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Selected Trips

    David Russell

    David Russell

    Long walks | Bad jokes | Eating Brownies

    Mini Bio

    I have been involved in the outdoors for the entirety of my professional working life so far. I became involved in mountain and water sports at university and decided after graduating that a city life was not for me! I moved to the Highlands, trained as an outdoor instructor and settled down in the Cairngorms National Park. In 2011 I gained the Mountain Leader qualification. I began leading trips with Wilderness Scotland in 2012, and have guided on walking and paddling trips since then, but have always specialised as a photography guide. In 2014 I took a full time role in the Wilderness Scotland office team but still head up the guiding for many of our photography trips.

    My own work features mainly mountain and forest images, and I love sharing these special places with our travellers and helping them get the most out of their experience and their camera. In my own time I still get out regularly on the hills and lochs with my camera and especially love making more committing trips into wild places such as the Cairngorm mountains, camping overnight to be in the right place for spectacular sunrises. A few of my shots have enjoyed some modest successes in competitions and various publications

    I firmly believe that you don’t need anything special in terms of camera equipment to get the best out of Scotland’s beauty. What you do need is a reverential love of wild places, a great deal of patience and a willingness to listen to what nature tells you. With this attitude you’ll have the chance to see some truly amazing sights.

    Place to Play

    Cairngorms National Park. It has it all – mountains, rivers, forests, community. The longer I live here the more and more I love it.


    Qualifications Read More
    • Summer Mountain Leader
    • BCU UKCC Level 2 Paddlesports Instructor, 4-star white water leader
    • Whitewater Rescue Technician
    • WEMSI First Responder
    • Single Pitch Award
    • Physics Degree
    Experience Read More

    10 years experience as an outdoor activities instructor and guide teaching a wide range of outdoor activities and photography throughout the Highlands of Scotland. 

    Biggest Adventure Read More

    I have made several trips to the far north of Scandinavia, journeying through the arctic mountains of Sápmi on foot. This is still a really wild and sparsely populated region where you are really remote and can find yourself a week away from the nearest road. Self-reliance and a good sense of humour are a must! The rewards that follow are deep and long-lasting.


    Specialist Subject Read More

    I’m interested in a broad range of physical subjects such as cosmology, history, geology, flora and fauna. However, I’m also keen on how nature and landscape influence us as humans and shape our language, culture, art and literature. I’m good for a poem about the hills, and a talk about the stars, but am probably best known as a landscape photographer looking to make a connection to the natural world.

    Publications Read More

    I’ve self-published a number of photography books and had images of Scotland published in a few national magazines. I also have my own photography website where you can find a full portfolio of images, writing and nature poetry by yours truly. www.highlandwildscapes.com

    Adventurer's Stories about David

    Yes brilliant and Dave has good knowledge of Arran

    sheena melrose
    Wilderness Walking - Arran: Scotland in Miniature
    Reviewed on 23/05/2023

    Pretty much previously answered-- we all thought highly of Gill and all the attention
    she paid to our questions and any concerns. She was a constantly reassuring
    presence throughout our week, always looking for ways to help improve our
    experience, entertaining and informative.

    John P McKinnon
    Wilderness Walking - Isle of Skye
    Reviewed on 11/05/2023

    Jill knew so much interesting information and was always in tune to what fit the group. It would be hard to do better that seeing the Isle of Skye with Jill leading the way.

    Dirk Hampson
    Wilderness Walking - Isle of Skye
    Reviewed on 10/05/2023

    See above. David is an excellent guide. Full of interesting facts and enthusiastic about Scotland, and the flora and fauna. He clearly knew what he was doing, experienced in leading groups, and showed good judgment with one member of the party who had a minor injury. He is an outstanding representative of your company.

    Donald Scott
    Wildlife Adventure - Winter Wildlife
    Reviewed on 07/03/2023

    Tell David we cannot thank him enough for a trip of a lifetime! We very much appreciate the excellent level of guides you hire! Guides are an integral part of our trips. David provided wonderful education, identified what we were most interested in doing and seeing, and he laid out a daily plan to accomplish our trip goals. This was very much appreciated. His photography was a true gift and his photos are the very best reminder of our experience. He is joyful in his enthusiasm which also lends to the understanding of what a great opportunity this trip provided to see and learn new things.

    Patricia (Patsy) Samuel
    22WSPD Private Departure
    Reviewed on 02/08/2022

    See my earlier comment. David was intuitive about his "followers" and very knowledgeable about the geology, flora, and fauna of the Highlands. He was a fine driver and an excellent planner. A+!

    Jill Geisler
    Wilderness Walking - Outer Hebrides & Skye
    Reviewed on 15/05/2022

    David is a wonderful guide.

    Mary McLennan
    Wilderness Walking - Outer Hebrides & Skye
    Reviewed on 13/05/2022

    David Russell was great! A excellent guide in every way. He homed in quickly to each of us and was very mindful. He was an excellent driver, everything ran smoothly. We were unaware often of different things he had had to sort and arrange. He was very encouraging when the going got tough for some of us and stayed close when we needed help. He was fun too and coped well with all of us oldies!! I would enjoy doing another trip with him.

    Nick Russell
    Wilderness Walking - Outer Hebrides & Skye
    Reviewed on 10/05/2022

    David was a very efficient, knowledgeable and entertaining guide who took great care to include every member of the group in all we did, even provided amazing music on the journey, still waiting for the dancing though. Great driver and photographer.

    Maureen Mitchell
    Wilderness Walking - Outer Hebrides & Skye
    Reviewed on 10/05/2022

    David was an excellent knowledgeable guide. His expertise on the area provided a view of the land and people over the years. He was also helpful and encouraging as we traversed rocks, etc.

    Linda Cooper
    Wilderness Walking - Outer Hebrides & Skye
    Reviewed on 09/05/2022

    David was extremely knowledgeable but presented information in an entertaining manner, full of humour.
    He was extremely supportive and patient when the route was challenging for me.
    He was very flexible and constantly adapted his plans to suit the abilities of the group and the variable weather.

    Judy Snell
    Wilderness Walking - Outer Hebrides & Skye
    Reviewed on 09/05/2022

    Our guide Cube was so fabulous. He was attentive and took all our needs into consideration. With this being a photography trip he was great since he took us to places at the right time of day to get just the best lighting for my photographs. The spots he took us to were so perfect and I was extremely happy with everything he did for us.

    Jill Sneidman
    Wilderness Photography - Highland Landscapes Tour
    Reviewed on 13/05/2019

    Can't imagine it being better. See previous comments.

    Ledro Justice
    16WSTM Tailor Made trips
    Reviewed on 15/10/2016

    There can be no better guide than David Russell. Hope he is well. Great future ahead for him.

    Richard Gaston
    16WSTM Tailor Made trips
    Reviewed on 11/09/2016

    Book a trip with David

    Trip / DepartureAvailabilityStatusPriceBook
    Wilderness Walking – Cairngorms National Park & Royal Deeside
    29th Jul - 4th Aug 2023
    1 place(s) leftCONFIRMED£2,055Book Now
    Wilderness Walking – Autumn Highlands
    27th Sep - 1st Oct 2023
    6 place(s) leftUNCONFIRMED£1,355Book Now
    Wilderness Walking – Autumn Highlands
    30th Sep - 4th Oct 2023
    8 place(s) leftPOSTPONED£1,355Book Now
    Wilderness Walking – Autumn Highlands
    14th Oct - 18th Oct 2023
    1 place(s) leftCONFIRMED£1,355Book Now

    Make Trip Private

    Sometimes it's nice to get family and friends together and travel privately for some quality time. This means you benefit from all the features of the group departure, including hand-picked accommodation and expert local guides and we'll take care of it all. Then you can make your choice of departures dates and we'll get back to you to finalise the details.

    We work together with our team of guides to decide which departures they lead each year. As part of that, guides provide available dates that they are free to be booked. This means that any of the dates you see in the first field of the form below, could be perfect for your private departure or customised tour.

    David's Gallery

    © David Russell / Wilderness Scotland

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