Virtual Scotland – Tours around Scotland

During an uncertain time for world travel many wish to indulge their wanderlust. If you can’t come to Scotland then let Scotland come to your home. Since April 2020, I’ve written and hosted virtual online tours that have transported guests from across the world to the very heart of Scotland.
 
Each tour is delivered using Zoom live-conferencing software making use of maps, photographs, street-view videos and plenty of story-telling. There are plenty of opportunities to chat with me – and ask questions during the tour. It’s super easy to take part – just purchase your ticket and you will receive an email with the Zoom link and instructions on how to join the day before your tour. Follow the link for each tour to go through to the booking page. 

Saturday 10th April – On the trail of William Wallace

If there was a pin-up in Medieval Scotland it would be William Wallace. He led the rebellion against the English king, Edward I, who was determined to crush Scottish independence and bring the country under his control. Wallace and his supporters had other ideas, which saw early triumph at the Battle of Stirling Bridge and catapulted Wallace into the role of Guardian of Scotland. He never achieved his goal of driving the English out of his homeland. Instead, he was captured and taken to the Tower of London to await trial and execution.

Thursday 15th April – North Coast 500 – Part 2 – Dornoch to John O’Groats

We discover a grand country home resembling a French chateau but located in the depths of the North Highlands. Dunrobin Castle has been home to the Dukes of Sutherland for centuries. But we head even further back in time to visit a prehistoric dwelling unique to Scotland. And we’ve time to walk down hundreds of steps to the highlight on this section – the small harbour at the bottom of the vertigo-inducing Whaligoe Steps. We’ll take a breather in the harbour town of Wick standing in the world’s shortest street. Journey’s end is at John O’Groats and the well-photographed signpost to places around the world.

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Friday 16th April – Hidden Highlands – Part 1 – Inverness

Inverness has so much to offer to the visitor. You can discover its hidden delights on this virtual tour, We start outside the “unfinished” cathedral strolling along the riverside and hear about how this area was built from the proceeds of drug dealing. There are many myths and legends associated with the River Nevis, which flows through the city centre. Was this the location of the first recorded sighting of the Loch Ness Monster? We wander across a wobbly bridge to find out about a bloody and brutal past. Then head to the castle for the best views of the surrounding area and hear how Mary Queen of Scots reacted when she came visiting and was turned away.

Saturday 17th April – On the trail of the Jacobites

During a sixty-year period, the British Isles experienced a power struggle as two royal households clashed over who should wear the crown. Scotland, and particularly the Highlands, were often at the centre of a series of uprisings attempting to restore the Stuart kings to the throne. We go on the trail of the Jacobites who supported the Stuart cause, discovering their motives and reliving their victories and disasters before they crashed at Culloden on 16th April 1746

Thursday 22nd April – North Coast 500  – Part 3 – John O’Groats to Lochinver

This is a landscape of wide-open spaces, high sea cliffs and big skies. It’s a place that the Queen Mother fell in love with making her home at the Castle of Mey. It’s an area scarred by the Highland Clearances. You will see numerous abandoned derelict croft houses a reminder of the region’s troubled past. As we reach the West Coast we start hearing new legends and tales associated with the places we pass – murderous myths from Smoo Cave and devilish tales at Ardvreck Castle. We finish this stage at the fishing port of Lochinver beneath the mountain crags of Suilven.

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Friday 23rd April – Hidden Highlands -Part 2 – Loch Ness

Famous around the world for being the home of the elusive Nessie, Loch Ness has so much more to discover. We take a wander around the ruins of impressive Urquhart Castle to hear about an audacious raid by the Macdonalds. We learn about an all British hero who attempted a world record on the loch. And then head to the quieter side of the loch, where fewer visitors venture. It’s a different landscape where Redcoats once marched along a military road. Hear tales of other monsters that lurk close to Loch Ness and stand where a poet dashed off a poem inspired by a waterfall.

Saturday 24th April – On the trail of Sir Walter Scott

To celebrate the 250th anniversary of Sir Walter Scott’s birth we follow in his footsteps to explore the places that inspired the works that became classics in the English-language. We start in the lowlands where a young boy was sent to recover from polio and who listened to the folklore and poetry. Expertly weaved together and reimagined these tales created a new romantic image of Scotland still beloved by visitors today. We look beyond his writings to how Scott rediscovered the Honours of Scotland (the Scottish equivalent of the Crown Jewels) and sparked an interest in all things tartan that lives on today.

Thursday 29th April – North Coast 500 – Part 4 – Lochinver to Inverness

Our virtual tour takes us through some of the most spectacular scenery along the route. There’s the impressive waterfall at Correishalloch Gorge. We travel along the remote and foreboding Desolation Road. The lofty peaks of Torridon provide lofty grandeur before reaching pretty coastal villages. There’s time to investigate the area’s military past including the mysterious “Anthrax Island”. Then it’s the drive across the high Bealach na Ba to take the narrow winding road back to sea level and the road to Inverness.

Feel the lure of the mermaid pulling you to Balintore
Discover mermaids on the Black Isle and beyond tour

Friday 30th April – Hidden Highlands – Part 3 – The Black Isle and beyond

We head across the Moray Firth to the area known as the Black Isle. Pretty little villages are strung out along the coastline where Scotland’s equivalent of Nostradamus met a sticky end. Today, visitors stand close to this spot watching the resident pod of dolphins offshore. We discover why the area is so important for the North Sea energy industry and how it helped defend the country during two world wars. Finally, we visit Cromarty a conservation village with a charm all of its own.

Friday 7th May – Hidden Highlands – Part 4 – Badenoch and Strathspey

Where will you find one of Scotland’s greatest rivers? Where will you find a village where champion cooks make world-beating porridge? Where will you find an island stronghold, home to a man called a wolf? You will find all of these places, and many other great destinations, in an area of the Scottish Highlands called Badenoch and Strathspey. Join me for a virtual tour around the northern fringes of the Cairngorms National Park.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Andrew is a great guide. Knows his history on the places you visit. A great storyteller with a great base of knowledge on all things of Scotland. Thoroughly enjoyed his tour.”  Facebook Review, August 2019

Throughout your tour, there are plenty of opportunities to ask questions and we can take a closer look at anywhere we visit. You will require a good internet connection as this tour is delivered entirely online making use of live video-conferencing software.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ “Thank you once again for sharing your passion, knowledge and interesting stories with us.”  Lee Rush, South Africa, August 2020