At the start of the New Year it’s worth pausing for a moment and consider what’s to come in the year ahead. Out and About has attempted to bring you ideas for visits, activities and organisations in Scotland to visit to improve your enjoyment and well being. We will continue to do this in 2023.
There is great winter walking in Scotland in January. The crunch of hiking boots in the snow is always an uplifting sound that accompanies any walk at this time of year. When temperatures fall well below freezing, walking conditions can be ideal on a clear, cold day. With many wonderful hills withing an easy day’s travel of the central belt, winter walking can be on the radar of most of our population as well as those who have booked winter breaks in the Highlands.
Walking in a Winter wonderland
With snow on the ground test your wildlife footprint recognition skills, a great activity for families with young children. Take your phone and record the tracks you find. Look on the net for images of animal identification in the UK and see how many species are active in your neighbourhood.
Winter walking on the hills requires some thought and some extra gear. Walking in cleats or crampons requires a little practice. Seek expert advice in your local walking club and climbing shop. My advice, for what it’s worth, is start on small hills, use walking poles to give you extra stability and balance. If you take the next step to crampons and ice axe, go on a winter mountaineering course. It’s always worth going out with experts to watch how they do it and to acquire new skills.
Springtime in the Hebrides, and bring the wee bairns
Spring will eventually come, the snow and ice will disappear and it’s time to get out the bike and put some miles on the Strava for 2023. Summer cycling in Scotland can be life affirming. If you want a quiet flat route and a multi-day cycling holiday I can recommend that you take your bike to the Outer Hebrides. Start off in Barra and let the prevailing winds assist you on your way to the Butt of Lewis. This is a magical trip that will stay with you for a lifetime I promise. If you have young children, why not introduce them to the joys of cycling in Scotland with a trip to Millport and a trip by bike round the Isle of Cumbrae. It’s the best place to start.
The year ahead will see Out and About visit the Isle of Mull in early summer, to canoe and look out for the wonderful wildlife that can be found on this treasure of the Inner Hebrides and the star of many BBC wildlife programmes. There are great beaches, in Ben More a Munroe mountain and many bays to paddle a canoe round with all the wildlife associated with these unique Scottish habitats. Mull is a jewel in the crown of the Hebrides and is always worth a visit at any time of the year.
This is a flavour of what we hope to bring you in the year ahead. It’s by no means an exclusive list.
Out and About is for all citizens by all citizens.
Happy travels in 2023!
Out and About by Charlie McCarthy is a regular feature of Bylines Scotland, published on the first Friday of each month, with the regular feature returning 3 February.
If you have an idea for Out and About, please get in touch, or even better write about it. Email [email protected] with Out and About in the subject field.
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