Winter strolls in the Highlands

Winter walks are good for you!

Keeping active over the winter is important. As the weather turns colder, many of us want to hide under the covers. But, if you can get out and enjoy the fresh air, you’ll feel so much better. So, here are a few winter walks you can do during a stay with us at the Kingsmills Hotel in Inverness. Our part of the Scottish Highlands is so beautiful over the winter, you’ll be glad you made the effort.

Winter walking tips

First things first, you need to make sure you’re well-prepared for winter walks in the Highlands. The average temperature in Inverness over the winter is 3°C and usually ranges between 0°C and 6°C. The weather is famously changeable in Scotland. There may be bright skies and sunshine, wind and rain, and occasionally snow and ice. Sometimes all on the same day! Check the latest weather forecast here, before planning your walk.

Wrapping up warmly and wearing layers is the key. Check our handy packing list to make sure you bring along the right clothes and accessories. In winter, this includes a warm hat, coat, waterproof jacket, and jumper or fleece. We also recommend good, sturdy and waterproof footwear, such as walking boots. If you plan on hillwalking, some lightweight fold-away walking poles might be a good idea. A map and compass are also essential, as you can’t always rely on mobile phone reception in the Highlands.

City walks

City walks are great in the winter, as they tend to be a little warmer and flatter. Inverness is a beautiful city and you don’t have to go far to find beautiful scenic paths and walkways. The River Ness and Caledonian Canal walk is one of our favourites. It takes in iconic landmarks like Inverness Castle, the tranquil Ness Islands, and the towpath and locks of the Caledonian Canal. You might even spot dolphins leaping in the Moray Firth if you’re lucky! If you’re looking for higher ground, how about the Craig Phadrig hillwalk? This is a moderate walk up to an ancient hill fort. It can be quite muddy and uneven in parts, so is best reserved for drier days. But it offers gorgeous views of the Beauly Firth and snow-capped Erchless Forest hills.

View from Craig Phadrig near Inverness
Beautiful views from Craig Phadrig

History walks

This area is steeped in history and there are many fascinating sites that are good to explore on foot over the winter. There is a wonderful walk that includes both the historic Culloden Battlefield, where the last land battle on British soil took place in 1746, and the Clava Cairns, an ancient burial ground dating from the Bronze Age. The Culloden Battlefield and Clava Cairns walk is a great one for the winter because the Clava Cairns was built to align with the setting winter sun. If you visit at sunset, around the Winter Solstice (22nd December), you’re in for a spectacular treat!

Sunset at the Clava Cairns burial ground near Inverness
The Clava Cairns are around 4,000 years old

Walking trails

We are so lucky to be near a choice of way-marked walking trails in the Highlands. From the Great Glen Way to the South Loch Ness Trail, you can walk just a little or the whole of these amazing long-distance routes. The Highland scenery is simply breathtaking in the winter! From clear and bright days when the sun glistens on the ice-cold loch to dark and moody days when the fog rolls between the mountain tops. Every day is magical!

View of Loch Ness in the winter
Loch Ness winter landscapes are spectacular

And on those occasional days when it’s just too stormy to venture out, we have plenty to keep you cosy at the Kingsmills Hotel. Warm and welcoming hotel rooms, hearty and comforting food and drink, and fantastic leisure facilities. So come along and enjoy a winter adventure in the Scottish Highlands. Check out our winter warmer deals today.