We are so lucky to be surrounded by the most wonderful countryside and we’d encourage anyone to head for the Ochil Hills at least once during a visit to the area. Stretching an impressive 25 miles from Stirling to the Forth of Fay, the Ochils feature numerous peaks, the highest of which – Ben Cleuch – measures an impressive 721 metres. The hills are great for an invigorating walk at any time of year and possibly even more fun when it snows – and inevitably there will be snow!
It’s a great opportunity to discover a winter sport – snowshoeing
Why stay in and suffer from cabin fever when you can get out in the elements for an invigorating walk. Wellies really aren’t going to work, but strap on a pair of snowshoes and you’re set for an invigorating walk. Not only will you be exercising, you’ll be rewarded by the most spectacular views.
Snowshoeing is a great way to keep in shape when the white stuff puts in an appearance, especially if you’ve been forced to temporarily hang up your hiking boots or running shoes. It’s evolved from a necessary method of getting from A to B in snowy conditions over many centuries past to a recreational activity that is growing in popularity – via, of course, the comic-book image of shuffling along on tennis racquets!
The great thing about snowshoeing is that it is such an accessible sport, a really good form of low-impact aerobic exercise, low risk in terms of injury, and suitable for all ages. It’s easy to learn, with just a few basic techniques to master, and far more affordable than other winter sports such as skiing or snowboarding. Newbies to the sport should try relatively short hikes, 15 minutes one way before returning, just to get used to the amount of energy it takes. Get used to walking up and down hills in your snowshoes and how to use your walking poles, and the Ochil Hills will feel like a winter paradise to explore.
Fancy giving snowshoeing a go?
It’s really easy to get started. You’ll need:
• a pair of snowshoes (there are various types on the market, so do your research)
• warm, waterproof and well-fitting boots
• walking poles
• layers of clothing that can be removed or added as need be and suitable for cold and wet conditions
• waterproof socks
• hat and gloves
If you’re planning a longer hike or are going off the beaten track, you should also think safety and carry basic essentials in a backpack – headlamp, sun cream, first aid kit, knife, matches, shelter, food, water, extra clothes, compass, GPS device.
And at the end of the day…
Head back to Alexander House, relax and warm up in the heated swimming pool or hot tub. Treat yourself to some well-deserved ‘R and R’, indulge in a little pampering and book yourself a beauty treatment – life doesn’t get better than this. Now all you have to do is decide when you’re going to visit! We’ll look forward to meeting you soon.