LOW LEVEL WALKS
There are many signposted walks in and around Benmore. Pucks Glen is a one hour walk from the centre or twenty minutes by car. Other favourite trails nearby are Dunans Hill, Kilmun Arboretum, Dunoon and the coast of Holy Loch are also easily accessible.
Pine forests and lochs surround the walking trails in the Cairngorms. Popular walks include a picture postcard Loch Morlich and its famous beach, Loch an Eilein with its island castle ruins and Frank Bruce Sculpture trail on your doorstep.
Both areas are ideal locations for low-level walks and wildlife watching. If you are lucky enough you could see red squirrels, crested tits, red deer and even a capercaillie.
The Cowal Hills around Benmore provide many exciting, and varied hill walks, whatever the season, hill walking options from a few hours to a few days. Our relatively steep and wild mountains are excellent for both beginners and those with a bit more experience. The remote feel of the local hills contrasts with the famous and spectacular Arrochar Alps or Crianlarich Hills nearby, but both provide a real mountain experience.
At Lagganlia both the Cairngorms and the Monaliadh Mountain Ranges are on your doorstep, you can get acquainted with the highest of Scotland's mountains, only Ben Nevis in nearby Lochaber is of greater height at 1344m. There are lovely forest walks or the spectacular long-distance Rothiemurchus to Braemar walk via the Lairig Ghru with its resident Yeti - the 'Old Grey Man'.
ORIENTEERING AND ROGAINING
Both of our outdoor centres provide orienteering and rogaining locations. Several courses in the grounds and the surrounding forests are a great introduction to the growing sport. For those with previous experience, or wanting a specialist orienteering course, there are many excellently mapped forests in the area. At Benmore, the gardens, local area and Glenbranter offer a variety of routes and levels to suit all abilities. Whilst Lagganlia has some of the best orienteering terrain in Scotland. We stage competitive events at Lagganlia and the nearby Inshriach Forest. Orienteering develops map technique, together with decision making and independence.
Experience the outdoors after dark. Night walks are a centre run activity, designed to heighten the senses and help familiarise young people with the sights and sounds of the natural environment at night. This guided activity allows safe exploration of our centre and the grounds, and surrounding areas of Feshie Bridge at Lagganlia and Glenbranter at Benmore. Benmore route has even been known to include a bit of jungle bashing and intricate night lines
Explore and appreciate the nocturnal world.
At a step above hillwalking, there are great opportunities for mountaineering at both sites. Although not offered as a led activity, for those who are well versed in the art of mountain ropework, there are some phenomenal challenges on offer nearby.
The Cairngorms are well known for their challenging Northern Corries, walking into them is a breeze from the Cairngorm Mountain Base Station, a twenty five minute drive from the centre. Although a difficult summer venue, the winter opportunities available in Coire an Sneachda are particularly legendary. For summer climbing, the thrills of the bastions of the Loch Avon Basin are fantastic, with the centre well suited to the early starts required to travel there for a day. If multi-pitch climbing is your game then half an hour to the south is the infamous Creag Dubh, and another twenty minutes beyond that is the short trip into Ardverkie Wall at Binnean Shuas.
For sport climbers or single-pitchers a five minute drive gets you to the sport crag at Farletter, twenty minutes to the trad crag at Kingussie and forty five minutes can get you to the brilliant spot of Moy, north of Inverness. All round great rock country.
Benmore’s access to esoterica and scary crags is its draw. Benmore has a mountaineering philosophy and many local crags were frequently explored. Modern climbing has drawn people away from the likes of Creag Liath to more amenable, and safer bolted venues. The Miracle Crag at Loch Eck is a miniature gem of esoteric bolting, and Tighnabruaich and Lochgoilhead have high grade sport climbing for the fierce.
Venturing North sees climbing possibilities at Furnace and in the Arrochar Alps, there are some slightly less challenging routes here, in truly awesome miniature mountain settings, for those who prefer their heart rate to stay at a point where they can appreciate the view.
In winter, the whole area can change abruptly into fantastic winter mountaineering and, if you time it right, there are some super mixed routes right on Benmore’s doorstep, if you know where to look...
An hour north is Beinn Udlaidh and all that shines in winter…An incredible venue for miniature mountains and stunning adventures.