Stravaig in the Footsteps of Nan Shepherd

A dramatic glen in the Cairngorms with a loch and wetland with bog cotton in the foreground

Join us on this unique 3 Day Trek, visiting the places that inspired Nan Shepherd’s iconic writings of the Cairngorms.

Includes your own personal copy of the Living Mountain.


Stravaig derives from the eighteenth-century Scots ‘extravage’ – meaning wander about, digress, stray beyond limits.

Nan Shepherd

Nan (Anna) Shepherd (11 February 1893 – 23 February 1981) was a Scottish novelist and poet. The Scottish landscape and weather played a major role in her novels and were the focus of her poetry. Shepherd also wrote one non-fiction book, the Living Mountain, based on her experiences walking in the Cairngorms.

As such Shepherd spent a lifetime in search of the ‘essential nature’ of the Cairngorms; her quest led her to write this classic meditation on the magnificence of mountains, and on our imaginative relationship with the wild world around us.

In this masterpiece of nature writing, Nan Shepherd describes her journeys into the Cairngorm mountains of Scotland. There she encounters a world that can be breathtakingly beautiful at times and shockingly harsh at others. Her intense, poetic prose explores and records the rocks, rivers, creatures and hidden aspects of this remarkable landscape.

In her footsteps…

It is only once you have spent a night high on the mountains, lain in a bed of crowberry, heard the croak of the ptarmigan, followed the tracks of the mountain hare, drifted to sleep to the sounds of the wind and waterfalls, looked from high to the glens below, and a thousand other experiences, that we fully understand and start to become part of the Living Mountain and the power it can have on our psyche and general well being.

This wholly unique 3 Day Trek will Stravaig truly in the footsteps of places well visited and experienced by Nan Shepherd and which became the inspiration of her iconic writings about the Cairngorms. This journey will be organic with no set route, but more of a voyage of discovery, stravaiging through the low Cairngorms to high summits [such as Ben Macdui, the second highest mountain in the UK, and Beinn Mheadhion with its magical granite tors], hidden lochs such Etchachan and Avon, to the sources of some of Scotland’s greatest rivers and way off track to discover the secrets of the high plateaux. The location of our two overnight camps will be dependent on where we stravaig to each day and the weather conditions. Wherever we end up our wildcamps will be isolated, hopefully very high and in places far from the hustle and bustle of our daily lives. For those who wish, it will allow time for relaxation and just being in the true heart of the Cairngorms. For others it could involve a lightweight night walk and the change of perceptions the darker hours bring. For all it will allow time for the unique and extraordinary experience of reading the Living Mountain whilst experiencing it in the wilderness of the Cairngorms.

Dates for 2021

16 - 18 July

Pricing and Booking

£278 per person
TThis price includes trekking equipment and nutrition. A 20% deposit (£55.60) is required to secure your place. The full amount is payable 28 days before the date of the trek. Please take the time to read our cancellation policy.

Group Size

Limited to 6 places per trek

Walking Grade

Minimum Grade 5
Moderate with some elements of steep ascents and descents.
See more about our fitness grading.


Personal walking gear including waterproofs and boots. We will provide all food and trekking gear. Please see our Equipment page for more details. For this trek the target pack weight is 11kg maximum, including personal gear and food for up to 3 days.


Beginning and finishing in the Linn of Dee area. Pick and drop off at your accommodation/transport link in Braemar/Balleter [bus route from Aberdeen]. Alternatively, meet up at our base in Tomintoul.

“Loch A’an, Loch A’an, hoo deep ye lie!
Tell nane yer depth and nane shall I.
Bricht though yer deepmaist pit may be,
Ye’ll haunt me till the day I dee.
Bricht, an’ bricht, an’ bricht as air,
Ye’ll haunt me noo for evermair.”

Enquire and Book

Please complete the form below to enquire about booking a place on this trek. We will aim to get back to you as soon as possible.