Hi, my name is Kathie and my passion is to help people enjoy Ireland and Scotland as much as I do. I have been to Ireland more than 10 times and Scotland 7 or 8 (and counting for both).
My website is here http://www.celtictime.com/
and my pictures are here: https://ahpinc.smugmug.com/CelticTi…
The purpose for It’s Celtic Time! is that I want to share my knowledge and advice about 1) what to see, 2) how to see it and 3) when to see it. What’s important is –> the answer to those 3 questions varies according to each individual and your tastes and preferences. I will work with you to help design the best possible trip for YOU.
Please take a breath, slow down and enjoy your trip. It would be a mistake to go over there and run from site-to-site-to-site! The two things that people love about Ireland and Scotland are a) the people and b) the pace that helps you enjoy life. Enjoy a Guinness. Enjoy a whisky (that’s what they call Scotch in Scotland – or more specifically “malt whisky,” or if you’re a purist like me “single malt whisky”). Talk to people – they love hearing why you’re in their country and they’ll love to have a chat with you. (Don’t expect to ask for directions and have a conversation of less than 10 minutes though – just smile and try to get as much as you can out of the conversation.) When you’re there, you can get some take-away, find a beach or a rock to sit on, and enjoy the scenery.
My story (now would be a good time to fix yourself a cup of tea or coffee, or grab a beer or wee dram, and have a nice sit):
In February of 2013, my mom told her friends to contact me because i) I was a travel agent and ii) I had been to Ireland multiple times, and they were taking a transatlantic cruise to England, then a tour of Scotland and Ireland. The tour was in the beginning of April and they needed help working out all of the logistics. That was when It’s Celtic Time! was born. It is a division of American Holiday planner and was created to help people wanting to vacation in Ireland and Scotland.
People often ask if I have Irish or Scottish heritage. My mom is a Logan on her mom’s side so I’m both Scottish and Irish!!! My husband is a Sutherland on his mom’s side and is the Vice President and Southwest Regional Commissioner of Clan Sutherland Society of North America. He and other Sutherlands have a clan tent at Scottish festivals in Colorado, and I started having a vendor booth for It’s Celtic Time! at the festivals also.
In the fall of 2013, Starz started filming the original TV series “Outlander” in Scotland. If you’re not familiar with Outlander, then you’re not one of 52 million people across the world who have read Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series of books. Diana has written 8 novels about Jamie and Claire – all of them are about 850 pages long (or more) – and she is working on the 9th. Starz has produced a wonderful TV adaptation, and each year covers one book. 2018 is season/book 4. Starz has signed for books 5 & 6.
In June of 2014 we had planned a trip to Scotland to see the sites my husband wanted to see as well as to try find the filming sites for the Outlander TV series. But then a FAM (travel agent FAMiliarization) trip to Ireland in April showed up in my email. Email: Kathie, would you like a cheap trip to Ireland for you and a guest? Me: You betcha! So Dan and I went to Ireland with Celtic Tours (pictures from the FAM trip), then Dan came home and I drove up the west coast of Ireland investigating Golf Courses from Old Head to Doonbeg (pictures of golf courses).
Because of the FAM trip, we moved our trip to Scotland to October of 2014. We spent 13 days driving around looking for the filming sites. At that time it was not all over the Internet like it is today. I found a couple of sites that helped (this was one of them) and stumbled across the scholar and gentleman, Hugh Allison, from Inverness Tours (like most people, I probably found him on Diana’s site). Hugh and his team of outstanding tour guides had been doing single and multiple day tours to Outlander sites (from the books) for years. But notice, I said “day tours”. I couldn’t find the type of tour that I would want to go on – small group, 7-8 days, including accommodation – so the concept of Outlander Immersion – the total immersion into the Scotland of Outlander – was born.
I came up with the unique itinerary, partly based on Hugh’s existing day tours, and partly based on my own research and investigation into where the filming for the TV series was occurring. After many rounds of back and forth with Hugh, we finally had created an amazing, customized tour that we were both happy with.
We went on our first Outlander Immersion Tour together on May 31, 2015. At the time, if anyone knew where Craigh na Dun standing stones were being filmed, they weren’t saying. We had included a drive to Loch Rannoch because there had been a lot of filming in the area, and it is absolutely beautiful. As we’re driving along, in a van with 8 Outlander Enthusiasts (including Hugh), we rounded a corner and someone said, “That kind of looks like the hill…” and we were all chuckling about seeing someplace that looked like it. Hugh stopped the van, and we saw the sideways tree, and thought – “that IS IT!” Fortunately for us, Scotland has “freedom to roam” laws, so Hugh parked at the end of the farmer’s driveway, we tramped up the hill (dodging sheep poo) and saw wheel marks and other signs of filming… we knew we had found the spot!
We have teamed up to deliver the Outlander Immersion tours since 2015 and started running Outlander Redoux Tours in 2018. (See full list here.)
Fast forward to October of 2018. I decided to concentrate on my travel business full time. A Happy Place Travel LLC is the parent of It’s Celtic Time! (where I specialize in small-group, immersive tours to Ireland and Scotland) and it is also the parent of a second division called Beyond the Crowds which is where I specialize in small-group, immersive tours and cruises outside of Ireland and Scotland.
My goal is to get people to slow down... and enjoy visiting the country sides, attractions and cities of Ireland and Scotland. But it is important to also enjoy the people of these two wonderful countries. The Gaelic language used in Ireland is different than the one used in Scotland, but it stems from one root. The people seem to have a commonality also. They have similar attitudes - they know how to enjoy life.
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