Alastair Goodridge is the Scotsman charged with shepherding our tenacious trekkers through the rolling highlands and across the mesmerizing isles of his homeland. We reached out to find out why he’s so chuffed to lead our Scottish Highland Hikes tour this August.
Tell us about yourself? Where you’re from, how you got into guiding etc.
I’ve had a varied and adventurous career, including working as an outdoor instructor, leading overseas expeditions, working on Australian cattle stations and driving trucks around West Africa. I now live in the Cairngorm’s National Park and spend as much time as possible outside, walking, wild camping, skiing and long distance horse riding. I am passionate about the environment and enjoy sharing my knowledge of natural history and wildlife with others.
What aspect of Scottish culture do you love introducing guests to?
Well, that would have to be ‘uisge-beatha’, aka the water of life. Whisky. Scotland has such good whisky that we don’t need to spoil it with mixers or ice.
Any advice to prepare for the more industrious treks guests will endure?
Guests are often surprised how rough our trails are underfoot, so make sure to get used to walking on uneven ground.
What are the most mesmerizing sights guests will enjoy on our Scottish Highland Hikes tour?
I’m always blown away by our Neolithic sites. For example, we’ll visit Kilmartin Glen, which has the densest collection neolithic remains in Europe. They make our magnificent castles seem modern.
Any incredible Scottish books, movies or TV shows you’d recommend?
Lots of folks have enjoyed the series Outlander, which shows off the Scottish countryside really well. Some of it was filmed right outside my house!
What’s something people are always surprised by when they visit Scotland?
Haggis tastes really, really good!
Speaking of haggis, what’s the food like in Scotland?
We have great seafood, which we’ll get to sample on the west coast. We’ll enjoy a wide variety of cuisines in Glasgow and Edinburgh. We’ll also enjoy a few restaurants featuring a modern take on more traditional dishes.