"The Full Scottish"
Highlands, Lowlands, Islands, and Midlands
April 24 - May 7, 2024
single travellers add $700
AIRFARE, TRANSPORT TO AND FROM AIRPORT,
HOTELS, BREAKFAST & DINNER EVERY DAY,
TRIP INSURANCE, ALL TOUR ADMISSIONS,
SONGS & STORIES ALL ALONG THE WAY!
Wed April 24 - Cead Mile Failte! Depart home on a comfortable coach. Leave Corning Wegmans 11am, Elmira Clarion (old Holiday Inn) 11:30am, Waverly Salvation Army 12noon, Wegman's in JC at 1 pm. Rest stop at Siamsa Pub, Stroudsburg PA 2:30 pm, then on to Newark Airport check in 5:30pm; flight time 8:15pm, overnight flight UA 36 L, dinner on flight. United Airlines: 800-426-1122.
USA bus: Terp’s Enterprises 607-795-4426.
Thu April 25 – Arrive in Edinburgh airport, 8am. Get “acclimated,” get baggage, use rest rooms, and meet our Mackies Coach driver, board coach 8:30am. Arrive in Edinburgh for breakfast 9:30am and a tour of the Royal Yacht Britannia, around 11am. This ship was the Queen’s private yacht before it became the floating museum it is today. Next, we’ll visit ATMs for currency exchange. We’ll do a driving tour of Edinburgh city, the Royal Mile, and lunch, check in at hotel 3pm. Free time to freshen up, take a nap, or walkabout Edinburgh. Early bird dinner 7:15pm nearby, at Mamma Roma. Go home to bed, or find some fun on your own.
Holiday Inn Edinburgh City Centre, 0011 44 131 524 8400 (3 nights)
Fri April 26 – Hotel breakfast 8am and now for a day in Edinburgh, Scotland’s capital. We begin with a tour of Edinburgh Castle, 9:30am. After this, you are on your own to wander the “Royal Mile” from top to bottom, eventually to meet at Holyrood Palace, 4pm. On this long downslope will be shops, pubs, and museums of the Old Town. Here are some suggestions: the Scottish National Museum, the National Gallery; the John Knox Museum; the Museum of Childhood; maybe climb the majestic mountain, Arthur’s Seat. Cocktails 6pm, and dinner at 6:30pm “Spirit of Scotland” show at Edinburgh College of Surgeons Auditorium. Walk home after.
Sat April 27 – Hotel breakfast 8am 9am, for a day train trip to the “border country” and the quaint town of Galashiels. Take some time to wander, visit the Great Tapestry of Scotland, and have lunch. About 3pm we head back to Edinburgh for 6pm dinner at Down the Hatch. Then you are on your own; it’s a short walk back to the hotel, or visit Toppings Book Store, or attend what's on at the Edinburgh Playhouse.
Sun April 28 – Hotel breakfast 8am board coach 9am, for a leisurely day trip into “the Kingdom of Fife.” First stop, St. Andrews “the Home of Golf,” for lunch and touring the town, the golf course, the cathedral, and the university attended by the royal princes. Board coach 2:30pm to continue north through the Cairngorm Mountains and the Great Glen. By 6pm, we will reach Fort Augustus, “the bottom” of Loch Ness and check in. Walkabout the Loch side and lovely grounds of this fort/abbey/school. Dinner at the Boathouse, 7pm. with leisure time afterward; billiards in the social room?
Highland Club Apartments, Fort Augustus 011 44 203 478 3897 (3 nights)
Mon Apr 29 – Let’s have a relaxing local day today! Breakfast 9am, at the Boathouse, A short walk to the canal for the 11am boat cruise on the world-famous Loch Ness. No guarantee that we will see Nessie but keep your camera handy! There should be time for lunch, and walkabout the pretty village of Fort Augustus. Visit the Clansman Centre for a presentation at 3pm. Maybe take some time for billiards, or life-size chess, or cards, at the Highland Club. Dinner at The Boathouse 7pm.
Tue Apr 30 – Boathouse breakfast 8am board coach 9am. We will tour “the top side” of Loch Ness today, featuring Urquhart Castle 9:30, and the famous “clan gathering” area of Inverness. We will include a tour of the tragic and defining battlefield of Culloden 12noon, and stay there for lunch and exhibit. After lunch, we’ll visit Clava Cairns, the standing stones that inspired Outlander. Board coach 5pm for dinner at the Whitebridge at 5:30pm, During dinner, enjoy some local music. Return to hotel 8:30pm.
Wed May 1 – Breakfast at the Boathouse 8am and board coach 9am for Fort William. Today, it’s a trip by rail 12 pm along the route made famous in the Harry Potter films. We’ll ride through the Highlands to the west coast for late lunch in the fishing village of Mallaig. At 4pm we board the ferry “over the sea to Skye,” following the legend of Bonnie Prince Charlie. Land at Armadale, and drive up through the beautiful sunset scenery of Skye to Portree to check in and have dinner 7pm.
Royal Hotel, Portree 011 44 147 861 2525 (3 nights)
Thu May 2 – Hotel breakfast 8am board coach 9am, Day tour of the Isle of Skye. Our friend Gordon McIntyre will show us the sights of the island, such as Dunvegan Castle, the Museum of Island Life, Quirang, or The Old Man of Storr. We will try to visit Ian MacDonald’s farm. It’s a long day, but breathtaking! Afterward, back to our hotel for dinner 7pm, and local entertainment.
Fri May 3 – Free day to rest, explore, hike, bike, or read a book by the sea. Enjoy the friendly and lively village of Portree. Maybe do a whisky tasting today, or enjoy a sheepdog demonstration. Dinner at hotel in Portree 7pm. After dinner, walkabout the village, see what’s “afoot.” It might be good to get to bed by 11ish tonight!
Sat May 4 – Hotel breakfast 8am board coach 9am, to drive south to Glasgow. We will see more of the Great Glen, then Ben Nevis, Scotland’s highest mountain. We will see the beautiful region around Glencoe at lunchtime, then proceed south to famous Loch Lomond and Ben Lomond. Eventually, we will invade the city of Glasgow, in time to check in 5pm. You are free to find dinner and entertainment on your own, since we are in center city.
Queen Street Travelodge 011 44 203 693 4986 (3 nights)
Sun May 5 – Hotel breakfast 8am or sleep in! This is a day completely on your own in Scotland’s largest and friendliest city. Go to church, the movies, shopping, museums, and the pubs. Maybe take the Hop On, Hop Off tour of Glasgow. Try to finish your day at Kelvingrove museum, or meet again at our hotel by 5:30pm. We will have cocktails & dinner at 6pm upstairs at the Oran Mor Club on Byres Road.
Mon May 6 – Hotel breakfast 8am, board coach 9am, for a day trip to Stirling, We will visit Stirling Castle around lunch time, and the William Wallace Monument around 3pm. This area is famous for filming such shows as Monty Python, Outlander, Ivanhoe, and Game of Thrones. Not far back to Glasgow; past the Bannockburn and Celtics Battlefields! Dinner at the Piper Bar 7pm in “Glasga Toon.” We’ll have a final meeting of the clans, some local music, then home around 9pm to pack for tomorrow, and get some rest!
Tue May 7 – Hotel breakfast 6am, board coach 6:30am. It’s a convenient and quick drive to check in at Edinburgh airport 7:30am. Say farewell to our faithful Mackies Coach driver! There should be time for filling out customs cards, Tax Back forms, and last-minute shopping at the Duty-Free area before take-off at 9:40am. It’s about a 7 hour flight UA 37 L. Land at Newark 12:30pm USA time, meet Terp’s bus, rest stop halfway, then home! Hopefully, back to Binghamton by 4pm, Corning before dark!