About Ian

Ian at the Clans Memorial Cairn at Culloden

I am passionate and knowledgeable about Scotland, especially my home regions of Dumfries & Galloway and the Scottish Borders. As an ancestral researcher and tour guide, I love sharing my homeland’s stories and histories with visitors. I look forward to welcoming you to explore Scotland with Borders Journeys.

I was born and raised in Dumfriesshire, where my sisters and I spent a very happy childhood growing up on the family farm near Lockerbie. My father farmed the family farm which had been in our family for generations; my mother was raised in the beautiful Yarrow Valley in Selkirkshire. After attending first the local primary school and then Lockerbie Academy, I left school at 18 to join the Civil Service in Dumfries. After a career that took me to London, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Carlisle, it was time to say goodbye in 2011 and move on to pastures new.

This was my opportunity to make a long-held dream into a reality. Combining my passion for history and culture plus a knowledge about genealogy, I launched Borders Journeys – private guided sightseeing, ancestral and Outlander tours of Scotland. Six years later the company is flourishing and I have welcomed visitors from all over the world to explore not only Scotland but England, Ireland and Wales.

During my childhood I spent long hours talking with my paternal grandfather on the family farm plus enjoying happy family visits to my maternal grandparents in Selkirkshire. From my maternal grandparents I gained my love for the Scottish Borders with its beauty and rich history, while the tales my paternal grandfather told me of his childhood and family history sparked my lifelong passion for genealogy. I have recorded my own family history and tales for future generations – when my nephew and niece were small they loved hearing stories that their great papa Walker had told me long ago.

Ian with Borders Journeys' minibus JeannieBorders Journeys allows me to share the beauty, history and culture of Scotland with visitors from home and abroad. I provides more than just historical facts; I tell real local stories that my parents and grandparents told me. Along with my trusted minibus Jeannie and companion Tweed, I share with visitors my passion for Scotland. I’m thrilled to be living my dream.

My hobbies include travelling, theatre, music, cinema, reading, history and genealogy. Socially I love spending time with my family and friends, especially spoiling my nephew and niece.

Breathes there the man, with soul so dead,
Who never to himself hath said, 
This is my own, my native land!

Excerpt from: ‘The Lay of the Last Minstrel’
Sir Walter Scott

About Ian - Some of Borders Journeys happy visitors during 2014

Ian with some of Borders Journeys‘ happy visitors

I recently featured in VisitScotland’s #ScotSpirit campaign film – Researching Scottish Ancestry – Ian’s Story.

I support the Adopt an Intern scheme, which provides graduates with the hands-on experience required to enter the graduate job market through facilitating paid internships.

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