About Gilbert Summers

About Johanna Summers

For background on the indefatigable, indomitable AND indispensable Johanna Summers or Campbell follow that link.
(Hope she won't be mad at me for writing that.)

Hello! Thanks for dropping in! My name is Gilbert Summers and I’ve been really lucky to have spent years writing about Scotland. As a native Scot, there are so many topics to write about, so much information to convey. As a professional and an expert on Scotland for the visitor, I’ve been asked by all kinds of international guidebook publishers and national tourism organisations to provide information for guidebooks, promotional materials, websites and so on.

So, in the past, I've been involved in writing about my country for some high-profile publishers such as Fodor’s and the Automobile Association as well as VisitScotland, our national tourism agency. In some ways, working within the tourism industry for tourism clients, you could say I was paid to exaggerate; to say the right things; in short, to help market Scotland.

But that was then. On this site, right now, I’m just writing to please myself! (And you, I hope.)

What our website must-see-scotland is all about....

Revisiting old haunts - my birthplace, Fraserburgh, in Scotland's North-East.

Revisiting old haunts - my birthplace, Fraserburgh, in Scotland's North-East.

In the past, clients usually wanted their promotional material to take a certain slant. Naturally, only the good points of a destination were described. Nobody ever said – ‘Go on, tell them what you really think.

So that’s the key to this site. Free from obligation to this or that client, I can record a truly independent viewpoint or overview of Scotland. It's quite a liberating experience! 

That’s why you’ll find this site has some quite lengthy pages. We use a lot of lines - so that you, sometimes, can read between them!

For some of it, I also lean heavily on the Scotland travel experience of my wife Johanna. (Campbell or Summers. I can never remember.) She’s the one that’s had the practical challenges of, say, trying to find a parking space for a large people-transporter in the middle of the Edinburgh Festival - or finding a visitor attraction open in the north of Scotland before Easter for a big-name international travel writer - these and a thousand more things involving film and tv crews, journalists and influential bloggers that have helped her gain her encyclopaedic and down-to-earth knowledge of Scotland.

She has written  itineraries, fixed appointments, sometimes guided and generally assisted high-profile travel programs and publishers and some of the top names in travel-writing and blogging. (Yes, you’d be surprised what happens behind the scenes!)

Anyway, I hope you’ll stick around to read some really useful information here about my home country and I promise that I’ll be straightforward and honest and as entertaining as possible on the way. To be honest, there are a few pages that lean towards the wacky - or, at least, are less than reverent. But please treat that only as a reaction to all those years when I had to say uncompromisingly solemn and relentlessly positive things about a few towns or attractions that may not in reality give the very best experience.

And don’t you think you deserve the best experience of Scotland? That’s why I’d like you to have a good look round the site. There’s a lot of stuff in here! A page like 'what to see in Scotland' - for instance - is just the start! 

Besides, whatever the reality of the Scottish weather, Scotland is still a wonderful country to explore and discover. So come and visit soon.. And trust me, there really are ways and means - see picture - of dealing with those pesky Scottish midges……

The all-important midge-hood in action in KNoydart

The all-important midge-hood in action in KNoydart

So, enjoy Scotland!

And one more thing: a wee note about the photographs. All the pictures on the site are mine, unless otherwise stated. (I think there are two! Wait, no, there are four-  because I am still waiting for that ‘killer pic’ of the Moray Firth dolphins.) Not all of my pictures have blue sky. I used to get quite bothered by the endless blue skies that seemed to be a feature of so much tourism marketing literature. So, I have tried to be realistic – though you’ll find plenty of my pictures in sunlight.

However, if you look closely in just a few pictures (though I’d rather you didn’t), on one or two (only) you may see small clouds of black dots in the sky and in a tiny tiny number, flying snakes. These are not midges or some kind of Scottish crypto-zoology. No, that’s just dust.

While the vast majority of the pics are digital, (honestly – I’m not that old) for just a few I delved into my collection of 35mm colour transparencies going back many years. Some had returned from a commercial photo library that had not survived into the digital age. Others were at home in cupboards or drawers or neatly stacked, ahem, in piles of ones, all over the place. In a few instances  I have scanned the relevant ones for this site. Heck, it’s a bit of a fiddle, isn’t it? But you’re worth it!

Gilbert Summers is a participant in the Amazon EU Associates Programme, an affiliate advertising programme designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.co.uk.