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The Edinburgh Guide


Saint Andrew’s Tours was established by me, David Ireland, a Scotsman, born and bred in Edinburgh its capital city, and an honours graduate in History from its ancient university.  I chose the name to reflect my interest in my native land, Scotland - the patron saint of Scotland is Saint Andrew - but also because religious history and buildings have played a large and important part in shaping the Scottish nation, its history and its character.  And not forgetting the university town of St Andrews, golf capital of the world!


Why choose Saint Andrew’s Tours?  As a trained and qualified Blue Badge Guide as well as a graduate historian, I can not just explain Scotland to you but also interpret it, showing you both well-known facts and perhaps the odd hidden gem!  My personal interests include the impact of both religious history and railway history on Scotland, but I am also a holder of the Certificate of Whisky Expertise (with Distinction) and accredited Whisky Ambassador.


I’d be delighted to show you around Edinburgh, my native city and the capital of Scotland.  You can choose a walking tour of the historic Royal Mile which runs from the royal palace in Edinburgh Castle to the royal Palace of Holyroodhouse (where Mary Queen of Scots lived and where Her Majesty the Queen stays when she is in the city) or the Georgian architecture of the New Town started in the 18th century.  Or, if you prefer, an overview of the city by car, perhaps including a visit to the Royal Yacht Britannia or Rosslyn Chapel (which featured in The Da Vinci Code) or to the engineering marvels of their day, the Forth Bridges.


I’m not just a trained tourist guide for Edinburgh though.  I’m also fully qualified to show you round the whole of Scotland. And there’s so much to see: its history, its geology, its architecture, its culture ...


There’s the romantic mountains and countryside of the Scottish Highlands, where Bonnie Prince Charlie fought to regain his father’s kingdom.  Or you could see if you can spot the Loch Ness Monster.  Or why not travel to the beautiful Isle of Skye, also known as the Isle of Mists, and one-time home of Flora MacDonald. Or perhaps a visit to Stirling Castle, with its restored Royal Palace and Great Hall, and the nearby site of the historic Battle of Bannockburn.


Then there’s Aberdeen and also Royal Deeside, so beloved of Queen Victoria.  Or the Scottish Borders, where Abbotsford home of Sir Walter Scott and the evocative ruins of the “Border Abbeys” are to be found.  There’s also St Andrews, where Prince William went to university, and which is home to the Royal and Ancient Golf Club, founded in 1754.  Not forgetting the city of Glasgow, with its ancient cathedral, which will host the 2014 Commonwealth Games.


Folk come to Scotland for many reasons: the scenery, the wildlife, the history, the culture.  Folk leave Scotland with many things: some tartan (or plaid), shortbread, Scotch whisky and, above all, fond memories.  In between you could see dozens of castles, dozens of golf courses or dozens of whisky distilleries.


At Saint Andrews Tours we can cater not only for City Tours or Coach Tours, Day Trips or Extended Tours but also for bespoke Private Tours.  (For Private Tours, I prefer to give my clients my undistracted attention and so I work with a professional chauffeur and a luxury vehicle.)