Profile updated 7/10/19
07788 805317, 01620 895571
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I am a professional writer so you won’t be surprised to hear that I love telling stories and sharing my knowledge of Scotland. But I promise you it is not about dry facts – my key aim is to be an entertaining guide and I am sensitive to the interests of all generations. I have deep roots in Scotland. In the Highlands my family goes back generations as crofters on the stunningly beautiful Wester Ross coast. Another branch of my family were coal miners near Stirling and that sparked off a deep interest in Scotland’s industrial past.
So perhaps it is no surprise that I became a business journalist and was Editor of Scotland’s national business magazine, Scottish Business Insider, for 16 years until I became a full time guide.
As a qualified Blue Badge Tourist guide, I have developed my knowledge about many aspects of Scotland such as art, architecture, culture, geology, the economy, politics, history, literature and wildlife. I am keen to share my love of Scotland with visitors and promote this wonderful country.
I live in the picturesque seaside resort of North Berwick which is only 35 minutes away from Edinburgh and am happy to take visitors anywhere in Scotland. Here\'s what some of my clients have said about me...
"Thank you so much for everything you have done for us on this trip. You made everything more fun and interesting and we couldn’t have asked for a better tour guide.” - Scott Keith, New York state.
"Alasdair Northrop epitomizes those traits which a professional tour guide should possess and an expertise in the geography and history of Scotland that brings that country into clear focus for the visitor.\" - Rod Keith, New York state.
“The tour guided by Alasdair Northrop was amazing! He was very personable and knowledgeable and did a wonderful job! We learned so much about the area and took lots of great pictures while meeting new friends from around the world. We would highly suggest your tour company to our friends and family who may want to visit Scotland in the future!” - Kerry Fortuna, Las Vegas. Outlander Gathering Crieff, May 2015.
“We especially liked the fact that you asked for our specific interests and crafted an itinerary that met all of them. Moreover, you made a personal effort to investigate specific eating establishments that could cater to all our individual dietary needs. And you were flexible enough to deal with adverse weather creatively in a way that still gave everyone a tremendously positive experience. We especially appreciate that you kept my sister from being blown off the top of the Wallace Monument in a full gale. And arranging for a personal bagpiping exhibition for us on a rainy afternoon was a bit of serendipity we won’t soon forget. Your knowledge of the area and the history is encyclopedic, and your little historical vignettes as we drove along really added a lot to our experience. We enjoyed the conversation about current events and business in Scotland as well. You also “nailed it” by appearing in full kilt. Seeing the many historical sites and beautiful lochs and countryside of our ancestor would have been the thrill of a lifetime for us in any event, but having you to guide us and provide a personal narrative enhanced our experience immeasurably. Yours was a five star tour – scoring 10 out of 10! Anyone who books a tour with you will not be disappointed; you went well above and beyond the call of duty.” - Roger and Helen Dewey, Michigan, May 2015.
“Our group liked the tour guided by you very much, especially when you pointed out Alexander Graham Bell’s house and told us about his life before he emigrated to America. I (and they) had no idea that he had cut his teeth by inventing mill machinery! It is good to find someone with such a solid knowledge about both the cultural and scientific heritage, as well as the economic and industrial history.” - Erik Mellgren, Uppsala, Sweden. May 2015
“It was a real pleasure to have you on our bus. The information was interesting, well told and the amount was just perfect. You passed your passion about the lands to us. We felt like we had a Scottish friend welcoming us in his beautiful country.” Arne Vermeulen, Belgium April 2015
|Business & Finance||
I was Editor of Scotland's national business magazine Scottish Business Insider for 16 years and have gained vast knowledge of the country's businesses.
Scottish business history
North Berwick and the East Lothian's beautiful coast
|Castles & Palaces||
On my doorstep are Dirleton and Tantallon Castles and I regularly guide in Edinburgh Castle.
The Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh are wonderful but we also have some stunning gardens in the Borders and Fife regions of Scotland.
|Food & Drink||
|Churches & Cathedrals||
St Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh
|Geography & Geology||
Scotland has an extraordinary geological history and we have some extraordinary places to visit. Salisbury Crags on Edinburgh's doorstep is where the father of geology James Hutton made his revolutionary discoveries.
|History & Prehistory||
I love history right from when mankind came to Scotland 14,000 years ago to the present day. William Wallace, Robert the Bruce, Mary Queen of Scots are all fascinating people.
Scotland is blessed with many excellent museums ranging from the huge National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh to the more specialist Scottish Fisheries Museum in Anstruther, Fife.
I have a degree in English Literature and love talking about my literary heroes Sir Walter Scott, Robert Louis Stevenson, Arthur Conan Doyle, Ian Rankin and many more.
Having worked in newspapers and magazine for more than 37 years I know a thing or two.
|Politics & Government||
Scotland has had its own devolved Government since 1999 and there are regular calls for it to become fully independent. So there is not shortage of topics to discuss. A visit to the Scottish Parliament is well worth considering.
Edinburgh has taught thousands of doctors who are or have practised all over all the world. It is also a pioneering centre for medicine and has some excellent specialist museums.
|Stately Homes & Country Houses||
Hopetoun House is on Edinburgh's doorstep but there are many other mansions worth seeing throughout Scotland. One of my favourites is Traquair House in the Borders but there are many more.
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