Stuart is one of the worst humans I have ever had the misfortune to meet. He is a misogynistic caveman with absolutely no respect for women. I did not feel safe on the tour in his company. I've complained, but he is still allowed to work for Mac Backpackers. I was told "maybe this tour wasn't for you." So, to make it clear, this tour is only for you if you enjoy eradicating women from history, misogynistic jokes, and denying colonialism.
My holiday was utterly ruined by this biggot, and it's taken me this long to have the strength to leave a review, any time I think about that holiday I am filled with sadness and regret.
Operator's comment: Hi Kat,
Thank you for your feedback. We appreciate all the feedback and are very sorry to hear that you felt that Stewart’s commentary was inappropriate.
As I previously stated, when you sent a more detailed complaint to us via email in June 2019, we take every complaint exceptionally seriously, and I can guarantee that misogynism or any other discriminating, prejudiced or bigoted behaviour is not tolerated on our tours, hostels or company in general. 75% of our passengers are women, and so far this has been the only complaint of this nature we have ever received.
As said before, we did discuss what happened on tour with Stewart. We don’t try to eradicate women from history or any stories. We’ve many notable women in Scottish past and present; we share stories about. Stewart told me that he was also speaking about Mary Queen of Scots, Flora MacDonald and other women during the seven days. However, as you might be aware, in the past men have often taken the honour from women, and unfortunately (in my opinion), dominated the society. Most of the history books are unfortunately written by white European males (DWEM - Dead White European Males, to be exact), and hence, history is generally told from their perspectives. We discussed this with Stewart last summer, and how choices of wording can have a positive impact when it comes to women in history, colonialism and history in general.
It’s essential for us that everyone feels safe and welcome on our tours, we’re an inclusive tour company. Hence, it made us very sad to find out that you didn’t report feeling unsafe on tour in the first instance. If you had called or emailed our booking office to report your concerns in the first place, we could have organised you to travel back or join on another tour. That would have been a more viable option than suffering the whole seven days on the tour, waiting to get home and then trying to receive a refund in exchange for not posting your review publicly. As said before, personally, I do not think that my opinions or views could ever be bought with money, and as a company, we didn’t want to insult you by offering more money to silence you. We’d never try to - or had to - “buy” bad reviews out of the public eye. Everyone has a right to their opinions. However, there are laws that prevent employers from dismissing perfectly good employees for one negative review out of hundreds of positives. Hence, Stewart has, and will have our full support to work with the company and continue being a fantastic guide! Choosing accidentally incorrect wording or following what is taught to us in generally accepted literature is no grounds for firing anyone.
We genuinely hope that writing your thoughts and feelings here helps you to recover from the sadness and regret, and you’ll have a positive 2020 ahead with new brilliant travel experiences!
Cheers, Jaz / MacBackpackers
Stu was a bloody legend! This was such an epic week away visiting some of the most beautiful places on earth, and it was made all the more special by having such a knowledgeable and fun tour guide and a really solid crew.
Thanks again for one of the most memorable weeks of my life!
Operator's comment: Hi Rachel,
Thanks so much for taking the time to review us. We're happy to hear that you enjoyed the tour with Stewart. Come back soon! Cheers, Jaz / MacBackpackers
This tour was so amazing and at a really great price! I saw so much beautiful stuff that I definitely would not have seen on my own. I definitely recommend doing this tour! I fell so in love with Scotland on this tour. our tour guide had so much interesting history to tell us on the bus rides it was great! you get off the bus a lot so you aren't stuck on there for hours and hours while travelling between places which i really appreciated. I would definitely do another MacBackpackers tour based on my experience on this one.
Operator's comment: Hey Gema,
Thanks so much for the fantastic photos and review. We're delighted to hear that you had a wonderful time on the 7 Day Best of the West.
We look forward to seeing you again soon! Cheers, Jaz / MacBackpackers
Snatch this tour up if you have the possibility to do so! The places you'll visit are of stunning beauty and, although the bus trips might appear a bit boring or long as a concept, the wonderful music selection and the expert explanations of the guide will make the time spent in the minibus fly by. Our guide, Stewart, was very funny and knowledgeable about the history of Scotland: his approach to the subject (and his love of dogs!) made the trip even more enjoyable. Truth be told, the only thing that would have made the trip impeccable would have been a cute puppy on board.
Operator's comment: Hey Sofia,
Thanks for the lovely review. We're delighted to hear that you had a brilliant tour with Stewart. Oh a wee tour doggo would be great! Hope you come back soon! Cheers, Jaz / MacBackpackers
Fantastic tour guide - fantastic trip. If you're considering it, just book it. I had a great time with some rad people in absolutely beautiful locations.
Amazing experience I would sure go back next year for another tour :)
Tim exceeded all expectations with his Scottish humor and attitude
Operator's comment: Hi Selvi,
Thanks so much for rating us. We're happy to hear that you had a fantastic tour with Tim. Come back soon! Cheers, Jaz / MacBackpackers
This tour is perfect for someone really wanting to experience Scotland's natural beauty and the rugged west coastline. Be prepared with hiking boots and woollen socks to make the most out of the adventures on offer.
Operator's comment: Hi Genevieve,
Thanks so much for taking the time to review us. We're delighted to hear that you enjoyed our 7 Day Best of the West. We hope to see you again soon! Cheers, Jaz / MacBackpackers
This was an amazing tour that crammed a lot in to a few days whilst still feeling a bit more relaxed and unrushed. The scenery was beautiful and ever changing and it was wonderful to be able to make it out to the outer islands.
Stewart, our guide was an absolute gem who took care of us and was also really accommodated our needs. Please know though, that this is a hiking outdoorsy tour, you have to come prepared to hike and deal with Scottish weather, plans don't change if it starts to rain!
Accommodation is basic for hostels but works well if you're on a budget. Breakfast is quite basic with just cereal, bread and fruit when eating in the hostels.
Highly recommend this tour!
Operator's comment: Hi Kim,
Thanks so much for taking the time to review us. We're happy to hear that you had a great time on 7 Day Best of the West with Stewart. Come back soon! Cheers, Jaz / MacBackpackers
I had an absolutely incredible week with MacBackpackers, exploring Scotland!
The group size was perfect. Small enough that you were really able to get to know people on the tour. The locations that we visited were amazing, and by going through the tour, it took all the hassle away from the individual traveller.
A definite highlight for me was staying at the Gearrannan Blackhouse Village and visiting the Bosta Iron Age House - things I wouldn’t have known about without MacBackpackers.
Stewart was incredible - he had a massive wealth of knowledge (for both the history and folklore) and a great sense of humour. It was really lovely to be able to get to chat to him and he was very easy to approach.
I will definitely be recommending MacBackpackers tours and cannot wait to come back again!
P.S. Would have been even better with a doggo
Operator's comment: Hi Leisa,
Thanks so much for taking the time to review us. We're delighted to hear that you had a fantastic tour with Stewart. We agree about the doggo too! We look forward to seeing you again soon! Cheers, Jaz / MacBackpackers
The tour was amazing, as was our tour guide Stewart! I loved the trip, it was a really fun way to learn about Scotland’s history and see the gorgeous scenery. We were lucky and were with a great group of people. I cannot recommend this tour enough, I loved every minute of it. Thanks for making our time in Scotland amazing!
Operator's comment: Hi Amber,
Thanks so much for taking the time to review us. We're delighted to hear that you had a brilliant tour with Stewart. Come back soon! Cheers, Jaz / MacBackpackers