Over the course of the 6 Nations, considered by many to be rugby’s greatest championship, we have been comparing some of our favourite walking and cycling tours located in the competing nations: Scotland, England, Wales, Ireland, France & Italy.
The Gourmet Highlands self-guided walking tour is a week of walking and fine dining, which also includes stays in luxurious boutique hotels such as Monachyle Mhor which commands a fantastic position on the banks of Loch Voil. Before we look at the culinary side of this tour browse the walking menu, which includes short loch-side strolls around some of the west coast’s quieter bodies of water and longer routes around historic castle estates such as Blair Atholl, the grave of the outlaw-cum-folk hero Rob Roy and a trip to the Isle of Lismore.
Enjoy walking through the dramatic highland scenery during the day before settling down to savour Scotland’s bountiful larder enjoying meals that incorporate the best of the local produce – expect plenty of freshly-caught seafood, rare Scotch beef and Edradour whisky. The Monachyle Mhor’s award winning restaurant is a place where we advise you to build up an appetite before sitting down to eat, under the tutelage of renowned Scottish chef Tom Lewis Monachyle Mhor’s head chef Marysia Paszkowska serves up such dishes as Loch Carron turbot, braised shallot, potato gratin, garden chard and broccoli purée as well as eclectic desserts like dark chocolate and espresso pavé, Glengoyne bramble and vanilla ice cream.
This trip is perfect for couples looking to work up an appetite in the brisk Highland air as you enjoy a choice of walks each day before settling down into a boutique hotel with first-class service and top restaurants that offer a touch of luxury and indulgence after a day out in the Scottish Highlands.
We are in Italy so food is high up on the agenda but in Piedmont in the northwest of the country, food and vino come first – for the wine connoisseurs and gourmets among us, Piedmont is a paradise. The region has a tradition of gastronomy that goes back centuries, with a varied parlour that includes gourmet cheeses (of which there are over 115), delicious pastries and indulgent desserts many of which feature hazelnut.
Beginning in Alba, the Barolo Vineyard Walking Trail winds its way through Piedmont through the rich tapestry of vineyards, past hazelnut plantations and dense oak woods and by picturesque hilltop villages, castles and feudal towers. The trail proceeds southward to the rolling landscape of the Langhe area, set between the Alps and the Appenine mountains the Langhe is blessed with fertile lands that produce the Tuber Magnatum otherwise known as the famous Piedmont white truffle.
Scenic trails with a choice of walks each day complete the perfect picture of an Italian food and walking adventure, if you love food, wine and walking then the Barolo Vineyard Trail is your perfect walking holiday.
If you are interested in doing a walking or cycling holiday in Scotland or Italy, or would like further information on the Gourmet Highlands or Barolo Vineyard Trail walking tours please get in contact with our team on [email protected].