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Supplier: M15375

InfoHub supplier since Nov 2006!
Base of operations: USA
We are a small tour operator offering a very limited number of our own tours each year. As we prefer to arrange, schedule and conduct each of our tours personally, our tours are usually offered just once a year. Please check the tour dates for each tour prior to making an inquiry as we only offer each tour during a particular month of year and on particular dates.

I have long been proud of my Scottish, Irish and Welsh ancestry and even though I grew up in the States I had no idea how truly Scottish we were raised until I started spending so much time in Scotland. My grandfather's name was Angus McDonald and what I thought was always a peculiarity about my grandfather proved to be his many Scottish habits, customs and way of speaking. After spending so much time in Scotland, Ireland and Wales it only seemed natural to eventually start offering tours to our homeland. People often ask me about the nature of tea and tearooms within our tours. We enjoyed afternoon tea each day when we returned home from school and this love eventually resulted in us owning and operating a Wee Scottish Tearoom for several years. As tea is so much a part of life in Scotland is was only logical to include it as part of our meals with our tours.

Now in my 8th season I am proud to offer only our own hand crafted tour itineraries to our clients. We truly love showing off Scotland, Ireland, Wales and England to others in hopes that they will love our favorite places as much as we do. We have worked hard to make sure that we continue to offer the same small group sizes that we started with. Our plan is to continue to offer small group tours with our own itineraries and led by ourselves personally for as long as we continue to do business. We can't think of a better way to visit the places that we love so much and enjoy going back to again and again. By designing, arranging and conducting each tour personally we know that you are going to get the best experience available.

The McDonald family hails from the Isle of Skye and my father's family, The Tates, came from the little burgh of Kelso in the Scottish Borders. My great grandmother Mary Mahoney was born and raised in County Cork, Ireland and our Jones heritage comes from North Wales. There are many parts of England that we have come to love as well and we offer these places in tours as we are able. We are so excited to be able to share our love of these countries with others as they were meant to be seen. In a small group with lots of time to explore and staying in small cozy accommodations and partaking of meals in lovely little eateries. Having added the expertise of Mario Torres to our tours has allowed us to diversify in being able to offer Spanish speaking tours. I have covered several thousands of miles across the British Isles and can think of no better way to make a living than to share my love of these countries with others.

Our scheduled tours are small intimate tours limited to 8 -12 people in order to provide a more personal experience. Keeping the number lower allows us to take advantage of many accommodations, eateries and sightseeing venues that would not be available to larger groups. It also allows us to veer off of the beaten path and get a true feel of the country and its inhabitants. We also specialize in designing tours for groups of 2 - 50 and individual holiday planning to Scotland, Ireland, Wales and England. From accommodation to transportation and sightseeing we will handle all the arrangements leaving you with nothing to do except enjoy the finest that the United Kingdom and Ireland has to offer.

As a British Tourist Authority Destination Specialist, I can help you make the most of your United Kingdom adventure no matter the location. Our connection with The National Tourist Office for Scotland as a Preferred ScotsMaster and ScotsAgents gives us the insight to help you have the best Scottish holiday possible. We are also members of The Shamrock Club as Preferred Agent Ireland Specialists through Tourism Ireland and Wales Destination Specialists through the Wales Tourist Board. We are also members of the Specialty Travel Agents Association.
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Questions and Answers
We are a small tour operator offering a very limited number of tours each year. As we prefer to arrange, schedule and conduct each of our tours personally.

1. How long has the business been operating and how did it start?

We are coming up on our 11th year of offering tours to Scotland, Ireland and Wales. I first decided to start offering tours when I saw people on large coach tours traveling through Scotland at a rapid pace trying to see as much as possible in one visit. I was so dismayed that people were seeing my beloved ancestral land of Scotland in this way. I decided to offer a much smaller, slower paced and relaxed way to see the places that I love.

2. What is your company's mission?

Our company's mission is to share our love of these countries with others in such a that they will fall in love them too.

3. What does your company specialize in?

We specialize in small group tours that focus on small family owned accommodations and eateries in a relaxed manor that allows you to really get to know the country not just visit it.

4. Who is the founder or owner of the company and briefly describe his/her past activities?

Shannon McDonald Tate founded the company and is one of the owners. I traveled the lands of my ancestors extensively prior to deciding to offer tours that would share my experiences.

5. What is your most popular travel package and why?

Our Highlands and Islands of Scotland is our most popular tour. I think because the Highlands capture the romance of the country so well and the Islands meet the needs of exploring the history and unbelievable scenery of Scotland.

6. What is the best compliment you received from a client?

This is a hard one because we really do receive so many compliments but the biggest compliment is when clients come back for another tour. We have a single woman traveler from Texas that will be on her 7th trip with us soon. Now that is a real compliment!

Vacation Packages offered by supplier M15375
Cottages, Castles, Country Houses and Tea - A Journey through the English Countryside
14 Days on a small intimate tour of England through the countryside and lovely villages, towns and cities of The Cotswolds, Herefordshire, Chester, the Peak District, Lake District and Yorkshire.

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USD 5195 / Per person
Tour Package
Cultural Journey
Duration: 14 days
Season: January - December

A Holiday Christmas Journey through England with Wales and Edinburgh, Scotland
14 Days on a small intimate tour of England, Wales and Edinburgh Scotland. We will explore Christmas Markets, Fairs and Shops and Stately Homes and Castles decorated for Christmas.

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USD 5395 / Per person
Tour Package
Christmas/New Year Tours
Cultural Journey
Duration: 15 days
Season: January - December

Reviews and Comments
No. Rating By / Subject

 1  Kay Galloway / Scotland Tearoom Tour
This trip for our family was everything and more than we had hoped for. I still dream about what we saw and did. It could not have been better. Our guide couldn't have been better or more knowledgeable. Shannon's mother is Scottish and he has lived and toured there frequently. He is most knowledgeable about historical data and locations. The lodging was unbelievable right from day one when we stayed at a super-deluxe hotel in downtown Glasgow to the inns and B&B's. I sound like I must be ... view more Shannon's sister or something, but nothing about this tour could have been better than it was. They were so accommodating to all of us (there were 9 on our tour). One day they took our family of four by ourselves to our ancestral lands. It was just a little aside trip for which there was no extra charge. So if you are a descendent of a Scottish clan, let them know. The food was superb. Every meal was outstanding. We got to stop in small tearooms that would have been overwhelmed by a tour bus, but we were able to go in and get a real feel for the Scottish "tea." I had haggis at least three times, by choice! We traveled in Glasgow, the lower highlands, and Edinburgh. I loved everything we did. Wouldn't change a thing. If you do what Shannon has planned for you, you could want nothing more. He is quite knowledgeable about history and the good food of the country. I especially enjoyed Glasgow's "Two Fat Ladies" the Mackintosh tea room in the arts and crafts style, the theatre productions we saw and Hamish, the highland cow. Hamish came at me from out of nowhere, I don't even think I knew this breed existed but I fell in love with him. Such a unique and gentle animal. And the scenery...unbelievable. It has to be unequaled anywhere in the world.

 2  Kim Clark / Touring with M15375
I should probably begin my testimonial by saying I am eagerly awaiting the start of my third tour with Shannon.  That surely is as much an endorsement as any praise I could heap on, but I won't let that stop me.Having Shannon share his love of Scotland and Ireland with me has helped me make memories I will treasure forever.  Wonderful sights, lovely teas and lodgings and way too many desserts.  I missed Prince William by just a week at one lunch stop, sigh.  The tours have been so much fun and I have ... view more felt completely safe and well looked after that I plan to make them a yearly event until I become fabulously wealthy.  At that time you can all stop at my place for tea. I'll take up permanent residence in a stone cottage with a brightly painted front door along one of the routes Shannon will show you. Mind the bunnies and the sheep, their everywhere. Hope to see you on the road. Kim

 3  Scott and Lisa Ryan / Ireland Tour
My husband, Scott, and I went with Shannon to Ireland in October to celebrate our ten year wedding anniversary. We had a phenomenal time on the tour. It truly was everything we could have wanted in a tour - and more! The group was small so we stayed at some great country homes and guest houses, and even a 15th century equestrian horse farm, which was very quaint. The food was great, as Shannon definitely knows some of the best places to eat in Ireland! We liked traveling with Shannon because it was casual and ... view more unhurried to travel with him. We got on the road around 9:00 in the morning, so there was no early morning rushing around. The sites we saw were amazing, and because we had such a small group, we were quite spoiled with what we were able to see, without having a couple hundred people around at the same spot (with a few exceptions, of course). Shannon really knows the places he travels in depth, so he provides a lot of interesting history on the places, and he chooses unique places that are off the beaten path - we liked that.I could go on and on, but I would highly recommend touring with Shannon. My husband and I plan to travel with him again, probably going to Scotland the next time - as Shannon makes Scotland sound absolutely wonderful too. Have fun! Lisa Ryan

 4  Ken and Jan Lyall / Scotland Tour
Many thanks for a fantastic holiday - I can't think of a single thing that you could have done to make it better. The good weather continued for the rest of our stay right up until the last day of our visit to Oxford and by that time we had done all of the outdoor things so it didn't matter. Being home has been a real challenge. I have too much to do but I have made a resolution that next year I'll be spending more time relaxing. I have attached a photo but you probably have received a similar ... view more one from one of the others that is almost certainly better than mine. Hope all is going well for you. My best wishes to you and Mario and we'll meet again next year. Regards,Jan Lyall.

 5  Alan and Chris Jones / Scotland and Ireland Tour
Hi ShannonMario. Chris and I send our best! After short reflection, our experience on tour was nothing short of fabulous! Chris has a particularly fine picture of the two of you at the Breaghmore Stones. At your suggestion we toured the Cotswolds one day out of London. The day trip showed us bus tours of ANYTHING are astronomically inferior to what we had so recently become accustomed to with your tour! We are talking up M15375 to anyone who will listen and sincerely hope to see you again (future tour?!). ... view more Please know that you are free to use us as reference. Alan Chris Jones