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The Best of Scotland

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Road Scholar
Program #20881RJ

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15 Days | 14 Nights
Road Scholar has thousands of educational adventures to choose from. A good way to narrow down our list is to browse our collection of "Most Popular" programs.
See all of our Most Popular programs.
EasyFor people looking to exercise their minds more than their bodies. 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.
Jill from Redwood City, CA Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 09/09/15 - 09/23/15
We've just returned from the Best of Scotland program which we thoroughly enjoyed. From the Islands to the Highlands and many places in between, we have seen quite a variety of castles, palaces, ruins, cathedrals, chapels, museums, moors, mountains, Highland Cattle, sheep, lochs, rivers, villages and cities. A few days have rather lengthy bus trips, but the beautiful scenery makes the trip pleasant, and the program always includes plenty of pit stops and points of interest along the way. Our Course Instructor, Ruth Boreham, could not have been more passionate about Scottish history and culture and regaled us with fascinating stories non-stop. Our Program Manager, Dave, was always helpful in managing all the details of our daily tours, and the bus driver, Andy, was a real pro with plenty of helpful hints and stories of his own. The activity level is moderate, and there were only a few excursions that were too challenging for the slower members of the group. The food was almost universally delicious and nutritious (plenty of fish!), the accommodations were satisfactory, though the beds in some hotels are smaller than we would have liked and the plumbing in older hotels is "quaint". The highlight was a 2-night stay at historic Tulloch Castle during which we were treated to an unplanned Cèilidh (think Scottish music jam session with lots of fiddles and bagpipes). This was our first Road Scholar tour and definitely won't be the last. I especially like the fact that all tips are included, as well as most meals. We had 2 lunches and 1 dinner on our own, but the rest of the meals were covered. This allows you to "know before you go" how much you'll be spending, and there are no hidden expenses. I highly recommend this tour, and September is a nice time of year to go. We had some rainy/misty days but it didn't seem to interfere with our enjoyment of the program - bring your rain coat and a sturdy umbrella and comfortable shoes and you can weather anything.

Connie from Paducah, KY Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 09/09/15 - 09/23/15
This was our first Road Scholar tour and we thoroughly enjoyed the experience. We were very busy, but given options if we needed a break. Our guide, Ruth Boreham, was outstanding. Her knowledge of the history was presented with just the right amount of talking, outstanding enthusiasm, dramatic presentations and a great sense of humor. We experienced the Best of Scotland thanks to her!

bruce from Louisville, KY Number of programs attended: 3
Date attended: 09/02/15 - 09/16/15
Margaret Hubbard is just plain incredible. A teacher of teachers and companion to scholarship. Responsive to the enthusiasms of the group and its queries. A++++ Bruce in Louisville.

Anne from Bourne, MA Number of programs attended: 4
Date attended: 08/12/15 - 08/26/15
We were so very fortunate to have had Margaret as our instructor. She was exceptionally knowledgeable about all things Scotland and shared so much information that I learned more than I ever anticipated I would. The tour was well organized and we were well prepared to appreciate the background of every place we visited (thanks to Margaret).

George from Lakeway, TX Number of programs attended: 10
Date attended: 08/12/15 - 08/26/15
The program instruction was great! I experienced too much time on an uncomfortable bus. The logistics could have been better. Overall it supplied me with what I wanted to learn about Scotland and more. George Launey, Austin Texas.

Kathleen from Los Alamos, NM Number of programs attended: 4
Date attended: 08/12/15 - 08/26/15
This trip exceeded my expectations. Both Margaret and Kevin went out of their way to accommodate our needs and interests. We really got a flavor of the Scottish land and culture during our 14 day adventure. I would recommend this trip to others.

Chester from Evanston, IL Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 08/12/15 - 08/26/15
We thoroughly enjoyed The Best of Scotland. Margaret Hubbard is one of the best tour guides I've ever had. Very knowledgeable and passionate about her country. She and Kevin made this a wonderful trip. Seeing Scotland in 14 days is not intended to be a leisurely vacation, but a learning adventure. I highly recommend this trip.

Michael from Sugar Land, TX Number of programs attended: 5
Date attended: 08/12/15 - 08/26/15
Well said Gwen from MN. We felt the same way. The tour guide was an encyclopedia of knowledge, but the trip seemed to be about her getting out all she wanted to say rather than the participants getting what they wanted to know. I felt like I was in primary school again, being herded into a lunch room and being required to exit at a certain time. You, Road Scholars, need to recognize you are there for the participants, their enjoyment and their relaxation and learning. I constantly felt like the leaders felt they would be under pressure from 'somewhere' if they didn't get people through a very rigid curriculum and schedule. I don't plan on doing another road Scholar anytime soon, although this was our 5th. Program 8/12/15 to 8/26/15 Best of Scotland.

Jean from Reston, VA Number of programs attended: 24
Date attended: 08/12/15 - 08/26/15
I loved this trip and especially enjoyed our extremely knowledgeable guide. The trip covered a lot of ground, historically, geographically, and culturally, so it was quite intense. For example, we moved to a new hotel every other day, and time for shopping was limited. However, I thought the pace was worth it. If you want a relaxing "vacation," this is probably not the trip for you. But if you want to learn a lot about Scotland and perhaps connect the dots re what you already know, this is a great learning experience. I especially appreciated our guide's efforts to include information for those of us with Scottish ancestry.

Gwen from Anoka, MN Number of programs attended: 12
Date attended: 08/12/15 - 08/26/15
Scotland is beautiful. We saw many historical places. The tour guide talked too much, too fast, and with a strong accent, was very difficult to understand. There was no time to relax, look at the scenery, converse with fellow Road Scholars with her constant chatter. Very disturbing. I finally put on ear plugs and tried to ignore her.

Margaret from Truckee, CA Number of programs attended: 3
Date attended: 07/15/15 - 07/29/15
What an awesome, educational adventure this was. Scotland is so beautiful and friendly. It was everything I thought it would be and more. And traveling with friends made it even more special.

Jean from Omaha, NE Number of programs attended: 10
Date attended: 07/15/15 - 07/29/15
This was a great adventure and I strongly recommend it. I thought I already knew a lot about Scotland and its history but each day I learned something new and saw something awesome. This is one program I have no qualms in recommending.

Peggy from Houston, TX Number of programs attended: 19
Date attended: 07/15/15 - 07/29/15
What a wonderful experience!!! Ruth taught us so much about this glorious place. I had been t Edinburgh on my own a couple of years ago. This "taste of" the country has served to make Scotland a "come back to" yet again. Although Edinburgh was VERY crowded at this time of year, the rest of the country was not......and what a great way to beat the heat! I'm already looking into another Road Scholar experience in Scotland! Don't miss it!

Connie from Rogers, MN Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 07/15/15 - 07/29/15
7/15/15-7/29/15. Our group decided the tour should be called a Taste of Scotland as we were so impressed with so many of the "Best" places that we went, we wanted to stay longer. We decided the only way around that was to come back. Ruth Borham and Bel Glover were our guides. They both were fantastic. Our weather was rather chilly and rained a little almost every day but it didn't interfere with our site seeing. When they recommend dressing in layers..do. One suggestion in regards to the first hotel The Millenium. Several of us had asked for early check in but they could not accommodate this request. I would come to the hotel no sooner than 2 pm the regular check in time.

Carol from Farmington, CT Number of programs attended: 15
Date attended: 06/24/15 - 07/08/15
"The Best of Scotland" is a wonderful overview of much of the country, providing experiences, both historical & cultural. Our group leaders were outstanding - a tour director/guide with incredible knowledge & caring, and a co-ordinator who was organized & thorough. Delicious food, with good choices.

Michael from Forest Hills, NY Number of programs attended: 8
Date attended: 06/10/15 - 06/24/15
A wonderful introduction to the land of my ancestors, from big cities to the countryside, to islands and to small towns. I found the train trip across Rannoch Moor particularly moving. Course Director Linda Fairbarn was most impressive, with an incredible font of knowledge about all things Scotland, delivered cogently and with a sense of humor. Linda worked under challenging conditions since Road Scholar had only recently selected her organization to handle The Best of Scotland program. Tour Leader Tony Lambert was incredibly organized and proactive so that the program ran smoothly with no hitches. The hotels varied between high quality and third class. Tulloch Castle and the Carlton Hotel were special treats.

Douglas from Manassas, VA Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 05/27/15 - 06/10/15
John & Sylvia Harris were wonderful tour leaders. They were both a wealth of information and were very attentive to individual needs. They were never too busy to help someone enjoy Scotland more fully

Linda from Toronto, ON Number of programs attended: 7
Date attended: 05/27/15 - 06/10/15
John & Sylvia Harris did an amazing job of leading 29 of us though the Best of Scotland May 27 2015. Though the weather was cool (11C)to start, we layered our clothing and had a great trip. John & Sylvia anticipated our needs before we even knew them ourselves & I would highly recommend their company on this informative and delightful itinerary. Also Walter was a great coach driver.

Edna from Daleville, AL Number of programs attended: 4
Date attended: 04/29/15 - 05/13/15
This is truly a wonderful tour! From the cities of Glasgow and Edinburgh to the islands and the spectacular highlands, I enjoyed every vista, castle, village, ancient site, and ghost story. Our group leader Rod, and instructor Ruth were outstanding and made this adventure memorable.

Marlene from Biscayne Park, FL Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 04/29/15 - 05/13/15
Best of Scotland took us to all the sights we wanted to see. We learned a lot, laughed a lot and cried when we had to say goodbye to the new friends we made on the tour. I know we would not have seen so much or learned as much on another tour or traveling on our own.

Barbara from Woodstock, VA Number of programs attended: 4
Date attended: 10/01/14 - 10/15/14
This trip shows so very much of Scotland, from the Highlands to the Lowlands and from the cities to the mystical western Isles. In addition to visiting castles and museums we visited little villages "that time forgot" and met a delightful shepherding family as they showed us their working dogs. The scenery was spectacular in early October and my fellow travelers a delightful group - this program is not to be missed!

Joyce from Hingham, MA Number of programs attended: 14
Date attended: 10/01/14 - 10/15/14
We have taken 13 Road Scholar Programs - truthfully every one has been outstanding. We didn't have a burning desire to travel to Scotland however the itinerary captured our interest. We are thrilled to have gone on the "Best of Scotland." It was superior - from the Highlands to the Lowlands - and everywhere in-between. Joyce & Edward Schreier

Barry from Wellsville, NY Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 09/10/14 - 09/24/14
Kate and Barry from Wellsville, NY Number of programs attended: 1 Date attended: 09/10/14 -09/24/14 Outstanding trip. Resourceful and knowledgeable tour director, Rod, and historian, Rita. Well planned itinerary. Highly recommend.

Liz from Clovis, CA Number of programs attended: 3
Date attended: 09/10/14 - 09/24/14
Very comprehensive tour led by excellent guides

Janice from Alexandria, VA Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 09/03/14 - 09/17/14
This tour was at the top of bucket list--to visit the land of my ancestors. Everything exceeded my expectations due to a very well planned, organized and executed tour. Both or tour guide, Margaret Hubbard, and tour director, Harvey Pascoe made this a trip of a lifetime and I returned home with a big smile on my face!

Judith from Hudson, MA Number of programs attended: 13
Date attended: 09/10/14 - 09/24/14
Wonderful program. I highly recommend it. The sites visited were diverse. Rita, the program instructor, has a wealth of knowledge that she shared with the group in a most entertaining manner. Rod, the group leader, is personable, well organized, and remained calm at all times. I hated to see the two weeks end.

Caroline from Ponte Vedra, FL Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 09/03/14 - 09/17/14
If you are looking for a sampling of all of the history of Scotland, diversity in geography,beauty and culture, this is the trip for you.

Susan from Newton, NH Number of programs attended: 7
Date attended: 09/10/14 - 09/24/14
This trip is great but, it was, in large measure, made so by the guide Rita Adam and the group leader Rod Drysdale. The landscape, the history, and the culture were enriched by their knowledge, humor, and attention to detail. Only bed experience was at the Fort Wiliiam hotel where disinterested management and substandard food and amenities put a temporary damper on the experience. The Tulluch Castle accommodations were charming as was the visit to Blair Adam.

Cheryl from Radford, VA Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 09/03/14 - 09/17/14
The Scotland adventure was great, what a beautiful country full of history , the people are all really nice and welcoming. I loved it.

Jane from Saint Clairsville, OH Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 09/03/14 - 09/17/14
Margaret Hubbard is a treasure of Scotland. Her knowledge and ability to bring history alive made this program simply wonderful.

Harvey from Glenview, IL Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 07/16/14 - 07/30/14
Scotland is a great country to visit and explore. The cities, the islands (Hebrides) and the people are unique and the topography from the western part to the eastern part is outstanding. A lot of history, both bloody and romantic. A must place to visit.

Judith from Newark, DE Number of programs attended: 15
Date attended: 07/16/14 - 07/30/14
Check to be sure guides experienced with this trip are being used and that special offers of tours at various sites and museums are taken advantage of. Tip: if arrive early in the morning from the flight, call or email hotel and request to have your room ready earlier if at all possible. Review by participants from Connecticut is very accurate. Bob and Judy Taggart, Delaware

Gerald from Westport, CT Number of programs attended: 4
Date attended: 07/16/14 - 07/30/14
Hot,approx. 90 degrees f. no a/c in any hotels. Windows in 3 rooms would not open wide--hotel staff claimed it was for health and safety reasons. Bus A/C out for 3 days--no imagination shown to replace. We waited for an engineer rather than a quick swap of equipment. Our leader was English and knew very little about Scotland. He was without passion for the country, but did unnecessary dramatic readings to a captive audience. In fact he never before had visited many of the sites we travelled to. The two guides were affable, but not prepared. They had never done this trip before. We spent much time in visitor centers and adjoining gift shops. No on the ground guiding by any Road Scholar personnel. We were discharged from the bus with advice that the trip was self guided, or placed in the hands of uninspired docents. This was the very worst tour I have ever taken. By the way, the hotels were second rate, the food institutional, and not a drop of wine was offered at the welcoming or departure dinners

Charles from Chicago, IL Number of programs attended: 10
Date attended: 07/16/14 - 07/30/14
Scotland is a wonderful place to visit. The program could be improved with more information and guided tours at each place visited.

Mary Nied from Waco, TX Number of programs attended: 8
Date attended: 07/02/14 - 07/16/14
If you've always wanted to see the marvelous variety of Scottish scenery and learn about its history and culture, the "Best of Scotland" is the trip for you. Top notch guides in the form of Rita Adam and Rod Drysdale, both of whom gave the trip that special quality due to their extremely high levels of expertise. I left the trip and continued on to England as an "ambassador" of Road Scholar and this trip, telling my next group of traveling companions that this one is a 'must'!

Chris from Santa Monica, CA Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 07/02/14 - 07/16/14
A comprehensive tour of Scotland combining the mystical magic of the Highlands with the realities of history and the exploration of architecture with information on current issues affecting Scotland and its citizens. This first experience of a Road Scholar trip guarantees that I will be participating in more in the future. My next trip is already booked.

James from Tulsa, OK Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 07/02/14 - 07/16/14
Absolutely wonderful trip. Our group had 30 as well, but it didn't slow us up. Great tour guides! Be aware that you will probably NOT go INTO Dunfirmline Abbey and see Robert the Bruce's burial place and others. We just drove by and went into Andrew Carnegie's birthplace instead. Take your own washcloths and a little laundry line. A truly memorable experience.

Lorna from West Des Moines, IA Number of programs attended: 5
Date attended: 07/16/14 - 07/30/14
My husband and I had a great time on this trip. We felt we got to see a lot of the country. The hotels met our expectations, though it would have been nice to have larger rooms in some locations and the rooms were very warm due to a heat wave. This was the largest tour group we have experienced (30) and the larger size slowed things up a bit. Our tour instructor was excellent.

Karen from Walnut Creek, CA Number of programs attended: 12
Date attended: 07/16/14 - 07/30/14
Although very fast-paced, this is a highly informative and fascinating program. I really enjoyed it and recommend it to anyone with ANY interest in Scotland!

Patti from Pewee Valley, KY Number of programs attended: 7
Date attended: 07/02/14 - 07/16/14
This program was about all areas and aspects of Scotland both historical and in the present. Our leaders were knowledgeable and talented, and each place we visted was very interesting to me. Every day was filled with the Best of Scotland.

Alan from Albuquerque, NM Number of programs attended: 5
Date attended: 06/18/14 - 07/02/14
A comprehensive tour of Scotland, from lowlands to the highlands and the islands. A wonderful learning experience that will cover the geography and history of Scotland from the time of the Jacobite uprising up to current times when a decision on devolvement is to be made by the citizens.

Leonard from Brighton, MI Number of programs attended: 3
Date attended: 04/30/14 - 05/14/14
Len from Brighton, Mi Number of programs attended: 4 Dates attended 4/30/14 - 5/14/14 This session of "Best of Scotland" did not meet Road Scholar standards. Places visited were great but John Harris, an Englishman, was the leader and primary lecturer. All of his lectures and bus commentaries were read word for word from a prepared script or books on Scotland indicating a superficial knowledge of the country. We learned very little of the Scottish people, their culture, flora & fauna or geology (lots about the Jacobites and the middle ages). The tour did not use local experts (with one exception) but relied on John and he on middle ages history. We took the Best of Ireland immediately after this tour and found it to be outstanding with Irish leaders and local experts at each location visited. This back to back comparison highlighted just how much we missed on our tour of Scotland. The Scotland tour would have been a great trip with different leaders/lecturer.

Joyce from Hyde Park, UT Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 04/30/14 - 05/14/14
This truly is "the best of" Scotland with something for everyone: the engineer will enjoy the power station stop while the Scotch aficionado will like the tour of The Glenlivet. English professors will revel at the chance to visit Cawdor Castle and other literary spots. John and Sylvia were superb leaders--excellent lectures and considerate care for all. Lots of bus time but sufficient breaks to stretch your legs. The major drawback was rainy weather, but we persevered.

Millicent from Deer Harbor, WA Number of programs attended: 7
Date attended: 04/30/14 - 05/14/14
An unforgettable introduction to highlands, islands, castles and lochs with delightful visits off the tourist path. Read up, bring umbrella and mind the cobblestones underfoot on this adventure! It is invigorating in every sense.

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at no additional cost on this date ...
13 nights of accommodations
32 meals: 13 breakfasts, 8 lunches, 11 dinners
2 Expert-led lectures
19 Field trips
1 Performances


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