I live in the picturesque seaside resort of North Berwick which is only 35 minutes away from Edinburgh and am happy to take visitors anywhere in Scotland.
I have been a journalist for over 35 years and for fifteen of them I have been Editor of Scotland’s national business magazine, Scottish Business Insider. In 1996 I won a UK national award for my business journalism. During my career I have interviewed and met many famous figures in business, politics and even show business ranging from former Prime Minister Gordon Brown to Jim Walker, managing director of the iconic Walkers shortbread.
As a professional writer, you won’t be surprised to hear that I love telling stories and sharing my knowledge of Scotland. But I promise you it is not about dry facts – my key aim is to be an entertaining guide and I am sensitive to the interests of all generations.
I have deep roots in Scotland. In the Highlands my family goes back generations as crofters on the stunningly beautiful Wester Ross coast. Another branch of my family were coal miners near Stirling, and that sparked off a strong interest in Scotland’s industrial past.
Although I wasn’t born in Scotland my mother was Scottish and I regularly visited the country to see my relations until I finally moved here in 2000. I wear the Graham of Menteith tartan because my mother was a Graham. Her father came from Alva in Clackmannanshire and my great grandfather was a coal miner in the region.
My middle name is Taylor and that was the maiden name of my Grannie who came from the picturesque former fishing village of Badachro on the beautiful north west coast of Scotland opposite the Isle of Skye. Grannie Graham ran a popular guest house there on the farm which had been in my family for 200 years and as a child I helped to milk the cows and feed the chickens which she kept there.
In the late 18th century a celebrated Gaelic poet called William Ross (a contemporary of Robert Burns) lived in a cottage down the road from the farm and wrote a poem about my great, great, great grandfather Robert Taylor. Robert had originally been born in Ardrishaig, Argyllshire, and was shipwrecked off Gairloch and ended up staying in the area and marrying a MacKenzie girl whose father gave him the land at Aird. His son, also Robert, married Christina MacDonald who was originally from Edinbane on the Isle of Skye after meeting her when she was a maid working in a house at the nearby stunning beautiful Loch Maree.
I am proud of my Scottish roots and continue to dig down to find out more about them and that is why I am perfectly positioned to help other people research their ancestry; however, I have in depth knowledge about modern day Scotland too and can give you a unique insight during an amazing tour.