Testimonials

COMPRESSED RABBIE STANDING WRITING


Voted by Tripadvisor 08 - 09 - 10 '11 & 12 the 1st place in Ayrshire & 4th in Scotland to go see.


Regional Winner
Ayrshire Chamber
of
Commerce
Entrepreneur of the Year
2007

 

 

Burns an A that

 

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Dont take our word for it read the following testimonials from satisfied customers:-

A few weeks ago I spotted a wee leaflet in the Ayr Tourist Information Office with the above title, offering a guided walking tour of Ayr Town. It sounded lighthearted and fun and I figured some visitors may fancy giving it a go.

Thanks to WVgolfchics trip reports this week, we now have someone who has done the tour and has given it the thumbs up, so here's what was said:

"We did enjoy Ayr. Not knowing much about the city, we hired the 'Walkabout' tour guide. Nice fellow, and he told us a lot about the history of the town. Met some really nice people in the pubs too."

My reply: "I saw a brochure in the tourist information - it was a local guy, wearing a kilt and looked like he might be a bit of a character in the photos - was this the guy? Do you remember his name?"

"Yes. His name is Donald Kay, and "a bit of a character" is a perfect way to describe him. He said he had only started it a few months ago, and he is nosing around trying to find out more of the history of the town. I just found the brochure. Its called "Walkabout Auld Ayr Town". It has his phone number and
e-mail address too.

He was a very likable fellow, even e-mailing us when we got home."

I've found Donald's website:http://www.walkaboutayr.com/

Above notes posted at :- www.tripadvisor.com

And this letter in the Ayrshire Post today :-


I had an incredibly interesting tour around Ayr the other day. It is terrible that you visit a so often and never really know and see the town. The tour was conducted by Donald Kay, called Walkabout Auld Ayr Town.

Please try and advertise it , go on it yourself, recommend your staff, you will learn so much, which is so important to us. He is full of knowledge and has made it wheelchair friendly too.

Mrs P Watts, Girvan

And emails from:

Subject: From the grateful woman and her family, whom you gave a ride to.

Hi Donald,

How are you? I just wanted to let you know that we made it home safe. I am the woman that met you in the gift shop at Culzean castle, and you kindly offered my family and me a ride to the station in Ayr.

We still talk about your kindness and how much we learned from you, and all the beautiful scenery that you showed us. I want you to know how much we appreciated all of it. I just know how successful your business venture will be, as you are educational and funny, a winning combination

Hi Donald. I am finally catching up at work, and finally got a chance to really look at your leaflet. Very impressive! I wish my family and I could have done a walking tour with you, but at least we got to enjoy your company on the short ride to Ayr. Thanks again! Hope all is well. Take care!


20 Russian delegates in September with their interpreter said they had a very good time seeing the shops and the unbelievable views from the top of St Johns tower and enjoyed walking round old and new Ayr & hearing the stories the stories about the town .

Alison Gray - Ayrshire Buisness Centre

100 delegates from the living church of God - commented ,very interesting and a nice relaxing walk and are looking forward to coming back this year to do the Spend some time wi Rabbie tour

Mrs P. McIntyre
The Patna Primary:


Well it was my part as Rabbie Burns that grabbed their attention !! they invited me up to take part in their St Andrews celebrations dress up as Rabbie Burns and tell them all about Rabbie and recite some poetry .1st wee lad

1/ Michael

Dear Donald Kay I am writing to say thank for coming to our celebrating Scotland day and thank you for telling the stories and the poems of Rabbie Burns . You were good at being Rabbie Burns Yours sincerely Michael P 4

then

2/ Courtney Cassells

I am writing to say thank you for coming to our Scotland day and telling us and the school the stories and poems. It was fantastic , I loved it .Thank you for dressing up as Rabbie Burns I loved it Yours sincerely Courtney Cassells P4

Eliz McGinn - Gateway Project


I found Donald on the internet when I was looking for Easter holiday activities in the local area that would be accessible for the young people with disabilities that I work with. He was most charming, helpful and knowledgeable and we spent a really interesting and fun afternoon in the spring sunshine. The tour was wheelchair accessible and Donald interacted excellently with us all. I can recommend this tour to anyone who wants to find out more about the history of Ayr in a way that really brings it to life.

John Morrison - South Ayrshire Council


To help publicise Compost Awareness Week which was during the same week as the "burn's an' a' that festival " , we commissioned "Robert Burns" alias Donald Kay to hand out leaflets and bring attention to the reasons for home composting and the availability of the bins at a subsidised rate.

Donald came up with some good ideas for promotional pictures, and helped us get the message across effectively.

Mrs Suzanne M Grant - Events Manager Friars Carse Ellisland


Donald was very instrumental and interactive when portraying Robert Burns and at the re opening of the Hermitage.and afterwards in Friars Carse Country House Hotel

His tale and performance of Tam O' Shanter was enjoyed by every one, and we felt the overall day went very well.

Patrizia Barone, Collette Vacations - Product Coordinator, United Kingdom & Ireland,


I want to thank you so much for everything. I am so glad I contacted you. I will be sure to keep your name on file for any future custom tours that come my way the wish to visit Ayr.

Enjoy the rest of the summer!

Ruth Washbrook, Education and Outreach Officer, Scottish Screen Archive, National Library of Scotland


Donald as 'Rabbie' played a big part in the delivery of six archive film workshops from the Scottish Screen Archive, that I ran as part of the Burns an' a' That! Festival 2008. Whilst a silent animated film of Tam O'Shanter screened, Donald as Rabbie presented the poem to the children. The children were able to see on screen what 'Rabbie' was describing in the poem and to ask him questions. The workshops worked really well on an educational and fun level and the teachers attending commented that "Rabbie visiting was a great idea" and "the appearance of 'Rabbie Burns' really caught the children's attention". The workshops proved a big success with children, teachers and librarians alike and we all had great fun.

Ingunn Buchannan - Delegation of 40 Norwegian Dentists


"Thank you very much for the very interesting tour. Everybody enjoyed it, and you were a very good storyteller and guide. I would like to see the Robert Burns tour, so next time I will contact you. How long before do you have to know? And next time I will try the new pub on the other side of the bridge.
 

This year Donald appeared at the Edinburgh Festival, has been on STV and on the BBC - he has also met with Alec Salmond at the re- opening of the Auld Kirk in Alloway and has been chosen on STV to represent Robert Burns who Bob Dylan says inspires him and his own works.

Donald has also worked with Visit Scotland at various Burns Suppers & Historic Scotland at various events , also was chosen to represent William Burness at the meeting of Roberts mother Agnus Broun and then the wedding www.maybole.org "where it all began.

Lynn Valentine - Radio Scotland


Hi Donald,

Good to hear from you. I've been meaning to email all week to tell you how much I enjoyed the tour - you are a wealth of knowledge and bring everything to life with your delivery.

I will definitely be using the material and was going to sort out tomorrow but unfortunately now have to go to a funeral.

I am on leave for 2 weeks after that but I will definitely sort everything out the week I come back (week beginning 29th June) and will send on the links then.

Thanks again for taking the time and trouble to show me historic Ayr - you really are a credit to the town.

Kind regards, Lynn

 

"Sites like TripAdvisor are eminently more readable and carry far more weight and influence than traditional guides or tourist boards, " said professor John Lennon of Glasgow Caledonian University's Moffat Centre for Travel and Tourism. "People like to see what their peers have written about a place and those views are stronger than television sales and direct marketing combined.

Because they're easy to access and updated regularly, word-of- mouth sites are fast becoming the new way forward for tourism. TripAdvisor is probably the top of that list." One man who played a part in getting the ball rolling for Ayr is local tour guide and Burns impersonator Donald Kay.

Described online by travellers as "a likable fellow", and "a bit of a character" Kay, like Ayr, has benefited from his exposure on the site.

Robbie Burns' contribution to Biggar Day Out 2009 was thoroughly appreciated and made a real contribution to the atmosphere in the town. His hard work and application up and down the High St.and in so many venues did a great deal to add to the general environment. For one elderly lady it appears that having Robbie reciting 'My love is like a red, red rose' to her was the highlight of the weekend and I hear she came over 'all of a flutter'. Good job we had first aid cover!

 

November 2009

This is how it started !!

Hello Donald,

I am not really sure what I am looking for really and as a travel professional myself, Tommy Millar tommy.millar@travelcounsellors.com I know that this is exactly the type of enquiry that's sometimes not that welcome.

I have a group of around 40 coming by coach to Kilmarnock for 5 nights during the first week in September

And this is how it finished : )

Hi Donnie,

A belated thanks for all your assistance last month.

As a Group Organiser, it was great to have you along with our Party. Your knowledge and enthusiasm on the life of Robert Burns and the sites to visit made life much easier for me. To lean on your expertise meant that I did not need to worry about missing something or somewhere out and it was fascinating to hear little details which are often neglected in "mass" coverage of the Bard.

Ayr is a beautiful town and still retains many aspects of it's old character but I am sure we would have missed out on much of this had it not been for your help.

I wish you continued success in the future.

Kind regards

Tommy Millar

 

Testimonial From Raymond Armstrong Owner of Bladnoch Distillery. Nov 2009

Hi Donald,

Just a few lines to say many thanks for your appearance and performances in costume at the recent launch of the 8 year old Bladnoch whisky. You added great authenticity to all the events. I attended the Wigtown Festival supper in the County Buildings and greatly enjoyed your compering of the event and Tam o' Shanter. Indeed Rabbie's quick wit and humour saved us all some potential embarrassment when the haggis failed to arrive in time to be slain, but it was nothing less than we expected from the bard.

Rumour has it that Rab ended the evening in good company with a few good drams but none more than were deserved.

Freedom an' whisky gang taegither.

Yours aye

Raymond

Bladnoch Distillery

Thank you again for a wonderful day on Saturday one that I will remember forever. Many of my questions were answered and it just brought all the stories to life. Kenny had a wonderful day too and having talked about our day over and over he retained some of the facts I didn't so between us we have a much better knowledge than we started with. I think it is a day we will discuss at great length for a long time to come. Below is a copy of my posting on trip advisor I hope it meets with your approval. I hope that someone on Artier council reads my last comments and that in the future you are given the respect and help you require to further ambitions. They just don't know what they are missing.

Best of luck with your ventures in the future. It was a pleasure to meet you and I hope to return one day to do it all again, maybe with Eyemouth Ladies Burns Club, Who knows!!!

Wendy x

Having been a Robert Burns enthusiast for many years a tip to Ayrshire was something that has been on my "must do" list for a long time. This weekend I was able to do just that and the highlight of my trip was a day in the company of Donald Kay aka Robert Burns. His local knowledge of both past and present was great and he went out of his way to make our day something that I will remember forever. He picked us up after breakfast in his Burns Bus and we toured all the attractions on the Burns trail. Having the man himself (Robert Burns I mean) with us seemed to open doors that the run of the mill tourist would not see. Donald was immaculately dressed in traditional costume complete with wig and quill pen he knew all the people to talk to at the official attractions introducing us to them like old friends we were made to feel like VIP guests. He vividly brought to life the great words of the Bard and we passed the time between stops reciting some of the best stories.
Whether you are a big fan of the Bard or someone who would like to know more about him or even if you have an interest in social history this is the best way to visit south Ayrshires past. What an asset Donald is to the promotion of Ayrshires tourist industry. The minutes just winged there way wi pleasure!!

Air Traffic Controllers - Prestwick Airport - 460 Guests - 46 tables.


A big thank you as our PC Celebration event was a HUGE success! Ive attached a couple of snaps.

Last week I completed a feedback exercise with my team and a select number of guests, and we have the following items to share with you:

  • Lovely idea to use Rabbie to greet our guests
  • Rabbie very much looked the part and added that little bit of Scottish into the evening without overdoing it
  • You spoke with confidence and were keen to accommodate our needs
  • Quite a few tables never got a chance to meet you and would have liked to
  • Karen & Steven McCulloch - And The Canadian Travel company

  • Hi Donald,

    Here are a couple of photos from Harrison Reid (who took our photos) - they are low enough resolution to email and post to your website. (see Weddings Page for photographs)

    "Thanks for entertaining our guests and helping to make our wedding at Burns Cottage truly unique - The bard himself was there!"

    Thanks

    Karen & Steven McCulloch

    Sandra Pauwels, Manager - Pauwels Travel Bureau Ltd.


    I just returned from a trip to Scotland with a group of 18. During our trip we spent a day in Ayr with Donald Kay who took us around the sites and tried to explain to us the story of Tam O'Shanter. Donald / dressed as Robbie Burns was a truly delightful and charming man who proves beyond a doubt that the Scots are known for their hospitality.

    Rose - Marie President R T Burns Club


    Thank you so much for kindly being a wonderful Robert Burns for us at the event, leading the cottage tour and presenting our lassies with roses. It was great meeting you and having you generously taking us around on Sunday in your Rabmobile as Sarah calls it.

    Elaine Cowan - R T Burns Club


    Donald...many thanks for entertaining us last night - it was a very pleasant evening. unfortantely, we turned up too late for the tour of the cottage, and I had hoped to have a chat to you in person during the evening...never mind - maybe some other time. My best regards

    Sarah Crome - R T Burns Club

    I
    t was such a splendid event. Thanks to everyone for a lovely event. Rose, Reg and Keith, you did wonderfully well

    We had such a wonderful time at the Cottage. Donald was wonderful. It was great to meet everyone. Thank you so much.

    Donald, we so much enjoyed your tour. We learnt so much and sorry we had to cut it short in the end. We will return for more.

    Geoff Crolley - R T Burns Club


    Met Donald Kay three times now, once at Oswald Hall, Auchencruive, once at Burns Cairn, New Cumnock and lastly on Saturday 24th of July at Burns Cottage, Alloway, Ayrshire. This time was the first chance joining one of his tours and what a difference it made having someone dressed in period costume talking about the 18th century poet.

    Having "Rabbie" taking visitors (and locals) around the haunts of Scotland's national Bard should be promoted more by the councils concerned.

    Well done Donald. Keep up the good work.

    Marie & Richard - Wedding at Rozelle 27th September 2010


    Hi Donald

    Thanks so much for your contribution to our wedding.
    Two of the women there are still talking about how handsom u r
    Thanks once again

    Kind regards

    Marie and Richard

     

    March 2012 Scottish Youth Parliament sitting Prestwick Academy

    Thanks again for coming to the Sitting. It was really great to have you there to meet and greet every one plus set the scene for the weekend.
     
     
     
    Karen Leckie - April Wedding Brig O' Doon Alloway

    "Rabbie was just what was needed especially at the Brig o Doon" .
     
     
     
     
    Nicole Brown - April Wedding Brig O' Doon Alloway

    "A surprise guest" ! yes he was and it took every one by surprise especially Nicole n Jonny . A great honour to have Robert Burns plus his input.
     
     
     
    Burns Supper Glasgow Dental Hospital - Grosvenor Hotel January 25th

    "Certainly looked the part and kept the audience entertained"
     
     
     
    Burns Supper Ayr Spice - Minishant

    “ Donald dressed as the Bard meeting and greeting everyone and his Burns contribution of Tam O'Shanter was well worth the wait" .
     
     
     
    Sage PC - Addressing the Haggis @ Cameron House Loch Lomond

    " Great, never seen it done like that before and it raised a good laugh".
     
     
     
    The "Must See" Wedding of the Century - Rabbie Maries his Jean - Loudon Hall Ayr - Click on the youtube link below to view the clip.
     
     
     
    What the Ayrshire Post said about the Play - May 2012

    " Rabbie's wedding is worth the wait - it was perhaps the surprise hit of the Burns an a' that festival".

    Hi Donald,
    We are in Glasgow, heading home tomorrow. It was a delightful trip...your “Spend a day tour Wi Rabbie was the highlight”. Thank you so much for such a lovely day and the education! And for the great weather
    Dick & Barbara
    Richard D. Siegel, Ph.D.

    Wedding @ the Hilton Hotel Claire & Billy Willis
    Hi Rabbie , thank you very much for playing a fantastic part in our wedding . The guests were raving about you. A very polished performance. Thanx again Claire n Billy Willis

    Testimonial Claire & William Willis “Wedding Hilton Hotel Glasgow “We asked Donald “aka “ Rabbie to be present at our wedding as we had seen him at a Brig O doon wedding .Again another polished performance and our guests were raving about you after you left .thanks again Rabbie
     
    Karen Leckie “April wedding Brig o Doon “ Rabbie was just what was needed esp at the Brig o Doon
     
    Nicole Brown “ April wedding Brig O ‘ Doon “ a surprise guest ! yes he was and it took every one by surprise especially Nicole n Jonny . A great honour to have Robert Burns plus his input.
     
    Wedding @ the Lochside Hotel New Cumnock “ Laura& Andrew “ It was a lovely having Rabbie surprise us at our wedding , especially in Ayrshire.
     
    Wedding @ Stevenson Masonic Hall - Great to have Rabbie meet and greet the guests , He was very engaging with them and obliged getting photo’s taken with them and so nice to hear his poetry with our names included.
     
    Paul Wood East Ayrshire Highland Mary Tribute workshop
    Donald, Many thanks for today, it was much appreciated by all. Ill try and get photos and some video over to you.
     
     
    Bairns & Burns Cairn primary - Maybole
    The Kids all enjoyed your Workshop & Introduction to Robert Burns , we hope you like the attached photo’s.
     
    Sorry it's taken so long to get back to you, but have just been very busy since the wedding. Thank you very much for coming to our wedding, Steph loved it and it was a great surprise. A lot of my family are from Ayrshire and so have been brought up learning Robert Burns and so really enjoyed it. There were quite a few of our guests who told me they planned to visit the Robert Burns museum the next day and people are still talking about it down here in Baldock, so once again thank you very much.
    Many thanks
    Roger and Stephanie Clark. Dec 2012
     
    Hi Donald,
    Its Ayr Honest Men Scooter Club. Event is :- Scooter Rally at Ayr rugby Club 19th and 20th july 2013. Raising funds for Aberlour Options - Ayrshire. Parent company Aberlour Childcare Trust
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