About your hosts
Sleepy Sporran are eager to share with you, their knowledge and passion of Scotland, through their unique 5 star accredited Sleepy Sporran experience (by reputation ‘it’s far more than just a tour’). Sleepy Sporran is the choice of discerning international visitors seeking out those undiscovered, breathtaking, scenic views, and secret places that elude competitors. Scotland may be a relatively small country, with a population considerably less than London or New York but less is more when it comes to awesome scenery, myths and legend, history, wildlife and wonderful winding roads that just seem to go nowhere!
The success and reputation of our top quality tours owes much to the pre-launch years spent planning routes, researching history and culture, testing out routes, visiting attractions and forming those vital local business links which now all sit in the background but ensure our tours are something different. The small, ‘family’ business involves everyone in all aspects of the organisation, guaranteeing the high quality, personal service expected and enjoyed by all of our guests.
Twenty one years ago Trish and Ian, set up SimpsonBell (the parent company) as a management consultancy in the commercial construction sector, managing complex multi-million pound projects, which had the additional spin offs for us of lots of travel and working closely with people. Business boomed but as ‘normal’ retirement crept closer, thoughts drifted towards channeling this experience into a high quality tour operation. Family roots suggested Scotland would be the best location but the question was which part?
A chance business trip to Perthshire in 2005 provided the answer! Perthshire was the perfect place to be based, with its most amazing range of scenery and wildlife, great transport links for visitors and its central location, being right in the very heart of Scotland, with the ability to travel easily in any direction to visit neighbouring regions of Scotland.
In September 2006 we headed to Blairgowrie, with horses, hens, Old English Sheepdogs and other clutter, to start Sleepy Sporran. Word quickly got out that we were a ‘special’ holiday destination for family and friends and then friends of friends. Summers and winters passed, showing them around Perthshire, Fife and Angus and then further afield, all the time finding unusual places to visit and forming lasting contacts with the locals. Trish’s long standing interest in history intensified with her research into the myths, history and local knowledge related to each tour, which made the excursions even more interesting for our guests. Guests came back for more, some making several visits in a year.
Routes were often ‘off grid’ so finding cafes and hotels for lunch at ‘normal lunch time’ was almost impossible with lunch at 4pm happening more than once!! The solution, has become the legendary ‘Sleepy Sporran Picnic’ lunch, with guests now enjoying a totally unique lunch, on time and with a spectacular view. Part of experiencing Scotland is embracing the great outdoors, confirmed by our guests insisting on having our al-fresco picnic lunch all year round!!
After years of deliberation and ‘amateur touring’ around most of Scotland, serious work on Sleepy Sporran began full time in 2015. Vehicles were trialed, routes timed, even ‘comfort stops’ hunted out, the website set up and some promotional material produced professionally. In May 2017 Sleepy Sporran Tours was born and the website launched. Guests drawn worldwide, now experience some of Scotland’s best scenery and sights, - is there really any better way to spend your days?
Finally, why the name, Sleepy Sporran? This was Trish’s innovation and always makes visitors smile, it’s a strong hint to the relaxed pace of our tours and is such a Scottish icon. If we serve you well, you will take away lasting, once in a lifetime memories of Scotland including those of the ‘Sporran’. Why settle for returning home with the same experiences and photographs as everyone else, when you can dare to be different and ‘Tour with the Sporran’.
FOOTNOTE - 2020 should have been Sleepy Sporran’s best year but sadly it turned out to be the worst. Out of the blue, Trish was diagnosed with cancer and passed away after a short illness. Then along came the Covid 19 pandemic destroying all international travel to Scotland, no visitors or touring.
2021 began the same way but now as the year unfolds the future is looking far more promising. Additional hygiene regimes and operational procedures have been implemented for safe touring at all times. Sleepy Sporran is ready again to welcome back old friends and introduce new ones to the unique tours.
In successive years, as Sleepy Sporran Tours goes from strength to strength, it assures a fitting and lifelong legacy for its creator and heartbeat, Trish Simpson Bell.