New Restrictions

Since new restrictions have come into force last week booking a tour is most likely not good advice and certainly not if you wish to travel with more than one household.

You can still get in touch to plan tours for the future and most certainly also if you wish to get some help with planning or looking for ideas.

I sincerely hope that operations will resume to be normal by summer 2021 and meanwhile I aim to bring a little Scotland to you on this website and via social media.

Stay well & healthy!

Scottish Golf Courses-> Now is your time

Golf is open again and there are no international golfers this year. So 2020 maybe your best bet to get onto such famous courses as the Old Course or as remote as the Isle of Colonsay Golf course.

You can of course always combine your game with some Scottish Uisge Beatha = whisky, perhaps on Islay and if you do not understand anything try soma Gaidhlig:

Science & Sightseeing

Robert Watson-Watt 1892-1973

Robert Watson-Watt was born in Brechin, Scotland, which is known for a good wee dram: Glencadam Whisky, Brechin castle and the entire area for fertile farming. Robert, however, is known for turning a potential weapon of mass destruction into Radar. The so called “death ray” was an idea prior to World War II which would be aimed at aircrafts and this beam of energy would make conditions in the aircraft unbearable and would eventually melt the plane.

Though a beam of electromagnet energy could not destroy the aircraft, but it determined that there was an object and you could calculate how fast it was travelling.

Radar stands for radio detection and ranging. This sounds complicated but it is one dish transmitting radio waves and microswaves. These pulses bounce off an object and a small amount of the energy is reflected back to where it came from. This energy is picked up by a second dish/antenna. The scientist can then calculate how far away the object is and how fast it is moving.

This of course was a vital technique to spot German bombers early enough to shoot them down during WWII.

Robert Watson-Watt was leader of the team which developed practical Radar. He had become interested in electromagnet energy during his studies at

St Andrews College in Dundee.

It took Watson-Watt and his team until 1940 to have working Radar station installed along the British coastline. Britain might have lost the war without Robert Watson-Watt’s invention.

Around the same time elsewhere in Scotland, namely Aberdour, at

HS Tarlair

Captain Ryan and his team worked on something vaguely similar: detecting submarines. If you visit today and yes you can little of the site is left.

The team at HS Tarlair used hydrophones (underwater microphones) which eventually led to sonor detection.

So how could you spend a day involving radar and sonar look like?

Back to normal? Or rather back to madness?

The last two days the taxi side of our business has had the first signs of returning back to normal. This certainly makes all of us very hopeful.

However, dropping guests off at Elie & Earlsferry yesterday you could not move there were so many people and cars.

Today’s St Andrews is busier than I have ever seen it. On one hand it is truly awesome to see people supporting their local areas and tourism in general.

However, I am sightly worried that this might be too much too soon?

In saying this people seem very considerate and respectful and appear to keep their distance. So fingers crossed this will give all of you a fantastic break and for the tourism industry a solid recovery.

At Starfish Travel and Taxis we have screens installed, separating us from our guests, we sanitise the vehicles after each and have hand sanitiser and face masks onboard for you. We also offer contactless payment (no additional costs).

Stay safe and enjoy your freedom to visit!!!

Air bridge countries- no quarantine

After listening to our daily First Minister’s update on the Covid-19 pandemic there are some good news for some international travellers. You can now fly into Scotland without needing to quarantine for 14 days if you are from the following 59 countries:

Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Barbados, Belgium, Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba, Croatia, Curaçao, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominica, Faroe Islands, Fiji, Finland, France, French Polynesia, Germany, Greece, Greenland, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macau, Malta, Mauritius, Monaco, Netherlands, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Réunion, San Marino, Seychelles, South Korea, St Barthélemy, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Pierre and Miquelon, Switzerland, Taiwan, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, Vatican City, Vietnam.

If you travel from Spain or Serbia you still need to adhere to the quarantine rule.

Read the full Glasgow Times article here

Travel to Scotland again. View from Abernethy over the river Tay

Special offer: Sightseeing by the hour

If you & your family are on a staycation in St Andrews perhaps you would enjoy some sightseing in the surrounding areas.

R & A St Andrews

Our offer is sightseeing by the hour at £40 per hour

There gorgeous place in the surrounding areas, such as the fishing villages of East Neuk, the Crail Pottery, perhaps some kayaking at Elie or a walk on the coastal path. If you enjoy watching wildlife maybe you would like to visit a one of Fife’s reserves, such as Bankhead Moss

or Fleecefaulds Meadows or pehaps Kellie Castle in Pittenweem? Whatever you fancy we can make it happen. Do get in touch for more ideas: Contact
https://www.nts.org.uk/visit/places/kellie-castle
Crail
https://fifecoastandcountrysidetrust.co.uk/walks/fife-coastal-path/

Getting back to normal in tiny, wee steps:

Near Norman's Law, Fife Scotland

As of today, 3rd of July 2020, people in Scotland may travel further than five miles for leisure purposes, caravan parks and other self catering businesses may open up again and also beer gardens. For daily updates for Scotland Click here

Wester Flisk, Fife Scotland
View of river Tay

There is also some talk of reducing the 2m disctancing for some hospitality businesses, which hopefully enables smaller venues to survive.

Additionally the 14 day quarantine might be lifted for certain countries.

For Starfish Travel we expect to rely predominantly on UK visitors to join us for bespoke tours in 2020. For 2021 we sincerely hope to welcome back the rest of the world. So if you are planning a trip please do get in touch and we will assist you with any questions and worries you may have.

Contact
View from Norman's Law, Fife, Scotland
View from Norman’s Law, Fife, Scotland

Our vehicles are santised after each use. We have soft, transparant partititions installed to separate passengers from the driver. Hand sanitisers and face mask are available and our drivers use both. All our vehiscles are MPVs and offer six seats separated from the driver currently arranged in conference seating . So six people of the same household and can travel safely.

For the future we have some exiting plans which involves diving into SCITOUR, which is a project involing scientific tourism in remote areas.

There was also and article in the Herald. The project so far involves a number of very exiting companies and we hope to be part of it.
Highland cows, Norman's law
Highland cows at Norman’s Law.

We have created a SPECIALS PAGES  where will publish new exiting ideas on attraction, venues and sites. So, do visit it on regular intervals and by all means leave us a comment below if you have a great idea!

Fingers crossed!!!

As mentioned in my last blog there are some passenger planes in the air again and best of all there have been no cases of corona deaths yesterday and slowly but surely the infection rate declines . There were 15 new case confirmed. These numbers are very much matching the ones which were reported at the very beginning on the pandemic.

So hopefully on 15th of July 2020 all of us serving tourism can get back to work if the infection numbers continue to drop.

On Thursday I received my first tour booking for September. Which is very exiting and at the same time feels so very strange. This time last year I spent most of my time sharing beautiful Scotland with customers.

This very short video showcases that you can have a wine tasting and gorgeous food with others even if it is via zoom. I must say I enjoyed this winetasting organised by the St Andrews Business Club and presented by Christopher Trotter Fife Food Ambassador much more than I had anticipated.

I still state that I really did enjoy the gift of spare time in nice weather and I did spent any hours with my horses in the sunshine.

What clearly has kept me sane are the online yoga classes of Heart Space

Even before the lockdown I frequently attended classes at their lovely venue in Scott Street, Dundee to conteract too many hours spent in the taxi/tour MPV and to be supple enough to climb on my horses whenever I managed some free time.

During lockdown I have become somewhat obcessed and truly enjoy the community – though long distance there is still a feel of togetherness.

My thoughts for Starfish Travel have been along the same lines: More intensity at a slower pace and adding new ideas.

I will be diving a little deeper into meditation, mindfulness & movement by trying to become a yoga teacher.

Along the same lines I have been researching retreats, meditation and nature, such as forrest bathing, traditional crofting and animal husbandry.

For the ones of you looking out for more excitement I have added sea planes, gliding, kayaking to the mix and if you have other thought I am always open to make it happen.

If this pandemic has taught us one thing it is collaboration and helping each other.

Please feel free to add your thoughts below

Some airlines fly as of today

The best news of today is that there are no new Corona deaths!

Golf and tennis can be enjoyed again though on this side of the country there is a little too much dampness in the air.

Crail Golf Links (but not today!)

Most flights arriving today will be national flights but nonetheless there was some exitement when the first Easyjet plane touched down in Glasgow this morning.

It will be some time before number of flights pick up again and even more time will pass before international flights return to pre-covid times if ever.

However there is some hope more and more businesses announce their re-opening and that even includes my dental practice (who as always have done such an amazing job that I did not need them during lockdown)

There will be some learning to be done. I had the honour to transport an elderly gentleman and his dog. How do you assist someone to get into the vehicle while keeping your social distance? If you cannot: face masks and hand sanitiser are the answer.

While you wait on Scotland being as welcoming as we are all used to you could entertain yourself with some

Scottish Wildlife watch online 

Loch Lomond Seaplanes

Meanwhile one of our favourite special treats have announced that they will start operating again as of 30th June with fifty flights a week each flight carrying four instead of the usual nine passengers so you are in for an extra treat:

Loch Lomond Seaplanes

Meanwhile on the east of Scotland for once you do not miss much:

Dreich day on the east of Scotland
Today’s view over the river Tay…. where is the river?

Covid 19 on the way ?

Slowly but surely it appears the pandemic is leaving beautiful Scotland …

The tourism industry will hopefully start opening by 15th of July if the R number continues to reduce.

Scottish Airports

More airlines will fly to and from Scottish destinations beginning of next week and airports have made amendments to ensure your safety.

Edinburgh airport asking you to do five things:



We’re pleased to announce that, as of Monday, some of our airlines will be starting to fly more frequently.We understand that you might have some concerns about travelling. So here are the steps we’re taking, and the measures we’re asking you to take, to make sure that we protect each other and flysafe.When you come to the airport, we’re asking you to follow the 5 must-dos outlined below.

Find out more

Glasgow Airport 

Aberdeen Airport 

Inverness Airport 

Highlands & Island Airport including Dundee 

Please note there is still a 14 days quarantine requirement for travellers from outside the UK !!!!

A number of hotels are already opening but mainly for key workers at the moment.

The Balmoral in Edinburgh has annouced that it will open by 1st of August.

Attractions:

The first castle to open appears to be Glamis Castle

Gardens re-opening from 20th June 2020

Like many other attractions and businesses we have been working hard to navigate our business through this difficult time, so we are thrilled to announce that we will be re-opening our formal gardens daily from Saturday, 20th June 2020. 

Opening times will be from 10am – 5pm at £7.50 per person or £23 for a family of 5 ticket. (All paid seasonal 2020 passes will  also gain the benefit of a complimentary pass for 2021.)
 Please note that advance booking online is essential with entry time-slots from 10am – 4.30pm  available for access, your ticket also includes complimentary car parking. 

 Book your tickets here

Current season pass holders must also book tickets online to gain access, however entry will be complimentary once the cardholder details have been validated during the booking process – please use code 3gcujfb3 when booking to secure complimentary status.Glamis Castle Kitchen will be operating a picnic and takeaway menu service during opening hours

.View picnic and takeaway menu here

Further information for visitors During these difficult times the health & safety of visitors and staff will remain of utmost importance to us, we have implemented strict practices to safeguard all on site including:Making hand sanitiser available on site for staff and visitor use.The Castle tours are currently closed.Displaying clear signage throughout the site advising staff and visitors to wash their hands regularly and follow the catch it, kill it, bin it guidelines.Enhanced cleaning regimes within the Castle toilets.Welcoming visitors with a smile instead of a handshake.Social distancing measures.One-way system around the  Gardens which is  found on the map when you book your entry ticket.Limited Capacity.We will endeavour to offer a safe space for families to enjoy the Summer months ahead. The Gardens and grounds are a great location to watch the seasonal flowers bloom while children can follow the Macbeth trail through the Pinetum, visit highland cows and play outside in the fresh air.The Adventure Playground will be open to all visitors at this time.There will be toilets open for all to use. We will be operating a queueing system which we will manage and we will have a one in one out system, but we will be allowing people of the same house hold in at the same time.We want everyone to enjoy a wonderful day out at Glamis Castle and would like to reassure all visitors that we are adhering to all guidelines issued by Public Health Authorities and the Government. We are monitoring the Covid-19 situation daily and will keep our website and social media channels up to date. We do however ask visitors to follow government advice and remain at home if you have any symptoms. We are working proactively to enable continued access to Glamis Castle, retaining employment within a viable business.

Thank you very much for your ongoing support and we can’t wait to see you!Copyright © 2020 Strathmore Estates Holdings Ltd. Glamis Castle, All rights reserved. 
You are receiving this email because you signed up to Visit Scotland’s suppliers trade contacts for 2017/18. We are looking to raise our brand awareness and hope you can help. 




National Trust Scotland

The NTS plans to open a number of properties in 2020:

Countryside properties reopening imminently:

(local access only until Stage 3 of Scottish Government route map)

  • Balmacara Estate (visitor centres remain closed)
  • Ben Lawers
  • Ben Lomond
  • Corrieshalloch Gorge
  • Dollar Glen
  • Goatfell
  • Grey Mare’s Tail
  • The Hermitage
  • Killiecrankie
  • Kintail
  • The Pineapple
  • Rockcliffe
  • St Abb’s Head (car park will reopen by 12 June; toilets and visitor centre remain closed)
  • Torridon (visitor centre remains closed)
  • West Affric

Please note that the following is still subject to formal consultation:

Properties proposed to reopen in 2020:

(gardens and grounds possibly by July; some historic buildings and visitor centres possibly from mid-August)

  • Arduaine Garden
  • Balmerino Abbey
  • Boath Doocot
  • Branklyn Garden
  • Brodick Country Park
  • Brodie Castle
  • Burg
  • Canna
  • Crarae Garden
  • Crathes Castle
  • Culloden
  • Culross
  • Culzean Country Park
  • Drum Castle
  • Dunkeld
  • Fair Isle
  • Geilston Garden
  • Glencoe
  • Glenfinnan
  • Greenbank Garden
  • The Hill House
  • Inveresk Lodge Garden
  • Inverewe
  • Iona
  • Malleny Garden
  • Mar Lodge Estate
  • Mingulay, Berneray & Pabbay
  • Moirlanich Longhouse
  • Preston Mill
  • Priorwood Garden
  • Robert Burns Birthplace Museum
  • Robert Smail’s Printing Works
  • St Kilda
  • Staffa
  • Threave Garden
  • Unst & Yell

Historic Environment Scotland

HIS has not publicised when they will open again but I will post updates from now on.

Starfish Travel

Our vehicles are all seven or eight seater Mercedes minibuses. We have fitted them with soft transparent screens dividing the driver from the guests. We supply hand sanitiser and sanitise the vehicles inbetween each use. We wear face masks when in contact with you (and can provide you with them if needed).

We offer contactless payment or pre-payment and accept cash if you wish

For customers of different households we recommend a maximum of 4 passengers and no more than six if you are from the same house hold

For Bookings and Inquiries

Call 0044 7446 112672