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Sustainable walking holidays

Tree with old-man's beard lychen

Tree with old-man's beard lichen

Since the start of the business in 1995, About Argyll Walking Holidays has consistently aimed to provide responsible travel to wild and remote places in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. We offer you the chance to experience the solitude of these places in a sustainable and environmentally-friendly fashion.

You will see wildlife and wildflowers that are almost extinct in other parts of Britain and Europe. On our doorstep live golden eagle and peregrine falcon, red deer and otter, wild orchid and sundew - just a few of the many species making up the unique Highland ecosystem.

We consider this intricate and sometimes delicate web of life and landscape to be irreplaceable and a source of inspiration to us all. A century ago, John Muir, Scotland’s greatest contributor to the developing concept of conservation, talked of humanity’s ‘natural beauty hunger’. We think that this is the perfect place to satisfy that hunger, provided always, as Muir made clear, that it is done with respect for the sources of that beauty.

Following John Muir’s inspiring example, we are dedicated to preserving and promoting the value of Scotland's wild areas by doing our best to reduce the environmental impact of our walking holidays and ensuring the long-term sustainability of tourism in the area. The Highlands and Islands of Scotland are one of Britain and Europe's last wildernesses, and we share with all who live or visit here a responsibility to protect and conserve their fragile ecosystems.

Because we want you and future generations to continue to enjoy this unique natural environment, our walking groups are small, thus minimizing negative impact while increasing our chances of seeing wildlife. If you would like, our guides can also offer suggestions to help you to minimize your personal environmental impact.

Papa Stour, Shetland Islands

Papa Stour, Shetland Islands

Size is particularly important in the Scottish wilderness, where our wide spaces and high mountains are small and fragile in a global context. Here, we agree with Schumacher; “small is beautiful”, and especially in tourism.

Our small-scale business provides local benefit, environmentally, culturally and economically, wherever we go. We work closely with many small, rural businesses – for example, you will stay in locally-owned accommodation and eat in local restaurants which use fresh, local produce. All of this contributes to the local economy.

Our sustainable business practices also extend to the running of our office, where we keep the use of energy, water and other resources to a minimum, reduce and recycle our waste and send most of our correspondence by email or on recycled paper. We also try to reduce the impact of the carbon emissions from our minibuses by supporting Trees for Life, which uses our donation to plant trees in order to restore the ancient Caledonian forest of the Highlands.

We are committed to improving the sustainability, increasing the social and local benefits and reducing the environmental impact of our holidays and of our office even further. Some of the actions we are taking are:

  • Monitoring the use of energy and the other resources we use in an effort to reduce them even further.
  • Encouraging the B&Bs and hotels you'll stay in to adopt greener and more sustainable practices by, for example, using locally sourced or fair trade food for our breakfasts and picnic lunches.
  • Taking you to eat in places that use locally sourced food.
  • Informing you about 'walking without leaving a trace'.
  • Encouraging you to use public transport for your journeys to, from and, when not with us, within Scotland.
  • Having a wildlife garden around our office with a pond, wildflower meadow and native trees.
  • Liaising with the local community and supporting them as and when we can.

To underline our commitment and policies, we are a member of Green Tourism, which has recognised our efforts with a Gold Award, the highest award possible.

Tourism Declares Climate Emergency
About Argyll Walking Holidays has joined Tourism Declares. You can read our statement here.


Trees for LifeAbout Argyll Walking Holidays has been supporting Trees for Life for many years. We have set up a grove in 2021 to which we'll add trees every year. These trees are donated by our customers to reduce the impact of their journey to Scotland and we'll add trees to reduce the impact of our holidays to the environment. Trees for Life is a charity working to rewild the Scottish Highlands.

John Muir TrustAbout Argyll Walking Holidays is a corporate member of the John Muir Trust, a charity dedicated to protecting wild places. They own and care for some of Scotland's finest wild landscapes including Ben Nevis, Schiehallion, Quinag in Assynt, part of the Cuillin on Skye and 3,000 acres on the Knoydart peninsula.

  • wildlife scotland puffin


  • wildlife scotland orchid

    Spotted Orchid

  • wildlife scotland red deer

    Red Deer

  • wildlife scotland sundew


  • walking and wildlife seal

    Common Seal

  • walking and wildlife sea anemone

    Sea Anemone

  • walking and wildlife butterfly

    Fritillary butterfly