Be welcomed by locals

Farmer And Donkey

Ailsa Currie - Arran

Farmer and Food Tourism Ambassador

Ailsa farms at Bellevue Farm with her husband and two sons. Bellevue Farm is a family-run, working farm with mixed livestock and two holiday cottages on the west side of Arran. Offering farm tours where visitors are given an insight into farming life, fresh farm produce we sell our own home-reared pork, lamb and goat meat and luxury cottage accommodation – it’s a country escape for all the family. Bellevue Farm is also home to a regular Farmers’ Market where island producers come together to sell their locally produced food and drink. Passionate about Scottish farming, producing high quality and high welfare meat and Scottish agritourism, Ailsa was named Food Tourism Ambassador by Scotland Food & Drink.

Claire Donaldson

Claire Donaldson

Tourism Lecturer

I am an Ayrshire girl experienced and qualified in tourism. My tourism journey began working on-board the QE2 closely followed by the Orient Express Luxury Canal Barges in France – 2 pretty different experiences! After some travelling, working abroad and learning about new cultures I returned to Scotland and became cabin crew for a couple of years before initiating my own events business where I attended various prestigious events throughout Scotland. In 2012 I joined Scotland’s Rural College as a tourism lecturer, gained my higher education teaching qualification and more recently an MBA. I deliver a wide range of specialised tourism modules. When I am not teaching, I am out enjoying everything Ayrshire and Arran has to offer with my family – I am dragging them out come rain or shine! I live in Largs and I am passionate about the extensive tourism offering Ayrshire has to offer. We are so lucky to live here on the beautiful west coast, to be able to call this home and explore and enjoy the huge amount of activities available right on our doorstep. There really is something for everyone.

Elliot Melton - Shire

Learning and Access Assistant

Hi my name is Elliot Melton, I’ve been living in Irvine since I was ten. Having grown up in Dreghorn and attending local schools in the area (Fencedyke Primary and Greenwood Academy), I went on to pursue my further education at James Watt College in engineering and electrical systems. Following on from college I began volunteering at the Scottish Maritime Museum were I was awarded the Saltire Award for over 500 hours of volunteering, which was before I became a member of staff and where I’ve been working since 2013. I’ve had two positions in the Museum one as Visitor Services Assistant and my other roll in which I have just finished was as a learning and access trainee in partnership with MGS (Museum Gallery’s Scotland) as part of their award winning “Skills for Successes Program”.

Gillian Craig

Gillian Craig

Official Walking Ambassador

Having lived in Kilmarnock, East Ayrshire for most of my life, I am a huge advocate for Ayrshire as an outdoors destination. I am the owner of the and associated Facebook page. I aim to inspire others to explore the area around them on foot and experience the mental and physical health benefits that time outdoors can bring. My website has become the go-to resource for anyone looking to explore Ayrshire and surrounding areas on foot. I am an experienced Walk Leader and throughout the summer can be found leading walks all over Ayrshire, including at several local walking festivals. Gillian’s Walks was nominated for a Scottish Walking Award in both 2021 and 2023. Also a proud member of the Ayrshire Coastal Path Management Team, with responsibility for digital marketing and communications, I was delighted to be awarded the Community Path Volunteer of the Year award in 2019 from Paths For All for my work on the Coastal Path. Before all that I studied International Management Studies at the University of Stirling and thanks to some time spent abroad as part of my course (as well as a bi-lingual husband!) I am fluent in French. I didn’t know it at the time, but my love for the outdoors was being instilled at a young age with my parents taking me on long hikes in the Scottish hills every weekend: Ben Nevis was conquered at the age of 6! Now with two young sons of my own, I aspire to plant that same seed in them (if only I could prise them off their games consoles for long enough...)

James McKinlay - Shiel

Tour Operator & Professional Photographer

James is an experienced and knowledgeable tour guide who worked in tourism while living and travelling in New Zealand for 5 years. After 8 years travelling the world he returned home to Scotland to continue his excellent services in sightseeing, history and culture. In addition to guiding tours, James is an award winning photographer and loves to get outdoors to photograph our stunning Scottish landscapes.

Kay Hall - Shiel

West Kilbride - Craft Town Scotland

Kay has lived and worked in the lively village of West Kilbride for over 40 years. Since retiring from a local school, she has volunteered for the West Kilbride Community Initiative. Along with many other enthusiastic members of the community, Kay has helped transform West Kilbride village into the only Craft Town in Scotland.

Sheila Gilmore - Arran

VisitArran & The Arran Trust

I was born and raised on Arran, and my family have been on the island since 1935. Originally from Brodick, I now live in Shiskine and consider myself a true Arranach. I’m passionate about our wonderful island, and want to share the real Arran experience with everyone who can appreciate our stunning island’s natural beauty. I’m very involved in various community groups, and see my involvement with these complimenting the work that VisitArran carries out – if it’s good for the community, it’s good for the residents and the visitor too! Apart from my lovely family, of which there’s many (spit on one, and you spit on us all…!), my passions are acting and producing drama, walking, downhill skiing, travel and chocolate – though not necessarily in that order! I am responsible for the day to day operation of VisitArran, our lovely island’s not-for-profit destination management organisation. This can involve everything from meeting with local businesses, to speaking at the Scottish Parliament, to cleaning the information leaflets on MV Caledonain Isles!