Road Scholar : Home
Walking in the Scottish Highlands

Program Number: 19750RJ
Start and End Dates:
5/8/2014 - 5/18/2014; 5/7/2015 - 5/17/2015; 6/18/2015 - 6/28/2015; 7/16/2015 - 7/26/2015; 8/27/2015 - 9/6/2015; 9/17/2015 - 9/27/2015; 10/8/2015 - 10/18/2015;
Duration: 10 nights
Location: Scotland, UK:Scotland
Price starting at: $2,591.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Walking/Hiking Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 27; 9 Breakfasts, 9 Lunches, 9 Dinners    
Meal Options: Low Fat; Vegetarian; Low Salt; Gluten Free    

Discover the mystic Scottish Highlands on foot during this outdoor learning adventure led by renowned author-naturalist Sir John Lister-Kaye and his team of rangers. Your base of exploration is Aigas Field Centre, Scotland’s premier field station centered on Lister-Kaye’s baronial family home. Walk through moorland and secluded glens, past Dog Falls and Glen Affric. Learn about Highlands ecology and wildflowers and look for native wildlife including red deer, red grouse, peregrine falcons and red kite.




Highlights

• The Head Gardener of the famous Inverewe Gardens escorts you around the exotic plantings and gives unique insights into this remarkable outdoor space.
• On a night-time walking excursion, search out pine martens, otters, badgers and other nocturnally active creatures.
• Explore the Aigas estate’s moorland, native pinewoods, birch woodland, exotic plantation and freshwater loch.



Activity Particulars

Walking up to six miles a day on trails, firm paths and some uneven terrain. One gentle hill climb on rough paths.




Date Specific Information

5-8-2014, 5-7-2015, 6-18-2015, 7-16-2015, 8-27-2015, 9-17-2015, 10-8-2015

Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.



Itinerary Summary

Arrival Glasgow, 1 night; coach to Aigas Field Centre, Beauly, Inverness-shire, 7 nights; coach to Glasgow, 1 night; departure.



Overnight flight from the U.S.A.
1 night
Arrival Glasgow
1 night
Coach to Aigas Field Centre, Beauly, Inverness-shire
7 nights
Coach to Glasgow
1 night
Departure

Delve into the complex history of the Scottish Highlands through expert-led walks on the expansive grounds of the Aigas Field Centre, an area that has been continuously occupied for 3,000 years. Explore the pinewood Forest of Caledon and be amazed at the myriad wildlife this habitat attracts. Venture to Scotland’s most famous garden, Inverewe, where the gardener shows you the amazing plant life. Journey to the Black Isle (actually a peninsula sided by three firths) and walk its ancient, wildflower-coated woodlands. Explore secluded glens and Corrie Loch. In the evenings, Sir John discusses the stories of the Highlands and a bagpiper performs.




Scotland

The lochs and highlands of Scotland have long been a source of inspiration for folklore, poetry and song — influencing movements from the Romanticism of Robert Burns to the Kailyard school of J.M. Barrie. Through the years, Scotland has maintained a strong pride in the arts and boasts notable museums, theaters and events including the Edinburgh International Festival, an annual celebration of arts from around the world.



Accommodations
Glasgow: Comfortable airport hotel. Aigas Field Centre near Beauly: Cozy, rustic timber lodges set amid gardens on the Aigas Field Centre grounds.

Road Scholar Instructors
These instructors are participating on at least one date of this program. Please note that changes may occur.
Sir John Lister-Kaye

Director of Aigas Field Centre, Sir John Lister-Kaye is one of Scotland’s foremost naturalists and well-loved nature writers. A freelance environmental journalist and writer, 30 years ago he founded Aigas Field Center and has led it to its status as Scotland’s principal environmental education provider for adults and schoolchildren. Sir John’s books include “Song of the Rolling Earth” and “Nature’s Child” and he writes regularly for the Times newspaper.
 
Meals and Lodgings
   Holiday Inn Glasgow Airport
  Glasgow., UK:Scotland 1 night
   Aigas Field Centre and House of Aigas
  Aigas., UK:Scotland 7 nights
   Holiday Inn Glasgow Airport
  Glasgow., UK:Scotland 1 night
 Holiday Inn Glasgow Airport
Type: Three-Star Hotel
  Description: 300 yards from airport.
  Contact info: Abbotsinch
Paisley
Glasgow,  PA3 2TR UK:Scotland
phone: +44 870 400 9031
web: www.holidayinn.com/hotels/gb/en/glasgow/glwre/hoteldetail
  Room amenities: Air-conditioning, TV, direct dial telephone, hairdryer, tea and coffee facilities, minibar.
  Facility amenities: Restaurants, lounge and bar. Room service. Free WiFi in public areas. ATM.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: TBC. 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
  Additional nights after: TBC. 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: 10:00 AM

 Aigas Field Centre and House of Aigas
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 782433
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 allowed: No


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
A light lunch will be served in the hotel at 12:30pm.Welcome meeting in the hotel at 5:00pm. You will be staying at Holiday Inn Glasgow Airport that night.
  End of Program:
After breakfast in the hotel. Breakfast ends at 10:00am and check out is by 11:00am. You will be staying at Holiday Inn Glasgow Airport the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required.
  Parking availability:
No parking.
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
  Train or bus availability: Buses available.
To Start of Program
  Location:  Glasgow.
  Nearest city or town:  Glasgow.
  Nearest airport:  Glasgow.
  Transportation to site: Buses from central Glasgow. The nearest rail station to the airport is Paisley Gilmour Street, which is just one mile from the terminal and easily reached by taxi or bus (services 66 and 300). There are direct rail services from Paisley Gilmour Street to Glasgow Central
  From End of Program
  Location: Glasgow.
  Transportation from site: Buses available into central Glasgow.
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1:
(Thursday, May 8)
   
 In Transit: Overnight flights from North America.

Day 2:
(Friday, May 9)
   
 Arrive To: Glasgow. Walk 300 yards to the hotel.
 Lunch: A light lunch is served in the hotel at 12:30pm. Ask at Reception for the location of lunch.
 Afternoon: Your Aigas Ranger/Group Leader will arrrive by early afternoon. At leisure until a welcome meeting in the hotel at 5:00pm before dinner.
 Dinner: In the hotel.
 Evening: At leisure.
   
Accommodations: Holiday Inn Glasgow Airport
Meals Included: Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Scenic transfer to the Highlands.
(Saturday, May 10)
   
 Breakfast: Full Scottish breakfast in the hotel.
 Morning: Day-long transfer to Aigas Field Center in Inverness-shire with information about and stops en route at Luss (Loch Lomond), Tyndrum, Glencoe and Spean Bridge.
 Lunch: Packed lunch.
 Afternoon: Continue to Aigas with stops en route, including Drumnadrochit. Please note, the proposed route is subject to change due to weather, traffic or other unforeseen circumstances. Arrival at Aigas in time for afternoon tea and welcome. Aigas Field Centre is based at the House of Aigas, a Victorian sporting lodge purchased by Sir John Lister-Kaye in 1977. In addition to the main house the estate comprises an extensive arboretum, formal gardens, native pinewoods, birch woodland, exotic plantation, moorland and agricultural land as well as a picturesque freshwater loch. This range of habitats attracts a myriad of wildlife, with over 120 different species of birds recorded, and many of Scotland’s larger mammals including pine marten, otter, badger and deer. We will meet before dinner to discuss domestic arrangements for the week ahead and to talk about wish lists.
 Dinner: In the baronial hall in the House of Aigas, the home of Sir John and Lady Lucinda Lister-Kaye. Meals eaten in the baronial hall surrounded by family portraits and Victorian artefacts.
 Evening: At leisure. Drinks available in the lounge for cash payments. Use of the extensively stocked library of history and natural history books, wall map of northern Scotland. The old Victorian dining room is now used as a guest common room.
   
Accommodations: Aigas Field Centre and House of Aigas
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Sir John Lister-Kaye lectures on the history of the Highlands.
(Sunday, May 11)
   
 Breakfast: Continental breakfast with pinhead porridge.
 Morning: Sir John will introduce you to the complex history of the Highlands with special reference to the Victorian sporting era and the 19th century conversion of the House of Aigas from a Highland tacksman’s house to a sporting lodge, setting the historical scene for the week.
 Lunch: Buffet lunch in Aigas.
 Afternoon: Later on this afternoon we will head to the remains of three Bronze Age hut circles and perched on a nearby hill, the remains of a typical Iron Age fort, evidence of Aigas' continuous occupation for over 3000 years. We shall carry on across old peat cuttings to the summit, a good place to orientate, with views of Strathglass and the country surrounding the House of Aigas. Look out for hen harriers, peregrine falcons, ravens, red grouse and red deer. If we have the time and energy we will continue across the moor to Aigas Woods, a wonderful pinewood relic of great Forest of Caledon, which once covered the majority of the Highlands. A good selection of typical pinewood plant species grow here and if lucky we may see Scottish crossbills, Britain’s only endemic bird. We will walk back to Aigas House on quiet forest tracks and paths. Walking of up to four miles, including some rough walking.
 Dinner: In the baronial hall in Aigas House.
 Evening: Evening trips with fully trained Aigas Rangers to the Pine Marten and Badger Hides, badger spotting, roe deer and tawny owls. Interpreted trips to the Beaver Hide to see the thriving family of beavers in their natural habitat. From the Tree Top Hide, see Red Squirrels, Red Kite, buzzards and ravens and take in the views of the valley of the River Beauly.
   
Accommodations: Aigas Field Centre and House of Aigas
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: West Coast and Inverewe Gardens
(Monday, May 12)
   
 Breakfast: Continental breakfast and pinhead porridge.
 Morning: Today we’ll head west to experience a leisurely visit to the famous Inverewe Gardens, on the West Coast, which lies beyond the majestic mountain landscape of Beinn Eighe National Nature Reserve. The land was purchased by Osgood Mackenzie in 1862 and he spent the majority of his time over the next forty years creating these wonderful gardens. We will be led on a guided tour by one of the gardeners, who will be able to provide a unique insight into this remarkable place. The balmy Gulf Stream Drift promotes the luxuriant growth of plants from all around the world - Tasmanian eucalyptus and New Zealand daisy bushes vie for attention with woodland containing a canopy of Scots pine, underplanted with many unusual plants such as meconopsis and the primula Inverewe. Winding walks, rising and falling, give sudden glimpses of shimmering water through the foliage. Firm paths with a maximum walk of two miles.
 Lunch: Lunch out.
 Afternoon: Field trip continues.
 Dinner: In the baronial hall in the House of Aigas.
 Evening: At leisure.
   
Accommodations: Aigas Field Centre and House of Aigas
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: The Black Isle.
(Tuesday, May 13)
   
 Breakfast: Continental breakfast and pinhead porridge.
 Morning: Today we will travel east to the Black Isle, a mosaic of habitats surrounded by internationally important estuarine waters of the Moray and Cromarty Firths. This peninsula to the north and east of Inverness was the location for the first UK re-introductions of the red kite in 1989. These are now widespread, with around 50 breeding pairs in the north of Scotland population - the majority of them on the Black Isle. Habitats including pebble shores and cliffs are carpeted with thrift, stonecrop and campion. The interior is rich agricultural land intermixed with areas of native woodland, forestry and old hedgerows. We will walk through the private estate surrounding the ruined castle at Redcastle, which contain a lovely open woodland and is a prime spot for nesting raptors. We will carry on along the shore of the Beauly Firth where we can expect a host of wetland birds and hedgerow flowers. We will visit the ruined cathedral at Fortrose before heading towards Chanonry Point which is one of the best sites for spotting our resident bottlenose dolphins whilst looking for some of the interesting coastal flowers.
 Lunch: Packed lunch.
 Afternoon: In the afternoon the field trip continues. Time permitting, we may take a stroll through Drummondreach ancient oakwoods or investigate the Georgian fishing village of Cromarty. There will be options of shorter or longer walks of between three and six miles today.
 Dinner: In the baronial hall in the House of Aigas,
 Evening: Highland house party activity.
   
Accommodations: Aigas Field Centre and House of Aigas
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Glen Strathfarrar.
(Wednesday, May 14)
   
 Breakfast: continental breakfast and pinhead porridge.
 Morning: Today we will be exploring one of the most beautiful secluded glens through moorland, woodland and forests where we will hope to find northern marsh, heath spotted and fragrant orchids, clubmoss, yellow pimpernel, dwarf cornel, the insectivorous butterwort and sundews. The hills here are home to thousands of red deer and even a few feral goats. An abundance of freshwater lochs and rivers means this is an ideal opportunity to find whooper swan, little grebe, red-breasted merganser, tufted duck and goosander, with dippers and grey wagtails flitting over the fast-flowing streams. Sparrowhawks are often seen skillfully navigating the mixed woodland and we’ll search the craggy ridges for the resident golden eagles soaring overhead. Rough paths, gentle hill climb onto hill ridge, up to five miles.
 Lunch: Packed lunch.
 Afternoon: The field trip continues.
 Dinner: In the baronial hall.
 Evening: At leisure.
   
Accommodations: Aigas Field Centre and House of Aigas
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Corrie Loch.
(Thursday, May 15)
   
 Breakfast: Continental breakfast and pinhead porridge.
 Morning: This morning we will head off towards Glen Affric for a loop route walk which will take us past Dog Falls and the secluded Corrie Loch. At the bottom of the bowl is a nationally important site for dragonflies, with fourteen different species breeding there. It is one of the lesser-known areas in the Highlands and a hidden gem. Woodland trail up to four miles.
 Lunch: Packed lunch.
 Afternoon: Field trip continues.
 Dinner: In the baronial hall.
 Evening: At leisure.
   
Accommodations: Aigas Field Centre and House of Aigas
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Aigas day.
(Friday, May 16)
   
 Breakfast: Continental breakfast and pinhead porridge.
 Morning: This morning we will spend exploring the gardens at Aigas which have been reinstated by Lady Lister-Kaye around the extensive Victorian arboretum with specimens from as far as Japan, New Zealand and California. The formal gardens have flowerbeds, a pond and areas of shrubbery. There are also native birch woods, Scots pine with a juniper understorey and many fine trees such as Douglas, Noble and grand fir. Later this morning we will have the chance to spend a leisurely morning in the small village of Beauly. There will be time to visit the 13th Century Priory, Campbell’s Tweedshop (of Royal patronage) and the option of a tour to the local distillery.
 Lunch: Included although you may wish to sample local fare in Beauly-there are pubs, hotels, cafes and restaurants--even a fish and chip shop!
 Afternoon: In the afternoon we will visit 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. Woodland trail up to two miles.
 Dinner: In the baronial hall.
 Evening: Farewell with traditional pipe music.
   
Accommodations: Aigas Field Centre and House of Aigas
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: Scenic transfer to Glasgow.
(Saturday, May 17)
   
 Breakfast: Continental breakfast and pinhead porridge.
 Morning: Depart Aigas, transfer to Glasgow with information about and stops en route at Ruthven Barracks and Pitlochry.
 Lunch: Packed lunch.
 Afternoon: Continue to Glasgow with stops en route, including Blackford. Please note, the proposed route is subject to change due to weather, traffic or other unforeseen circumstances.
 Dinner: In the hotel.
 Evening: At leisure.
   
Accommodations: Holiday Inn Glasgow Airport
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11:
(Sunday, May 18)
   
 Breakfast: Full Scottish breakfast in the hotel.
 Morning: Walk 300 yards to Glasgow Airport for return flights to North America.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast

Free Time Opportunities
 
  Glasgow. Glasgow
Glasgow Cathedral, Burrell Collection, Tenement House, Willow Tea Room, People’s Palace, Hunterian Art Gallery, Art Gallery and Museum, Glasgow School of Art, Pollock House, theatres, cinemas. For additional information, visit www.seeglasgow.com
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


. The Scottish Nation: 1700-2000


Author: T.M.Devine


Description: The Scottish Nation examines the social, political, religious and economic factors that have shaped modern Scotland. Drawing on the latest research, Devine places Scotland firmly within an international context and provides a key focus for the ongoing debate regarding Scotland's future. This new edition brings the reader up-to-date with Scotland's recent history, from the high politics of the devolved parliament to the everyday effects of huge and growing levels of social inequality.



A History of the Scottish People


Author: T.C.Smout


Description: A classic history of Scotland.



Above Scotland


Author: Dave Cowley and James Crawford


Description: The National Collection of Aerial Photography.



Concise History of Scotland


Author: Sir Fitzroy Maclean


Glencoe


Author: John Prebble


Scotland: A New History


Author: Michael Lynch


Description: This full length history of Scotland is made up of 25 chapters spanning 18 centuries, from the Picts to the 1980s and is designed for the general reader. A particular feature of the book is the attention it gives to social and cultural history, including life in towns, the changing role of the nobles, and the shifting images of Scottish identity through the ages. The landmarks of Scottish history - the Wars of Independence, the Reformation, the Union of Crowns and the Union of Parliaments, the Jacobite rebellions, the Enlightenment and the Industrial Revolution, are all covered. The author is the editor of "The Innes Review", literary editor of the Scottish History Society and has written books on Edinburgh and the Reformation, Mary, Queen of Scots and the Scottish Burghs.



Scottish Highlanders-A People and their Place


Author: Jim Hunter


Song of the Rolling Earth: A Highland Odyssey


Author: Sir John Lister-Kaye


Description: Written by your host at Aigas. 'A wonderfully lyrical book surging with the sheer joy of nature, from Scotland's premier nature writer.' Magnus Magnusson; ' An environmental classic', SPECTATOR; 'Lister-Kaye establishes himself as one of the finest nature writers in the language', SCOTSMAN; 'Wonderful and evocative', GLASGOW EVENING NEWS; 'A masterful piece of storytelling', COUNTRY LIFE.





You can't find a better value than Road Scholar.


As a not-for-profit organization, we are dedicated to providing all-inclusive educational programs at great value. From lectures to gratuities to field trips to accommodations - the tuition you pay up front is all that you pay.



Specifically, this program includes:

Plus these special experiences...

View the Daily Schedule to see more

And included with all Road Scholar programs:


© Road Scholar 2014 | Call toll-free: 1-800-454-5768