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    Don Pritchard

    Easy-going | Adventurous| Great sense of humour

     

     

    Mini bio

    Hi, I am Don. Originally from Scone in Perthshire, I got hooked on the outdoor world from a very early age, spending the weekends roaming the woods and hills around our village, making dens and guddling trout in the burns.

    My sense of adventure took me off to the Royal Navy and a considerable time was spent as an aircraft engineer on the Search and Rescue Squadron based at Prestwick. While there I continued to climb, walk and mountaineer in Scotland, often organising and guiding hillwalking and backpacking trips. I completed the Munros (Scottish mountains over 3000ft), a couple of years ago, and I am now ticking my way through them again along with the Corbetts.

    I love Scotland’s mountains and particularly enjoy multi-day backpacking treks across the mountains and glens. Any day on the hill is a good day and there is always something to see and enjoy.   After retiring from the Navy, I retrained as a horticulturist at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh and I grow and produce tea commercially in Scotland.

    Place to Play

    The Cairngorms, Glen Affric, Torridon and Assynt all jump to the front to answer this question, all different and full of great memories but if pushed it would be the Cuillin in Skye. A complete mountain range compacted into a remarkably small area on one of the most beautiful islands in the world. I never fail to be amazed by the challenges these mountains throw down.

    Not a lot of people know this

    I am a support actor in series two and three of the popular TV series Outlander. My outstanding performance as Dead Highlander 33 has BAFTA nomination written all over it.

     

     

    Qualifications Read More
    • Summer ML 
    • Advanced 1st Aid
    • Outdoor Food Hygiene Level 2
    • Mental Health First Aid 
    • Woodlore Journeyman
    Biggest Adventure Read More

    I completed the Munros in 2013 and walked the John Muir Trail in USA in 1993.

    Specialist Subject Read More

    Not really specialist but a great interest in general outdoors, bushcraft, flora, fauna, geology and history and I enjoy talking about them and exploring new places and the past.

    Adventurer's Stories about Don

    Our guides absolutely made this trip for us. Don was nothing less than heroic, and Andy was a gem as a late, but welcome and essential, addition. Finally, no words can describe out gratitude for Tim. The patience he displayed toward every member of our party, even those few who were particularly demanding (and in my opinion quite unreasonable and unprepared for the task at hand) was laudable. He treated everyone on the journey as important and made efforts to include us all as part of one team with the goal of successfully completing our aspirations all the way to the destination. His wit, knowledge and empathy with be our best memory of this trip and elevated it to one of the best we’ve ever experienced.

    Kim Wootton
    Wilderness Walking - The West Highland Way
    Reviewed on 01/10/2022

    Our guides were knowledgeable and very organized.

    Stewart Hofland
    Wilderness Walking - The West Highland Way
    Reviewed on 29/09/2022

    Tim and Don (who had to leave on Day 3 due to an injury) were both excellent and very knowledgeable. They definitely had our safety in mind the whole trip. I only wish I had more opportunities to hear all of their stories and insights. Andy, who replaced Don was also excellent.

    Katryn Barefield
    Wilderness Walking - The West Highland Way
    Reviewed on 29/09/2022

    Tim was exceptional guide and leader, took very good care of the group. Don was very good but do to injury only got to travel with the group for a short period. A big thank you to Struan and Andy for filling in to ensure our trip could continue.

    Miranda Manning
    Wilderness Walking - The West Highland Way
    Reviewed on 29/09/2022

    Don Pritchard was an absolutely outstanding guide. He was kind, funny, supportive, encouraging, and highly capable. We did several challenging hikes, and he taught me how to adjust my breathing, pacing and technique to make it to the summit. There were two occasions where I was close to giving up just a short distance from the summit, but Don's patience and encouragement made me carry on and I made it! I didn't want to let him down! He was very skillful at navigating the varying abilities and paces of the members of the group, so everyone felt comfortable. Having had a second career in horticulture after over two decades in the Royal Navy, he was also incredibly knowledgeable about the flora and fauna we saw on our walks, and the information he shared as we walked made the excursions so much more interesting. He was also highly knowledgeable about Scottish history, and his stories made the trip all the more meaningful. In short, Don is the BEST!

    Maureen Gershanik
    Wilderness Walking - Glencoe and the Highlands
    Reviewed on 19/08/2022

    Don was a greast guide. All the walks were very good and challenging. Don was always there when I was struggling with the terrain or on narrow paths.

    The walks were more challenging than I expected, but Don ensured that we all got to the end of the walk safely.

    Caroline Taylor
    Wilderness Walking - Glencoe and the Highlands
    Reviewed on 15/08/2022

    Donald was outstanding throughout. He was great in helping and encouraging everyone on the demanding hikes. Enjoyed his historical storytelling as well.

    Robert Barclay
    Wilderness Walking - Glencoe and the Highlands
    Reviewed on 15/08/2022

    Already mention Don was excellent. He adapted to any request. Well spoken with excellent knowledge of region

    Bonnie Scott
    Wilderness Walking - Glencoe and the Highlands
    Reviewed on 15/08/2022

    Don was professional, kind & easy going

    Christina Moller
    Wilderness Walking - Glencoe and the Highlands
    Reviewed on 15/08/2022

    He was fantastic. Definitely felt like I was in good hands. He also went above and beyond to make sure we were all having the best time we could be.

    Kristen Ryczak
    Wilderness Walking - Wilds of Assynt
    Reviewed on 11/08/2022

    I felt that we were in good hands and I appreciated the possibility to change plans.

    Sarita Bergholm
    22WSTM - Tailor Made Trips
    Reviewed on 14/07/2022

    Don was excellent - helpful, patient, really looked after us all. Would like him to be our guide on our next trip which says it all.

    Margaret Carol Sanderson
    Wilderness Walking - Wilds of Assynt
    Reviewed on 11/07/2022

    Don was a fantastic guide - he was always making sure everyone in the group was ok, and managed the differing abilities and speeds of the group extremely well. He encouraged and helped us on some challenging walks - especially Sulvian! He also re-arranged the itinery to suit the weather conditions, and when we had time before a restaurant booking added in extra things which meant we got the most out of the week. He really a great job, and even removed a tick for me one day, which is above and beyond! Due to Don leaving to replace another guide on a different trip due to Covid, we had a replacement guide Ben on the last day, who was also very good.

    Jackie Lever
    Wilderness Walking - Wilds of Assynt
    Reviewed on 10/07/2022

    Don did an outstanding job. Great trail selection and very knowledgeable. He delivered for the group in every aspect. Great driver and answered all our questions.

    Christine Higgins
    Wilderness Walking - National Parks of the UK
    Reviewed on 10/06/2022

    We loved Don's knowledge. He shared so much and we truly enjoyed him

    Carolyn Troutner
    Wilderness Walking - Outer Hebrides & Skye
    Reviewed on 26/04/2022

    Don was an amazing leader for our group. He has excellent driving skills on the skinny wiggly roads out on Isle of Harris and Lewis. His knowledge of the land was incredible. I was always eager to hear his history lessons while we were on the trails. Don made sure to anticipate places on the trail where I might need some assistance & he encouraged me along the way to stop and enjoy the amazing scenery. I so enjoyed every moment of the trip! I was amazed how cool and calm Don was through every situation, even the quick change of plans when out ferry wasn't leaving port.

    Lacie Morrison
    Wilderness Walking - Outer Hebrides & Skye
    Reviewed on 18/04/2022

    Don was an excellent guide, adapting the itinerary to suit the conditions and the feelings/abilities of the group. He was good company, informative and supportive. I was really pleased that he swapped the Caledonian Canal walk for a delightful and more varied walk at Foyers.

    Susan O'Hara
    Wilderness Walking - Autumn Highlands
    Reviewed on 22/10/2021

    Thank you to Don for being an excellent guide who really worked hard to ensure our little group had an enjoyable time. He was kind, helpful, informative and good fun. He discussed alternative itineraries with us as a result of the weather each day and looked after us so well.

    Lesley Lind
    Wilderness Walking - Isle of Skye
    Reviewed on 22/10/2021

    The guide gave great information and ensured everyone was okay.

    Angela Speer
    Wilderness Walking - Autumn Highlands
    Reviewed on 09/10/2021

    Both Don Pritchard and Caroline Hart were excellent, and they made a good partnership. Don had great knowledge of the natural and social history of the route, and had plenty of stories to share. Caroline was a very natural and engaging leader and effortlessly ensured everyone was brought into conversations. Both were very supportive and caring, attending to any injuries (actual or potential) and really doing their best to ensure everyone could complete the route - for example starting early with some group members who might need extra time on a certain day.

    Leonie Dorkins
    Wilderness Walking - The West Highland Way
    Reviewed on 01/10/2021

    Don ticks all boxes for a great guide. I was particularly impressed with how he managed our group of very different levels of fitness, keeping tabs on everyone despite how sprawled out we were at times. His backpack was like a tardis of useful things for all occasions.
    I'm also very grateful for his encouragement and ability to get some of us across a narrow ridge at a significant height, this was one of the highlights of the trip for me, a real sense of achievement.
    His knowledge of the history of Scotland, plants and animals added to each walk we did (and I also learnt quite a lot about helicopter engines too!)
    I had the sense that Don could get anyone out of a tight spot in any situation - he's a gem of a guide.

    Helen Shea
    Wilderness Walking - The Knoydart Peninsula
    Reviewed on 30/09/2021

    Very professional in all aspects of there work and there experience was unbelievable and both guides throughly enjoyed there chosen field of work

    Joseph Trainer
    Wilderness Walking - The West Highland Way
    Reviewed on 30/09/2021

    Don and Caroline were both truly excellent throughout the whole trip. They both displayed quiet professionalism to peoples varying needs and enhanced the overall enjoyment and experience of the trip. Each days route was shared at the start, and whatever the subject, helped answer peoples questions throughout. To me, although perhaps not immediately visible, above all else, they quietly & diplomaticaly ensured no one was inadvetently marginalised or left out......something that requires a wide spectrum of 'people' skills.

    They are a credit to themselves and to Wilderness Scotland.

    Graham Ayers
    Wilderness Walking - The West Highland Way
    Reviewed on 30/09/2021

    Both Caroline and Don are fantastic guides..
    Great knowledge between them
    Organized helpful and made to feel safe during the adventure..
    Last but not least good sense of humour which is required ...
    Loved everything about the trip....
    I would recommend the company and hopefully use it again in the near future......

    Elizabeth Fisher
    Wilderness Walking - The West Highland Way
    Reviewed on 30/09/2021

    Don was amazing. He was fun, knowledgeable and compassionate when I experienced vertigo! The trip wouldn't have been as smooth or as fun without him. I can't believe how much stuff he carried around in his rucksack but he never complained or fussed if we (I) didn't quite have the right equipment - just pulled something out of his rucksack to help the situation. What an Ace guy x

    Julie Regan
    Wilderness Walking - The Knoydart Peninsula
    Reviewed on 28/09/2021

    Thoughtful. helpful. patient and kind. Always steered me to walks within my capability and interests.. Lots of stories and local knowledge.

    Anne Nesbitt
    Wilderness Walking - The Knoydart Peninsula
    Reviewed on 23/09/2021

    Don is a superb guide. Good briefings before the walk and he is always aware of any difficulties individuals might experience.
    Good company in the evenings.
    Full of funny stories and interesting facts about the area.

    Jean Ogilvie
    Wilderness Walking - The Knoydart Peninsula
    Reviewed on 21/09/2021

    Don was great. Very knowledgeable and very patient with the slow coaches like me! Very proactive in finding alternatives for people who found the walks a bit much and wanted a break. Friendly and approachable.

    Lynn Evans
    Wilderness Walking - The Knoydart Peninsula
    Reviewed on 21/09/2021

    Supportive, encouraging and fun

    Penelope Lang
    Wilderness Walking - The Knoydart Peninsula
    Reviewed on 07/09/2021

    Don was very wel organized, attentive to every individual, patient & knowledgeable. We were also surprised with great off track routes that made the hikes even more special!

    Nicole Van der Mije
    Wilderness Walking - The Knoydart Peninsula
    Reviewed on 07/09/2021

    It was interesting to see how the group’s confidence and ability improved over the week.

    Ann Taylor
    Wilderness Walking - The Knoydart Peninsula
    Reviewed on 31/08/2021

    Extremely knowledgable guide - very impressed

    Barney Southin
    Wilderness Walking - The Knoydart Peninsula
    Reviewed on 31/08/2021

    Huge thanks to Don. Some people (who don't know any better) might question the need for guide on a walking holiday to places in the UK where there's lots of information on the internet and in guide books about where to go and which routes to walk, but we couldn't disagree more. It's no exaggeration to say that without Don's considerable knowledge of the areas (not just the walking routes and sites, but of flora, fauna and history), skill and judgement (in making sure we made the best of the weather at the right times and matching the walking routes to our ability - there was a mix of ability in the group but his well-judged choices of routes kept everyone very happy with the walking), as well as his good humour, we wouldn't have got anywhere near as much enjoyment or learning from the trip - he really made the holiday what it was and looked after us very well. Can't thank him enough.

    Ian Hagan
    21WSPD Private Departure
    Reviewed on 22/08/2021

    Don was extremely supportive and tolerant of the range of ability in thegroup. He is also very knowledgeable about The Highlands and was able to share this knowledge in clear outlines of the history, geography and the wildlife.

    Tony Dudley-Evans
    Wilderness Walking - The Knoydart Peninsula
    Reviewed on 02/08/2021

    Don was helpful and informative. His local knowledge is good. He taught us a lot about the history of Mull and he knew exactly where to find the golden eat and the sea eagles.

    Fiona Ferguson
    Wildlife Adventures - Mull, Staffa and Iona
    Reviewed on 26/07/2021

    Our guide Don was excellent . He was a great source of information about geology,history wildlife …... He put a lot of effort into devising enjoyable walks suitable for the varying abilities of the group and adapting to the daily weather. He was also kind and thoughtful with a great sense of humour. I felt very well looked after.

    Lesley Dunford
    Wilderness Walking - The Knoydart Peninsula
    Reviewed on 20/07/2021

    Don was great, helpful, very knowledgeable on a range of issues, geology being a high point !!

    Stuart Rowe
    Wilderness Walking - The Knoydart Peninsula
    Reviewed on 13/07/2021

    Don was a first class guide: knowledgeable on local history, plants and birds.
    He helped all of us access remote places in this amazing area. He was patient, kind and, together with Andy’s advice, chose the best walks for the weather conditions.

    Catharine Wall
    Wilderness Walking - The Knoydart Peninsula
    Reviewed on 13/07/2021

    Our guide Don Pritchard consistently went well above and beyond for every one of the members of our trip. Don's professional demeanor as a guide was evident from when he picked us in Oban on our first day to every day following by greeting us each morning to a clean and tidy van. Don always made sure we were well prepared for the days activities, going over our itinerary for the day and modifying our excursions if necessary based on the needs and ability of our group. One evening when we were about to have dinner in Tobermory my wife was not feeling well and was in a fair amount of discomfort. Don did not hesitate to run (literally) to the store before it closed down the road to get a slew of heartburn/stomach medications out of his own pocket, which helped her immensely that night. For the next 2 days as my wife was on the mend he was constantly checking up on her and ensuring she was okay. Don was always very knowledgeable on most every subject, however if there was an answer he did not know (our family had a LOT of questions) he would use his own personal time that evening to research that topic so he could give us an informed answer the next morning. His knowledge of everything, from the local wildlife and plants to the history of Scotland itself was amazing, and he made every day entertaining with his witty jokes and sincere demeanor. We say this with absolute sincerity that Don felt like a member of our family in that short time, and we were genuinely sad when we had to part ways on our final day of the trip. From the bottom of our hearts we want to thank Mr. Pritchard for making our trip to Scotland one that we will never forget.

    Peter Kusiak
    19WSPD_Private Departure
    Reviewed on 02/10/2019

    We could not say enough about Don. He looked after us as a shepherd with his flock. We felt safe and in great hands. His personality and demeanour make him the ideal choice for anyone who signs up for your tours. We have been recommending him to everyone we've spoken to. ....

    Peter Kusiak
    19WSPD_Private Departure
    Reviewed on 16/09/2019

    Mentioned before, Don is incredible. He really cares about everyone in the group and he strives to make sure everyone, despite experience level, is having a great time.

    Peter Kusiak
    19WSPD_Private Departure
    Reviewed on 10/09/2019

    As per my earlier comment, our guide Don was absolutely fantastic. His professionalism, knowledge, consideration and good humour really helped to make this a memorable trip.

    Steve Richards
    Wilderness Walking - The West Highland Way
    Reviewed on 19/08/2019

    Don was.perfect in guiding, keeping the cohesion in the group, answering all possible questions, and showing all possible plants and munros.

    Andres Mola Arizo
    Wilderness Walking - The West Highland Way
    Reviewed on 18/08/2019

    Don Pritchard is superlative. Can't say enough positive about him. I run a pretty big business and Don is the kind of person that every business should die to have as part of their organization. I would have hired him away from you in an instant if I needed someone with his skill set and a job he would enjoy; however, I think he really enjoys doing what he is doing. He is smart, confident, unbelievably knowledgeable and just a pleasure to be with. He is a great spokesperson for your company, and you should be so happy to have him. As a medical professional I wondered what you would do if someone became ill on this walk; Don's experience and demeanor made it clear that could deal with literally any problem. He is also almost uniquely understated and focused on customer satisfaction. We are considering another (less vigorous) tour next year and we would only come over if Don were the guide given the immense value he added to our trip. I am sure you have many great guides, but Don is a real keeper, as we would say.

    Mark Crowther
    Wilderness Walking - The West Highland Way
    Reviewed on 12/08/2019

    Don was exceptional as a guide. Very fit and knowledgable in many relevant topic areas (geology, history, botanical, first aid and trail features). He was pleasant, interactive and attentive at all times, doing everything in his power to ensure a good experience by all members of the group. He went above and beyond the call of duty over and over again. I would not hesitate to do another tour with him as guide.

    Roberta Crowther
    Wilderness Walking - The West Highland Way
    Reviewed on 11/08/2019

    Don was very Knowledgeable and led the group very well with appropriate (but not over the top) regard to safety.

    Francesca Crawford
    Wilderness Walking - The West Highland Way
    Reviewed on 08/08/2019

    He was very good. He had a hard group to keep up with. Some were way in front and others way behind. I thought he did a great job of keeping us together.

    Amy Daley
    Wilderness Walking - The West Highland Way
    Reviewed on 20/06/2019

    Don was flexible, knowledgeable, patient.

    Keith MacDonald
    19WSPD_Private Departure
    Reviewed on 20/05/2019

    Don is a walking, talking genius! His knowledge of walks, flora, fauna, and history is remarkable, and his sense of humour is fantastic. He regaled us with so many stories and went out of his way to accommodate any wish we had.

    TEAM WILDERNESS RESPONSE:

    It sounds like you had an incredible trip overall and a wonderful time with Don. Hopefully we can welcome you to the Highlands again soon.

    Cathy Macdonald
    18WSTM Tailor Made trips
    Reviewed on 02/10/2018

    As above. Don was the best.

    Anne Wallis
    18WSTM Tailor Made trips
    Reviewed on 27/09/2018

    Don was an excellent guide. Very professional, the first guide I’ve had to explain what to do if he’s injured, he’s considerate, calm, decisive, thorough and has a great sense of humour! We loved all his stories and his funny remarks. I’ve experienced 3 guides before Don and he was the best!

    Colleen Purich
    18WSTM Tailor Made trips
    Reviewed on 21/09/2018

    This is the fourth trip for our group in Europe - we have really liked all our guides but Don Pritchard was the best we have ever had - lovely manner, considerate and kind, wide range of knowledge on all things Scotland including history, the plants and trees, and Scottish life. He was very good at judging the group so that if there was some indecision within the group he would help us come to a decision that we could all be happy with - he was outstanding. Oh, and one more thing - great sense of humor!

    Marilyn Ross
    18WSTM Tailor Made trips
    Reviewed on 20/09/2018

    As described, we could not have had a better guide!

    Roxanne Jones
    Wilderness Walking - Outer Hebrides & Skye
    Reviewed on 20/08/2018

    As mentioned earlier, Don was the best guide we have ever had.

    Tyler Brown
    Scotland: Self-Drive and Hiking in the Highlands
    Reviewed on 11/08/2018

    Don was brilliant! He was also really aware of different needs and wants along the way and very patient.

    Angela Mason
    Wilderness Walking - Isle of Skye
    Reviewed on 27/07/2018

    Our guide, Don Pritchard, was outstanding. He is the best guide I've ever had. I do't remember anyone ever truly going over the map of our itinerary, taking out GPS and making sure we(or someone) knew how operate it, emergency numbers, and how to get us back from hike in case of emergency (i.e. to him) He truly took excellent care of us, was always helpful for the slower hikers while giving speedy people option of going ahead but waiting at designated locations. Don gets 5 stars in my book. His choice of hikes was likewise well done. Isle of Rassay was spectacular.

    Sarah Leonard
    Wilderness Walking - Isle of Skye
    Reviewed on 26/07/2018

    Don was very helpful. Everyone seemed to get along and all enjoyed the experience.

    James Cavanaugh
    Wilderness Walking - Isle of Skye
    Reviewed on 09/07/2018

    Don was excellent. He explained all our walks beforehand, showing us on the map, and also explained the gradient and going. He ensured we were all able to hike to our own abilities, and it was obvious that safety was a top priority.

    Lisa Foster
    Wilderness Walking - Isle of Skye
    Reviewed on 09/07/2018

    Don was patient, perceptive, professional, and personal! I would recommend going on a Hebrides birding tour with Don to all my friends and family.

    Beryl Harper
    Wildlife Adventures - The Outer Hebrides & St Kilda
    Reviewed on 15/06/2018

    Donald was knowledgeable, helpful, and worked hard to meet the very divergent needs of a small but diverse group.

    Suzanne Fong
    Wildlife Adventures - The Outer Hebrides & St Kilda
    Reviewed on 06/06/2018

    Don was a very considerate guide with interesting information about locations and conducted walks at our pace.

    Catherine Johnstone
    Self-Drive - Arisaig and the Small Isles
    Reviewed on 16/09/2017

    Our main guide was a very experienced mountaineer with an amazing knowledge of local history and wildlife. We felt at ease the entire trip.

    Rob Osborne
    17WSTM Tailor Made trips
    Reviewed on 18/07/2017

    Book a trip with Don

    Trip / DepartureAvailabilityStatusPriceBook
    Wilderness Walking – Outer Hebrides: Uists, Barra & Mingulay
    16th Sep - 22nd Sep 2023
    5 place(s) leftCONFIRMED£2,085Book Now
    Wilderness Walking – Autumn Highlands
    7th Oct - 11th Oct 2023
    4 place(s) leftCONFIRMED£1,195Book Now
    Wilderness Walking – Autumn Highlands
    21st Oct - 25th Oct 2023
    8 place(s) leftUNCONFIRMED£1,195Book 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.

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    © Don Pritchard / Wilderness Scotland

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