Scotland is physically a small country, but it’s rugged and it takes time to get around. Most of it has a population density on a par with that of the Amazon rain forest. The fact that it’s small makes it accessible though, the scenery is amazing, and very varied. All of this adds up to make walking trips in Scotland some of the best outdoor experiences you can have anywhere.
A huge number of visitors discover Scotland on a lightning bus tour type experience. A typical itinerary might be to visit Glencoe, Fort William, the Isle of Skye, loch Ness, Aviemore, and Pitlochry over a 2 day schedule! Scotland deserves a closer look than that, and most of the passengers on those bus tours would agree!
Getting to know the place on foot gives you a much greater insight into the place. Walking trips in Scotland needn’t be arduous treks of Himalayan proportions. Focussing on one area, and mixing it up a bit, pays dividends, especially as you’re not spending most of your time travelling, but actually experiencing. For instance on our walking programmes on the Isle of Skye, in Glencoe, and the Cairngorms , by concentrating on one area we can come up with a balanced programme with a mix of excursions of different character and level of challenge, and get to know the place intimately in a relatively short space of time. An added benefit of mixing it up in this way is that even an occassional walker will manage to spend a long time – often a week or so, walking every day.
When people come on their first walking trips in Scotland with us they often comment about the weather. Conditions here can change rapidly and the old saying about “4 seasons in a day” is often very true. People sometimes expect it to be cold, damp, misty and atmospheric, and they’re not mentally prepared for glorious warm bright sunshine or physically prepared for the possibility of getting sunburn! Equally they don’t expect to need a woolly hat and gloves in August, but on a windy mountain top they can be essential. All this changing weather creates it’s own drama and adds to the experience. Just be prepared….
Another thing that causes comment is the terrain we move over. Walking trips in Scotland often mean that you’re off the beaten track. Unlike hiking on ranger maintained trails in a US national park or on one of the beautfully graded and signposted paths of the Swiss Alps, here there is very little in the way of way marking and the ground can at times be distintly rocky or boggy. Having said that we are blessed in the highlands with a network of “Stalker’s Paths” often originally built by the Victorians on their highland shooting estates and these can ease access into more rugged and remote places.
One advantage of taking the guided approach for your walking trips in Scotland is that your guide, with their local knowledge, will be able to advise you of the terrain you’re going to encounter. This can be as simple as you asking them “Will I need my poles today- is it steep and loose?” Not only will they probably have walked the trail many times before, but also once they’ve spent a little time with you they’ll be able to see the route through your eyes. For instance if there’s a section with a sharp drop off and you’re a bit phased by that sort of thing, they’ll be able to steer you a different way, or support you along an awkward section.
So come and join us. browse through our trips section to see the range of things we do, and contact us to discuss your individual requirements.