What qualifications do you hold?

I hold a Summer Mountain Leader qualification awarded by the Mountain Training Association. I am an active hill walker and hill runner with lots of experience of being in Scotland’s mountains in all conditions. I maintain and develop my skills through the Mountain Training Association’s Continuing Professional Development activities and by spending time in the mountains.

I also hold an Outdoor First Aid qualification which is renewed every 3 years.

What insurance do you hold?

Your guide Gaby Macbeth is covered by Public Liability Insurance and Professional Indemnity Insurance.

You may wish to arrange your own cancellation insurance in case of ill health or travel disruptions,

Why book me?

When you book an event with me you’re getting someone who has years of experience and tons of knowledge to share. I’m a safe pair of hands! (you can see what others think here). I’m calm, patient, kind and eager to share my love of the mountains with others. Here are a few other reasons why booking me is worth it:

  • Local knowledge: when going to an unfamiliar area, I can show you the best routes, avoid the tourist trails, and share my favourite spots as well as my knowledge of the mountain environment.
  • You won’t get lost: I know the area and I’m experienced at navigating in bad weather and poor visibility.
  • Build your confidence: if you’re new to hill walking or trail running, or are venturing somewhere new, being guided allows you to get an idea of your fitness and ability on different terrains.
  • Ask me lots of questions: this is why I do this! From what kit to wear to where to go and how to stay safe.
  • Meet other women: if you book on to a guided walk or trail run, you get to meet new people who are also looking for a guided experience.
  • Feel supported: guided events are welcoming, inclusive and non-competitive. There is no pressure to be fast and no worries about holding anyone back.
  • You can switch off: it can be so nice to not have to think about anything other than turning up and putting one foot in front of the other. You’re paying me to do the rest!

You can read about what previous participants have enjoyed about a guided event here.

It was the best Sunday ever! And has really made me want to do more hill walking.

Participant on Glencoe Double Munro, September 2021
What to take hill walking?

Here is a comprehensive list to keep you right when heading to the hills (please note this is for summer weather conditions i.e. no snow and ice).

If you don’t have a piece of kit, please get in touch in advance and I’ll see if I have a spare you can borrow for the day.

The essentials:

  • Rucksack – about 35 litres
  • Boots (with ankle support and soles which will grip on rock, grass and mud)
  • Waterproof jacket (with hood)
  • Waterproof over trousers
  • General trekking trousers or leggings (not jeans or cotton material*)
  • Thermal top
  • Fleece top
  • Warm hat 
  • Gloves or mitts
  • Spare layer e.g. fleece top
  • Food & Drink (for example, sandwiches, cereal bars, chocolate, at least 1 liter of water or tea)
  • Mobile phone
  • Any personal medication or sanitary products
  • Walking poles (not essential but bring them if you have them)
  • Gaiters (not always essential, but bring them if you have them)

*why not cotton? find out more here

In sunny weather:

  • Sunhat
  • Sun cream
  • Sunglasses

In midge season (June, July and August):

  • Midge repellent
  • Midge net


I will always be carrying the following so it’s not necessary for everyone to pack these items, but if you go out alone, they are essential.

  • Compass
  • Map
  • Watch
  • Torch (preferably a head torch)
  • Emergency survival bag (polythene is OK) and Group Shelter
  • Whistle
  • First Aid Kit

This guide to hiking gear for women might be useful if you are considering buying some kit and there are other useful links in the Inspiration section of this website.

What to take trail running?

For shorter runs (up to 1.5 hours) I recommend you wear and carry the following items:

  • Leggings or shorts, socks, supportive underwear, top
  • Trail running shoes – essential as the trails get slippery and the extra grip is important to prevent slips and falls
  • Depending on the weather conditions you might want to wear or carry: a hat and gloves, a waterproof top, sunscreen and cap.

For longer runs (over 1.5 hours) you should also carry:

  • Lightweight rucksack or bumbag
  • Water and food
  • Waterproof top and bottoms
  • Extra layer
  • Hat and gloves


I will always be carrying the following items so you don’t need to, but if you go out alone, they are essential.

  • First aid kit
  • Whistle
  • Survival bag
  • Mobile phone
  • Map and compass
Who are the activities for?

Skylark Guiding is about making the outdoors accessible to more women and I aim to ensure all activities are as inclusive and welcoming as possible to anyone who identifies as a woman. This includes black, minority and ethnic women, lesbian and bisexual women, disabled women, refugee and asylum seeking women, women of all ages, carers, poorer women, and women of all faiths and none. 

Non-binary people who feel they would benefit from accessing a women-centered space are also very welcome to join Skylark Guiding activities.

When booking for a event you will be asked if there is anything I can do to make it easier for you to take part. Please don’t hesitate to share any access requirements there (for example, help with transport, a stop for prayers, information in particular formats etc) or get in touch before booking.

Unfortunately dogs and children are not able to join activities, unless discussed in advance.

Am I fit enough?

The walks and runs vary in length, steepness and height gain, so if you’re not sure where you’re you could start with one of the shorter walks and see how you get on.

All the times allow time for breaks and regrouping. None of the activities are races and I encourage a non-competitive and supportive environment where we take our time and go at the pace of the slowest person.

Please get in touch if you want to find out more or if have any health related concerns.

What if I need the toilet when I’m outdoors?

Becoming comfortable going outdoors is quite liberating. But I also realise it can be stressful not knowing when there’ll be a loo.

If you need to go while on a walk or run, leaving the main path is the best option. You should be able to find a large rock or bush or dip out of sight. Just say “I’ll catch up” or “I’m off the water the plants” (or “I’m going for a pee” will do too) and disappear behind a bush or round a corner. No one will think twice about it but we’ll also know to wait (at a safe distance) for you to catch up.

Don’t be afraid to tell me if this is something which is concerning you. We can discuss options and make sure that needing the loo doesn’t interfere with your enjoyment of the day.

Here are a few practical points:

  • The Scottish Outdoor Access Code suggests peeing at least 30 metres/yards away from a burn or water
  • Toilet paper needs to be buried or carried out in a bag (zip lock bags work well). Personally if it’s just for a day out, I drip dry.
  • For a poo there are two options: dig a hole and bury it (with the toilet paper), or bag it and carry it out. I will always carry a trowel (in a bag) which you can borrow. No need to be embarrassed about this; I’ve pooed my pants a couple of times which is far worse than just asking for a trowel!
  • Ziplock bags are great for carrying used sanitary products off the hill. These cannot be buried as animals will dig them up. It might sound a bit gross, but coming across someone’s used tampon or pad is pretty gross too!
  • Wash your hands with water or use hand sanitiser afterwards.
  • If squatting outside is really not your thing, you could try a she-wee (for peeing only; I don’t think a standing up solution exists for pooing)

More information about health and hygiene in the hills can be found on the Mountaineering Scotland website here.

What about periods?

You can find a great blog by Navigation with Harriet about how to deal with your periods outdoors here.

What if the weather is bad?

It’s my job to check weather forecasts ahead of an event and make sure that our planned route can be safely followed. If not, then I will either cancel the event or suggest an alternative route which is is more sheltered.

However, if conditions are simply wet and windy, the event will go ahead. It is my responsibility to provide an enjoyable experience, and I will adapt the route accordingly so that everyone can still have a great day out.

It’s important to note that this relies on everyone having the recommended kit which is outlined in the booking information for each event. If you are missing a piece of kit, please let me know as soon as possible.

Do you do gift vouchers?

Yes I do! I’d love to give someone you love a special day in the outdoors, whether that’s exploring somewhere new, achieving a specific goal, or learning some navigation skills. Find out more about vouchers here.

Anything else?

If you have any other questions please don’t hesitate to get in touch. I’m always happy to help.

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