I’m originally from Dundee, though brought up in Dumfries and Galloway, I was always taken on family holidays to remote areas of the Highlands and Islands. While studying for a degree in Mathematics at the University of Dundee I fell into hospitality and continued in the industry after graduation, working in St. Andrews, Perth and Dundee until 2011. It was during this time I began walking more seriously and bagged my first two Munros, Mayar and Dreish, on such an impeccably clear day that we could see as far as Ben Nevis. And that was it! I’m not a serious Munro-bagger and completing them all isn’t a particular mission or ambition, but love it for the sense of achievement, the views, the wildlife and even getting to the starting points and seeing parts of Scotland than most people never will.,
In March 2011 I took the plunge and moved to the Isle of Skye. I live in Dunvegan in the north-west corner of the island. Hospitality doesn’t allow for a huge amount of time off – particularly when you want it during the long summer days – but I take every opportunity to get out and about.
How did you get started?
Getting outdoors and enjoying the scenery and peace and quiet is in total contrast to working in hospitality, where everything is busy and noisy. It is no surprise that I have found walking a therapeutic hobby.
I’ve always been taken to remote parts of the British Isles on holiday. It’s fair to say I didn’t appreciate it until about ten years ago when I found myself longing to return to those places as an adult.
What do you love most about hillwalking?
Seeing parts of Scotland most of the population will never visit, and experiencing the natural world. Have you ever stood five metres from two golden eagles taking flight? No? I have!
What is your favourite time of year and why?
This is a difficult one. If pressed, I guess I have to say Autumn. The light is great for photographs, sunset isn’t in the middle of the night like it is during Skye’s summer, and there are often spells of great weather. Plus it’s not usually too cold…!
What is your most difficult time of the year and why?
I love winter, but it’s definitely the most difficult to cope with because the days are so short.