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SCOTLAND, UK:SCOTLAND

In the Heart of the Scottish Highlands

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Road Scholar
Program #20321RJ
14 Days | 13 Nights
ACTIVITY LEVEL: Moderate
EasyFor people looking to exercise their minds more than their bodies. There’s minimal walking and not too many stairs.
ModerateThese programs get you on your feet and include activities such as walking up to a mile in a day through a city and standing in a museum for a few hours.
ActiveFor people who enjoy walking as much as two miles a day, perhaps to explore historic neighborhoods or a nature trail.
Moderately ChallengingFor hardy explorers who enjoy a good physical challenge, spending most of their days on the go.
ChallengingGet ready to keep up with our highest-energy group. These demanding — and rewarding — programs are for seasoned outdoor enthusiasts.
Equipment Requirements
Hat, scarf, gloves. Fleece or warm top. Lightweight waterproof jacket and trousers. Comfortable waterproof walking shoes/boots. Camera. Binoculars (available for hire from Aigas, email Marjory Sandilands marjory@aigas.co.uk to reserve). In Summer months, midges can be a problem in some areas of Scotland. It is therefore essential to pack some form of insect repellent. Repellent is also available to buy from the Aigas Field Centre.

Itinerary for Jul 30 — Aug 12, 2014

Expand all
Day One: Wednesday, July 30 -
In Transit: Overnight flight from North America.

Type: Four-Star Hotel

Description: A modern hotel, the King James is located just off Edinburgh’s world-famous Princes Street, and a short walk from the Royal Mile.

Contact info:
107 Leith Street
Edinburgh, EH! 3SW UK:Scotland
phone: +44 871 376 9016
web: www.thistle.com

Room amenities: BT Openzone Wi-Fi, Coffee and Tea Making Facilities, Complimentary Toiletries, Direct Dial Telephone, Flat Screen LCD TV With Free View, Hairdryer, Hard Flooring, Iron & Ironing Board, Refreshment Tray, Trouser Press. Wheel in Shower Work Desk

Facility amenities: Restaurant, bar, BT Openzone Wi-Fi.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before:
For additional pre and post program accommodations, please contact Road Scholar Travel Services at (800) 241-1404 or via email to travelinfo@roadscholar.org

Check in time: 2:00 PM


Day Two: Thursday, July 31 -
Arrive To: Edinburgh.

Lunch: A light lunch is served in the hotel.

Afternoon: Free time before a welcome meeting at 5:00pm.

Dinner: In the hotel.

Evening: Your Group Leader/Ranger makes a presentation on your forthcoming trip.

Lodging: King James (formerly Edinburgh Thistle)

Meals Included: Lunch, Dinner
Type: Four-Star Hotel

Description: A modern hotel, the King James is located just off Edinburgh’s world-famous Princes Street, and a short walk from the Royal Mile.

Contact info:
107 Leith Street
Edinburgh, EH! 3SW UK:Scotland
phone: +44 871 376 9016
web: www.thistle.com

Room amenities: BT Openzone Wi-Fi, Coffee and Tea Making Facilities, Complimentary Toiletries, Direct Dial Telephone, Flat Screen LCD TV With Free View, Hairdryer, Hard Flooring, Iron & Ironing Board, Refreshment Tray, Trouser Press. Wheel in Shower Work Desk

Facility amenities: Restaurant, bar, BT Openzone Wi-Fi.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before:
For additional pre and post program accommodations, please contact Road Scholar Travel Services at (800) 241-1404 or via email to travelinfo@roadscholar.org

Check in time: 2:00 PM


Day Three: Friday, August 01 - Edinburgh City and Castle. Visit to Arniston Hous...
Note: Stairs and steep climbs at Edinburgh Castle. Stairs at Arniston House.

Breakfast: Full Scottish breakfast in the hotel.

Morning: A local guide takes us by minibus on a guided field trip of Scotland’s most beautiful city including the great bastion of Edinburgh Castle (entrance included), the Royal Mile and the Palace of Holyrood House, the winding cobbled streets of the ‘old town’ and the grid Georgian rigour of the ‘new town’ – the model for the grid layout of American cities.

Lunch: Taken out in Edinburgh.

Afternoon: We drive out of town to enjoy a visit to Arniston House. Arniston Estate has been home to the Dundas family since 1571. The tour of the house will be led by Althea Dundas-Bekker, who inherited in 1970 and her daughter, Henrietta. With an introduction in the Hall Mrs Dundas-Bekker will give a background to the family history. The Dundas’ of Arniston were very successful in the legal profession with two successive generations holding the post of President of the Court of Session. In 1726 the original tower house was replaced by the Palladian style mansion house designed by William Adam, who was father of the famous Robert Adam. We will visit a number of rooms including the John Adam part of the house which has been restored following a devastating outbreak of dry rot that left the rooms gutted for over 40 years. Arniston has fascinating contents and also wonderful portraiture including pictures by Sir Henry Raeburn and Allan Ramsay. We will finish the tour with tea and home baking in the John Adam Drawing Room; a beautiful room decorated with handmade Chinese wallpaper.

Dinner: In the hotel.

Evening: At leisure.

Lodging: King James (formerly Edinburgh Thistle)

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Other

Description: Aigas is the family home of Sir John and Lady Lister-Kaye and field studies centre. Sir John is one of Scotland’s leading naturalists and nature writers. Accommodation for up to 40 guests is in comfortable, heated timber lodges all with twin bedrooms with private bathrooms appealingly set in the spacious gardens and wooded grounds of the House of Aigas.

Contact info:
Beauly
Inverness, 1V4 7AD UK:Scotland
phone: +44 1463 782443
web: www.aigas.co.uk

Room amenities: Lounge area, drying room, fridges. Tea and coffee making facilities.

Facility amenities: Library, common room, shop and office. Drinks purchased by cash bar in the common room. Loch, fishing, walks and trails.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.


Day Four: Saturday, August 02 - Glen Coe and Loch Ness.
Breakfast: Full Scottish breakfast in the hotel.

Morning: We board a coach and take a scenic ride out of the lowlands and into the Highlands, passing through the dramatic Glen Coe and Loch Ness.

Lunch: Packed lunch to eat en route.

Afternoon: The transfer continues and we arrive in time for afternoon tea and Sir John and Lady Lister-Kaye.

Dinner: In the Baronial Hall at Aigas.

Evening: This evening you can explore the private gardens of the House of Aigas and settle into your cosy timber lodge in the grounds – your home for the next seven nights.

Lodging: Aigas Field Centre and House of Aigas

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Other

Description: Aigas is the family home of Sir John and Lady Lister-Kaye and field studies centre. Sir John is one of Scotland’s leading naturalists and nature writers. Accommodation for up to 40 guests is in comfortable, heated timber lodges all with twin bedrooms with private bathrooms appealingly set in the spacious gardens and wooded grounds of the House of Aigas.

Contact info:
Beauly
Inverness, 1V4 7AD UK:Scotland
phone: +44 1463 782443
web: www.aigas.co.uk

Room amenities: Lounge area, drying room, fridges. Tea and coffee making facilities.

Facility amenities: Library, common room, shop and office. Drinks purchased by cash bar in the common room. Loch, fishing, walks and trails.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.


Day Five: Sunday, August 03 - The Aigas estate.
Breakfast: Continental breakfast and porridge in the baronial dining room.

Morning: Sir John and Lucy will lead us on a gentle guided walk around the house and grounds of the House of Aigas explaining its long and fascinating history, as well as giving an introduction to Lucy’s impressive gardens.

Lunch: Buffet lunch in the baronial hall.

Afternoon: The Aigas ranger team will take us on a longer ramble through the estate, past the exquisite mountain loch and onto moorland to look at archaeological remains dating back to the Bronze Age. From here you can look down into the glen and the rangers will provide detailed interpretation of the landscape and its history over ten thousand years, when the last ice age ended.

Dinner: In the baronial hall.

Evening: Enjoy a lecture this evening: Habitats and Wildlife of the Highlands.

Lodging: Aigas Field Centre and House of Aigas

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Other

Description: Aigas is the family home of Sir John and Lady Lister-Kaye and field studies centre. Sir John is one of Scotland’s leading naturalists and nature writers. Accommodation for up to 40 guests is in comfortable, heated timber lodges all with twin bedrooms with private bathrooms appealingly set in the spacious gardens and wooded grounds of the House of Aigas.

Contact info:
Beauly
Inverness, 1V4 7AD UK:Scotland
phone: +44 1463 782443
web: www.aigas.co.uk

Room amenities: Lounge area, drying room, fridges. Tea and coffee making facilities.

Facility amenities: Library, common room, shop and office. Drinks purchased by cash bar in the common room. Loch, fishing, walks and trails.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.


Day Six: Monday, August 04 - The Black Isle and Bottlenose Dolphins.
Note: Boat ride in a rigid inflatable boat.

Breakfast: Continental breakfast and porridge in the baronial dining room.

Morning: This morning we drive on to the Black Isle to explore Fortrose Cathedral, Groam Pictish Museum and Chanonry Point.

Lunch: Packed lunch.

Afternoon: This afternoon we take an exciting and fun ride in a rigid inflatable boat into the Cromarty Firth to look for the resident population of the bottlenose dolphins. (This trip could take place in the morning as it is tide dependent.)

Dinner: In the baronial dining room.

Evening: Free evening. You may wish to join a group visit to a wildlife blind to look for pine martens, badgers or beavers.

Lodging: Aigas Field Centre and House of Aigas

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Other

Description: Aigas is the family home of Sir John and Lady Lister-Kaye and field studies centre. Sir John is one of Scotland’s leading naturalists and nature writers. Accommodation for up to 40 guests is in comfortable, heated timber lodges all with twin bedrooms with private bathrooms appealingly set in the spacious gardens and wooded grounds of the House of Aigas.

Contact info:
Beauly
Inverness, 1V4 7AD UK:Scotland
phone: +44 1463 782443
web: www.aigas.co.uk

Room amenities: Lounge area, drying room, fridges. Tea and coffee making facilities.

Facility amenities: Library, common room, shop and office. Drinks purchased by cash bar in the common room. Loch, fishing, walks and trails.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.


Day Seven: Tuesday, August 05 - Historical Day: Culloden Battlefield, Cawdor Cast...
Breakfast: Continental breakfast and porridge in baronial dining room.

Morning: Travelling east to Nairnshire, we visit the historic site of Culloden Battlefield, the last battle fought on British soil in 1746. This was a desperate fight which changed the history of the Highlands forever. It led to the breakdown of the clan system and paved the way for the Highland Clearances and emigration to the New World. The Aigas rangers lead you out onto the exposed heath for a blow by blow explanation of the action.

Lunch: Packed lunch overlooking a historical site.

Afternoon: Field trip to Clava Cairns, three well preserved Neolithic cairns, thought to be ritual burial chambers connected with the Winter Solstice and death, which show evidence of both inhumations and cremations. Two of the cairns are Chambered Tombs with cup marked stones and the third is a Ring Cairn, which is unique to the Moray Firth Area. Field trip to Cawdor Castle and Gardens. The Macbeth connection continues! Situated close to the East Highland town of Nairn, Cawdor has been the family home of the Thanes of Cawdor since the 14th century. The castle contains a fine example of a 16th century tower house with elegant 18th century additions. Within the grounds of the castle there are extensive nature trails and fine gardens.

Dinner: In the baronial dining room at Aigas.

Evening: are free to wander the grounds, use the library or sit by the fire with a whisky!

Lodging: Aigas Field Centre and House of Aigas

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Other

Description: Aigas is the family home of Sir John and Lady Lister-Kaye and field studies centre. Sir John is one of Scotland’s leading naturalists and nature writers. Accommodation for up to 40 guests is in comfortable, heated timber lodges all with twin bedrooms with private bathrooms appealingly set in the spacious gardens and wooded grounds of the House of Aigas.

Contact info:
Beauly
Inverness, 1V4 7AD UK:Scotland
phone: +44 1463 782443
web: www.aigas.co.uk

Room amenities: Lounge area, drying room, fridges. Tea and coffee making facilities.

Facility amenities: Library, common room, shop and office. Drinks purchased by cash bar in the common room. Loch, fishing, walks and trails.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.


Day Eight: Wednesday, August 06 - Loch Ness and Urquhart Castle
Breakfast: Continental breakfast and porridge in the baronial dining hall.

Morning: Loch Ness is world famous for its mighty monster and you won’t be able to resist scanning its waters as we drive along its scenic shores. However, the Aigas rangers will also tell you about the fascinating natural and cultural history of this enormous lake, so steeped in folk lore. We stop for a visit to the magnificently situated Urquhart Castle, on a promontory jutting into Loch Ness. Its ruinous state gives testament to the turbulence of its 500 year history as a medieval fortress. The visitor centre contains a shop, interpretation area, audio-visual presentation and tearoom and toilets. Stunning views of the loch can be obtained from the visitor centre veranda.

Lunch: Return to Aigas for a buffet lunch in the baronial hall.

Afternoon: Enjoy a visit to a Highland croft and a talk on crofting.

Dinner: In the baronial hall.

Evening: Free evening. You may wish to join a group visit to a wildlife blind to look for pine martens, badgers or beavers.

Lodging: Aigas Field Centre and House of Aigas

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Other

Description: Aigas is the family home of Sir John and Lady Lister-Kaye and field studies centre. Sir John is one of Scotland’s leading naturalists and nature writers. Accommodation for up to 40 guests is in comfortable, heated timber lodges all with twin bedrooms with private bathrooms appealingly set in the spacious gardens and wooded grounds of the House of Aigas.

Contact info:
Beauly
Inverness, 1V4 7AD UK:Scotland
phone: +44 1463 782443
web: www.aigas.co.uk

Room amenities: Lounge area, drying room, fridges. Tea and coffee making facilities.

Facility amenities: Library, common room, shop and office. Drinks purchased by cash bar in the common room. Loch, fishing, walks and trails.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.


Day Nine: Thursday, August 07 - Glen Affric National Nature Reserve
Note: Optional three mile walk on a well maintained (steep in places) path.

Breakfast: Continental breakfast and porridge in the baronial dining room.

Morning: An illustrated lecture on Caledonian Pinewoods. We then drive west for approximately 45 minutes to the mountains and forests of Glen Affric. The last 6,000 years have witnessed the destruction of the native forests of Scotland, to the extent that there are now only small remnants of old Caledonian Pine Forest left. Glen Affric is one of the most beautiful glens in the Highlands and is managed as a National Nature Reserve.

Lunch: Packed lunch.

Afternoon: There will be an optional walk through the pinewood for about 3 miles on a well maintained (although steep in places) path, set in magnificent scenery.

Dinner: In the baronial dining room.

Evening: An illustrated presentation on the Isle of Skye in our state of the art education centre.

Lodging: Aigas Field Centre and House of Aigas

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Other

Description: Aigas is the family home of Sir John and Lady Lister-Kaye and field studies centre. Sir John is one of Scotland’s leading naturalists and nature writers. Accommodation for up to 40 guests is in comfortable, heated timber lodges all with twin bedrooms with private bathrooms appealingly set in the spacious gardens and wooded grounds of the House of Aigas.

Contact info:
Beauly
Inverness, 1V4 7AD UK:Scotland
phone: +44 1463 782443
web: www.aigas.co.uk

Room amenities: Lounge area, drying room, fridges. Tea and coffee making facilities.

Facility amenities: Library, common room, shop and office. Drinks purchased by cash bar in the common room. Loch, fishing, walks and trails.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.


Day Ten: Friday, August 08 - Reelig Glen woodland walk.
Breakfast: Continental breakfast and porridge in the baronial dining room.

Morning: A leisurely free morning in the small and picturesque town of Beauly. There will be time to visit the 13th century Priory, Campbells Tweedshop (of Royal patronage) or visit the local distillery for a tour and some tasting.

Lunch: Packed lunch.

Afternoon: A ranger led field trip to Reelig Glen, a charming 19th century woodland walk popular with local people and which hosts a profusion of native and exotic species of plants and trees.

Dinner: In the baronial dining hall.

Evening: Sir John hosts your farewell dinner and a Highland piper entertains with some traditional music.

Lodging: Aigas Field Centre and House of Aigas

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Three-Star Hotel

Description: The Tingle Creek Hotel is a family run hotel situated in the small hamlet of Erbusaig between Kyle of Lochalsh and Plockton, with only a five minute drive from the Isle of Skye Bridge. It has a lovely restaurant where you can dine and overlook some of the most breathtaking sea views across to the Isle of Skye and Raasay.

Contact info:
Erbusaig
Kyle of Lochalsh
Ross-shire, IV40 8BB UK:Scotland
phone: +44 1599 534430
web: www.tinglecreek-hotel.co.uk

Room amenities: Direct dial telephone, TV, tea and coffee making facilities.

Facility amenities: Restaurant, loung bar, public bar.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.


Day Eleven: Saturday, August 09 - Farewell to Aigas – onwards to the Isle of Skye.
Breakfast: Continental breakfast and porridge in the baronial dining room.

Morning: For your stay in Skye, please bring an overnight bag to carry only what you need for those 2 days. Your main luggage will be kept securely at the Aigas Field Centre, where you will return for lunch prior to the transfer to Edinburgh. We drive across some of the most dramatic mountain and moorland scenery of the Highlands to get to the west coast. The Aigas rangers stop along the way to regale us with tales of turbulent clan history, details of historical and modern land use and we keep an eye out for golden and white-tailed eagles.

Lunch: Packed lunch.

Afternoon: We continue our gentle drive and arrive at our hotel overlooking the Isle of Skye the misty isle to which Bonnie Prince Charlie escaped after the Battle of Culloden and the impenetrable stronghold of the Lords of the Isles for centuries.

Dinner: In the hotel.

Evening: At leisure.

Lodging: Tingle Creek Hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Three-Star Hotel

Description: The Tingle Creek Hotel is a family run hotel situated in the small hamlet of Erbusaig between Kyle of Lochalsh and Plockton, with only a five minute drive from the Isle of Skye Bridge. It has a lovely restaurant where you can dine and overlook some of the most breathtaking sea views across to the Isle of Skye and Raasay.

Contact info:
Erbusaig
Kyle of Lochalsh
Ross-shire, IV40 8BB UK:Scotland
phone: +44 1599 534430
web: www.tinglecreek-hotel.co.uk

Room amenities: Direct dial telephone, TV, tea and coffee making facilities.

Facility amenities: Restaurant, loung bar, public bar.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.


Day Twelve: Sunday, August 10 - The Isle of Skye - Sleat and Armadale Castle.
Breakfast: Full Scottish breakfast in the hotel.

Morning: We journey to the South of this - the most famous of the Hebridean islands. The soil in this area is lime rich, leading to the most diverse habitats on the island, a rich mixture of woodland, open moorland and jagged coastline. The dominant land use is crofting and there are many typical crofting and small fishing communities scattered throughout the peninsula. Sleat is in the territory of the MacDonald Clan and we visit their clan seat at Armadale Castle, which has an excellent interpretation centre and gentle walks in the extensive castle grounds.

Lunch: Enjoy lunch at Armadale Castle.

Afternoon: After lunch we refresh ourselves with a short and scenic ferry ride ending close to Bernara Barracks (which was built in 1720 after the Jacobite Rebellion of 1719). We will visit the impressive Iron Age brochs (towers) of Dun Telve & Dun Trodden and there will be photo opportunities of the famous Eilean Donan Castle.

Dinner: In the hotel.

Evening: At leisure.

Lodging: Tingle Creek Hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Three-Star Hotel

Description: Modern hotel at Edinburgh Airport-convenient for an overnight before departure.

Contact info:
Edinburgh International Airport
Edinburgh, EH28 8LL UK:Scotland
phone: +44 131 519 4400
web: www.hilton.co.uk

Room amenities: Direct dial telephone with alarm. Flat screen TV with choice of channels and movies. Hairdryer, Iron and ironing board. Tea and coffee making facilities. High speed internet access (chargeable).

Facility amenities: The Space Restaurant, bar. Wireless internet. Busines Centre. Fitness/Health Club. Indoor swimming pool. Sauna, steam room. Coffee shop. 24 hour room service.Complimentary airprot shuttle bus. Laundry service.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights after:
For additional pre and post program accommodations, please contact Road Scholar Travel Services at (800) 241-1404 or via email to travelinfo@roadscholar.org

Check out time: 12:00 PM

Day Thirteen: Monday, August 11 - Scenic minibus journey from Kyle to Beauly.
Breakfast: Full Scottish breakfast in the hotel.

Morning: After breakfast we depart by minibus for the scenic journey from Kyle to Beauly and the Aigas Field Centre, stopping at Dundreggan Estate. Dundreggan is Trees for Life's flagship forest restoration project. On return to Aigas, we will enjoy lunch with Sir John and Lady Lucinda Lister-Kaye.

Lunch: Lunch at Aigas Field Centre.

Afternoon: Transfer to Edinburgh and check-in at the hotel.

Dinner: Farewell meeting and dinner in the hotel.

Evening: At leisure.

Lodging: Hilton Edinburgh Airport Hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day Fourteen: Tuesday, August 12 -
Depart From: Edinburgh Airport. 10 minutes walk from the hotel or a 2 minute complimentary shuttle bus.

Breakfast: Full Scottish breakfast in the hotel. Some departures may leave before breakfast.

Meals Included: Breakfast


Free Time Opportunities


Isle of Skye.
SkyeDetails of pubs and local amenities will be available from your Ranger. For advance information, please see the Visit Scotland website.
For additional information, visit: www.visitscotland.com/

Important information about your itinerary:
Please know that while we do everything we can to finalize all aspects of our programs well in advance, there are logistics that occasionally must be altered. Our website will reflect the most recent information, and we are committed to providing you with final program details no later than eight weeks prior to the start of programs outside the U.S. and three weeks prior to the start of programs within the U.S. If you ever have questions about your program, please don't hesitate to contact us and we will be happy to assist you.

Our Value Promise To You

You won't find a better value.

Included
at no additional cost on this date ...
12 nights of accommodations
36 meals: 12 breakfasts, 12 lunches, 12 dinners
4 Expert-led lectures
17 Field trips
1 Performances

Ratings

4.8
Ratings are determined by participant evaluations.

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