Home | Lifestyle | Ivanhoe at the ready: A lifelong passion with the Armstrongs led to tour business
Lifestyle | 16th May 2019

Ivanhoe at the ready: A lifelong passion with the Armstrongs led to tour business


By David McVittie

A COMMON sight around Langholm and the surrounding area these days is that of Sir Ivanhoe.
No, not the one of Sir Walter Scott fame but rather the touring car of Armstrong Tours, the preferred mode of transport of tour guide Adam Armstrong-Crisp.
Adam set up Armstrong Tours in 2016 but says it really took off in June of last year.
The inspiration for setting up Armstrong Tours came from a deep-rooted love of border and, in particular, Armstrong history.
This had been planted by Adam’s granddad, Robert, who would tell the young Adam tales of daring do from the Armstrong family histories, filling his head with tales of Johnnie Airmstrang o’ Gilnockie and all his famous and, sometimes infamous family.
Having been born and raised in Leicester, Adam had originally thought to start a touring company there.
It was awash with Roman history and could boast a good number of famous people with which to construct a tour but the draw of his ancestral homeland was too great.
Adam has taught himself the Borders stories and histories which he needs to know to be an efficient tour guide.
Everyone, who has been on his tours, says the same thing; his enthusiasm for the stories shines through with each telling.
This enthusiasm and energy were also evident when he volunteered to be a tour guide on the Reiver Trail.
While volunteering, he honed his skills at storytelling and learned a myriad of facts and figures relating to the Border Reivers and the bloody history of the area.
In 2016 Adam approached Dayne Smith of Let’s Go Dumfries and Galloway and says the help he was given was invaluable to the success of setting up the touring company and a website.
He also received help from Business Gateway and VisitScotland.
He said: “There are too many people to thank them all individually but I’m so very grateful to everyone who has helped me in any way.”
Armstrong Tours mainly tour the Borders, Dumfries and Galloway, Cumbria and Northumberland, the real reiving country.
He added: “I also take tours to Stirling, Edinburgh and Loch Lomond and this year I’ll be branching out into the Highlands & Islands. The “Skye’s the limit”.
“Although an Armstrong, I show none of my forebears’ animosity towards other border names and have tours booked by Littles, Johnstones, Grahams and Elliots for the coming year.”
He will take tours of his namesakes when the Armstrong Gathering is held at Gilnockie Tower this July, hoping to tell tales of historic Armstrongs like Johnnie o’ Gilnockie and more modern Armstrongs, like Neil, Lance and Louis.
Knowing that his first year of business may be quieter as he got himself established, Adam made the shrewd move of getting his private hire car licence as another source of income while the business was in its infancy.
He is available for airport runs, pick-ups and drop-offs any time of the day or night.
It’s refreshing to find a business trying to bring people into the town and, with good luck and a fair wind behind him, that is what he will do.
As the Armstrong motto says: Invictus Maneo, (I remain unvanquished) and, hopefully, that is true of the town.

Would you like to support us?

The Eskdale and Liddesdale Advertiser is our community owned local newspaper and even in today’s troubled times, we aim to bring you local news and articles in an impartial, responsible and factual way.

We hope you have enjoyed reading this free article but we need your support so we can keep delivering quality journalism that’s open and independent and keeps you up to date with what is happening in Eskdale and Liddesdale.

Every reader’s contribution, however big or small, is so valuable to us.
‘Owned by the Community...Published for the Community’
Do you have a story?

Please get in touch if you have a story or article you would like to see published.

Related Articles

Walking through the lockdown

MY LOCKDOWN walk on day 54, Saturday, May 16, took…


The wonders of walking

CAROLYN Cuthbert and her husband Ian (Cuthy) have made the…


The Rainbow Connection

Following the coronavirus lockdown, many families in Langholm have decided…


Restaurant Review : The Boathouse Glencaple

Reviewer: Clare Rogerson Boreland We pulled up into a nice…


Walk the Walk

E&L Life columnist Gavin Graham has an ambition to walk…


Holy Isle retreat brings patience and generosity

Daily distractions abandoned at Centre of World Peace and Health…


Jobs for vital volunteers

AVRIL Bannatyne has volunteered at The Buccleuch Centre since it…


Food parcels are only the start

HAZEL Thompson, manager at Kate’s Kitchen, has watched demand steadily…


Positive response to holiday pod proposal

Business wants to expand park to attract more overnight visitors…


Excellent duo top the bill

By Iain Bell LEONARD Brown and Malcolm Ross topped the…


Lighting up Langholm

THE day had everything: a crisp, sunny afternoon; Santa and…


Santa’s little helpers

LANGHOLM teenagers Emily Hislop and Jessica Kenny were in good…


Meet Katherine and her traffic cone hat

CANONBIE Probus Club and visitors from Langholm Probus enjoyed a…


Cumbria's horseman

Penton Discussion Group met at Skitby House Smithfield on Monday…


The vegetables say it all

MARGO and Gerald Smith, the owners of Netherby Hall, Longtown…


Club is taken for a ride

MEMBERS of Langholm Probus Club enjoyed being taken for a…


Heartening music: Aly and Phil give thumbs-up to fundraiser

EVERYONE was in good heart for the Aly Bain and…


Partnership award for young people

A LEADERSHIP award for young people in Eskdale is being…


Artist portrays a hill shepherd’s life

LANGHOLM & District Art Club welcomed Felicite Scott and Lorraine…


Hall looks to future: Eskdalemuir venue will host regular events with its neighbour

WITH changes to the committee last year, a fresh lick…


Sorry, no Christmas pud here

CHRISTMAS and the Common Riding: For many of us, the…


Telling tales through time: End of season stories of Ben Nevis, Ireland, wartime, and knitting

CANONBIE SWI held the last meeting of the season and…


Egg and bacon, please

WORD is getting around about a new breakfast menu at…


Bra-vo! Moonlit walk amazing

WHAT better way to raise money for charity than walking…


Adam’s labour of love: Accordion and Fiddle Club chairman bows out after 30 years

AFTER being at the helm of the Langholm Accordion and…


The bluebells of Eskdale

THE gardens at Westerhall near Bentpath will open once again…


Capturing history in the spoken word: Langholm voices included in Ewart Library ethnology project

THE recording of voices talking about lost ways of life…


A fresh start in Eskdale

In our final instalment on the life of Janet Armstrong,…


Water births to laptops - a midwife’s life

THE speaker at the Canonbie SWI meeting this month received…


Stunning landscapes

BOB McLure talked to members of the Buccleuch Centre patrons’…


Moonwalkers train

Katrina Kenny and Caroline Jardine of Langholm are training for…

requires mailchimp logins and wired up to a list
Join our mailing list
Keep up to date with all that’s going on at the E&L
This site uses cookies.
Read our privacy policy

This site uses cookies for marketing, personalisation, and analysis purposes. You can opt out of this at any time or view our full privacy policy for more information.