Profile photo for Rachel Long
1886 messages
active 1 hour ago

Rachel Long

Although I have always lived in beautiful Wales, I am passionate about travel. As a child I spent family holidays in Britain, touring the west coast of Scotland and the south coast of England, walking in the Lake District, and visiting Pembrokeshire where I chose to settle after graduating. You will probably find me walking, cycling or sea kayaking in my free time. I have worked in education for over 28 years, as a teacher and then school leader. I feel fortunate, with my husband, to have brought up our two children, in Pembrokeshire, where access to such a fantastic area has been on our doorstep. Looking back, competing in the Blenheim Palace Triathlons, cycling from London to Paris and studying howler monkeys in Argentina have been enriching experiences.
I think it is fair to say I have the travel bug, and if I can help you satisfy yours, I’ll be even happier.
For me, it’s not only about seeing the next fantastic view but also about embracing new cultures and communities along the way. There is always something to take away. Travel has the knack of taking us out of our normal lives and thoughts and opening our minds to new possibilities.
I’ve travelled extensively in Europe, there’s an amazing variety of landscapes, people, and history and a million and one ways to experience them. My journeys have expanded from my first tentative forays to France, to working in Spain. Whether it’s been skiing in Norway or Italy, travelling through Turkey by bus, or cycling the Mountains of Northern Spain there has always been pleasure in experiences shared and something new learned.

What places and activities do you specialize in?

"We strive to provide an unmatched tailored service delivering an authentic luxury travel experience with a true sense of place in England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. I offer expert advice with knowledgeable insights to tailor a unique journey to remember. Whether you are looking to experience a culinary adventure along our extraordinary coastline, escape to a remote Scottish island, or learn more about these magnificent country’s long history of legends and castles, then I can arrange everything for you."

How did you get involved in travel?

"I've always loved to travel, perhaps it was coming from a small village in Wales that gave me the urge to get out and see what else was out there! Since my early journeys in Britain and Europe I've been fortunate enough to extend my adventures across the globe. There is something particularly rewarding about planning your travel experiences - this really is part of the fun of it all for me, finding the most authentic way to get under the skin of a place. I think this must be why my friends have always told me I should be doing this for a living ... and here I am!"

Please share a unique travel experience you will never forget.

"To experience something unique it's universally true that you can't plan it! You've just got to get out there often enough and positive things will happen! The experience I'd like to share with you is this. It was a short conversation, not one that I expected when simply buying a ferry ticket! We had spent the day on Skye and were bound for the small island community of Raasay, on my favourite method of transport in the Uk, a Caledonian MacBrayne ferry (this always means you are somewhere pretty cool!). It was a short crossing, just 20 minutes, but in that short period I learned so much from my impromptu guide, that I was on the newest most hybrid ferry in the Calmac fleet, the Clyde shipyard where it was built - the real community of Raasay and the role tourism plays in the fragile way of life on the edge, how he had returned home to raise his family. What's so amazing about this you may ask? And in that I agree this could have been one of hundreds of conversations over the years but this was with me, with the sun setting behind the Cuillin mountain range as we crossed the sound of Raasay, I didn't want to be anywhere else.
"

Views across the Isle of Skye
Self-Drive Scotland: Inverness, Isle of Skye, the Trossachs & Edinburgh - 5 Days

Walk in the footsteps of royalty with this five-day highlights tour of Scotland's spectacular scenery. Discover "paradise in the Highlands" at Balmoral Castle as you pass through the sweeping plateaus of the Cairngorms. Cruise the mysterious Loch Ness and explore Scotland's most photographed castle at Eilean Donan before hiking rugged peaks on the Isle of Skye. A delve into the history and atmospheric backstreets of enchanting Edinburgh rounds off this small but perfectly formed itinerary.

Whisky tasting in Scotland
Whisky & History in the Scottish Highlands - 5 Days

This 5-day tour of Scotland is designed for history and whisky enthusiasts. Begin with a private walking tour in Edinburgh. Next, a driver accompanies you to the Highlands to enjoy your first toast at Dalwhinnie Distillery and a tour of the renowned Culloden Battlefield, followed by more distillery stops in Dufftown. Then, embark on the Skye & Raasay Whisky Trail—accompanied by stunning scenery—a beautiful architecture tour of Glasgow, and a final historical stop in Bannockburn.

English village of Bibury in Cotswolds
Beautiful England: Oxford, Stratford-upon-Avon, Cotswolds & Bath - 5 Days

Discover four sides of England on this fulfilling, five-day trip. Begin in Oxford to tour the famed University and historic Bodleian Library. Then, head through the countryside toward Blenheim Palace before visiting the home of Shakespeare, Stratford-upon-Avon. Next, spend two days strolling the charming villages known as the Cotswolds before landing in Bath to see the Roman bath complex and magnificent Georgian architecture.

A dramatic sky sets a mood over London's Tower Bridge
London to the Cotswolds & Somerset - 10 Days

Enjoy 10 event-filled days traveling around England's scenic south. In London, you'll visit Buckingham and Kensington Palace, followed by tours of Windsor Castle and Eton College. Then head on a road trip through fairytale Cotswolds villages and a stop at Bath's ancient Roman ruins. Throughout this refined adventure, you'll enjoy picnics at Oxford and take high tea at the Savoy Hotel and opulent Blenheim Palace.

Westminster Bridge, Houses of Parliament, and London's iconic Big Ben
10 Days in The United Kingdom - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas

In 10 days, you can travel the length and breadth of England. Visit Big Ben and Westminster Abbey, plus icons like Buckingham Palace, Windsor, and Edinburgh Castle. Take the family on city tours of London, train rides in the countryside, and adventures in the Scottish Highlands—or hit the road to Stonehenge, Wales, and the Cotswolds. And if you enjoy the finer things in life, a luxury tour of the UK awaits.

Tour England's Windsor Castle, the oldest and largest inhabited castle in the world!
1 Week in The United Kingdom - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas

A week is long enough to experience not only the highlights of London but also the English countryside and Scottish Highlands. One option is a family tour that will take you and the clan to Buckingham Palace, on "Harry Potter" tours, and boat rides on Loch Ness. If you're jonesing for outdoor adventure, consider a weeklong hike in the wilds of Scotland's Cairngorms National Park, or hit the road on a trip through the incomparable Cotswolds region of southern England.

Recent trip reviews for Rachel

Adventures in London and Paris
United Kingdom | Oct 27 - Nov 10, 2022

Joan
Joan D.
Chicago, IL | Reviewed on Nov 11, 2022

I chose to work with KimKim travel based on a recommendation from my sister-in-law. Rachel and her team have been wonderful to work with, and helped me to plan a fantastic holiday for my son and mom, who was celebrating her 80th birthday. We loved the choices and locations of our accommodations - it was so easy to get around and explore the various areas in each city we visited. The attention to detail and quick response to our questions and last minute change of plans were handled so... read more

I chose to work with KimKim travel based on a recommendation from my sister-in-law. Rachel and her team have been wonderful to work with, and helped me to plan a fantastic holiday for my son and mom, who was celebrating her 80th birthday. We loved the choices and locations of our accommodations - it was so easy to get around and explore the various areas in each city we visited. The attention to detail and quick response to our questions and last minute change of plans were handled so smoothly! Thank you, Rachel, for making our first trip to London and Paris unforgettable! We will definitely use KimKim again!

Local specialist: Rachel Long

Trip of a Lifetime
Scotland | Sep 21 - Oct 5, 2022

CIndy
CIndy B.
Pinehurst, NC | Reviewed on Nov 07, 2022

Our trip to Scotland planned by Rachel exceeded our expectations and became the trip of a lifetime for us! With very little lead time, she planned a two week trip filled with wonderful experiences and excellent accommodations. We were fortunate to have excellent guides to drive us from one location to another. Their commentary and insights helped us to appreciate what we were seeing. We especially enjoyed Neil McLeod, who did a fantastic job of finding interesting sights and stops for us, and... read more

Our trip to Scotland planned by Rachel exceeded our expectations and became the trip of a lifetime for us! With very little lead time, she planned a two week trip filled with wonderful experiences and excellent accommodations. We were fortunate to have excellent guides to drive us from one location to another. Their commentary and insights helped us to appreciate what we were seeing. We especially enjoyed Neil McLeod, who did a fantastic job of finding interesting sights and stops for us, and we loved his stories! We had such a good time together and he made our trip filled with special moments.

We asked Rachel for some quiet times to sit by the fire or read, and we loved being able to do that at The Haven Guest House and Monachle Mohr. The DunstaneHouse was also memorable and in a great location.

Hotel Reviews
The Dunstane
Edinburgh

We had a comfortable room and loved the location. The food was amazing and the staff went out of their way to be friendly and provide excellent service.

Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
the biscuits provided, modern luxurious bathrooms
Monachyle Mhor
Lochearnhead

This is a dream come true kind of place! In a gorgeous setting. Our room was super clean and comfortable. The staff was outstanding and the food was the best we had on our trip. Don't miss staying is this unique and wonderful place.

Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Activity Reviews
Edinburgh Private Walking Tour
Edinburgh

This was not the ordinary walking tour! Our private guide took us to several places in the city that were off the beaten path and so interesting! She had a wonderful presentation!

Quality of Experience
Visit Inverarary Castle
Scotland
Local specialist: Rachel Long

Best Anniversary Trip Ever.
United Kingdom | Sep 11 - Sep 19, 2022

C
Christy L.
Indian Trail, NC | Reviewed on Sep 26, 2022

This was a last minute decision made for us to go to the UK for the first time. Rachel put together an amazing 9 day trip for us. Especially on such short notice. Then HM the Queen died and Rachel was on vacation. Emily had to reschedule so many of our activities. While we were on our trip Rachel was able to fix a couple of snafus we had. We did not have to stress about anything. They treated us like royalty. We loved every place we went. We cannot thank Rachel and Emily enough for the... read more

This was a last minute decision made for us to go to the UK for the first time. Rachel put together an amazing 9 day trip for us. Especially on such short notice. Then HM the Queen died and Rachel was on vacation. Emily had to reschedule so many of our activities. While we were on our trip Rachel was able to fix a couple of snafus we had. We did not have to stress about anything. They treated us like royalty. We loved every place we went. We cannot thank Rachel and Emily enough for the wonderful 30th anniversary. Absolutely will use again.

Hotel Reviews
Linthwaite House
Windermere

The hotel was clean and nice. The staff was not friendly or welcoming. It was hard to find. Just not a good experience.

Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Georgian House Hotel
Pimlico

This hotel was spectacular from the food, staff and room!! Location was fantastic. Room was spacious and luxurious. The staff was so helpful and nice. We arrive at the hotel about 10 AM after flying all night. The staff was amazing and got us to a room after we had breakfast. They will never know how much that meant to us. They were helpful with activities and reservations. So friendly and welcoming.

Authenticity & Character
Location
Location was perfect to walk to almost everywhere you needed to go.
Staff
See above they were amazing!
Cleanliness & Comfort
Room was so perfect. I hated to leave.
Hotel du Vin & Bistro Edinburgh
Edinburgh

Great location. Room was amazing and comfortable. Staff was really nice

Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Staff was friendly but not really above and beyond.
Cleanliness & Comfort
Cameron House
Alexandria

Cannot say enough wonderful things about this place

Authenticity & Character
Location
Perfect in every way.
Staff
Very welcoming, friendly and helpful
Cleanliness & Comfort
Room was so comfortable and beautiful
Lygon Arms
Broadway

What a unique experience to stay here. Such a historic place. I would absolutely come and stay here again for a length of time next time.

Authenticity & Character
So much history and well preserved place.
Location
Such a great location to so many different sites and hikes.
Staff
Very helpful
Cleanliness & Comfort
Hotel du Vin Henley-Upon-Thames
Henley-on-Thames

This is a unique place. It was built as a brewery 300 years ago. Staff was not very knowledgeable or organized. They seemed new and not well trained.

Authenticity & Character
Location
Not really close to anything. Everything closes down on Sunday evening early.
Staff
Everyone was nice, just new and unorganized. Amanda was really amazing and the gentleman working the restaurant was very personable.
Cleanliness & Comfort
Activity Reviews
Glengoyne Distillery
Scotland

We learned a lot and it was a really great experience.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Exploring London on a Hop On Hop Off Bus
London

It was ok. We really did not learn a lot. So many of the stops were closed due to the Queens death.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Shard Viewing Platform
London

I was not sure how I would like this, but it turned out to be really fun. The drinks are amazing.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Westminster Abbey
London

Unable to view because closed. It was beautiful from the outside.

London Eye
London

This was fun. I thought it might be scary but it was air conditioned, thank goodness!! We could see all over London.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Private tour of The Trossachs National Park
Edinburgh

He was darling.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Lake Windermere Scenic Cruise
Lake District National Park

I would have like to have more time to explore the docking points. The boat ride was great. Sit inside.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Private Walking Tour of Oxford
Oxford

George was knowledgeable and engaging. He had so much to tell us about Oxford. We could have probably had a longer tour and not have noticed how fast the time went.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Local specialist: Rachel Long

Despite a very short notice we managed to org...
Scotland | Jul 8 - Jul 19, 2022

A
Alexandre G.
Hong Kong SAR China | Reviewed on Jul 22, 2022

Despite a very short notice we managed to organise our tour to Scotland in the best conditions. Rachel has been very helpful and professional. Thank you! read more

Despite a very short notice we managed to organise our tour to Scotland in the best conditions. Rachel has been very helpful and professional. Thank you!

Hotel Reviews
Beadnell Towers
Chathill
Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Marmalade Hotel
Portree

Staff rude and not respectful of the clients.

Authenticity & Character
Impersonal. It could be in any city in the world. Skye deserves better.
Location
Staff
Service is rude and absolutely non professional. I have been called after 10 PM when sleeping for asking me what time I wanted to have breakfast. Staff is not trained and disfunctional.
Cleanliness & Comfort
Dream Variations
Edinburgh
Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
The owner is very kind
Cleanliness & Comfort
Kingsmills Hotel
Inverness

Very nice restaurant and food

Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Hotel du Vin
Glasgow
Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Fonab Castle
Pitlochry

Good hotel but the service at the breakfast was disfunctional and not very professional.

Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Cameron House
Alexandria

Wonderful location but a little artificial.

Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Activity Reviews
Sightseeing Hop On, Hop Off Bus Tour
Edinburgh
Portree Boat Trip
Isle of Skye

Amazing

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Alnwick Castle
Alnwick
Edinburgh Castle
Edinburgh
The Potter Trail Tour
Edinburgh
Visit Scone Palace
Scotland
Sheep Dog Demonstration
Inverness

Very interesting for kids and adults

Loch Ness Boat Cruise
Inverness
Local specialist: Rachel Long