Hop and Thistle Tours: General Information

Start and Finish

All our tours start and end in Inverness. The group will be met at the railway station in Inverness or arrangements can be made for pick up at Inverness airport. Inverness is reachable by train from Edinburgh and Glasgow (approximately three hours). ScotRail has information about these services including timetables and pricing. ScotRail's website can be seen here.


You will be staying in one of two carefully selected Scottish lodges. Each lodge has a mix of king, double and twin rooms. Most rooms are en-suite, though some have a private bathroom. For guests arriving by car, each lodge has plenty of on-site parking. Find out more about accommodation here.

Single Rooms

A very limited number of single rooms are available. In most cases, single travellers will be allocated a double or twin room and a supplement of £150 pounds will be payable.

There will be no supplement for single travellers willing to share a twin room with two single beds, with another member of the group of the same gender. Those who choose to share will always be allocated a room with an en-suite bathroom or a private bathroom.


By law smoking is not allowed in enclosed public places in Scotland. This includes in bedrooms and all public areas at the lodge and in all restaurants, bars and public buildings. Neither is smoking allowed on public transport on in the mini-bus used to transport guests between the lodges and each days’ activities.

What You Will Need To Bring With You

  • Walking boots or shoes. These should be waterproof, have good tread and be worn-in so as to avoid blisters.
  • Warm clothing, a waterproof jacket and over trousers.
  • A small rucksack for spare clothes and camera etc.
  • Insect repellant.

Information Before Departure

You will receive information about the time and place your group will meet up, plus further details about the trip, by email six weeks ahead of the start date. You will be advised on your group’s accommodation and receive a list of names of the other members who will make up your group.

Minimum Number Of Participants

Four clients is the minimum number for our guided holidays to go ahead, and the maximum is no more than ten. In the event that we have to cancel through insufficient numbers, we will let you know 60 days before the start of your trip and we will offer you an alternative. If the alternative does not suit you, we will refund in full all monies paid. All holidays can be booked exclusively by private groups, with a minimum six persons. The itinerary can then be adapted to suit your needs. Trips booked as a group tours can include a maximum of fourteen persons and these will be accompanied by two guides.


We have Public Liability Insurance, but we strongly recommend that you take out your own travel insurance to cover personal accident, delays and cancellation etc.

Medical Conditions

Please return the attached medical form by email. This should alert us of any health issues which might impact on your ability to participate in the walking and other activities that are included in the tour. If in doubt, please consult your doctor for advice.

Am I Fit Enough?

This walking tour covers the South Loch Ness trail and the river trail in Inverness. It includes a total of 62km walking over 5 days. Only one day sees 20 km of walking and that day is in two parts - one before lunch and one after. All walks require people to have a good level of basic fitness. Most days the walks are three hours or less, but do expect some wet and boggy sections on the trail. Some walks include a gradual climb to the summit above Loch Ness at 550m to enjoy the views, but most days involve a mix of gradual inclines and flat terrain, both in the open and through woodland. It is likely that you will spot red deer, as they are abundant in the area. If in doubt about your fitness level, please consult your doctor before booking.

Why Choose Hop and Thistle Tours?

Wonderful scenery, great accommodation, gourmet food and an expert guide. What more could you possibly want?

Come and join us for a seven day all-inclusive luxury walking holiday. We will spend part of our time walking on the wonderful South Loch Ness Trail. The area offers varied landscapes of great beauty. Our walks will take us in valleys and wild woodlands and a few summits too, allowing us to immerse ourselves in the wilderness. When we are not walking we will be out exploring this great country, rich in all its history and dark past, and not forgetting its whisky! See our itinerary here.

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