Well, that’s almost the end of the busy tourist season in Inverness…and what a season it has been! From a record number of visitors on our Isle of Skye Group Tour, to the continuing success of our shore tours from Invergordon, and excellent feedback for our new and improved Whisky Bus, it has been another excellent year for us.
So, to celebrate the end of a great season, and to thank all of the WOW team for yet again cruising through it with good humour and enthusiasm, we decided it was about time that someone took us out on a adventure for the day. Hmmm…now …who would be brave enough to take a group of local tour guides on a tour, you might ask?! Step forward Quad Bike Tours, who are based in Kinlochlaggan, in the stunning Cairngorms National Park.
Our group of eight pitched up to an enthusiastic welcome and were shown into the Ardverikie Estate, of BBC hit drama Monarch of the Glen fame. As this estate is not accessible to vehicular traffic, it was a rare treat to get VIP access, and we were all excited to don our quad bikes and get going.
After a gentle start along the estate road we quickly reached “Glen Bogle” House. Again, as this property is not accessible to the public, it was fantastic to see it close up, and it looks exactly like it did in the TV series. After hearing a bit about the estate’s history, what followed was two hours of exhilarating riding through stunning mountain scenery; as we drove along landrover tracks, through rivers and burns, and over an occasional mud or hill obstacle, our guides kept us safe and informed with regular stops and amusing anecdotes. The highlight for all was riding across Loch Laggan beach near the end of the tour – apparently it is the largest inland, freshwater beach in Europe (yep, the tour guides were listening!) and it was a real thrill to roar across this deserted expanse of sand.
Upon return to our base at “Gollie’s” cottage we enjoyed a delicious lunch (courtesy of the Crown Deli in Inverness) before it was onto our next activity for the day; clay pigeon shooting. I think we all surprised ourselves at how easily we mastered it, but perhaps that was due more to the expert instruction than our advanced shooting skills!
After leaving Ardverikie Estate in high spirits we all headed to the Cairn Hotel in Carrbridge, for a few well-earned drinks and some dinner in front of their roaring log fire. Everyone agreed that it had been a fantastic day, and we would thoroughly recommend Quad Bike Tours to anyone visiting the Scottish Highlands, particularly for those who are Monarch of the Glen fans.
Now, back to work refreshed and motivated for a few more weeks, before a well-earned rest over the winter!