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Showcasing Scotland to the world: Meet Ian, our Tour Guide

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Aug 2019  • 
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Ian White is the founder and Tour Guide behind Highland Tours Perthshire. Many of our customers ask how he ended up doing what he does, so we thought we’d share Ian’s story...


Ian White is the founder and Tour Guide behind Highland Tours Perthshire.  Many of our customers ask how he ended up doing what he does, so we thought we’d share Ian’s story...

After working in the public sector for over 34 years, Ian now spends his time showing off his country and telling its tales to visitors from all over the world. After setting up Highland Tours Perthshire in 2016, he has found his vocation and has never looked back.


History was always an interest of Ian’s and it goes back to his school days, when he was passionate about the subject. With a vivid memory of his History Teacher, Mr Forsyth, sharing ancient facts of
Scotland, he remembers being the one asking “why?” and found the answers truly fascinating. As well as history, he studied geography and felt a close connection between the two.

Following school, Ian joined the Cadets before moving into the Police, where played an active role in community engagement. He worked as a policeman in Dundee for 17 years before going back to
education and studying to become a Primary School Teacher, which he did for another 17 years. He enjoyed teaching and particularly enjoyed introducing the children to history at every opportunity.

Having enjoyed both his teaching career and his time in the police, Ian felt there was something missing in his career. At the age of 56, whilst contemplating his career, he considered all his passions in life - geography, history, meeting people, storytelling and Scotland – putting these together, he came up with Tour Guiding. And now, after running Highland Tours Perthshire for the last three years, and having provided tours to hundreds of visitors from all over the world, Ian has never been happier.

He said: “Tour Guiding is my vocation. It took me over 30 years to find it, but each of my roles in life has contributed to ‘the journey’ and I can truly say I love what I do. I meet new people every week and I love showcasing Scotland to the world - taking people to its hidden neuks of the country, as well as the more popular tourist attractions, such as the castles and distilleries. I never tire of it; it is very rewarding to see people’s faces light up and to answer their questions and share a little bit of local knowledge.”

Highland Tours Perthshire specialises in bespoke tours of Scotland for small groups. As well as tailored tours, the firm offers package options, such as Outlander Tours, Scottish Castle Tours and Distillery Tours. An area that has been growing in the business is bespoke Family History Tours, which has been popular with Americans & Canadians, who are keen to trace the footsteps of their ancestors. Highland Tours Perthshire does research on behalf of customers to provide a truly unique service.

Ian comments “Scotland has so much to offer tourists. Based in Dunkeld & Birnam in Perthshire, we are in the heart of Scotland, with easy access to the Highlands, Mountains and Lochs, as well as the Lowlands and our beautiful capital, Edinburgh. Because of this, our tours range from one to four days and we cover a lot of ground. The family history tours are great; I carry out research for our customers and bring their stories to life by taking them to the sights where their ancestors lived. In some cases, I have even managed to trace family members and set up introductions, which has been quite emotional for all, but truly satisfying.”

Ian runs Highland Tours Perthshire with his wife, Patti Jessiman. Patti looks after the admin & logistics side of the business, with Ian concentrating on what he does best: meeting, greeting and sharing his knowledge and his love for Scotland. Together, the pair run the tour guide business along with, Dunkeld Cars, a taxi & transport business based in Dunkeld & Birnam, Perthshire.

For more information on Highland Tours visit our tours page here.