The Scottish Highlands offer some of the most glorious hikes in the world. This 8-day gay adventure features four hikes, a few isles, and time in both the capital of Edinburgh and Scotland’s largest city, Glasgow. If you’re not a hardcore hiker, you can skip the most challenging day and spend it exploring Brodick Castle instead.
Hiking in Scotland is possibly the best way to see the country! With it’s rugged scenery, clean, fresh air and friendly people, Scotland will provide you with an unrivalled hiking experience. You can sample some of the best hiking and trekking in Europe, and the beauty of the Scottish Highlands combined with their fascinating and colourful history is an opportunity every walker should experience. For keen walkers, hiking in Scotland is the ideal way to see the best of the country.
• Whisky tasting and tour at an Oban distillery
• Hikes of varying intensity on different islands in the Highlands
• Day trip to Edinburgh featuring its famous castle
• Private tour of the Glasgow School of Art
• Two delicious dinners to kick off and wrap up the trip
Our escapade kicks off with a bus to the Highlands. After passing Loch Lomond, we arrive in Oban for three nights.
To break the ice and make fast friends, stand by for a whisky tasting and tour at the local distillery.
Our Welcome Dinner is at a favourite seafood restaurant on the pier.
Oban is known as the ‘Gateway to the Isles’, and today we’ll take a 5-minute ferry ride to Kerrera, with a preposterous population of 45 people.
A 4.5 hour hike will bring us past castle ruins and a remote tearoom.
The evening is free to enjoy, or join us for an optional dinner.
This morning we’re off to Mull, the second-largest Inner Hebridean island, for a short coastal hike and visit to colourful Tobermory port.
We’ll then catch the late afternoon ferry to enjoy our last night in Oban, where you may join the group for an optional dinner or explore on your own.
Today’s short transfer brings us to Kilmartin Glen.
Our hike takes us through time as we discover ancient burial sites, stone circles, and one of Europe’s highest concentrations of neolithic remains.
This will be followed by a ferry to the Arran, aka ‘Scotland in miniature’.
Arran’s highest peak, ‘Goat Fell’, stands 873m above sea level. It’s a challenging hike, but this is what you came for! Beginning at sea level, reaching the summit makes it all worthwhile with views in every direction (you may even see Ireland).
Not up for the hike? Explore the grounds of Brodick Castle instead.
Tonight we’ve planned a hearty dinner to celebrate our summit.
This morning we’ll ferry back to the mainland and transfer to Glasgow, landing in town about noon.
Our only plans today are a private tour of the renowned Glasgow School of Art.
Feel free to explore on your own, and why not join us for an optional dinner?
After breakfast, we’ve an hour-long train ride to Scotland’s capital, Edinburgh.
Our visit includes stops at Edinburgh Castle and the Royal Mile, followed by time to explore.
Then catch the late afternoon train back to Glasgow, followed by an unforgettable Farewell Dinner.
You’ll be transferred to Glasgow Airport this morning, but if you wanted to linger longer, just grab a taxi when you’re ready to go.
• Expert guide
• 7 nights accommodation
• Transfers throughout, including airport, train and ferry
• Excursions and entrance fees for the distillery tasting, art school tour, and visit to Edinburgh Castle
• Most meals, per the itinerary
• Cocktail or wine with our first and last dinners
• Local snacks for the hike
• Gratuities for restaurant/hotel staff and local guides (not our lead guide, who you may tip directly as you see fit)
• Travel insurance package covering medical, trip interruption & baggage loss.
• International Airfare
• Departure Transfer
• Meals & Activities not mentioned in itinerary
• Gratuities for Tour Leader ($50-$100 USD) and drivers ($30-$50 USD each)
• Beverages not mentioned above during meals.
How We Travel:
OUT Adventures is all about good times with likeminded guys. Whatever's on the itinerary - from fireside camping to five-star decadence - our goal is to make the experience magical. To ensure authenticity we hire local guides, stay in locally-owned accommodations whenever possible, and seek out local cuisine. It's a great way to immerse yourself in the culture while supporting the communities we visit.
If you're from the EU, US, Canada, Australia or New Zealand, you only need a passport (valid for three months from the EU, or six months from the other countries). If you're from anywhere else you will need a visa.
There shouldn't be much to alarm you, aside from how warm the welcomes are, how tasty the Scotch is, and how everybody drives on the wrong side of the road.
Local LGBT Scene:
Given that the head of the Scottish Conservative party is a lesbian, the Church of Scotland allows gay ministers, and asylum is offered to those facing homophobic persecution, sexuality is definitely not an issue here. Some even consider Glasgow the gayest city in the UK. And don't get us started on all those men in kilts (sips dirty martini, inhales menthol cigarette)...
In August the days are normally warm, ranging from approximately 15C/59F to 17C/63F.
There are no required vaccinations, but routine shots are recommended for all travelers. To determine if you should take preventative measures to reduce the risk of illness, consult your doctor or a travel medical clinic. We cannot provide vaccination recommendations.
You will need an international travel plug/adapter for type D/G sockets.
All of our hotels will have Wi-Fi access, so feel free to tweet, pin, post, and generally be the envy of your friends and family back home.
Queen's Hotel, Oban
The Queens Hotel is formed over two buildings. The old Bishop's House (originally built for the 1st Episcopalian Bishop of Argyll) fronts onto the Esplanade. The Iona Building at the rear has standard accommodation.
Grand Central Hotel, Glasgow
The Grand Central was originally built as a great British railway hotel in the late 19th-century. One of the city's most prestigious buildings, it's welcomed guests from Winston Churchill to Frank Sinatra.
For everybody's peace of mind, all OUT Adventures include comprehensive travel insurance. That's up to $200 you won't have to fret about adding to your budget, unless you want to insure the value of your trip for cancellation.
All OUT Adventures are led by gay (or gay-welcoming) guides. Whenever possible, we hire destination locals, and will connect you with people if you'd like to delve deeper into the local culture. If you're pleased with your guide, we recommend a tip of $5-10 USD per person, per day (they'll certainly appreciate it).
OUT Adventures are a great way to meet people from all walks of life. Bear in mind that everybody's there for a good time, so mutual respect will go a long way. Please be on time for any meet ups, empathetic to the needs of others, and ready to roll with whatever the adventure brings.
Although we can't tell you about fellow travellers for privacy reasons, we can tell you many great friendships began on an OUT Adventure. We're also not gay-exclusive: friends and family are always welcome to join!
If you've never travelled on your own, it's an amazing way to learn about yourself while making new friends. We can arrange for you to share a room with someone in your age range (at no charge), or you can pay a supplement for your own room. If there's an odd number of solos, we'll rotate a single room on a random basis to keep things even.
The itinerary is correct at time of publishing. If anything, it will only improve with feedback from travellers and our own research. Please reference your final trip documents, rather than our website, for final details and any changes that may affect your departure.
Every OUT Adventure offers optional excursions that are not included in price of this trip. Please see your daily itinerary in your final pre-trip packet to see what's available.
To keep things flexible, not all meals are included in the trip price. While we typically dine together so everybody can taste everything, feel free to explore restaurants on your own...your guide will always have solid recommendations.
If you are happy with services throughout your trip, a tip is recommended. Details will be provided in your final trip documentation, though we recommend budgeting about $150 USD.
Scottish currency, like all the UK, is the pound Sterling (GBP), although Scottish banks print their own versions. Credit cards are accepted at most upscale restaurants and hotels, but we recommend carrying local currency for smaller purchases. We also recommend carrying about $400 USD in case of emergency, or if your credit/ATM cards are placed on hold.