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 life moments. We are based in Northeast England on the outskirts of Newcastle upon Tyne 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 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 has been held in 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

Now retired Ali was the man who started it all, He founded the UK's first-ever Northern Lights holiday brand. 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.  He may technically be retired but Ali will always remain a part of the Aurora Zone family!

Amy Hope

Amy is the Managing Director of The Aurora Zone, having worked here since she was a university placement student. She’s grown up with the company and has been at The Aurora Zone from the very beginning. 

Dawn Rawlings

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 during her time on our sales team and as Sales Manager, that she experienced some truly once in a lifetime adventures.

Jono Archer

Heading up 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.

Abbey Drury

Abbey is originally from Durham but is now a student at Northumbria University in Newcastle, studying psychology and criminology, and has a passion for travel and exploring new cities alongside embracing different cultures.

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

Since studying Architecture at Newcastle University, Allan has taken every chance to explore the wonders of the world, taking him from Egypt 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.

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.

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.

Jade McKay

Jade works within the Product and Operations Department and feels very fortunate to be able to pursue her dream job within the travel industry. Having always been a lover of the night sky, Jade shares the passion and excitement of our clients for wanting to see the Northern Lights

Lauren Wiggett

Lauren is one of our Travel Experts here at The Aurora Zone and has loved exploring some of the destinations we offer and seeing the elusive yet spectacular Northern Lights for herself.

Jo Robertson

Having grown up as a member of a very active family, Jo now lives on her husband’s family farm in Northumberland where she can indulge her passion for ‘The Great Outdoors’. Having been on active holidays throughout her life, The Aurora Zone is the ideal place for her. 

Jodie Beardmore

Jodie is our latest addition to the marketing team and is delighted to combine her passion for marketing with her love of travel. She has constant wanderlust and a giant bucket list that she wants to complete! She is also an award-winning photographer and enjoys capturing the incredible things she sees on her travels.

Carla Mearns

Carla has spent four years living and working in Southern China, which taught her so much about different cultures and traditions. She has been fortunate enough to explore many amazing countries all over the world such as Mexico and India. She has also done some fantastic bucket list activities in some incredible places, such as Skiing in the Swiss Alps, riding Arab horses in the middle eastern desert and whale watching in Norway! 

Sam Barron

Born in Darlington in northeast England. Spent years travelling US and Europe by bicycle before joining the Royal Navy as a Marine Engineer. During this time I was lucky to sail around the world visiting many countries such as South Africa, Brazil, South Georgia and even the most remote island in the world, Tristan de Cuna. Saw lots of whales, kayaked through Norwegian Fjords and saw northern lights at sea near Iceland.

Alison Beveridge

Alison cherishes her native North-East of England, her family, friends and football. She earned a Master’s degree in acting from ALRA Drama School and returned to her homeland to open a children’s theatre school. Alison has always had an appetite for travel and relishes any opportunity to see the world and experience all it has to offer, especially its food!

Josh Hirstwood

Originally from Morecambe spent all his free time in the Lake District exploring the outdoors in as many sports as possible in summer and winter. Always interested in the outdoors and outdoor sports Josh moved to Newcastle and discovered The Artisan Travel Company and joined to begin a career in travel.



  • 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

    ATOL and ABTA Financial protection available

    Over 20 years’ experience

    Our customers rate us 4.9/5 stars

    Award-Winning: Best Travel Company to Northern Europe 2023