By Robin McKelvie
Published: Jul 09, 2012More by
Hi, my name’s Robin McKelvie, a native Scot and a travel and outdoor writer since 1997. I’ve been to almost 100 countries and written over 30 guidebooks, as well as thousands of articles for magazines and newspapers around the word, and I blog regularly at www.thescottishtravelwriter.com. I’ll be here on the new Wilderness Scotland blog with a monthly guest slot filling you in on why I think travelling in Scotland knocks the socks of anywhere else in the world if you are looking to get active in the great outdoors.
There is a Scotland we all know of castles Disney would be proud of (indeed they’ve just set their latest animated epic Brave here) and all things tartan, shortbread and whisky. I love this integral part of Scotland, but I prefer exploring another Scotland of sweeping mountains, epic lochs, tumbling rivers and vast ocean and sea. My other Scotland boasts more than 800 islands, over 11% of Europe’s coastline and 283 ‘Munro’ mountains over 3,000ft. This Scotland has been voted the world’s number one mountain bike destination and the walking and sailing are world class too.
Whether you live here or are thinking about coming to Scotland from further afield I guarantee there is something here for you. Within and around these shores I’ve bashed down hills on a mountain bike and hiked from coast to coast. I’ve sea kayaked with seals and sailed around islands I couldn’t name and if I could I probably couldn’t pronounce them anyway and much, much more.
Often I’ve gone out and explored Scotland’s wilds alone, but at other times I’ve sought the expertise, the gear and the social aspect of a guided group. This is where Wilderness Scotland come in. I’ve dealt with a lot of companies, but they are one of the good guys. They have a knowledge of Scotland that is second to none and spot on guides who manage to make sure everyone enjoys themselves whilst ensuring the safety element is spot on too.
Over the years I’ve watched Wilderness Scotland grow into an award-winning operator. I’ve been lucky enough to get out with them on a few trips too. They’ve taken me out walking on the most remote part of the mainland on Knoydart (more about that in my next blog) and hiked me up Scotland’s second highest mountain, Ben Macdui, on a trip to Wester Ross and the Cairngorms. Then I’ve been mountain biking around whisky country with them and also sailing through Britain’s most famous whirlpool on a Wilderness Scotland chartered yacht. Hand on heart I can say I’ve never had a bad day no matter the weather!
Wilderness Scotland have asked me to write a guest blog for them once a month to help you get a better idea of what they do, share my experiences with you and also to look at some of the most spectacular parts of this truly special country. So I’ll be back to fill you in on some of my favourite places and keep you bang up to date on all things that are wild and wonderful here. I look forward to you joining me as I explore on two feet, two wheels and a whole lot more in my favourite country on the planet.
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