Wilderness Scotland

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Wilderness Journeys is a specialist sustainable travel company offering a range of inspirational adventure holidays and wilderness experiences throughout the wild places of the world.

Our aim is to provide you with the trip of a lifetime while ensuring maximum benefit to the environments and communities which we visit. Within the UK we operate under the name of Wilderness Scotland and offer a wide range of adventure holidays throughout the most beautiful and wild parts of the Highlands and Islands. By travelling with Wilderness Journeys overseas you can choose from an equally wide range of inspiring experiences safe in the knowledge that you are contributing to the sustainable development of tourism throughout the world.

Our commitment to the development of a sustainable travel company has been recognised through several business awards including:-
  • ‘Highly commended’ Responsible Tourism Awards 2009
  • 5 star AITO Responsible Tourism Rating 2009
  • Highly Commended in the Responsible Tourism Awards 2009
  • Guardian Ethical Travel Awards: Best UK Tour Operator 2008
  • World Travel Awards: Best Green Tour Operator 2007
  • Member since: 11 Feb 2004

    How the minimum criteria of the responsible travel standard was met...

    Economic responsibility

    We are absolutely committed to engaging local businesses throughout our entire operation and ensuring that the economic benefits are distributed in this equitable way. As well as providing a great service to our clients, by working with local partners it also means that our groups always receive a warm welcome from the locals wherever we go

    ? While every aspect of our holidays is important, it is our guides which really elevate the trip. It is for this reason we have invested in recruiting and selecting the best guides in the business, and local where possible. By providing industry-leading working conditions and training opportunities, we have built a team of truly amazing individuals committed to professionalism and delivering clients with the best travel experience you’ll ever have.
    ? We always look to find special local experiences, sharing the economic wealth directly into the community and giving our visitors a unique perspective into the area.
    ? We source packed lunches from local providers, either directly from the hotel or local cafes. We also source snacks as much as possible from local suppliers.
    ? Through our Conservation Contribution scheme we are committed to making a contribution of a minimum of £5,000 per year to the John Muir Trust.
    ? Through the Conservation Contribution Scheme we were also able to put funds toward other projects. In recent years this has included native habitat restoration with the charity Trees for Life and the funding for installation of a “Seabin” on the West Coast of Scotland as an effective method of capturing plastic ocean waste.

    Environmental responsibility

    Through the provision of engaging experiences from wilderness to wildlife, we are firmly of the view that positive tourism experiences have the capacity to foster a strong connection with the natural world and promote more sustainable living in these challenging times we currently face. Clients can expect our experienced and knowledgeable guides to develop understanding of the amazing environment in which we live.

    Our business activities and trip operations are purposefully designed to minimise environmental impact and operate on a low carbon basis.

    Examples of what we’ve done to date:

    ? We operate our trips out of our own carbon-neutral net zero HQ, powered by renewable energy on a brownfield site in the Cairngorms National Park.
    ? Within our office we reuse and recycle where possible with environmentally friendly cleaning products, sanitisers, toilet paper, recycling facilities and using local suppliers where possible.
    ? We host two EV charging stations free to use for staff, and which are accessible for the public to use at a charge.
    ? All clients are encouraged to take reusable water bottles and lunch boxes with them to prevent the use of disposable plastics.
    ? All of our group holidays start at mainline train stations and we keep the use of motorised vehicles to a minimum.
    ? We are a proud partner of the Leave No Trace Centre for Outdoor Ethics, which enhances our commitment to responsible activity in Scotland’s wildlands, as enshrined in the Scottish Outdoor Access Code (SOAC).
    ? Various training programs for our guides on Leave No Trace and environmental management.

    Most notably we have declared a Climate Emergency as part of Tourism Declares - committing to be a carbon positive tour operator within the near future. See the full declaration here.

    Social responsibility

    We consistently receive feedback from clients that the encounters and relationships with the local population are one of the most enjoyable and memorable elements of a trip to the Highlands and Islands. We strongly support this view and recognise the wonderful contribution and added value that communities, culture and customs make to the tourism experience.

    ? We seek out experiences for our clients that highlight local culture, and through visiting enables preservation such as cookery courses, tweed weaving, local boat operators, storytellers, crofters and crafters.
    ? We financially and personally support local community projects such as:
    ? Cairngorms Ski Access Program - enabling children who might not otherwise get the opportunity to enjoy the magic and fun of skiing, as well as providing additional training for more experienced skiers looking to compete regionally and nationally. Wilderness Scotland provides financial support to the programme each year, loans vehicles free of charge to transport the pupils and occasionally (and always when conditions are great!) provides volunteer support on the mountain.
    ? We have partnered with The Family Holiday Association to provide vulnerable and disadvantaged families with an adventurous short break in the Highlands. Working with local accommodation providers, Wilderness Scotland provides a day of adventure in the Cairngorms National Park for several families each year. These adventures including canoeing on Loch Morlich or mountain biking through Rothiemurchus Forest.
    ? The Wilderness Office Team dedicates between 40-60 days to volunteering each year. Volunteer days are on environmental projects like path building and reforestation work, and also social projects like mentoring and community car share schemes.

    All our clients are provided with the following documents that provide advice and encourage behaviour in regards to local situations, environmental best practices and the country’s culture.