A guest on a recent single day bespoke tour was not who he seemed!
Imagine our surprise when we discovered that “Alan” was no ordinary North Coast Explorer. He was the Visit Scotland Quality Assurance inspector conducting a ‘mystery shopper’ audit of our tours. Read what he had to say:
“Thank you for an excellent Tour. It was an enjoyable day and it was great to be able to explore an area of Scotland that I have driven past hundreds of times”.
“The amount of time and effort you invested in setting up the tour and creating the bespoke itinerary was very impressive. It was good to see all the technology that you use to enhance the overall experience for your customers. The live feed flying camera was especially good”.
“From an orientation point of view, it could not have been better. You showed me both the route and the main things we would see on an iPad [using the iE² App]. This is a great piece of technology which allows you to easily pinpoint any one of 2500 specific sites and places of interest”.
“It was good to get out of the vehicle so many times and be able to explore properly. I also like the props that you had to help bring some of the history to life”.
“The whole tour was professionally run from the original booking right through to the conclusion”.
“I am pleased to confirm that a five-star award has been achieved. There is very little improvement advice I can give as all the scores were either 9/10 (excellent) or 10/10 (outstanding)!”
Now you don’t have to just take our word for it – a North Coast Explorer Tour really is something special!
The end of the road no longer means the end of the adventure.
We were faced with a challenge – how do we show as much of the North Highlands to our guests as possible when time is limited, the region is so vast and much of the terrain is inaccessible?
Firstly, we chose to operate our tours using a luxury 4×4 which enables us to travel on roads inaccessible to general tour operators. This of course gets our guests closer to the action, in less time and with less effort.
Not satisfied with this, we chose to adopt modern flying camera technology – our Sky Explorer. Now, the end of the road no longer means the end of the adventure. The Sky Explorer gets airborne and transmits live feed images in full 4k colour to a pair of viewing goggles worn by our guests. What the camera sees, you see.
Now, it is possible to see the Highlands from an entirely different perspective*. See cliffs and headlands as the birds see them, explore previously inaccessible waterfalls plunging into steep ravines from the comfort of a chair or fly to the top of a mountain to admire the views without breaking a sweat!
Of course, it’s not just about seeing amazing places effortlessly, it’s also about making a North Coast Explorer tour accessible for guests with restricted mobility too.
The Sky Explorer, another innovation from North Coast Explorer.
* weather conditions and location permitting
How we plan your unique itinerary.
The North Highlands is vast – over 5000 square miles of land, lochs and mountains with a coastline that stretches for over 1000 miles. How is it possible to know everything about everywhere?
Fifteen years of exploring the North Highlands, 3 years of professional study and countless enjoyable hours in the company of Highland Folk has amassed a wealth of knowledge. But the challenge was, how do we turn this ‘information’ into something manageable and meaningful to use?
Our search for a solution led us to create something truly unique. We condensed everything we know about the North Highlands and created an amazing App that we call iE².
iE² (inform, inspire, educate and entertain) graphically pinpoints over 2500 sites of potential interest right across the region. Each of the sites has its own information page and by using some clever filtering, we can select locations from the database that match your preferred interests and thus create an itinerary that is unique to you.
Don’t just take our word for it, try a sample of iE² for yourself. Follow this link and enjoy the journey!
Going the extra mile for you.
We have a responsibility to make your time in the North Highlands as stress free as possible. So, to assist you with your holiday planning, we created the ‘Accommodation Assistant’.
When you book a multi-day tour with us, we provide you with an interactive map tailored for your specific itinerary that displays a range of accommodation for you to choose from, segmented both geographically and by price. The contact details for each establishment are clearly listed making it easy for you to select and then book the accommodation that suits you best.
Our Accommodation Assistant currently has over 250 suggested hotels, B&B’s, glamping sites and bunkhouses spread right across the North Highlands and it is growing all the time.
To try an example of the Accommodation Assistant for yourself, follow this link and start planning!
Treat that special person to a North Coast Explorer Tour.
Do you know someone who is holidaying in the Highlands? Struggling to find the right present for that special celebration? A North Coast Explorer Tour could be just the answer – providing a memorable experience tailor-made for the person or couple in question. We aim to make all our tours enjoyable, insightful and a day to remember.
And we have now made it easy for you to share a ‘North Coast Explorer Tour’ with others by offering gift vouchers, in a range of denominations, for the perfect treat.
Vouchers can be purchased to a value of £10, £25 or £50, or any combination of these. Vouchers are valid for one year from the date printed on the voucher at the time of purchase and can be redeemed against any tour with North Coast Explorer.
Your gift voucher(s) can be sent direct to the recipient or, if you prefer, to yourself first. They will need to quote their voucher reference number at the time of making their booking. Please note tours are subject to availability and North Coast Explorer usually runs tours from March to October (please check with us before ordering a voucher if you have a specific date in mind).
To purchase North Coast Explorer Gift Vouchers, please give us a call on 01847 851852.
Follow us on social media and bring the views to life!
We are keen to share our love of the Scottish Highlands with you, whether you are able to take a tour with us or not. So if you love the views and essence of what you see on our website, then join us on Facebook or Twitter to follow our daily activity and learn more about the Highlands and its history, sights and culture. The area has so much to offer and not just what you can see through your car window.
It’s so hard to convey exactly what you will experience on one of our tours just via a website, but by following our daily updates, we hope it will start to bring our tours to life for you – with insights into our daily adventures, learning about lesser-known facts, sharing tales of culture and folklore and providing awareness of festivals and events.
If you would like to learn more and follow our adventures, please follow us on Facebook or Twitter as we share our knowledge and hopefully inspire you to visit for yourselves.
Click on the images above to enlarge them.
Die Welt November 2018.
‘At the northern tip of the country, puffins and ruins like the one at Sinclair Girnigoe Castle await.’
During the summer of 2018, a German journalist, Axel Catton, wrote an article for Die Welt, the German national newspaper, about his road trip around the North Coast 500. Whilst in the north east, he took a one day tour with us to discover what Caithness had to offer. And very surprised he was!
‘For sure if I had not had the tour, I would have missed out on all the area had to offer. It would be very easy to drive straight through and not see or understand what is there and what history lies beneath the surface.’
Although the nature of the article was focused on the vehicle of choice, a Morgan Roadster, we were happy with a brief mention for North Coast Explorer (see the extract below) and you can read the full article here.
Extract from ‘Stylishly secure through the most remote corners of Europe’ (Die Welt)
“Many British tourists consider John O ‘Groats the end of the island, but this is just the last inhabited spot. The northernmost tip of the British mainland is Dunnet Head, where the orange and gold bills of thousands of puffins are lit up, together with the lighthouse.
We I met with Rob of North Coast Explorer who offers tours in the wider area. “Most people are unaware of how much history the east of the north offers,” he says with pride. He explains the ruins of Sinclair Girnigoe Castle with the same attention to detail as the Brochs, prehistoric storage towers that represent the origin of stone-built dwellings here in the north.
A nice contrast is Mary-Ann’s Cottage. The last inhabitant of this croft, a typical Scottish small farm, left the building in 1993, and it is largely unchanged since the 1920s. Now managed by a foundation, you can see how the land was farmed, livestock kept, and the crofters lived and cooked 100 years ago.”