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Winter, the Most Wonderful Time of the Year at Eagle Brae

Date published: 19/7/2021

Winter in the Scottish Highlands

There is something very special about winter in the Scottish Highlands. Here at Eagle Brae we are far removed from the busy cities. Winter ushers in a tranquil calm and a stillness slowly settles in. A blanket of snow covers the hills, where wild deer roam and eagles soar. There is no better place to experience winter than our log cabin village. So today we are looking at some of the best things to do here during the colder months.

Staying in a Cosy Log Cabin

Log cabin interior in winter with log fire

Our hand-made luxury log cabins make the most amazing winter accommodation with plenty of quirks. From eco-insulated grass roofs, cosy log fires, secret log beds and Himalayan carvings – you’re sure to be entertained without having to step a foot outdoors! For those who do manage to pull themselves from the comfort of their holiday hideaway, there’s plenty to explore. Each cabin has its own seating area outdoors, so you can wrap up and admire the stunning scenery.

Our location in the Scottish Highlands provides magnificent views all winter long, amongst the mountains, glens and forests. Our lovingly hand-made cabins fit in perfectly with their surroundings, and when the snow falls, it is simply breath-taking. Of course, we can’t guarantee snow, but we can always guarantee a warm welcome here. 

Wildlife Spotting

Scottish red deer in the snow

A Scottish winter here at Eagle Brae is one of wrapping up warm and exploring a quiet and enchanting countryside. Although the trees are asleep and the air is frosty, there’s still plenty to see. Birds chatter all around and our resident wildlife of deer, squirrels and badgers can all still be spotted. 

There are plenty of opportunities to spot wildlife in the Highlands, even from within our cabins. Keep an eye out for our roaming red deer family, as well as badgers, pine martens and incredible bird life. Venture offsite, and enjoy otters, seals, mountain hares, golden eagles, peregrine falcons, buzzards, red kites, ptarmigans and so much more. 

You can also head to nearby lochs or the coast to see the amazing amount of birds that stay with us over the cold months. And head over to the Moray Firth to see the UK’s most northerly population of bottlenose dolphins. 

Walking and Stalking

Winter scene at Glen Affric loch

Walking in the Highlands in the summer months may include long hours of sunshine, vast rolling hills and breath-taking views of the surrounding glens, but the snow-capped mountains and icy lochs of winter are every bit as spectacular.  There are a variety of hiking trails around Eagle Brae and the nearby Glen Affric Nature Reserve.

We have several winter wildlife activities on offer at Eagle Brae too, including our popular black grouse safaris, where you can watch these feathered show-offs flock about on the moorland in preparation for the spring breeding season. And as camera stalking season gets underway in the colder months, budding photographers can head for the hills to lie in wait for the perfect “shot”.

Trekking and Sledding

Dog sledding activity at Eagle Brae in the Scottish Highlands

If walking across the Highland hills in the grips of winter isn’t for you, pony trekking across the moorland may be more your speed. It’s the perfect way to take in the wonderful wintery sights of the countryside at your own pace.

Alternatively, you can embark on an adrenaline rushing, once-in-a-lifetime dog sledding adventure. With our own purpose built track around a picturesque wildflower meadow, we offer this activity in the cooler months. Ideal for adrenaline junkies and nature lovers alike, there’s no better way to spend winter in the Scottish Highlands. Furthermore, snowy weather is not required, as the sled can easily be pulled on the grass – it actually goes faster on the grass! Our dog sledding trips are a truly unforgettable holiday adventure.

Enjoying Bright Days and Starry Nights

Northern Lights in the Scottish Highlands

The sun in Scottish winters can feel just as bright as during summer ones. It’s low in the sky, meaning it’s the perfect time for photographers to catch glorious images with natural light. We often have bright blue skies, and on frosty mornings it can feel as though you are in an ice kingdom! 

Nights can be just as stunning when the skies are clear. You can see thousands of stars from Eagle Brae – and more if you have binoculars or a telescope. For those used to city living, seeing the sky at night here can be quite a revelation. And don’t forget to keep an eye out for the Northern Lights. These dancing lights, created when solar wind from the sun hits the Earth’s magnetic field, make the sky glow. But they are rare and you need just the right conditions during a Highland winter.

Winter Day Tripping

Festive decorations in the city

Whilst some attractions close or run limited operating hours in the winter, there are still plenty of cafes, pubs and restaurants open. They will let you taste the drink and food of Scotland year-round. Beauly and Muir of Ord, just north of Eagle Brae, offer such treats.

And of course, Inverness is only a 45-minute drive away. This city offers everything you would expect, including shopping centres, cinemas and tourist attractions. During the festive season, you can see the Inverness Christmas lights, visit Whin Park’s Winter Wonderland, catch a pantomime at Eden Court Theatre, or start your Christmas shopping at the Victorian Market.

Nearby Loch Ness, just a half-hour drive away is also a great place to visit. You can hunt for Nessie on a boat trip, or enjoy picturesque walks around the water on the Loch Ness 360° Trail. If it’s all a bit too cold though, you can take in the Loch Ness Centre and Exhibition. It’s open all year round and is a great place to visit during your Scotland winter holiday. 

For whisky lovers, Glen Ord Distillery is definitely worth a visit. Here you can take a guided tour, learn all about the whisky-making process and sample the 12-year-old Singleton of Glen Ord. Or, for those looking for a little adventure, visit a winter sports range such as The Cairngorms or Nevis Range, which can both be reached in less than two hours. Here you can enjoy winter sports like skiing and snowboarding.

Then return to Eagle Brae in the evening for a delicious home-cooked meal and curl up by the fire with a wee nightcap.

And if it does snow…

log cabin and deer in the snow at Eagle Brae

If it does snow when you’re here, then you are in for an extra treat. It blankets the ground making an already beautiful landscape seem other-worldly. So cosy up in your cabin with a wee dram of whisky and let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

Outside, it’s a great chance to go track hunting – see what animals have been around your lodge by identifying their footprints in the snow. And of course, there’s plenty of open space to build all kinds of snowpeople, snowanimals and snowmonsters!

What’s more, we have sledges for guests to enjoy our hilly landscape! Bring out the kid in you and make the most of our beautiful winter wonderland.

Discover more about spending winter at Eagle Brae

So there you have it. A few fun activities to keep you entertained all winter long. Follow us on Facebook and keep up to date with our latest snaps, nature pics and happenings this winter.

To find out more about spending winter at Eagle Brae in the Scottish Highlands, please contact our team or book online.

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