Wilderness Scotland

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Tour Operator
Industry Tourism
Founded 2000 in Edinburgh, Scotland
Headquarters Edinburgh, Scotland
Key people
Neil Birnie, Co-Founder and director; Stevie Christie, director; Paul Easto, director
Products Small group adventures
Number of employees
14 core staff and 30 guides
Slogan Inspiring Adventures in the Wild Places of Scotland
Website www.wildernessscotland.com

Wilderness Scotland is an adventure travel and ecotourism company, specialising in small group walking and adventure holidays in the Scottish Highlands and Islands.


Wilderness Scotland was started in September 2001 by Neil Birnie, Paul Easto and Gordon Birnie, and they were later joined by Stevie Christie. There are now 14 core staff and over 30 guides. The guides are all qualified through the National Governing Body relevant to their skills e.g. - Scottish Mountain Leader Association.

Sustainable tourism[edit]

Wilderness Scotland is dedicated to sustainable tourism which is environmentally, culturally and socially responsible (ecotourism) for small groups only.[1] The company operates to strict environmental standards and is committed to supporting the local economies in which it operates. It holds the Green Tourism Gold Award.[2] It was awarded second place in the 2008 Guardian Ethical Travel Award.[3] It was winner of the Best Green Tour Operator award in the 2007 World Travel Awards[4] and again in 2014.[5]

In 2006 Wilderness Scotland was Highly Commended at the World Responsible Tourism Awards. In 2007 it received the Investing in the Environment award at the Highlands and Islands Tourism Awards. It has been part of National Geographic's survey rating adventure travel companies.[6]


Wilderness Scotland organises small group trips including walking holidays, sea kayaking, mountain biking, ski touring holidays, canoeing, and photography. Their trips take people to locations such as Knoydart, the Cairngorms and Torridon; as well as islands including Skye, the Outer Hebrides, Orkney and Shetland. The company also offers self-guided walking holidays, family activity holidays and customised private group holidays.

Sibling and charitable projects[edit]

The company works with Trees for Life, a registered charity, to contribute to creating a "Wilderness Forest" in Dundreggan. It also participates in the Leave No Trace education programme to promote enjoyment of the natural world through responsible outdoor access and practice.

Business awards and achievements[edit]

  • 2007 - World Travel Awards, Best Green Tour Operator
  • 2007 – Highlands and Islands Tourism Awards, Investing in the Environment [7]
  • 2006 – World Responsible Tourism Awards, Best Tour Operator: Highly Commended
  • 2006 – Green Tourism Business Scheme, Gold Award
  • 2005 – Scottish Tourism Business of the Year
  • 2003 – Shell Business Awards, Best Business Demonstrating Sustainability
  • 2003 – Highlands and Islands Business Awards, Best Newcomer


  1. ^ Trips : Wilderness Scotland
  2. ^ Wilderness Scotland - Inspiring Adventures in the Wild Places of Scotland | Changemakers
  3. ^ "Ethical travel award: Paris Velib". The Observer. 12 October 2008. Retrieved 7 January 2015. 
  4. ^ "World's Leading Green Tour Operator 2007". World Travel Awards. Retrieved 7 January 2014. 
  5. ^ "World's Leading Green Tour Operator 2014". World Travel Awards. Retrieved 7 January 2014. 
  6. ^ "Wilderness Scotland". National Geographic. Retrieved 7 January 2014. 
  7. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20081220130627/http://www.highland-tourism-awards.co.uk/winners.htm. Archived from the original on December 20, 2008. Retrieved October 30, 2008.  Missing or empty |title= (help)

External links[edit]