5 Reasons to Book a Local Walk Guide

If you’re a regular walker, the thought of booking a local walk guide might seem like overkill. But here are five reasons why we think you should consider it.

1. You won’t have to do all the planning

First of all there is the question of travel: Where is the best place to park you car? How do you get there via public transport? If it’s a linear walk what is the best way to get back to the start point?

Then there is route planning: Are there any steps / steep hills / river crossings / stiles, etc? Is there likely to be any livestock on the route? What are the access rules when walking in Scotland? Do I need to check tide times before setting off? Will the weather forecast affect my route choice?

With a local walk guide, they’ll take care of the planning for you— no need to stress!

2. They’ll make sure you don’t get lost

Being able to find your way around can be tricky, especially if you aren’t familiar with an area. Even way-marked trails can often have missing, confusing or hidden signage, particularly in summer when vegetation growth is at its highest. Where is it safe to walk and are there any places you should avoid?

A local walk guide will know their way around! They will be able to take you on the best route possible, avoiding difficult terrain and dangerous areas. They will have walked the route before and will know the rules of the Scottish Outdoor Access Code. Most likely they’ll also know the best spots to enjoy an alfresco lunch with a view, or coffee and cake if that’s more your style.

3. They’ll know what to do if something goes wrong

Having a local guide with you means that if something goes wrong—for example if there’s an emergency or the weather takes a turn for the worse — they will know what to do to find shelter, get medical attention, navigate through difficult terrain, etc.

The guide will also be carrying spare equipment, like midge repellent and sunscreen in summer, or spare hats and gloves in case you are caught out by the changeable weather Scotland sees the rest of the year.

4. You’ll learn more about your surroundings and the local history

Local guides know the area so well that they can often point out things that you might otherwise miss – that hidden waterfall slightly off-route, the stone sculpture high up on the hillside, that castle you didn’t know was there despite living in the area your whole life! Your guide may be knowledgeable about local wildlife, flora and fauna which can really add value to your walk. They may also be able to tell you some historical tales about the area too. Often guided walks have a theme or are deliberately educational. Look out for types of walks which appeal to you.

5. You’ll meet new people and make new friends

There’s nothing more fulfilling than getting out into nature and connecting with people who share your passion for the outdoors. And if you’re looking for an easy way to meet new people, booking into a group walk with a guide can be an excellent way to do this in a relaxed, safe and friendly way. Who knows, you might just meet your next walking buddy!

Gillian’s Walks offers a range of guided walking experiences in the south west of Scotland. We are considered Walking Ambassadors for the Ayrshire region by the 11,000 people who follow us on social media. You can expect experienced, friendly guides with detailed knowledge of walking in the area. We can help you discover some of the local history, as well as the flora and fauna which typically grows here. We’ve been leading group walks since 2017 and have undertaken nationally accredited training and assessment with Mountain Training UK which qualifies us to lead groups on day walks in lowland countryside and woodland. We’re also trained in outdoor first aid and are fully insured.

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