Talk to the Tour Guide

Name Will Stockham

Age 30

Home Tolsta Chaolais, Isle of Lewis

How long have you been working as a tour guide 3 years

Interests Anything to do with the outdoors, in fact, anything to do with mountains! I love hill walking, mountain biking and snow-boarding.

What sort of people come on your tours?
All sorts, really. I work for Highland Experience, who cater to the middle market, so anyone from flash backpackers to older groups. As well as scheduled tours we offer bespoke tours, so one minute you could be driving a bus of backpackers, the next a tailor-made whiskey tour! Summertime usually delivers lots of Americans, Asians and Canadians who coincide their visit with the better weather.

Where’s your favourite spot in Scotland to take them?
Definitely the North East coast of Scotland, in particular Dunotter Castle at sunset. The castle is a beautiful ruin and sits on the edge of a cliff overlooking the sea. It’s always the last stop on our whisky tour so being there means a good whisky isn’t far away.

Where is your favourite place to spend the night in Scotland?
Am I allowed two? First choice would be a ‘bothy’ in the mountains surrounded by mates. On a tour it would definitely be Skye. It’s always amazing seeing people’s faces when they wake up after a night in Skye and I drive them to Cuillin (a rocky mountain range). People are blown away by the scenery.

Backpack Essential?
My Leatherman! It’s one better than a swiss army knife, it’s a multi tool and it really is an essential. Mine was given to me by my fiancé and has my initials engraved on it.

Favourite Scottish historical figure?
Rob Roy – he’s ginger and he’s always in trouble, like me.

One thing people must do when they’re in Scotland?
Go up to the far North West, towards Torridan - it’s one of the most breath-taking parts of Scotland, with its mountains and sea views.

Give me a random fact?
Bo’ness is the only place name in Scotland with an apostrophe in it. Apparently that’s because the original name, Borrowstounness, is too long to fit onto road signs and maps. My mate Craig told me that, and he’s from there so it must be true.

Best pub in Scotland?
The Athletic Arms on Slateford Road in Edinburgh. It’s known as The Digger’s Arms, as it’s across the road from an old graveyard. They do the best pint of 80 shilling beer in the world. When McEwans, the brewery down the road, stopped making 80 shilling in casks, the pub commissioned another brewery to produce their own - it’s the best pint you’ll ever taste.

If I could magic you away to anywhere in the world where would you choose?
Phu Quoc island in Vietnam; a perfect desert island I once spent a month living on. Utterly idyllic.

So William, what do you wear under your kilt?
A gentleman never tells!

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