Meet Our Very Own James Coulton

After 30+ years working big corporate jobs in the leisure and cultural services industries, James Coulton decided he wanted to work for himself. He set out to find something that matched his personality, enabled him to meet new people and revolved around the local area he is so passionate about. As a result, Select South West Tours was born.

James is as local as they come. Born and raised on a dairy farm in South Devon, his mother and her family are from Cornwall (Falmouth), whilst everyone on his father’s side hail from Devon (Buckfastleigh).  He learned to drive in the tiny, twisting single lane roads of rural Devon, and is completely at home driving in them..much to the amazement of many guests!  He now lives in Gunnislake, Cornwall but has a perfect view of Dartmoor in Devon from his home, so really he has one foot in both counties! This authentic understanding and appreciation for the region shines through during his tours and punctuates everything he does.

In his previous life, James racked up a series of impressive qualifications, earning a Degree in Sport and Recreation Management, a Diploma in Management Studies, a Chartered Institute of Marketing Diploma and an IOSH health and safety qualification. In addition, he is a highly experienced driver and a member of the Institute of Advanced Motorists. He is also a qualified emergency first aider – although hopefully you won’t need to put that to the test!


As word of mouth spread, James’ skills were brought to the attention of Visit England, who asked him to develop a South West tour itinerary for their national website. The recognition continued as he was chosen by various regional tourism boards to be part of a select group of local business owners to showcase Devon and Cornwall to visiting foreign journalists. An honour for which he takes a great deal of pride.

James is meticulous in everything he does, and will pour over every aspect of his tours and itineraries to ensure you get a truly bespoke experience tailored to your exact personal interests. His genuine affection for the area is infectious and he is never happier than when meeting new people and showing off the spectacular views and surroundings of his native region.

Customer service is something which James believes in wholeheartedly, and always has done. This is emphasised by the Charter Mark for Customer Service he received from then UK Prime Minister John Major back in 1995! He enjoys going the extra mile for his guests and will always be flexible. If you ever want to add anything to the tour, just ask!


Away from Select South West Tours, James is married to Wendy, and between them they have 4 grown up children. He is also a huge sports fan, with a particular love of rugby union and cricket; a game he once played to a high amateur standard and still plays socially to this day.

Favourite place to take visitors: Botallack. The location is spectacular, the history fascinating and the Lizard Peninsula..some of the best scenery and villages of Cornwall all in one small area!

Favourite Food: Like any man from the South West, James loves a traditional pasty. Book a tour with him and you’ll soon see how serious he is about this!