Adventuring with Teenagers

Adventuring with Teenagers Image

Spending time with teenage children isn’t always easy. It may be difficult to find space in busy schedules, or it may be difficult to drag them away from their beloved PC. So when my youngest teenager asked to spend some ‘quality time’ with his good old mum, I didn’t want to miss the chance.

We decided that nature could provide our entertainment for the weekend, so with the promise of a motorhome adventure, as well as cuddles with the dog, we happily pootled over to Torridon, on the Scottish West Coast for a mid-winter trip away.

The Falls of Balgy came up as a suggested walk on the Walk Highlands website, and with so much recent winter rain, we thought it would be a good plan. The parking wasn’t quite as straightforward, as we managed to pick a day when there was some conservation work and tree planting taking place, so normal parking spots were rammed full. After a quick study of the map, I spotted another track around the headland where we hoped we’d find parking. I’d actually recommend this parking spot as ideal place to start your walk as it can easily take a couple of small motorhomes, and when you return, it’s got an amazing view for a cup of tea! 

To start the walk we had to follow the road back for a few hundred meters, but there was a decent grass verge so it’s not a problem. Then we crossed over and it was a bit of a guess where the path officially began behind some trees, but as soon as we found a way through, we could see the trod. This path contoured around the headland and you don’t need to go though any deer gates, so stay on the road side of the fence.  After 10 mins, we were back on the main path as per the guidebooks and the views looking up across to the snow capped summits of Beinn Alligin, Liathach and Beinn Eighe even made the teenager stop in admiration.

You can go up the left or right hand side of the River Balgy. We kept to the right hand side and could hear the falls before we could see them. With the river in spate, there was a huge flow of water and of course, the teenager had to play at jumping over the rocks!  

We followed a deer trod along the edge of the river and up to Loch Damh. We did consider whether it would be possible to cross over to the other side of the river to make a circular walk, but with water levels so high, it would have been socks, shoes and trousers off, so that was vetoed by the teen!

Instead we retraced our steps back to the falls and spent some time exploring. With snacks and a drink, the entire walk took around 2hrs and was 6km, with very little height gain. Once back at the motorhome, we had time for a well earned rest, along with tea and cake – whilst the dog had a nap in his bed with a view!

For our evening meal it was on to the lovely village of Shieldaig. Another brief walk along the coastal road to explore and then into the Shieldaig Bar & Coastal Kitchen for a superb meal. Crab on toast to start with and sea bass on a couscous bed of veg. Two very happy campers!  After filling ourselves up with the best food around we headed back to the remote spot we’d found earlier and had an enjoyable evening tucked up in the campervan, with the heating on and some games and chat.

Waking up in the morning and opening the back doors to gain a lovely loch view was the perfect way to start our second day.

Before leaving our overnight spot we also did a quick litter pick – unfortunately it wasn’t just blown rubbish, but also bits of rain guttering and food thrown away. But every little helps and hopefully a pristine space is more likely to stay clean. Then we drove back down the road to the Beinn Eighe nature reserve, pulling in a couple of times to admire the stunning views and Torridon skyline.

From the nature reserve car park there are a few choices for higher or low level walks. We opted for a lower circular walk, but with our wellies back on, my son decided it would be much more fun for us to try and walk up the burn that ran alongside the path – finding waterfalls and deep pools for lobbing rocks. With some winter sun peaking out behind the clouds, and down in the glen out of the wind, it was warm enough for the teen to be wandering in his t-shirt, although I admit I was well wrapped up in a hat and jacket. But watching him play and explore away from the online worlds, was lovely. Eventually, with the lure of a hot chocolate/coffee from the local Midgie Bite café in Achnasheen, we finally headed back to the van to start making our way home.

Time away with family, whether toddlers or teens, is precious, but some mini motorhome adventures for a quick weekend is just what you sometimes need to step back, reconnect and enjoy family time together. Our small 6m long motorhome was set up as two single beds, so personal space can be maintained, along with plenty of cupboard space for storing items. If you think your child might enjoy some quality parent time, then Highland Campervans have a range of small compact motorhomes with a variety of layouts, available for weekend and weekly hires. All have toilets on board and a wee hob and sink. Plus heaters for all-night comfort on frosty winter nights.  You just need to get the youngsters to buy into the alternative www… Wellies, Walks & Waterfalls!

See our Hires Availability Calendar HERE.