Testimonials - Scot Mountain Holidays

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Testimonials

this is a quick note to say thanks, especially to you for taking the time to produce those very tasty veggie dishes during my stay, which was most appreciated. Also, many thanks to Andy for providing us with some great walking experiences and good-humoured company over the week - and for lending me his pliers a couple of times. I'm thinking at some stage of the Lairig Ghru and the service you offer seems very good - so maybe next year at some stage

John Desmond

Thank you again for a very enjoyable week. Andy's knowledge of the mountains and of the geology, flora and fauna, together with the welcoming and homely atmosphere and Rebecca's cooking makes for a great combination

Michael Wainman

Many, many thank for such a fantastic week in Assynt. I really enjoyed it
and realised just how much I missed being in the mountains. I would love to
join you on another trip.

You both worked extremely hard to make it easy for us. Rebecca - all your
hard graft in the kitchen was greatly appreciated. It could not have been
an easy task feeding all of us, although you always made light of it. Both
your expertise and underlying values shone through everything you did.

How Andy kept up his good-humoured guiding with all of us to cope with, I
will never know! But he did - and so thank you very much. I thought he did a
great job and I'm sure it wasn't an easy task.

Catriona Mulligan

Hiking in the Highlands of Scotland:
Thanks to both of you for a wonderful time (strictly that thanks should be to three of you – Gregor did play a small but very important part in that week). The walking was superb with quite phenomenal views in every direction plus the cooking was very special – especially the tea and cake – but most of all it was being a small part of family life made it home from home and that is something I will remember for a long time. How you both do the organisation I just do not know - getting myself organised is tough enough but I cannot imagine what it would be like to do that for an entire group. You have found the perfect mixture of treating things with seriousness when it is called for and yet still maintaining a friendly and very welcoming outlook to all of the clients that are lucky enough to book one of your trips.

Dermot Liggett

What a great week we had for our Skye scrambles. Delicious food, excellent company, fantastic scenery and superb weather – couldn’t ask for better.

Mary McFarlane

Well, where to start? The Winter Munros was a magnificent holiday for me. The combination of stunning mountain scenery, like minded companions, excellent guiding and great hospitality ensured it was a truly memorable week for me.
The information provided before arriving had a great balance of being welcoming, informative and professional. This helped to heighten the anticipation beforehand and encouraged me to get a few miles into the legs.
The training in snow travel – step kicking, use of crampons and self-arrest techniques on the first day was very good. The walks all had some stunning views and Andy has the knowledge, experience and passion to ensure that we not only enjoyed the surroundings, but learnt quite a bit along the way. He also has the good sense to know when to vary the route to allow for the many variables of weather, ground conditions and people factors.
The accommodation and food were excellent – Thank you Rebecca for the quality and variety of the meals – we certainly didn’t go hungry!
The whole trip was well organised – this is a testament to the amount of care and hard work that has gone into making Scot Mountain Holidays a truly enjoyable experience.
I would love to join you for some more of your trips in the future.

Rob Cahill

Thank you so much for an excellent holiday. It was all I was hoping for and more. Thanks to Andy for the really well thought through and excellently guided walks. I now know what a scaly tooth mushroom looks like and that the Pine Marten is not a bird! Thanks to Rebecca - the food was easily the best holiday food I have ever had. A relaxed and humorous approach and the log fires in the evenings really topped it all off. Thanks again and all the very best for the future - you really do make a great team!

Ruth Cook

Thank you again for cooking so well for me. It is the first time I have eaten out since I was diagnosed with coeliac. And it was so nice for me that you had taked so much trouble over it, and to be able to relax and feel safe. We loved Scotland and hope to be back sometime.

Birgitta and Chris Knowles

Really great course, learned loads, trying hard not to forget it all. Really enjoyed the step-kicking and navigation. Hopefully get lost less often now thanks to Andy. Marvellous food, thanks Rebecca.

UMIST Hiking and Mountaineering Club

I am a travel writer for the Times, Sunday Times and Daily Telegraph, and I want to comment Andrew Bateman & Rebecca Field and their organisation. Andrew has now guided me through three articles. Andrew's calm, expert leadership and Rebecca's wonderful hospitality at Fraoch Lodge, really impressed me... Scotland, and the Cairngorms National Park, have a pair of goo friends in Andrew and Rebecca.

Christopher Somerville

Thanks so very much for your warm hospitality, Andy's expert guidance, and Rebecca's delicious meals. This trip has been more than I imagined - Andy's knowledge of the region, geology, flora, fauna, biology has been an education and Rebecca's cuisine inspiring.

Steve Fulton

Thanks so very much for your warm hospitality, Andy's expert guidance, and Rebecca's delicious meals. This trip has been more than I imagined - Andy's knowledge of the region, geology, flora, fauna, biology has been an education and Rebecca's cuisine inspiring.

Daren Callahan

Thanks for a thoroughly enjoyable week. I was delighted to make the acquaintance of all those new mountains and to have the benefit of Andy's many insights as well as the excellent hospitality of you both.

David Webster

The reason I choose this holiday was because it offered guided hill walking centred around a particular theme, namely whisky making.
On looking back at the holiday, I'd say this gave me a fresh insight into an area I've visited before. This, together with Andy's knowledgeable guiding, helped me appreciate the landscape further, thereby enhancing my enjoyment of the holiday.
The one downside was that the first days walking (Cromdale Hills) finished quite late for a moderate walk (around 7pm), although this was understandable given that we made a very worthwhile visit to a distillery in the morning. I found the decent over open moorland quite heavy going but earlier on we got impressive views from the top, with the Cairngorms to the south and the Moray Firth to the north.
I'd say my favourite walk was Ben Rinnes. The pyramid-like profile on the mountain (which I thought looked like a scene from a fantasy story) coupled with the other worldly looking granite top near the top made for a fascinating walk.
I found the accommodation homely and comfortable.

Robert Hough

I had visited Scotland several times including two great walking holidays with Andy and Rebecca in the Cairngorms, but I knew nothing of Knoydart until I heard about Andy and Rebecca's trip. I love remote places so I thought I would give it a go. The sense of adventure starts when you board the ferry at Mallaig.
The walking is amazing. There are fine ridge walks where a great part of the day is spent at height with views over the mountains and islands beyond.
Thanks to Andy's careful planning we spent the best day of the week up high in glorious sunshine!
At the end of each day we came home to a comfortable house and Rebecca's home cooking. What more could you want!
Knoydart has an interesting history and despite much hardship over the years, a thriving community exists there today.
There is wild life and we were lucky enough to see a golden eagle and other birds and an otter in the bay in front of the house.
Altogether it is a lovely experience.

PS To get there, I was fortunate to have the time to travel by rail. The journey from Glasgow to Mallaig is a classic for outstanding scenery.

Marilyn Wilson

Thanks for the wonderful days at Fraoch Lodge. What a good way of recharging before starting a new year!

I liked the personalized course a lot; it was a nice adventure 🙂 And of course impossible without the great treats by Rebecca; wonderful to get home and have a freshly baked cake waiting for you. You're a really talented and creative cook. It was delicious; what about sharing the recipes of the fruit cake with the raisins and the green-tomato cake? ... Andy also shared his slides with information 🙂

Gerrit Naus

For fitting me in at the last minute and working so hard to provide us with excellent accommodation and letting us into your home, life and wonderful surroundings. All the best.

Neil Costello

Good accommodation, friendly and relaxed hosts, delicious meals by Rebecca (perfect for vegetarians), and seriously green. Met an interesting group of people at the lodge. Four great walks (weather notwithstanding - the drying room was working overtime). Andy is a very good guide, and very informative. Could not have asked for more. (Andrew Powell, 2015)

Just returned from yet another amazing adventure with Scot Mountain Holidays at Fraoch Lodge.

As always I was made to feel very welcome by Andy, Rebecca and gorgeous Gregor.

Spent 2 tough days doing 4 4000ft peaks. Andy is a fantastic and well experienced leader. He is incredibly knowledgeable of the local area. He even managed to switch on the northern lights for us on the walk out!

Thank you very much for such a perfect experience. I already have my next trip with Scot Mountain Holidays booked and can't wait 🙂

Charlotte Johnson

We enjoyed our restful stay in Boat of Garten. Our room was spacious and the beds very comfortable. Thank you for the help with directions and bus schedules. The Osprey Centre provided a nice hike and a personal view and education on ospreys.

Jo Ann Pinel, Canada

A new venture for Scot Mountain Holidays this year was an expedition to the Outer Hebrides, to Harris and Lewis. As usual, this was very well planned and the logistics carefully thought out; from their base at Boat of Garten, they picked up clients at Aviemore and Inverness stations, before driving to Ullapool to board the ferry to Stornaway, for which we arrived in plenty of time. From Stornaway we then took an interesting drive down to Tarbert, our base for the week in some well-equipped holiday cottages.

Andy had prepared a very varied itinerary, a pleasant blend of hill and coastal walking, with visits to many places of interest. As always, he was a mine of information on the geology, the geography, the flora and fauna and especially the bird life. Among other species, we saw lapwings, golden plover, cormorants, gannets fishing, a Great Northern Diver and, of course, at least half a dozen eagles ….

On the midweek ‘rest’ day, we had the opportunity for a scenic drive around south Harris, visiting a prehistoric standing stone and also a visitor centre. We also discovered that the island has become something of a haven for artists and photographers and there are quite a few studios dotted around, often with hospitable cafes! For the botanist, the coastal scenery is much enhanced by the ‘machair’ wild flower meadows.

There is much of interest too for the historian: the famous prehistoric standing stones at Callanish, an Iron Age ‘broch’ (chieftain’s house) in a well preserved state, and more recently the ruins, mainly just a chimney, of a former whaling station; there is even a present-day indication of long-established customs in that many people still cut and dry peat for fuel!

I have so far not mentioned the hillwalking, which can be very challenging even though the hills are not of the highest, due to the dearth of paths and tracks, giving one a real feeling of pioneering. Even dedicated ‘Munro-baggers’ would find much to enjoy here, since the terrain is very rugged, the ascents are often steep and one usually starts from sea level. Coupled with the remoteness of the island, this means that we encountered few other walkers during the week.

Complementing Andy’s expert and informative guiding was the magnificent cuisine produced by Rebecca. After a substantial breakfast, we had a wide choice of fillings for our sandwiches, which we assembled with the fresh home-baked bread. On our return to base, we enjoyed the famous ‘Cake-o-Clock’: refreshing tea and home-made cake, before the excellent evening meals.

Overall, this was a very interesting and enjoyable trip, underlining the Scot Mountain Holidays slogan: “A Sense of Place and Belonging”. It is an expedition well worth their repeating.

Mick Wansborough

Thank you v much for the excellent food you provided for our Knoydart expedition - the dehydrated soups and casseroles were an absolute triumph - delicious and fresh-tasting, not remotely like 'normal' dehydrated food. The home made bread was also excellent, lasting very well from Sunday to Wednesday. As of course were the cakes - especially the pine nut and raspberry flapjack.

We had such a great time, thanks to Andy's expertise, and also to the weather, but certainly also thanks to your carefully prepared and packed provisions.

I am sure we will be meeting again !

Mandy Pegman

Thank you for the unforgettable holiday and for making my first time experience in the mountains so great.

Marie Liis

Most memorable bit – the ascent of Ben More
Describe the experience – wonderful walking, excellent company and excellent catering – also I think your admin works very well.
Tips – ideal if you are a fairly serious walker and interested in your surroundings, the Leaders knowledge of the geology, flora and fauna of the area put the holidays in a class apart from most.
All in all it was a brilliant holiday and, fates permitting, I’ll be back next year. Some people go to Scotland for the walking/scenery but I go to try and catch Andy out on a geology question and he is doing quite well at the moment!!

Paul Chapman

Why do I keep coming back? Great walking of course in some of the best mountain scenery in the world. But it's the whole package; Rebecca - cooking & the best food I get on holiday, Andy's expert guiding - your knowledge of wildlife and flora and geology adds an extra dimension to the walking and the friendly relaxed atmosphere - it feels like your are walking with a group of friends rather than an organised holiday.

Peter Clark

I just wanted to say again how much I enjoyed my stay with you. Thank you very much to you both for the hospitality, wonderful food, fun out on the hills, help with the navigation, generally making it a wonderful holiday and of course rescuing me from the raging torrent. I am nearly back to normal after our epic rip over to Beinn Mheadhoin! It seems a whole world away now sitting here at my desk but good to know it is still there.

Celia Vince

Thank you very much for another splendid Mountain Innovations Holiday. There were excellent excursions, and we very much appreciated all the trouble you took over Matthew's diet. On the train home, I sat wondering why your holidays are so good. A main factor, of course, is that you offer a complete package - transport to and from airport or railway station, transport on the walking days, accommodation, all meals and packed lunches (with the ability to provide very creatively for special diets), interesting walks showing the best features of the country (and not just guided walks, but lots of information on the geology, landscape, weather, flora and fauna etc). This is very commendable but not sufficient to explain everything. I think that the key factors are that you both work very hard and you are both very good at what you do!

Mick Wansborough

Most specifically memorable and exciting parts of the trip for me were the Munros--part being scared and part being pleased at crossing over a narrow, snowy ridge, for example, and reaching those summits.
I was really pleased with the Scot Mountain Holiday experience - having found you just on the internet and with no personal connections, I didn't really know what to expect. But I found that you run a fine operation and take very good care of your travelers. I appreciated being met and left off, and everything in between. The atmosphere was comfortable, people friendly and congenial, the house a spacious and well-chosen place to stay, the food excellent.
As I think I said there, it would be helpful to your American travelers to translate "hill walking" as something like "mountain hiking". Also "flask" to "thermos" I enjoyed it and will certainly recommend you to my friends.

Eve Pell

Thank you all for sharing your knowledge, keeping us safe, showing us everything the mountains have to offer and making sure there is ALWAYS tea and cake! And not foregetting Gregor for his morning enthusiasm & advice on Minecraft!!!

Patrick Hobbs

We recently returned from our relaxing holidays in Scotland. We would like to thank you for a very pleasant stay in your lovely home in the Cairngorm Mountains. We enjoyed the stunning scenery as much as meeting you and the other guests.

Claas and Christine

This was a brilliant holiday - I booked at the very last minute (the day before actually) - Scot Mountain Holidays were not in the least bit phased by this and did everything they could to make my trip possible. Our group were made to feel so welcome by Rebecca Andy and Gregor. I found the walking quite challenging which was exactly what I wanted - Andy was always encouraging and also really knowledgeable about the hills - from the plants to the geology which made it all the more interesting. Each afternoon we were treated to tea and cake in front of a roaring fire on our return to the Glaschoillie Lodge - which was the perfect place to stay.

Jeni Williams

Just to say thanks for the whole package and the experience that came with it during our time at Fraoch Lodge! Sue and I both thoroughly enjoyed our time with you and learned a lot from the experience. Thanks to all three of you for your contribution to making our stay with you so enjoyable, fun and entertaining as well of as course, educational! I hope our paths will cross again in the future.

Maureen Smith

Thank you to you all for a wonderful almost week in the wind and whiteout of Scotland. It was great fun even though it was a bit scary on some occasions, I think it is safe to say that I always like to put on crampons 15 minutes before A. Bateman does. Apart for the short burst of crawling over ice on my hands and knees it was a really enjoyable challenge. The food was delicious and much thought and time had been put into the menus so a big thank-you to Rebecca.

Cath Macneal

I just wanted to thank you both for another wonderful walking Holiday. Everything was fantastic – although the highlight was clearly the raspberry flapjack!! I’m already thinking about when I can visit you again, although looking at my diary, this may need to be next year. Thank you both again for looking after me so well.

Steve Fulton

Thank you both so much for making the Hogmanay winter mountain skills course such a great trip! I learned a lot from building emergency ice shelters with ice axes to navigation and crampon walking in snow blizzards! We had a friendly, fit group, and knowledgeable and helpful guides led by Andy. Rebecca's wonderful cooking and the fun, social homestay eating environment made all the difference at the end of a tiring day. The village New Year's Eve ceilidh was also great fun! I'll be back for more sometime!

Kim

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