Criss-crossing careers, different tastes and family responsibilities take people in all kinds of exciting directions but staying in touch with friends seems to get harder the more we are immersed in everyday life. So, it’s from about this time of year that we begin to enthusiastically propose ‘We must get together before Christmas!’ And when a bunch of friends, who manage a once-a-quarter catch-up for about an hour, does in fact arrange a getaway together, everyone goes home with a warm, fuzzy (and slightly smug) feeling – the perfect lead-in to Christmas. The Torridon Five break is a great value two-night stay in November in our sumptuous hotel with recommended activities to suit a variety of preferences, from wildlife and gin tasting, to gourmet dining to bouldering, as well as plenty of opportunity to disconnect from the rest of world and reconnect with each other. Wildlife Climb hills ablaze with colour. Watch rutting stags battle. The Scottish Highlands’ national parks are home to the three main species of deer – Red, Fallow and Sika – and provide a spectacular backdrop for the rut. Explore the massif peaks of Beinn Eighe, a 10,000-acre National Nature Reserve and arguably one of the best places to watch the magnificent creatures battle. Arcturus gin Distilled with local botanicals foraged from the surrounding land, sea and mountains, including Scots lovage, kelp seaweed, rowanberries and bilberries, hand-crafted Arcturus is heavily inspired by the magical landscape of the Scottish Highlands. Launched in 2017 by The Torridon Resort, Arcturus Gin is named after one of the brightest stars in the galaxy. Gourmet dining The Torridon’s three AA Rosette 1887 restaurant serves a daily-changing menu led by what is available from the suppliers. Head chef Ross Stovold says: “amazing ingredients lead to amazing plates of food” and he champions the local network of fishermen, farmers and growers. Ross is always happy to show guests around The Torridon Farm before they dine to provide more meaning to the words on the menu. Get moving What better place to burn off energy than in the jaw droppingly beautiful Highlands? Big skies, high peaks, sea lochs and rocky trails form a picture-perfect environment for invigorating walking, hiking, kayaking and climbing. Afternoon tea In the sumptuous lounge, sink into a sofa in front of a roaring log fire and gaze out over Loch Torridon. Be served a selection of sandwiches, homemade cakes, biscuits and scones with homemade jam and Scottish clotted cream alongside teas from Camellia’s Tea House and The Torridon signature blend. Or, why not book a gin afternoon tea with The Torridon’s very own Arcturus gin which blends local botanicals with pure Scottish loch water The Torridon Five package costs from £175pp per night (two sharing) including activities for everyone and dining, and two nights in a Classic room with breakfast. Available in November and early December. www.thetorridon.com, tel: 01445 791 242.