Who is Tartan Umbrella?

John Shaw
‘Head of Passion’

A resident of Edinburgh, John brings more than 30 years of creative industries’ experience to delivering informative and engaging tours.

Graduating in geography and geology, he worked in corporate and brand marketing before creating and leading what has, for many years, been one of Scotland’s top creative consultancies. He went on to chair several UK-based communication companies as well as contributing to the Scottish Campaign for Learning and sitting on the Recognition Panel for Investors in People Scotland.

With a strong interest in the cultural sector, he was a director of Communicado Theatre before becoming a board member of the Centre for the Moving Image (which encompasses the Edinburgh International Film Festival).

In addition to creating and leading Tartan Umbrella, he runs the Fringe by the Sea festival in North Berwick and Theatre of Ideas, a creative business planning and performance consultancy. He also sits on the East Lothian Coastal Tourism Partnership.

His particular areas of interest are landscape, history and people, with an emphasis on cultural, sporting and contemporary issues.

He is a former cricket internationalist, keen golf and tennis participant, snooker and table tennis enthusiast, and aspirational fiddler and bodhran player – but mostly a bit daft and most definitely passionate. A real storyteller with a lot of Irish blarney!

He is fortunate to be able to call on a wide range of colleagues and friends who each have many years of honing their tried and tested skills to create and deliver memorable visits to Scotland for nationalities from all around the globe.

“Jetlag was soon forgotten as we were given the most wonderful, skilful and entertaining introduction to Scotland. The detail in the pre-planning paid off as we were immediately into our special interests – well done John”

CEO, International IT company, Mumbai