There are many people who find it easier,
especially when visiting a country for the first time, to put themselves into the hands of
the professionals and take an organised walking holiday. Scotland offers a very wide range
of such holidays, and also courses where you can learn new skills.
Our long distance walking trails are well
covered by walking tour companies, and on several of them, there are also helpful baggage
transfer services. Your main luggage is transferred by minibus or taxi from one overnight
stop to the next, leaving you free to enjoy the trail carrying only a small daypack.
Walks are arranged either with a leader or
self-guided. In both cases, you will be supplied with comprehensive information about the
route, telling you what the walk is like and some of the things you can expect to see
along the way. If you have a leader, you will get all this knowledge first-hand! Either
way, you can expect a really pleasant experience. Groups are generally kept small to
encourage a friendly atmosphere where you can get to know your fellow-walkers as you
travel, and all the arrangements are made for you.
There are as many different walking holidays as
there are different parts of Scotland. Some of them follow routes devised by the tour
operators, maybe with a literary or historical theme. Others are based on a single centre,
or perhaps two centres, aiming to show you as much as possible of a particular area during
Walking holidays can be low-level, in the latter
case taking in some of the very best of our magical Munros. There are specially organised
holidays for those who want to climb the most difficult of the Munros, on the island of
Skye, but are unsure of scaling these rocky peaks without help. Other high-level holidays
explore wonderful areas such as Knoydart, Glencoe or the Cairngorms, to name but three.
You will find, too, that most walking holiday
businesses offer a great deal of flexibility. Some will tailor-make holidays for
individuals or groups to your particular ability or requirements. On some holidays, you
might not walk every day, having the option of a day off to relax or see local
Taking a Course
Many walkers are keen to expand their range of skills, to enable them to cope with the
ever-changing conditions that our climate throws at us. Here too, Scotland has much to
offer. Our outdoor centres and adventure holiday companies offer a wide range or courses
ranging from basic hillwalking skills to rock climbing and scrambling, campcraft, cooking,
survival in the wild, and the range of winter skills including the use of ice axe and
These courses are great fun and a good way to
improve your personal skills. Check that the company has qualified instructors, For some
adventure activities - climbing, remote trekking / walking / cycling, watersports and
caving - the provider must have a licence to operate courses for young people under 18
Such a licence is not necessary for adults, but
operators should use qualified instructors. To view a full listing of registered activity
providers check out the website www.aala.org
or to check whether an individual operator is registered with the licensing authority
telephone 01222 755715.
Scotland awaits, and there are many companies
eager to show off the best of our walking to you. Lace up your boots, tighten your
rucksack straps, and join us - everyone is welcome!