Old National Geographic magazines

Potential ‘Slow’ adventures…

Yesterday I was privileged to spend the day exploring the Ardtornish Estate on foot, in a sea kayak and (dare I say it) in a 4×4 car with a view to putting together a few different ‘slow’ adventures.

These are not just for their guests but for anyone wanting to visit the Ardnamurchan Peninsulas, specifically Morvern, and experience what the Ardtornish Estate offers in terms of landscape, wildlife, and also food and culture.

Morvern landscape
The clouds and the photograph give little away in terms of location.

I can’t give any specifics of the journeys at this stage, but I am super excited to be working with the estate and local businesses who also committed to ‘slow’ adventures (e.g. The White House Restaurant and Sunart Cycles) to develop a number of different ideas for different people and seasons.

But what is a ‘slow’ adventure I hear you ask?

And why would I want to go on one?

The Slow Adventure in Northern Territories (SAINT) Project are drawing together clusters of providers across countries such as Norther Ireland, Norway, Iceland and Scotland have committed to providing journeys that meet specific ‘allow adventure’ criteria. Somme of our adventures will be defined as ‘slow’ adventures where they:

  • use human powered methods of transportation such as walking, canoeing or cycling (with more modes planned for later);
  • involve outdoor living for at least one night no matter what the ‘accommodation’ is (tents and bothies are obvious ones, but hotels can also be used and I have exciting ideas for unusual ones in the future);
  • go beyond just living outdoors (so expect some element of developing outdoor skills such as fishing, foraging, bushcraft, etc.);
  • can include developing your outdoor skills whether that be map reading, canoeing or general camp craft;
  • give some understanding of the culture, traditions, stories, music, etc. of the place you are travelling in and also environmental interpretation to help you understand the geology or appreciate the diversity of flora & fauna;
  • use locally grown, reared, caught or foraged foods where possible during such adventures (and there is plenty here to discover – trout, mussels, venison, vegetables, etc.);
  • may possibly involve some form of natural wellness, which may be physical or emotional, or even herbal medicines, yoga or meditation.

So what do you get?: A genuine opportunity to explore a remote and wild location and immerse yourself in the culture and food of region in doing so.

One of the key components from a business point of view is that there is collaboration in order to build and deliver these authentic adventures. And that is why I was out on the Ardtornish Estate to see what we can do together to promote sustainable slow adventure tourism on the Morvern Peninsula.

Some of our ‘random’ discoveries during the walking part of the day:

Badger footprints in mud
Thoughts of chasing wild cats were proven to be wrong: It was a badger!
Old National Geographic magazines
Old National Geographic magazines found on the shelf of what will become useable accommodation.
Tins of food on shelf
Discarded food products on a pantry shelf in a deserted farm building.

And some from the kayak exploration:

Bothy and sea kayak
Discovering an old stone building that turned out to be a bothy of sorts…
Bed in a bothy?
Not very often you discover a double bed in a bothy!