(800) 523-5842

 


– DEAL$
& SPECIAL OFFERS

 

HOT TRAVEL BARGAINS!

 

GET BARGAIN ALERTS

 

IN$TANT DI$COUNT$

 

GET A FREE PROPOSAL!

 

GET A FREE CATALOG

 

-2017-
DESTINATIONS

MANY PRICES STILL WELL
BELOW 8 YEARS AGO!

 

BRITAIN &

IRELAND

 

SCOTLAND
DARE TO COMPARE!

2017 PRICES

IRELAND

DARE TO COMPARE!

CALL 4 2017 PRICES

LONDON

DARE TO COMPARE!

2017 PRICES

ENGLAND
'THE LIONHEART'

2017 PRICES

WALES
'THE PENDRAGON'

2017 PRICES


 
 

PARIS

'LA BELLE'

 

2017 PRICES
DARE TO COMPARE!

PARIS + LONDON

 

 

NEW!

SWI+ZERLAND

6 special regions

2017 PRICES
DARE TO COMPARE!


 

 YOUR DREAM TRIP!  

CUSTOM-MADE

 EUROPE 

FRANCE

GERMANY

ITALY

NETHERLANDS

SPAIN

SWITZERLAND

 

 

bermuda

A PRETTY PLACE PLUS

2017 PRICES
LOWER PRICES AGAIN!


 

HOT!

ICELAND

2017 PRICES

COMBINED

ITINERARIES

 

 

SCANDINAVIA

THE GREAT NORTH

2017 PRICES
WOW! UP TO 14.54% BELOW 2009 LEVELS!

NORWAY

 

SWEDEN

 

DENMARK

 

COMBINED

ITINERARIES

 

 

NEW

ZEALAND

ROAD TRIP!

2017 PRICES
 WOW! UP TO 9.64% BELOW 2009 LEVELS!

NORTH ISLAND

 

SOUTH ISLAND

 

 
CURRENTLY
FEATURED @
HOMEATFIRST.COM
 

EDITOR'S BLOG

 

ADVENTURE

 

PEOPLE

 

GOLF COURSE

 

LODGING

 

EVENTS CALENDAR

 

 
HOME AT FIRST
 

CONTACT INFO

USA & CANADA
(800) 523-5842

WORLDWIDE
+1 610 543 4348

info@homeatfirst.com
 


 OUR MAN IN CENTRAL SCOTLAND

Travel is people. You may go abroad to see the famous sites, but what you remember best are the people you meet. Among them, like unex-pected treasure, are a few memorable contacts that will make your travels unique, special, and delightful. "People" is devoted to some of those you may come in contact with during your Home At First travels.

THIS ARTICLE FIRST APPEARED IN JANUARY, 2008.                                          LAST UPDATE: 2014.

 

GREAT SCOT! HOME AT FIRST'S

Iain Campbell

Our Man in Central Scotland.*
    Many Home At First guests have met him.
Now you can get to know him in his own words.

-------------------------

*Iain Campbell provides Orientation, assistance, and support to
  Home At First guests in Central Scotland. His assignment: help
  guests have an authentic and enjoyable Scottish experience.
Get  to know Iain in the following interview. You may get an idea
why Home At First guests give Iain and Central Scotland
Home At First’s highest grades for program excellence.


— MEET IAIN CAMPBELL —

Where did you grow up?
         I was born at home in Killin (Central Scotland), where we stayed until I was around 6 years old.
        We moved to the remote Blackmount/Glencoe area where my father was a gamekeeper on a shooting estate owned by a well-known family of Flemings. Ian Fleming (creator of the James Bond novels) was the son of the owner.
        After many years we moved back to Killin when my father legs could take no more punishment from dragging deer over mountains. No 4x4 vehicles in those days.

Do you come from a large family?
        I have two older sisters and a younger brother. My older sister is with the Fire Service in Perth city (Central Scotland). The other sister is with the Procurator Fiscal — not sure what you call them in the USA. My young brother is a contracts inspector with the highways department.
        My mother is sadly no longer with us. She was from the Ness

Iain Campbel dressed for work. Photo © Home At First.
IAIN CAMPBELL
DRESSED FOR WORK

...the personal
satisfaction of
being able to
help some-
one in that
time of need
.”

on the Island of Lewis (in Scotland’s remote Outer Hebrides) and was
from a large family (there’s not a lot to do on the islands on the long winter nights). She was a fluent Gaelic speaker.
        My father, now deceased, was born on a croft (sharecropper’s farmstead) in Glen Ogle at Lochearnhead (Central Scotland).

How did you come to settle in the Killin area?
        I was born in Killin (Central Scotland), in my opinion the best place in the world to bring up a family. It’s also a safe place to live with no violence and little drugs.

-

-

Pat and Iain Campbell. Photo courtesy Iain Campbell.
PAT & IAIN CAMPBELL

Tell us a little about your family now.
        Pat and I have now been married for 23 years. Pat is originally from Finsbay on the Island of Harris and, like my late mother, a fluent Gaelic speaker, brought up in a household where only Gaelic was spoken, and was only introduced to English when starting school.

        We have two boys, Peter and Iain, Jr. Peter, my oldest son, now 20 is a third year undergraduate at Stirling University studying computing science. Iain, Jr. is 18 and not long left high school. He is working in the Killin (Central Scotland) village greengrocer’s store.

Do you have formal education?
       
Education, what’s that? Left high school in 1973 at the age of 15 with a hand full of useless

 

what we called then “O” Grades. Really as much

good as an ashtray on a Harley. Since then I have been to the University of Life.

What degrees or training specialties have you achieved?
        Degrees, mmmmmm. Well, I have four good Scottish ones, but not gained from university!

What careers have you pursued?
          
I have more than one hat today in my community. On leaving school, my first employment was in the hotel trade. The salary was poor and the hours long, so I was out of that pretty quick.
        I then became an agricultural engineer for a few years, but again the pay was poor, so I doubled my pay by moving to the highway department in Killin. This job
entailed looking after the trunk (main) road network, keeping the highways snow free in the winter. (That’s back when we received snow; global warming has since put an end to this.)
        Twenty-eight years ago, I also joined the local Retained Fire and Rescue Station. This is a 24 hours, 365 days a year commitment. Just love the job: it has its moments,
but it is so rewarding. One of my most impressive accolades was becoming the Watch Manager (Fire Chief) 10 years ago.
        Oh aye! Nearly forgot, I have a wee job with the best Vacation Company in the USA, Home At First.

What do like best about your work? What do you like least?
         
Well where will I start?
      
FIRE SERVICE: When my fire pager goes off and we are mobile to an emergency,
         the personal satisfaction of being able to help someone in that time of need.
         Even if it’s only just being able to talk and reassure someone that things will
         be all right.
      
Highways Dept.: My highway maintenance work I don’t enjoy at all but I suppose
         it pays the mortgage.
      
Home At First: The job with Home at First I do enjoy and really don’t class it as
         work. To me its fun meeting and working with our visitors (…well most of the
         time).

Do you belong to community, social or volunteer groups?
         
I am part of a community newspaper production team: “The Killin News”. Also I am a co-founder of the Killin’s village web site.
        I’m involved with kids aged 8-18 in the fire cadet scheme with Central Scotland’s Fire and Rescue Service.

What hobbies do you have?
        I love vintage British Motorcycles, I have restored a few now including a 1932 Matchless 350cc, a 1931 BSA 600cc, but my pride and joy is my 500cc 1953 Velocette
Venom Clubman, an ex Isle of Man TT production racing bike.

Do you like to travel in Scotland? If so, where?
        The Island of Harris has got to be one of the last unspoilt places I have ever visited. When you land on the Island it’s like stepping back 30 years. The white, sandy,
deserted beaches with rolling blue waves crashing in from the Atlantic are just a majestic sight. (Just don’t try diving in; it’s usually freezing.)

What’s the thing you like best about Scotland?
        When the sun shines!

What thing surprises you most about Scotland?
        From a native Scot’s perspective, probably the surprisingly early time meals stop being served in the rural areas (9PM-ish).

Do you like to travel outside of Scotland? If so, where?
          
Spain and Portugal, but we’ve been to Florida now for the past 5 vacations. Once we had been to the US, we just wanted to keep coming back, as it was very inexpensive for us and the weather was simply fantastic!!!

Do you have anything special you'd like to say about your experiences with the guests?
          
I have been so lucky to meet guests from Home At First whom we keep in touch with and can call friends. We have met up with former guests in America when on
vacation, and we were shown real American hospitality. Fantastic folks, there have been so many offers to return the hospitality if we ever get to their part of the USA.

What is the most interesting thing about your work with Home At First?
         
Every week there are new faces, new challenges, and it’s so good to see “well ken’t” faces coming back for more of Scotland.

What do you like to tell American guests about Scotland that surprises them?
        Scotland’s gun culture and laws seem to surprise many folks.

What about Americans surprises you?
        The inability for many to use a fork and knife simultaneously.

Would you please provide us with a favorite anecdote from your experience with Home At First guests?
         
When at a Home At First group dinner being held at the Lochearnhead Hotel, I heard a couple — staying in a cottage in the Main Street, Killin — telling the other guests at the table about a workman from the highway department they had seen in Killin’s Wee Bake Shop. They explained he was buying food for lunch and he was talking in Gaelic to his colleagues. They were over the moon to have heard Gaelic being spoken in Scotland. I did not have the heart to tell them the guys were Polish migrant workers.

What are your future aspirations and lifelong goals?
         
I have all I need. We have food on the table, and our house is nearly mortgage free. We are all in good health, what more do I need?
        I would love to return to Malaysia’s Island of Penang someday, and I have this dream of running down the old Route 66 on a Harley Davidson.

— Meet the Scots. Like Iain Campbell. Fly away with us to SCOTLAND
Make Scotland Personal. Don’t just stare at Scotland from the windows of a tour bus.
Meet the Scots when you travel to Scotland with Home At First. Scotland’s even
better when it’s personal. Home At First offers cottages and apartments
in locations throughout five regions of Scotland:
-
CENTRAL SCOTLAND   INVERNESS & THE NORTH   THE SCOTTISH BORDERS    EDINBURGH    GLASGOW

— HOME AT FIRST —