Please allow me to introduce myself. I suppose your first question might be – why aren’t you called MacLeod? It is quite a long story best saved for the tour but in brief I am of the Tolmie sept. A sept is a family that does not use the surname MacLeod but is nevertheless recognised as being part of the Clan. My ancestors were the MacLeods of Gairloch. There are quite a few MacLeod septs and every major clan has its own septs.
Most of my working life has been as a Civil Servant. Ten years ago I took the opportunity for a change of career and seven years ago I became a Tour Guide. It was the best decision I ever made! I have worked independently with a few different companies but found that I particularly enjoyed being with my own clients whether in couples or larger family groups. No pre-determined schedules, no compromises, just doing what we wanted to do. More and more I realised that as a MacLeod, I could offer a very special experience to visitors to Scotland that had a MacLeod heritage.
And what makes you think that Kevin, I hear you ask. Well, although working in a completely non-tourist environment for thirty-five years, I maintained my childhood interest in Scotland’s history, geography and culture; especially of the Highlands and the clans and of course even more particularly about Clan MacLeod. I have been a member of the Clan MacLeod Society of Scotland for twelve years. In 2019 I was proud to be accepted as a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland. So you can be sure that I know stuff about Scotland!
One dimensional? Well I do take an interest in the world around me so what we talk about will largely be determined by the questions you ask. In my experience questions are wide-ranging and not always what I might expect. Go on – ask me another question.
I won’t always have to be prompted. I love telling my stories; some historical fact, some surely fiction and some – well who can say – a lot of it was a very long time ago.
In addition to being an Antiquaries Fellow, I am Vice-Chair of the Clan MacLeod Society of Scotland and Editor of the Clan MacLeod Magazine. I am also a member of the National Trust for Scotland, Historic Scotland, the John Muir Trust and the the Heraldry Society of Scotland. Yes that is my own crest on my shirt and hat.
So why not come for a tour with the long-lost Scottish cousin you never knew you had? You will see a suggested tour which I call the Great MacLeod Tour, taking in all the traditional territories of our Clan. I am sure you would enjoy this tour but it also serves to give you ideas and prompt your enquiry as to what your bespoke tour could be.