Discover this amazingly varied and beautiful part of the Highlands. Website packed full of local area information and photos.

Contact: Sarah L. Broun   Email:   Tel: 01549 421210 or 07969 269983
Address: Balvaig Cottage B&B, Culrain, Ardgay, Sutherland, IV24 3DW


Winter Holidays

Apart from ski-ers, most people do not think of the Scottish Highlands as a place for a winter holiday. However, the winter is when the Highlands can be enjoyed at their most magnificent. Snow-clad hills, frost-coated trees, iced-waterfalls, starry nights, wonderful red sunrises, beautiful pale pink sunsets, can all be enjoyed during spells of high pressure weather. When the weather is wet there are many fine waterfalls, often at their best in the winter, and walks in the forests where you get some shelter from the rain. There are some amazing walks to do in the winter - see for example the Scotsburn Walk (and the picture at the foot of this page) with its amazing frosty landscapes. Dornoch Beach is also a popular place for winter walking! As we approach spring you may also be interested in a spring break.

Winter in the Highlands of Scotland usually starts around the middle of November, through December, January, February and into March. In 2014 the spring came early, arriving in March, but it is not unknown for wintery days to occur all the way through into May, though this is unusual. 2013/2014 saw almost no snowfall at sea level - the pictures on this page of snow were taken during a brief snowfall in November - and that was about it for the winter snow at our level! We will make sure you stay warm here in the winter, and we hope you will decide to stay with us for a relaxing winter holiday. We are happy for you to stay in the house during the daytime in the winter and keep warm. There has been more snow this winter (2014/2015) but never to the point where we were snowed in.

Moreover, it is not necessary to drive far, or indeed anywhere, from here as there are so many lovely walks to be enjoyed from beside the house, ideal for the winter. Last winter (2013/14) we had many enjoyable days out in the Strathcarron / Amat Forest area, and in the Loch Migdale / Spinningdale area, which are both a short driving distance from here.

Contrary to common (mis)understanding, there is plenty of daylight here because, due to our northerly latitude, the sun rises and sets at a more oblique angle than further south, giving rise to long (and beautiful) twilight periods. Therefore, on a clear day, we actually have more winter daylight than further south. Also being in the countryside, you become more aware of the twilight as there are fewer distractions such as streetlighting and massed housing. The evenings are therefore much the same in terms of daylight hours, although the mornings are a bit darker - ideal for a sleep-in!

Getting Here - by car or train

We do understand that winter driving can be hazardous, and we realise that bookings may have to be cancelled or cut short due to adverse weather. However, last winter (2013/2014) saw very little snow, and the roads were never blocked. We can advise on best winter driving routes - those that are most suitable at this time of the year. Weather forecasts for a week in advance and more can be viewed at Metcheck and weekly forecasts at XCWeather. The Met Office also provide forecasts for up to five days ahead. We keep a very close eye on weather forecasts and if a downturn in the weather is expected which could affect driving conditions, we may advise you to leave early and adjust the charges accordingly.

Alternatively, why not leave the car at home and come here by train? We can meet you at the station, which is less than a mile from us.

Food

We can also sometimes provide full board - evening meals and lunches as well as breakfast, though please check with us first if you want this. There are shops in Bonar Bridge and Ardgay where you can get fresh food. There are places to eat out in Bonar Bridge and other local towns which remain open during the winter, and Bonar Bridge is only about 5 miles away.

Discounted Winter Prices

During the winter our discounted rates for stays of more than one night (the longer the stay the greater the discount) are further reduced to their lowest level. So a holiday here in winter could work out at quite a reasonable cost. Please feel free to contact us for rates. We define the winter season as being November, December, January, February and March. Scotland during these months, however, if often quite mild and sometimes can be milder than further south.

Winter evening sunset over Ardgay from near Bonar Bridge

Winter evening sunset over Ardgay from near Bonar Bridge

Train approaching Culrain railway station

Train approaching Culrain railway station
Why not consider coming here by train instead?

River Carron

River Carron in the winter - easy winter walks in this area

The road through Culrain after a light autumn snowfall

The road through Culrain after a light autumn snowfall
Heavy snowfalls are not common these days

Carn Salachaidh from Strath Cuileannach

Carn Salachaidh from Strath Cuileannach
Often it is only the mountain tops which are snow-covered

 

 

The Scotsburn Walk in the winter

The Scotsburn Walk in the winter
Home | Double Ensuite Bedroom | Single / Twin Bedroom | Prices | Enquiries
Dining Area | Meals | Garden | Winter Breaks | Spring Breaks | Autumn Breaks | Family Holidays |
Your Hosts | Reviews | Policies | Other Places | Highland Weddings
Area Guide | Dornoch Firth | Kyle of Sutherland | Strathcarron | Strath Oykel | Fearn Peninsula
Culrain | Ardgay | Bonar Bridge | Invershin | Spinningdale | Tain | Dornoch | Lairg | Rosehall
Balintore | Hilton of Cadboll | Portmahomack | Nigg | Cromarty | Golspie | Brora
Astronomy | Geology | Archaeology Mountain Biking | Munros | Corbetts | Grahams
Pictish Trail | Shandwick Stone | Edderton Stones | Golf | Sandy Beaches | Cycling | Guided Walks
Culrain Walks | Culrain Burn Walk | Carbisdale Woods Walk | Balblair Woods Walk
Gearrchoille Woodland Walk | Kincardine Burn Walk | Badvoon Forest Walk | Raven's Rock Gorge Walk | Black Rock Gorge Walk
Glen Alladale Walk | Gleann Mor Walk | Glencalvie Walk | Strath Cuilleannach Walk | Glen Einig Walk
Loch Migdale Walk | Achue Walk | Tain Hill Walk | Scotsburn Walk | Fyrish Walk | Strath Rusdale
Carron Falls | Eas Carron Falls | Cassley Falls | Shin Falls | Allt Loch Ruagaidh Falls | Oykel Falls | Enarg Falls
Struie Road | Oykel Bridge | Glen Oykel | Oykel to Ledmore | Meikle Ferry | Loch Fleet NNR | Seals & Dolphins
Loch Brora | Loch Shin | Loch a'Ghriama | Loch Morie | Glen Oykel | Amat Forest Area

Location | Directions from Inverness | Directions from the North | Directions from the West | Directions By Rail & Bus | Directions from Ardgay
Directions Within Culrain