Scot Mountain Holidays have created a wonderful paradox: comforts of home whilst stepping off your doorstep to explore somewhere cherished or new. Andy’s more extreme and challenging trips can take you decidedly out of your comfort zone, but he also introduces a ‘wild side’ of Scotland and Europe that are delightfully unexpected.
Andy designs and leads an extensive collection of guided and self-guided tours. Trips range from weekend excursions to up to seven days. Every departure is guaranteed to operate, no matter how small the company.
Tours range in difficulty from easy (Grade 2) to challenging (Grade 4), and can be customized for individual holidaymakers. Being parents, Andy and Rebecca have itineraries for family adventures which include a wide variety of outdoors activities and cultural attractions. Paddling, fishing, wildlife viewing, birding, golfing, castles, handcrafts, museums, and pubs are all offered here in the Cairngorms National Park.
Andy’s extraordinary knowledge and expertise guarantees all guided outings are safe and full of adventure. Be it a relaxed day hike, demanding overnight snow-caving expedition, or peaking Munros in the dead of winter, there are so many ways to appreciate Scotland’s diverse flora and fauna. Being a fully qualified Mountain Walking Guide with over 14 years of experience, he has personally scouted virtually every trail of the Cairngorms and has exceptional guiding knowledge of Scotland’s most stunning locations. Tours are non restricted by season or weather.
Aside from walking tours, if you seek a thrilling physical challenge and to gain outdoor skills then Andy is your man. He offers courses in navigation and mountain survival skills, and is capable of guiding in heavy fog and snow-driven whiteouts while even teaching you to do it too! Besides being such an amiable companion, Andy is a wonderful teacher offering the encouragement and inspiration that allows guests to go further in their expeditionary adventure than they ever imagined they could.
Fraoch Lodge, the ‘base camp’ of Scot Mountain Holidays, came to be when Andy and Rebecca discovered a mutual love for mountains, travel, geology, locally-sourced and home-grown organic food, living green, and teaching and sharing their knowledge. They began working at the lodge in 1999 and subsequently purchased it in 2001, uniting over opening their hearts and home to their guests who quickly become part of their extended Highland family. They pay attention to the details – those small but meaningful touches – that make a stay at Fraoch so memorable.
The comfy lodge is now outfitted as a Bed & Breakfast with home-style hospitality, such as Rebecca’s signature ‘cake ‘o clock’ for returning hikers and daily fresh baked bread. Guests gather in the lounge with hot coffee and tea to share their adventures, or in the dining room over exquisite home cooked meals prepared in-house using organic home grown produce.
From the moment you arrive you will know the heartfelt hospitality of Andy and Rebecca. Whether you arrive by rail or air in nearby Inverness or Aviemore, Andy will be there to collect you and bring you to their home in Boat of Garten, so named after the old ferry of the nearby River Spey. Most guests stay at Fraoch for at least one night, and depending on the itinerary may also stay in other boutique lodgings especially selected for their tours.
Scot Mountain Holidays is a Gold-Green Tourism business. This passionate commitment to stewardship of the environment and sustainable living make it more than just a tourism operation. Andy and Rebecca believe the greater the indigenous biodiversity, the stronger and more productive the environment and thus the more likely we are to support the high human demands we put on it.
Scot Mountain Holidays operates with a very small ‘footprint’, having designed their operation to minimize environmental impact. Andy and Rebecca are ardent supporters of the ‘farm-to-table’ movement and are, as one guest aptly testifies: “keepers of their corner of the planet.”
Now in their 17th year, Andy and Rebecca bring an unparalleled combination of experience, passion, style and sensibility to set a new standard for transformative and sustainable travel. Scot Mountain Holidays and their guests are kindred spirits celebrating the beauty of the Scottish Highlands, respecting and preserving the bounty of its biodiversity.