Scotland winter hiking vacations

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Green travel discount

In direct response to growing Climate Change concerns and reports of Methane (a severe greenhouse gas) being released from Siberia's melting permafrost during the summer, we are offering those who travel up to us by train or bus to Aviemore a £15 discount on the price of their vacation or course. Travel plans must be notified to us by the time balance of payment is due (min 28 days before departure).

Departure guarantee

We are proud to continue to offer our unique departure guarantee*. If your booking is confirmed by us you can be assured that your vacation will run. We can offer this guarantee as we are unique amongst walking vacation operators in Scotland by providing all the parts of your vacation (guiding, accommodation and catering) in-house. * We reserve the right to alter the venue and itinerary of vacations advertised as based away from our lodge.

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Scotland winter hiking vacations


Although the Highland scenery is stunning, it's one of the less affluent areas of Britain. Our operation is entirely Highland based, both as a company and whilst delivering the vacations. With all our walking vacations & mountaineering courses we employ qualified local guides who live and operate in the Scottish Highlands. They're an integral part of the local community and they know the intricacies of the local mountains, about the wildlife, the local environmental issues, etc. Through employing local guides we maximise both your vacation experience and the benefit to the local economy at a time of the year when visitor numbers are low. We source as much produce as we can locally and we support a number of local business', both directly and indirectly. By taking a winter vacation you're very much helping the year round sustainability of the local economy.

During the winter months we maximise the use a wood Burning Stove to supplement the heating at our lodge - the overall efficiency of these stoves is superb, particularly when you consider the energy used in production of other fuels. Wood is a renewable fuel and doesn't introduce any further carbon into the carbon cycle as fossil fuels do. As part of our continuing commitment to environmentally responsible vacations we are currently in the process


Our staff all live within the village which minimises the impact on the environment as we are all able to walk to work.

We buy locally from the butcher and farms in the Cairngorms National park as far as we can and always source our menus seasonally.

We support as many of the local events are we can and are currently investigating a local programme along the lines of the Friends of Abernethy for a traceable environmental contribution which our guests can support.

Our village is active in promoting the use of the village hall. There is a series of talks year round, delivered by local naturalists and travelers which we encourage the guests to attend along with the social events such as the Hogmanay Ceilidh or the Elgin Fiddlers. The talks are wide ranging in the winter and will cover all kinds of travel related topics but in the summer the talks are all supported by the RSPB and focussed on the local wildlife.

We have also recently started a programme to support local artisans by using our accommodation as a working showroom for their products; which in turn encourages our guests to consider purchasing local crafts to take away with them. The bedside tables and lamps in some rooms are supplied by our local cabinet maker and pottery.

3 Reviews of Scotland winter hiking vacations

4.5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed on 05 Jan 2009 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

Getting up some of the most beautiful mountains in the region, with a great bunch of people. Learning how to do an ice axe arrest whilst sliding down a slope was the best fun!

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Don't be worried if you are going alone - I made some great friends on the trip that I'll keep in contact with and no doubt plan other trips together.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Yes, the program would have kept business in the local region. The operator certainly ensure there is minimal impact on the environment.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

9/10. The reason for not giving it 10 would be the lack of space for everyone on the course in the lounge area, especially when we needed to do some work after coming in off the mountain. It was such a great start to the year though - the perfect kick start to some solid outdoor training.

Reviewed on 08 Mar 2008 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

The sense of achievement after pushing my boundaries when I climbed out of the Corrie with ice axe and crampons; not being keen on heights - the instructor was so encouraging and supportive that I faced my fears and got on with it! The views from the top of Cairn Gorm were amazing, the cold clear air allowed us to see for miles and I can't wait to go back.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Make sure you are fit enough before you go, the cold takes a lot more out of you than you may expect.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Absolutely, the lodge has an all-encompassing environmental ethos and everyone on the course was like-minded; the effect of hill walking on local flora and fauna was explained so that we were all aware of the consequences of our actions. Rebecca and Andy used local people wherever possible and the food was sourced locally too (and delicious!).

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Brilliant and I'll be booking with them again.

Reviewed on 09 Jan 2006 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

Learning the techniques including how to walk on ice using Crampons, learning how to navigate in whiteout conditions and recovery procedures after a fall using ice axes. Really good group atmosphere.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

If you take a camera, fix it in a front sited bag, there is little time to rummage through bags. Bring lots of layers a good quality pair of waterproof ski gloves or mittens (if hands get cold easily), and a spare set of thermals (you will need them). Be ready to walk for 80mins uphill with no breaks followed by maximum of 10mins stop (this is a technique to stop you getting too cold and it works well!) If you can buy some B2 boots beforehand; although the hired boots were good you need an excellent boot fit especially with crampons. Hire crampons unless you have a new model.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Yes, the local Hogmanay evening was a local event to which ticket sales contributed to the community. Other than that fairly self sufficient. Helped the local economy, as several people brought wine and equipment.

4. Any other comments?

Really amazing food, excellent Hogmanay evening, and of course “Cake-O-Clock” (After the mountains each day tea and cake was served upon arrival back at the lodge).

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