About Us

Beauly Priory1


Thistle Tours was first thought of by Graeme and Larisa MacDonald in February/March 2007, who now own and run this company, which is located in the beautiful Village of Beauly, approximately 12 miles away from the city of Inverness – the Capital and the Heart of the Highlands of Scotland.

The name Beauly is derived from the French ‘beau-lieu’ (beautiful place); there is a story that Mary Queen of Scots first called it that when she stayed a night at Beauly Priory in 1564.

Thistle Tours have a good bond of experience in Tourism and the geographical & the historical knowledge of Scotland. Our experience and education in the travel industry and also good knowledge of foreign languages enabling us to provide a service at a professional level.

Thistle Tours are Family Members of The Clan Donald Society, Friends of The Clan Fraser of Lovat and The Classic Malts  , Members of The Historic Scotland and The ITT (The Institute of Travel & Tourism).

Graeme, born and bred in Beauly in the Highlands has a large geographical and historical knowledge of Scotland and the Highlands & Islands, he has been and still is involved in many outdoor activities such as hill-walking, mounting biking and canoeing. Graeme often took part in many charity events, especially The Highland Cross that runs from Morvich in the West, running through Glen Affric then onto Beauly, he has done many walks, including Ben Nevis, Aonach Mor and The Munros of Glencoe. During his three years in Ireland, Graeme had done many walks throughout the country. Since leaving school he has travelled throughout Scotland and the Highlands, learning about the geography and history of his homeland, meeting many interesting people on his travels.

Larisa has seven years experience, working as Guide /Translator /Interpreter in the Travel and Tourism Industry. The most experience was gained in her homeland, the Siberian part of Russia, arranging overseas holidays, guiding groups and translating & interpretation in Russian /English /Korean. She has a Certificate in The Institute of Tourism & Hotel Management by University of Culture in Russia and also her London Home Learning College Degree in Travel & Tourism. During her four years in Seoul, South Korea, Larisa studied and received her Diploma of Korean Language at the Seoul Yonsei University, and she worked as part of a team for the Korean Broadcasting Company (KBS TV), giving daily tuition on their TV programme, promoting local tourism.


” As founders of Thistle Tours, we would like to show the people Scotland’s unique history and traditions, as Thistle Tours was set up because of our love and passion for travel and travelling around the world, then this gave us an idea to show the world Scotland and share our passion with others. Thistle Tours are proud Highlanders with unique local knowledge and the true Highland spirit & love for the land they are living on.


We look forward to meeting you soon! Ceud Mìle Fàilte!

Graeme and Larisa MacDonald –

  Turas A ‘Chluarain

TT Logo      Donald Society Crest          Arms Glengarry Crop       Clan Fraser Motto    Beauly - Copy        rose

Highland Stag


Chinese (Simplified)EnglishFrenchGermanItalianJapaneseKoreanRussianSpanish