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Client Reviews

Rated 4.8 out of 5 based on 2504 reviews from people who have travelled with Wilderness Scotland

 Client Kudos

Every client receives a feedback survey when they return from their guided, self guided or tailor made holiday with us.

Once completed the review is published on our website just as soon as our database updates. The little touches and details are important to us and where issues are raised we make positive changes to our trips to improve your experience.

That’s why we read each of our client’s reviews and although we don’t respond to all of them, if it’s glowing feedback then we get the satisfaction of helping to make your holidays truly memorable.

Road Cycling - Island Explorer

by Peggy Forsyth 02/07/2017

5Pre-Trip Service

3Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

4Your Guide

3The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Trip Comments
Accommodation and Food
Love the hotels and the food. Arran glenisle hotel was wonderful. All were perfect.
Your Guide
Sam was fantastic.
The Bottom Line
Great hotels, strong on logistics, great people who were on the trip. Needed van backup on last biking day and more communication on the difficult parts.

TEAM WILDERNESS RESPONSE:

Thanks so much for your feedback, it sounds like you had a great trip! Unfortunately as we are biking on Jura on the last day it’s not possible to take a support vehicle across to the Island, this is mentioned on the trip dossier but we’ll make sure to ask the guides to remind everyone on the trip. Hopefully we can welcome you back to the Highlands soon.
Sea Kayaking - The Summer Isles

by Hannah Brine 28/05/2017

4Pre-Trip Service

4Trip Comments

3Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

3The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Trip Comments
There was only 2 of us on our trip and Paul was great (as he was last year) but we all agreed for wild camping taking things in kayaks you need more people to enable the group to take more things (eg food amounts, ground sheet for the tipi would have meant we meant sat on wet grass in the evenings). Also, I realise a degree of flexibility is needed but it wasn't always clear where we would be staying and we spent some time finding a spot, rather than knowing the good/flat/not water logged spots.

TEAM WILDERNESS RESPONSE:

I'm glad Paul was great on your unintentional 'privately guided journey' but do agree that it is more of a challenge deciding what to take with you when only 3 kayaks are involved. We would rather ensure your holiday takes place than cancel it but will review whether we need to up the minimum numbers on our sea kayaking expeditions to take this into consideration.

With regards to the camp spots, we do have specific spots we try and use but cannot determine if they are useable until we get there. The state of the sites can vary week to week depending on weather and as such it may be that the guide opts for a change of site to find somewhere more suitable.
Accommodation and Food
Food was really well thought out in terms of menus, thank you. Quantities and packaging was difficult for a small group of us wild camping. The price of the trip was expensive for wild camping. You need 4 people really to make this work.
Your Guide
Paul is great, a real asset. He works tirelessly and with a good nature.
The Bottom Line
This is my 2nd kayaking trip with wilderness - the first was an introduction to kayaking - we stayed in a bunk house and had good weather and calm water for the most part. The wild camping and sea kayaking was quite a step up from this - if you love camping and are hardy this is great, but I would recommend waiting until July/August for a better chance of good weather and less choppy seas with wind. The Summer Isles are so pretty its nice to see them when the sun is shining.
Open Canoeing - River Spey Descent

by Simon Haigh 15/09/2016

4Pre-Trip Service

4Trip Comments

3Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

3The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Trip Comments
Accommodation and Food
Your Guide
The Bottom Line
Open Canoeing - Great Glen Canoe Trail

by Paul Mason 23/08/2016

4Pre-Trip Service

4Trip Comments

4Accommodation and Food

4Your Guide

3The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
In hindsight pre trip information could be better especially as we like most people on trip are complete novices, IF we went on trip again would have a much better idea of what to take etc
Trip Comments
Really enjoyed the trip and whole experience but it could have been better if we had had continuous tuition each day as even by the last day we felt like we didn't have proper control of the canoe.
Accommodation and Food
Food was excellent and plenty of it, it certainly makes you enjoy a morning coffee so much more. What was poor was size and quality of tents, the twin and single person tents were far to small to keep luggage in and keep dry in poor weather and having to put inner tent up first in wet conditions is not much fun, BUT all said and done it certainly makes you appreciate a nice hot cup of tea/coffee : )

TEAM WILDERNESS RESPONSE:
There are pros and cons to the designs. In wet weather, tents where you construct the outer first are usually preferable. However, in warm weather, many people enjoy sleeping with just the inner tent up, which isn’t possible for tent designs where you put the outer up first. With regards to the size of the tents, we responded to client feedback over a couple of years and decided to offer single tents to travellers who booked on their own (previously, they would have shared with a client of the same sex). This gives single travellers more privacy, but potentially means that we are carrying more tents than before. That’s why the single tents are more compact - so we can fit them in. With regards to the twin person tents, I’m surprised to hear that you also found these to be small. As a general rule, when we have 2 clients sharing a tent, we provide a 3 man tent, which is more spacious. If that didn’t happen with you, I’m sorry but please do let me know so that I can see why that’s happened and make sure it doesn’t happen again.
Your Guide
Guides were good, friendly, cooked good meals but felt let down by lack of tuition in canoe and not keeping us all together, some members of team were left to far behind.

TEAM WILDERNESS RESPONSE:
Our trips are holidays rather than courses, so the emphasis is on the journey rather than developing technical skills. That said, our guides should ensure that everyone has enough coaching to ensure that they are comfortable paddling in the conditions encountered. Our guides would typically go further than this and offer to provide some additional coaching at points through the day to those who are interested in developing their skills further. We'll follow up with your guides to make sure it happens next time.
The Bottom Line
Really glad we went on trip and a great experience to look back on, but would I do it again??

TEAM WILDERNESS RESPONSE:
It’s unfortunate that your trip coincided with probably the worst week of weather across the whole summer, so I’m glad you enjoyed the trip despite that! I hope that after sufficient reflection, you’ll decide that you are ready for another adventure in the wilderness. If you’re not sure about camping, we do also offer a wide range of trips based from small hotels, including our Scottish Classics canoe trip.
Road Cycling - Island Explorer

by Geraldine Cruickshank 22/05/2016

2Pre-Trip Service

4Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

3The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
I had to push you to agree to have mudguards available for our hire bikes. You changed the date of the May departure for the bike tour and then asked us to hold off booking flights etc when you thought you might extend the holiday by a day. Both these issues almost persuaded us to cancel the holiday.

TEAM WILDERNESS RESPONSE:

Thanks for your feedback; I’m sorry that you weren’t happy with the customer service before your trip and I wanted to address a couple of the issues you raised.

We did briefly consider extending this trip by one day but as you had already booked we wanted to contact you to ask if you had already arranged travel for the trip, which you hadn’t and also if you would still be able to join us if we did extend the trip, which you were. We did also advise that if we were to extend the trip there would be no extra cost for you. Ultimately we did decide not to add an extra day but we were grateful for your understanding while we researched this option.

A few months later you contacted us to ask if we hired mudguards to clients on our road cycling trips to which we advised it wasn't standard issue for our hire bikes. The reasons for this are firstly we have never previously received a request for mudguards and secondly, bikes permanently fitted with mudguards/fenders cannot be transported on our bike trailer without damage to the bike.

We did advise that if you wanted to bring your own we would be happy to fit them on our bikes for you but you weren’t able to do so.

To meet your request, we specially purchased some clip on mudguards for you to use throughout the trip.

We're sorry that these incidents made you think about cancelling your trip. We strive for excellence in all areas and are disappointed when anyone has any complaints - especially when we’ve worked hard to give the best service possible.

It sounds like you still had a great time and hopefully you will retain many fond memories of your trip to the Scottish Islands.
Trip Comments
Accommodation and Food
Your Guide
Both Ben and Will were prepared to go the extra mile to ensure we were enjoying the tour and their obvious love of what they do was infectious.
The Bottom Line
It was a good trip, but the unpredictability of the weather (wind, cold and precipitation) has to be accepted as a likely occurrence. Also the state of the back roads are poor for the most part so it's difficult to admire the scenery as you cycle through it because you have to keep your eyes focussed on the pot holes.

TEAM WILDERNESS RESPONSE:

Unfortunately we can’t do anything about any potholes on the road but hope the relaxed pace of the trip and lots of breaks allowed you to enjoy the scenery fully. We’ll follow up with the guides to get their feedback on the road conditions from this first trip of the season.
Open Canoeing - North West Highlands

by Thomas Romagne 11/08/2015

4Pre-Trip Service

4Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

3The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Make the net for the midgees mandatory. It was awful

TEAM WILDERNESS RESPONSE:

The great Scottish Midge are so unpredictable that often we have no problem at all with them, particularly on paddling trips or in coastal area where there is a breeze, hence the optional nature of the Midge net and repellant. Hope that you still enjoyed the beauty of the North West.
Trip Comments
Accommodation and Food
Your Guide
The Bottom Line
Wilderness Walking - Wilds of Assynt

by Beverley Kekwick 06/08/2015

4Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

4Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

3The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Didn't use pre trip service much but all questions answered
Trip Comments
Guide Malcolm was excellent and did all within his power to make trip varied and enjoyable
Accommodation and Food
Too much time spent sitting in restaurants waiting to be served. B & B was great for service and comfort but couldn't go anywhere easily by foot
Your Guide
Always helpful, always well prepared. Appreciated the loan of spare gear when needed. Good company and knowledgable
The Bottom Line
The guide was excellent and really highlighted the best in the area

WILDERNESS SCOTLAND RESPONSE:
Thanks so much for your feedback. I’m glad you enjoyed the trip and hopefully we can welcome you back to the Highlands soon!
Sea Kayaking - Scottish Sea Kayak Trail South - The Whisky Coast

by Sharon Berg 06/08/2015

4Pre-Trip Service

4Trip Comments

4Accommodation and Food

4Your Guide

3The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
response time to questions could have been more prompt
Trip Comments
Accommodation and Food
I give a good because the first hotel was below expectations though not horrible. As I mentioned in my previous comment, the room was alright but the food was abysmal. The packed lunches were ample but the quality was very poor.

The second accommodation was very good. In every respect. Pleasant room, attractive common spaces and very good food.

WILDERNESS SCOTLAND RESPONSE:
Thanks for the comments about the packed lunches; I’m sorry that you didn’t enjoy them. We’ll pass on your comments to accommodation to ensure they are better for our next group.
Your Guide
see previous comment.

It was helpful to learn some good kayaking techniques from both Howard and Zoe.
The Bottom Line
I discovered that being on the water was not enough for me. I would have preferred a trip that combined some hiking and much more historical/ geographical information on the areas we passed through. It was a pleasure to make the acquaintance of some wonderful fellow travelers.

Please work to improve your response time to e-mail queries. That is a major issue. Apologies are not helpful.

WILDERNESS SCOTLAND RESPONSE:
I’m sorry that you thought our response times were slow. We do aim to respond to all emails within 24 hours during our working week, which is Monday to Friday. We had originally dealt with another member of your party who had to cancel her place on the trip. The one email we have from you was sent on a Thursday evening to a colleague who works part time. She was not in the office on the Friday and does have an out of office to that effect. The office is closed over the weekend so we responded to you on the Monday morning. I believe your email was about car parking and we’re always on the other end of the phone if you need help with that sort of thing quickly.

Our sea kayaking trips do focus on being on the water, exploring the coastline that way. It sounds like this probably wasn’t the ideal trip for you but hopefully you enjoyed the experience anyway!
Sea Kayaking - The Orkney Isles

by Margaret Gibson 05/07/2015

3Pre-Trip Service

3Trip Comments

3Accommodation and Food

4Your Guide

3The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
I would suggest some thought be given to an assessment of client ability especially for the higher graded trips as they work better if the group is of roughly even ability
I am not sure that the guaranteed departure commitment is necessarily a good thing the group environment is an important part of the trip
I wonder if with this trip it might make clearer that it is not an Orkney trip but an Orkney mainland trip

WILDERNESS SCOTLAND RESPONSE:
One of our many challenges is assessing a clients ability for a given trip and 99% of time we get this right. However, we sometimes find that it's not until a client gets on a bike, into the hills or in this case, onto the water that their true ability shows. We totally agree that the same ability works best in a group and this is what we strive for.

It is likely that we will have two guides as standard on this trip moving forward and set minimum numbers at 4 for these more challenging sea kayaking trips.
Trip Comments
I had signed up for the trip as a follow on from the excellent outer Hebrides trip last year. For reasons that I am not sure became clear of the 4 full or partial paddle days we spent 3 in Scapa Flow which is many things but not wilderness . Its' various coasts are similar in nature . It did not seem that the weather was worse than might reasonably have been expected indeed perhaps better. I would have preferred longer days especially given the travel to kayak ratio. We had one full day, one medium day, one short day and one every leisurely half day . I did appreciate the opportunity to surf one afternoon but wondered otherwise if there could have been more opportunities for more interesting/challenging paddling

WILDERNESS SCOTLAND RESPONSE:
The weather in these more remote paddling locations is the biggest single factor which determines where it is safe to paddle. The aim of the trip is to cover a variety of locations around Orkney, however, we are at the mercy of mother nature and on your particular trip she was not kind, hence why the Scapa Flow became your put in point of choice for more sheltered waters. The weather not only dictates where it's safe to paddle but also how long we spend in the water based on the changing forecasts.
Accommodation and Food
The hostel at Birsay was very nice and that corner of mainland very pretty. I wonder though whether catering could be more interesting /fresh where there are cookers and fridges . I can't recall, the last time even backbacking I ate package sauces of any kind. I

TEAM WILDERNESS RESPONSE:
This trip is prepped as an expedition so that when the weather allows and the group are up for it, we can pack up the kayaks with food and water and head off for a few days and be self sufficient without the risk of food spoiling - hence some packet goods. You were unfortunate on your trip to not have this expedition experience and as such spent your time staying at Birsay. We will do what we can to rethink the menu in this situation but hopefully this clarifies the menu we operate with.
Your Guide
The Bottom Line
I gave this a 3 as my last 2 trips a have been excellent and I wouldn't discourage others because this trip didn't measure up. I didn"t really feel this time I got what I had been hoping for. There were no sea stacks, caves or headlands other than a small stack the last day and a headland the first day that gave a glimpse of what might have been. By the end I was at a " please anywhere but Scapa Flow" point. The trip is expensive. For 4 days kayaking it is more expensive than trips and courses offered by competitors.

TEAM WILDERNESS RESPONSE:
We're sorry this trip didn't measure up to your previous experiences with Wilderness Scotland but appreciate you pointing out your excellent prior experience with us. Unfortunately the weather got the better of the group but we'll see what we can do for you next time!
14WSTM Tailor Made trips

by Joost Goderie 05/11/2014

4Pre-Trip Service

3Trip Comments

4Accommodation and Food

0Your Guide

3The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Information was not complete : as last minute changes were made some information was missing (e.g., dinner)

TEAM WILDERNESS RESPONSE:
Thanks for your feedback. It is true that there were changes up until the last minute however this was a very last minute trip. You contacted us one week before your arrival date so we needed to use all the time available to create the trip for you and your family. We're sorry you found that some information was missing; we do provide a trip dossier that includes all the details of the trip including details of all meals that are included and we are always on hand if you have any questions or anything is unclear.
Trip Comments
Low: No instructtor with fly fishing;; B&B was less quality than expected drom price
High: Fonab Castle (friendly staff) + tree hike

TEAM WILDERNESS RESPONSE:
We're sorry that you didn’t enjoy the fishing. As you know our regular fishing area was not available because of floods and we did suggest several other alternatives that would have suited your family better than fishing, much along the lines of the 'tree hike' which was a high point of your trip. However you were very keen to fish so we did arrange that for you. Fly-fishing is a solitary sport and it is not the case that you will have instruction the whole time or someone with you, once you have been shown the basics then typically you are left to enjoy the river. We're sorry if this is not what you were expecting and appreciate your feedback so we can make this clearer in the future.

We are really surprised you did not like your accommodation in the Cairngorms. It genuinely is the nicest and highest rated guesthouse in the area and we were really lucky to be able to book the rooms at such short notice.
Accommodation and Food
Due to relatively high price we thought the B&B was of too low quality

TEAM WILDERNESS RESPONSE:
We are really surprised you did not like your accommodation in the Cairngorms. It genuinely is the nicest and highest rated guesthouse in the area and we were really lucky to be able to book the rooms at such short notice. Both the accommodation and restaurant has won numerous awards and is feature in both the Good Food and Good Hotel Guide as well as the Michelin Guide. These kind of accolades, and especially level of cuisine included, do come at a price compared to other accommodation but we will feed back your comments to the accommodation provider.
Your Guide
Nice guy, very good interaction with the kids
The Bottom Line
Great trip, good organization but from price perspective either too expensive or accomodation of too low stamdard

TEAM WILDERNESS RESPONSE:
We do really appreciate all the feedback we receive so thanks for taking the time to send us it. The accommodation you stayed at is genuinely one of the best in the area with an amazing restaurant but we will pass on your comments. It sounds like you had a good time overall so hopefully we can welcome you to the highlands again soon.
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