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About Boots N Paddles

hita-winners-logo-winner-2013 webBoots N Paddles is an outdoor activity outfit run by Mike Dunthorne offering amazing outdoor experiences across Scotland.  Our main strength lies in being a completely mobile set-up: not being tied to a single base means that we can use the whole of Scotland as our ’workplace’ offering a huge variety of venues, whatever the sport, at any time of the year.

Our goal is to help you to discover the fantastic Scottish outdoors in a fun, safe and active way. No prior experience or training is typically needed and we will provide all the equipment you need.

Our client base is hugely varied, ranging from school and youth groups, families or individuals on holiday, to stag and hen parties and corporate groups.

Our instructional staff all come highly recommended by friends in the outdoors and they all share our passion for Scotland. There are endless possibilities for playing in the great outdoors, whether that be chasing an adrenalin rush or relaxing with some tranquil wildlife exploration.

Who might you bump into?

Boots N Paddles team

Mike Dunthorne (Director)

Mike Dunthorne

Mike was brought up in and around Tain, in the Highlands. After gaining a Business Studies degree his original career path took him to a large insurance company as a Management Information Analyst.  After two years he could stand the suit no longer and went to Lagganlia Centre for Outdoor Education for a year to re-train as an outdoor instructor. Mike then worked for four years at a private outdoor centre in the Highlands, working his way up to Senior Instructor. A long-held ambition was to have his own business and Mike then started Boots N Paddles back in May 2003.

Mike's main passions in the outdoors are hill-walking and open canoeing (though white water sledging is quickly becoming a favourite).  He has also done lots of silly things like bungee jumping, skydiving, skiing down an erupting volcano, trekking through leech-infested jungle in Malaysia and sailing across the Atlantic on a tall ship.
Nowadays Mike splits his time between the Boots N Paddles office and leading groups in the great outdoors. He can't wait until his kids grow up and leave home so he can semi-retire and do all those paddling trips and hikes that he has been planning for the last 20 years, but can't find the time for!
Brenda Dunthorne (director)
Brenda DunthorneBrenda joined the team full time in 2015 having spent a number of years working for both Highland Council and NHS Highland in a managerial/ accounting capacity.  When she's not keeping the office ticking over, there's a good chance you'll speak to Brenda on the phone as she and Calum are based in the office full-time, taking enquiries, sorting out activity programmes and dealing with customers in general. 

Calum Rogerson (office)


(new photo coming soon!) Calum joined us as a permanent addition to the office staff in March 2009. He left the financial services industry after 14 years with a large financial services provider, much of that time being spent as a project manager in Marketing Division. The opportunity arose to join Boots N Paddles and he jumped at the chance to get involved in an industry he loves.  He is based in Edinburgh most of the time.

Calum is our Sales & Marketing Manager, with marketing and website responsibilities as well as getting involved in many different aspects of the business, including bookings, social media and business development.  When he can find the time he's likely to be found with some combination of boots, boats or bikes somewhere in the wilds!

Dan Maggs (Senior Instructor)

Dan MaggsDan is in his fourth full season with us, although had freelanced with us before that too.  Loves his paddling, whether on crazy white-water, easy going canoe trips or on the sea.  You're also likely to bump into him if trying out whitewater sledging with us. Highly qualified, full of energy and the youngest member of the team, by a long way!



Chris White (Senior Instructor)

Chris WhiteJoins us for the first time in 2016 having spent living and working with kids in the outdoors of Australia for the last 2.5 years.  Prior to that Chris helped set up and run Torridon Activities so has a wealth of experience to draw on.



George Kennedy (instructor)

George KennedyGeorge's first season with us full-time, he brings a lot of experience to the team as a paddler in particular.  He also loves whitewater, so has already become known as 'George of the gorge'.  Look out for him in a helmet and wetsuit with lots of white water around him, and a smile on his face!



Jon Ford (shuttle driver/ stores)

Jon FordJon is our part-time shuttle driver that you'll have a good chance of bumping into if booking our shuttle service when hiring canoes or kayaks from us.  A keen sea kayaker himself, Jon will be happy to pass on a couple of top tips as you head for your destination, and make the journey there a much more pleasant experience.



Kyle Beattie & Charlotte (trainee instructors)

Kyle BeattieKyle and Charlotte are back for a second season, full time with Boots N Paddles.  They're back to continue their training and run the majority of scheduled activities down at Rothiemurchus, but you will see them elsewhere over the course of the season.  Kyle is a bundle of fun and a crazy downhill mountain biker!  You won't forget a meeting with Kyle-dawg in a hurry.



Charlotte Devlin

Charlotte is also back again having spent another winter in the Alpine snow, instructing out in Switzerland, spending some of that time teaching those with disabilities. Charlotte is great fun and always has a smile for you.




Neil Highmore (trainee instructor)

Neil HighmoreNeil joins the Boots N Paddles team for the first time having spent the last couple of years working at TreeZone Aviemore.  Along with Charlotte and Kyle, Neil will be based primarily at Rothiemurchus (Aviemore) but will be helping out elsewhere and fitting in some on-the-job training as he goes.

You'll have a great time if you bump into these two over the coming months!



Awards we've won

2013 Tourism Award winnerTrip adviser certificate of excellence 2016Every once in a while we get more formal recognition for the good work we do.  In 2013 we won a Highlands and Islands Tourism Award for the first time.  Although we had been nominated on a few previous occasions, our continued hard work paid off for us in 2013. 
Trainee Instructor Kyle also won The HITA Young Ambassador of the Year Award 2015, partly for his work with Adventures by Disney. You should have heard the acceptance speech - no-one will forget it in a hurry!!
Add to this things like our highly rated Trip Advisor reviews and accompanying Certificate of Excellence (2015 & 2016), and the consistently high customer feedback that we receive through our own feedback mechanism, and we can remind ourselves that we do actually, do a pretty good job!

AALA logo  Scottish Wildlife Trust  Leave No Trace  Wild Scotland  Visit Scotland 

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