Edinburgh – A European gem…
I offer private city tours of Edinburgh looking at the history, the cultural and architectural highlights of the city. I also cover what our city has given to the world. I include hidden gems away from the tourists, places where I and the locals enjoy. I can book your lunch or afternoon tea in a pub away from the tourist centre. My city tours include pick up and drop off.
I am very fortunate to have Edinburgh as my home town, it is a wonderful place to live and work with many historical gems and a vibrant arts and culture scene. It is home to the National Galleries of Scotland, the Museum of Scotland, the National Library of Scotland, The Palace of Holyrood House and, of course, Edinburgh Castle.
There is such a concentration of history in Scotland’s capital city, where human habitation goes back thousands of years. Edinburgh Castle is world famous but there were other hill forts at Blackford and Corstorphine Hills. The small and tranquil village of Cramond in the north west of the city is home to the only known Roman Fort in the area, constructed in 142AD.
In its centre, Edinburgh is two towns – The Medieval Old Town and The Georgian New Town and in recognition of their importance to the city, they were awarded Unesco World Heritage Site status in 1995.
Flavour of Scotland – We offer fascinating food and drink tours of Edinburgh. On these tours you will visit different restaurants and bars and taste some wonderful Scottish food and whisky.
James, thank you so very much for a wonderful tour of Edinburgh. Thank you for taking good care of us from start to finish and for taking the time to show us some of the most interesting places in your city. It was a great time and we owe it to you.
Jennifer Meagher, Department of European Paintings, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City, USA.
The Dear Green Place – Vibrant Glasgow
In 1990 Glasgow was awarded the European City of Culture and if ever a city embraced this title it was Glasgow. Culturally the city has flourished ever since. Glasgow is 1400 years old and most of this history is centered around the magnificent Glasgow Cathedral.
It is built around the tomb of its patron Saint, St Mungo or Kentigern as he was first named. It is a city of wonderful architecture, fine museums, public parks (there are more here than any other city in the UK) in fact Glasgui translates as ‘dear green place’. The Architecture of Charles Rennie MacIntosh is superb and no visit to Glasgow would be complete without seeing some of his work. The music scene in Glasgow is of the best in the United Kingdom and every January the city hosts the much loved and respected Celtic music festival, Celtic Connections.
My private city tours of Glasgow include all the main city centre sights including the fashionable West End area which is home to The University of Glasgow. To the south of the city, the Burrell Collection and Charles Rennie MacIntosh’s House for an Art Lover are sights not to be missed.
St Andrews by the sea…
A picturesque seaside town situated on the east coast of Scotland by the northern sea. St Andrews was once Scotland’s premier Cathedral town and was the centre of the Scottish church.
The magnificent 13th century cathedral dominated the burgh, whose street plan survives much as it was 500 years ago. The shrine of St Andrew, a martyred disciple of Christ, was one of the most important pilgrimage places in western Christendom. Possession of such relics placed St Andrews on a par with the great shrine of St James at Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, Spain. The ruined Cathedral and religious buildings in St Andrews are very impressive and are inspiring to walk around.
The ‘voluntary’ society of teaching clergy or in other words, the University of St Andrews was founded in 1413, making it the oldest University in Scotland. It is a university town with some wonderful college buildings spread across the town centre. Golf goes back to the 15th century and St Andrews is widely known as the ‘home of golf’. Even if you’re not a ‘fanatic’ you can’t help being impressed at the situation of the 18th hole of the Old Course as it rolls in to town with views of the west sands and sea beyond.
There is a bustling café and bar culture in St Andrews and small local shops are a feature of the town centre.
I always enjoy a tour around St Andrews there is so much history in such a wonderful setting in a very pleasant town!