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Days out in the Cairngorms and Beyond

The Scottish Highlands are home to some iconic wildlife species but finding them can be a real challenge. Whether you are part of a family group wanting to see a broad range of Highland wildlife, or a keen birder looking for a specific and elusive species, our wildlife guides will guide you to the best locations using their expert knowledge; so whether it’s Dotterel and Ptarmigan on the high tops, Capercaillie and Crested Tits in the forests, or maybe Otter and dolphin on the shoreline, tell us what you’d like to see and we can help you achieve your wildlife watching ambitions.

We are following all Government health and welfare instructions and have put in place our own regimes to ensure the safety of our guides and guests. To enable us to give you the best wildlife watching experience within these parameters we have opened up only those experiences that we think we can offer most successfully. This means that some days out are not bookable in the short-term, there is a restriction on the number of guests joining our guide each day and we are meeting guests at a designated meeting point, rather than collecting from their accommodation. More details are below and at the start of each daily guided option.

To check guide availability, please click on the ‘Book Now’ button below and take a look at the calendar. This shows which days we can offer you a guided experience. If you have any queries, please don’t hesitate to email us. We shall continue to update these options and alter our parameters as the restrictions are relaxed and we can offer more wildlife watching.

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IncludedWildlife guide on an exclusive basis for you and up to six friends or family members, all from the same household or social bubble. Transport for the day in 8-seater minibus or car cannot be included at the moment, so a meeting point will be agreed for you to drive there in your own transport, to enable you to spend your time with the guide outside at all times. If necessary, the guide will drive to your local accommodation and you can follow them to the start of your day out in your own car.

LeadersWe match your specific day guiding needs to the skills of our guides, to ensure you have the best day out possible. We therefore have a pool of guides that we use, each with specific knowledge and interests. You can book a standard day, normally 9am-5pm, or an extended day of 10 hours. Extended days can start early or finish late, depending on the species you would like to see. We are aware that comfort stops will be an issue for guests as some public conveniences are closed at present, so we shall be staying local to the Aviemore/Grantown/Kingussie area, so that guests can return easily to their own accommodation for a comfort break if they wish.

LogisiticsPlease provide a mobile phone number on the booking form, so that your guide can get in contact with you two or three days before your due day out, to ensure all details are in place. I’m afraid we can’t offer any refreshments at present, so please ensure you have your own food and drink for the day. Please bring your own binoculars and telescope if you have one. We aren’t able to let guests and guides share telescopes or other optics at this time, but hope to be able to show you live views of birds found with the telescope using an adaptor and mobile phone to get a closer view. Attached to your booking confirmation will be a ‘what to bring’ document, giving you handy hints of clothing etc., to make your day out more comfortable.

HygieneOur guides may be wearing face masks for part/all of the day. They won’t be mandatory outside for guests as only people in their own home/family/friends’ unit will be booked on the day out, but please feel free to wear them if you wish. Our guide will be carrying hand sanitiser and disinfectant spray to be used if and when they see fit in any circumstance. Also attached to your booking confirmation will be a short 'Covid-19 hygiene' form for completion. Please bring this with you on the day to give to your guide.

Cost£195 Standard day if booked online (£250 if booked manually via our office) max 8 hours
£250 Extended day if booked online (£295 if booked manually via our office) max 10 hours.

WalkingMost walks will be on wide sandy tracks, except in the Cairngorms, where terrain is more steep and uneven, so walking boots are essential. Your guide will discuss walking options with you beforehand.

WeatherWeather varies from cold to warm and sunny (-5° to +25°C), with less rainfall than much of Scotland but snow possible in the mountains.

InsectsBiting midges occur in some places during the summer.

OptionsOur Cairngorms National Park – our most popular day out and allows great flexibility as to where you go
Pine Forest – best in spring and autumn – autumn is a good time to look for Capercaillie
Cairngorm Mountains – works well in the summer but requires a degree of fitness, as walking will be on mountain tracks
Moorland and Moray Firth – good for raptors and moorland grouse species in the summer and seaduck over the winter
Highland Glen – good in summer and autumn when raptors and their young are on the wing
Woodland Walks – can be tailored easily for half days
River Spey Walk – can also be tailored easily for half days
Loch Fleet - seals all year, Osprey and terns in spring and summer with waders, wildfowl and dune flowers in autumn and winter
Black Isle - one of best places in UK to see Bottlenose Dolphins but fabulous birding too especially in the autumn and winter


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