All posts filed under: Tours

Historic Culross and Outlander

There are many great reasons to visit the delightful historic village of Culross on the River Forth. The village has a long history with a busy coal mining and salt industry during the 16th and 17th century. King James VI visited this mine shaft in 1595 which was on a tidal island in the middle of the River Forth. He was rather shocked at the one mile depth of the shaft beneath the sea. Culross Palace has been extensively restored and although it was never a royal residence it is a unique example of a house belonging to a wealthy merchant of the early 17th century. A pathway known as Stinking Wynd leads uphill along a cobbled way, where the centre is slightly higher and poorer people had to walk in the gutters. The Town House was built in 1626 with the clock tower added 150 years later. This amazing building now houses a photographic exhibition  of many of the iconic places and scenes of Scotland and is well worth a visit. A delightful café nearby is …

History, heritage and archaeology in 2017

2017 is a special year in Scotland. Designated as the year of History, Heritage and Archaeology there will be much to see. There is certainly a lot to celebrate and all the people who look after our ancient buildings will  help us enjoy this amazing heritage. Jackie is a steward at one of our castles and she tells us what she loves about her job here. Tours Our tours are never far away from some fantastic examples of our great castles, stately homes, and buildings such as Stanley Mills which are part of our social heritage. Just north of Perth, the visitor centre tells the story of the weaving and the people who worked in the mills. Built in 1787 we see the best example of an 18th century workplace, anywhere in the world. 200 years of cotton making with all its innovations and the impact on the local communities perfectly explained. In 2017 we will visit more than 20 of our great castles. Stirling Castle is one of the most visited and tells the story of the Stewart …

Whisky Distillery

New three day private tour for 2017

See the best of Scotland in a three day  private tour. No need to pack a suitcase each day! In 2017 we offer a new multi-day tour based in the bustling town of Callander in the heart of the Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park. Sublime Scotland guests will receive special discount at the excellent Abbotsford Lodge Guesthouse. Day One Day one will take you from Callander, through the national park, to stunning Loch Lubnaig. We  visit Crainlarich and the quirky Artisan Café for morning refreshments. We then explore the beautiful west coast villages and towns of Connell Bridge and the ferry port of Oban. Perhaps take a ferry over to the island of Lismore or Kerrera. Returning to Abbotsford Lodge you have time to explore Callander and its many pubs and restaurants in the evening. Day Two On day two be picked up from Abbotsford Lodge to head eastwards to the ancient medieval and university town of St Andrews. Visit the astounding  ruins of the 12th century  St Andrews Cathedral. This was once the largest church in Scotland and …

Scottish Highlands – visit in the autumn for glorious colour

Our Autumn tour around the Scottish Highlands  offered many different possibilities. At this time of year the stunning castles had less  visitors, the colours on the mountains had turned golden and the lighting for photographers was soft and gentle from dawn to dusk. Our tour in October took us from the west coast of Loch Lomond, through Glencoe and along the stunning tidal sea loch of Loch Linnhe. Our overnight at Fort William let us enjoy the west coast sunset. We visited romantic Eilean Donnan Castle along the way and then our next stop was the famous Isle of Skye. The weather was spectacular and our drive along the north coast to Kilt Rock and the waterfall into the sea was truly special. After two days on the Isle of Skye we enjoyed a drive along famous Loch Ness to Urquhart Castle where we looked carefully for the monster! We finished the day with a walk around the Culloden Battlefield. This is the scene of the last battle fought on British soil and there is an excellent visitor centre describing …

Private Tour of Scotland

Private Tours of Scotland – Book Now For 2017

It has been a busy September! Our Private Tours of Scotland have taken us to Stirling where we enjoyed the medieval Stirling Castle. This lovingly restored Royal  Palace was voted the best historic attraction in the UK. We also visited  the National Wallace Monument and climbed all the 248 steps to the top to see amazing views all over the beautiful region. As part of this tour  guests can enjoy excellent service and comfort at Abbotsford Lodge, in rural Callander, near Stirling. We also visited the fantastic ruins of Linlithgow Palace where the medieval Kings and Queens  entertained 16th century guests  from all over Europe. We travelled to the beautiful region of Argyll to visit Inveraray Castle and the island of Kerrera. This time we hiked to the defensive Gylen Castle, standing proud on the high coastal cliff since the 12th century. From here we could see the islands of Mull, Easdale and Seil.   One tour this month included a Landrover safari through the majestic Glencoe mountains. Here we met with an expert countryside ranger from the National Trust for Scotland. We …

Scottish Cathedrals

There are many Scottish Cathedrals offered on our tours. This tour included Dunkeld Cathedral. It is a lovely spot on the banks of the River Tay in Perthshire. The Cathedral was the centre of the Scottish Church until this moved to St Andrews Cathedral. In August the flower baskets around the village are stunning and add to the colour of the centre. On this tour we had also been to Fort Augustus. We had seen the Caledonian Canal and Loch Ness. We then drove through stunning Glen Sheil and saw the famous Five Sisters of Kintail mountain ridge. Our visit to Portree was short but very enjoyable in the summer sunshine over the harbour. Dunkeld is an historic village where the centre was lovingly restored in the mid 20th century. It is now a lovely place to stroll through either at the end of a tour before returning to the city, or as a first stop on the way to the Highlands. Last week we had a picnic on the riverbank after a visit to Scone Palace and Huntingtower Castle. One of the …

Islay

Islay – the land of whisky

The whisky Island of Islay is a lovely spot for a  short visit and tasting  peaty whisky. Our guests suggested the whisky tour  after they had enjoyed a cycling vacation in Scotland. This was a perfect way to wind down and sample some of the many excellent malts on this very special island of Islay. The choice of Lagavullin in the morning and Laphraoig in the afternoon meant no time was wasted travelling between them! We heard the stories of each 200 year history, enjoyed the samples and the trip to the peat cutting was a whole new experience. The two hour ferry crossing makes sure you know you are going somewhere special and the friendly waves from the local people who live on the island of Islay as we drove around confirmed this…A visit to Islay can be combined with the best of the west coast of Scotland such as the ferry port of Oban or the villages and landscapes of the long, narrow Mull of Kintyre. The icing on the cake was meeting Scotland’s long  distance cyclist Mark …

Hiking in Scotland

What a lovely  walk we had hiking over the beautiful Conic Hill. This is one of the best views of Loch Lomond in Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park. With a mix of forest, open views and then the loch and the islands this was a great day out. Lunch in Balmaha at the Independent Pub of 2016 was a good way to end the day. Some local ale or Scottish fresh produce in a local burger or some fresh seafood.

Ben Nevis

Enjoy stunning Ben Nevis

Enjoy Ben Nevis from this fantastic viewpoint. Last week we had a great tour to the Isle of Skye and enjoyed seeing Ben Nevis twice in one week. The weather and views on the final day were stunning. We also visit St Andrews for the castle and the cathedral. We had a really fun  visit to Stirling Castle and had a quick viewpoint of the national Wallace Monument. The walk and waterfalls at The Hermitage were very photogenic which was great for the keen photographer in the family! Day three and we enjoyed the fairytale Eilean Donan Castle before heading over to Skye and walking in the foothills of the majestic Cuillins. We gave Portree a miss so that we had time to go further north to Kilt Rock on the far east cliff top. Our overnight stop in Plockton look amazing in the sunny evening and the palm trees were a surprise for our guests on tour. The sunny weather continue all the way through Glencoe on the final day and a last stop at Loch Lomond saw …

Private tour

Private tour of Scotland

This private tour took us on a six day circuit of Scotland. From the ruined ancient castle of St Andrews to the cliff top Dunnotar Castle. That was only day one. Day two started with the wonderful Crathes Castle of Aberdeenshire. Stunning gardens too. Next we ventured into Speyside and the world famous Malt Whisky Trail. The tour of Aberlour Distillery gave us lots of think about with six different malts to taste after the tour of the distillery. Day three was a walk in the ancient Caledonian Pine forest of the Cairngorm National Park. Two hours around Loch An Eilean was a great way to stretch the legs and admire the amazing scenery. This contrasted well with our historical visit of the day to Culloden Battlefield. Telling the tale of the last battle fought on British soil in April 1746. Bonnie Prince Charlie did not lead his men to victory that day. The new GPS assisted audio guides to the battlefield were amazing. The drive along the famous Loch Ness next day was gorgeous with the promise of hot …