Andy Hirst 07947 068125.
Caledonian Forest, Upland areas and trip into mountains, plus lochs,
Glacial Valley's, Machair grassland, mostly low lying islands, with
some mountainous areas, and steep cliffs.
Caledonian woodland, Well managed moorlands, steep sided upland valleys,
plus tundra mountain habitats including scree slopes (viewed from the
bottom), plus small peaty lochens and larger lochs, with a trip to the
coast. Unique Machair grassland, beaches, rugged coastline and sheer
cliffs. Because of the topography of the area, mobiles and pagers may
Can be very variable from shirt sleeve weather at lower altitudes or
later in the day, to snow storms higher up. Invariably cold first thing
in the morning, and when the sun sets (can be frost even in May). In-between
it can be very warm, clothing appropriate for every eventuality, bring
several layers to add/ remove or replace if wet. Frost and snow can
be expected in the hills. It can some times be windy. The weather can
change quickly so take wet weather gear even if bright and sunny. The
west coast should be milder, although can be very windy, especially
on the islands, and rain is not uncommon here!
9 Seater Luxury Mini-bus with a/c, so plenty of room for occupants and
Based in bed and breakfast places in Aviemore. hotels and country lodges
on the Hebrides and Scourie- all with friendly staff and excellent breakfasts.
Some modern, some traditional. Tour participants will share a room unless
a single room supplement has been previously booked. WIFI is available
at some the b&b's and hotels.
Return each morning to the accommodation for a hearty Scottish breakfast.
We will pick up sandwiches, fruit crisps, biscuits and water to see
us through the day. Hot drinks (tea, coffee, chocolate, soup) will be
freely available throughout the day. Return each evening to sample one
of many eateries in Aviemore from pubs to Indian restaurants. Please
try the local Cairngorm Brewery beer- very nice. Haggis is an optional
extra. As we move west we will probably eat at the hotels and lodges
where we stay and venture into the local towns and sample the local
hospitality- but we can be adventurous.
Mostly very easy, from within sight of minibus with short walks on occasionally
uneven ground, or to/ from hides. Effort required to scale valley near
Cairngorm for Ptarmigan, this is uneven and can be covered in snow-
graded as moderate to difficult. Out all day with optional early
morning venture (05:00). then post breakfast 09:30 until 18:00ish- or
dusk if wanted. We will have time during the tour for souvenirs, and
will probably call at the Cairngorm Brewery for ADH to replenish his
stock of beer, you are welcome to bring back a sample case of beers.
Sea-legs required for the 2 hour ferry crossing from/to Skye, and the
short small boat journey to Handa as well as the White-tailed Eagle
Optional early morning trip at 05:00, returning for breakfast at 08:30.
Following breakfast head off for the day picking up lunch on the way
c09:30. Follow the itinerary for the day. Stopping as necessary. We
pass through many small villages/ towns so plenty of loo opportunities,
except on the wilder parts of the west coasts and North Uist, which
are quite remote. We return late afternoon/ early evening to relax with
a wash and brush up and out for a meal. Suggest early nights, for early
starts, but plenty of bars and pubs for those who wish to indulge.
Birdwatching Sites in the Scottish Highlands'- Gordon Hamlett (Buckingham
Press), 'Finding Birds in Britain'- Lee Evans (BirdGuides Ltd).' Collins
Bird Guide' - Best field guide in Europe.
Explorer 403 Cairngorm & Aviemore, 418 Skye (Portree/ Bracadale),
Ordnance Survey 418 Lochindorb & Grantown on Spey, 32 South Skye,
23 North Skye, 18 Harris (inc. N. Uist), 22 Benbecula (& S. Uist)
and 9 Cape Wrath (Handa).
tour reports- please go to the Tour
Reports Page, for reports
and species lists. (Aviemore area only- this is a new tour)
Allowance- Flight/ Hand Luggage- Not applicable. Plenty of room
for bags and tripods etc...
Pick up in Sheffield. Join the A1, then north to Scotch Corner, along
the A66 to Carlisle and the M6. Follow this north to the M74, M73 to
Glasgow (stopping on the way), M80, M9, then the A9 at Perth to Aviemore.
Estimated journey time from Sheffield (inc. stops) 7-8 hours.
Requirements-Sterling. Just spending money for drinks in
the evening required, as everything is included (all meals, entrance
fees). We pass several estate shops, which invariably sell things with
tartan on them! Plus we can visit the local Cairngorm brewery for a
case of fine ale.
/ Visa Requirements -None
None, just a modest amount of fitness for days in the field. Travel
insurance recommended, but not compulsory. Seasick tablets for ferries.
Equipment- None really. A first aid kit will be available at all
times. I will also be taking an Ipod with all the bird songs and calls
of Europe installed. Please bring along camera and scopes if you wish,
although Gone Birding will have available a top quality 82mm scope for
all to use. A small rucksack would be useful for carrying spare jumpers,
cameras, drink etc... A sturdy waterproof pair of boots with good ankle
support. Wellies not required.
Plenty of warm waterproof layers, plus a spare fleece, and overtrousers,
hats and gloves and thick socks. A change of clothes for going out in
Scotland is famous for it's midges, but they emerge in mid- June, we
should be OK, but recommend repellent containing DEET.