Be welcomed by locals

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 on foot. I am an experienced Walk Leader and throughout the summer can be found leading walks at local walking festivals, including Valley Walkfest, Clyde Muirshiel Walking Festival and Kilmaurs Walking Festival. My “day job” is in Active Travel where, as a certified Walk Leader, Ride Leader and Cycle Trainer, I work to enable more people to choose walking or cycling as a way of travelling around. I am also a proud member of the Ayrshire Coastal Path Management Team, with responsibility for marketing and fundraising and 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!