By Lauren Jade Hill
Launched early 2017, Ossian aims to create extraordinary adventures for high-net-worth individuals visiting Scotland. Each of these luxury trips is entirely bespoke, and encompassing experiences only made possible by the founder’s unrivaled access to Scotland’s most exclusive sporting estates and private properties. In each of these locations, guests are then afforded a spectrum of unforgettable experiences, from heli fishing, flying a Tiger Moth, and setting out on luxury car tours, to a West Coast horseback safari, whale watching, and rounds of golf with European Tour and PGA professionals. We speak to the founder Ted Innes Ker, son of the Duke of Roxburghe, for an insight into the new bespoke travel service that introduces guests to Scotland at its very best.
What inspired you to set up Ossian?
Having grown up in Scotland and lived here the majority of my life, I have been fortunate enough to experience many extraordinary parts of this wonderful country. I retired from a professional golfing career in November 2015 and after being based in London didn’t hesitate to move north to create Ossian under the umbrella of CKD Galbraith. I recognized that there were few options for the UHNW market to truly experience the most special adventures in Scotland; I wanted to set up a company to provide opportunities to a select group that want the absolute finest the country can provide.
What experience can people expect to have when they join a trip?
Ossian’s ethos is to provide the highest level of service. When our clients come to Scotland, they can expect the best of everything from the moment they touch down in the UK. The packages we put together are totally bespoke so no two trips are the same, and our locations are almost entirely private, virtually unvisited other than by the owners’ families and friends. Experiential travel has grown enormously, and the experiences Ossian is able to access mirror that trend for vacations encompassing events, mindfulness, learning a new sport, and heritage locations.
What makes these trips exceptional?
The Scottish scenery goes a long way to making these trips stand out. Scotland as a destination has an infinite capacity to deliver, and create memories unique to the destination. Our trips are made exceptional by combining attention to detail with extraordinary locations, and in the range of activities we are able to organize for our clients. Crucially, the team has unsurpassed knowledge of Scotland. We design itineraries specific to an individual or the party’s needs, and we cater for bespoke requests such as expert sporting tuition, private aviation and private security. Our role is to make the client totally escape the real world.
Are there any stand-out experiences people would be particularly swept away by?
There are so many experiences to choose from, but being high up in the Cairngorms experiencing driven red grouse shooting, with hundreds of miles of views around you, and retiring to a lodge for a dram of Scotland’s finest whisky, is pretty high on the list. Another of my favorite experiences is being on the west coast where wild and rugged mountains provide the backdrop to Caribbean-style beaches, where characterful golf courses hug the coast line, and where you can fish for tuna and mackerel. If you are lucky enough to own, or have seen a James Morrison painting, he depicts it perfectly.
What is your experience of Scotland? What is it that you like most about the country?
Every day I have a new experience of Scotland. Edinburgh is a fantastic city to visit; it has so much going on and stands proudly as the most visited city in the UK after London. The countryside is what I like most, plus the people are friendly, the food is fantastic and the scenery is beyond breath-taking. We capture the best of this and make sure our clients truly experience what we love about Scotland.
Is each trip privately guided?
The key to delivering unrivaled experiences is to have Ossian’s experienced staff on the ground following through our itineraries. Every single Ossian adventure is personally organized and hosted by one or more of our team.
What’s the most extravagant trip people can sign up for?
As every trip is entirely bespoke, your imagination is the only limiting factor. A trip we are desperate to organize though is the exclusive hire of the Hebridean Princess for a week on the west coast. Amid jaw-dropping scenery, the client would stay on board a yacht that was good enough for Her Majesty the Queen, and take in beautiful beaches that are more aligned to the Caribbean than Scotland, along with fresh seafood, a private trip to St Kilda, lunch on Skye and private whisky tastings on Jura.
Find out more about this new experience provider by going over to ossian.co.