Scotland self guided walking vacation

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Departure information

Trips available from April to October

Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your vacation will help support conservation and local people.

We have spent years turning making our garden edible with the help of WWOOF volunteers. We are now able to supply a lot of our own green vegetables, herbs and soft fruit.

Our accommodation, Fraoch Lodge, has a biomass boiler fuelled by Scottish wood pellets though we also have 2 wood burning stoves in the lounge and dining room. All the wood is supplied either from the garden or the local saw mill. Fraoch Lodge has the Gold Green Tourism award which reflects the high standard of environmental practices including water conservation and recycling which take place. We recycle using both the council facilities and a local company who are able to take even more products to be reused. Anything we canít recycle is first offered for someone else to reuse through recycling forums.

We compost all kitchen vegetable waste and non-woody garden waste i.e. all weeds, 'soft' cuttings, lawn cuttings, etc. We have over 4 cubic meters of composting capacity which is a lot but is an appropriate for the size of the grounds and amount of waist vegetable matter produced. Their size and construction allows adequate heat build up to result in the destruction of weeds and their seeds - therefore reducing the need for organic herbicides.

Soil is added to form good compost. This is then spread on the garden and vegetable patch and some is riddled to produce fine potting compost. This way the nutrients are returned to the ground. We don't use horticultural peat products - the use of peat by British gardeners has resulted in the destruction of a number of bog habitats in Ireland.

All woody garden waste resulting from tree and shrub pruning are cut up, dried and used as kindling on our wood burning stove & open fire. This avoids having to purchase kindling that inevitably has far more in-bound energy or using firelighters which have their origins in fossil fuels.

We source as much local produce as we can, not least from out fantastic local butcher going by the name of Balliefurth Farm Shop. We employ local instructors and guides and operate year round in the Highlands helping to sustain the local economy throughout the quieter periods. We have a shop in the village open 7 days a week and a fantastic post office open from 7am!

Newspaper and cardboard - these are reused for drying boots and lighting fires. We reuse office paper by printing on the reverse for internal company use. Junk mail, waist office paper and excess newspaper, steel and aluminium cans are all placed in our black box and collected by Highland Council for recycling.

We are a Gold Green Tourism business and Highly Commended in the 2013 Goldstar Awards. We have also been awarded "Taste our Best" by Visit Scotland's QA department.

The Impacts of this Trip

All employees are local to the Cairngorms National Park and permanent employees are all resident in Boat of Garten village so walk or cycle to work. We are members of the local business forums and tourism groups working to enhance the attractions and events on offer to our visitors. We have close ties to the other local businesses and usually include them within our trips where possible eg the local restaurant for a meal out; the local cycle shop for bike hire. Our guests are also always encouraged to attend any local events running in the area.

We belong to several local clubs and contribute 1% of our profits to the local RSPB reserve to mitigate our impact on the local environment. We firmly believer that where we put back into the community our local area, where we operate the majority of our trips, should come first.

Our local village hall hosts ceilidh events and talks from all kinds of local experts, particularly outdoor enthusiasts and adventurers, We always include participation in such events when our guests are resident with us.

We also encourage everyone to visit the local wildlife sites when they can.

Many of the local artists and craft makers produce excellent work which is on display with us or at the 1896 gallery and coffee shop just down the road. If you're looking for a gift to take home with you we'd encourage you to look around during your stay and ask us about anything we have which takes your fancy.


1 Reviews of Scotland self guided walking vacation

5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed on 15 Jun 2018 by

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

On a personal level; learning what types of hiking and travel are ideal for my partner and me. Otherwise; spending time in Boat of Garten, a small town in
Scotland. During our relatively short stay, we felt a sense of community and acceptance for us and the other tourist coming to the town.

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

Stay longer.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

I do feel the local people benefited from our stay. Rebecca and Andy used local resources for food and was able to suggest local sights and hikes in the area to
support the residents. Efforts were taken to reduce our impact on the environment and it was obvious Rebecca took much effort to use the vegetables and jams made from her garden in our breakfasts, lunches and dinners. In addition, Rebecca was able to find us a ride-share to the airport instead of her making a dedicated trip with her vehicle. We enjoyed the conversation and perspective of our driver.

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

I rate this vacation high. Rebecca and Andy were able to suggest daily hikes for us after we realized the planned hikes would be too difficult for us. They also
offered good suggestions for non-hiking activities. AND, the food was fantastic.

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