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Up and Doon Guided Walks

Fort William, United Kingdom
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About Up and Doon Guided Walks
I love Scotland.I love exploring the beautiful mountains & glens of the Scottish Highlands.I love meeting people & sharing my passion. I decided to combine this energy into creating a small friendly guiding company that offers a highly personalized service for individuals or groups at an affordable price. For 2020 I have created a series of eco friendly and sustainable trips using public transport. Check out my public group dates on my website.
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Up and Doon Guided Walks
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Dan A wrote a review Jul 2018
1 contribution
Andy was an excellent guide really enjoyed his company. Really good knowledge of the mountain. Look forward to booking another challenge with you cheers Dan
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Date of experience: July 2018
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Ramnod wrote a review Jul 2018
Poulton Le Fylde, United Kingdom20 contributions8 helpful votes
I ascended Ben Nevis as a reasonably fit, but novice solo hiker under Andy's excellent guidance on 21st July 2018. As with any group activity there is always a chance of there being a broad mix of skill, experience and fitness and this was probably the case in the group of four that Andy took up on this occasion. However, he managed the day brilliantly by offering encouragement, advice and snippets of local information/history along the way. Most crucially, he managed the pace of the group to keep it moving but also to make it achievable and enjoyable by staging regular short stops to catch breath, take on fluids and grab a snack. We were exceptionally lucky with the weather as the summit was clear and even warm. I don't think any of us (including Andy) were prepared for such conditions, but it did allow us time to take plenty of pictures and grab something to eat before layering up for the descent. Andy's comprehensive communication by email was invaluable and professional beforehand and his warnings both prior to and during the walk about the descent often being the hardest part are not to be ignored. The descent was long, difficult and painful but again Andy managed the pace of the group, engendered a bit of team spirit and supported us all the way down. All in all a thoroughly rewarding and challenging day, and I'm not sure I would have completed it had I attempted Ben Nevis at this early stage of my hiking "career" without Andy's guidance. Thoroughly recommended.
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Date of experience: July 2018
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Jenny N wrote a review Dec 2017
4 contributions7 helpful votes
First of all, I'd like to thank Andy - he was amazing help and I'm really gutted he wasn't our tour guide! However, we had Flo for the climb. She was a lovely person but not a great tour guide. I had trained prior to this, but Ben [--]was my first Munro (my first big climb). Unfortunately we were placed with a group of girls that had climbed many Munros before this. I really struggled with the pace as it was determined by the pace of the girls and Flo did nothing to slow us down. We were simply told that we needed to stick together. It wasn't until I burst into tears and considered going back down that the tour guide decided to do something. She was lovely and caring but as to supporting me up and down the mountain I feel I slightly wasted my money by getting a tour guide. Most of the time I found myself trailing at the back. I'm not an unfit person, I've walked a marathon, however I found myself feeling slow, unfit, not included and unsupported. Overall I wouldn't choose to have a tour guide again and as lovely as they were, I didn't find it worth my money and there was no real acknowledgement of reaching the top. We didn't even go all the way to the sign as the girls wanted to continue on the descent. I knew that this was going to be a tough climb, but I hoped the tour guide would have catered to my needs a bit more - e.g. more stops and slower pace. We completed the climb in good time, faster than was perhaps necessary. I barely got time to take photos and I don't feel like I got time to appreciate this experience.
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Date of experience: July 2017
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Response from davo98, Owner at Up and Doon Guided Walks
Responded 5 Jan 2018
Hi Jenny N I just wanted to drop you a wee message to say thanks for taking the time to write a review. I really do appreciate your feedback. The good and the bad. It is always useful to help improve what i and my guides do here at Up and Doon. I am extremely sorry and disappointed you feel that having a tour guide was not good value for money. I will try and answer your queries and complaints best as i can below. However it is extremely galling when people take to Trip Advisor to complain about a service more than 6 months after your trip!! Especially when you provided no feedback or complaint at the time. Indeed after sending you the summit picture of the group your message was Hi Andy It was great! A challenge,but well worth it!I'm nearly at £600!Still receiving donations as well. Thank you very much for everything! Best wishes Jenny If not having your photo taken at the summit and sent on to you is not acknowledging the summit, i don't know what is!!! On a public group walk it is very difficult for the guide to give one to one attention. Usually if people have any concerns at joining a public group i would recommend that they book a Private Trip. Our job can be very difficult at times as we try to keep groups together as much as possible. However sometimes there are disparities in the groups individual fitness. Usually it is much better to book a Private trip meaning the pace is more geared towards yours than that of a public groups. As for Flo not being a supportive guide. She is one of the most experienced guides that i work with on a regular basis and have done for a number of years. Her guiding is of an excellent standard and indeed her testimonies from previous clients over the years backs this up. I have always found her to be a very supportive nature. It really surprises that even though she was such a lovely and caring person you found her so un-supportive. Quite a contradiction in terms!! We are trained to keep people safe on the mountain including ourselves. On the summit the temperature is usually so low that anything longer than a few minutes results in people getting very cold. A quick photo and layers on and off down is usually the case. On a Saturday the mountain is very busy so to queue at the trig point to get a picture taken while the whole group and the guide gets cold is usually not possible. On an nice day it is possible to linger more on the mountain but really most days this never happens. Indeed the average mean temp for the year is -0.5 degrees. Nae exactly weather for a picnic! So thanks again for your feedback. I hope i have managed to answer your questions:) Best wishes Andy
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Bonnie480 wrote a review Oct 2017
Charlottetown, Canada7 contributions2 helpful votes
+1
A few years ago I used Andy Davidson of Up and Doon Walks as a guide and was so delighted with him that I returned with 9 other people this year. Over the months before the our arrival Andy and I emailed back and forth to plan the trip - during this process I felt that Andy listened to my needs and concerns and provided excellent advice and suggestions. After the first day of walking, Andy and Flo Trom, our second guide, were able to determine the fitness level and interests of the group and to develop/modify hikes to meet the groups' needs. The hikes were also developed to provide us with a great overview of the highlands - so many highlights. Both Flo Trom and Andy were amazing guides - experienced, knowledgeable, flexible, funny and lovely. Each member of our group had a wonderful time and felt that they received personalized attention - not an easy task for any business. I will definitely be planning a return visit in the near future! Thanks Andy and Flo for an awesome week!
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Date of experience: September 2017
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Response from davo98, Owner at Up and Doon Guided Walks
Responded 6 Jan 2018
Hi Bonnie 480 Thanks for such a lovely review 😆Really was a pleasure to go hiking get with you again 😆Haste ye back😆 Best wishes Andy
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carolvanw wrote a review Oct 2017
Montague, Canada7 contributions
Can't wait to do it again. Every step was breathtaking. We were a group of 10 from PE Canada and hiked with Andy and Flo for 5 days in September. Our guides were Very safe conscious and planned the hikes around the group's abilities and interests. Will make sure I contact them for any future hikes in Scotland.
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Date of experience: September 2017
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Response from davo98, Owner at Up and Doon Guided Walks
Responded 6 Jan 2018
Hi Carolvanw Thanks for taking the time to write a review 😆It was a lovely week and I enjoyed it just as much as you. Looking forward to seeing you for another week wander soon😆 Take care Andy
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