In 1907 the fledgling Scottish Motor Traction company started operating excursions from Edinburgh to South Queensferry where the intrepid passengers could enjoy the views over the River Forth and marvel at the newly built Forth Rail Bridge. In those distant days passengers travelled with little comfort in Charabancs which lacked pneumatic tyres and were open to the elements. The conductor who took the fares also provided a commentary, of sorts.
In the years between the wars SMT was at the fore-front of Scottish tourism providing a range of day and extended tours from Edinburgh. As tourism grew the company invested in new vehicles to meet demand. These state-of-the-art vehicles incorporated the latest creature comforts such as heaters and upholstered seats!
The Second World War meant that the company’s touring programme ceased operating. After the war the company restarted it’s tour programme and struggled to satisfy the unprecedented demand for travel as visitors and residents alike flocked to sample the delights of Scotland. Expansion continued through the 1950’s and early 1960’s with a wide range of tours being offered from Edinburgh, Glasgow and London. Unfortunately the advent of cheap motoring and the attraction of foreign travel meant that passenger numbers had reached its peak and demand for the company’s tour was in terminal decline.
After years of lack-lustre performance the tour programme was re-launched in 1999 under different ownership and with an exciting new identity - Scottish Tours. The new venture was an instant success as it introduced high quality motorcoaches (with features such as air-conditioning and on-board toilets) and innovative itinerary ideas such as daily guaranteed departures on the most popular tours.
Today Scottish Tours provides the widest range of Scottish touring options available and is the premier on-line portal for Scottish sightseeing.
Scottish Tours – discover the real Scotland