Place to Play:
I find myself drawn to the west coast of Scotland when journeying on foot; nights under canvas on remote peninsulas abound, but there’s nowhere to beat the Clachaig Inn in Glencoe for live music and a solid feed after a big mountain day. On the bike I love exploring the trails around the Cairngorms; riding the seemingly endless singletrack through the Caledonian pinewoods. Although I could be tempted away to British Columbia to ski on a powder day…
Not a lot of people know this:
I starred in a music video which was being filmed whilst I was taking a morning dip in the sea when camping in the Inner Hebrides. It’s pretty cold after half an hour in the Atlantic, despite the Gulf Stream!
I was born and raised in Scotland and went on to serve around the world as a Scottish infantry officer. On leaving the military I realised a long held dream to move to the Cairngorms (and to grow a beard). I consider myself hugely fortunate to live and work in the Highlands of Scotland, and relish the opportunity to share my knowledge of it.
Walking the hills is my first love, and I’ve spent plenty of time doing it across Scotland and in the Alps, as well as Kenya, Malawi, Brunei and Belize (albeit occasionally in a slightly different context!). Mountain biking is a more recent obsession, particularly packing enough kit on my bike for a few days’ journey into the backcountry.
In winter, I’m a ski instructor and have worked in the Alps, although I’m happiest in the more informal surrounds of Canada. I love the simplicity offered by the routine of the mountains, and the space for thought which is generated.
I’m an avid music fan, particularly the independent Scottish scene, and love to share new discoveries which really add to the sense of place on trips. The only downside for me of living on Speyside is that the local whiskies aren’t particularly to my taste – the peatier, the better in my view so occasional pilgrimages to Islay are needed to keep up supplies.