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Robert & Sally-Ann James standing next to their Land Rover in front of The Castle of Mey


North Coast Explorer Tours is a small family-run private tour business covering the North Coast 500 and its heartland - and is the only Visit Scotland 5 star rated private tour company located in the North Highlands.

We were visitors to the area long before we became residents. Our love for the landscape, culture and heritage pulled us back year after year until we could resist no more. Relocating to the Highlands in 2013 we utilised our experience from previous blue-chip business and customer service focussed roles and merged this with our knowledge and passion for the region to develop personalised touring offers.

Now, we look forward to creating unique, local experiences for you to enjoy and memories for you to savour with one of our tailored chauffeured tours – designed just for you.

Robert & Sally-Ann James


Rob at Corrieshalloch.jpg



Robert’s passion for the North Highlands is brought to life when he is sharing his knowledge with others. His long-term interest in history and genealogy now seamlessly mixes with local folk tales and clan histories. Add to this his love of the north coast landscape and photography, and he’ll provide you with an enjoyable and informative insight into the North Highlands.

Robert is trained by the University of the Highlands & Islands and accredited as a North Highland Tourist Guide by the Scottish Tour Guides Association. He is also studying for a BA (Hons) degree in History, Heritage and Culture of the Scottish Highlands.

Sally-Ann James of North Coast Explorer Tours at the Fairy Glen, Rosemarkie, Black Isle



Holding fort at base camp (the office), it is likely that if you call or email you will be dealing with Sally-Ann over your enquiry. She enjoys nothing more than liaising with guests to organise their tour details and recommend the ideal accommodation. And with a background in marketing, she is also known to get her creative juices flowing on social media or via our BLOG posts.

However, if you cannot get hold of her, she may just have escaped, with the dogs, for a blast of fresh air at the local north coast shore near The Castle of Mey where they live.

Max & Poppy, two border collies lying in a snowy garden


Max & Poppy

"We love to go out and about exploring on research trips with the Chief Explorer - particularly if there is a good walk involved or we have the chance for lots of sniffing!  

Although we are not allowed out on the big proper tours, we do get excited if guests are passing by our way and 'Base Camp Support' says we can go and meet them." 



a bottle of Old Pulteney whisky and a bottle of Irn-Bru on the tailgate of a Land Rover.
  • An itinerary built from our own researched database of over 2500 sites ensures a unique trip.

  • The opportunity to head off the beaten path in our luxury 4x4 and see lesser known and frequented locations and points of interest.

  • Experience locations via the ‘Sky Explorer’, our flying camera, to see a different point of view.

  • WiFI available within the vehicle to keep you connected.

  • A few little extras along the way including props, traditional drinks and a wealth of local tales.

  • Welly boots and wet weather gear for those inclement moments.

Our tours have been independently assessed and quality rated as 5 Star by Visit Scotland.

Single track road leading into the distance overlooked by Cul Mor mountain, Highlands.
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