Our Expert Team

The travel industry is not the place to work if you want to get rich financially but in terms of lifetime experiences, it can make you very wealthy indeed.

Here at Artisan Travel, we are in the travel industry to travel. We want to see the world, not just the world of large scale tourism but what lies beneath the surface of a destination, we want to know its people and understand their heritage and culture.

Everybody here is passionate about travelling and as a result, we go to some wonderful out-of-the-way places and meet remarkable people. This is the philosophy we try to bring to all our holidays because we would very much like you to experience our experience too.

Ali McLean

Ali founded Artisan Travel so not surprisingly perhaps, he has been here from the very start. During a long career in the travel industry, he has travelled extensively and it was one of those light-bulb-above-the-head moments that suggested to him what would become the defining principle behind Artisan Travel.

Jo Robertson

Raised by an adventure-loving active family in Newcastle, Jo was lucky enough to grow up in the Great Outdoors, mucking about on boats, hiking, mountain biking and skiing her way through childhood. She may have begrudged being dragged up hills as a child, but she spends her time doing exactly that now, and lives on a farm in rural Northumberland with her husband.

Amy Walkington-Gray

Amy originates from Yorkshire and being the youngest child of an active family had a great childhood climbing trees and making homemade assault courses for herself and the family labradors. She nearly could have been an Aussie as her travel-inspired parents almost got a £10 passage to Australia.

Dawn Kitson

Dawn grew up in a very small village in Warwickshire and came to the travel industry in a bit of a roundabout way after studying a degree in History. After moving north to Newcastle, she started working for the company in June 2012 as a member of the sales team and is now our Sales Manager.

Jono Archer

Originally born and bred in Kent, Jono studied at Newcastle University and now lives in Northumberland. Jono started working here in early 2014, within the Product and Operations Department and is responsible for sourcing new holiday products and managing existing ones.

Graham Hughes

Graham was born in Glasgow but spent a large part of his childhood living in the Solomon Islands in the Pacific before his family returned home and settled in York. It is his memories of living in the rainforest, snorkelling above pristine coral reefs and playing on the beach with the local kids that have inspired his love of travel.

Katharina Rogalski

Katharina originally grew up in Germany and now lives in Newcastle. She started working for Artisan Travel in November 2014 within the product and operations department and is responsible for developing new and exciting holiday itineraries. Katharina has found her dream job within the travel industry and can't imagine doing a different job.

Andy Marshall

Andy developed a love for adventure at an early age and after many years working for a small golf holiday operator, he decided to pursue his true passion of seeking some bucket list experiences. He is delighted to now also have the opportunity to sample some destinations that would otherwise be off limits and help like-minded travellers experience the same.

Alex Charlton

Alex developed her lust for adventure travel from an early age and this love for the outdoors led her to study Adventure Education at University and since then she has never looked back. After moving to Northumberland in 2009 for the beautiful beaches and rolling countryside, she joined the Artisan Travel sales team in March 2017.

Allan Cooper

Growing up in Kent and being able to look out across the English Channel every day, Allan developed a passion for travel from an early age. Ever since experiencing the wonders and delights of Indonesia on his gap year, Allan has never stopped wanting to explore all that the world has to offer, ticking as many bucket list items off his list as he can in the process.

Lauren Wiggett

Growing up in Northumberland, Lauren has been lucky enough to spend much of her life enjoying the beautiful beaches on the North Eastern coast of England with her family and friends. Lauren’s love of the beach is reflected in the fact that her favourite holidays have involved exploring various beaches and coastlines around the world. 

Caitlin Varley

After graduating from the University of Sunderland, Caitlin travelled the world. Her passion for travel has led her into the industry, where she now enjoys helping fellow travel enthusiasts experience bucket list adventures.

Jade McKay

Growing up in Northumberland, Jade spent a lot of her younger years outside, with her fondest childhood memories being in the great outdoors. Since graduating from University, Jade has been lucky enough to venture to Australia to explore the East Coast on a gap year as well as crafting an exciting three-month itinerary across South East Asia where she immersed herself in the culture, enjoyed meeting new people and savoured the delicious local cuisines.

Ashleigh McNair-Templeton

Ashleigh spent her childhood in the north west of England. With the Lake District on her doorstep, she loved nothing better than the sense of achievement from climbing to the top of a fell and admiring the view from the top. 

Kirsty Wood

Kirsty regularly plans travel based on her passion for the ocean and the life in it and has been lucky enough to swim with wild dolphins in New Zealand and snorkel along the Great Barrier Reef whilst holidaying in Australia.

Niall McMahon

Having worked in a completely different industry prior to joining the Artisan team, Niall grabbed his chance to work in the travel sector in the summer of 2019. Over the years, a love of travel has spurred Niall to seek adventures across Europe and beyond and so joining Artisan really was an opportunity he couldn’t pass up!

Mark McFaul

Mark was born and raised in Somerset and developed a love of travel from a young age thanks to numerous family holidays across the globe, including Malta, America and Australia. However, Mark’s favourite holiday experience to date has to be travelling throughout Vietnam and exploring the countries fascinating history as well as its delicious food, with a cruise on the beautiful Halong Bay a particular highlight!

Barry Nolan

Barry has now retired but is still very much a part of the Artisan Travel family and is looking forward to spending his retirement exploring and relaxing in some fantastic destinations around the world!

  • Inspiring 

    All-encompassing itineraries

    Bucket list experiences in extraordinary destinations

    Highlights on and off the beaten track

    Authentic travel experiences with a discrete safety net

  • Expert Knowledge

    Your shortcut to the very best holiday

    Advice and guidance every step of the way

    Expertly designed itineraries

    The very best guides with exceptional local knowledge

  • Independent

    Personal, hands-on service

    Proudly independent; family-owned and run

    Fair and sustainable work ethos

    Long-established local partnerships

  • Trusted 

    Over 16 years’ experience

    100% ATOL, ABTA and AITO financial protection

    Our 'peace of mind promise'

    Responsible relationships

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