20881
Scotland
The Best of Scotland
Discover the unique treasures of Scotland as you explore Edinburgh Castle, ride a train through the highlands, visit the Isle of Skye and learn about whiskey at a renowned distillery.
Rating (4.89)
Program No. 20881RJ
Length
15 days
Starts at
4,259
Flights start at
875
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15 days
14 nights
34 meals
13 B 9 L 12 D
Getting There
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DAY
1
In Transit to Program
In Flight
DAY
2
Arrival Day
Glasgow.
L,D
Copthorne Millennium Hotel Glasgow

Lunch: In the hotel dining room for those arriving by 12:30pm. A light lunch with coffee, tea and water. Other beverages are available for purchase.

Afternoon: Arrivals continue, with free time for those who have already arrived. At 5pm we will have an Orientation in the hotel. The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. This program is staffed with both a Group Leader, who will accompany us throughout the program and deal primarily with logistics, and a Study Leader who will lecture, conduct field trips and serve as an information resource on program-related topics. We will review the program theme, the up-to-date Daily Schedule and any changes, discuss safety guidelines, emergency procedures, roles and responsibilities and answer any questions you may have. We have set aside some free time in the schedule for your personal independent exploration. Please note that program activities, schedules and personnel may need to change due to local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

Dinner: A seated dinner will be taken in the hotel dining room with coffee, tea and water. Other beverages are available for purchase.

Evening: Free time to unpack, relax and prepare for the program ahead.

DAY
3
Glasgow: City of Culture
Glasgow.
B
Copthorne Millennium Hotel Glasgow

Breakfast: In the hotel dining room. A breakfast buffet with a range of hot and cold items, as well as coffee, tea, water and fruit juices.

Morning: Enjoy a lecture in the hotel on “Scotland’s History”, followed by a panoramic journey by motor coach around the highlights of this magnificent city.

Lunch: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions.

Afternoon: Free time. Your Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions should you wish to further explore Glasgow.

Dinner: On your own to enjoy what you like.

Evening: Free time.

DAY
4
Culzean Castle, Robert Burns
Glasgow.
B,D
Copthorne Millennium Hotel Glasgow

Breakfast: In the hotel.

Morning: This morning we depart by motor coach to Robert Adam’s masterpiece, Culzean Castle – a 600 acre estate in South Ayrshire where Dwight D Eisenhower was given use of an apartment in recognition of his connection to this grateful nation. Culzean was the principal seat of Clan Kennedy, one of Scotland’s oldest families, who can trace their ancestry back to Robert Bruce.

Lunch: On your own to enjoy what you like.

Afternoon: The field trip continues to Burns Cottage in Alloway, the birthplace of Scotland’s national poet, Robert Burns. Here we will be able to explore the life and times of this Scottish icon, from his birth to his recognition as a leading writer of his time.

Dinner: In the hotel.

Evening: Free time.

DAY
5
Transfer to Oban, Hill House, Cruachan Power Station
Oban
B,D
Oban Bay Hotel and Spa

Breakfast: In the hotel.

Morning: We transfer to Oban by motor coach via Helensburgh, where we will see the home created for one of Scotland’s best known publishers by Glasgow’s world famous Charles Rennie Mackintosh. Dating back to 1902, the interiors and decorative scheme were created by Mackintosh and his wife. We will then continue on into the Highlands with a scenic drive along the shores of Loch Lomond.

Lunch: On your own to enjoy what you like.

Afternoon: The transfer continues on to “the Hollow Hill”, Cruachan Power Station – one of the country’s most amazing engineering achievements. Hidden deep within the mountain of Ben Cruachan on the shores of Loch Awe, the massive cavern at its centre is high enough to house the Tower of London.

Dinner: In the hotel.

Evening: Free time.

DAY
6
The Isles of Mull & Iona
Oban
B,L,D
Oban Bay Hotel and Spa

Breakfast: In the hotel.

Morning: Today we take a full day field trip by ferry to the Isle of Mull, and then onto the Isle of Iona. Mull is the second largest island in the Inner Hebrides and from the rugged ridges of its coastline to its blinding white sand, Mull can lay claim to some of the finest and most varied scenery in the Hebrides.

Lunch: Served in a charming hotel on Iona.

Afternoon: Following lunch, explore the ethereal isle of Iona – a place where they say “the Veil is thin”. Iona was a centre of Irish monasticism for four centuries and is today renowned for its tranquillity and natural beauty. Return by ferry from Craignure to Oban.

Dinner: In the hotel.

Evening: Free time.

DAY
7
Transfer to Fort William, A Cruise on Loch Shiel
Fort William
B,L,D
Ballaculish Hotel

Breakfast: In the hotel.

Morning: Today we transfer by motor coach to Fort William through “kidnapped” country, with a drive by of Stalker Castle. We’ll then take a private cruise on Loch Shiel. The loch is one of Scotland’s most historically significant and unspoilt natural treasures and its 18 mile length is only accessible by boat. It commands wonderful views of the famous Glenfinnan Viaduct.

Lunch: Taken at a nearby restaurant.

Afternoon: The transfer continues.

Dinner: In the hotel.

Evening: Free time.

DAY
8
Ben Nevis, Rannoch Moor, Glencoe
Fort William
B,L,D
Ballaculish Hotel

Breakfast: In the hotel.

Morning: This morning take a gondola ride on Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in the British Isle. On a clear day the views from the summit stretch as far as Northern Ireland! We will then board the West Highland Line train from Fort William to Crianlarich via Rannoch Moor. The ride is considered the most scenic railway line in Britain and was voted the top railway journey in the world by readers of independent travel magazine Wanderlust in 2009.

Lunch: Taken out in Tyndrum.

Afternoon: The field trip continues by motor coach through Glencoe, with a stop at its fascinating Visitor Centre.

Dinner: In the hotel.

Evening: Free time.

DAY
9
Transfer to Dingwall, The Misty Isle of Skye
Dingwall
B,L,D
Tulloch Castle

Breakfast: In the hotel.

Morning: Today we journey by motor coach and ferry to Dingwall and the Isle of Skye – “the misty isle”. Begin by taking the 30 minute ferry ride from Mallaig to Armadale and onwards through the rugged, haunting hills to view The Cuillin, the most spectacular mountains in the Highlands.

Lunch: Taken out on Skye.

Afternoon: The field trip continues before we carry on our transfer to the hotel in Dingwall.

Dinner: In the hotel.

Evening: Free time.

DAY
10
Cawdor Castle, Clava Cairns, Culloden
Dingwall
B,L,D
Tulloch Castle

Breakfast: In the hotel.

Morning: We journey by motor coach to fairy tale Cawdor Castle, 124th Century home to the Thanes of Cawdor. Linked with Shakespeare’s Macbeth, the castle remains home to the Cawdor family today. The castle, whilst presenting a strong and severe exterior, is a surprisingly intimate building that radiates a friendly, family atmosphere through its interior.

Lunch: Lunch will be taken at Cawdor Castle.

Afternoon: We pay a visit to Clava Cairns, one of Scotland’s most evocative prehistoric sites. Approximately 4,000 years old, these burial cairns were perhaps the final resting place of privileged members of the local community. From Clava Cairns we move onto the battlefield of Culloden, the site of a turning point in British history and the last battle fought on British soil.

Dinner: In the hotel.

Evening: Relax and enjoy a local music group as they regale you with traditional Scottish tunes.

DAY
11
Transfer to Pitlochry, Whisky Distillery, Kingussie Farm
Pitlochry
B,L,D
Fishers Hotel

Breakfast: In the hotel.

Morning: We board the motor coach and transfer to Pitlochry via one of Scotland’s famous whisky distilleries. Here we will discover not only the magic of malt whisky production, but also the history of this most famous of Scottish drinks. We may even sample a “wee dram”!

Lunch: Taken out.

Afternoon: The transfer continues as we enjoy a sheepdog display at Kingussie Leaut Farm, before travelling onwards to Pitlochry.

Dinner: In the hotel.

Evening: Free time.

DAY
12
Scone Palace, The Loch of the Lowes
Pitlochry
B,L,D
Fishers Hotel

Breakfast: In the hotel.

Morning: This morning we travel by motor coach to Dunkeld, one of the best preserved historic towns in Scotland. Its cathedral dominates the skyline and is over 1,400 years old, dating from a time when Celtic monks set up the base for a mission at the confluence of two rivers. Since then it has seen many changes and turbulent times, eventually becoming the beautiful, peaceful place of worship it is today. From Dunkeld we make the scenic journey to Scone Palace, the crowning place of Scottish Kings. From Kenneth McAlpin, traditionally known as the first King of Scots, through Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Robert the Bruce and Charles II – all were crowned here.

Lunch: Taken at Scone Palace.

Afternoon: We return to the hotel via the Loch of the Lowes, an unspoilt nature reserve covering 220 square acres. Take some time to reflect and enjoy the beautiful woodland, or try and spot one of the many rare, indigenous species: red squirrels, roe deer and a pair of breeding ospreys have all made this tranquil nature reserve their home.

Dinner: In the hotel.

Evening: Free time.

DAY
13
Culross, Rosslyn Chapel
Edinburgh.
B,L,D
The Royal Terrace Hotel

Breakfast: In the hotel.

Morning: This morning we transfer by motor coach to Edinburgh, capital city of Scotland and your final destination. En-route we will visit the delightful small town of Culross, with its Merchant’s Palace and Bishop’s Study. Enjoy the storied narrow streets and views across the Firth of Forth.

Lunch: A packed lunch of sandwiches, fruit and a drink or similar will be provided to make the most of this busy transfer day.

Afternoon: Continue on to Rosslyn Chapel, a symphony of stone carving and craftsmanship now best known for its association with the Da Vinci Code. Founded in 1446, this chapel is widely regarded as one of the most picturesque in the United Kingdom.

Dinner: In the hotel.

Evening: Free time.

DAY
14
Edinburgh Castle, Independent Exploration
Edinburgh.
B,D
The Royal Terrace Hotel

Breakfast: In the hotel.

Morning: This morning we visit Edinburgh Castle to discover its rich and varied history.

Lunch: On your own to enjoy what you like.

Afternoon: Free time for you to discover more of Edinburgh. Your Group Leader will have suggestions on how you can make the most of your time in this historic city.

Dinner: Farewell dinner in the hotel.

Evening: Free time.

DAY
15
Programme Concludes
In Flight
B

Breakfast: In the hotel. Some participants may depart prior to breakfast.

Morning: Transfer to Edinburgh Airport for onward flights. This concludes our program. 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!