Author: Susan

Historic Stirling in the heart of Scotland

Historic Stirling in the heart of Scotland is a destination not to be missed on any Scottish vacation. Less than one hour from either Edinburgh or Glasgow, it has a wealth of history and exciting places to explore and our Sublime Scotland tours include one or more days exploring this fascinating city. Stirling Castle sits high above the old medieval town on an imposing rock. The journey up to the Castle takes us past the Church of the Holy Rude, the Tolbooth and Old Town Jail. Kings and Queens of the Stuart monarchy enjoyed the safety and security of the Castle. The Royal Palace built by James VI in the 1540’s was the home of Mary Queen of Scots as a child and when she returned from France to take up the throne in Scotland. The Church of the Holy Rude is the only working church in the UK  apart from Westminster Abbey to have witnessed a coronation. James VI was crowned here in 1567.  In 1651 the Church was attacked by Cromwell’s troops and …

Robert Burns – Scotland’s National Poet

Robert Burns was born on 25th January 1759 in a village in Ayrshire in Scotland. After more than 250 years his poetry is even more popular across the world than ever before. Throughout January people will gather together across the world to celebrate the huge contribution he made. Although he only lived for 37 years he wrote so many poems and songs that he is famous all over the world and is one of the world’s best known poets. We offer private guided tours of Scotland which include a visit to the excellent Robert Burns Birthplace Museum in Alloway, Ayrshire. Enjoy the many wonderful, original pieces from the writing  of Burns.  Hear also about the life of the  simple ploughman who loved everything about the natural world around him and wrote many poems about the places he saw and loved. We enjoyed this sculpture of the mouse which reminded us of one of Burns best loved poems “Tae a Moose”. The Poets path leads to this wonderful museum and then to the Brig O’ Doon. …

Highland Games summer 2018

Have you ever been to a Scottish Highland Games? Why not book a tour with us and we will take you to one of the best. Highland Games are held all over Scotland from May until September and we will plan a personalised tour to include at least one of these great occasions. The Atholl Gathering on 27th May  2018 will be a spectacular day and is set in beautiful Perthshire. The historic fairytale Blair Castle hosts this wonderful event where you will see the only private army in the country.  Throughout June and July there are many more Games to choose from all over the country. Why not visit the local Oldmeldrum Sports in Aberdeenshire on 16th June 2018. Combined with a tour around Aberdeen’s Castle country this would make a great tour.  Later on the 24th June 2018 at the west coast ferry port of Oban you may visit the famous Lorne Highland Games. Add this exciting day to a visit to the Island of Mull, colourful harbour of Tobermory or to the …

Sublime Scotland Tour highlights of 2017

Our 2017 season draws to a close and so too does our  private tour of Scotland. Bookings are already flowing in for 2018 and we have put together  highlights of this year. Meet our wonderful guests and all the great places we explored across Scotland. Sit back, relax and enjoy this tour! https://youtu.be/LXZCk7KNync In 2017 we toured from March to October and each new season brings something special. Guests enjoyed the new lambs in the fields in spring and the daffodils at stunning Eilean Donan Castle. As summer arrived we enjoyed the castles of Aberdeenshire, the pink fairytale castle of Craigievar. The clifftop location of Dunnotar Castle near the harbour town of Stonehaven is always a surprise and well worth the steep climb up the cliffs steps. We enjoyed many whisky tours along the way and visited Glenfiddich, Aberlour and Glenkinchie Distillery to enjoy a wee tasting of whisky. The famous Isle of Skye was on some of our adventure tours and we explored the soaring Cuillin Mountains, enjoyed the famous seafood and hospitality and …

Castles and Countryside

Bannockburn House in Bannockburn has been empty for many decades. However we enjoyed an open day there in September when we heard about the plans to restore this marvellous mansion house back to its former glory. Bonnie Prince Charlie stayed here for four weeks in 1746 planning for the Battle of Falkirk, nearby. It is very exciting since a local trust has been formed to buy the house and to begin a project of restoration. It is clearly a very significant part of our local, and national, heritage and Sublime Scotland looks forward to keeping in touch with progress. During the September open day we enjoyed exploring the house and imagining how it was when Bonnie Prince Charlie was welcomed to stay. After the Battle of Falkirk he left from here to travel to Inverness and Culloden. The Jacobites had to be very clever when travelling and we saw how they enjoyed smoking their food in a whisky barrel. Our guests enjoyed a private tour to Inveraray Castle and the town of Inverary on Loch …

Love Scottish History – then Visit the Border Abbeys

The Scottish Border region, close to England, has been a part of Scottish history since the middle ages. The number of beautiful Abbeys, within a short driving distance of each other, make this a perfect place to based yourself to be immersed in some of the highlights of Scotland. We visited Melrose Abbey in August in a private tour of the Borders. This beautiful building grew to become one of the wealthiest and most majestic medieval monasteries in Scotland. Today it is within just a few miles of the splendid ruins of Kelso, Dryburgh and Jedburgh Abbeys. One of the most touching features at Melrose Abbey is the casket said to contain the heart of Robert The Bruce. Discovered in 1921 in a lead casket this is now carefully protected in the Abbey grounds. Only a few miles away sits the stunning Jedburgh Abbey standing on an elevated position overlooking the Jed Water of Jedburgh. Founded in 1138 this major Augustinian Abbey is one of the most complete in Scotland. The scale and quality of …

Enjoy a Hike with John

Scotland has been voted one of the top countries in the world to visit in 2017! Rough Guide has said this is a wonderful place to explore and we agree. This is why Sublime Scotland has expanded this season and is now a husband and wife business. John joins us with his own new range of tours. He has spent 20 years hiking across Scotland and always loves to introduce people to new corners of the country. He also has had a lifetimes interest in Scottish history and especially the many battlefields which were important in shaping the country. Hiking Explore some of our stunning Scottish scenery on foot. There are so many options and it is great to have help from John to choose a hike which suits your group. Even a one hour stroll around a beautiful loch shore results in memories to last a lifetime. More remote walks are also offered by John taking account of the experience of the guests. July tours July is peak season in Scotland for visitors so …

Visit the Scottish Gardens in Spring or Summer

Blair Castle and walled garden This Spring our tours have included many beautiful Scottish gardens across our country. We visited the stunning 9 acre walled garden at Blair Castle. Created between 1747 and 1760 by the 2nd Duke of Atholl. Sadly it was abandoned in the 1960’s but very happily it has now been restored and is an excellent addition to any visit to Blair Castle. The entrance to the Hercules Garden through the south wall was created in 1924, when the 8th Duke and Duchess received a set of beautiful gates from friends and family. After the second world war the lack of labour and difficult economic times took their toll and the gardens fell into decline. Finally in 1989 the importance of the gardens were realised and restoration work began. The pathways, the very unusual Chinese bridge, many yew tress and statues were all restored. Many of our tours include this part of Perthshire and can easily include a visit to this special castle and the walled garden. Scone Palace and maze We …

Awesome April Springtime Private Tours

We have had a busy start to the season with tours in April to the Scottish Highlands, Isle of Skye and Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park. The weather was very kind to us and the scenery looked great in the sunshine. We  had some great guests which made the trips lots of fun. This was  followed up with an ancestry tour to the lovely East Lothian region. Tennis fans from the USA were delighted to visit the home town of Andy Murray, the world’s tennis number one, to see the tennis courts he played on as a child. No matter what special interests our guests have we seem to surprise them with a few local secrets along the way.

Isle of Skye road trip with snow

Glen Coe waterfalls We enjoyed a road trip around the Highlands and the Isle of Skye last week. An interesting time of year to visit since many places are getting ready for the new season. The weather was also different – we had snow, some rain, some hail and quite windy. This is not too surprising for Scotland in the month of March so we wrapped up well and took advantage of the quieter roads. Day One took us from the capital city of Edinburgh and a  visit to Dalwhinnie Distillery in the Highlands.  A lorry had lost its load of fish on the road but we made it with minutes to spare for the afternoon tour. This was well worth it as we had a very small group and all the fascinating processes of making a Highland malt whisky were well explained along the way. Of course at the end of the tour a wee dram was poured for all and this very special whisky was enjoyed.   After a very cosy night in Inverness, the …