Walking the Area

Of course, it isn't always necessary to go out walking with a John Dye Expedition - this is a wonderful area for anyone at all to walk, with mountains and secret glens, hill tracks and beaches. We have deserted villages, archaeological remains, abundant and often rare wildlife, geological wonders and above all beautiful, empty landscapes. 

This section has a selection of seasonally-chosen walks based on John Dye Expeditions, information on conditions you may meet, equipment you should take, some things you must beware of, and notes on the Right to Roam legislation.

Read this section - it may make all the difference to your day out.

Click here to see a seasonal selection of local walks.


Get ready to walk
Conditions for walking here in Moidart and Ardnamurchan vary from the sublimely easy to the extremely hard - and the weather is equally variable. Conditions can change very rapidly and without warning, especially in the mountains, and you must be prepared for this.

 
  • Go properly equipped with good footwear (boots or walking shoes - going on the hills in trainers is asking for a broken ankle).

  • Air temperature drops by one degree Celsius for every five hundred feet of altitude - that's a six degree difference at the top of some of our local hills, so carry warm clothing - multiple layers are better than one heavy item. Take waterproof jackets and trousers - even on a dry day they can provide much-needed wind protection.

  • Pack food and drink - water is best, since tea and coffee have a dehydrating effect.

  • Midges can be an occasional nuisance on still, humid days, so don't forget the "midge stuff" (and note that Avon Skin-so-Soft is an excellent alternative to those preparations that melt your eyeballs).

  • Take a map, and if you're going into wild country (that's nearly everywhere around here), a compass - and know how to use both. GPS is useful to pinpoint your position, but only if you can read a map as well - and only if the batteries work.

  • Tell someone where you are going and when you expect to be back. Don't put your trust in mobile phones to get you out of any trouble - they don't often work in the hills.

  • Deer stalking, using high-powered rifles, brings substantial benefits to the economy. The stalking season is from 1 July to 15 February. September and October are the busiest months. Deer stalking should not take place on Sundays. Check locally before you walk - estate staff are always willing to advise on safe walking areas on particular days.


A Right to Roam - the Scottish Outdoor Access Code

Scotland has long had a tradition of open walking and this has now been formalised in the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003. This established the Scottish Outdoor Access Code, commonly known as the Right to Roam and which came into force in February 2005. Unlike England and Wales, the Scottish system does not have defined areas where you can roam at will - in Scotland you can walk anywhere, but you must do so intelligently and with consideration. For detailed information you can go to Outdoor-Access Scotland, a website run by Scottish Natural Heritage, or you can follow the links below.

In a nutshell, it is based on three common-sense principles:
 

1.  Respect the interests of other people.
Acting with courtesy, consideration and awareness is all-important. If you are exercising access rights, make sure that you respect the privacy, safety and livelihoods of those living or working in the outdoors, and the needs of other people enjoying the outdoors.

 

2.  Care for the environment.
If you are exercising access rights, look after the places you visit and enjoy, and leave the land as you find it.

 

3.  Take responsibility for your own actions.
If you are exercising access rights, remember that the outdoors cannot (and should not) be made risk-free and act with care at all times for your own safety and that of others.

A Scottish Natural Heritage leaflet on the Scottish Open Access Code is available for download here.
A four-page summary of the Access Legislation is available for download here.


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