Glen 2 Glen Tours have teamed up with innovative audio walking tour app company VoiceMap to launch a walking tour around Inverness. Professional guide, Andrew Baxter, crafted the tour during the coronavirus lockdown. It’s ideal for those planning to visit the Capital of the Highlands as travel restrictions ease. It’s available for download from iTunes and Google Play, but you can also listen to it from the comfort of your armchair at VoiceMap’s website.
Andrew used his experience as a qualified tour guide, specialising in the Scottish Highlands, to create the new audio tour. He’s explored Inverness for the last twenty-five years and follows the River Ness for much of the tour. He weaves in tales of a monster calming saint, a soothsayer with a bridge obsession and fiddlers playing for fairies. Then adds in stories about modern life as the river meanders through the city.
Myths and legends flow throughout the audio tour
“I love the myths and legends of the Scottish Highlands and this audio tour is the perfect medium to share these stories with visitor”, says Andrew as he strolls along the riverside. “I was drawn to the river from the moment I stepped off an overnight train over two decades ago. It’s not only old tales that are entwined with the river but many of the historical events that shaped the city.”
Andrew explains the coronavirus crisis prompted him to write his first audio tour. “With no guided tours, I suddenly had time to complete this project. I had thought about it for a few years. I’ve always felt many people don’t want to join an organised tour or book a private guide. They want to go it alone. An audio tour allows them to do just that.”
Adjusting to the impact of Covid-19 means visitors have changed attitudes says Andrew, “Social-distancing, face coverings and additional hygiene measures make traditional tours challenging. Following an audio tour through the VoiceMap platform makes sure you remain safe, without mingling with lots of other guests.”
Put your phone in your pocket
VoiceMap, a mobile application for iPhones and Android devices, uses cutting-edge GPS technology and the age-old art of storytelling to change the way people experience cities. “VoiceMap is a publishing platform for location-aware audio tours – or, with less jargon and more poetry, a way of seeing the world through another person’s eyes,” explains CEO and co-founder, Iain Manley.
After downloading the app and selecting a route, VoiceMap users can put their phone in their pocket and follow a storyteller’s voice through a particular neighbourhood, while anecdotes, commentary and opinions play automatically at specific GPS locations.