Snow on the Hills
This week saw the first dusting of snow on some of the Highland hills. While it’s certainly going to be a while till there is enough to go skiing, the first touches of white on the tops is just enough to get many excited and start making plans for the coming winter. Whether it’s a White Christmas you are looking forward to, or some snowboarding, or just over indulging in turkey and sprouts then LHH has just the property for you. Now is the perfect time to start making plans whether that be a romantic Christmas for two in the mountains or a large shindig for New Year.
Relaxing comfortably in a hot tub, surrounded by snow, is a truly amazing experience. After a long day spent carving turkeys or peeling spuds it is undoubtedly the best way to take in your surroundings. The contrast between the all-enveloping darkness and the moonlight reflecting off the white snow makes for sensory overload. Caledonian Retreat is one of the few properties with a hot tub that still has availability for New Year. Sleeping 6, it is ideal for small groups of families who want to get away from it all but still have all the comforts of home. The ski slopes at Cairngorm are easily accessible in a day and you are also close to the shores of Loch Ness if you are one of these hardy souls who likes jumping in the water on New Year’s Day to get rid of their hangover.
The Cuillin Mountains are stunning at any time of year but with some snow cover they take on the appearance of a majestic Alpine ridge. Caution must be exercised when venturing to any summits in winter but the rewards are most definitely worth it. Saltwinds, near Fiskavaig, sleeps 8 and would be a brilliant base for any aspiring winter walker over Christmas. It is spacious and luxurious with a drying room and boot storage as well as a large wood burning stove to warm up beside when you come home. The well-equipped kitchen, which includes an Aga, makes preparing Christmas dinner a breeze and for a refreshing alternative to turkey you could easily pick up some local Skye oysters and lobsters. A wee dram of Talisker from the nearby distillery would round off the day perfectly.
Christmas is not always about the snow. Being next to a beach and watching the wind whip up the waves while you are still safely ensconced next to a roaring fire is a truly inspiring experience. The stark beauty of the Hebrides is at its most pronounced at this time of year, the atmosphere is one of refreshment and cleansing, of the wild weather blowing away the old year ready to start afresh. It’s a great time for an invigorating walk around the coast to soak in the awesome power of nature and from 7 Carnish it couldn’t be easier as the living room looks right out over Uig bay. It’s rare to get snow here but who needs a white Christmas when you could go for a walk on a white sandy beach after you have finished tucking into your turkey and sprouts. For a real Christmas dinner to remember then some freshly caught scallops from nearby Miavaig and locally smoked salmon offer a delicious alternative to the usual fare.
New Year is, for many, the ideal time for a romantic break to get away from it all as opposed to a massive get together with friends and family. A cosy cottage in a remote location makes a complete change from the noise and chaos of the city centre come the stroke of midnight. It can be a time of year for reflection, to look back on 2018 and make some plans for the coming year. It’s so much easier to focus on the important things in life, like your loved ones when you are enjoying the serenity and quiet of the countryside without the distraction of noisy crowds or busy celebrations. Lilac Cottage sits by the coast at North Kessock, a picturesque location for Hogmanay brought in with a local beer from the Cromarty Brewery but still close enough to be able to see the fireworks from the celebrations across the water in Inverness.