Trip created by Rachael Gavan
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Imagine a Scotland where nature is reawakened. Where the lost tapestry of Scots pine, rowan, birch, oak, aspen, alder and hazel that once draped itself across our hillsides is stitched back together. Where our land and seascapes teem once again with wildlife. Where nature-based enterprises support thriving communities. Where human connections to the natural world are strengthened in villages and cities. Where land and sea, people and wildlife, businesses and culture flourish together.
This is rewilding. Rewilding in Scotland is part of a growing worldwide movement that seeks to bring about the large-scale restoration of ecosystems on land and at sea. There are many exciting rewilding initiatives underway in the Scottish Highlands that will see large areas of forest, peatland and wetland restored and revitalised. These are the places where sea eagles soar, pine martens forage and beavers shape forest and loch. These are the places where one day, lynx might stalk their prey again.
Your guide will meet you at Kingussie train station in the Cairngorms National Park, and a short transfer takes you to our mountain lodge accommodation in beautiful Glen Feshie. After introductions, we will sit down to a welcome dinner, and afterwards enjoy a presentation by our host and rewilding expert Pete Cairns. (D)
This morning we’ll go for a short morning walk in search of ospreys and to learn about the history of persecution and recovery these birds have gone through in recent times. We’ll then visit a glen that’s right at the start of its rewilding journey; in search of mountain hare, red deer and golden eagles. After lunch, we will then head to a different glen for a gentle walk in a landscape that has been regenerating for some time, to enjoy the scenery and contrast the two glens and the impact of regeneration. (B, L, D)
Today we will head further north to visit one of the first established tree planting sites in the Highlands, to get an idea of what a rewilded Scottish landscape looks like. Keep an eye out also for soaring red kites – another successfully reintroduced species. Afterwards, we will head to the Moray coast to look for bottlenose dolphins which can often be seen feeding and playing close to the shore. We’ll then return to the lodge and have dinner, but to cap off the day a visit a local wildlife hide for a close encounter with pine martens. (B, L, D)
The first stop of the day is a traditional sporting estate, in search of red grouse and black-throated divers, to offer insight into a traditionally managed Scottish landscape. Following this, we visit Lynbreck Croft nearby; to meet the animals and receive a talk from the owners about how they are farming with nature, and how rewilding can become an integral part of a working croft. After a comfort break in the afternoon, we will journey down south to visit an established beaver habitat and learn about how these amazing creatures modify the landscape. Hopefully, we’ll be lucky enough to see one of these elusive animals. (B, L, D)
A scenic drive will take us to the West Coast of the Highlands, where we’ll drink in the views of the ancient mountains and beautiful sea lochs. Here your guide will point out numerous species, including white-tailed eagles, red deer, divers, and otters. After lunch, we will walk through Beinn Eighe National Nature Reserve – the first in Britain – where we will enjoy a talk by one of the local rangers. (B, L, D)
On the final full day, we’ll have a leisurely breakfast followed by a short trip to observe red squirrels feeding. We’ll then visit the stunning ancient Caledonian pinewood, accompanied by a talk from another expert, to really appreciate what an established forest should look like. Here, we will hopefully have another chance to enjoy golden eagles. Finally, we will head out on a local walk to enjoy a spectacular view over the Cairngorms National Park. (B, L, D)
After a relaxed breakfast we’ll leave the lodge and return you to Kingussie Station for the end of the trip. (B)
This itinerary is based in a single location for the week, at a private mountain lodge in a secluded glen in the Cairngorms. The accommodation offers double and twin rooms with en-suite facilities.
There is no supplement charged to solo travellers however, you may be required to share a room with another person of the same sex. If you require a single room please request this at the time of booking and we can check to see if one is available for you. There is no supplement for single rooms as we have exclusive use of the lodge, but availability is limited and on a first come, first served basis.
Throughout the journey, varied produce will be served up in hearty and imaginative meals. Any special dietary requirements can, of course, be catered for.
Your Guide will meet you at Kingussie railway station at 5pm on Day 1 of your trip. You will be returned to Kingussie station for 10:30am on the final day of your trip
|Trip Dates for 2020||Availability||Status||Price||Book|
|30th May - 5th Jun 2020||Trip Full||FULLY BOOKED||£1,325|
|31st Oct - 6th Nov 2020||5 place(s) left||UNCONFIRMED||£1,325||Book Now|
Sometimes it's nice to get family and friends together and travel privately for some quality time. This means you benefit from all the features of the group departure, including hand-picked accommodation and expert local guides and we'll take care of it all. Then you can make your choice of departures dates and we'll get back to you to finalise the details.
Green Graded Wildlife Holidays 1-3
All of our wildlife trips are graded Green and involve straightforward hiking with no major ascents, as well as other activities which are pitched at novice level. You can expect to be active for around 5 hours each day so you will need a reasonable level of fitness. Please note that there may be some early starts and late nights as we seek to maximise our chances of finding wildlife, although you can always opt out of activities if you prefer an early night or long lie in the morning!
So to help you decide if you are fit enough for this kind of trip, ask yourself: