What kind of vehicle do you use for your tours?
I always use a new luxury, fully air conditioned Mercedes-Benz Minivan which is comfortably equipped for touring. My newest vehicle is the newest model Mercedes-Benz Vito Pro Tourer - one of the newest, luxurious and safest mini-vans. The vehicle can very comfortably seat up to 8 passengers and luggage (although there is a limit on what you can take if for 8 persons!). Each passenger will have their own seat and full 3 point seat belt - I can provide child seats for any child age free of charge. There is plenty of space and leg room and the vehicle is easily accessible. The vehicle is also suitable for those with limited mobility and can carry up to 4 wheelchairs. Tours are exclusive and only for the intended party, from 1 to 8 persons - no other person will be on the tour. Power points for recharging phones, laptops and cameras are available and I carry charging cables for Apple and Samsung products. The vehicle also has privacy glass and is does not carry any form of advertising. Other vehicles such as luxury or 4x4 vehicles may be requested.
My first tour vehicle in 2004!
What is included in the price of a tour?
Tour prices are quoted for each tour, per day (but based on numbers of persons), and are in pounds Sterling (£s) and include the cost and insurance of vehicle, driver-guide services, itinerary planning, all fuel and maintenance costs, car parking fees, tolls, guides daily expenses, transfers and local taxes. There are no hidden costs. If ferry costs are needed these will be highlighted. Tour price will depend on number of persons, length of tours, time of year, distance traveled and other factors such as pick up and drop off locations.
The tour price is final, unless there is a significant difference from the original request to the actual itinerary requested by the client there may be a change to the end costs. This will be highlighted before final payment, for example a change in the number of persons on the tour.
Tour prices do not include entrance fees, accommodation, meals, ferry costs (when needed) or gratuities.
Can you pick us up at the airport or train station?
No problem at all. If you want me to meet and greet you I can meet you at the airport arrival gate and start the tour right away! Or, for example, you may wish to check in to your accommodation, freshen up, before having a tour of the city. Then dropped off back at your accommodation or a nice restaurant - the choice is yours!
Who conducts the tours, is it always Craig?
I personally will carry out and conduct all tours. On occasions when I am not available I will use another, independent local Scottish tour guide. You will always be informed of this either at the time of your initial request or in writing before your tour.
Inveraray Castle, Argyll Dunkeld Cathedral, Perthshire
Can you give us private guided tours of castles and other historical attractions?
I'm able to take you on private tours of most castles and ruins. Each site is different. Most Stately Homes (grand furnished houses) have there own guides who can give a far more detailed perspective. Ruins and sites which don't have there own guides I'm able to give you a guided tour, telling you the historical,
architectural and archeological perspective. For example I can give you detailed walking tours of the battles sites of Bannockburn, Culloden and Stirling Bridge and guided tours of the mighty medieval castles of Stirling, Tantallon, Dirleton and Linlithgow Palace. Or perhaps the great ruins of Melrose, Dryburgh, Jedburgh and Kelso Abbeys.
How long do day tours last?
Full day tours will usually start at 9am and return to your accommodation at approx 5pm. This is also generally the length of time the day will last on a multi day tour. There may be occasions when we may start early or later so as to make a transport connection or finish earlier or later. At the start of each day I will discuss in detail with you the various options available to maximise the time you have and tailor the day to your requirements. So we could spend the day visiting a few historical attractions, have lunch in a wee traditional pub (or a picnic on the beach) followed by a drive through the mountains. Or you may wish me to take you on a gentle stroll to a hidden beach or ancient ruin. Or spend some time on your own just pondering around the shops of a small village!
What about the evenings on tour?
What you do in the evenings is completely up to yourself. If on a multi day tour I will always give you a brief tour of the location you are staying in, showing you the good local restaurants, pubs or a nice place for a local walk, before dropping you at your accommodation I will let you know about events that may be going on in the evening such as local folk music or pipe bands.
Do you do walking tours?
I'm a very keen hiker and hill walker and I'm more than happy to take you on some guided walks and trails - anything from a gentle 10 minute stroll to a waterfall to a 4 hour hike in the mountains of the Isle of the Skye.
Cuillin Hills, Isle of Skye Dirleton Castle, East Lothian
Can you do tours of other parts of Great Britain and Ireland?
I specialise in Scotland but I have an excellent working and historic knowledge of all parts of the UK and Ireland through years of exploring and discovering. For example I'm able to combine multi-day tours of Scotland with tours of England. I also regularly take tours in Ireland, giving walking tours of Dublin or Belfast before heading out to countryside for more comprehensive tours. The only area I don't really cover is London City, due to its sheer size and complexity of conducting tours. I can however begin and end tours in London or at its airports.
Can you do one way tours?
I usually can accommodate most requests if I'm available. For example I recently gave a group a guided tour the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park, then into the mountains of Argyll to the conservation village of Inveraray. We then explored the standing stones and burial chambers of Kilmartin Glen before dropping them off at their hotel in Kilmartin. Or even a pick up in London, tour through England and into Scotland before dropping off at Glasgow or Edinburgh Airport.
Can you arrange our accommodation?
I'm able to recommend and suggest a wide variety of accommodation based on your requirements such as budget, location, room type, accommodation type. You can either book direct or I can arrange this for you, even for the days you are not on tour with me. As a guide to prices (per room per night based on 2 sharing - 2018 prices) B&Bs/guest houses will cost from £80 to £120, small hotels/inns from £90 to £150, mid-range hotels from £90 to £200 and luxury/castle hotels from £100 to £350+ Large towns and cities will be more expensive, as will the busy months of July, August and September.
Can I pass your contact details on to my family for the days I'm on tour with you?
No problem to do this. I have my mobile phone with me at all times - the number is 07745 084416. I also have a small portable computer which has e-mail and internet access. Should any one need to contact you whilst you are on tour they can e-mail me at any time. You could also purchase a cheap, basic mobile phone when you arrive in the UK for about £10.
Dryburgh Abbey, Borders