Why come with Roaming Scotland?

 

We'll pick you up, show you the sights, and walk to Scotland’s better kept secrets. Discover unspoiled nature and the  mysterious sites of historical interest and Celtic spirituality.

 

Journeying with us through the Scottish Highlands and Islands is more than an adventure through one of Europe’s last wildernesses; it is to step back in time to engage with our rich Celtic heritage, to slow down and connect with the elements and to be inspired with fresh perspective.

           

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About

Experience the splendour and solitude of Scotland's west coast, up the glens to the ancient heartlands of the Picts and the Celtic Britons. The telling of their stories is a good start to explore our own inner journey.

Our ‘Trip & Trek’ combines sightseeing with walking in Scotland's wilds. This ensures we are daily on foot for 3 hours plus, guiding you to some out-of-the-way places, renowned for their scenery and/or history. Options range from single day to multi-day excursions.

Looking for something more adventurous? Book a hill walk or a multi-day mountain expedition in the Scottish Highlands for a rewarding experience.


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Your guide

Martin (and Sparkie the dog!) is a passionate hill walker and experienced guide, having climbed all 282 Munros. His various coast to coast hikes have revealed hidden gems which now are presented in manageable excursions for able people. This life-long experience is validated by the internationally recognised qualification of 'Mountain Leader'.  

Ancient hill forts, Celtic chapels and standing stones impress with their sense of mystery. Martin is willing to share, though wary not to bore, about Pictish warriors and Celtic saints who once peopled these ancient sites. He is a published author, and of relevance in this fusion of interests, is his title, ‘A Clearing of the Mists’. The book draws on the spiritual connection with the landscape and the past, and the lessons learned from hill-craft, which he applies to inspire meaning and wholeness in our lives.

Before Roaming Scotland, Martin and his wife, Alexandra, travelled extensively overseas and lived 14 years in the Middle East and in South East Asia. They have appreciated kind hosts on these travels and feel that they better understand what it takes to make your visit that much more memorable. Having run two guest house businesses in Scotland for 9 years, they very much want you to get the most out of your visit to Scotland, so be assured of a genuine and warm welcome.


Spiritual Journey

Confronted by Neolithic burial cairns and stone circles, their mystery raises questions as to their function, especially with so many of these prehistoric monuments aligned with the sun’s solstices. The Pictish standing stones,  rarely fail to arouse our admiration for their artistic accomplishments. But these treasures from the 5th to 9th centuries still remain largely uncelebrated. Depicting graceful animals, hunting and battle scenes and a vast array of enigmatic symbols, will leave you wondering. What was the Pictish beast, or what was the meaning behind the crescent moons intersected by Z-rods?

It was to this mysterious, druidic world that the early Gaels came across the Irish Sea in flimsy boats. These adventurers sought a ‘desert place’ out on the extremities of the ocean where they established bee-hive cells which grew into communities as people responded to their alternative worldview. Their worship was inspired by the grandeur of their surroundings, presenting a vibrant faith hammered out on the edge of the world. Acknowledged for their humanity in a brutal world and admired for their affinity with animals, the Celtic saints courageously brought their kindling flame of faith to the warrior courts of the fierce Picts – Scotland’s indigenous people during the first millennia.

Our adventures seek to reconnect not only with the stunning beauty and solitude of the places they inhabited, but to consider their worldview afresh. These journeys will take us up the west coast and over to the islands, as well as to venture inland to the ancient power centres of the Picts.

[See ‘Retreat’ if interested to explore in depth the spirituality of the Celtic tradition].

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The Goose

Wild geese are synonymous with the Scottish wilds as they passage along migration routes.  Their defining cries, which encourage and direct one another, stir the soul restless for adventure. The wild goose is an enduring symbol from our ancient Celtic past, referring to the Holy Spirit. Robust and alert, adventurous and sharing in community, our goose logo expresses our intention of bringing these elements together; combining the pursuit of the far horizon with the journeying of kindred souls.

This goose image, with it’s simple symmetry, was incised on a standing stone by the Picts - our ancient forebears. Its pose of looking over its shoulder, was no doubt an admired attribute of being vigilant. After all Rome was saved by geese raising the alarm of an advancing barbarian army. We too promise to be vigilant about your safety and enjoyment.

 
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Supporting Livelihood in the Philippines.

Roaming Scotland will give ten percent of their profits to assist the Buhid and Mangyan tribes of Mindoro Island, Philippines. Martin and his family lived with the Buhid tribe during the 1990's doing community development work through the Mangyan Tribal Church Association. 

'Beyond Coral Shores' is a book Martin wrote about the family's time living with this special tribe. We maintain close ties with the tribe and these photos were taken from the most recent trip in Feb 2018 with my daughter Hannah and her husband Brian. 

Hannah's Stateside business imports Mangyan handicrafts. You can view their workmanship at http://www.handatextiles.com