Our Expert Team

The Aurora Zone – Our Team of Northern Lights Enthusiasts

The Aurora Zone was born out of our love of all things wintery. We were already regular visitors to the likes of Norway, Finland, Sweden and Iceland thanks to a fascination with winter activities such as dog sledding, snowmobiling and the Lappish way of life generally.

Many of our visits coincided with sightings of the Northern Lights and witnessing them as they dance across the northern skies is just one of those wonderful lifetime moments. We are based in Northumberland, England and whilst we can occasionally see the Aurora Borealis from parts of the coast near where we work, we assure you that nothing compares to standing on a frozen lake in a remote part of Northern Scandinavia and watching the lights up close and personal.

That is what drives us on here at The Aurora Zone, that desire to share Mother Nature’s greatest wonder with as many people as possible. Just about everybody at The Aurora Zone from the Managing Director to the Marketing team to the Administration team have been held in the Aurora’s thrall and our mission is to do our very best to ensure that our clients can experience that magical moment too.


Ali McLean

Ali rarely forgets to remind us that he founded the UK's first ever Northern Lights holiday brand but behind his self-promoting braggadocio is a genuine pride that The Aurora Zone has been responsible for helping thousands of people tick the Northern Lights off their bucket list.

Barry Nolan

Barry was raised and educated in Bournemouth and made his way north in 1983 via three years at Liverpool University, where he graduated with a degree in History. Following an initial career in customer service and sales management he has been with the company since day one and has helped pioneer and develop many destinations and now brings this experience to the whole sales team.

Dawn Kitson

Dawn was born and raised in a quiet village in Warwickshire and had not seen much of the world until an impromptu gap year kick started her love of travel. She has been lucky enough to travel all over the world, but it was her work as a Travel Expert for the Aurora Zone from 2012 that gave her some truly once in a lifetime adventures. 

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.

Amy Hope

Amy has been at The Aurora Zone from the very start and she enjoys nothing more than sitting with local suppliers planning the most exciting and ambitious ways for guests to combine maximizing their chances of viewing the Northern Lights and enjoying the holiday of a lifetime.

Jono Archer

Working within the Product and Operations Department, Jono helps to create new and exciting holidays for The Aurora Zone, as well as managing existing ones. Jono's most memorable travel experience is a snowy morning in December, in the heart of the Norwegian fjords.

Graham Hughes

Like most British people Graham was convinced that winter is not a pleasant time of year, but if working for the Aurora Zone has taught him one thing it is that there are better winters out there and you do not have to travel far to find countries and people who embrace everything it brings.

Katharina Rogalski

Katharina was lucky enough to travel to Sweden, which was her first winter adventure since she’s started working for The Aurora Zone and also her first visit to Swedish Lapland. Prepared with her new, warm winter clothes, the adventure could begin.  Katharina was really excited to see the Northern Lights, as everyone told her how amazing and beautiful they are.

Andy Marshall

Brought up in Northumberland, Andy developed an early love for the outdoors, travel and adventure.  He then pursued his passion and began a career in travel, later joining The Aurora Zone expert team to help those with a wish to see the Northern Lights.

Jenni Meikle

Jenni ventured up to Newcastle from Stockport when she was accepted into Newcastle University. After graduating, she headed to Barcelona to spend nine months teaching English and exploring Spain.Whilst browsing for jobs during her time there, she could not believe her luck when she discovered that our Products and Operations department were searching for a new member.

Michael Bell

Michael is the latest member of our product and operations department and enjoys the role of creating magical Northern Lights based trips for The Aurora Zone. Having been born in the North East of England, where winters are largely unpleasant and a time of hibernation, Michael had yet to experience the magic of an authentic winter in a snow-covered wonderland location.

Alex Charlton

Born in beautiful Surrey, Alex grew up surrounded by activities and adventure which encouraged her to pursue her passion for Adventure Education at University.  Since then, Alex has worked all over the world within the travel industry and joined The Aurora Zone team in March 2017.

Allan Cooper

After studying Architecture at Newcastle University, Allan has taken every chance to explore the wonders of the world, taking him from Antigua to the Cayman Islands and from Indonesia to the UAE. Since joining The Aurora Zone, Allan has had the opportunity to experience the winter paradise of Northern Finland, which opened his eyes to a completely different type of travel.

James Hamilton

James has always taken the opportunity to travel as much as he can and has always wanted to experience life and culture further north. Iceland is at the top of his bucket list of places to visit and he would love to travel north of the Arctic Circle. Top of his list is to see the Northern Lights whilst surrounded by black sand beaches and lava fields.

Ashleigh McNair-Templeton

Ashleigh was raised in a small town in Cumbria and from an early age developed a passion for travel. After relocating to the North East in 2008 she studied Travel and Tourism Management at Northumbria University for 4 years. During her time studying, she enjoyed learning about what motivates people to travel to new places and what gives people the desire to create travel bucket lists.

Mark McFaul

Mark is one of the newest members of the Marketing team here at The Aurora Zone. Originally from Somerset in the South West of England, Mark moved to the North East to study at Newcastle University and has been here ever since.

  • Specialist

    Aurora knowledge and experience

    Unique holidays, in the very best destinations

    Expert guides – exceptional local knowledge

    Advice and guidance every step of the way

  • Comprehensive

    We include more in our holidays than any other Aurora operator

    Price Comparison guarantee

    No ‘from’ prices, everything you see is included in the price

    No hidden extras

  • Independent

    Proudly Independent

    The original and still the only dedicated UK Northern Lights tour operator

    Personal, hands-on service

    Fair and sustainable work ethos

  • Trusted

    100% ATOL and ABTA protection

    Peace of mind promise


    Responsible relationships

    Over 16 years’ experience