WALKING Whether it be enjoying a countryside ramble or an airy coastal walk, hiking long distance treks through glens or climbing amidst the majestic mountains, Scotland's spirit-of-place will infuse your own spirit and revitalise your senses. Walking also provides an ideal opportunity to spot our wonderful wildlife. In addition to the renowned walks below we are privileged to have two short walks on our own doorstep.
We are situated 5 minutes walk from the Canal and from the bridge you can travel in either direction. Going right along the footpath will take you up to the locks and on towards the Beauly Firth. Going left along the footpath will take you in the direction of Loch Ness and you will see the amazing view of the Canal and the River Ness running alongside each other.
River Ness & Ness Islands
Just a few hundred yards from Avalon you can access the River Ness at the Ness Islands. This is a superb way to walk into the City Centre and you can take in the beautiful landscaping and the views of Inverness Castle. There are footbridges allowing you to cross the river which is lined with some of Invernesses best restaurants.
Great Glen Way
The route, which spans 73 miles/117km between Fort William and Inverness, can be walked in 5-6 days, staying overnight in the various communities within the Glen. The Great Glen Way suits all levels of walker. For the less experienced it is the perfect introduction to long distance walking, being for the most part low-level and following mainly towpaths and woodland tracks.
There are some challenging sections though, and the more experienced may wish to tackle a few Munros or Corbetts within reach from the route.The route can be walked in either direction, however, walking from Fort William to Inverness you have the prevailing wind behind you and begin with the easier sections of the Way.
Cairngorms National Park
The Cairngorms National Park (Scotland's second National Park) covers one of the most spectacular landscapes in the UK, forged by glaciers over 10,000 years ago. This stunning area covers a diverse range of topography, from wild arctic tundra on the high mountain tops to ancient pinewoods - surviving parts of the once extensive Caledonian Forest that flourished over much of Highland Scotland, lower down in the glens.
This area is the haunt of iconic wildlife such as Red Deer and Golden Eagle, but you might also be lucky enough to spot rare birdlife such as the Dotterel, Capercaillie and Ptarmigan. Landscapes and people, conservation and development - all are important for the Cairngoms National Park.
No-one who travels here can fail to be struck by a sense of being somewhere different. The sheer atmosphere of these northlands makes a big impression. Yet the Northern Highlands also offer splendid variety, all the way from the remote wildness of the austere rock-hewn landscapes of the far north west and Wester Ross, to the quintessentially Scottish architecture of the old burgh of Cromarty at the tip of the Black Isle or the ancient archaeological sites of Caithness.
Naturally, these sublime landscapes are made for walkers and climbers. There are lochs - all but uncountable in number, astonishing mountain architecture and a rugged coastline with intriguing inlets and fascinating rock formations and sea stacks. Ultimately, however, it is the wilderness experience of the far north and its all but empty grandeur, which will leave the strongest impression .
Western Highlands and Skye Walks
This is arguably where you'll find much of the picture-postcard scenery for which Scotland is so renowned. On the mainland, long sea lochs creep deep inland, overshadowed by magnificent mountains and the unspoilt peninsulas to the west are regarded as amongst some of the last unspoilt wilderness areas of Europe - rugged land where nature commands.
Lochaber dominates this part of Scotland and includes some of Scotland's finest mountains. Britain's highest mountain, Ben Nevis is here and further south in Glencoe hill enthusiasts will find a veritable hillwalking paradise.
Numerous forest walks can also be found throughout this area for those who prefer to look up to the summits rather than from them!
Of all Highland landforms, the mountain profiles of Skye create the strongest sense of awe, and have drawn visitors to the island since the days of Sir Walter Scott. Here, you'll find the Black Cuillin - a famous (or notorious) 13 km ridge of narrow crests and sharp aretes linking 11 Munros together and represents, for many, the ultimate UK mountaineering challenge.
This is the domain of experienced climbers only. If however you're looking for more pastoral walking the Sleat peninsula further south offers a more gentle and greener perspective with fabulous views across the sea to the mainland. www.walking.visitscotland.com/walks/westhighlands
www.visit-fortwilliam.co.uk - Ben Nevis