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Selected Trips

    Mike Brian

    Thoughtful | Thorough | Committed

    Mini Bio

    After spending my early years in Ayrshire – Burns Country – I was introduced to the hills, mountains, islands and crags of Scotland by my parents.  Secondary school in Edinburgh was followed by a short sentence in the flatlands of the south east of England for University.  It was only once I moved from there to Aberdeen that I really started to explore wild places of my own volition whenever possible.  After almost 20 years in Aberdeen, most of them as a school teacher, I now live in Aviemore as much as I can, but work in the Antarctic for around 5 months each year.  

    Place to Play

    Royal Deeside – Scotland’s best kept secret!

    Not a lot of people know this

    I once swum across the Firth of Forth (along the side of the Rail Bridge) in my Speedos.


    Adventurer's Stories about Mike

    The hikes were all incredibly beautiful! The terrain was complex and varied each day. It was challenging for me at times, but I was glad I was able to keep up. Mike carefully planned each day depending on the weather. He also took time to make sure each of us had what we needed to be comfortable on the hikes. We took food along and would have lovely stops along the way. Thank you for providing the snacks to put in our bags each day.

    Philomena OHalloran
    Wilderness Walking - The Knoydart Peninsula
    Reviewed on 29/08/2023

    All our guides were excellent, providing experiences which were suitably adapted to our interests and abilities. Their knowledge and expertise brought our activities alive and enriched our enjoyment of some already special places.

    Kasia Hillier
    21WSTM Tailor Made trips
    Reviewed on 24/08/2021

    Given Mike’s experience it goes without saying he was brilliant. Because of COVID we had benefit of a second van and driver/ guide. Both Mike and Tom were really good company as well as fulfilling their roles and expertly.

    Sue Cope
    Wildlife Adventures - Outer Hebrides & St Kilda
    Reviewed on 26/06/2021

    Our guide Mike was very professional, warm, efficient and very enthusiastic.
    A clear leader who adapted very well to the changing circumstances due to the weather. Throughout the trip supported all our needs.
    We were especially fortunate to have a second vehicle with Tom as our driver. He was also very knowledgeable, extremely helpful and supportive.

    Robert Wilkes
    Wildlife Adventures - Outer Hebrides & St Kilda
    Reviewed on 25/06/2021

    Mike was friendly, thoughtful and completely professional.

    Camilla Haw
    Wildlife Adventures - Outer Hebrides & St Kilda
    Reviewed on 21/06/2021

    Could not have asked more from Mike Brian. The Isle of Mull and Glencoe were highlights.

    Beverly McPhail
    19WSTM Tailor Made trips
    Reviewed on 04/08/2019

    Mike Brian was an amazing guide. His knowledge of geology, plants, animals, and history was amazing. His depth of knowledge enriched our trip in so many ways. He was aware of our lack of experience in hill walking and made accommodations. He was very concerned and attentive to our safety. He actually would assist us step by step when needed. He was able to be spontaneous when the need arose. He was a great driver on treacherous one tract roads and hairpin turns. While we enjoyed tours a distillery or a drink at a pub, he drank non alcoholic beer to be our designated driver. He was so solicitous, providing our favorite drinks and snacks in the car and carrying our luggage, which was a bit embarrassing to have an Antarctica mountaineer doing such for us. He was a lovely guide and traveling companion. He wad fun and funny. Whatever you are paying him, double it for he is worth every penny/pound!

    Kevin Kulish
    19WSTM Tailor Made trips
    Reviewed on 28/07/2019

    Mike was wonderful. He was knowledgeable about a very wide range of subjects. He seems to genuinely love his job and transferred that enthusiasm to everyone.
    Stewart (who led our kayaking day trip) was also great! We had a wonderful time, and I always felt safe, even though it was my first time sea kayaking.

    Kerri Davis
    Wildlife Adventures - The Scottish Highlands
    Reviewed on 26/06/2019

    We could not have been happier with Mike Bryan (last name spelling ?). He was patient, friendly, experienced and knowledgeable. He was quick to see when someone needed a hand and was on it when needed. He was always on time. I am not sure there would be anything more he could be that he wasn't. He loves Scotland and his love transferred to us. We are all now big fans of Mike and Scotland.

    Russ Causey
    19WSTM Tailor Made trips
    Reviewed on 29/05/2019

    Mike was great and found the time to talk to everyone. The itinerary was varied and interesting offering flexibility to suit the group.

    Sue Williams
    Sailing and Walking - Knoydart, Skye and The Small Isles
    Reviewed on 25/05/2019

    Mike was brilliant. Very calm and made sure everything was clearly explained. Loads of great knowledge which only added to the experience. He seemed to genuinely love the trip and sharing the area with others

    Joel Cooper
    Sailing and Walking - Knoydart, Skye and The Small Isles
    Reviewed on 24/05/2019

    Mike was an absolutely fantastic guide - he made sure every passenger was comfortable and well-informed every moment of the trip. Mike has a very calm and assured persona, and was amazing at balancing out the different abilities of the group and catering to everyone. An absolute gem of a person!

    Ginny Orange
    Sailing and Walking - Knoydart, Skye and The Small Isles
    Reviewed on 22/05/2019

    Mike is an absolutely great guide. He spent time and encouraged everyone. As far as I'm concerned - although used to mountains and wild places, I was apprehensive that as I'd slowed down quite a bit (age and other factors) I'd be holding folk up. However, Mike spurred everyone on - and in the end I was absolutely 'chuffed' that I climbed and enjoyed all the hills. Thanks so much Mike.

    Kate Fowler
    Sailing and Walking - Knoydart, Skye and The Small Isles
    Reviewed on 20/05/2019

    Well chosen routes to give the right balance between challenge and enjoyment. We achieved much more than we expected.

    Alan Fowler
    Sailing and Walking - Knoydart, Skye and The Small Isles
    Reviewed on 20/05/2019

    Mike Brian was an outstanding guide who worked tirelessly to make sure we had an enjoyable experience. We also the good fortune of having a guide in training (Tony) for part of the trip. Both Mike and Tony helped the more height challenged among us negotiate the terrain and have a safe hike.

    William Johnson
    Wilderness Walking - Isle of Skye
    Reviewed on 16/05/2019

    Mike was most accommodating in making the trip a success for all of us. Wonderful attitude.

    Zoe Voellm
    Wilderness Walking - Isle of Skye
    Reviewed on 06/05/2019

    See previous comments. The guides were great! Can you please tell Don that we were able to find the hut on the Loch Marie trail and thank him again for the map, which was key to us finding the trail. We also saw a Stag at the parking lot to the trail near Beihn Egg.

    Carl Seider
    Scotland: Self-Drive and Hiking in the Highlands
    Reviewed on 12/10/2018

    The guides for our day of kayaking (Nigel through Rockhopper) and our two days of hiking (Don) were amazing. They were knowledgeable, responsible and a pleasure to spend time with. We particularly appreciated Don's consideration and knowledge in planning our hikes in less than perfect conditions. Thank you so much to both!

    Karen Murtaugh
    Scotland: Self-Drive and Hiking in the Highlands
    Reviewed on 12/10/2018

    As I said mike was an amazing guide and would be the reason I would book with this company again. His knowledge of Scotland was extensive and his ability to lead a group was exceptional. He was a fantastic guide with super powers!!

    Annabel Ward
    Wilderness Walking - Glencoe and the Highlands
    Reviewed on 02/08/2018

    I've been on a lot of climbs ,treks,and hiking trips. As a guide Mike Brian stands at the top of my list with perhaps two others.

    Charlie Keenan
    Wilderness Walking - Glencoe and the Highlands
    Reviewed on 23/07/2018

    The itinerary and the scenery speak for themselves. It was our guide, Mike Brian, who made the trip truly extraordinary. Our group varied widely in ability and personalities. Mike was able to connect with each of us individually and bring us together as a group. Mike's greatest assets, though, are his enthusiasm and obvious enjoyment of the natural wonders of Scotland. Mike's joy was contagious and made the week truly special (in a good sense). We even began to suspect that he had special powers where the weather was concerned. Somehow, even on the rare cloudy day, the sun came through when we were on the hilltops.

    Robert Reicher
    Wilderness Walking - Glencoe and the Highlands
    Reviewed on 23/07/2018

    Mike Brian was an excellent guide. His care and enthusiasm never wavered. He made an extra effort to find pools in streams where we could go swimming.

    Laura Spadone
    Wilderness Walking - Glencoe and the Highlands
    Reviewed on 17/07/2018

    Our guide, Mike Brian, was wonderful. He was both personable and patient, and his love of the outdoors in general and of Scottish hill walking in particular diffused rapidly throughout the group. He quickly built relationships with each of us and helped the group to gel from the first day. Despite differing ability levels within the group, he made each day's adventure challenging and fun for all, keeping us together when it was important to do so, and letting us go at our own pace when that was appropriate. He worked hard to keep everyone safe and to create options to ensure that we all had the vacation we hoped for. Best of all, he has special powers to improve the weather!

    Michael Devlin
    Wilderness Walking - Glencoe and the Highlands
    Reviewed on 16/07/2018

    Mike was very knowledgeable and added a lot of interesting information about the routes, the terrain and the flora and fauna. He made the walks very interesting.

    George Guthrie
    Sailing and Walking - Knoydart, Skye and The Small Isles
    Reviewed on 27/06/2018

    Mike Brian, our Guide, was in the “and beyond” category of greatness! We could not have asked for any better. Always on time, always informed us of the day’s plan, always happy to provide extra info or look up what he didn’t know, always prepared with food, extra warm clothes. Always polite and friendly. He was just a joy to be with.

    Marjorie Miller
    18WSTM Tailor Made trips
    Reviewed on 29/05/2018

    Marge and I have taken to calling Mike Brian the Wizard of the Munros (& Corbetts) because he has a true love of the outdoors, a wealth of knowledge and shares his passions well. He also thought through each day perfectly whether it was hiking or a visit to a museum etc.

    Sadly, he could do nothing about the wind, so his wizardly powers must be on the decline

    Sheldon Goldman
    18WSTM Tailor Made trips
    Reviewed on 28/05/2018

    Mike did so much to ensure a personally rewarding trip. I am interested in birding, and he made stops to look at and identify birds. I learned so much about Shetland wildlife and Shetland life and history in general. He was attentive to logistics, including rest stops and food/snack stops with a view. He was also very attuned to the trail conditions and making sure that we could manage the terrain. His enthusiasm for the places we visited and walked was greatly appreciated. He seemed to enjoy the walks and locations we visited as well, instead of simply revisiting places he had been before. He also paid attention to the weather and rescheduled the birding boat trip to go when the weather was good, instead of later in the week as originally planned.
    In sum, he was great company and a great guide! He also took plenty of photos to document the places we walked.

    Jane Potter
    Wildlife Adventures - The Shetland Isles
    Reviewed on 10/05/2018

    Mike exceeded my expectations in every respect. A great guide to spend time with on many levels. To begin, he is a lovely person with a big heart, concerned with our comfort and watchful for our wellbeing. He was flexible, offered alternatives, followed up on whims (ask him about arranging the Whisky tasting on the beach!). Of good humor, patient, and sensitive. A font of information about the natural and cultural history without being heavy handed or pedantic. And--and this counts for a lot in my book--was able to enjoy the silences and wonder on the road and trail.

    Laurie Levin
    17WSPD_Private Departure
    Reviewed on 27/06/2017

    Mike's Gallery

    © Mike Brian / Wilderness Scotland

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