your experience on the train doesn't put you off trying for a berth sometime, I would NEVER get a sleeper train without a private berth after a horrible and sleepless night between New York and New Orleans, but berths are amazing! We get the Caledonian Sleeper to Glasgow every year and by buying our tickets literally the day they're released, they cost us about £25 each for the two-person berth (with our Two Together Railcard). I usually fall asleep just out of London and wake up after 7 hours sleep to find myself just outside Glasgow!

    1. I thought the berths would be way better. Unfortunatelywe were very disorganised on this trip and left it till about 3 or 4 weeks before leaving to book our tickets, hence why the prices were shocking. Mitch and I actually have a two together railcard so that it very good news! Thanks for the tip :)


Ta v.much :)

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