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Couple keen to share Scotland’s secrets

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Scotland’s secrets are revealed by couple’s online venture.

When their American friends asked Mike and Aurelia Peddie for advice on a travel itinerary for Scotland, the couple had to be honest.

Unless they had a Ferrari, they were never going to see it all and most of the hotels and attractions they had on their checklist were over-rated and over-priced.

Mike and Aurelia, who have a shared passion for travel, decided to plan them something special, sharing their favourite scenic spots, pubs and restaurants across the country.

And the Americans loved their Scottish holiday so much that Mike and Aurelia, from Monkton, decided to start planning Scottish tours for a living.

In 2005, the couple started to work on an idea to provide visitors with a way of planning trips that would be easier and better than using guidebooks or internet research.

The result was Secret Scotland, offering day-by-day itineraries with detailed directions to find the best of Scotland by means of the most scenic routes. And the best bit is that everything has been tried and tested by Mike, 46, and Aurelia, 35, themselves.

The pair, who quit their previous jobs to work on the venture full-time, spend their days visiting castles, museums, beaches, lochs, tourist attractions, accommodation, restaurants and, of course, pubs so they can guide their customers to the best places.

“It’s a foolproof way of seeing the sights, without worrying about things being a hit or a miss,” Mike said.

“I used to work in conservation and Aurelia spent years working in Scottish tourism, so between us we’ve got plenty of experience in the industry.

“We plan trips for people from the UK, and as far as America, Australia and New Zealand, from as far north as Orkney down to the Borders. Wherever they want to go really. We don’t have a niche market, we cover the whole spectrum.”

The newest addition to the Peddie family, Logan, 3, has also diversified Secret Scotland’s client base.

“Previously we tended to look at trips from a couple’s point of view, but since Logan arrived, we have looked into some family-friendly options too.”

For more information, visit secret-scotland.com.