With many people stuck at home, Scottish tourist guides are offering a range of live video and virtual tours, podcasts and books to keep them entertained.
You can visit different parts of Scotland from the comfort of your own armchair with various events that are being delivered by members of the Scottish Tourist Guides Association.
Three guides – Pitlochry based Susan Brown, Fife-based Helen Houston and Liz Lister who splits her time between Fife and the Highlands – do a regular free Scottish Blethers podcast which you can listen to on Spotify.
Subjects have ranged from Scottish boiled sweeties to the story of St Andrew.
They are also doing live paid for virtual tours including a journey through the historic town of Culross on March 11 with Helen Houston, a history of some of the locations used for filming the popular TV series Outlander on March 25 with Susan Brown and a tour of St Andrews with Liz Lister on April 8. More information at https://www.eyes-on-scotland.com/portfolio/susan-brown/
On February 26 and 27 Helensburgh-based guide John Harbour is doing a live hi-tech virtual tour of the Trossachs with recordings he has filmed using high resolution cameras fixed to his vehicle and drones. Tickets are available on Eventbrite.
John also does regular podcasts.
Blue Badge guide Mary Birch is doing a free virtual tour about St Andrews on Sunday February 28 following the success of her first one on February 6.
She also has plans to do talks on modern ‘monsters’ made in Scotland as well as one about Alexander Selkirk.
To get a ticket for the St Andrews talk go to Eventbrite.
If you want to learn more about Edinburgh, then every Monday Joe Harrower and Mike Turpie broadcast live in the streets of the city at 3pm GMT on Facebook.
They have been doing their tours since last summer and recently won the Green Microphone Award for responsible tourist guiding from the Slovenia based G-Guides Academy.
Hannah Mackay Tait has recorded two tours in Edinburgh with one covering the city’s LGBTQ+ history and the other on Hidden Streets of the Royal Mile.
“LGBTQ+ people, from one of Scottish history’s most famous kings to a pioneering lesbian doctor in the Victorian era, have always been a part of Scotland’s story,” says Hannah. Tickets are available here.
Jenny Mann and Richard Thomson have put together a one and a quarter hour long recorded virtual tour of Edinburgh which can be downloaded from edinburghwalkingtour.com.
Highlands based guide Andrew Baxter has had great success with his virtual Harry Potter tours and also has a series of “On the trail of…” virtual tours, available on his website Glen2Glen.
Shetland based Green Badge Tourist guide Laurie Goodlad has a Patreon site offering virtual tours and monthly essays.
She also does a regular podcast and got a major scoop when Shetland and Vera author Ann Cleeves agreed to be interviewed by her.
Ayrshire based Noreen Lyon is talking about Maybole boots and shoes on February 4 and Stewarton bonnets on March 4. Tickets are available on Eventbrite.
Dan Sauder Tyler and his wife Michele offer three different virtual “Bubble” tours: Inverness, Culloden Battlefield and Introduction to Scotch Whisky.
“What’s special about the first two, is that we do them as a husband and wife “tag team”.
“Michele is in town or on the battlefield and I add pictures and stories from home, which makes a good mix.”
On March 5 Alasdair Northrop will be following in the footsteps of Scotland’s saints in a virtual tour which takes him from Dumfries and Galloway to Orkney.
“There are some great stories to tell and the saints lived in some very beautiful locations,” he said. Tickets are available on Eventbrite.
Finally, two STGA members on Orkney, Helen and Mark Woodsford-Dean, have written an alternative guidebook to Orkney called ‘This Old Golden Land.’
The book is aimed at ‘spiritual pilgrims’ to Orkney and provides descriptions of recommended places to visit as well as ‘meditation exercises’
The book is available direct from Spiritual Orkney.