WALKING Forest trails provide the perfect environment for young and old to walk or cycle, and there is an abundance of wildlife to reward the observant visitor. Forest Enterprise have car parks and marked woodland trails in locations round Loch Beinn a’ Mheadhoin, Dog Falls, Badger Falls and Plodda Falls are all spectacular and there are walks of varying lengths to suit all abilities. All can be reached on foot from your accommodation walking through the woods or you can take the car to a central location and walk from there.
The surrounding mountains in Glen Affric, Glen Cannich and Glen Strathfarrar boast many Munros and Corbetts to challenge the experienced hillwalker, but bear in mind that there may be some restrictions on certain locations during the stalking season.
Walks from the farm include gentle strolls through the woods longer climbs up on the Guisachan hills to the monument and hill lochs, or right through to the west coast via Glen Affric and Kintail. These walks can all be undertaken on paths or hill tracks where you will not meet any vehicles and the only people you will see will be other walkers.
MOUNTAIN BIKING There are ample opportunities in the forests around Tomich for exploring on your mountain bike. Bike Hire is available on site, together with an indoor secure bike lockup. There are numerous cross-country/ single track; double track and technical options within Glen Affric. You can also link off road from Tomich to the Great Glen Way and from Tomich to Loch Duich on the west coast via Glen Affric.
WILDLIFE BOX This is a great resource for guests wanting to discover more about Tomich’s animals, flowers and environment. Inside the box you will find wildlife spotting cards, suggested walks around the Estate, OS maps, binoculars (£10 deposit), species ID books, farming year calendar, children’s activity sheets and a wildlife spotter’s visitor book. If you would like to use this whilst on holiday, simply tick the wildlife box on the online booking form and you will find it in your cottage upon arrival or visit the office once in Tomich. It is issued free of charge on a first come, first served basis and subject to availability.
TOURING Your holiday home is set amidst the scenic splendour of Glen Affric. The nearby glens of Cannich and Strathfarrar are less wooded and far more rugged in their terrain. Here, herds of red deer can frequently be seen, especially in the winter months when they come down from the hills to search for food. Further down Strathglass you come to Aigas where you can visit the Salmon lift in the dam, or play a round of golf on the nine hole golf course. Taking the road over to Glen Urquhart, you can visit the Chambered Cairn at Corrimony and the RSPB owned Corrimony estate, where work is going on to conserve and encourage Black Grouse and Capercaille. Further on in Drumnadrochit on the shores of Loch Ness you can visit the Loch Ness Visitor centre or take a boat trip on the Nessie Hunter. The Drum Farm caters for all visitors with a special emphasis on the younger generation and further round the bay you could also go riding at Borlum Farm or visit Urquhart Castle.
Travelling South West from Drumnadrochit you will pass through Fort Augustus where there is a wonderful opportunity to see boats going up and down the flight of locks on the Caledonian canal and you can visit the Canal Heritage centre or take a speed boat along Loch Ness. 20 Miles further on as you approach Fort William and Ben Nevis there is an opportunity to take a cable car to the top of Aonach Mor, by winter a ski resort and in the summer a centre for mountain biking. From Fort William you can continue to Oban where several ferries leave for Mull and the Western Isles, or you can go North to Glenfinnan and its monument to the Jacobite rising and on to Mallaig. Turning North form Invermoriston you can take the ‘Road to the Isles’ to Kyle of Lochalsh passing Eilean Donan castle and on to Skye, or you can continue to Plockton and return home via Achnasheen and Garve.
In the picturesque village of Beauly – 20 miles from Tomich – previous winner of ‘Scotland In Bloom’ competitions you can visit the Priory Heritage Centre and the famous ‘Campbell’s Tweed House’. Going North East past the Cromarty Firth you will arrive in Tain where you can visit the Glenmorangie Distillery or follow the historic Pictish Trail, before continuing north to Dunrobin Castle with its spectacular falconry display. Taking the road towards Lairg and Ullapool you will pass the Falls of Shin with a great playpark for children and small cafe. From Ullapool you can return to Beauly or continue down the West coast to Loch Ewe and the renowned Inverewe Gardens where the mild climate associated with the Gulf Stream enables palm trees to grow amongst the rhododendrons.
Inverness, the Highland Capital offers many attractions depending on your interests. There are museums and art galleries and a tropical floral hall. For shopping there are two linked arcades and the old Victorian market, there is the Scottish kiltmaker visitor centre and James Pringle woollen mills. For recreation there are walks through the Ness Islands and the ice rink and Aquadome with its flumes and water slides for swimming. From the harbour you can take a boat trip to see the Moray Firth Dolphins or from the Tomnahurich Bridge you can take a cruise on the Jacobite Queen through the Caledonian Canal and Loch Ness. For entertainment there are shows at Eden Court Theatre and films at the multi-screen cinema.
Travelling beyond Inverness you will come to Ardersier and the imposing battlements of Fort George, still an active army base but maintained by Historic Scotland to give visitors a fascinating insight into military life 200 years ago. Inland from here is the Battlefield of Culloden with its visitor centre where there are frequent displays and re-enactments of battle scenes throughout the summer. Surrounding the famous golfing town of Nairn you can find Cawdor and Brodie which welcome visitors to their castles and gardens. A little further and you will enter the Spey Valley where the beautiful soft water from the Cairngorms has been utilised for centuries to produce uisge beatha (water of life) and you can join the ‘whisky trail’ visiting as many distilleries as your stamina will allow.