Reviews & Testimonials
At Sleepy Sporran we would like to think that our tours are different. Here are a few of the responses we have received from recent guests.
Due to Covid 19 restrictions imposed by the Scottish Government tours were not offered in 2020 or to date in 2022 so sadly no reviews. We anticipate reviews will return to regular postings in 2022.
Oh, dear Trish and Ian - Marilyn, Letty, and I loved our days together with you last week. Each day is a golden memory from our first memory of meeting and conferring with you about what we wanted to see and do and experience, including your insightful suggestions. The car travel was oh-so-comfortable and the goodies on board - and champagne in glass flutes! - delicious and memorable. I especially loved the nature lessons and sightings. Seeing the red grouse was a once-in-a-lifetime joy!
Your help with wheelchair-bound Marilyn made my role as her companion so much easier, and I know she loved talking with Ian all to herself in the touring car.
Trish and Ian - you are now very dear to me.
I can’t recommend Sleepy Sporran tours strongly enough! We booked three private tours with Sleepy Sporran, one of which revolved around my heritage. Trish and Ian not only researched the myth surrounding my ancestors but also found the physical evidence of the myth. Ian talked with the landowners and got permission to take us on their land to see the rock cairns associated with the myth. We ended the day atop an ancient tower that overlooked the lands given by the king to my ancestors. Talk about making history come alive! I’ll forever remember that day as my best of all our tours.
During another tour, I was struck ill and had to stop unexpectedly for the night. Ian and Trish took great care of us, driving my husband to and from our hotel to get overnight provisions and bring them back up the hill to me, then picked us up the next day to drive us back to our original hotel. That is above-and-beyond service!
To top off our trip, they found a Highland Games Day that was close by and treated us to a day at the games. For Americans on their first trip to Scotland, this was a fabulous experience, one that we will remember for the rest of our lives. Trish and Ian did everything to make our vacation the best it could possibly be. You will not ever find two better tour guides, hosts, people, ever! One thing I know for sure: I’ll be using Sleepy Sporran again. Don’t miss out on your best Scotland experience. Book a tour with Sleepy Sporran!
Thank you. We had a great time on the tour yesterday, the champagne picnic was the best. We really appreciate the flexibility in the tour and your company made us feel as though we were traveling with friends, (albeit very knowledgeable friends). We would recommend this tour to anyone and would think that the more tours they have taken the more they would appreciate just how special this one is. Next time we are in Scotland we will be sure to look you up and if you find yourselves in the US and we can be of any help just let us know. We truly enjoyed ourselves.
My husband and I spent a magnificent 10 days in Scotland in July, 2019 with another couple, before the world went so wrong. It’s the last trip we took before the pandemic and since we won’t be traveling again this summer, we decided to revisit the week we spent with Trish and Ian and to create a photo album of these memories, which has led to me to write this glowing review of Sleepy Sporran Tours.
I was intrigued by the name Sleepy Sporran and so I looked no further when hiring a tour company. And I am so glad I did, because Sleepy Sporran really knows how to put on a great tour. Ian and I went right to business and we had many, many email conversations over several months, sharing ideas and expectations, and Ian presented us with 7 amazing tours, covering pretty much most of Scotland.
The van was extremely clean and they thought of everything, from prepared snacks served overlooking beautiful vistas along our travels, to picnic lunches or lunch in a local restaurant every day.
We started and ended our trip in Edinburgh on our own, but they recommended inns and castles for us to stay all through Scotland. And most of the inn keepers were “their friends” and so we always felt welcomed wherever we stayed.
Our days were very action-packed, but that was how we wanted it. Yet, we added and took away things as the days went on, and Ian was extremely flexible and very very knowledgeable in the history of the places we visited. And when we said we want to go to Isle of Skye, which was not part of their usual touring, Ian researched the best way to travel there and back, where to stay and what to see. And we got to experience this remarkable area together.
Ian secured golf tee times for us, as well as spa days. He recommended restaurants in little villages should we care to leave the inn property. He took us for gin tasting and scotch tasting, and more scotch tasting!
I would say that a true friendship evolved between us and it was truly one of the best travel experiences my husband and I ever had.
I wanted to thank you for the most incredible tours I have experienced in Scotland. My first tour on June 18, 2019 (Woodsy walk) was amazing. I love walking and enjoying the scenery with you two! You provided an enjoyable experience with laughter, kindness, local and regional knowledge, and accommodation of specific requests. The areas we toured: the Big Tree Country, waterfalls, and Highland gardens were breathtaking. The midmorning snacks were homemade and delicious. As an Outlander fan, standing stones and various Outlander sites were exciting, especially walking through the Craigh na Dun site. The quaint restaurant where we ate (the weather was not accommodating for a picnic) was in a lovely village and had good local fare. I especially like the granite ball which held the check in the bowl, which now has a place of honor in my home (thank you)! I enjoyed the tour and you two so much, that is when I decided to book a second tour!
My second tour: The Braemar, Balmoral, and Deeside tour on June 27, 2019 included my Scottish friend Debbie, which made the tour even more memorable. What fun that tour encompassed. Not only did Trish and Ian continue to regale us with history and fun facts, we continued to have awe inspiring scenery, lochs, and wildlife. We saw the area that Prince Charles and Princess Diana had their honeymoon photo, a few spots of blooming heather, numerous General Wade bridges, and of course.. the highland cows. The Highlands were covered with gray heather just waiting for August to bloom.
The Scottish picnic was 5-Star! The appetizers, sandwiches, meat pies, salads, deserts, and champagne provided, while setting in the beautiful countryside, was incredible. Everything (food, ambiance, Debbie, and you two) just added to the Scottish experience and tour.
I loved having an all inclusive tour, so that I did not have to worry about any additional fees. As you said Ian, "this allows the guests to just enjoy the tour and not worry about additional fees". What a great way to treat your guests!
I cannot say enough good things about you two or the tours! I look forward to returning to Scotland and enjoying more tours with you two. Perhaps in a late summer to see the blooming heather.
Finding ourselves in Perthshire with no way of getting around was a surprise to us. We had anticipated taking trains to any destination we wanted to go see!
Thank goodness we learned about Sleepy Sporran and that you were able to accommodate us on such short notice. We loved the day we spent with you and the knowledge you imparted on us. Your van was very comfortable and it felt very luxurious to have you both all to ourselves!
We hope to return to Scotland some day soon to tour the Highlands, so we hope to see you again!
Thanks again for a brilliant tour
What a breathtaking day we had on Thursday, made all the more picture-perfect-special by possibly the most lovely day of the summer thus far – cornflower blue skies, rivers & lochs glittering in the sunshine, not a breath of wind, rhododendrons still out in late June, the yellow broom in full bright-yellow bloom and heather just start-ing to turn purple… absolute Scottish bliss.
As an accommodation owner in Edinburgh, I have recommended many private tour guides/companies to inter-national guests over the last 13 years, but, as from Thursday, I shall no longer consider any alternative. Your tour exceeded all expectations, and was simply glorious… from the comfort of your beautiful air-conditioned Mercedes tourer purring along the scenic single track and snow roads, to the thought, care, and attention to detail of the tour itself. You have created a truly unique and magical day. I loved the glass of champagne at the first ‘pause’– overlooking a stunning valley – what a start to our day. We saw the Royal stand at the stadium for the Braemar Gathering in September; Crathes Kirk, Lochngar Distillery, Braemar Castle… well, I could wax lyrical, but will refrain from list-making as the destinations are not what distinguishes your tour… it was, as the saying goes, the journey along the way. My friend from the US enjoyed spotting hawks, hares, Highland cattle (‘Heelan Coos), deer, and a variety of birds and differing breeds of Scottish sheep as we travelled.
We both LOVED your picnic – could there ever be a better one I ask myself? Your Taste of Scotland award has the worthiest recipient. It was so special, sitting in the glade by what in a fairytale setting, with woodland to the back and green hills in the distance, and, oh, what a dream lunch it was - spread out as a feast for our eyes as if by magic, when we returned from our walk. Having indulged to the max, we were both amazed that a cheese-board & deserts were then to follow. It had to be the tastiest picnic ever – a 10-star award seems more befitting! All the ingredients locally sourced, and utterly delicious. Including your own hen’s eggs used and hot smoked salmon from a Scottish smokery…
It was an ‘open ended’ tour – you did not have a time deadline – which we both thought was remarkable. Particularly given that your tour prices are ‘all inclusive’ - there are literally NO add-on charges on the day, for the picnic lunch (which also had options of tea, coffee, elderflower juice), water in the car, champagne, entrance ticket fee to anywhere we visited on the tour. This is worth emphasising as it makes your tour, apart from every other adjective for brilliant, exceptional value.
It was also lovely to just ‘kick back’ and enjoy the peace – no military deadlines or insistence of ‘pushing on’ to the next leg of the journey. You made it clear that the day was flexible and was all about what we wanted to see or do next. The pace was relaxed and there was no sense whatsoever of being pushed into stopping and view-ing whatever was on a predetermined agenda – I chose to walk by the river while you kindly accompanied my American friend to see a couple of Royal places of interest. Your knowledge was evident throughout the day, and was genuinely interesting… from the meaning of words, to the history of the sites and places we visited. At no time did either of us feel as if we were being bludgeoned with dry historical facts…
The other lovely ingredient of the day was yourselves – your gentle humour and kindness, laid-back approach, as well as your obvious intelligence and knowledge - make your tour meaningful and memorable.
We both appreciated the time, thought and care that you so willing imparted on our day. As the passing driver of a vintage car said as he slowed down his vehicle and clapped while we were having our picnic, BRAVO!
We are on our way to Nottingham but thought I wanted to drop you an email and thank you and Trish for a wonderful experience yesterday. All of us loved the tour and we were really impressed with your enthusiasm, knowledge, and friendliness during the whole tour. My friends are all amazed with how well the day went and they were deeply appreciative. You both were so informative and helped us appreciate Scotland even though we had such a short stay. Thank you again for everything and hope to see you both some time soon.
The BEST! I cannot recommend Sleepy Sporan tours enough!
Ian and Trish are so welcoming, warm, knowledgeable they truly make Scotland come even more alive and memorable than it is. They are attentive to every detail of their guests travels, from hot teas and coffee, to champagne and sandwiches, plus even making sure the sun shines!
No better way to explore this magical country!
My husband and I and another couple spent a week in the Perthshire area in Scotland in October 2018. I was fortunate to find info regarding the Sleepy Sporran Tours when doing research about the trip! We spent three days with Ian and Trish and they were the BEST PART of the whole trip! The transportation was very nice (and spotless), the commentary along the way very descriptive and included lots of historic and detailed tidbits about the sites, scenery, and wildlife. Attention to detail was unbelievable — from the morning snacks (handmade sandwiches featuring lox, pate, hummus, for example) to the lunch and afternoon stops (some with champagne, even), to providing phone chargers and water as we travelled, our every need was anticipated and accommodated. Trish and Ian designed our three days based on input we gave and so we were able to focus on points of interest that were important to us (distilleries, scenery, sightseeing, etc.). All in all, these three days of “exclusive” tours made our trip! Because of the wonderful service they provided, we are already planning another trip to Scotland so that we can let Ian and Trish show us more of their beautiful country. Though they were extremely professional, we made two wonderful new friends!
The first day of our trip to Scotland, when our husbands were shooting on Deeside, 2 of the wives and I walked to Ballater, the closest town. It's next to Balmoral Castle. The Queen of England and Charles and William were all sighted in the area the week we were there. We shopped in the quaint town and were driven home by one of the shop keepers.
On other days there were tours offered and included by Sleepy Sporran Tours. Run by a wonderful couple, Ian and Trish, retired from the stresses of architecture and engineering who were our guides. They were so much fun ! And showed us 3 wives, all over the rolling hills of the Highlands for 2 days. We stopped for champagne and goodies out of the back of their Mercedes SUV when we would have a moment, like a rainbow. Along the way we went to lunch at a castle, took a castle tour, had 2 Scotch whisky tastings, a tour of a fa-mous old working woollen mill, passed the gate of Balmoral Castle (Queen in residence), saw the little church the Queen goes to, stood inside a circle of ancient stones and shopped in a mall that looked like a castle and had great sweaters.
We laughed a lot!
Hello Trish and Ian,
I would like to say thanks again for a wonderful day on Thursday past and to tell why I had such a great day.
1. Initial contact with you was very quick and included information that assisted me in describing what I thought the tour could include. All contact, which was conducted via email, was prompt, professional and continued through out whenever I had a question or comment.
2. My tour was designed based upon my interests and came with wonderful suggestions as to what we could see. The routes of the tour had been well planned and depending on what 'took my fancy ' on the tour date, proved to be interesting, historic and containing beautiful scenery of an area of Scotland with which I was not familiar.
3. Both Trish and Ian are very, very knowledgeable both about the history of the areas we visited but also with current events that pertained to these historic sites. There were many laughs as well and they made me feel as if I were an old friend whom they had known for years: very easy to travel with to say the least.
4. We had stops as advertised for delicious refreshments but it was a little too cool for an outdoor picnic but we had a great lunch in a restaurant in which Prince Charles is involved.
5. As I listed earlier, both Ian and Trish are very well informed; Ian is also an excellent driver which only adds to the comfort and safety of any passenger. The vehicle was very comfortable and roomy as well.
These comments just touch the surface of how much I enjoyed my tour. The day included verbal information plus I was presented with a great package of printed information pertaining to our day and proves very interesting to read and reinforce what I learned which to me is invaluable.
In conclusion, I would unreservedly recommend arranging a tour with Ian and Trish and the Sleepy Sporran company. The 5 star rating of the company is absolutely justified. I have no doubt that the excellence with which Ian and Trish provided my tour would be repeated in any tour. It was a wonderful experience and I would love to do it again.
Thank you Trish and Ian for helping me make some wonderful memories of Scotland. I hope our paths cross again.
In mid-September 2018, my husband and I spent 10 days exploring Scotland. My husband actually had 4 days planned with friends to go hunting in the Ballater area. Fortunately, my friend learned about Sleepy Sporran. Two days were scheduled for 3 of us to spend with Ian and Trish while our husbands were hunting.
Ian and Trish treated us like royalty! They picked us up in a lovely vehicle, provided great history of the area, treated us to coffee and baked goods and lunch each day. Each of us received a bag full of information about Scotland and the venues that we were visiting. We had a few special requests along the way so they adjusted the planned tour to accommo-date our wishes. The time past very quickly! We were with them from mid-morning until late afternoon both days. At the end of each day, Ian and Trish found a lovely overlook of the Scottish Highlands to enjoy a glass of champagne and a toast.
My friends and I thoroughly enjoyed our time with Ian and Trish. My husband and I are al-ready talking about our next trip to Scotland. We will definitely be in touch with Sleepy Sporran Tours to schedule more time with Trish and Ian to explore the beautiful country of Scotland. There is no need for you to consider any other tour company….these two are the best!
I would like to thank you again for the great tour we had. We both really enjoyed it very much – the landscape was really beautiful and we learned so much about the area around St Andrews. Today, we tried out the Cafe at the Golf Museum you recommended. The view was stunning.
Thank you for all the attention to detail that you both provided for our day excursion. We have all continued to remark on the wonderful lunch you prepared for us and on the scope and commitment to make it memorable. Doreen and I made it a point to visit the tourist information centre in Perth and explain to them the marvellous day trip Sleepy Sporran had prepared for us. We would be pleased if any of our positive comments enhanced your business. We will continue to extol the merits of your tours here in Canada. Best wishes for continued success in future bookings.
Following our return home our memories of the two day tours, Perthshire and Rosslyn Chapel, with Sleepy Sporran remain strong.
It was very pleasing that our choice of tour operator far exceeded our expectations. Each tour was prepared with our input and the detailed planning was perfection. The pre-tour part was complimented by the service delivered on the day by Ian and Trish. Their deep knowledge of Scotland was obvious but it was how their stories made the history come to life during the tours. They each have a special understanding and love of Scotland.
Rosslyn Chapel was a clear highlight particularly with the chance to meet with senior staff who explained the family’s association with the chapel and the Australian connection. At times the chapel’s architecture was a little overwhelming but with the stewardship of Ian & Trish it all made sense.
We just know that we will return to delight in more that Scotland and Sleepy Sporran have to offer.
This tour was the best tour I went on during my time in The United Kingdom. From the moment I contacted Ian, I felt taken care of. Ian and Trish prepared a tour for my mom and me that included not only my specific requests but additional places of interest that they thought we'd benefit from seeing. They worked with us on the time frame and the price was absolutely reasonable. The really nice thing about the price is that they take care of all the entrance fees, parking, tour guide meet-ups,etc. They have refreshments whenever you need them. When we first met Trish and Ian, we felt comfortable and easy with them. They are very easy to talk to, knowledgeable and enthusiastic about the journey they are taking you on. We also were treated to an amazing lunch in a beautiful setting. My mom and I felt so pampered! It was really an experience that we will cherish.
Wonderful times, just a few shots (pictures attached from the tours ) of great memories.
Thank you to Ian and Trish for an excellent day. Door to door service, extremely comfortable, spacious and immaculate tour bus. Very welcome morning coffee/ champagne , both Trish and Ian unfaultering in their efforts to make sure all our needs were catered for.
Britannia is well worth the trip, very interesting. Lovely lunch, some free time then journey home.
Very professional service with a personal touch. Will have no hesitation in recommending Sleepy Sporran Tours. Lovely goodie bag to take home at end of day an added bonus.
On a wet, dark and dismal day we chose the Sleepy Sporran Winter Tour to Rosslyn Chapel. After a super journey, what a wonderful surprise was waiting for us. Newly built shop, cafe and information areas. The Chapel itself was breathtaking - superb stone carvings dating back hundreds of years, guides with local knowledge to show you round.
Thanks again Ian and Trish our Sleepy Sporran travel experts.
Our warmest thanks to both of you for your welcome to beautiful Scotland. With your assistance we (re)discovered the countryside of Perthshire and Aberdeenshire. No questions remained unanswered! Con-gratulations for the exceptional champagne-lunch which probably contributed to the marvellous and relaxed atmosphere.
I wanted to thank you both for the wonderful tour you provide for us last Sunday! It was exactly the type of tour we were hoping for…one with plenty of local knowledge and provided in a personable and friendly man-ner! You couldn’t have chosen a better selection of sites…from breathtaking views to quaint, colorful villag-es…every site chosen had it own unique appeal. We will definitely recommend your services to all of our guests when we send them to Scotland. Thank you again for a perfect day!! You two are the best!!!
If you are heading to Scotland and would like a real treat then I highly recommend a personalised tour with Sleepy Sporran Tours.
What did we want to see they asked? Good question! With thoughtful guidance from our hosts we decided to go for an ‘exclusive version’ of The Grand Tour, preferring as much of the outdoor scenery as weather would permit, to savour the natural beauty of the area. Trish and Ian collected us in what was quiet simply the most comfortable tour bus ever and very safely driven throughout. The scenery was simply stunning - just what we had hoped for.
Our hosts clearly have in depth knowledge of the region, its history and myths and provided great narrative to all we saw. Photo stops were no problem and we felt very comfortable asking for anything we needed or for more information. A coffee break beside the waters of a distillery was perfectly timed then back on the road for more beautiful scenery.
We stopped for lunch beside the beautiful Loch Tay and in a few moments Trish and Ian magically delivered an absolute feast of a champagne picnic. Being a polite person, I tried to sample a bit of every thing- all fresh and totally delicious with an emphasis on local Scottish fare. Very impressive - very much appreciated.
The personalised attention for our tour was outstanding. I am generally not one to go on tours but this was quite special and Trish and Ian were wonderful guides. I will certainly be coming back for another Sleepy Sporran Tour when next in Scotland and can highly recommend the experience.
Thank you for taking care of us during our Whisky Tour, we had a wonderful day with you.
The whiskies that we tried were all new to us and we were excited to try some of the best whiskies which were award winning. Moreover, the tour and tastings were very informative, we learned a lot from it and we enjoyed it very much.
Great day with Sleepy Sporran Tours doing the Perthshire Grand Tour. Spectacular scenery (especially loved Pitlochry and Blair Castle), comfortable vehicle which felt very safe despite some hairpin bends, delicious food and wonderful company. Ian and Trish are very relaxed hosts, nothing is too much trouble, and very knowledgable. My niece and I thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and plan to take another tour next year. Can't recommend highly enough
I've really enjoyed the tours I've taken with Sleepy Sporran. Ian and Trish are fantastic at tailoring the tours to my interest of wildlife - from spotting deer or birds of prey, watching and getting up close to red squirrels, and even seeing a mountain hare which was a really special experience.
The champagne picnic lunches are a real treat and made even more special by the spectacular views from the picnic stops. Particular highlights for me include the village of Kenmore with stunning views of the mountains reflected in Loch Tay and the beautiful view of the snow topped Caingorms from across Loch Morlich. The tours are also a great opportunity to take amazing photographs. Ian and Trish are excellent at recommending the best spots for this - my favourite would have to be Queen's View, although photographs don't do it justice and it has to be seen in person to truly take it in. Watching the sunset there was amazing and something I won't forget.
All of these experiences would not have been possible without Sleepy Sporran Tours. I'd highly recommend them and I can't wait to go on my next one.
Highly delightful tour with superb information and graphic detail throughout the day. Coffee breaks, fantastic champagne picnic lunch and afternoon tea were all at great pre-planned locations. No request was too much trouble and guide leaflets were provided for additional information.
A throughly enjoyable day with super driver and courier, thank you so much, looking forward to next time.
Five stars for Sleepy Sporran - Have had many great tours with Sleepy Sporran - Aviemore and Balmoral were just two of the outstanding visits. Never thought I'd get so close to Balmoral castle, wouldn't have been surprised if 'Her Majesty' herself, had appeared! Likewise, getting 'close-up and personal' with the beautiful red squirrels at Cluny House Gardens was absolutely wonderful.
Ian and Trish are excellent guides, gaining unparalleled access to fantastic Scottish countryside and sights. Their relaxed, informal approach makes for an extremely enjoyable and informative experience. Would highly recommend. Oh, and the picnics are totally delicious too!!
Great weather and beautiful scenery. Surprise coffee breaks and memorable picnic. Excellent company, unforgettable.
This spectacular Deeside Tour was a relaxing, enjoyable, informative and memorable experience. The scenery and views were spectacular as we headed north towards Braemar to visit the Braemar Gathering games field then onto our first coffee break overlooking the view towards Mar Lodge Estate. An added bonus was the beautiful weather, wonderful company and amazingly tasty picnic set in the Deeside sunshine. Our tour guides could not have done more to make our day out more special. My particular favourite visits were to Crathie Kirk, Balmoral Castle, Ballater and Brig o' Dee. A memorable day!