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Young sea kayaker in rocks and waves

Who are Otter Adventures?

Otter Adventures may be a relatively new and small business (launched in May 2017), but we aspire to be an outstanding provider of multi-activity authentic adventures that educate, inform and inspire whilst also recognising our social and environmental responsibilities.

We will strive to do this through small group activities, typically private groups, and adventurous experiences that are tailored to your abilities and, hopefully, exceed your expectations and leave you with unforgettable memories of wild places.

We only operate across the West Highland Peninsulas - a very quiet part of the Scottish West Coast - west of Fort William and south of Glenfinnan. If you love wild places for their views and their wildlife and have yet to visit Ardnamurchan, Morvern or Strontian, then you will be in for a pleasant surprise when you do.

Underlying our business operations are six core values:

Authentic

We seek to make your adventure authentic and give you an appropriate challenge

Safe

We provide safe adventures with experienced and passionate leaders only

Honest

We are people focussed and endeavour to achieve this through open communication and honesty

Sustainable

We strive to operate in a way that is sustainable for the environment, locally and globally

Socially responsible

We aim to support our local community through our actions and, as we grow, do more to help local people and businesses

Self-improvement

We believe in developing ourselves and our way of doing business as much as we care about providing all the above

A brief history

With a lifetime of living and working outdoors, it may have been inevitable that I would move to the Highlands of Scotland at some point in my life. But it was not until a family holiday in Strontian and Ardnamurchan in 2015 that the idea actually began. The visitor centre in Glenborrodale was our first offer in September that year and, skipping all the boring parts, I eventually moved into Otterburn Bed & Breakfast in Strontian in March 2016 and planning for a new slow adventure business could begin.

I said 'I' as it was not until August that year that our eldest son joined me and early 2017 before my wife Laura (who runs Otterburn B&B) and our other son, joined us permanently. Our aim at that point was to make enough money between us, in our first year of business, to support our family through winter and into 2018 when we hoped both businesses would become busier. Thankfully, since then, we have established both businesses in Strontian, discovered many things to do across the peninsulas and had many family adventures both on and off the water.

Late in 2019, I decided to make Otter Adventures a limited company and to use an accountant who lives on the peninsulas. Although it was now a 'company' I hope that no one on adventures with me noticed any difference in the way things were being delivered. Perhaps basing the company from a well organised garage that is part of Otterburn, helps keep the 'family run' feeling alive - I certainly hope this feeling comes across right through what we do.

2021 saw the first planned expansion of Otter Adventures to allow two groups to be out at the same time. Our first local employee, Chris (on a part-time basis), was taken on to lead and develop walks across the region. A tough role as many hill walkers are sufficiently skilled to head out without a guide. Yet Chris and I both feel that a guide can bring the landscapes to life for any level of walker from children through to experienced ramblers.

I hope that as Otter Adventures grows it will stay true to its founding principles of slow adventure and personalised small-group experiences. Although it is a company that is growing, we want you to tell us if we are not making it feel like a small business that is here for you.

Meet the team at Otter Adventures

Karl
Owner & Senior guide
Karl during a River Shiel canoe adventure

Since joining the cub scouts a long time ago, I've spent over 35 years in the outdoor industry. I've been a leader on numerous expeditions in the UK, as well as longer ones abroad, lectured at college and university in outdoor adventure and worked in a variety of outdoor centres as an instructor and in senior roles.

My passion is in introducing novice explorers to the delights of adventuring in the outdoors and in bringing the environment to life through stories and experiences, and I relish the challenge of devising new adventures to meet your needs.

Pete
Multi-activity guide
Pete canoeing on Loch Linnhe

I have had the privilege to work in the outdoors whilst living locally the past 13 years. Working within a residential outdoor centre, I have been involved in introducing a wide range of people to the outdoors and helping train and develop aspiring outdoor instructors. Latterly I have had more time for designing trips and expeditions for the instructors.

I love helping others have a great outdoor experience for them, and I particularly enjoy exploring new nooks and crannies. Recently we’ve been having lots of mini adventures with our kids, which always gives a different perspective to your own!

Laura
Otterburn B&B owner
Laura walking in the Ariundle Oakwoods

Although I own and run Otterburn B&B, I enjoy getting outdoors when I can to explore the landscape around our home on foot, by bike, and on the water in a sea kayak, so that I can point our guests in the right direction to explore. Meeting amazing people is the best part of running the B&B.

My background is in environmental education and teaching and I volunteer with CAOLAS, a local marine conservation charity, but my love of Scotland began as a child during regular visits to Mull for my dad to teach summer art school.

Chris
Walking guide
Female winter mountaineer by cairn

I’ve been volunteering and working in conservation and land management for 20 years, and love being in nature. I used to run the Duke of Edinburgh‘s Award, and loved supporting young people with access to the outdoors, helping them gain the skills and confidence to run their own adventures and a lifelong passion.

I’ve worked as environmental educator in The Royal Parks and in Thailand. I love helping people realise the beauty and intricacy of our environment and develop an appreciation of how interdependent our lives are in these ecosystems. I’m on a constant journey of personal development, and look forward to sharing my knowledge with guests, as much as I do learning from their life experiences.

Cameron
Trainee guide
Cameron during a solo canoe trip on Loch Sunart

Born into an outdoor family, I was going to have to learn to enjoy the outdoors at some point. Thankfully I do, and kayaking is my favourite activity as I love the independence to explore that it gives me when on the water. I've recently switched from road to mountain bikes and am enjoying the challenges this brings.

My main passions are music production and DJ'ing which I hope will lead to an exciting career. Although I am a 'trainee', I hope that when I am 18 I can become a paddle sports leader and show you my favourite parts of Ardnamurchan.

If you share our principles and are qualified to lead outdoor adventures, not just the ones we currently offer, then head over to our Working with Otter Adventures page and see what roles are currently available. Or tell us what your passion is, environmental or activity based, and how it fits with our principles and begin a conversation that may lead to a new project.

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