Since we set up 4x4 Treks a number of years ago focused on our home area of Galloway, things have evolved to take account of customer demand for guided trips outside of the Galloway Highlands. Today, we organise and guide trips all over the Scottish Highlands, outside of Galloway.
We work with partners to provide access to some of Scotland’s most remote and beautiful areas - from the Border country through Perthshire, the Cairngorms National Park, Inverness-shire, the West Coast and Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park.
Typically, we will spend part of any touring day on small single-track roads in remote scenic areas, with time usually spent each day exploring private estate and forestry tracks, taking us off the public road into places not normally open to be driven by the public.
How does this access work?
In Scotland, there are virtually no public un-surfaced, green lane-type roads open to vehicles. Yes, there is a right to roam and wild camp in Scotland, but not with a vehicle. This means that we either negotiate with land managers for access or we work with other businesses such as our own who have already negotiated access, almost always on a commercial basis and always on condition that access is managed and guided from both a safety and environmental point of view.
The dominant feature of our South West Scotland routes is the huge Galloway Forest Park, 193,000 acres in total area with hundreds of miles of dirt roads snaking over its hills, 300 miles of rivers flowing into its valleys and more than 150 lochs to be found amid the wild moorland and mountain crags. This is a landscape that is home to iconic species such as Hen Harriers, Red Kites, Golden Eagles, Osprey, Red Deer and Otters. However, it is not open to be driven unless by written permission of the land manager, the Forestry Commission. 4x4 Treks Scotland have negotiated access and meet the requirements regarding insurance, risk management, safety, environmental and many others in order to be allowed to lead tours through this land and, last but not least, we pay for the privilege.
4x4 Treks have based a number of our tours in central Galloway. We base ourselves centrally and tour the Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere in a number of loops, covering new ground each day. Our guests can sample after-hours activities such as watersports, climbing, mountain biking and sipping a wee glass of "the craitur" whilst darkness falls, before viewing the fantastic dark skies and resting overnight.
Accommodation options available to clients include camping, lochside lodges, self catering, pubs with rooms, B&B’s and luxury small hotels.
In 2017, we will again be running Scottish Highlands Explorer tours, starting south of Jedburgh on the border with England, with the ferry from Amsterdam docking at nearby Newcastle and driving a mixture of greenlanes, some off-road sites, remote highland roads (both private and public) north towards Aviemore, visiting some of Scotland’s biggest private estates, then returning down the west coast to spend three nights in the Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere, finishing, seven days after starting, at the Mull of Galloway.
For our Scottish Highlands Explorer tours, we cover much more of Scotland, so move on each day and stop in different locations each evening. As a consequence, we arrange for all our participants to stay in the same place each evening, usually a good small hotel in a scenic place with good food. Mornings are usually spent travelling on small country roads exploring remote glens and historic places, with afternoons spent off the tarmac on estates where the going is much slower due to the rough tracks and stops to take in the views, watch some wildlife or stop beside some wild loch for a coffee.
Scotland is, of course, steeped in history going back to Neolithic times, home to prehistoric stone circles, standing stones, sites of many battles from Roman times till the 1700’s, mediaeval castles and other buildings as well as fantastic feats of engineering such as the Forth Bridge. We organise our tours so that you will experience as many as possible of these things at first hand.
Over our time together, we will have travelled, dependent on the length of tour selected, several hundred off-road miles along little used roads and trails through the Galloway and Scottish Highlands and, if you are a first time visitor, 4x4 Treks will hopefully have given you an appetite to return to wild Scotland.
We offer programmed guided 4x4 tours of 6 or 7 days as well as custom bespoke offerings on dates to suit you. Our custom offerings range from a half-day for a group of friends or a 4x4 club exploring Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere in your own 4x4 to a custom tour of weeks in length, exploring Scotland in rented luxury 4x4’s, staying in 5-star hotels for a travel agent from overseas. Prices start from £190 for a half-day led tour to whatever it takes to deliver your wishes.
To experience all that Scotland has to offer, contact us today for more information or to book your tour. Call +44 (0)1581 655004 or email for more information or to book your off-road adventure today!