Morag Dunbar, Scottish Driver-Guide and an accredited Scottish Blue Badge Tourist Guide - eilean donan castleMorag Dunbar, Scottish Driver-Guide and an accredited Scottish Blue Badge Tourist Guide - Suilven Mountain in the late summer sunshineMorag Dunbar, Scottish Driver-Guide and an accredited Scottish Blue Badge Tourist Guide - Suilven Mountain in the Cloud

 

2018 – another exciting year!

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In the Isle of Harris Distillery

In the Isle of Harris Distillery

I am writing this in the Spring of 2018.  It is time to look forward to new adventures and reflect on 2017.  The countryside is coming alive now with new-born lambs in the fields and spring flowers everywhere.

This year my intention is to do a little less work and take some personal time out.  I am heading off in mid-May to Canada and the US for a holiday which will include a trip to the Rockies and a cruise to Alaska.  Work will be resumed when I return in mid June.  However, work is already flooding in for before and after those dates so it looks like I am going to be pretty busy regardless.

The birthday of our National Poet – Robert Burns – was on 25 January and, during the months of January and early February, we celebrate this event by going to Burns Suppers where we enjoy a haggis meal and are entertained with songs and poems  written by the National Bard plus speeches in his memory.  Find more about him by visiting his Birthplace Museum in Alloway.  This year I was at three celebrations which is quite restrained compared to some enthusiasts.

Looking back over 2017, it turned out another wonderful year of tours with some truly charming people.  And it continued through the winter months with my last job being near Christmas, when I took Debra and John Lee on a one day Outlander tour of Fife and the Stirling area.  We had sunshine and mist and the countryside looked quite mysterious.  No-one can say we do not get variety in the weather and the light.

Earlier in the year I visited the Island of Skye several times, with one of the visits being via the little Glenelg Ferry.  What fun that was!  We were accompanied by two sheepdogs who seemed to enjoy just going back and forward.  To my delight the people I was with were up for the walk so we explored a lovely walking trail near the ferry jetty on Skye at Kylerhea which leads to a viewpoint which gives the opportunity to see otters and, if lucky, seals, dolphins and Minke whales.  No otters this time but seals did not disappoint.  Another trip took me to the tiny island of Muck then later in the summer I was able to go to the Orkney islands which are one of my favourite parts of Scotland.  The archaeology is wonderful and the cliff walks quite majestic; it is also a paradise for those interested in birds.

Outlander  continued to feature in tours.  When it started in the US, Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander was sadly not shown on TV in the UK (no idea why) but I purchased the full set of DVDs of season one and enjoyed it very much.  Now it is being shown here on More4 channel. It is good to see a series on Scotland with authentic costume, landscape, accents, language and music.  A lot of good research has gone into making this.  My Outlander page is up and running with photos of Lallybroch, Castle Leoch and Craigh na Dun added.  Great fun getting the photos!

Both my  Wayfarers  walks went really well. This is a walking tour company which employs me to help with their Scottish walks. This particular walk involves travelling up to the top of the Cairngorm mountains (assisted by funicular railway and with amazing views), walking in the Perthshire hills then back to Edinburgh to explore the city.  It is always great fun with lovely people and both times this year did not disappoint.  I had fantastic groups from the US, Canada and Australia.  Everyone got on well which was lovely.

Most of my work now is driver-guiding, and occasionally I head down south into England to Hadrian’s Wall  and to the Holy Island of Lindisfarne.  The north of England is easy to link with touring Scotland and I love going down to that part which has such strong connections (not always friendly) with Scotland.  The Scottish Borders is another area with lots to see and is steeped in turbulent history.

What I love about my work is the variety.  Our country has so much to offer in the way of things to do and see (check my tour pages).  I would be delighted to help you explore it.  If you have any queries or would like to book please do not hesitate to contact me via my online contact form for more information or just e-mail me direct on morag@scotland-tour-guide.co.uk

In the meantime I would like to wish everyone all the best for 2018!