about

Iain Stewart, Private Tour Guide Scotland

Tour Operator/ Director and Guide/ Driver - Iain Stewart started guiding and organizing tours in 2003 to create great experiences through the admixture of nature and culture.

Now living in Edinburgh, Iain grew up in Perthshire and in Auchtermuchty, Fife and studied at the University of Dundee before heading to the States, gaining a Degree in History from the University of California at Berkeley. He has a Masters Degree (with Distinction) in Ethnology and Scottish Folklore from the Elphinstone Institute, a part of the University of Aberdeen.

Between times Iain has experienced life and work in Europe, North America, Asia and Africa. Spending eight years working with young people for charitable organisations both at home and abroad, he also trained professionally in counselling and massage. In 1998 Iain co-developed Wester Caputh Hostel which, under new owners, still hosts great cultural events for organisations such as the international singing workshops of Turtle Dove Harmony.

Serenity Scotland received national TV coverage on the BBC1 Holiday Programme. As a guide he has worked on a number of occasions with companies such as Pixar (see News) and Pernod Ricard, with English language learner groups, and with higher educational establishments. Iain has worked over six years with Franklin College from Switzerland leading an academic travel group of undergraduate students on a course in 'Symbolizing Scotland.' As well as educational tourism, Iain was Pixar's guide in Scotland over two years in their research for the movie Brave, released in Summer 2012. Iain continues to work with families and individuals, many of whom have toured with him more than once.. Iain is a guest lecturer in 'Cultural Tourism' to post-graduate students at the Elphinstone Institute, a part of the University of Aberdeen.

Iain's interests and hobbies include playing the fiddle (wanting to throw the fiddle out of the window), singing, running (including hills which are also his nemeses), loch swimming, eating and drinking, travelling, reading, cinema and theatre. He is a member of the Old Edinburgh Club. Iain is currently learning Scottish Gaelic and Dutch.

Guide/ Driver - Allan Stewart, who lives in Pitlochry in HIghland Perthshire was a paramedic for over thirty years. Allan is degree Allan Stewart Guided Tour Scotlandeducated and has a comprehensive knowledge of Scottish geography and culture. Allan is a great outdoorsman and has an ongoing interest in outdoor activities including: hillwalking, skiing and golf. Allan combines his experience of living and working in the Scottish Highlands and Islands with his experience of having travelled extensively in the Americas, Africa and Asia. Allan has an active interest in world music, film and further travel.

John Stewart-Young, Private Walking Tour Guide

Edinburgh Walking Guide - John Stewart-Young has qualifications in Design, Conservation and Restoration. His first degree is in Popular Culture and Art History and he has a Post Graduate degree in Museum Studies. He has worked in museums in Hampshire, Dumfries and Galloway, and in Dundee where he was Head of Museums and continues as a Director of Dundee Industrial Heritage. John has served on the Scottish Arts Council, Scottish Museums Council, and Museums Galleries Scotland, and is a Fellow of the Museums Association. He now lives in Edinburgh, a city he has known for over forty-five years. He is a passionate advocate for history and life long learning. John enjoys walking, travelling and reading and has travelled widely in Europe

Ken Latham, Serenity Scotland Private Walking Tour Guide

Edinburgh Walking Guide - Ken Latham worked in Computer Science before becoming a guide. Now with guiding experience, ranging from working on open-top buses to ghost tours to specialist tours of the defensive walls of Edinburgh, Ken has a fascinating way of seeing the city that he feels he can pass on to others. According to Ken, working with Serenity Scotland fits with his idea that we should always look a bit beyond the obvious and explore deeper than the surface. Above all, Edinburgh is Ken's home and as he says himself: 'It's wonderful to make new discoveries about a city you think you know well'.


Glen Lyon Walking Guide - Tom Beels 'The Lyon’s Tale' offers a variety of guided, interpretive Tom Beels - Glen Lyon Tour Guidewalks in this most enchanting of highland glens.     According to Tom: 'Glen Lyon’s constantly changing woodlands and wilderness are a perfect medium for exploring history and the flow of time. Within its mountainous confines Neolithic people quarried, saints healed, highland clans fought bloody battles and maidens in upland sheilings milked their cattle and sang their haunting songs'. Tom's walking tour can be combined within a Serenity Scotland tour of the Highlands (even a day tour).

Singing Tour Guide - Christine Kydd Christine is a singer, with eclectic tastes and an interest in traditional song, particularly the songs of Scotland. A traditional singer, song and vocal coach, she is one of Scotland's most respected exponents of song and ballad. In 1991 she studied at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, London gaining the ADVS Post Graduate Advanced Diploma in Voice Studies, and in 2014 graduated with a Masters Degree (with Commendation) in Christine Kydd - Singing Tour GuideEthnology and Folklore at the Elphinstone Institute, University of Aberdeen. Scots Song Tutor at the National Centre for Excellence in Traditional Music for almost a decade, (2001-2010) Christine has a knowledge of Scots Song, a diverse and unique cultural heritage which ranges from the songs of Robert Burns to Big Ballads, and recognized worldwide as one of the richest and most documented song cultures in the world. An experienced and highly- regarded workshop and masterclass professional she offers both practical and theoretical approaches. In addition to singing the songs, Christine unearths the world inside the song as well the context in which it occurs, and explores what songs has to give- the stories and lives of the people, the realities, the language and the land.

Exploring Songs of Robert Burns: Explore the work of the National Bard. Love, landscape, social justice and feisty women. Songs and Poetry: Learn about the culture, history and context through exploring a selection of the poetry of Scotland set to music. Scotland in Song: Learn about the culture of Scotland past and present, through the songs of the locale. Narrative Song: Explore the gritty ballad culture of Scotland.

Christine: 'I love songs and singing. I have been singing old songs since the age of ten. I have learned so much about life, social history, the working lives of people and the history and geography of our lovely country through traditional songs. Traditional song heritage is like a wee University in itself and I'm privileged to now know songs from both sides, as singer and as academic. The characters in songs have real flesh and blood to me and I like to convey how they speak to us all, not just words on a page, but emotions and stories that are about real life. Scots songs have international connections and are part of a living breathing and ongoing tradition which I relish sharing and bringing to life. Please note that when it comes to singing, I respect others, never make anyone sing, but am happy to facilitate participants who want to, in singing.'

Scotland tour at its best
Iain playing with the Gallivanters Ceilidh Band Wester Caputh Independent Hostel