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Base of operations: USA
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.
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!
Season: January - December
Christmas/New Year Tours
Season: January - December
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