About Otter Adventures

Otter Adventures is a small family company committed to the introducing people to the wonders of being outdoors and of the local area. The West Highland Peninsulas offer a wide range of opportunities for remote exploration at any level. Half-days spent watching wildlife at the head of Loch Sunart through to scrambling mountains and scaling wild peaks can be catered for.

However our adventures go beyond just the activity. The mode of transport, is frequently less important to guests than the places visited and the wildlife seen. Through our journeys, even the half-day ones, we aim to help you better understand this beautiful place we call ‘home’. This may be through stories about people, places and events, or perhaps wildlife spotting and eating home-made or locally reared, grown or caught foods. Our outdoor adventures are as much about these as they are about helping you develop skills and understanding of the mode of transport.

I hope to impart something of the history and culture of our locality and an insight into the wildlife and how unique and interconnected it is making it much more than just an activity or journey.

Bespoke activities at our heart

All trips are tailored to the the group no matter whether this is adults, couples, groups of friends or multi-generational family groups. If your trip includes people you do not know, I will have made an effort to match people with similar skills, ability and aspiration so all should leave happy.

There is the option of exclusive bookings with me as your guide. Although currently a one-man business, such bookings will guarantee me as your guide. You will be able to draw upon my local knowledge (I live overlooking Loch Sunart) and 35 years in the outdoor industry. It also brings a host of other benefits that will be retained as Otter Adventures grows and expands.

Otter Adventures will always be geared towards bespoke and exclusive bookings as opposed to a commercialised ‘seat-filling’. This is why the majority of my trips are not bookable online. I prefer to get to know people and find out what they want from the trip, how experienced they are, etc. and plan something that matches these.

As we grow, you will always be negotiating your trip with the guide that will be leading it. While that is currently just me, this will remain true even as Otter Adventures expands over the coming years.

Trips with specific dates to them can be booked with a deposit paid online. Our payment system is backed by WorldPay and our website is hosted on PCI compliant servers. We also have a secure website so you can be assured your details will remain safe. If you book online I’ll still contact you to ask about your ability and aspirations. This helps me match people on your trip so that hopefully everyone on the trip is seeking roughly the same from it.

Background and history

After launching on May 27th, 2017 enquiries quickly became bookings and I was guiding families, couples and groups of friends all around Sunart and Morvern in canoes and kayaks and occasionally on mountain bikes and on foot.

Now in its third season (2019), Otter Adventures has grown a little, but has become widely recognised. It still operates from our home that is Otterburn Bed & Breakfast and overlooks Loch Sunart and is still a small friendly business.

Thanks to the incredible support of other tourism providers, I now work across the West  Highland Peninsulas with a more diverse range of guests than ever before.

A nomination for ‘Best Newcomer’ in the 2018 Scottish Outdoor Leisure Awards was a surprise and a great recognition of what I had achieved in the first year.

However, jumping back over 35 years I began learning about the outdoors through the Scout Movement. This rapidly progressed into teaching in the outdoors to give something back to a new generation of Scouts. This led onto a teaching degree in environmental and outdoor education, then working in outdoor centres and lecturing in outdoor adventure. You can read more about me or my thoughts on qualifications and experience by following these links – just try not to laugh at the old photos…

A drawn out family move to Scotland in 2016 allowed me time to plan and start Otter Adventures. Hopefully it will continue to grow steadily until I realise my dream of having an environmentally friendly outdoor centre that benefits visitors as much as the local community…

Health & Safety

The boring bits…

All of the activities we offer and locations we visit have been risk assessed and we also have operating procedures in place for these.

Working outdoors for over thirty five years, I long ago realised that leading and coaching in a hyper-dynamic environment requires more than a risk assessment on paper – it requires experience, maturity and common sense (and not just qualifications).

During your time with us, we will be constantly undertaking dynamic risk assessments in our heads. These take into account the group, the weather, the environment, the equipment, and many other factors. They draw upon our previous experiences and local knowledge and allow us to make appropriate decisions on the spot rather than sticking to a written assessment. This does mean that we sometimes change the plan part way through a trip.

If we do change it (and you notice), please remember that the decisions your guide makes during the activity are firstly for your safety and then for you enjoyment and learning. It is very important to you and to us that we bring you back safely. Then we worry about whether you enjoyed it and learned something. If you have any questions about why the guide may have changed the plan, please do speak to them.