- Dolphin-watching on an exciting boat trip
- Finding Scotland’s largest birds of prey – sea eagles, golden eagles and ospreys
- Sea kayaking with seals in the West Highlands
- Visit a wildlife hide at dusk to see pine marten and badgers
- 6 nights accommodation in carefully selected guest houses and hotels
- Most meals during the trip (Meals included indicated as B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
- The services of an experienced and knowledgeable guide / driver throughout
- All transport throughout the trip starting and finishing in Inverness
- All boat trips and ferry transfers
- Dolphin spotting boat trip
- 1 Day guided sea kayaking including all equipment
- Entrance fees to wildlife hides, nature reserves and historical sites as per itinerary
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:
- Are you generally active and, for example, happy to hike for 6 miles (10km), including some ascent, with rough ground in places?
- Are you up for a challenge and trying new activities such as sea kayaking or boat trips?
- Are you looking for a wildlife trip which involves more than simply sitting in a hide?
25th May - 31st May 2019
Craig McDonaldCraig's love of history and discovering the footsteps of his clan is what has drawn to his ancestral homelands.
8th Jun - 14th Jun 2019
Mike BrianA former School teacher. Learn more about Mike's thrill for the outdoors and read an interesting story about the Firth of Forth!
ACCOMMODATION AND MEALS
In Ardnamurchan, we stay at a small, family-run, Highland guest house which has one of the best panoramic loch and mountain views in Scotland. The hotel was renovated in 2008 and offers comfortable rooms with free wi-fi. The meals here are a delight, with a strong focus on locally sourced produce.
We spend 3 nights in and around the Cairngorms National Park. Our base here is at the beautiful Dalrachney Lodge, located in a sleepy Highland village called Carrbridge. Dalrachney Lodge offers the highest standards of customer care and service, all set in a welcoming and comfortable environment.
On this trip we generally eat dinner as a group however if you would like to make alternative arrangements you are free to do so. Your guide will have an evening off during this trip where they do not eat with the group. They will recommend options for dinner that evening and will help you make any necessary reservations.
There is no supplement charged to solo travellers, however you will be required to share a room with another person of the same sex. For this itinerary, a supplement of £285 per person will be payable where a single, en-suite room is required. This is subject to availability as per our booking terms and conditions.
ARRIVAL AND DEPARTURE
You will be met by your Wilderness Scotland Guide at the fixed seating area in the centre of Inverness Railway Station at 2:00pm on Day 1 of your trip. You will be returned to Inverness station by 1:00pm on the final day.
For advice on getting to and from Scotland please our travel advice page on our website: www.wildernessscotland.com/faq/travel-to-scotland/
This wildlife holiday in Scotland is a fresh way to experience the fantastic and diverse wildlife of the Scottish Highlands.
Rather than being a list-ticking trip, it’s designed to be a fun and informative multi-activity trip across the Highlands.
Led by our expert guides, we’ll seek out species such as dolphins, red deer and golden eagles as we explore Scotland’s wild places. And while we will visit a hide or two, most of the wildlife will be encountered as we enjoy activities such as boat trips, walks and even some sea kayaking. All activities will be conducted at an easy pace, so are suitable for everyone to enjoy.
Day 1 – Loch Ness
On the way to Strontian, we stop at Loch Ness and visit Urquhart Castle, the spectacular ruined castle on the banks of the loch. Rumour has it that Nessie resides in a sub-aqua cave beneath the castle, so we’ll keep our eyes peeled and may end this wildlife trip with a sighting of the most elusive creature of all. (D)
Day 2 – Isle of Mull, Eagles and Otters
From our hotel it’s a short transfer to the pier where we jump on the ferry for the 15 minute crossing to the Isle of Mull. We’ll go in search of its famous sea eagles and golden eagles, as well as spending time on the coast looking for otters. Even the ferry journey offers the chance to look for dolphins, whales and basking sharks. (B,L)
Day 3 – Sea Kayaking with Seals
Today, we enjoy sea kayaking in the sheltered waters of the Arisaig skerries. This relaxed day will allow us to enjoy close encounters with seals, and perhaps even otters or porpoises. No experience is needed to enjoy the sea kayaking and you’ll be looked after by suitably qualified, expert guides. (B,L)
Day 4 – RSPB Reserve and Evening Hide Visit
Today we transfer east to the beautiful Cairngorms National Park, where we enjoy an afternoon stop at the RSPB Reserve at Insh Marshes. One of the most important wetlands in Europe, we can look out for many bird species such as lapwing, redshank and curlew. Roe deer can also be seen here. After checking into our hotel and having dinner, we head out for an evening excursion to a wildlife hide. As dusk falls, we hope to see species such as pine marten and badger. (B,L)
Day 5 – Mountain Species of the Cairngorms
Today we explore the wildlife of the Cairngorm mountains. Accessing the mountains from a high level car park at 2000 feet, we enjoy an easy hike into the Northern Corries, where we hope to see Scotland’s only herd of reindeer. We’ll also look out for red deer, mountain hares, ptarmigan and golden eagles – as well as enjoying the spectacular scenery. (B, L)
Day 6 – Dolphins and Dunes
Show-casing the diversity of the Scottish Highlands, a short transfer from our hotel in the mountains takes us to the coast where we hop onto a boat for a dolphin-spotting excursion in the Moray Firth, one of the best places in Scotland to see these playful creatures. Back on dry land, we’ll enjoy a beautiful coastal walk, exploring the sand dunes and nature of this often overlooked coastline. (B, L, D)
Day 7 – Ospreys and Red Squirrels
Leaving the hotel after breakfast we visit a nearby nature reserve where we should be able to see ospreys, red squirrels and a number of other species which inhabit this beautiful and ancient Scots Pine Forest. (B)
Prices and Dates
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2019 Trip Dates
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by Laureen Esser 21/07/2018
Keith is so knowledgeable and enthusiastic- he is a wonderful guide and made our trip both really fun and a great learning experience.
by Kate Boynton 09/07/2018
Very friendly and helpful
Keith Miller is a great guide. Best group I've experienced - between the group and Keith it was a wonderful experience
Accommodation and Food
The couple that ran the first accommodation were so nice. The second accommodation was really nice but a bit formal. Everyone was crazy about Archie the dog.
I've been on a tour with Keith Miller before, and I honestly think he is one of your best guides - friendly, informative and seamless management of the group. His bird knowledge is amazing and impressive. I would highly recommend Keith as a guide to anyone that would ask.
The Bottom Line
This is a fun trip - kayaking with seals was such a fun day, going to a RSPB reserve and getting a fantastic lecture from Peter. The day on Mull really seemed to solidified the group as we watched Golden Eagles, Buzzards etc fly, dive and in one case attack a larger bird. The Hide was so great - the owl, Pine Martins and Badgers were well worth the wait for them to show up.
by Graeme Coss 05/07/2018
Very thorough information initially provided, and detailed and prompt responses to queries thereafter. Couldn't have been more satisfied.
Without question, the principal highlight for me was our guide, Keith Miller. He was outstanding. He had a delightful personality. And he was extraordinarily knowledgable about everything: birds, mammals, and amphibians; trees and plants; rock formations, etc etc. And he provided detailed historical and political context at all stages of the discussion. He was just amazing.
The sea kayaking amongst seals was another highlight. Magical to be so close to the inquisitive seals. And our guide that day, Stewart, was also fabulous.
The night hide viewing of badgers, pine martens, roe deer etc was also very special.
The small group also worked exceptionally well. A delightful combination of personalities.
Accommodation and Food
Both accommodations were excellent. I suspect my wife and I were especially fortunate to have been allotted what were surely the biggest rooms in both hotels!
The Strontian Hotel was beautiful positioned fronting the loch. Very friendly hosts. Very comfortable and spacious rooms. The food was 'good pub food'.
The Dalrachney Lodge was very grand and gracious. Friendly hosts and a lovely dog Archie. Our bedroom and bathroom could have hosted a game of tennis! The food was very good - outstanding scrambled eggs and mushrooms for breakfast.
The only query I have is the choice of Dalrachney, given it is a 'hunting lodge' with trophy heads of game adorning various walls. That hardly seems in keeping with what I presume is the ethos of Wilderness Scotland. It didn't necessarily disturb me, although I suspect others might be adversely affected. Just a thought.
I have given a detailed response in the first question. Keith Miller is FABULOUS.
The Bottom Line
A wonderful experience. Very relaxing and stimulating at the same time. The weather was unexpectedly hot, and that was a challenge at times. Even some wildlife felt the heat and were scarce on certain days. But that was all understandable.
Some people might feel too much time was spent in the mini-van, driving from one location to the next, but that didn't bother me. The detailed itinerary and the grading made it clear that we would not be hiking 8 hours a day every day.
In sum, Highly recommended.
by Jeanell Buckley 05/07/2018
When we sent questions you replied promptly and gave frank advise about our suitability for various trips
We did the wildlife adventures holiday, and the highlight of it was our guide Keith’s amazing insights and our engagement with him, and the group, in the beautiful settings. This learning was the high for me, sometimes confronting, but always fascinating and stimulating. Other highlights were the sea kayaking where we saw seals close up, and the hide where we saw pine martens and badgers. I’m from Australia and all of this was new and exciting. Doing all this with a small group was wonderful.
Accommodation and Food
Both accomodations were comfortable and relaxing and of the right standard for me. Our staying at Dalrachney Lodge was so luxurious and wonderful, but I also thought it odd that it had, and still has, a relationship with hunting. What to do? It’s good to engage with these sort of people , ie the hosts and other engaged with hunting, so that eco holidays become normalised and not alien to them. Our presence there in their lodge may broaden their awareness and acceptance of wildlife eco tourism as a mainstream activity. So, all in all, good to keep using Dalrachney Lodge
Keith was inspirational and his knowledge seemed endless. His guidance and interpretation of the wilderness was a true highlight. He also looked after us all with our different styles and capabilities. Wonderful.
The Bottom Line
I would recommend this holiday for anyone wanting to learn and engage with Scottish wildlife. A truly wonderful experience