Blue Badge

Qualified to Guide:

All of Scotland

Languages:

English, Gaelic

Driver Guide:

No

About Me

I am a Gaelic speaker brought up on the island of South Uist, who trained as an archaeologist. My subsequent career in deer farming, community business development and housing investment gave me an understanding of the history and culture of Scotland. My subsequent time with the National Trust for Scotland provided me with an appreciation of the complexities of stewardship of natural and heritage assets.

I was a trustee of the government's national heritage body, Historic Environment Scotland and an associate member of the Department of Gaelic and Celtic, University of Glasgow. My doctoral thesis awarded in 2014 by Glasgow University examined Gaeldom's place in Scotland's mass tourism industry. I have since contributed three papers ( published) to the biannual colloquium, Rannsacadh na Gàidhlig and one to the 2015 International Celtic Congress.

The majority of my time is, however, devoted to a passion to guide visitors through Skye and its culture, history and traditions. I graduated as a Blue Badge tour guide from Edinburgh University in 2010 and have since that time accompanied countless numbers of visitors around Scotland. As a guide specialising in Gaelic and Highland Scotland my broad interests include archaeology, architecture, art, history, heritage and environmental conservation and all aspects of Highland culture. I have returned to my people's homeland of Skye and I have now become a Gaelic resource for SkyeConnect, the local destination management organisation, in a drive to raise the profile of Gaelic in Skye and Lochalsh.  This work has provided me with additional perspectives on life on Skye.

I am Scotland's only Gaelic speaking Blue Badge Guide.

Most recently I have joined forces with my brother, Robbie, a registered taxi operator, to provide a combined driver-guiding service along with a variety of individually tailored guiding services ranging from meeting visiting cruise ships to delivering talks to guests in their evening accommodation. I have just completed researching material for a book on Gaelic Scotland for visitors to our country.  These materials have enabled me to create bespoke tours of the island of Skye and adjacent mainland directed particularly to descendants of the MacDonald, MacLeod, MacKinnon and Nicholson families who once inhabited the island.

Although operating principally from the island of Skye, should the circumstances suit, my brother and I are willing to be quite flexible on pick up and drop off points: in September we toured with clients based at Torridon, taking leave of them in Edinburgh.

I am able to provide visitors with a fresh, highly entertaining and brightly illuminating perspective of a country that was once Celtic and Gaelic.

Tour Types

  • Coach Tour
  • Conferences & Incentives
  • Shore Excursion
  • Walking Tour

Qualifications

Ma (Hon) Archaeology
PhD The Tourist Gaze on Gaelic Scotland

Contact Coinneach

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Clients' Testimonials

  • The Scottish Government is delighted to endorse the work of the Scottish Tourist Guides Association in recognition of their worldwide reputation and quality work and training. I commend the passion and knowledge they bring to guiding and congratulate them on continuing to set the standard in this area.

  • VisitScotland is delighted to recognise the Scottish Tourist Guides Association as the professional membership body for fully trained and accredited tourist guides in Scotland. STGA accredited guides are passionate ambassadors for Scotland and in providing our visitors with information and inspiration, help deliver a memorable experience for them.

  • VisitScotland is delighted to recognise the Scottish Tourist Guides Association as the professional membership body for fully trained and accredited tourist guides in Scotland. STGA accredited guides are passionate ambassadors for Scotland and in providing our visitors with information and inspiration, help deliver a memorable experience for them.

  • Fergus Ewing MSP

    Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy and Tourism

    Scottish Government

  • Marion Boyd

    International Development Assistant

    Aberdeen City Council

  • Helen Versloot

    Incentive Department

    Gullivers Travel Agency