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Our Office Teams


ACE Cultural Tours operates from an office based at the Stapleford Granary Arts Centre in the village of Stapleford, just outside of Cambridge. Nestled in a beautiful rural landscape, Stapleford Granary provides a bustling arts and music centre which we feel mirrors the interests and tastes of our equally artistically, musically and culturally curious staff.


Our team dedicates itself to the smooth running and operation of our wide array of tours across the whole range of ACE destinations. Below you will find the teams responsible for the whole ACE journey from the conception of a tour through ensuring customer information packs arrive on time to the organising of flights and hotels. In our office our teams also commit themselves to supporting customers at every opportunity and ensuring a smooth tour experience.

Paul Brooke Barnes Paul Brooke Barnes

Managing Director


Paul is Managing Director of ACE, a company that his father, Philip, founded in 1958, and which still retains its family nature. He has an enthusiasm for all aspects of music and the arts and founded Stapleford Granary arts centre near Cambridge, at which the tours company is also based. Paul has an interest in 20th century and, in particular, Scandinavian design. Further afield, he looks forward to returning to Japan and, by contrast, Ethiopia, the ‘roof of Africa' with its rock-hewn churches and extraordinary landscapes.

Ruth Hawkins Ruth Hawkins

Finance Director


Relishing her time outdoors, Ruth likes gardening and growing plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables in her allotment garden. At ACE she is responsible for managing and overseeing the company’s finance department. Outside of work Ruth enjoys spending time with her family, especially her grandchild.

Mark Sanders Mark Sanders



Mark has worked for specialist travel companies since 1978 and has been a director of ACE since 2011. He has also served as a trustee of the parent charity, The Association for Cultural Exchange, from 2018 until 2024. The varied culture and customs of people and places around the world have always been of professional and personal interest to Mark. He is also a tennis enthusiast playing regularly as well as involved as a tennis administrator for Cambridgeshire. He is also a trustee of a charity that provides adapted tennis programmes to those with physical and learning difficulties.

Samuel Dowsett Samuel Dowsett

Head of Sales and Marketing


Sam joined ACE Cultural Tours in 2016 and oversees the Sales and Marketing teams. Travel has been a consistent passion throughout his life, most memorably including time working in central China and Seoul in South Korea. Outside of work he enjoys going on adventures with his young family both at home and in the sunshine further afield.

Barney Eden Barney Eden

Sales Team


Barney’s working background is in the publishing and sales industries. He has always loved travel, travelling predominantly in conjunction with wildlife conservation projects so takes particular interest in the nature tours ACE has on offer. Outside of work Barney’s rescue dog takes up the majority of his time as he requires almost three wildlife tours worth of walking every day. Inside of work Barney works with the Sales team making sure ACE travellers are not left saying what the Dickens! but rather making sure ACE continues exceeding great expectations.

Jackie Matten Jackie Matten

Sales Team


Jackie has been with ACE Cultural Tours for 8 years, having previously worked in Hotel Management for 30 years. Originally part of the Finance team, she joined the Sales team last year and loves talking to customers on the phone and hearing their stories. In 2019 Jackie joined ACE’s Rhone Cruise and feels her time with ACE has encouraged a love of travel especially with her family who she hopes to visit Australia with in the future. Jackie lives locally to Stapleford Granary, home of the ACE office, and enjoys the lovely walk to work, except when it rains!

Sarah McRandal Sarah McRandal

Senior Sales Consultant


Sarah joined ACE in 2008, having previously worked in the travel industry for a number of years. She has joined a couple of tours since working with the company and enjoyed meeting customers travelling with ACE. She particularly enjoys her sales and customer service role chatting to customers every day and working with a lovely team of people. In her spare time she enjoys travelling and spending time with friends and family, especially her grandchildren!

Lindsey Rusack Lindsey Rusack

Sales Team Leader


Lindsey has a background in Travel and joined Ace in 2005. Over the years she has been involved in many areas of the company but now heads up the Sales team. In her free time she enjoys cycling and competing at dressage and show jumping with her horse. She thoroughly enjoyed travelling on a previous Douro River cruise tour and would love to travel on any of the Ace Wildlife tours.

Isabel Sudbury Isabel Sudbury

Marketing Team & Sales Team


Isabel joined ACE in 2017 after studying Classics at university. She enjoys getting to know ACE customers over the phone as part of the Sales team, and has a creative role in the Marketing team designing newsletters and advertisements. Isabel loves the works of Romantic poet John Keats, experimenting with new recipes, and the ACE tour she’d most like to go on would be Havelis: Painted Mansions of Rajasthan.

George Wybrew George Wybrew

Marketing Team


George has a background in art and design which he applies to his role within the marketing team overseeing content creation and brand awareness. He is interested in modern art and design history, especially subjects such as the Bauhaus and Modernism. In his free time he enjoys visiting galleries and museums and is also an active member of an educational living history group. One of George’s favourite artists is El Lissitzky.

Jane Horgan Jane Horgan

Head of Product Development


Jane spent much of her childhood travelling to France and – although she's visited many other countries since – the region around Toulouse and Carcassonne remains her favourite part of the world. She discovered ACE after leaving the world of academia and enjoys the combination of organisation, writing, research and creativity that comes with the Product role. Jane particularly loves music and continues to sing with choirs whenever she can, as well as exploring the outdoors and spending time in the wonderful cathedral city of Ely, where she lives.

Megan Lewis Megan Lewis

Product Development Team


Megan studied Ancient Civilisations at the University of Wales where she focused primarily on history in the Middle East and the Fertile Crescent. Her special focus was on the ancient civilisation of the Hittites, often termed the ‘forgotten empire’ and the ‘blank’ spaces in history. After study, Megan moved to Spain where she taught English and Heritage before returning to the UK to be closer to family. In her free time, she enjoys dance, swimming and visiting National Trust sites. She hopes to visit Santorini to see the Akrotiri Frescoes and do an expedition to the Antarctic.

Amelia Phillips Amelia Phillips

Product Development Team


Amelia studied art history at UCL, the Courtauld Institute of Art and Birkbeck, and works at ACE designing the collection of art and architecture tours. With a background in curating, her interests are the country house, art collecting, landscape and garden history, and she is the author of Longford Castle: The Treasures & the Collectors (Unicorn Press, 2017). Amelia enjoys spending time with family in Cornwall, the South Downs, North Norfolk and Scotland, and accompanying occasional ACE tours, the most memorable being Great Art Collections of New England.

Sarah Biggs Sarah Biggs

Senior Costing & Contracting Co-ordinator


Sarah is now the longest serving staff member of ACE Cultural Tours having been given a work experience placement in 1992 and never leaving! She has seen the company grow from only a handful of staff to a full team yet it has still been able to keep its family values. Sarah was lucky enough to join a National Geographic cruise tour to the Galapagos Islands. She also loves the sunshine, one of her favourite countries to visit with her family is Dubai.

Katarzyna Oldakowska Katarzyna Oldakowska

Assistant Accountant


After completing her master's degree in HR Management she decided to leave her beloved Land of a Thousand Lakes, Poland, and start a new adventure in England. At ACE she works as an Assistant Accountant and is working towards completing professional qualifications. Privately, she is a huge fan of HotPod Yoga classes and a proud 'mother' of a German Shepherd - Chewbacca.

Stefan Burnley Stefan Burnley

Health & Safety Advisor


After graduating in Modern Languages & Linguistics, Stefan worked in school travel for many years before joining ACE as Supplier Relations Manager. He now works as Health & Safety advisor for ACE. His interests include gardening, creative writing and opera. Having spent two years living and working in Andalucia, Spain remains his favourite travel destination.

Nia Bell Nia Bell

Operations Team


Nia has been with ACE since 2017 having worked with the sales, contracting and now operations team. She loves to be active, including playing tennis in her spare time. Nia enjoys being creative, cooking and baking and runs a scented candle business. Nia holds a special place in her heart for Australia and would love to explore Canada on future travels.

Gill Ford Gill Ford

Operations Team


Gill recently joined ACE and works in the Operations team as a tour Co-ordinator. She previously lived in Spain for a number of years and worked in Gibraltar. When she was much younger she spent a number of years living in Arizona and travelling around the west coast of the USA. Gill and her husband are currently spending every holiday exploring Northern Europe. In her spare time Gill enjoys cooking and going to the theatre.

Rachel Mayne Rachel Mayne

Operations Team & Tour Manager


Rachel studied French and German at University and has lived in both France and Germany. She has worked in Group Travel for many years and is an experienced member of the ACE team, having worked both in the office and as a Tour Manager in the UK and overseas. In her free time, Rachel loves to play and watch tennis!

Peter Richardson Peter Richardson

Operations Team Co-leader


Peter joined the ACE team in January 2022 and has been working in the travel industry for over 20 years. He is interested in most sports (football being his main interest), enjoys the outdoors, and spending time with his family and friends.

Julia Sizer Julia Sizer

Operations Team Co-Leader


Since she joined ACE in 2013 Julia has worked in a few departments and currently enjoys working in the Operations team, where she finalises the tour details with suppliers and produces customer tour documents. The variety of ACE tours ensures Julia always has plenty to keep her interested. In her spare time Julia enjoys spending time with family and friends, walking her cocker spaniel and gardening.

Holly Streader Holly Streader

Operations Team & Tour Manager


Holly studied Art History at university and loves adventuring to new places around the world so enjoys putting the final touches to tours in her role in the Operations team and travels with ACE in her role as a Tour Manager. She has a particularly soft spot for Italy having lived in Rome for several years and finds it hard to stay away from the country for too long!

Stapleford Granary, Bury Road, Stapleford, Cambridge, CB22 5BP
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