Mountain Freedom provide Skye walking guides for all sorts of activities, from a gentle stroll absorbing the scenery, to challenging hiking in the Black Cuillin mountains. Whatever you’re aiming to get out of your time here, we can help. We work with all sorts of people – individuals, families, tour groups, travel agencies, movie location scouts, photography and wildlife groups to name just a few. This breadth of experience means we’re adept at tailoring your activities so they fit you perfectly. Our small team of regular guides is led by Ian Stephenson, a Skye resident who has been guiding walking groups here for over 20 years. We run a wide range of walking trips such as our very popular Isle of Skye – Classic Walking and Backpacking across the Cuillin programmes that you can join in with, or we can arrange a bespoke programme to suit your individual needs.
Who are the guides?
Our Skye walking guides are just that – people who live and work here (some operators will supply you with guides who, although they might hold the appropriate qualifications, are not familiar with the area!) We believe that we’re showing you round our home and we’re proud of it. All our guides either live here or know and love the area through working and visiting often. This ensures that we can not only show you the best stuff- the best views, the wildlife, the wild flowers, points of cultural and historical interest, but also that we’ll be helping you choose routes and activities that you’ll find rewarding, with just the right degree of adventure (or leisure!) that’s going to suit you.
There is no legal requirement to hold a qualification to take people out on a hike, and many operators don’t consider it important to use formally trained and professionally qualified staff. We think it’s extremely important! All our Skye walking guides hold professional qualifications from the national governing body Mountain Training UK, which are appropriate to the activity they are leading. Part of the requirement from Mountain Training is that a qualification is only valid if the award holder also holds a valid outdoor first aid certificate, so all our Skye walking guides are fully first aid trained and experienced also. Guides are required to update their first aid training on a regular basis.
Why use guides, or join a guided group?
There’s a wealth of information out there about walking in Scotland. There are maps, guidebooks, internet route descriptions you can download to your phone, advice on clothing and equipment and everything from where to park your car to where the best cake can be found at the end of your walk! It’s perfectly possible for people with a little walking experience to get out and do their own thing, if they’re properly equiped, know how to navigate and choose suitable routes.
Nevertheless, we get plenty of people joining our groups, or booking one of our Skye walking guides for their family or group who could go and do this alone. Why? because we know the place intimately and are used to showing people round, so we can make sure that we’re picking the right routes for you. We take into account the weather, the fitness and experience of the party and ensure that you really maximise the use of your time.
We have an abundance of world class gentler walking at lower level here, but Skye is also home to the most rugged and challenging mountains in Britain – the Cuillin. The Cuillin can be very challenging to get around, especially in less than ideal visibility. The terrain is complex and traditional navigation, whether by map and compass or GPS, is not really sufficient to get you about – you also need good route finding skills. Prior knowledge and familiarity pay huge dividends in terms of getting about smoothly, easily, and safely. Our Skye walking guides are very familiar with the Cuillin and can help you save you time and energy as well as choose the most suitable routes.
Our guides are our biggest asset here at Mountain Freedom. We run regular training sessions for all our Skye walking guides where get together and head out and about all over the island, sharing our experiences, skills and stories. You can rest assured that a guided experience with us will be of the highest quality!