TEL: +44 7801 701 486 john@exclusivescottishvisits.co.uk

Meet John

I am a Blue Badge guide and I offer guided tours throughout Scotland for small groups. I meet people from all over the world who share my passion for this wonderful country.

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My History

My full name is John Robert Mackay Harbour and I’m wearing the Mackay tartan. I am a Blue Badge guide and I offer guided tours of Scotland for small groups of up to 7 people in a luxurious Mercedes vehicle or groups up to 16 in a larger Mercedes.

My professional life was at sea and as a Commander in the Royal Navy, I’ve seen the world. From Rio to Australia and from the USA to Japan, I’ve made great friends along the way. I’ve witnessed history in the making, seeing South Africa during and after apartheid, and Berlin before and after the fall of the Wall. I’ve even welcomed King Charles aboard my ships, HMS CHARYBDIS and LEWISTON, and served for a time with HRH Prince Andrew onboard HMS BRAZEN.

More recently I worked in Brussels for the new European Union Military Staff, bringing my French to fluency and making great friends from all over Europe.

Later I served as spokesperson for the European Union Naval Forces off Somalia, commenting on anti-piracy issues and visiting Djibouti and Kenya to get close to the action.

My last appointment was serving as the Royal Navy’s Media and Communications Fleet specialist Influence adviser. I am also a member of the Institute of Directors (IoD) and a Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute (FCMI).


The Navy may have been my life, but I’ve found time to get to know Scotland too with tours to every part of this wonderful country. I welcomed visitors to my guest house (The Old School House, Gartocharn) on Loch Lomond for seven years, touring Scotland when time allowed and gathering a wealth of knowledge about the history, natural environment, sport and culture of every corner of our country.


I love meeting people and making friends. I believe that’s the key to the success of Exclusive Scottish Visits – I run a highly professional business and I’ve enhanced my skills by becoming a member of the Scottish Tour Guides Association that provides Blue Badge Guides around Scotland with a personal, friendly and enthusiastic approach.


I would be delighted to be your private tour guide so get in touch by simply completing our contact form and we can start planning your private guided tour of Scotland.

Exclusive scottish visits logo.

The Exclusive Scottish Visits Logo

I’ve used the osprey in my logo as I feel it represents my company so well. This magnificent bird travels thousands of miles during the summer months on its own private tours of Scotland from wintering grounds as far away as West Africa. Once it’s here, it nests and rears its young in the most beautiful parts of the Scottish countryside.

There’s a very good chance of seeing ospreys if you’re here at the right time of year – although I can’t guarantee the appearance of wild animals or birds on a specific day, as they don’t always read my itineraries!

One thing’s for sure; I do know the most picturesque places to look for them on our tour.

Fancy a tour of Scotland?

What our previous guests have to say

Hi John, Just wanted to let you know we arrived home safely about an hour ago. Once again, Vicki and I can’t thank you enough for your excellence and all your help. We so very much enjoyed spending the little time we had with you, and hope to find a way to see you again! 

Ann Maust


John, I do believe that the trip to Scotland is the most memorable travel experience that I have ever had. The search for ancestral connections as well as the magnificence of the Scottish Highlands—all are just the best of memories.

Broderick Family