About Rebus Walking Tours


Your Guide

Colin was born in Edinburgh and lives in Leith. He has been an actor since 1971 and is now the Director of Serendipity Productions. Amongst his latest videos is Frae a Needle tae an Anchor, a highly-praised documentary about Leith through oral history memories.  Colin’s credentials for guiding the Rebus walks are impeccable; he took part in the Rebus TV adaptation of Dead Souls, with John Hannah in the title role. He has recently filmed 3 documentaties: 2 with Ian Rankin, which have included extracts from Rebus Tours.

Other recent shows include his own solo adaptation of the Sherlock Holmes short stories and a stage version of the Para Handy stories by Neil Munro (with Colin playing the inimitable skipper of the puffer).  He is a proud and passionate Scot.

In 2010 Colin graduated with a B.A. (Hons) in Film and Media.

Colin is a keen local historian and recently produced a walking guide to Leith. He is a proud and passionate Scot, a vegan, conservationist and Trade Unionist. His leisure interests include singing, cycling and bird-watching; not necessarily simultaneously. If a rare species is spotted flying over Salisbury Crags, your walking tour may be delayed for a moment or two.


Our Founder

John Skinner died unexpectedly in March 2006, but as he was the founder of Rebustours we have decided to keep his details here. 2010 marked the 10th anniversary of Rebus Tours.

John Skinner launched Rebus Tours in Spring 2000 with the endorsement of Ian Rankin and his publishers. John was schooled in Edinburgh, studied German and European Studies at university and was a qualified further education lecturer. After some 20 years in journalism and public relations in London and overseas, he returned in 1996 to his native city and re-trained as a tourist guide, taking a further degree in Scottish history along the way.

John worked as a lecturer for Napier University’s Wider Access programmes, tutoring creative writing and journalism to a variety of community and special needs groups in Edinburgh. He also worked as a freelance journalist.

Like Ian Rankin, John’s interests included Edinburgh’s nooks and crannies and classic and obscure rock music of the 60s and 70s. John also enjoyed travelling, especially to France, and Syria in the Middle East. He lived in Tranent, ten miles from the city of Edinburgh. He spoke German and French and could guide the Rebus routes in German if requested.

John invented a board game called Scottish Quest. It features hundreds of questions about Scottish history, culture and geography. He was a very dear friend who is sadly missed. Rebustours is one of his lasting legacies.

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