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Walking in the Scottish Highlands

Program Number: 19750RJ
Start and End Dates:
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; 6/16/2016 - 6/26/2016; 6/30/2016 - 7/10/2016; 8/18/2016 - 8/28/2016; 9/8/2016 - 9/18/2016; 9/15/2016 - 9/25/2016;
Duration: 10 nights
Location: Scotland, UK:Scotland
Price starting at: $2,799.00 - 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 Loch Morlich 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

• Stay in the Victorian sporting lodge of House of Aigas as guests of Sir John and Lady Lister-Kaye and their family.
• Take a funicular railway ride to the alpine plateau of the Cairngorms National Park.
• On a night-time walking excursion, search out pine martens, otters, badgers and other nocturnally active creatures.



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

6-18-2015, 7-16-2015, 8-27-2015, 9-17-2015, 10-8-2015, 6-16-2016, 6-30-2016, 8-18-2016, 9-8-2016, 9-15-2016

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 the fascinating Victorian Spa Town of Strathpeffer and explore ancient Iron Age forts. 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.
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 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 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 Participant Information 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, August 27)
   
 In Transit: Overnight flights from North America.

Day 2:
(Friday, August 28)
   
 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 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, August 29)
   
 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, August 30)

Note: Walking of approximately 3 miles.



   
 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.
 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: Loch Kinellan, Strathpeffer and Cnoc Farel
(Monday, August 31)

Note: Walking of approximately 4.5 miles.



   
 Breakfast: Continental breakfast and pinhead porridge.
 Morning: Today we start with a gentle walk amongst mixed woodland in the vicinity of Loch Kinellan. We pass through the fascinating Victorian spa town of Strarthpeffer – stopping for a comfort break and refreshment on the way – and end up with a gentle climb to the spectacular hilltop site of an Iron Age vitrified fort.
 Lunch: Lunch is included today.
 Afternoon: The 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: West Coast and Glen Torridon
(Tuesday, September 1)

Note: Walking of approximately 4.5 miles.



   
 Breakfast: Continental breakfast and pinhead porridge.
 Morning: The scenery on the West coast is beautiful and dramatic. We will enjoy the majestic mountain landscapes of the Beinn Eighe National Nature Reserve as we drive down Glen Torridon to enjoy a walk amongst some of the most iconic scenery of sweeping mountains and sea lochs that the Highlands has to offer.
 Lunch: Packed lunch.
 Afternoon: The field trip continues.
 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: Black Isle and Chanonry Ness
(Wednesday, September 2)

Note: Walking of approximately 5 miles.



   
 Breakfast: continental breakfast and pinhead porridge.
 Morning: Today we will explore the mosaic of farmland and coastal habitats on the Black Isle. Our walk will start beside the ruins of Fortrose Cathedral, which was built in the 13th Century. We’ll walk along the remarkable spit of Chanonry Ness, hoping to spot some of the resident bottlenose dolphins in the Moray Firth. Finally we stroll along the beach to the village of Rosemarkie.
 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: Loch Morlich and the Cairngorm Funicular
(Thursday, September 3)

Note: Walking of approximately 4 miles.



   
 Breakfast: Continental breakfast and pinhead porridge.
 Morning: We strike south today to visit the National Park surrounding the Cairngorm Mountains. We’ll take a funicular train ride to the summit of the massif where we’ll enjoy a short walk on the rare alpine semi-tundra moorland before descending to enjoy a longer leg stretch around the beautiful Loch Morlich.
 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 9: Glen Affric
(Friday, September 4)

Note: Walking of approximately 5 miles.



   
 Breakfast: Continental breakfast and pinhead porridge.
 Morning: Wild and remote – Glen Affic has one of the last remaining fragments of the Great Wood of Caledon; a rich sprawling forest containing a huge range of species that covered much of Scotland thousands of years ago. Today we walk from the remote outpost of Cougie to the spectacular setting of Affric Lodge.
 Lunch: Packed lunch is 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: The field trip continues.
 Dinner: In the baronial hall.
 Evening: This evening we visit Beauly to see a local piping band play in the village square.
   
Accommodations: Aigas Field Centre and House of Aigas
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: Scenic transfer to Glasgow.
(Saturday, September 5)
   
 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, September 6)
   
 Breakfast: Full Scottish breakfast in the hotel.
 Morning: Walk 300 yards to Glasgow Airport for return flights to North America. This concludes our programme. If you are returning home, safe travels. If you are staying on independently, have a wonderful time. If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program.

We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Please join our Facebook page and share photos of your program. Visit us at www.facebook.com/rsadventures. Best wishes for all your journeys!
   
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.





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