About Us

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.

Who We Are

We are Aury, originally from France, and Mike, a native of Scotland. Mike has extensive experience in organising conservation holidays for groups in Scotland’s wilderness, while Aurelia has widely travelled the country to compile tour packages for coach groups. We’ve been perfecting Secret Scotland since 2005 so you can rely on our expertise to guide you to the best Scottish holiday experience.

Mike

I’ve lived in Scotland all my life (50 years and a bit!). My first memories of travelling around Scotland date back to the early 1970’s and the backseat of a Datsun Bluebird estate. In those days I was too small to see much out of the car windows, and my sisters usually had the window seats, but the memories of those holidays have given me many ideas for the tours that you’ll find on this website. Since those childhood holidays I’ve learnt a lot more about my home country through many years of working on conservation projects in remote and beautiful places. I’ve also found some great little pubs that feature in the tours, and marvellous twisting roads that tourists seldom find.

Aury

I’m from the French Alps near Grenoble, but I’ve been living in Scotland since 2002. I’ve been working in the Tourism industry organising tours to Scotland since then, and I thoroughly enjoy it. I took a job in Scotland, thinking I’d only stay for a couple of years, but eighteen years on, I’m still here, having set up my own company offering themed itineraries in this fabulous country. In the time I’ve been here, I’ve extensively travelled the country, discovering it through my foreigner’s eyes, and finding restaurants which I know even the French will love. So you can believe me when I say it’s fabulous. And I’d love you to let me show you what I’ve found that’s made me want to stay.

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