It was ten years ago that Scottish Clans and Castles Ltd emerged from a mixed bag of other tourism projects.
to have traced our first client, Angie Anstee (now Eikebu)... "It was 18th April 2001, my Norwegian husband's first trip with me to Scotland and we liked it so much we stayed two nights instead of the one that we booked!" The place, unsurprisingly, was Castle Stuart, an enduring favourite of our clients. And dear Caroline Stuart, the Chatelaine, has just emailed confirming more honeymooners this September.
Then, as now, our clients were primarily looking for holidays tailored to their personal requirements and clan connections. But a couple of years later we ran our first 'Outlander' Tour, a guided trip for fans of Diana Gabaldon's novels. It went well. Of our four clients two re-booked for the following year (and one is now running her own guiding operation in Minnesota). And last year we ran three 'Outlander' tours during one of which our guests dined with Diana Gabaldon and her husband at Castle Stuart.
The Year of Homecoming in 2009 was a milestone for us and about 300 of our clients enjoyed 'The Gathering' in Holyrood Park, Edinburgh.
This year, on our tenth anniversary, we are delighted to be launching two new products - 'Scottish Castle Escapes' and 'The Ultimate Highland Castle House Party', the latter being a luxurious weekend at Aldourie Castle on the banks of Loch Ness with private tours of local castles.
Now then... I'm thinking of a Castle birthday cake, candle on each turret...