Like lots of great ideas, Secret Scotland was born from a conversation over a drink in a cosy Scottish Inn.
Picture the scene.
Outside the Inn, a dark November night, but inside we are sat with a comforting dram beside a glowing fireplace that has welcomed travellers for more than a hundred years.
The inn was almost empty except for a few friendly locals and we puzzled why such a great little place wasn’t packed out like the tacky hotel a few miles away.
So what was the problem?
There was no doubt which place was better and more authentically Scottish. But the little inn was tucked away on a back road that only a local would think to follow.
Whereas the hotel claimed to be a “Castle” and it featured in several well known guidebooks.
We decided that night that we had to help visitors find this place and all the other great but secret places that we love in Scotland.
And so our Mission started!
We quit our dull 9 to 5 jobs and set about creating a travel guide that would let visitors discover the best bits of Scotland that most tourists miss.
We did our research and realised we could do something better than Lonely Planet, Rick Steves et al.
For one thing, we live in Scotland and tour it all the time, whereas other guide books are written by authors who cover several different countries.
So what makes us different?
We believe that a Travel Guide has to be totally honest. So we personally visit everything that we recommend.
And we don't hesitate to tell you if something is over-rated, over-crowded, or over-priced.
But the most important difference is how we layout our guides,
Unlike a conventional guidebook with lists of things to see in a particular region, we give you a detailed itinerary that ensures you discover the most scenic routes and the best experiences.
Does it work?
Our first “guinea pigs” were our American friends (Bruce & Janie) who had tried to plan their own trip, but had just got themselves hopelessly confused with hours of internet browsing, travel forum discussions and guidebook research.
They came back so enthusiastic about the guide that they insisted we do this as a business to help others like them.
And that’s how it all started.
Curious to see what our guides are like? You can view a Sample Tour.