Me in 3 – Fun | focused | practical
Place to Play – Harris and Lewis always take a lot of beating as far as I’m concerned, perfect in the summer sun or a winter storm. There’s always an activity that complements the season perfectly…
Not a lot of people know this – For 18 months of my life my favourite neighbours by far were a 5,000 strong Rock Hopper Penguin colony.
Mini Bio – I have a real love for all things outdoors in Scotland and am always amazed by the wealth of opportunities that are out there. Whether I’m on the trail mountain biking, out sea kayaking or heading to the hills on a trip, every day is different. The trick is to just stop for long enough to take it all in.
I feel fortunate to be able to constantly explore Scotland and have chosen to live in the heart of the Cairngorms National Park. I have nature on the doorstep but I can also be almost anywhere in the Highlands within a couple of hours from home, it’s a treat! While I’ve bounced around Scotland for most of the last 25 years I have also been lucky enough to run trips all over the world. Perhaps because of these experiences I’ve come to realize that we really have got it all right here.
Adventurer's Stories about Mark
Mark shared so much knowledge of the area, the plants, animals, safety, etc that we all came away with so much more insight into the Cairngorms, plus how to use ice axes, mountain bikes, walking poles, etc. On top of it, he was so flexible with us and just wanted us to have a great time, which we did. He was the ideal guide for our teenagers too.Ellen MacDermid
Mark (Cox) was our guide, and we enjoyed Mark's passion for Outdoors activities, as well his appreciation of Scottish history and culture. Mark had a lot of advise both on planning the day-to-day itinerary, was always aware of the environment and safety, but at the same time, was great fun to be around. There was a lot of driving around Skye, which couldn't have been the most fun, but Mark took us to many places around the island, and we appreciate having a chancs to see different aspects of the rugged and diverse island of Skye. If weather was warmer, it would've been awesome to have an afternoon of kayaking around one the Coves around Skye. Maybe next time.Wan Loong Chong
Mark, you are simply the best. Thanks for going out of your way to address our concerns and for being so sensitive to our needsPaul Mok
Mark was highly experienced and very knowledgeable about the areas regarding the history, wildlife and flora and fauna. He had great communication and people managing skills and made everyone feel included.Tandy Taylor
WOW, was Mark the perfect guide for our family! Professional, hard working,skilled...but also a great companion. He reads people well and makes each day great for each person...an impressive skill.Bill Heth
I have seldom met a person better suited to his chosen craft. Would take another trip with him in a heartbeat!
Very knowledgeable. A few times we lost sight of guide on the trail or some of our group lagged far behind...difficult to manage the varied comfort/skill levels.Lisa May
Excellent choices of route and venue, taking us through a variety of environments. I was helped to improve my paddling technique. Everyone was looked after individually tooAlan Rose
Both guides worked well together. Kept us well informed of plans and reasons for changes where neeeded. Were good companyBob Edwards
My guides were Mark Cox and Becky. Both very friendly and professional . Mark especially very knowledgeable on wildlife/history/landscape of the areas visited which certainly made the trip more enjoyable. They both tried hard to adapt the trip in view of poor weather conditions to get us out kayaking which I appreciate, but did mean it was a little disjointed.Serena Woodrow-Clark
Mark was an excellent guide, informative, funand very efficient. Becky was clearly being tutored and did well.Diana Hayes
Mark was truly professional and helpful, and great fun for the whole week. He encouraged, supported and advised at every step of the way, he knew and loved the landscape and shared it with us with pride, - I can't imagine a better guide for this trip!Dianne Edgar
Mark was great provide knowledge of the country and I think read the ability of our group and adjusted accordinglyThomas Stickles
Mark is a great guide, very patient and professional. He gave us a lot of different information about everythingEmilia Lucchese
Marc showed us what we have hopen to see from the Scottland-Highlands: his fauna and flora, his mountains, his wilderndess and this all whis a great knowledge.Pius Spescha
Our guide, Mark made the holiday extremely enjoyable. His knowledge of the area, flora and fauna was very comprehensive. He was very caring of each member of the group and encouraged us to develop our own knowledge of the above. He was interested in why we had chosen the holiday and also in our own individual interests.Elizabeth Munro
His ability to make decisions and alter the itinerary when required made for the smooth running of the holiday. Fortunately, this happened on one occasion.
Mark gave support and confidence at just the right level and at the times when needed. An excellent guide.Gillian Allison
Mark was a major factor in the success of our trip. He is extremely knowledgeable and quickly assessed the dynamics of the group to allow everyone to gain the most out of the trip.Finlay Munro
Mark is a seasoned guide and does his job in a professional way, sharing his passion for the outdoors with the group members. a 5 star guideDagný Indriðadóttir
Mark was outstanding - very knowledgeable, passionate about the outdoors, supported the group to bond well, communicated effectively. It was a privilege to spend a week outdoors with him.Alan Miller
Great Paul adjusted to both the wants, needs and experience of the group as well as taking good aadvise from the natives - Tim the ghillie in particular.John Yates
Our guide, Paul, was excellent! He went above and beyond to make our trip what we hoped for. He was always pleasant and up beat, and created a great atmosphere among the group.Fabienne Tougas
Paul was knowledgeable and professional- he did a great job of modifying the itinerary as appropriate to the group and to individuals.Jane Wilkinson
Paul was a surprise last minute replacement but we cannot fault the service he gave. He was knowledgeable, caring, a brilliant walk leader, amusing and provided an excellent repertoire of poems. He adapted the itinerary to suit our needs by including a sunset visit to the Stones of Callanish (should definitely be on the main itinerary) and ensuring we got the chance to see the wildlife we wanted. Thank you Paul.Louise Fletcher
TEAM WILDERNESS RESPONSE:
We’re so glad you enjoyed the trip and had such an amazing time with Paul. We do always try to keep the itinerary flexible with regards to the weather and the group and we're a bit sneaky because a sunset visit to the Callanish Standing Stones is part of the itinerary for this trip. We don’t mention it on the main itinerary because we’re never sure which day will be best to do this and it’s nice to keep some aspects of the trip a bit of a surprise for the group! We're so glad you enjoyed it.
Mark could not have been better. Friendly, clearly well informed, and a joy to paddle with.Sean Kallery
I have already commented on the excellence of our Guide, Mark Cox. High energy, competence, knowledge, communication , humour, diplomacy and leadership skills. Having lived in the Hebrides, his knowledge of the environment was impressive.Chris Stowers
Can't say enough here. As already stated, Mark Cox made it all happen for us. We quickly became a supportive cohesive group with a confident leader. This is not an easy thing to find. He wasted no time setting up our goals, our proximate agenda. Especailly he emphasized open communicate with each other and him about our expectations, special wishes and/or needs. Since this was my first experience of a group trek in the wilderness, and my fist solo vacation in decades.. I was a little reticent about saying what I wanted, but soon he got me talking and laughing and well at ease. Can't thank him enough for this.Averill Bowers
Mark was an excellent guide, the best.Marjut Edelman
Our guide was excellent. He learned us a lot of things, found the best walks despite de bad weather and adapted the walks to our rhythm and interests.Nuria Puig Brandes
Excellent guiding, teamwork and tuition from Mark and Sarah. Mark is full of information and Sarah is a great girl who was very intuitive and attentive to the needs of the group.Sharyn Robinson
This was my first guided trip and I'm amazed how comfortable this is and how great the profit. I discovered and learned so much about your country, its faune and flore, history and economy. But also about navigation and the right equipement and the right behavior in nature. Marc was very generous in sharing his knowledge and rich experience. Thank you so much!Christine Favre-Bulle
Mark Cox made this a truely once in a lifetime experience for our small group. He managed to show us paths and spots we will never Forget, and he worked hard to offer us a UNIQUE experience. He was very funny, explained everything we wanted to know (and many things we didn't even think of asking). It felt as if a friend was showing us around in his home - thank you Mark!Michael Kenntenich
Third time I've had Mark Cox as guide and he is still the best!. Sarah complemented him to every detail and we couldn't have asked for more.Inga Ebert
Our guide, Mark Cox, was terrific. A deep well of information and knowledge of the area, its natural environment and its history. He was cheerful, secure and enthusiastic. He certainly made a substantial contribution to the enjoyment of the trip.Kirsty Adams
Both very good at paddling, obviously very attentive to the details of the trip and excellent people skills as well.Isabel Draper
Mark and Sarah are outstanding. Lots of enthusiasm, Mark's knowledge is encyclopaedic, like being on a trip with friends.Rod Smallwood
Very considerate, excellent time planning, high standard of knowledge - overall brilliantEthel Hickton
Mark was an excellent guide. Knowledgeable about the area, its history and wildlife. Firm but friendly.Roger Blunden
Mark is a fantastic guide! Very funny and full of knowledge. He planned all walks in an excellent manner, always asking for our views and wishes, very observant to what each situation and participant needed. Could improvise, always with the best result. I for my part, had initially chosen the trip mainly for the history and the archeology in Orkney, but now I got to see some of the fantastic birdlife on the islands too.Mats Holmqvist
Mark and Erin (Queen of scrambled& poached eggs) were both very encouraging and enthusiastic.Sharyn Robinson
Our 2 guides - Mark and Erin are superb and did their utmost in all ways.Inga Ebert
Mark and Erin were outstanding. I particularly appreciated Mark's encyclopaedic knowledge of the area's history and natural history, which was a real bonus. Erin's enthusiasm was inspiring.Rod Smallwood
Erin and Mark were great. They gave us clear guidance, direction and encouragement with humour and a lot of really interesting information about the environment we were paddling in too.Caroline Wolton
Mark is a fantastic guide in every way, full stop. Andy was the best assistant guide I've ever met, wise beyond his years, attentive and excellent social skills, extremely hard working. Without doubt a pleasure for the lead guide to work alongside as never needed prompting. The only area that needs improvement....his custard making skills!Kathryn Gee
TEAM WILDERNESS RESPONSE:
Thanks for the feedback on Mark and Andy, having joined you on this trip, it was the first time I had the pleasure of spending a few days with Andy I couldn't agree more...including his custard making skills - we'll blame it on the kind of milk we were using but he certainly tried hard ;-)
Very professional teamJose Luis Fernandez Picazo
Superb - thank you.Jilly Rosser
professional, careful, friendlyMassimo Cadonna
Mark Cox was a formidable guide. Our assistant guide Paul was great, and undoubtably very busy behind the scenes.Marc Antoine Laporte
Mark was great fun, and knowledgable, very pleased.Shelagh Munday
Paul was great at preparing food etc
Perfect. Great motivator. Great team builder. Highly informative. Never patronising but always caring. All of us rated him 10 out of 10. A fun person to spend a holiday with.William Neville
Mark and Amanda were an excellent and efficient team. Mark has outstanding knowledge of local history and wildlife which he is keen to share. Amanda provided constant support, advice and good humour.Aileen McRoberts
Mark was a first class guide.Chris Moat
They were very professional and just a joy to be around. I loved learning about the islands and flora and fauna.Char Psihos
Mark is a very competent and knowledgable guide who is enthusiastic about the area we were walking in. He provided interesting insights in archeological and social aspects of the area.Marjolein van Veldhuizen
Mark was very attentive to the needs and interests of the individuals within the group.
Mark we fabulous. He truly wanted to know what each of us wanted out of he experience and used the flexibility built into the schedule to meet our needs. The itinerary was delivered a promised, but the walks and other activities that were added were appreciated.Andrea Stewart
Mark's energy and enthusiasm are to be admired! His local knowledge really brought the Western isles alive....learning about the geology, history and sense of place, were an added bonus.
Mark took every trouble to make sure that we achieved the aims for each day. Friendly , cheerful and very knowledgeable, he made us aware of what we were looking at throughout. Fantastic timing and planning.Chris Walker
Good to have the chance to work with both guides.John Tatam
Lunch and coffee stops brilliant. Really gave this trip the edge.
Great guides, immense knowledge and experience, great sense of humor always positive even in the most tough conditions.Maria Martensson
Mark yet again proved his capability to provide walk (and driving) opportunities as the weather permitted, he always had ' one up his sleeve' if the planned walk wasn't going to happen.Jenni Burfitt
Mark is a fine guide. He has a wealth of knowledge on every aspect of the landscape and is sensitive to people's needs and wishes. And very good tempered and prepared to go beyond the call of duty..Penny Mortimer
Mark Cox was very knowledgeable and provided the perfect combination of info on flora and fauna. He was enthusiastic and sensitive to the needs of, and preferences of, the group in terms of ideal pursuits. He was safety conscious but discreetly soPeter Mortimer
Mark is at the top of his game in terms of local knowledge, and ability to interpret the walking environs he took us through. An exceptionally talented, friendly and adaptable individual. Although there were only 3 of us on the walk he made sure we were all catered to in terms of questions, information and attention.Jenni Burfitt
Our walks were chosen both to suit our fitness level and to satisfy our love of beautiful scenery. We just had a perfect walking holiday, mainly thanks to the experience, enthusiasm and cheerfulness of our guide.Gunvor Rottensten
Couldn't have been better: very professional and utterly reliable - and a wonderful sense of humour!Inga Ebert
Mark and Kevin were a 'magic' ingredient. Good communication, patience, support and fun.Martin McShane
Could not have asked for better guides and I don't think I've ever had such helpful or awesome instructors before. These guys are the best. I really appreciated how patient they were and how customized they made the trip for each rider.Dan Mathis
Mark had a firm grasp on everything from the beginning. His experience was evident and his ability to manage the various parties on the trip and the riding part, while also providing an enjoyable experience for all is very impressive.Ben Bold
Very good. Kev gave clear indication at defined stages of the journey and then let us get on with it. Mark had a different style, was more talkative. Both were cheerful and happy which was very helpful.Paul Garner
Guides were very knowledgeable and chose fantastic venues for the kayaking, especially with weather conditions being unfavourable. Felt safe in their care and learnt a lot in the 5 days away. The knowledge of the guides for wildlife, nature and the surrounding environment gave an additional bonus to the trip.Clare Blue
We were made to feel at ease straight away, given lots of advise and encouragementWendy Alder
Mark Cox was an excellent guide. Knowledgable, great teaching style, eager to share his wider knowledge of the environment and surrounding areas he was a great lead guide. Andy Croy was a great assistant whose humour, compassion and skill added nicely to the group - and his photographs are fab :) A great team and whilst this was their first joint trip it seemed to work well from my viewpoint.Jacqui Dunbar
Both Mark Cox and Andy Croi where very friendly and always ready to teach us new stuff about kayaking. We cerainly feel that we have made 2 new friends!Alice Cauchi Gaffiero
The guide and assistant were both extremely approachable and provided advice and coaching throughout the trip. The day to day planning was well explained with options and each day had variability and interest. The guides made every attempt to answer questions and highlight the wildlife that was around.Meredith Scanlon
The guide was very professional.Susana Moreira
Always relaxed, with good sense of direction and knowledgeable about the land.
It was a pleasure to meet and be supported by our professional and highly competent guides Mark Cox and Cory Jones. A refreshing aspect was their passion for this special corner of the world combined with their desire and ability of sharing its gifts safely and with flexibility. Mark and Cory compare well professionally with our Australian friends and guides that have turned sea kayaking and guiding in wonderful places into a lifestyle career choice. I would be happy to bring those friends to the Orkneys and utilize MarkJohn Lipscombe
Mark and Tim were incredibly helpful, patient, understanding and knowledgeable about the area.Mitali Shah
Mark instinctively understood what each member from the team needed and delivered appropriately. I was definitely out of my comfort zone a couple of times with the sheer heights and weather and I have to say there was no one I would have trusted more to get me over them.
Tim really made the Hebrides come to life from a walking, culinary, and historical perspective.
Second time with Mark he is a top guide. Will consider coast to coast next year if I can link up with mark again.David Sands
It was really an exelente guide, taking attention to all the group and providing us extra equipment when it was necessary without let us feeling guilties. Really good knowledge of the areaLidia Silva
Relaxed. Competent in coaching kayaking skills and tour planning. Great knowledge of wildlife.Ruth Grant
Very good and knowledgeable.Brian Yates
Mark was a competent instructor and guide. He was able to assess our level of experience and introduce us to new techniques. He instructed us in putting these skills into practice under easy, to more challenging, conditions suited to our level of experience. He new the local area well and was able to propose different locations depending upon weather conditions etc.Stewart Grant
All guides always looking to enhance the experience for the guests.Alan Curran
Mark - endless passion, enthusiasm and knowledge for both the bike ride and the natural environment.
Dave - calm, attentive and knowledgable.
Laura - sharp eyes saved the day beside Loch Builg
Both very knowledgeable about the areas, both very personable and professional.Mandy Sadler
Personable, knowledgeable, flexible and encouraging. Good local and community knowledge as well as up to date on all things mountainCharlie Clerke
As mentioned above, Mark was absolutely brilliant! I can't speak more highly of him. He really made the trip for me.David Done
Mark had a superb knowledge of the area, backed by his expertise, and a total enthusiasm for what he does and imparts to others.David Hartwell
Really knew and loved the area, very helpful without being intrusive. I'd be delighted if he turns up as guide on a future trip!Caroline Bottoms
Mark was both informative and likeable and made an effort to communicate with all members of the group.Brian Harris
Full of enthusiasm and very professionalDavid Cochrane
Very informative, even on other subjects that weren't to do with the course.Ian Solley
Mark managed a great balance of imparting important information but fun stuff too.Annabel Meikle
Malcolm was great - pitched it at the correct level. Immense knowledge and passion for the Hills.Elaine Watson
Seriously good, kept us alive !Iain Campbell
Mark was absolutely brilliant; knowledgable, helpful with excellent social and interpersonal skills.Sashi Sashidharan
Mark was friendly, chatty, knowledgable and experienced, and 100% trustworthy.Sarah Bowman
Mark - very knowledgeable and informative - drew everyone in together - plenty of chatSarah Bowman
Appreciated Mark's planning and flexibility to maximise the walk opportunity with the day's weather, resulting in stupendous views and a varied programme.Margaret Hamilton
Very knowledgeable about local area, sea, tides; took time to make sure everyone on trip was comfortable in kayak; kept group together but allowed time to explore.Deborah Dubois
Both Jeremy and Greg were fantastic. Even though it was the first time working together, the chemistry between the two as very good. They both certainly knew how to treat clients/guests.jan Ferguson
Have nothing but good things to say about Mark Cox! Luke Partridge is a keeper. He took a lot of ribbing from the guests (age differences!) and he was very good about it all. He made a special effort to meet up with the guests at the train station - even though traffic was horrendous. He certainly didn't have to but that he did certainly did not go unnoticed.Jan Ferguson
Both guides were super. Good fun and very professional.Gladys Law
A psycho-analyst's dream! Mark was the Bear Grills character, who was excellent at maintaining enthusiasm and putting a positive light on all situations. He also showed great initiative in suggesting the 'Golden Road' option. Dave worked his way in, sized up the group, and was the empathic character. The more I got to know Dave, the more I liked him.Ian Anderson
Both Guides were excellent with differing personalities one very outgoing and one laid back but they made a perfect blend. Very encouraging, helpful, always looking out for you We were all sorry the week disappeared so quickly.Clive Anderson
As the tortoise of the group, they really helped me through the program. I learned some things and they made it really enjoyable. Mark is a truly inspirational person and Dave has a good read on who is struggling.David Humphreys
Your guides make your business. Dave and Mark did a great job - both very encouraging when the going got tough and enthusiastic - welcome cups of Tea when needed and good tips on mountain biking. Good to see Mark decked out in Wilderness Scotland kit - Dave should have had some more WS kit though. Both also made a good effort to be sociable in the evenings and Dave was particularly good at sharing cultural insights. I would definitely travel with both of them again. Great guys.Mark Lynch
Very helpful, very dedicated, personal and became part of the team - they got to know all the individuals well. Mark Cox was a little more driven in terms of being more competitive and was very 'Go Go Go' (probably from his RAF background) whilst Dave Picken had more empathy with the individuals, had a more gentle style and had a very detailed knowledge of the history and background to the islands. Their different styles complemented each other very well. Both made a real effort to ensure everyone had what they needed (Mark lent me his riding glasses), bikes were in good order, we were given training on mountain bike riding when needed and it was really well organised. PS. Dave really needs some Wilderness Scotland branded gear to balance it up fairly - Mark appeared to have a full Wilderness wardrobe (assumed provided free of charge) whilst Dave was generally in his own (but very decent) clobber. Please kit him out gratis - he really deserves it and the kit gets very hammered out there!Tony Walford
Both Mark and Dave where exceptional and explained the options available and reasons for choices every night.Clive Burbridge
Both complemented each other well , they made the trip thanks v much to themMark Lynch
Both were extremely knowledgeable about the area we cycled through and providing us with a great service at the hotels as well. Learnt a bit about cycling and bike maintenance as well which was great. Thank you both very much Mark and Malcolm!Fergus Keith
Very good guides with excellent historical and geological knowledge about the sites we travelled. Excellent lunches were provided halfway. Mom would not do it any better. It's only a pity the guides had to ride on 26" mtb's. Hard to keep up with the 29ers ;)Ivo Monnink
Marc and Lou were brilliant. I especially loved how they managed to improvise on the program during the first days when the weather was too bad to kayak on sea, so that we could go out on the water somewhere else.Bart Delbroek
Good also in extra information about nature, historie and countryside.Robert Thomson
Very hard working/ good planning and organisation /Jackie Leslie
-I was impressed with the way Mark and Lou were very knowledgable about the terrain, weather conditions, and navigation through the isles,and camping.Geoff Vella
-also very appreciative of the way Mark/Lou had to fish me out of the water twice but were very professional about it and did not make a fuss.
-Also thought that they went beyond the call of duty when we ran out of water on one particular night due to leaking containers.
-also appreciated how Lou stuck with me to give me paddling advice.
great guides. very positive, added to the overall experience.Andy Veitch
Without Mark Cox and Louisa Reynolds Summer Isles are just piles of rock midst of the sea. Trust them and always ask why, to learn more about the Scottish coastal nature. Both of them are very professional in bad conditionsKrista Bondare
Mark is a very knowledgeable guide and obviously very familiar with the area. I learnt a lot from Mark talking through his thoughts about possible routes and locations, taking into account the effects of wind and currentsColin Wright
Mark worked really hard to set up some good paddling trips that worked with the wind weather. Very grateful for his hard work doing bike and running shuttles which allowed us to do one way paddles!Rachel Shaw
Mark had great local knowledge which meant despite a south-westerly gale for much of the week we were still able to have some really interesting and enjoyable days sea kayaking. He was also very informative about local history and wildlife in the area which really added to the trip.Ruth Newton
Mark remembered me from a previous trip. I had struggled with the deeper wider kayak last year, so he added a capella to the mix, which made a big difference to my enjoyment of the whole experience this time. He also organised lighter winds and more sun ( No, he doesn't actually walk on water, but he is an absolutely superb guide and group leader!)Margaret Smith
See above.. felt involved in the process of deciding what group was going to do. Flexible and unruffled for both. Good knowledge of not just paddling, but of area, wildlife, history and what other activities are available. I'd be very happy to find either guiding a trip in the futureBob Law
Managed to turn the extreme weather conditions into an enlightening educational experience!
Mark lived up to his reputation as one of your best guides. Easy to get along with, helpful re: paddling and has a great sense of humour.jan Ferguson
Greg is a great assistant guide - good social skills, participates with clients and very knowledgeable re: paddling and general outdoors.
Would definitely go on a trip with both of these guides.
Both Mark and Luke were excellent and given that it was their first joint outing they worked very well as a team. The gentle offering of coaching was handled very well and the sharing of knowledge about the flora, fauna, geology, history etc of the area was also interesting and impressive.Jonathan Macfarlane
Nothing seemed to be too much trouble and the views of all the group were taken into account when deciding where to go. This against the background of clear advice as to the options and their implications and in the knowledge that if necessary a sound steer would be given. The ability of the guides to assess the capability of the group and to offer to extend the length of a days paddling was also well judged.
This was the second holiday with mark as a guide he is excellent, young Luke was also very friendly and helpful, give them both a pay rise.Roy Bannatyne
Both Mark and Luke were first rate- Luke was very mature and knowledgable - I hope Wilderness continue to use him. I was particularly impressed by Mark's knowledge of flora and fauna - I guess I expected him to be a great paddle leader ( which he was) so that was a bonus and really made the trip for meMargaret Gibson
- Wilderness Walking – High Points of the Outer Hebrides @ 05/05/2018
- Wilderness Walking – The Orkney Islands @ 16/06/2018
- Wilderness Walking – High Points of the Cairngorms National Park @ 18/08/2018
- Sea Kayaking – Scottish Sea Kayak Trail North – Gaelic Coast @ 15/09/2018
- Wilderness Walking – The Orkney Islands @ 22/09/2018