The climbers and mountaineers can really experience the thrill of trekking by taking a two days break off to Ben Nevis- the highest mountain in the British Isles!
Located at the western end of the Grampian Mountains in the Lochaber area of the Scottish Highlands, this mountain is close to the town of Fort William. Ben Nevis is very popular with locals and visitors alike. For climbers and mountaineers the main attraction lies in the 700-metre (2,300 ft) high cliffs of the north face; among the highest cliffs in the United Kingdom, they harbour some classic scrambles and rock climbs of all difficulties, and are one of the principal locations in the UK for ice climbing.
The summit, at 1,344 metres (4,409 ft) above sea level, features the ruins of an observatory built in 1883. Visiting Ben Nevis may take two days, one to climb up and the other to recuperate. It does not look like much of a climb from the bottom, but once you start the climb, if you aren’t healthy enough it may take hours to reach the top. Wear good sneaker and bring lots of water and off-course, a camera! The views from top are stunning, you can see lochs and mountains for miles around. At one point you will have to look down to catch the views of fighter jets flying beneath between the mountains. The most immediate views are to the east, over Carn Mor Dearg to Aonach Mor and Aonach Beag beyond. To the south beyond Glen Nevis lies the rocky ridge of the Mamores, and still further the mountains of Glen Coe.
You must choose a perfect day (indeed sunny) to climb up. Scotland‘s weather is changeable. Whichever time of year you choose to climb, it is usually cold up there; usually windy; often wet; under snow for much of the time. The fog is usually dangerous as it will cover your way ahead and the views around. From the north-east side of the mountain it takes 3 hours and 50 minutes to reach the top. But if this is your first Scottish mountain you’ll be lucky to break 5 hours up and at least 3 more to get back down. It will make you feel no better to know that each September there is a race to the top, and back. The amusing thing is, the record for the round trip is under one-and-a-half hours.
Ben Nevis is a superb spot for hikers especially, if you manage to get the two rarest combinations- a clear and crowd-free day. If you want take some good snaps, start up very early in the morning. Enjoy your opportunity to see Scotland from its highest peak, and it is something that you shouldn’t be missed in Fort William!
Just ahead of the multi-coloured crocuses or the bright yellow winter aconite comes the promise of spring, Snowdrops, or Galanthus (latin name) which are known as the hidden gems of the Scottish gardens. Sometimes referred to as Candlemas bells, appearing as they do around Candlemas(2nd February), it is sacred to the Celtic goddess Brigid, goddess of inspiration and health.
But this year, due to the cold snap, the flowers are likely to be blooming later than usual. Although many gardens have seasonal opening which are open to the public, usually from Easter to Autumn, the glory of the snowdrops is such that they open during the “snowdrop season”on certain dates. There are many different species of snowdrop,some of which are in bloom as early as October, although the main snowdrop season is February.
To view the tranquil beauty, the Scottish Snowdrop Festival brings over 50 historic homes, gardens and castles in Scotland. The Southern Scotland, Northern Scotland and the North of the Central Belt are some of the places where you can see and enjoy the popular feature of the garden.