October 29, 2020
24 Hours in Scotland...
Join Craig Marshall, founder of Nature Makes Us Better, on his adventure around Scotland and discover the best activities and places to enjoy the green countryside of this fantastic place.
Scotland is beautiful all year round, but if you plan to enjoy some activities on the water, sticking to spring and autumn is our best recommendation. During the summer months, the bold Scottish midge makes some places unbearable... Trust us, you will thank us later!
12:00 – Hit the road
If you want to explore Scotland then you can grab your pack, hit the road and head North. If driving isn’t your thing, take a high-speed train up to Glasgow with plenty of local rural trains to take you deep into the remote Scottish highlands.
If your plan is to adventure (which we would definitely recommend) then chances are you’ll need plenty of gear. So renting a car for the weekend will help get you exactly where you want to go!
13:00 - A place to lay your head
Scotland is a remote and wild country filled with vast untouched landscapes. To truly immerse yourself in this special place you’ll want to consider wild camping, to be as close to nature as possible. Scotland has some of the most favourable ‘right to roam’ rules in the world which allows wild camping in almost any place - encouraging exploration and nature connection.
If you’re planning on heading to Loch Katrine then the visitor centre at the head of the loch has a welcoming range of eco-pod cabins which overlook the water, perfect for taking in those early morning sunrises.
13:30 - Time to eat!
You’ve probably worked up quite the appetite by the time you’ve reached Katrine and found your spot for the night. You’ll find plenty of traditional stone-built pubs nearby, especially around the neighbouring Loch Lomond, where you can enjoy freshwater seafood caught straight from the Loch.
14:30 – Adventure time
Time to make the most of the rest of the day!
Loch Katrine has a purpose-built cycle path which tracks along its eastern shoreline as does the mighty Ben A’an, known as the ‘mountain in miniature’ for its spectacular views and modest climb and is well worth a hike. Look down on your campsite and marvel at the majesty of the loch stretching out in front of you…
Just be sure to leave enough time to make the descent or be sure to pack a head torch).
17:30 - Cool off in the Loch!
Once you’ve made it back down to your camp or cabin what better way could there be to shake off the aches of the day (and Coll off your hiking blisters) than with a dip in Loch Katrine. Sloping pebbled beaches can be found easily for a relaxing spot to enter the water and with the creamy golden light filling the valley, this will be one swim you’ll never forget.
18:00 - Cook by the campfire.
Once you’ve dried off from your swim and hung your wetsuit up to dry…
Why not set up a campfire and roast some traditional haggis (if you prefer a vegetarian option, there are also vegetarian haggies) with a mug of classic scotch whiskey, or perhaps just tea, to wash it down.
Sit back and relax and take in the silence that surrounds you in the air in every direction.
Top tip: Bring a lightweight steel container or something similar to contain your fire and to be sure that you don’t leave any harmful scorch marks on the ground. Remember - Leave No Trace.
22:00 – Lay down and look up at the stars
Loch Katrine and the surrounding peaks of Ben Venue and Ben A’an are miles away from the nearest city which makes the skies here pitch black.
The milky way can be seen all year round in Scotland so be sure to let your eyes adjust to the dark and you might be lucky enough to see meteors fizzing silently overhead, or even the aurora borealis can be seen here in the winter months - pretty special, huh?
6:00 - The early bird catches the sunrise swim!
You’ll want to wake up early and catch the first beams of sunlight tickling the mountain peaks and warming the water, so put your wetsuit back on for yet another refreshing dip to start off your day right!
Stand in the footsteps of some of the great poets and nature writers such as Sir Walter Scott - who wrote his famous ‘Lady of the Lake’ here at Loch Katrine back in 1810 after being inspired by the clear waters and woodland shores flanked with rich mature oak trees.
8:00 - Every adventure morning needs coffee
When you’ve enjoyed the water you can get warm with a hot camp-fire coffee made with freshly ground coffee beans and small coffee machine which packs easily into your rucksack and travels light.
Top tip: Set the water on to slow boil over the fire and it’ll ready just in time when you’re out of the loch and all dried off!
9:00 - One more adventure for good luck…
Once you’re packed up, set some time aside to make sure you’ve left no trace of your visit. If there is litter around left by other people, clear it up and take it with you if you can to preserve the wildness of this place and protect the local plants and animals.
You’ll have just enough time to squeeze in one more adventure. The nearby Falls of Falloch are great for an easy walk or you can head North to the famous Glencoe valley (and its little neighbour Glen Etive) for a heart-pounding kayak in cascading plunge pools. If it’s another swim you’re after then check out The Hidden Valley and prepare to have your breath taken away.
12:00 - Time to head home.
Head back down to the valley floor and begin the journey home, daydreaming wistfully, perhaps about spending another night of wild camping up in the hidden valley of glen Coe on your next visit to Scotland.