Scotland Road trip – Fresh Air Leadership Walkshop

Thursday morning, bright and breezy the car was loaded with an overnight bag and some walking gear, and we were ready for the off. Its probably fair to say that rather than the meticulous minute by minute planning that normally takes place before any event, this was anything but!

The objective was to be in Loch Lomond and the Trossachs for Friday morning to participate in a Fresh Air Leadership event, more affectionately known as a ‘walkshop’, aimed directly at teams that need to get away and experience the numerous benefits of walking & talking in the great outdoors, ‘Thinking Bigger, Breathing Deeper & Uncovering new perspectives’ is the strap line that the Founder – Dave places on these events.(quite rightly so in my humble opinion)

More of the Fresh Air Leadership company later, but right now we were heading swiftly towards what potentially could be my second home, the Lake District.

Heading off J36, we would take the tourist route into Bowness and Windermere and experience the ‘joy’ of the conga of tourist traffic, gently meandering through the villages as we headed north towards Ambleside and our scheduled lunch break.

The Apple Pie café is a place that I have frequented too many times to mention, either whilst on DoE assessor duties or just when Chris and I have been conducting our bi-annual pilgrimage to ’The Lakes’.(if you know, you know)!

It didn’t disappoint, a shared tuna and mayo’ baguette swiftly followed by a sausage roll ‘to die for’ and we were suitable refreshed and ready to push on to the North lakes and re-join the M6 towards Scotland.

The scenic route had of course, cost us time, but it was worth it for the reminder of the beauty of the lakes on a glorious summer’s day. We may have slightly changed our tune somewhat once we hit the road works and abundance of traffic on the M74 as we approached Glasgow though!!

We trudged out way through Glasgow and were soon out the other side heading through Bearsden and onwards towards Drymen and ultimately Balmaha, our home for the next two evenings, on the banks of Lock Lomond.

Arriving at The Oak Tree Inn, we checked in easily and booked for both the evening meal and for breakfast, whilst the service itself was excellent their seating capacity is limited meaning a strict rota/timing schedule enabled everyone to be fed and watered seamlessly.

The Evening meal selection was homemade steak pie, served with new potatoes and seasonal veg’, it was what the doctor ordered after a longish day driving from Romiley, but set us up nicely for a quiet night in, in preparation for the mornings event.

The Fresh Air Leadership Company

The weather forecast had been dire for the last three days, and as such from the original 16 attendees, this had now whittled down to 8 plus the facilitators, Dave and Jo’.

Dave, the founder of the business has a rich tapestry of experience, from Rock band, to Mountain Rescue and even a long stint in the British Army, Jo is an Everest summiteer, and doing the highest peak in every continent. She is also a Freelance expedition leader, so collectively an awesome blend of outdoor expertise to lead todays ‘walkshop’.

We gathered around 9:30 for a pre brief, and given the changing weather forecast, we used the initial twenty minutes to introduce ourselves to the group and more importantly avoid the band of rain that would have obviously made for a damp start!

‘We are offering FREE monthly Fresh Air Business Walks in and around Scotland’s Central Belt.  These are NOT Walkshops but are a great way to check us out and sample the power of outdoor conversations!

Loads of business and non-business CHAT, loads of LAUGHS, and loads of FRESH AIR! All loosely packed into around 3 hours of easy paced walking in AMAZING SCOTTISH SPACES’!

So here’s a question for you, what does a Geologist, a COO/Executive coach, a Career Coach (ex-Lawyer), a Venture capitalist Accountant, a VC Director, a Medical Secretary and a Management Consultant all have in common?

Answer: A quest to understand more, share more, network and a love of the great outdoors. (Fun, Fresh Air & Freedom of Expression).

Our route was only short, but the conversations, views and bonding that took place in only a small amount of time was immense. If you ever need a re-set, an opportunity to network with like minded people who are ‘whole people’ rather than the soulless corporate badge wearing types, then this is the business you need to work with.

The range of capabilities that Dave and his team offer are great, visit to gain a full appreciation of their capabilities, it will be a valuable investment of time, effort and energy that will deliver tangible results.

So, Loch Lomond and Trossachs done for now, we will be back on another of Dave’s outdoor sessions, but tomorrows agenda and plan for the Borrowdale area of the Lake district requires my attention.

Until the next adventure….

Martin ( Compass )

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