Last Updated on Thursday, 29 November 2012 10:45
Since my childhood I have generally always been found to be out enjoying the great outdoors whether it be camping, walking or cycling. My love for both summer and winter activities, plus an appreciation of the environment led me to start leading group holidays with the BTCV when I was just 17. I graduated as an Environmental Engineer in 1995 from Nottingham University, where I incidentally first met Cathy.
After a few years in the world of engineering, I changed tack and started working as a leader for 'Rough Tracks biking adventures', who ran cycling holidays in France. Spending the summers cycling around France and the winters working as a rep in a downhill ski resort was a great life!
Then, in 1999 I started working as a full time group leader for Exodus Travels. This demanding and varied work took me around the world leading cycling, trekking and snowshoeing holidays. Countries included Peru, China, Vietnam, Tanzania, Morocco, Portugal and lots of time in France. I qualified as an International Mountain Leader in 2002 and I am a member of the Union of International Mountain Leaders. With Exodus I learnt about the many aspects of running group holidays and the leisure industry generally.
In 2003 I moved to the Valley of Ax in the Pyrenees in 2003 and set up Marmot Tours Limited so I could put my experience to good use. Cathy moved out to join me a couple of years later, coming on board with Marmot Tours too, and we got married in October 2007 and have 2 fabulous children, Jack and Sophie
In my spare time (which seem a little less abundant than previously!) I can be found exploring new regions of France, cycling, mountain biking, hiking and generally relishing the area we live in.
The Thompson Updates
James and Cathy got married on 13th October 2007, on a gloriously sunny day, in their home village of Pech. Over 80 English guests descended on the village of Les Cabannes, which amazingly did not stop all the villagers from coming to join in the wedding celebrations. The rugby quarter final between France and England, that finished at 9pm during the wedding reception (England won!) fortunately did nothing to diminish the fantastic atmosphere.
In October 2008 life for James and Cathy changed forever with the arrival of baby Jack Thompson. Already settling into life in the mountains, little Jack has explored the winter landscapes of the Plateau de Beille and Chioula, and from his stance on the back of James bike, many of the Pyrenean cols. His little sister Sophie arrived in February 2011 and so there is never a dull moment to be had in the Thompson household. Jack and Sophie are sure to be an integral part of Marmot Tours as they grow up and so hopefully many of you will get to meet them if you have chosen a Pyrenean holiday.