Neil Lapping is Macs Adventure's Chief Adventure Officer and founder. He shares his highs and lows (but mostly highs!) of the first 14 years of adventures below - from small beginnings to an exciting future!
"Macs Adventure was founded in the living room of my one bedroom flat in Glasgow's Scotstoun way back in August 2003. The idea was simple, and felt brilliant: guided walking tours for backpackers in Scotland.
Surprisingly, it turned out that backpackers weren’t all that interested in walking with a guide around the country... After six months in business my credit card bills had quadrupled into the tens of thousands, and a rethink was urgently required!
After almost going bust, it was sink or swim for the fledgling business of Macs Adventure. I executed a quick pivot, and in 2004 launched a range of guided and self guided walking holidays and weekends in Scotland. Self-guided holidays turned out to be much more successful, and so we were on our way...
"Through years of getting to know our customers, Macs Adventure have succeeded by focusing on top quality holiday experiences, and understanding what people want from their holiday adventures."
We have focused on growth, innovation and expansion, but always keeping customer experiences at the core of what we do. This is the secret to our success, which has allowed us to develop a fantastic team of talented travel experts and enthusiasts, and a growing community of active and engaged customers.
We have now moved in to our new HQ at Glasgow's Skypark, and we have built a team of active, fun, and adventurous people. Every single person in our office is dedicated to making it possible for our customers to enjoy active adventures around the world. These types of experiences break down barriers, change perspectives, and make the world a better place. I'm so proud of where we are as a company - and not to mention excited about our plans for the future! - which wouldn't be possible without our committed and enthusiastic team, or our fantastic customers.
I love to hear feedback about our trips, our company and our adventures, so don’t hesitate to contact me directly if you have any queries or would like a chat about planning your next adventure!
Neil Lapping, Chief Adventure Officer, Macs Adventure
Looking back at Macs Adventure...
The first few years were tough; not least of all because Neil was walking up to 1500 miles every year guiding tours. In 2007 we could finally afford a full time member of staff and moved into our first tiny office in the Hidden Lane in Glasgow’s West End. Kath joined the team in early 2008 and we expanded our range of walking holidays in England. Ewan came on board in September, and we finally had a team of companions and colleagues!
In 2010 we moved to an office in Glasgow's Speirs Wharf and more staff joined us at Macs HQ. That was also when we decided to focus purely on self guided walking, cycling and multi-activity tours in the UK and Europe. By 2012 we were arranging over 5000 holidays and had added over 50 new trips to our programme. Cycling holidays and pilgrimage tours were the next to be added to our collection, and these are some of the most popular tours we offer even today.
2014 was a landmark year as we began the process of launching AbenteuerWege, a self-guided operator dedicated for the German market. We work closely with the team based in Saarbrücken in south Germany, and the teams in Glasgow and Germany share all our expertise and travel knowledge across the team and country borders.
In 2015 we restructured the team (now at 25 employees) to include a specialist Macs Bike tour product and sales team, and we expanded at such a rate that by the end of 2016 we had almost 50 employees! Part of that expansion was our Macs Adventure NL team, offering self guided adventures for Dutch adventurers.
Now we look forward at an exciting future, and hope you will take part in the adventures yet to come!