Since starting up my Scottish tours business in 2005 it has been a pleasure to have met some of the nicest people from all over the world including countries such as – Austria, Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Costa Rica (for clan heritage!), England, France, Germany, Greece, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand, Sweden, Switzerland, Spain, Turkey and The USA.
I would like to add more countries to this list and as for the USA, I only have 12 states to go to have had at least one tour from each state! This is mainly due to the work I do with an agent in the USA.
I would love to come and visit you all in your own countries. Now that would be a challenge…
Dear James, My VIP clients returned from their trip with you and raved about how professional, kind and what excellent service you provided. Most importantly, they wanted to find certain information about family and you were well prepared with the perfect itinerary so that you could show them exactly what they had requested.
It took much research on your behalf before my clients arrived in Scotland for you to have every day planned just right so they could enjoy their time and learn. Also, the wonderful part about working with you is that you are flexible to the clients request if they choose to make a change in the itinerary.
The clients which I have handled their travel for 30 years came back to tell me it was one the “BEST” trips of their lives! Thank you for helping me to make my clients so happy!
Best Regards, Diane Goff, Forest Lake Travel, Columbia, South Carolina, USA
Dear James, thank you so much for your hospitality and historical insight. It has been a fabulous few days with you in Scotland and we look forward to our paths crossing again.
All the best, Sean Plank & Monica Howell, Full Sail University, Florida USA. March 2015
Dear James thanks for a fantastic day visiting Loch Lomond & The Trossachs. Your easy going nature and historical comment made it a fun and interesting day. Your tours of Stirling and Doune Castles were fascinating and we now know a lot more about the Stewarts! The photos look great, especially the one on Loch Lubnaig with the snow capped mountains beyond. We will let our travel agent know what a great day we had with you.
Kevin Fountain, Lake Placid, New York, USA. February 2015
Dear James thanks again for a great tour! The four of us had a wonderful time in your country and this was down to your guiding expertise. We loved your commentary on the history of Scotland especially around the Stirling Bridge area and your willingness to take us to the places which are of importance to the Scots.
Our walk in Glencoe was outstanding. This is an area I am well aware of and to be walking there amongst highland scenery and infamous history was simply stunning. The whole trip was a success and to be selected from the ballot to play The Old Course St Andrews just topped it off. Leah didn’t play but she enjoyed walking the course with us. We will talk about this trip and our happy times with you for years to come. Please visit us in Canada!
Sid, Leigh Mackenzie & Kyle Keay, Dunanby Lodge, Rivers Inlet, B.C. Canada. www.duncanby.com October 2014.
Best Guide Ever! Hi James, I hope you like the photos? I can send you more! Just look at those blue skies! Thanks again for a wonderful trip and for being so patient with Ken. He really enjoyed Scotland and in particular the time spent with you travelling through the highlands. We had the best time and were so lucky to have you as our guide, wonderful weather and being here during the run up to such an historic event – the vote on independence. We loved the way you talked about the history and when appropriate related it to the impending vote. Scotland is so rich in history and culture that no matter the outcome it will always be one of the most unique countries in the world. We loved your shortbread but of course it is no way near as good as our daughters!
Until next time James, Love, Ken & Jacque Goates Texas, USA. September 2014
Dear James, It was great to meet you and have you show us around Scotland. This tour is one of the best we have had and that is due to your knowledge, organisation and general kindness. We couldn’t have asked for a better itinerary, it was exactly what we wanted with just the right mix of sights from the ‘exciting’ Loch Ness to the tranquil beauty of the Western Highlands. Your skill in recounting the old stories and bringing them to life is amazing and made it really interesting for us. This trip had everything we look for in a vacation and I will recommend Scotland and a tour with you to my colleagues, friends and family.
Paul & Tracy Carroll and family, Lancaster, Pennsylvania USA www.fixbones.com August 2014
Hi James, Just to say thank you for a fabulous tour of Scotland and also thanks again for taking us to the Scottish National Curling Centre in Stirling! It was great to talk with some of the people there and watch them play. The accommodation, tour sites, castles, and countryside on our tour was outstanding and made our trip so special but what really made the trip was your knowledge, guiding and general entertaining! Of course, I will be back and I will be telling the others on my team they MUST visit Scotland! We are still curling at 5.00am in LA due to time slots (there are more ice hockey players than curlers) but I’m sure our game will catch on! It’s funny you have relatives in Burbank, so next time you are over here get in touch.
With our love, Marissa Messier, Creative Content Group, Walt Disney Studios, Burbank, California, USA. July 2014.
In June 2014 I took the Watson family on a tour of the highlands which ended in the Angus area of Scotland. Here, we visited Arrat’s Mill where John Watson’s 3rd great grandfather had worked. From their 2014 news letter…
In June we celebrated Amy’s 50th birthday with an 11 day trip to Scotland. Our memorable trip included flying Virgin Upper Class, our own tour guide and driver James Campbell, staying at Inns with Michelin starred restaurants and an overnight on the Island of Skye. We visited many castles, battlefields, the Falkirk Wheel and a small Whisky Distillery. John enjoyed sampling a different malt whisky each night! Another highlight was a tour of Balnagown grounds and gardens (Amy’s ancestry), the Ross clan seat. We ended the trip at Arrat’s Mill where John’s 3rd great grandfather had worked. The new owner is turning it into a vacation residence and met us there for a grand tour. Would be a great location for a future Watson family reunion!
Bob Aland and his family of 7 came to Scotland for a little history and a lot of outdoors activities over 10 days in May… I coordinated all of the tour which also included a day with Mitchell www.skyegillhe.com for a day of activity on the Isle of Skye.
Dear James, All on our end agree that our trip to Scotland was the highlight of 2014. Certainly you were one of the main reasons why the trip was so great. You were so much fun to be with and looked after our family impeccably well. Your choice of restaurants was one of the main reasons we were so happy! We love seafood, the west coast of Scotland and in particular, the Isle of Skye, provided us with some the finest food. Maybe we will see you again in Scotland before too long.
Sorry the vote on Scottish independence did not turn out your way but glad to hear there is still a movement for change.
We wish your family and you a Happy and Healthy New Year.
Fraida & Bob Aland and family, Chicago, USA.
Dear James, we are home in Tennessee and already missing Scotland! It was great to be with you again and thanks for putting another successful trip together for us. Scotland is such beautiful country and we have certainly seen a lot of it. Thank you for the suggestion to stay on Iona, we loved it! To leave the car for two days and walk around this small island was a tranquil experience. For so much history to be on such a small island is quite remarkable, the weather was great, the food was fantastic and the picture I took of the full moon came out wonderfully well and is now my screen saver. We are thinking about Ireland for 2015/16 so will be in touch for information. Remember there’s a lot to see in Tennessee!
Love to you and the family, Charles and Laura Jackson. April 2014
Hi James, it was a fantastic tour of Scotland and we thank you for putting this tour together. We loved Edinburgh and the surrounding areas of East and West Lothian. The trip to Inverness was stunning and provided a great base for our highland touring. We will never forget the day to Forbes Castle and meeting Lord Forbes. His willingness to show us around his house and describing a brief history of the clan was an unforgettable experience. We are so happy to have a picture of the family tree so fascinatingly put together by Mrs Forbes – this is truly unique and will be useful for our future generations of Forbes. You were a joy to be with and made our Scotland vacation so special.
With love, Matt, Karrie & Mike Forbes April 2014
Hi James, Thanks for a wonderful day visiting Linlithgow Palace, Stirling Castle and Blackness Castle. It was the best introduction to Scotland and its history I could have asked for, you made it easy to understand, fun and interesting. Corinne Schaefer. Berlin, Germany March 2014 www.corinne-schaefer.com
James, I did not realise that the Wilson’s came from the Edinburgh area. Thanks for the last minute research you did and for making our first visit to Scotland so interesting. I’m pretty sure that our daughter is going to study at St Andrews so we look forward to more trips to our homeland over the next four years!
Dale R. Wilson. Wilson Energy Partners, Dallas, Texas March 2014.
In October & November 2013 I worked on a family history tour for Mr John Rainey. His Ancestors came from Northern Ireland but before this from Scotland. We are still working on finding the family connection…
Dear James, AND I miss Scotland!! I think it to be the most beautiful place in the world with the loveliest people I have met. I would not foreclose another trip to my ancestral home. I do want you to continue your search for me. I see no way you can avoid a journey to Northern Ireland. I need to close the loop.
I don’t think you can limit your search to Antrim. As you noted our John Rainey and his Rachel may have just popped over to Ballywindland for time enough for William to pop out. It just makes no sense that John Rainey, whose will was executed and probated here in South Carolina in 1765, is not William’s and his siblings father. I am off tomorrow to our archives to see if any of the known siblings swore allegiance. If I find this with a place of nativity the same as William’s then jackpot but almost too much to wish.
Thank you for just a perfect time. Fondly, John & Ann Rainey. Camden, South Carolina, USA. Sent from my iPad
Dear James, Thank you for the wonderful day tour of Stirling Castle, Loch Lomond & The Trossachs. It was a most beautiful autumn day and your countryside looked simply stunning! I think Stirling Castle is one of the most special places in Scotland, there is so much history there and you brought it to life in a wonderful manner. I will certainly recommend Scotland and you to my friends and I hope to be back soon to see the highlands.
Regards, Monique CANTO-SPERBER, Paris, France. October 2013.
Dear James, Roger and I thank you for making our visit to Scotland absolutely outstanding. In addition to being a delightful person, you are so knowledgeable about your country and its history. You were familiar with and able to locate everything on my index cards as well as provide some excellent additions. Talking with you about the history of Scotland, as well as reading the book ‘A History of Scotland’ by Neil Oliver really made Scotland come alive for me. Roger is, at last, more interested in his MacGregor connections and now having seen first-hand the land holdings of the Hamiltons, is most proud of his heritage. He still will not wear a kilt to formal occasions though! I hope you found time this winter to read Diana Gabaldon’s “Outlander series” The key characters of the saga Jamie and Claire are incredible! Is Jamie a realistic example of the Scottish psyche?! An “Outlander” tour of Scotland might be a good idea. It could begin with “Craigh na Dun”.Roger and I definitely plan to return to Scotland to see the Isles and more of the Highlands. We hope that you and your family are well and happy. I will be sending some photographs of our sitting room which I just finished decorating in “Scottish style”, it looks great! Also, both of us really love the Eddie Reader CD, thanks for the recommendation.
All my best, Sandra and Roger King, Newport, Rhode Island. September 2013 www.rkingfinearts.com
It was a privilege to tour with Lydia & Phoebe Cameron. Lydia’s father / Phoebe’s grandfather, Robert Cameron published the above London, San Francisco & Paris books in 1980. His Calendars are still in print today.
James, Thank you Thank you! You were fabulous in guiding us the last few days. Wonderful driver, most informative guide and terrific company. You made it very special for us. Lydia & Phoebe Cameron, San Francisco, USA. September 2013. www.phoebecameron.com
Hi James, What a wonderful trip through the Scottish highlands, it was everything and more what I expected. You were a fabulous host and took us to the places we really wanted to see. The western Highlands are so beautiful and easily one of the world’s most stunning places. We will never forget this trip and your commentary about Scotland. From the moment we arrived you took care of us and your choice of accommodation, restaurants and pubs were exactly what we wanted. We hope to see you again one day. Ivan & Christina Moguel, Mexico City, Mexico. August 2013.
Dear James, From Parliament to Python, from dipping our toes to sipping good whisky, our trip was amazing. You educated us and entertained us with your intelligence and wit. Thanks for making a potentially good trip in to an amazing adventure.
Affectionately, Amy & Lynn Dietrich, Jackson, Tennessee, USA. July 2013
Dear James, Thank you for making our vacation so memorable. We thoroughly enjoyed your company and you made the whole trip run with ease. Thanks for getting us ‘off the tourist trail’ we really appreciate the extra research you did for us. Your stories and the landscape of Scotland have certainly inspired me and we hope to visit again. Regards, John Lindsey Hickman. Author of A Cold Snow in Castaway County. Virginia USA www.hickmanbooks.com June 2013
Well James, another trip to Scotland has come and gone. Again a wonderful time was had by all. Once again you looked after all our needs impeccably and were a joy to be with. I love how you genuinely enjoy touring around Scotland. Highlight of this trip? Apart from you, Orkney! So glad we made it here at last. What a place, so interesting with so much history, it truly is an island gem. It is very different from the mainland both in ambiance and character and our photographs are simply stunning. Skara Brae is officially one of my favourite places on earth! Until next time…
Melinda & Frank Leasure. Fineas & Ferb, Walt Disney. Tarzana, Los Angeles May 2013.
Hi James, we are home! Just to say a huge thank you from me and Ali for a fabulous tour of Scotland. Everything was perfect, the countryside, the highlands, Edinburgh, the castles, food and accommodation. Only let down was no blooming heather! Please send me a picture when it is in full bloom this August. I feel I have to return to see this in the next year or so. Take care and love to your family.
Barbara & Ali Gustin, Atlanta, Georgia, USA. April 2013.
James, Thank you for a great day touring the Fife fishing villages and St Andrews. The fishing villages had a similar feel to the places along the Basque coast except it is a little warmer down here! It was so good to get to St Andrews. As you know I am a fan of golf but the town history and architecture took me by surprise and I will definitely be spending some time here in the future. Look me up the next time you are in San Sebastian and I will take you to one of our favourite bars. Gorka Arrinda, Bilbao, Spain. April 2013
Ok, confess James! Were your other American clients after us nearly as fun as we were? Did you give them the “trust me, I’m a tour guide” line also?!
Hope all’s well with you.
I know you’re wondering how we survived without you in Edinburgh, so I’ll share. We dined at the Whiski Room on the Mound for dinner, and Alex was told by the waitress there in no uncertain terms that he was drinking scotch incorrectly! We cheered! We lunched at Angels with Bagpipes, our favorite lunch spot of the trip! Our last evening in town we dined at The Dome, quite lovely and good, as you recommended.
The other 4 enjoyed their tour of the Edinburgh Castle while Bill and I shopped a bit on the Royal Mile. We all LOVED the Tattoo, and were fortunate to have a perfect evening for the event. We found Holyrood Palace interesting, and continued to marvel at the perfect weather of Scotland! Back home, we have officially retired all those raincoats we carried around Scotland!
Of course we all want to know if you’ve finished Pillars of the Earth yet! You might have to put aside that thrilling geography book to read it!
Know that we’ve given you rave reviews for safe driving (aside from that fast u-turn on the last day) , luggage packing, restaurant recommendations, water supplier, history expert and personable fellow! Remember to let us know if you come to Texas! And, don’t forget to send that Shepherd’s pie recipe!
Margaret McNinch and group September 2012
James, we can’t thank you enough for making our first visit to your wonderful country so memorable and enjoyable. Your organisational and driving skills are only surpassed by your knowledge and passion for this wonderful land, its history and its people. Please know you have two new friends in Los Angeles and we hope you look us up on your next visit! Again, thank you so much. Joan & Sid Marantz. Vernon, California, USA. August 2012
James, Thanks for a great trip through Scotland and for everything you did to help everyone in our group have a wonderful time. We loved Edinburgh & Glasgow and we were so fortunate to meet with the Duke at Inverary Castle and speak about our family name. Inverary is a beautiful town but I would say that right?! I knew Scotland would be special but it was so much more and I look forward to our next trip. Please come and see us when you make it to our part of the USA. John & Ann Campbell and family. Raleigh, North Carolina USA July 2012 www.campbellalliance.com
From the Davidson Family:
Dear James, Thank you for showing us beautiful Scotland. I’ve had a wonderful trip thanks to you and your knowledge. Julia
Dear James, Thank you for touring us around and showing us your country, I really enjoyed it, you are fun to be around and I learned a lot. Joey
James, It’s been a wonderful journey through Scotland. We are grateful for you and your guidance. Thank you for being flexible and helpful with the kids. We will always remember this trip with fondness. Blessings to you, your family and your business. Sincerely, Kelly Davidson.
James, Thank you for all the great tours and information on your wonderful country. Thank you for being so good with Joey and Julia, we couldn’t have asked for a better guide! We really appreciate you taking the time to take us to Tulloch Castle in Dingwall and explaining our clan heritage. Doug Davidson. Bellevue, Washington, USA June 2012.
Dear James, Thank you so very much for showing us all the sights in your lovely country. We appreciate your expert driving, commentary and suggestions on things to see and do. We will always treasure this wonderful vacation and your part in making it a memorable experience. Our best to you and your family! Sincerely, Ann & Joel Tigget, Dallas, Texas, USA. May 2012.
In July 2011 Mary Rassieur brought her three grandchildren to their ancestral home…
Dear James, You have been wonderful to our family – thank you. We have loved Scotland even with the odd rainy day! What a treat to be here in these wild highlands. I know that some of our family will return and you will hear from them. Mary Rassieur.
James – your unrivalled enthusiasm and extensive knowledge made our time in Scotland as incredible as it was! Thank you so much for allowing us to steal you away from your family to spend time with ours. All my best to you and hope you enjoy the Arcade Fire concert in September. Rebecca McDonald.
James – You have by far been the best driver/guide on this trip! Your knowledge of Scottish history is unreal and you are just a good guy to have conversation with. I am proud to say that I am a descendant of the McDonalds of Scotland. John McDonald.
James – Thank you for introducing us to Scotland! We all had a wonderful time and our trip wouldn’t have been as memorable if it wasn’t for your knowledge and enthusiasm. We really appreciate your patience with us and I hope you have a busy season. P.S. I think you will like the new Bon Ivor CD. I have been listening to it on this trip and it goes very well with the natural beauty of Scotland. Matt McDonald.
Hi James, it was wonderful to meet you and spend time touring around Scotland. My Mum, Dad and sister think it is the most wonderful country and Dad loves how proud the Scottish people are. He thinks they are similar to Mexicans! Thank you for the accommodation you picked and for recommending the St Columba Hotel on Iona. This is what the trip to Scotland was all about for me, I have read so much about the isle of Iona, it was one of my ‘must see places’. Of course, now I love Ardnamurchan and the Isle of Mull too! Thanks for being so helpful to us and for your explanations on all the places we visited. We are having a Scottish evening for our family and friends and I’m sure the whisky will go down very well! I hope you make it to Mexico one day so we can show you some of our ancient sites. Best wishes, Hector Riveroll & family, Mexico City. May 2011.
Hi James, we are home safe, sound and happy! What a wonderful time we had in Scotland with you. I can honestly say this was one of the best trips we have ever had in Europe! It is now our 2nd European home after Italy! Scotland is such a beautiful country and the people are so friendly, I recommend it to anyone. I can’t thank you enough for all you did for us especially with the chair. The way you checked ahead at all the castles, houses and restaurants made me feel at ease at all times and ensured the trip was an enjoyable experience for all of us. We are off to Italy in the summer but not ruling out another trip to Scotland some time in the future! With love to you and your family, Cecelia, Toni & Alicia Oliveri, Rochester, New York, USA. April 2011.
Dear James, Please accept our token of appreciation for all you have done to make your beloved country come alive for us. I shall forever wear your Campbell tie with pride and with fond memories of our time in Scotland. Arlene and I wish you and your loved ones good health and good luck always. Perhaps we can meet again one day in New York. Sincerely, Robert & Arlene Goldberg. New York, USA August 2010 Fay J. Lindner Foundation, Merrick, New York.
Hi James, the Bagpipe competition in Glasgow Green was an amazing day and Rebecca gained a lot of experience playing there with her pipe band. They loved the atmosphere of this Scottish event and I think they enjoyed the nightlife of Glasgow too! As for the rest of the trip, it was a stunning experience for all of us and it was a real pleasure to spend it with you. Nothing was too much trouble and you made sure you caught all the sites on our lists! Thanks for the stop at the Clan Roberston centre at House of Bruar it was an interesting visit. I would love to know why my name has no ‘T’ in it! I hope to find out some day. Best wishes, Sandy Roberson & family. July 2010.
James, from Glasgow to Argyll, to the highlands, St Andrews and to Edinburgh this truly was a fantastic trip through Scotland. Your commentary on every area we visited was informative, interesting and humorous. We loved this trip James and are so glad we had you as our driver/guide. Stopping for photo’s, coffee, shops was never a problem and we thank you again for taking your time with us. The four of us have travelled through Europe many times and this was easily one of the best trips we have ever had. Scotland will remain close to our hearts always and this is because of the sights, scenery and your generosity. With our love, Jim & Ann Scarboro, Kim & Susan Cannon, Steve & Barbara Kirvin. Colorado, USA. May 2009.
James, Thank you for looking after me and my family on our first vacation to Scotland! We loved the scenery, history and the Highland Games but it was you who made it a memorable vacation. Your commentary, guiding and willingness to show us your country was outstanding and we appreciate everything you did for us. I hope you and your family enjoyed the Scots night at The Prestonfield Hotel, it was our pleasure to have you there as our guests! Now you can add Clan Carmichael to your list of clan tours. It was a wonderful two days in the Borders country and a place I will never forget. Love to you and your family, Bill & Joan Long and family. Franklin, Tennesse, USA. July 2008.
One of my first family history tours was for the Sinclairs from the USA. It was a 10 day trip of Scotland including their ancestral sites. It was a wonderful and at times, emotional experience for us all.
James, Clan Crazy is home and we miss you already! Thank you so much for organising this Sinclair family event. To deal with 10 of us and look after us so well is no mean feat! From the youngest, Nick at 21 to the eldest Elsie, 92 you were courteous, thoughtful and did everything we asked. This will be Elsie’s last visit to Scotland and she was so happy that you were part of this trip. We are glad we made it to Orkney on this trip and as always to visit, Melvich, Golval and Brims Ness is so special to us. It was great to visit Skye and Ullapool, did you know the reason we went to Ullapool is because Margaret just loved the name! Until the next visit…John Sinclair Quarterman & Family. Texas & Tenessee, USA. May / June 2007.
Hi James, we are back in Texas but will be in London for another year from August. Thank you for looking after Joe and the rest of the family on this most special trip. It was Joe’s wish to visit Scotland and its whisky distilleries and what better an occasion than his 50th birthday! It was wonderful to stay in a castle for the night and Speyside is such a beautiful part of Scotland. We will be in Edinburgh for Christmas so it would be good to meet you and Evie for Dinner. Love from Jo Ann, Joe and the rest of the Pipers. Houston, Texas & San Diego California, USA. May 2006.
As first time travellers to Scotland, my son and I were extremely fortunate to be referred to James Campbell, by the concierge at The Balmoral Hotel. James was our guide during our entire stay in Edinburgh (the only city we visited on our trip) and I can say without reservation that he made our visit so interesting, exciting and enjoyable that I cannot imagine how we would have fared without him.
James was prompt, courteous and knowledgeable about every aspect of Edinburgh and Scotland. We asked a lot of questions for which he had answers, and regardless of what we wanted to do – visit a castle, go horseback riding, hike in the country or see shows in town – James knew just where to take us and how to facilitate our choice of activities. He showed us parts of Edinburgh we might never have known about and made each day special. To top it off, James is just enjoyable to be with and added immeasurably to our vacation.
I am pleased to highly recommend James Campbell as a Scottish guide extraordinaire: consider yourself fortunate if James is available when you visit Scotland!
Stephen Rosenberg, President, Greystone & Co, New York, USA. September 2005.