Exploratory Journeys

Exploratory Journeys is Darren’s client excursion programme. Journeys on foot are the best way to discover the diverse landscapes of the U.K., Europe and further afield. Darren’s Geographical background defines the approach to Exploratory Journeys.  From summer multi-day trekking to winter snowshoeing, the emphasis is on engaging with the landscape through which the journey passes through. The concepts and practice of Sustainable Development are a prominent theme. Consideration of the socio-environmental impacts of travel, expeditions and our relationship with the environment feature strongly in all aspects of the journey from planning through to delivery. A key aim of Exploratory Journeys is to trigger debate around the interactions between the natural and human systems that make up the landscapes through which we pass.

Journeys are custom designed for individuls, adult client groups, school groups or families with all levels of experience welcome. The emphasis for any journey is specifically tailored to client needs, whether educational, relaxation or physical challenge. Please see below for a sample of some of the Exploratory Journeys on offer and if inspired, please contact Darren to discuss your requirements.

The Higlands and Islands of Scotland

Scotland is a small but dynamic country offering a lifetime of opportunity for exploring coast and mountains. From perfect sunsets over the Rùm Cuillin to multi-day expeditions on the Knoydart Peninsula and epic winter outings in the sub-arctic Cairngorm Mountains, Exploratory Journeys in Scotland will leave you feeling a strong connection with this majestic land. Explore the fascinating geological and cultural heritage that has fashioned this unique Gaelic landscape. Darren has extesnsively travelled the higlands and islands; from Sutherland to Galloway and Harris to Arran. Ready-made itineraries include week trips based at comfortable bunkhouses and guesthouses or multi-day walking trips featuring wild camping in some unforgetable locations.

Sunrise over the Southern tip of Harris from Berneray, Scotland.

European Summer Alpine Trekking

The European Alps offer the most accessible mountain terrain on Earth. Alpine heritage goes back a long way. The 21st century alpine landscape is a product of a unique interaction between the geo-climatic forces that have fashioned these mountains and a strong desire from the populations of the alpine countries to explore them by foot, ski, bike, paraglider etc. The demands for these pursuits has built an extensive mountain tourist infrastructure like nowhere else in the world. This creates great opportunity but also immense pressure from a multitude of environmental challenges. Exploratory Journeys in the Alps are sure to inspire with some fatastic scenery en-route. Pre-defined itineraries offered by Darren include multi-day treks such as the Tour du Mont Blanc (TMB) and Tour de l’Oisans and Écrins (GR54). Of course, many other long-distance footpaths of France, Switzerland, Italy and Austria can be organised. Alternatively, if a valley base is preferred, day excursions can be organised from a wide-range of picture-postcard alpine villages across the alpine chain.

The Col du Bonhomme on the TMB, French Alps.

European Winter Alpine Snowshoeing

Snowshoeing is a great mode of transport to get out into nature and explore the tranquility of the alpine environment in winter. With pine boughs heavilly laden with fresh powder and the crunch of each footstep through the deep drifts, snowshoes will take you into a landscape that is inaccessible to the downhill skier, far from the noise and adrenalin of the pistes. The virgin white blanket also provides the ideal canvas for observing the subtle traces of wildlife in winter. Tracks, trails and signs of nutrition are all around in the beautiful mixed woodlands of the Alps. On snowshoe trips, we’ll also visit open alpages (alpine meadows) commanding spectacular views of the higher peaks. Darren’s snowshoe trips are usually based in the Haute-Savoie département of France.

Snowshoeing from the Col de Joux Plane, Haute-Savoie, France.

Great Inter-Continental Journeys

Putting together an unforgettable itinerary in the mountain landscape is Darren’s speciallity. With extensive travel experience in the USA and New Zealand Darren will plan and lead excursions to the great mountain ranges of the Rockies, Pacific North West and Southern Alps. Trekking and walking can be combined with scenic tours by rail and bus as well as cultuaral visits to cities. The empasis is on making the whole journey, from the moment you leave home, part of the great adventure.

The Tasman Glacier terminal lake in Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park, New Zealand.