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Selected Trips

    Gill McMillan

    Inquisitive | Dedicated | Enthusiastic


    As a child, I skied in Glenshee and loved being outside. At 19 I started hill-walking and have happily worn out many pairs of boots since. I especially enjoy hill-walking, long distance trails (the Camino de Santiago across Spain and the West Highland Way several times) and wild camping. Late evening sunsets from high up on a mountain have to be among life’s greatest pleasures. Thankfully, in Scotland, we’re spoilt for choice.

    Place to play 

    Highland Perthshire has lots to offer close to home, but further afield the Isle of Skye has it all; drama, amazing landscapes, fantastic shoreline and caves to explore.

    Not a lot of people know this 

    I’m passionate about badgers, so I’m on special alert when walking in woodland.

    Find out more about me…

    Check out my website: www.hikehighlands.co.uk

    Qualifications Read More
    • ML summer

    Mountain Training Association Profile: MT ID: 159098

    Experience Read More

    I’ve been lucky enough to hike in the Canadian Rockies, Spain’s Sierra Nevada and Nepal.

    Biggest Adventure Read More

    I’d have to say that it wasn’t Nepal (although it was fantastic). For me, my biggest adventure so far was walking the Camino de Santiago across Spain. That’s because I was full of trepidation at the prospect of walking 500 miles in a land I didn’t know. Now I know I can do it, but hindsight’s a wonderful thing!

    Specialist Subject Read More

    For me, both personally and professionally, knowing something of the history, folklore and colourful characters of an area really brings the landscape alive. I really enjoy sharing these tales with other people and hearing their tales too.

    Publications Read More

    Only the Wilderness Scotland blogosphere so far, however one of the blogs ended up in the Chicago Tribune, so I’m happy to claim that as an achievement.

    Adventurer's Stories about Gill

    Gill was a fabulous, competent, knowledgeable guide. Lots of fun stories to share too. Excellent!

    Kim Kwiatkowski
    Wilderness Walking - The Orkney Islands
    Reviewed on 28/05/2024

    Again, nothing but good things to say about Gill. I enjoyed her so very much. Informative, thorough and kind. She went above and beyond with the entire group.

    Debbie Bialek
    Wilderness Walking - The Orkney Islands
    Reviewed on 28/05/2024

    Gil did great job She was patient and paced walks nicely. She got us to ferry on time and planned the days to allow some free time. She offered a choice when weather was bad. She was excellent driving the single track roads on the islands. As mentioned earlier she was knowledgeable about places plants and birds.

    Nancy Ledeboer
    Wilderness Walking - The Orkney Islands
    Reviewed on 27/05/2024

    Kristina had our little group’s safety as her top priority. Although some of the trails were new to her, she researched them well beforehand so she could lead us (along with enlightening us about the history attached to the areas we trod.). When I had occurred an eye injury related to grabbing the wrong travel bottle when searching for a contact lens in my eye; Kristina helped by calling and planning how to get the medical help needed. (My sister accompanied me to the nearest Optometrist via taxi where care was administered). Kudos to Kristina for taking the incident seriously and accessing the eye injury to the best of her ability.

    Denise Bush
    Wilderness Walking - Isle of Skye
    Reviewed on 04/09/2023

    Kristina was an excellent guide, always concerned about our safety and filling out the hiking/walking with interesting historical facts and observations. As mentioned earlier, she did a great job talking me down from a steep hike that caused my fear of heights to kick in!

    Nancy DaRocha
    Wilderness Walking - Isle of Skye
    Reviewed on 29/08/2023

    Gill was delightful for Sat/Sun and the stories and history that she shared brought much laughter and learning :) I hope her new job is going well! Then we had Emi for the rest of the week and she was also delightful and we trusted her completely to guide us to everything from the secret waterfall up from the River Feshie to the summit of Cairn Gorm so the gelato shop in Aviemore (excellent call!) When I realized on Sunday night that I left my credit card at the grocery in Aviemore on Saturday, but wasn't sure how to call them, Emi promptly contacted them Monday morning and suggested that we hike Loch en Eilen and retrieve the card (such a relief!). Both guides quickly gained my trust and I truly enjoyed getting to know them, such interesting people, and learn about living in Scotland and about other explorations that they enjoy.

    Liz Zapf
    Wilderness Retreats - The Highlands
    Reviewed on 07/07/2023

    Gill and Emy great, experienced, lots of interesting tips and sidebars.
    Easy to get along with, had lots of laughs

    Anne MacDonald
    Wilderness Retreats - The Highlands
    Reviewed on 05/07/2023

    Both excellent guides with masses of experience.
    Loved Gill's stories.

    Virginia Kearse
    Wilderness Walking - Isle of Skye
    Reviewed on 22/07/2021

    As always very professional, entertaining and good fun. Provided the core of a good week away. Jill's stories and tales were enjoyed

    Jane Gordon
    Wilderness Walking - Isle of Skye
    Reviewed on 19/07/2021

    Gill is an excellent guide - very thoughtful and helpful in catering to the different abilities and interests of the group. She is a very interesting person, providing wonderful insights into the culture of the area.

    Linda Croxford
    Wilderness Walking - Isle of Skye
    Reviewed on 08/06/2021

    Gill was amazing. She looked after everyone's differing needs and wants and made sure we were all ok. She has a wealth of knowledge on the flora, fauna and history of Skye and regaled us with amazing stories of Skye's myths, legends and faeries.

    Jane Grieves
    Wilderness Walking - Isle of Skye
    Reviewed on 08/06/2021

    Cannot speak highly enough of Gill. So knowledgeable and responsive to the needs of the group.

    Richard Stanczyc
    Wilderness Walking - Isle of Skye
    Reviewed on 31/05/2021

    Gill is a first class guide and is an asset to your company. She really opened up the whole trip and bought it to life with her knowledge of scottish history, geography, wildlife, plants, birds, the flora and fauna. She was enthusiastic and lively and nothing was too much trouble for her. Gill gave us all a unique experience which i will treasure for a lifetime.

    Maria Coffey
    Wilderness Walking - Isle of Skye
    Reviewed on 31/05/2021

    Gill was first rate selection of walks was inspiring and just the right amount of information. Length of walks was well planned for each day.

    Bruce Ebzery
    Wilderness Walking - Autumn Highlands
    Reviewed on 23/10/2019

    Was very perceptive of everybody’s capabilities. And made spontaneous decisions to accommodate the weather conditions very successfully

    Maureen Henderson
    Wilderness Walking - Autumn Highlands
    Reviewed on 23/10/2019

    Communicative, knowledgeable, flexible and very aware of her guests.

    Gary Fisher
    Wilderness Walking - Autumn Highlands
    Reviewed on 20/10/2019

    Gill was fantastic, balancing the needs and wants of a very diverse group.

    Gloria Wilson
    Wilderness Walking - Isle of Skye
    Reviewed on 11/10/2019

    Gill’s intelligence and consciousness kept all of us happy

    Virginia Fish
    Wilderness Walking - Isle of Skye
    Reviewed on 07/10/2019

    My wife and I have been on guided trips with many companies: Sierra Club, REI, BackRoads, Adventure Life etc. Gill is by far the best guide we’ve had. She made the trip so “Scotland”.

    Jon Western
    Wilderness Walking - Outer Hebrides & Skye
    Reviewed on 28/08/2019

    In addition to what I said in the first question, I love how Gill set the tone for our group with her authentic, playful, kind and generous spirit. This is especially significant given all of the responsibilities she had being the sole guide. We really appreciated her excellent driving when we rented a car after the trip and had to navigate the single track roads on our own. She was consistently positive and upbeat, a pleasure to be with!

    Deborah Fowler
    Wilderness Walking - Outer Hebrides & Skye
    Reviewed on 26/08/2019

    I can’t say enough positive things about Gill. She was super well-informed, always positive, had a good sense of humor, was a great driver, was well-organized but also very willing to be flexible with the group and did a marvelous job of taking care of all of us. I will go out of my way to make sure we had Gill as a guide on any return trip we have to Scotland or England.

    John Schenk
    Wilderness Walking - Outer Hebrides & Skye
    Reviewed on 26/08/2019

    Gill made the trip! Her excitement and her knowledge of Scotland's history, flora and fauna, and geography, is amazing. She was the perfect host and guide. Driving through Scotland she talked about where we were, what we were seeing and what it meant to Scottish history. And on the trails hiking, she described what we were encountering from the geological formations to the tiniest flowers, she talked about the birds flying by while helping us to navigate through the rocks on the trail and the bogs. Gill was consistently positive, energized and communicated the love of being a guide in everything she did. Our group had writer, musician, and poet in the group and she brought her own creativity to us as well. She shared stories, poems, and love of Scotland. She provided the experience of Scotland in both head and heart. Thank you Gill!

    Jeff Comins
    Wilderness Walking - Outer Hebrides & Skye
    Reviewed on 26/08/2019

    Gill was exceptional- she was present and focused, super-knowledgeable, went well above and beyond sharing her knowledge and love of her country. No question went unanswered, she ranged from history to geography to culture to stories of hardship, to current politics.
    She made our trip absolutely fantastic. We will carry her and Scotland in our hearts forever!

    Laurie Schmidt
    Wilderness Walking - Outer Hebrides & Skye
    Reviewed on 26/08/2019

    Gillian is one of the best guides I have ever had. She worked incredibly hard to ensure that everyone got the most out of the trip and she came to my rescue when I lost the sole of my right boot, improvising a temporary solution to ensure I could complete the last bit of the hike. The breadth of her knowledge of ornithology, botany, geology, and Scottish history is impressive. I give her a grade of A++!

    John Shields
    Wilderness Walking - Outer Hebrides & Skye
    Reviewed on 21/08/2019

    Far and away the best guide we have ever had and we’ve been on at least 6 other active travel trips. Gill’s love of the land shone through every moment and inspired us all. She tailored the trip to fit our group’s interests & skill. And she always provided options for individual discover.y. She even taught us a Scottish phrase for that - Stavaiging! I would come back and do another trip with Wilderness Scotland just to spend time with Gill.

    Elaine Ramires
    Wilderness Walking - Outer Hebrides & Skye
    Reviewed on 19/08/2019

    Gill was great. She was flexible, making changes to the schedule to accommodate the rain and the interests of the group. She was funny and personable. She worked well with all the different personalities in the group and somehow made the different expectations of different participants work together

    Margaret Kristoffersen
    Wilderness Walking - Isle of Skye
    Reviewed on 28/06/2019

    Don was excellent. He's clearly very experienced and was a great judge of weather and hiking conditions. We were able to dodge the inclement weather while still getting some wonderful walking done.

    Lorie Dunne
    Wilderness Walking - Wilds of Assynt
    Reviewed on 23/06/2019

    Routes were great. It was quite a bit less strenuous than I had hoped but Gill was great about letting me go at my own pace to raise the level of effort. She was very flexible and considerate of my activity needs.

    Margie Kennedy
    Wilderness Walking - Isle of Skye
    Reviewed on 18/06/2019

    Thank you, Don, for making the best of every day.

    Nicole Pauquet
    Wilderness Walking - Wilds of Assynt
    Reviewed on 17/06/2019

    As previously mentioned, our guide, Don, proved to be more than capable. His knowledge - historical, botanical, and geological- was extensive, and he obviously loved sharing it with people who shared his interests and enthusiasm for the region.

    Of course, the fact that he was extremely personable and energetic didn’t hurt matters either....

    In short, we hope to have the opportunity to hike with him again, sometime in the future.

    Paul Campbell
    Wilderness Walking - Wilds of Assynt
    Reviewed on 17/06/2019

    Don our substitute guide was first class. He stood in at short notice. Knew the area well ,helpful and attentive. Good local knowledge, history, wildlife, botany. He took really good care of us.

    Peter Newman
    Wilderness Walking - Wilds of Assynt
    Reviewed on 17/06/2019

    Gill was great - very engaging, taking time each day for every person in the group, provided every day's plan and great details of the areas visited. She made each day fun and entertaining.

    Monika Essner
    Wilderness Walking - Outer Hebrides & Skye
    Reviewed on 21/05/2019

    Gill was fantastic, she was very friendly, interesting and fun and looked after us all to a very high standard. Altered a couple of days around to fit in with the weather forecasts which showed her consideration for us to get the best out of each day. Thanks Gill

    Carl Broomhead
    Wilderness Walking - Autumn Highlands
    Reviewed on 25/10/2018

    Gill was amazing. Very knowledgeable and patient.

    Susan Lundahl
    Wilderness Walking - Cairngorms National Park & Royal Deeside
    Reviewed on 08/10/2018

    I can’t praise our guide enough! Gil was superlative in all respects. Right from the beginning when one of our group was late, she exuded calm, and bought us all coffee while we waited. Her knowledge was amazing. From the landscape, history, botany, farming and hunting uses of the land to reading us evocative poetry she kept my interest at all times. She did an excellent job of assessing our groups’ varied abilities and never made anyone feel inadequate. We had to ford two large rivers and her calmness and and quiet confidence made even the most timid among us feel able to get across without a dunking! Also, after having driven in Scotland myself for a few days after our walk, I am in awe of her driving abilities too! From the very beginning I felt safe and secure knowing that Gil was in charge.

    Theresa Hall
    Wilderness Walking - Cairngorms National Park & Royal Deeside
    Reviewed on 08/10/2018

    I learned so much about Scotland's great outdoors thanks to Gill's vast knowledge and enthusiasm! I appreciated her energy and sense of humor as well as taking time to point out details about everything from tiny plants to towering trees. I would have missed so much had I been alone. The bits of poetry provided a nice time for reflection during a break. She's also a very proficient van driver which is no small task considering the narrow twisty roads and crowded parking places! Thanks again, Gill, for an in redible trip!

    Wendy Sarazyn
    Wilderness Walking - Cairngorms National Park & Royal Deeside
    Reviewed on 05/10/2018

    Gill was excellent in every respect. A very competent and pleasant leader of the group, who knew the area and the walks very well indeed. She was also a very competent and safe driver - we had full confidence in her.

    Richard Buxton
    Wilderness Walking - Cairngorms National Park & Royal Deeside
    Reviewed on 01/10/2018

    Gill was a wonderful, well read, experienced, kind, knowledgeable and friendly guide. She made us feel included and part of the group, even though from totally different backgrounds.
    Hayley was a ball of energy, which became very contagious. A free spirit, full of life, experience, wisdom and a wicked sense of fun. Made my trip especially memorable and makes me want to come back and do some more hiking trips.

    Karren Driver
    Wilderness Walking - National Parks of the UK
    Reviewed on 11/08/2018

    Gil was very experienced, knowledgeable, flexible and kind.

    Hayley was very knowledgeable on the Lake District and we really enjoyed her taking us on backroads.

    Both were dynamic and very attentive and adaptable to the group’s needs.

    Jon Maxwell
    Wilderness Walking - National Parks of the UK
    Reviewed on 03/08/2018

    Dave was fun, well organized, safety conscious, informed about history, environment and politics; it was a joy learning from him and exploring with him! He provided the perfect blend of spontaneity, flexibility and forward planning.

    As we approached our destination it felt like there wasn't as much wilderness to explore; the two least interesting hikes were at the end into more populated areas (bikes zooming up from behind constantly) and we were hot and tired and they felt like a let down compares to the magnificence of our early hikes. In retrospect I might have opted for replacing these hikes with more time exploring Edinburg on foot? Sadly, we opted out of the nighttime tour of Edinburg because we were tired and had very early wake up. A dinner reservation at excellent restaurant near hotel would have been great!

    Lynn Cunningham
    18WSTM Tailor Made trips
    Reviewed on 28/07/2018

    It was a memorable week of varied walks and experiences.
    Very soon after I booked last year one of the influential international travel organisations rated Skye as the top place to avoid because it had become so over-visited!
    I needn't have worried. Our guide, Gill McMillan, was very canny in choosing walks and destinations that really did appear quite remote, with only the occasional glimpse of crowds and honey-pots. I cannot rate her highly enough. She was flexible, curious and alert to the needs of the group and its members. Her commentaries never sounded pat and I much enjoyed, like all the group, the poems and other literary descriptions she employed.
    We often had a sense of challenge and achievement and all appeared to have a happy time, revelling in the landscape and its awe-inspiring features.
    However, Gill also enabled the group to be comfortably silent when appropriate--most notably, and movingly, at the Clearance Villages on our final full day together.
    The choice of hotels and their locations was just right.
    The daily format of travel, walk and refreshment worked very well. I even managed, after a fashion, to adapt to dining early, shod and largely unwashed--the wish of the majority of our group. It did however leave good long evenings to take the water of life!
    I would certainly do it, or something similar, again-- but as I had been intending for some fifty years to get to Skye............

    Charles Humphries
    Wilderness Walking - Isle of Skye
    Reviewed on 26/06/2018

    See my earlier comments as well as these: Gill was just so exceptional--she more than met our expectations. From sharing beautiful poems, to telling engaging stories, and sharing some of her own life experiences, I felt that she was more of a fellow traveler than our guide. Her sense of humor is delightful. Her sensing of unique needs and then finding ways to meet them was appreciated. We were a very diverse group and yet, she made sure that the trip worked for each of us. The trip was a bit highly structured, but she made it possible for some of us to move outside of the structure so we could maintain our personal grounding--or at least that's how it felt to me. I think she has found her calling and I hope she continues to provide her mountaineering leadership for many years to come.

    Donna Eder
    Wilderness Walking - Outer Hebrides & Skye
    Reviewed on 20/06/2018

    Gill was simply fantastic. Her passion for Scotland and her knowledge was evident in everything she planned. She tailored the hikes for the group, had amazing spots found for lunches and breaks. I would highly recommend her for any trip!!!

    Christina Pederson
    Wilderness Walking - Isle of Skye
    Reviewed on 19/06/2018

    Please see my previous comments regarding our guide Gill.
    She was exceptional!

    Janet Blessing
    Wilderness Walking - Isle of Skye
    Reviewed on 18/06/2018

    Gill was fabulous. She has a great reading voice and I enjoyed the poems and stories. I learned a lot from her about Scotland, flora and fauna and history of the country. She had a lending library of books and I appreciated that. If I lived near her, we would be best friends. She is all heart!

    Voreata Waddell
    Wilderness Walking - Isle of Skye
    Reviewed on 14/06/2018

    Gillian was knowledgeable and patient with our many questions. She's a gem and wonderfully charming.

    Jeff Driehorst
    Wilderness Walking - Outer Hebrides & Skye
    Reviewed on 11/06/2018

    Jillian was an excellent guide full of information and she was kind and helpful especially to those who needed more help.

    Julie Gardinier
    Wilderness Walking - Outer Hebrides & Skye
    Reviewed on 04/06/2018

    I was astounded by the way Gill went about her job. Lots of little touches, from reading her favorite poems to researching a question one of us may have had. Also, it isn't easy managing the different abilities and tastes of a group, but Gill's sensitivity, flexibility, and fairness helped keep everyone happy.

    Gary McGowan
    Wilderness Walking - Outer Hebrides & Skye
    Reviewed on 01/08/2017

    see previous comments about our leader. I loved all the varied scenery of the trip. No two hikes were the same. And I loved the remoteness of the Hebrides.

    Barbara Olson
    Wilderness Walking - Outer Hebrides & Skye
    Reviewed on 31/07/2017

    see my earlier comments. Jill was over the top excellent.

    Christine Olson
    Wilderness Walking - Outer Hebrides & Skye
    Reviewed on 31/07/2017

    Gill very quickly had the group figured out in terms of hiking ability and individual interests. Excellent job.

    Jane Lightle
    Wilderness Walking - Outer Hebrides & Skye
    Reviewed on 25/07/2017

    Gill was perfect in every way

    Sandra Leah
    Wilderness Walking - Outer Hebrides & Skye
    Reviewed on 24/07/2017

    Gill gauged the tempo of the group well - very slow which suited all. Pleasant and patient

    Catherine Gurling
    Wilderness Walking - Outer Hebrides & Skye
    Reviewed on 24/07/2017

    Gill was pleasant and professional and seemed very aware of the enthusiasms and limits of our group.

    Linda Patterson
    Wilderness Walking - Outer Hebrides & Skye
    Reviewed on 24/07/2017

    Gill was one of the best guides we've ever had. Not only was she prepared and a fount of information, she was attentive to the group. She was a great communicator and always ready with a "plan B" if needed.

    Annie Slivinski
    Wilderness Walking - Outer Hebrides & Skye
    Reviewed on 24/07/2017

    Jane Sanderson and Gill were delightful and accommodating. Since my husband is a little hard of hearing and a bit stiff in the knees. Jane was courteous to allow us a few rest stops and quieter places along our journey, showing us points of interest we would have never known existed.

    Gill was equally spectacular, picking up on our passion for birding, guiding us on even hikes that would permit us to see the most variety of species. She taught us much about the landscape. Fortune favored us by encountering a throng of deer, large bucks, sitting in a field. We shared a common passion and forged an easy camaraderie that made our two days with Gill incredible!

    Jean Dillon
    17WSTM Tailor Made trips
    Reviewed on 17/07/2017

    Awesome/passionate guide, very reactive

    Romain Corvest
    Wilderness Walking - Outer Hebrides & Skye
    Reviewed on 17/08/2016

    Gill's daily reading of poems by Scottish authors made the experience of the beautiful landscape and nature even more impressive. She was a wonderful guide, thanks a lot!

    Corinna Jacobi
    Wilderness Walking - Outer Hebrides & Skye
    Reviewed on 15/08/2016

    Gill's Gallery

    © Gill McMillan / Wilderness Scotland

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