Place to Play – Scotland’s mountains in winter, the western seaboard of the UK, the best in the world!
Not a lot of people know this – I was born in Liverpool during the height of the “BEATLES” era and was known as “Scouse” during my early career as a Marine Engineer in the Royal Air Force!
Mini Bio – I have been involved in the outdoors all of my life. Be it in the mountains, on or in the water, I just have to be outside! However I have a passion for designing, making and fixing things, so being covered in engine oil or up to my elbows in fiberglass resin is one of my other secret passions! Although I love the mountains, I suppose most people know me as a sea paddler and I have been fortunate enough to have been running trips on the west cost for over 34 years! This said there is still plenty for me to still explore.
Adventurer's Stories about Howard
Howard was the perfect guide for 2 novice kayakers. He was calm, reassuring and encouraged us to get the most from our time on the water.D Jean Stone
Howard is clearly a knowledgeable, capable and experienced guide who exercised latitude, tolerance and patience for the benefit of the group.Toby Clegg
Howard is an excellent guide. He gave me advice whenever I needed it so was clearly keeping an eye out for how I was getting on. I liked how we discussed options for walks each day before setting out and that he was able to make adjustments to cope with changing circumstances. I felt well looked after.Anne Johnston
Howard was an excellent guideMichael McPherson
Duncan and Howard both excellent,very calm and patient and excellent instructors.Paul Thompson
Howard and Paul were both relaxed, knowledgable, accommodating, friendly and cheerful. Paul was a star at reversing the minibus and trailer!Diane Easterbrook
Howard and Paul were excellent. Fun, very supportive, hard-working, and good coaching without being over-bearing. It was great to have Mel along too as a participant, and she did lots of organising tasks, too.Libby Hughes
The 2 complemented eachother well in maturity. and youth. Always had points of interest to point out, and introduced important paddling tips and interested in learning about participants experiences.Tim Hughes
Tremendously knowledgeable, encouraging - I felt safe all the timeSharron Boulton
Howard and Billy did a great job (guiding, instructing, cooking).Heike Poepperl
Howard and Sarah were an excellent team. Good balance of holiday and bits of instruction. Very safe in difficult weather. Good fun.Ros Stokes
Howard and Bill were just superb; full marks from my end; they basically went out of their way to make the trip a memorable expeditionJoseph Farrugia
Howard and Billy - you done good! Great teamwork to make the trip so enjoyable.Judith Johnson
The cooking was amazing and the whole trip was really well organised - despite Henry's (?) efforts to sabotage it!
Thanks to Billy, I now have a bit of a whisky thing
Both Howard and Sarah were highly skilled. They checked what we wanted to do and kept us up to date with information too. I feel my paddeling improved through their support and advise. Just brilliant.Kate Taylor
Howard and Sarah were wonderful. Unfailingly good humoured and witty but with reassuring skill and knowledge.Hilary Clarke
With Howard I knew at once I would always be safe, with its thorough knowledge of the sea and isles, and his constant care. After a couple of days, I also learnt he will always guide us to where fun and natural splendor war. //// As for Sarah, she was in constant watch for us, helping me prevent and correct any mistake that could lead to trouble or unwanted exercion.Miguel Fernando de Luis Espinosa
Howard and Sarah were both fantastic. They tailored the kayaking to our abilities and we had absolute confidence in them. The campsites were beautiful and the food was restaurant standard.Michael Clarke
warm, patient and extremely professionals...Vicente Matallana
I cannot praise Howard and Donald enough. Their patience, good humour, knowledge and teaching skills are exemplary. I felt privileged to have them as my guides.Julia Jackson
Looked after superbly by Howard Jeffs as ever. Weather was not kind to us (severe gale force 9), but Howard kept us safe, and altered the planned trip to keep us safe, finding us shelter in a delightful bothy.Peter Mussell
Howard and Sarah were fantastic guides and full of enthusiasm. Ensured the safety of the group at all times and were able to give extra support the less experienced paddlers.Laura Summersell
Very knowledgeable guides who undestood the difficult conditions.David Humphreys
The guides' local knowledge and skill level was exceptional.Katherine Kalaf
see previous commentsMichael Blackledge
Both Howard and Malcom did a great job! Thank you both for those wonderful days on the Scottish sea!Sara Maria Hildebrand
I would have appreciated if there would have been more technical inputs from your side, maybe short group exercises or just spontaneous inputs.
Superb. Extremely knowledgable and great companyGraham Russell
Simply the best - patient, good humoured, knowledgeable, excellent chef, planned every day to perfection. I can't praise Howard and Malcolm enough.Julia jackson
Guides were helpful, informative and approachable. We always felt confident in their judgement, experience and knowledge, which was important in these remote islands. They created a good spirit of camaraderie among the group. They dealt with any problems quickly and efficiently and gave us the benefit of their extensive knowledge when asked. Could not fault either Howard or Malcolm.Nick Marshall
Very knowledgeable and helpful.Alasdair Thomson
Howard and Will were great.A pleasure to spend time with them and learn from and about them both. Great company.Alistair Grant
See first questionJay Nutt
Donald Thomson respect our wishes so good, an excellent guide with very much Knowledge. I like him very much. Thank you Donald. I hope we see us again on another tripEsther Elmer
Both Howard and Hannah were excellent.Sam Hepworth
Both guides were very professional, clearly very skilled and knowledgeable. The guides could not have been better.Colin Bradshaw
Both Howard and Malcolm were great company and very competent guides. They were a good combo.Mary Chard
really knowledgeable and enthusiastic guidesSimon Clark
Our guides were excellent - so knowledgeable and did exercises with us. They were interesting to talk to a great to be with after the paddle.Marc Sidwell
see previous comment.Sharon Berg
It was helpful to learn some good kayaking techniques from both Howard and Zoe.
I felt very secure to have Howard and Brian as our guides. I felt they were both experienced in kayaking.Yvonne van Oossanen
Both guides were excellent and clearly at the top of their game. Always felt safe even when conditions became a little more 'testing'.Richard Booth
Howard and Brian had endless energy / enthusiasm and patienceJohn Wilson
Thank you for a great trip!!!Wiebke Brockmann
Please see previousSally Heald
Howard dean was incredible. Great stories, humour, energy, knowledge. He just made the trip a success. Even when the conditions were 'interesting' I had confidence in him that his decisions were right and as such was able to enjoy the experience and not panic. Brian was more quiet but still an excellent guide with great localDavid Oliver
Howard was an excellent guide and made the trip a success under less than ideal conditions. Erin did a great job as well. We felt that the trip was the level of difficulty described, but the cool and windy weather made it seem a bit more challenging because no one wanted to go for a swim. Initially, we were a little outside of our comfort zone, but our guides enabled us to become comfortable paddling in more challenging conditions. We enjoyed every day on the water, but the more challenging ones were our favorites. Howard was an excellent camp cook.Patti Bleifuss
Howard was an amazing and very knowledgeable guide – was able to work around problematic weather and paddling conditions so that we were still able to complete most of the trip. Both Andy and Howard worked tirelessly to provide the best service for the guests.Ingrid van der Zande
The guides did a wonderful job of working around the sea/weather conditions so we experienced everything from more challenging to easier paddles.Ingrid van der Zande
By the end of the trip every paddler knew how to use their skeg!Jim Flanagan
Howard and Erin found great paddles for the conditions and varied skill levels of the paddlers in the group.
Howard's love of the area was infectious. For paddling and for the historical interest.
As I say, they were excellent.Sally Carr
I always felt safe when on the water.Dominic Batten
Howard and Erin were excellent. They were very good at finding paddling routes to suit the conditions and that gave a variety of experiences and landscapes. I especially appreciated all the effort Howard put into making our meals.Caroline van der Zande
Howard and Andy were great in dealing with the bad weather we had at the start of our trip to find the best places to paddle and camp given the conditions.Caroline van der Zande
Both Howard and Ali were clearly experienced and good at putting us at ease during the choppier waters- not many instances of that as the weather was amazing. They were both nice and fun to talk with and spend the evening with cooking and having a wee dram. They had just the right approach when it came to guiding to allow us to feel like we were all exploring together and that it was out holiday.Matthew Dunn
The brilliance of the trip would not have been possible without Howard's experience and knowledge, and applying it to planning the days kayaking routes. And also Ali’s sharp eye for spotting eagles and dolphins. I don’t think we would have seen half of what we saw if not for them. The reason I travel with Wilderness Scotland is to be able to kayak in remote beautiful places (with my limited kayaking experience) and not worry too much about the weather or conditions suddenly changing, and with these two you can really feel safe.Vanessa Santillan
We had two guides and they were both very good and worked well together. I thought two was particularly good and they both helped me when I needed it.Robert Wheeler
Howard was a very good guide. He did everything possible to make the trip pleasant, enjoyable, and memorable.Roy Broxterman
Both guides were fantastic. I particularly appreciated Howard's flexible approach to our last night, enabling those who wanted to stay out on camp to do so, while those who wanted to return to the bunk house for their final night could, and Ali's time organising an evening kayak and evening walkGlynis Davies
I have finally understood the use of a skeg.
Trips well tailored to weather conditions.
I expected the guides to be experienced kayakers, obviously, but I was amazed at how knowledgable, enthusiastic and organised Howard and Ali were. Can't overestimate the positive impact they had on the trip - they really pulled out all of the stops to make sure everyone in the group got the best experience possible. I had a wonderful time thanks to them.Ben Dugdale
The guides chosen were a good combination, and having two guides ensured that we could easily split into two paddling speeds without feeling pressurised to keep together. It would have been nice to have had a few more short skills sessions interspersed between the paddling - I probably wouldn't have suggested that had we not had one on one of the days which made me realise how much I could learn technique wise from the guides!Carol Cotterill
Your personable guides, Harold and Ali, were up there among the best I have come across in ten years of kayaking. Their kayaking expertise, skills fine tuning, if required, and communication abilities were excellent. In Aberdeen, citizens are fortunate to have access to outdoor experiences partially funded by 'Common Good Fund' founded by King Robert the Bruce. So I have taken these day trips with various leaders fairly often over the years.Carole Morris
The guides were great and always really helpful and informative.They worked really hard to make sure everything went smoothly from the activities right through to the food! They made me feel safe and confident on the water.Great company.Gary Dick
Super guy - gave everybody a lot of confidence.Graeme Hall
Perfect mix of challenge and support for me. Felt I learned lots and gained a lot of confidence in the water. Found it hard to get out of the kayak for the last time on the trip.Isobel Tennant
Howard was great, of course having vast experience, but I appreciated him letting us have "space" on the water.jeremy raphael
He was fully attentive 100% of the time to our every need, midge nets included.
He is fabulous company and facilitated a great week.
Highly recommended and grateful.
Both Howard and Luke were great guides; very informative and looked after us all very well; I was most impressed with Luke being the assistant guide and he made certain nobody was left behind ; he will make a super leader in a few years time .Helen Gillies
It would be hard to beat Howard and Luke. Highly professional, they provided first-class guiding and tips at all times. I feel I made a lot of progress with my kayaking during the week thanks to them.Ian Burley
Howard is an excellent instructor with a good sense of humour. Learnt tons from him in just the first few hours, he's really first class.Barbara Florence
Luke too was first class, such a knowledgeable head on young shoulders, a charming young man with a cracking sense of humour. Any friend of Jose's is a friend of mine !
Both instructors were fun to be with and very good at their jobs.
Guides great. Howard is a paddling and wildlife encyclopaedia with loads of knowledge. Luke is a mini paddling and seaweed encyclopaedia and very helpfull - the only down side being we couldn't take him home with us. These guys were great company all trip, and certainly made the week. We saw so much wildlife because of them, and I now have so much more confidence on the water.Kate Tod
Very knowledgeable, very approachable and also good funRachel Bottrill
Group dynamics worked really well on this trip, and given the intermediate level of the kayakers I think that Corry and Howard probably had a slightly easier time of it than with other groups but they seemed to work well together and tuned activities well to the level the group could achieve without anyone feeling they couldn't keep up.Jerry Webb
Howard and Corey were great. They offered many helpful tips throughout the trip. We learned a lot of techniques to improve our paddling skills. A big plus. There are only two things that could make this trip better. On a few occasions we had some problems getting ourselves and/or our kayaks back to shore because the tide was so low. Better timing with respect to tides (if that is possible) would have made things a lot easier for everyone. Also, the paddle on the last day was a bit scary. The wind became really strong after we started out and the water was really rough. We are quite experienced at paddling, but we weren't comfortable with that particular outing. If someone had capsized, we could have ended up with several people struggling in cold turbulent waters. (I have seen situations elsewhere where one person capsized and two others fell in the water because they had stopped paddling for mere seconds to see what the commotion was all about.) Some others mentioned their discomfort to the main guide as well, who reacted very professionally and led us back safely using extreme caution.Gabriel Bourgeois
Howard and Cory made the trip - got the group together in no time and they squeezed every drop of enjoyment out of the days for us - helpful instruction, wealth of local knowledge, passion for and vast experience of all things outdoor, a reassuring and alert presence on the water, and, most of all, great company.Karen Bennett
trusted them implicitly. Out me at ease from the start. No touchy feeling team nonsense - just lead a proper team into the water and back. Their knowledge excellent. They complimented each other too. After hours they were good company.Scott Moncur
Howard was brilliant, knowledgeable, talented, a good teacher and a great entertainer to boot. I felt very lucky to be on a trip with him. Despite disappointing weather which made the published itinerary impossible to follow, I had a great time. I implicitly trusted his judgments / decisions and he very diplomatically involved us in them.Cathy Jacobs
Howard was faced with horrendous weather (4 days wind and rain) and still managed to coax great meals out of a billy can in the rain and wind. he often had to resort to a plan 'C' when weather had put paid to 'A' and 'B'. his local knowledge was essential. safety was paramount as well, but he was very patient and informative with those of us who maybe had less skill than the holiday really demandedRob Welborn
In general guides were great! However, it would have been nice to get periodic updates through out the day on where we were going, sometimes I felt like I was blindly following.Hannah Beane