Welcome to Distant Hills Guest House, Spean Bridge

If you're looking for somewhere clean, comfortable and modern where you can truly unwind and enjoy a hearty, fresh breakfast full of Scottish flavours, then choose the peaceful setting of Distant Hills and let Cameron and Dani spoil you with their warm and friendly hospitality. Whether your aim is to tour and explore, walk, climb, cycle, fish, canoe, watch the birds and wildlife or simply relax, Distant Hills will provide you with perfect Bed and Breakfast accommodation.

Not any ordinary guest house, Dani and Cameron also offer catered guided walking breaks throughout the year for that extra special experience of the spectacular Scottish Highlands. Find out more


Why come to our Spean Bridge accommodation?

A haven of tranquillity, Distant Hills is set in extensive grounds and located at the edge of the quiet Highland village of Spean Bridge yet still close enough to the bustling town of Fort William. There are wonderful walks from the door of our Spean Bridge accommodation through the village to the surrounding countryside and beyond to the Caledonian Canal.

To help you relax and unwind there is a large bright guest lounge with comfy sofas and armchairs overlooking the garden. The space is perfect for planning the next day's adventures, chatting with your travelling companions, making new friends with other guests or seeking a quiet moment for your own reflection.

Lost Valley
Creag Meagaidh
Looking down on Loch Linnhe


Our colourful and spacious garden is a real joy on a sunny day and offers an opportunity to wander beside the stream with a pleasant outlook to the distant hills of the Grey Corries and Aonach Mor. You can also sit under the shady arbour and enjoy a cool drink while watching the birds or perhaps you might like to play a game of croquet.

Lost Valley
Creag Meagaidh
Looking down on Loch Linnhe

Other features include:

  • - Non-smoking throughout
  • - Free Wifi
  • - Large private car park
  • - 24 hour individually controlled heating
  • - Quality Scottish toiletries
  • - Designer Dualit kettles
  • - Salon style hairdryers
  • - Complimentary refreshment tray
  • - Quality linens and lots of little extras
  • - No children under 12
  • - No dogs.

Accommodation

Distant Hills offers seven individually designed comfortable stylish bedrooms all with ensuite shower rooms and colour flatscreen televisions. There is a choice of double or twin bedded rooms all on ground floor level. The majority of our rooms have a view of our garden or the burn (stream).

There is no 'family room' in Distant Hills so we have decided to focus on creating a relaxed and peaceful place for singles, couples and older families. We therefore do not accept children under 12 years of age.

Distant Hills
Distant Hills
Distant Hills
Distant Hills
Distant Hills
Distant Hills
Distant Hills
Distant Hills
Distant Hills

Food

Enjoy our delicious and plentiful breakfast


At breakfast we aim to provide a wide and tasty choice sourcing our food locally where possible. There are usually at least three main meal options as well as porridge made with Scottish oats and a fresh fruit buffet, so we ask guests to pre-order in the evening. The pancakes are home-made by Cameron following his granny's secret recipe. The bacon and sausages come from our local butcher in Fort William and we are delighted to serve MacLeod & MacLeod Stornoway black pudding and Macsween haggis.

Breakfast is served between 8 and 9 am or earlier by arrangement. Please note that the maximum number of people that we can seat at one table is 4.

Breakfast
Breakfast
Breakfast

Eating out in Spean Bridge and nearby


There are a number of eating places in the village and several more in the outlying area. There is a restaurant to suit everyone's pocket from a two AA rosette restaurant to family orientated restaurants so please ask us for guidance. We can also book a table for you, which is essential in peak season.

Book

Our prices

Our prices are based on two people sharing inclusive of breakfast. Prices do vary throughout the year so please use our availability checker to see the room rate for your chosen dates or call us on 01397 712452 (from outside the UK +44 1397 712452).

  • Twin / Double room: starting from £85 per night.
  • We offer a £15 reduction for single occupancy.
  • We also offer discount for stays of 3 nights or more.
  • We accept cash, debit cards, credit cards and some charge cards.

It's easy to book

Cancellation policy

Please note, at least 48 hours notice of a cancellation must be given for a full refund. Any cancellations made within 48 hours of arrival are non-refundable and full payment will be required. For clarity, we calculate the 48 hours from 4pm on the scheduled arrival date.  

Our Guided Walking Breaks


Overview | Sample Programme | Dates and Prices | Minimum Requirements | What to Bring | Meet the Team | Next Steps | Terms & Conditions

Have you ever fancied walking in Scotland but taken a first glance at a map and not known where to start? Or perhaps you just haven’t the confidence to tackle the Scottish hills alone? Join us on one of our walking breaks and let us guide you through some of the most spectacular scenery that the Scottish Highlands has to offer. You just need to decide on which dates you’d like to book and we’ll even advise you on what to pack.

Ben Nevis

North Face of Ben Nevis

Peameanach

Peameanach Beach

Wire Bridge

Wire Bridge at Steall


Each break consists of a 4 night stay in our cosy 4 star Distant Hills Guest House in Spean Bridge with 3 days of guided walking in the stunning surrounding Highlands. As well as a full, hearty breakfast every morning, you will also be treated to a delicious, three course evening meal on three of the nights. On the final evening, we will celebrate our achievements in one of the local restaurants, the costs for which will need to be covered individually.

Our carefully selected walks will take you to a different area each day and will provide you with a variety of terrain and stimulation. The Lochaber region is rich in natural beauty, history and wildlife and boasts being the Outdoor Capital of the UK. Our walks will take your senses on a trip of their own through beautiful woodland alive with all kinds of birds, animals, flora and fauna. We’ll journey into historical glens with gurgling streams and gushing waterfalls and explore breezy coastal footpaths with views of secluded sandy beaches, ruined castles and hills stretching far into the distance. Or we might squelch through the bog and bounce atop the springy heather up onto one of the many mountain peaks with breathtaking views in all directions.

With the exception of the first break in April, you will have two walks each day to choose from to accommodate different abilities and wishes. Each walk will be discussed with you in detail the night before to enable you to make the right choice for you.

The walk programme for each set of dates will be developed by our local qualified guides, Dave and Hannah, and will take into consideration the needs and wishes of the group as well as weather and route conditions.

We have so many fantastic walks to choose from but here’s an exemplar 3 day programme:

Day One


Option A: Coire Adair, Creag Meagaidh - 12km/7.5 miles (430m ascent)

A good path leads you through regenerating woodland of a wild but peaceful National Nature Reserve to a small mountain lake sheltered beneath the magnificent cliffs of Creag Meagaidh towering some 400 meters above. The Lochan a’Choire makes an excellent spot to eat our packed lunches and hopefully catch sight of a golden eagle or two often seen in these parts.

Option B: Beinn Bhan – 8.5km/5.25 miles (771m ascent)
Warm up your calf muscles with a steady straightforward climb up to the summit of Beinn Bhan, which is classified as a Corbett (a Scottish mountain with a height of 762 – 914 metres). At the top, you will be rewarded with a wonderful plateau traverse offering fantastic views of Ben Nevis, Loch Arkaig, Loch Lochy and all the surrounding mountains. A lovely circular route with a variety of terrain underfoot.


Day Two


Option A: Peanmeanach Village and Beach – 11.5km/7.25 miles (396m ascent)

This stunning walk takes you through a mixture of woodland and across moorland to a deserted village and bothy on a secluded beach, a great spot for a sandwich and a flask of tea. As we eat our lunch, we’ll savour the breathtaking views of the Islands of Rum and Eigg across the water. On the return journey, you might choose to stop at Glenfinnan to visit the spot where Bonny Prince Charlie raised his Standard to mark the start of the Jacobite Uprising of 1745, as well as the infamous Glenfinnan viaduct.

Option B: Garbh Bheinn – 6km/3.75 miles (865m ascent)
Situated above Loch Leven, a walk up Garbh Bheinn offers another opportunity to ‘bag a Corbett’. Don’t be fooled by the short distance; the ascent is steep and the terrain is rocky towards the top but the views of Loch Leven, the Blackwater Reservoir, the Mamores Mountain Range, Loch Eilde Mor and the imposing Aonach Eagach Ridge will reward your efforts and be forever etched on your memory.


Day Three


Option A: Meall Cumhann – 7km/4.3 miles (651m ascent)
This varied circular walk will take you deep into Glen Nevis through a wooded gorge past gushing streams, rivers and waterfalls including the impressive Steall Waterfall, which often gets a ‘wow’ as it first comes into view. Once past the Steall Waterfall, we will bear left and wind our way up into a secluded hanging valley, a superb lunch spot. From here, it’s onto the summit of Meall Cumhann, which sits in the shadows of Ben Nevis, the Carn Mor Dearg Arete and Aonach Mor. For those seeking an additional challenge, you can test your nerve on the wire bridge in the foreground of the Steall Waterfall.

Option B: The North Face Experience – 11.7km/7.3 miles (779m ascent)
Most people visiting Ben Nevis will follow several hundred others along the well-trodden mountain track to the summit. While our walk will not take you to the top of Ben Nevis, this much quieter path will give you a completely different experience of the mountain – an opportunity to get up close and personal with the all-imposing North Face. Starting from the North Face car park near Torlundy, we will walk through forest before following the water course up to the CIC Hut, which has played an important part in Scottish Mountaineering history. We will take some time here to admire and marvel at the sheer brutality of the North Face and hopefully catch sight of the odd rock climber tackling this ancient volcano. Depending on weather and wishes of the group, there will be an option to extend the walk to summit Meall an t-Suidhe providing additional views of Ben Nevis and across Lochaber.


Dates and Prices for 2020

20 – 24 April   £395 per person based on two people sharing; or £595 single occupancy
11 – 15 May   £430 per person based on two people sharing; or £620 single occupancy
20 – 24 September   £430 per person based on two people sharing; or £620 single occupancy
5 – 9 October   £430 per person based on two people sharing; or £620 single occupancy

Lost Valley

Lost Valley, Glen Coe

Creag Meagaidh

Creag Meagaidh

Looking down on Loch Linnhe

Looking down on Loch Linnhe


Minimum Requirements

A reasonable level of fitness and some walking experience is required, preferably up and down hills on a variety of paths, tracks, moorland and the occasional bog. Daily distances will vary but will generally be a minimum of 8km, with a minimum of 400 metres of ascent, often on rough, pathless terrain. Expect to be out walking for 3-6 hours of the day, though potentially longer for the harder graded walks.

Please also note that you will be responsible for getting yourself to and from each walk, which could be up to an hour away in some cases; therefore a car is highly recommended. We will, however, encourage car sharing as much as possible to limit the number of parking spaces we require and reduce our carbon footprint.

What you should bring

The weather in the Scottish Highlands can be extreme and can change dramatically in a matter of minutes, especially in mountain environments. Rain is common and on our highest mountains it can often feel as cold as -10 degrees Celsius. This is a comprehensive kit list designed for our hardest weather to ensure that you have the appropriate clothing and equipment available to you during your stay with us. On the evening prior to a walk, our guides will advise what actually needs to be packed into your rucksack according to the weather forecasts and route chosen. Please get in touch with us if you have any queries regarding this list.

Essential
  • Waterproof walking boots with ankle support - conditions will often be wet underfoot, even on the sunniest of days, and can include rough, pathless terrain.
  • Waterproof jacket - with a good hood. Please note, “Water Resistant” is not the same as “Waterproof” and is therefore insufficient.
  • Waterproof trousers - again, “Water Resistant” is inadequate. Trousers with side zips are recommended for getting them over your boots.
  • Thermal base layer top - polyester or woollen, no cotton.
  • Warm mid layer top - such as fleece.
  • Spare insulating layer - fleece or synthetic insulating layer.
  • Walking trousers - not jeans.
  • Warm hat – one that covers your ears, a beanie style works well.
  • Gloves - also a spare pair of extra warm, thick gloves is highly recommended such as ones worn for skiing.
  • Water bottle/food - 1 litre capacity is sufficient. Platypus style with a hose can also be useful for regular hydration. Enough food to last the day and some spare. It’s a good idea to have a mix of fast and slow energy foods e.g. a couple of BLT sandwiches, chocolate and some dried fruit. Most important, make sure it’s food that you look forward to eating! (Please note that we can provide you with a packed lunch for an additional cost. There is also a Spar shop in the village open 7 days a week.)
  • Rucksack - large enough to carry everything on this list. Around 25 litres should be sufficient. Also recommended is a poly bin bag to use as a liner as rucksacks are not waterproof.
  • Mobile phone - in a waterproof case.
Recommended
  • Sun hat, sun cream, sunglasses - despite the myths, the sun does shine in Scotland and you can quickly suffer the consequences if you're not protected.
  • Walking poles - they can take a huge amount of strain off the lower body over the course of a day.
  • Midge repellent - we recommend "Smidge." In certain conditions this can become essential!
  • Thermos flask - with whatever hot beverage you please. This can work wonders on a cold, wet day!
  • Small First Aid Kit - with blister pads and any personal medication.
  • Camera
  • Gaiters - for additional water protection, no boot is waterproof if water gets in the top!

Meet the Team

Dani MacKinnonDani MacKinnon - Dani takes care of most of the ‘behind the scenes’ work and will be your attentive host during your stay. She fell in love with the mountains during her mid-life escape from the rat-race while working as a chalet host and walk/ski organiser in Switzerland, America, Austria and Italy. It’s the rugged mountain scenery that drew both Dani and Cameron to Scotland, not to mention the rich history and cultural heritage. At every opportunity, Dani will be out with her walking poles exploring the beautiful Scottish Highlands and hopes to join you on at least one of your walks. She is currently conquering her fear of ridges. With the Ring of Steall successfully completed, Aonach Eagach is next on her list!

Cameron MacKinnonCameron MacKinnon - Married to Dani, Cameron was born on the West Coast of Scotland and served for 22 years in the Royal Air Force as a Physical Training Instructor. During his fantastically varied career, Cameron was a frequent visitor to the Scottish Highlands and led expeditions of all kinds including walking, skiing, mountaineering, rock climbing and canoeing. He was also an experienced military skydiving instructor but nowadays, his main passion is walking and exploring more of his beloved homeland. Cameron will also be your host and breakfast chef during your stay and looks forward to sharing at least one day walking with you.

Dave LamondDave Lamond - Dave moved to Fort William from East Lothian in 2013 to study at the School of Adventure Studies at the University of Highlands and Islands. Alongside his studies, he began undertaking a variety of outdoor pursuit qualifications. Dave holds the Summer Mountain Leader award and is qualified in Outdoor Emergency First Aid, as well as a handful of water-based qualifications. Having first been introduced to the Scottish mountains as a young boy, it is no surprise that they have become the main feature of Dave's professional and personal life. He has extensive experience of walking and scrambling in all areas of Scotland, though has a personal preference for the West Highlands and their dramatic, variable nature. His love of the area is infectious and his enthusiasm will help give a memorable experience even on the hardest days of weather.

Hannah Francis Hannah Francis - Hannah has been leading walks in the Lochaber area and all round Scotland for 8 years. She has a degree in Environmental Science, is a qualified geography teacher, mountain leader and outdoor first aider. At the age of 6 she was climbing and scrambling on every available rock and her first ambition was to be an outdoor instructor. She has gone on to explore mountain climbing across many corners of the world and has chosen Fort William as home. She adores being in the mountains - constantly learning about and sharing wild spaces. She is a particular fan of Scottish folklore, cosy bothies and when the cold wind makes her face feel wild and alive. The Highlands are full of flora, fauna, history, geology and Hannah will keep you safe and happy while sharing her knowledge of this very special part of the world.

Next Steps

If you are interested in joining us on one of our guided walking breaks, please call us on 01397 712452 or use the enquiry form below to find out more information.


Terms & Conditions

What is there to do in Spean Bridge?

The village of Spean Bridge offers two restaurants (Russells restaurant has two AA Rosettes, the Old Station brings live music and real ale to the village), one woollen mill shop with restaurant/coffee shop (9 to 5 only), the intoxicating Highland Soap shop, a Spar convenience store, two pubs and four hotels in the surrounding area for even more evening meal choices.

A must see is the Commando Memorial unveiled in 1952 dedicated to the men of the British Commando Forces, who trained at the nearby Achnacarry Castle during World War II. Only a short drive away or a truly beautiful walk through woodland, the monument offers magnificent views of Ben Nevis and Aonach Mor.

We are situated just three miles from the Nevis Range Mountain Experience which includes the mountain gondola with its fantastic views, forest walks and mountain bike trails to suit everyone. Ben Nevis and Loch Ness are each a short drive from Spean Bridge and the village is a good starting point for the North Coast 500 Route.

Spean Bridge is also an ideal base for day trips to:

  • Fort William
  • Oban
  • Skye
  • Glencoe
  • Glenfinnan
  • Ardnamurchan Peninsula
  • Fort Augustus and Loch Ness
  • Eilean Donan Castle
  • Inverness
  • Aviemore and the Cairngorm National Park

Areas to explore around Spean Bridge

Roy Bridge

Our accommodation is convenient for the neighbouring village of Roy Bridge which is just two miles away. There you can discover Glen Roy's geological parallel roads a rare hillside feature formed by a glacial lake.

One mile further East of Roy Bridge there is a small road on the left just after the Glenspean Hotel. Here you will find Cille Choirill a very sacred site with a 15th century church and burial ground. The church sits on top of a hill which gives beautiful views down the glen. In more recent times the site doubled as "Glenbogle Church" in the BBC series "Monarch of the Glen".

Fort William

Fort William is only 10 miles away and has a range of shops and numerous places to eat. It is located at the foot of the UK's highest mountain, Ben Nevis. For those planning to climb Ben Nevis, the mountain track generally takes between 7 and 9 hours to complete. It is a long, physically demanding day but well worth the effort if you have the skills to look after yourself. We can advise you on what to expect and suggest if using a guide may be an appropriate option for you. There are numerous lower level walks in Glen Nevis which also have great views and we can give you route notes and maps when you are here.

Fort Augustus

Fort Augustus and the southern tip of Loch Ness are just a 30 minute drive away. Have a walk around the pretty village including the former abbey and watch the boats navigate the series of locks on the Caledonian Canal which dissects the village. If you're seeking an additional thrill, take a RIB speed boat ride on Loch Ness. We highly recommend the trip which includes seeing Urquart Castle from the water.

The West Highland Line

A fantastic way to see our stunning scenery is to take a journey on the West Highland railway line which runs from Glasgow to Mallaig via Spean Bridge railway station. A truly special treat would be to take the Jacobite steam train from Fort William to Mallaig (May - October only) passing over the Glenfinnan viaduct, the same dramatic setting as seen in the Harry Potter films.

Aonach Mor

Aonach Mor

Quairaing, Isle of Skye

Quairaing, Isle of Skye

Commando Memorial

Commando Memorial, Spean Bridge

Jacobite Stean Train

Jacobite Steam Train

Autumn Colours

Glenfinnan Monument

Eileen Donan Castle

Eileen Donan Castle

Reviews

Travel


By Car

If using Satnav, our postcode is PH34 4EU. Look out for the large blue 'Distant Hills' sign on the A86 road.

By Train

All Glasgow to Fort William trains stop at Spean Bridge railway station. We are a short 10 minute walk away. Alternatively, please call us and we will come and collect you.

By Air

Our 3 nearest airports are:

  • Inverness (55 miles)
  • Glasgow (108 miles)
  • Edinburgh (133 miles)

By Coach/Bus

There are regular Citylink services to and from Fort William and Inverness that stop in Spean Bridge.

On Foot

If you are walking the Great Glen Way, we would be more than happy to offer you a complimentary return transfer from/to Gairlochy.

It might also be useful to know that there are two taxi companies based in Spean Bridge for journeys to restaurants or local sights.

Contact us

Please use the form below to contact us and / or check availability:

Your Contact Details:

Your Dates:

Type of room/s (see accommodation for details)
 Twin: 
 Double: 
No. of people in group: 
Preferred method for us to contact you: