Welcome to Tour Guide Tales, an exciting and fascinating new podcast brought to you by VisitScotland.
Each week, Grant Stott hears the eclectic and often incredibly rich history found only in Scotland from those who know and tell it best – the country’s captivating tour guides. From locations used to film the hit TV series Outlander to the National Wallace Monument, join us each week to hear expert guides and born storytellers recount their enthralling tales and personal experiences, just for us.
Now, if you’ll follow this way, let’s move on and have a listen…
Summerlee Museum of Industrial Life
In our last episode of the series, Grant is joined by Gerry Durkin from the Summerlee Museum of Industrial Life. Based in Lanarkshire, the museum commemorates Scotland’s industrial and social history, with a particular focus on the mining industry and its role in shaping the people and places of Scotland. With some surprising stories, including the history behind unique tattoos and sandwich eating techniques, and an insight into the history and hardships of Scotland's mining families, this final episode doesn't disappoint!
Joining Grant in this episode, the penultimate of the series, is Lara Thomason. Lara has lived on Shetland all her life, and now takes great pride in taking tourists around the beautiful and rugged islands. With a diverse range of things to see and learn about, from the amazing wildlife, to the wild nights of the Up Helly Aa Viking fire festival, Lara shares with us the very best of Shetland’s tour guide tales.
Orkney's Skaill House
In this episode Grant speaks to Cormac Grogan, Manager of Skaill House on Orkney. Homely, historic and haunted, this mansion houses a treasure trove of stories and artefacts that have been passed down through 12 generations of the same family for over 400 years. Skaill House and its idyllic location is certainly unique with the site of Skara Brae right on its doorstep. In this podcast we hear all about how this ancient Neolithic site was discovered, as well as the House's many global connections, with stories behind an incredible variety of objects from a WW1 Bolshevik Russian flag and Captain Cook's dinner set!
The Isles of Lewis & Harris
This week Grant speaks to tour guide Magaidh Smith from the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides. WIth six generations of her family calling the Hebrides home, her unrivalled knowledge of the rich cultural history, traditions and communities of the Outer Hebrides makes for a fascinating listen. From Moon Gods and stone circles, to Neolithic history, clan battles and the Gaelic language - discover a wealth of incredible stories.
Prehistoric Scotland at Kilmartin Glen
Scotland is rich with history, history that goes back a very long way. In this episode, we’ll be going back 6,000 years with Alan Steele, tour guide at Kilmartin Glen – a site of great archaeological importance in the West of Scotland.
We’ll discuss the prehistoric civilisations that once lived there and what remains of them today. There’s a lot to discuss as Kilmartin Glen has over 800 points of interest within an area of just 6 miles.
So let’s head back in time with presenter Grant Stott as we hear some more incredible Tour Guide Tales from Kilmartin Glen.
Edinburgh's grisly past with Mercat Tours
Want to know more about the gory and ghostly past of Edinburgh? In this edition of Tour Guide Tales, Grant speaks to Tania Dron, just one of the tour guides for Mercat Tours in Scotland’s capital. From jealousy-fuelled murder and dismembered ghosts, to witch trials and cheating death at the gallows, you’ll never feel the same when walking through Edinburgh’s streets again.
Please be aware that this episode will occasionally feature more macabre themes of torture and death and listener discretion is advised.
Being from Edinburgh but living overseas, I do miss Scotland so much. This podcast gives a great insight to some of the places which I’d now love to visit when back home. Grant is the perfect host leading the guests into some great stories.