22674
Scotland

Scotland’s Highlands: A Stay at the Aigas Field Center

Experience the very best of the Scottish Highlands as you stay in the historic home of renowned naturalist Sir John Lister-Kaye.
Rating (4.93)
Program No. 22674RJ
Length
11 days
Starts at
2,899
Special Offer
Click on Dates & Prices below to see special offer details.
Flights start at
900
44 Reviews
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4.93 Average
Valerie
(5)

Sir John and Lady Lucy are talented hosts, making all of those entering their manor so very welcome. They're supported by knowledgeable guides and naturalists who also do everything they can to make your visit a valuable learning experience. To enhance the visit, each group is asked why they chose to visit Scotland. Many in our group indicated that the Outlander TV series had piqued their interest. They then shaped our tours to include areas that were mentioned in the Outlander story and augmented our familiarity with Scottish history. I also appreciated their artful presentations of history through the conservation of native Scottish wildlife. For example, the group doesn't simply see a rare native cat, but learns about why they're endangered... What happened in history that led to the cats needing support to come back to sustainable numbers. Although I wasn't aware before I left the US that this would also be a trip to learn about my history, a trip to Beaully revealed where my ancestry began and expanded in Scotland before coming to the US. The discovery was totally unexpected and yet our guide helped me find more information without and forewarning. To top the experience off.... My friends told Sir John that I love horses and on our last day there, the brought Queenie up to the house for me to meet. Only one of his horses, she taught me a bit more about riding practices in Scotland. Truly the icing on a magnificent cake.

James
(5)

The Aigas experience is an immersion in the culture of Scotland. Sir John began with an explanation via historical events of how the Highlands were decimated, the soil deteriorated to the point that it no longer supported farming, converting Scottish ownership to occupation by royalty with sport hunting and lodges replacing farms and families, resulting in mass emigration from the highlands. Daily tours to all of the highland areas, from the Culloden battlefield to an all day loop around western Scotland, to local historic sites and extensive exposure to the natural environment gave a comprehensive understanding of how Scotland came to be what it is today. The Aigas rangers are extremely knowledgeable about the history of Scotland and the flora and fauna of the highlands. We had a night "hide" experience to observe Pine Martins and Badgers seek out and consume food planted by the rangers and to take nature walks on the estate. Everyone was warm and welcoming. The meals were excellent and the whiskey tasting was the icing on a gorgeous cake. This was a wonderful experience.

Gaye
(5)

I honestly am at a loss to describe this program adequately. It is so educational, both for the natural history of this area of Scotland, and for the history of the people who have lived there for so many generations. But, it is more than that. There is the generous kindness of Sir John and Lady Lucy. There is the truly wonderful food. But, maybe most of all for me, there is the peaceful tranquility in that place. The time I spent there was just about perfect and I already desperately want to go back. Fair warning, however, Lady Lucy's soup will spoil you for any other soups you might taste.

Carol
This reviewer did not give a star rating.

I am very satisfied with my experience on this trip. The staff of Aigas Field Center could not have been better: professional, friendly, educational, personable, great food, and the atmosphere was invigorating. The group were all so interested and passionate about nature study. We were enthralled every day. One suggestion is: there should be a printed schedule for the next days plans to hand out to members of the group upon arrival. We stayed at the airport hotel in Glasgow. Travelers are getting oriented to the new time zone, and recovering from long airplane flights. Tour guides should take a head count of the group before departing the next day. On a personal note, I am stronger, healthier and happier since this trip. Thank you staff at Road Scholar for planning my trip-of-a-lifetime with such great experiences and memories. Carol S Spallone Fort Wayne, IN

Arthur
(5)

This stay at Aigas Field Center for exceeded our expectations and was absolutely delightful and informative In every aspect.

Ilona
(5)

Wonderful way to experience the highlands and learn about the interplay of humans, animals and vegetation in the landscape. I explored the woods around Aigas every chance I had; very safe, wonderfully quiet. The rangers (naturalist staff) are well educated and enthusiastic; I do miss having tea served me out in the field along with their all around delightful demeanor. Do check out the library with excellent books that I noted and have followed up with at home. I don’t miss the porridge or dry cereals topped with skim milk, and did provide for my own breakfasts; somehow I never tasted the touted fresh rolls and baguettes for the packed lunches. The vegetarian meal options were pretty nice. Kitchen staff very top notch and attentive. The coach service Glasgow/Aigas was cramped for leg room.

Linda
(5)

If you enjoy outdoor activities including walking, exploration, visiting historical sights, small towns etc. etc. and aren't put off by occasional rain, then this is a good trip for you. Be aware that there is a lot of walking, some climbing and trekking through woodlands, and if it is rainy it can be slippery. Life does not stop in Scotland if it rains.

Diana
(5)

Spectacular setting among beautiful gardens with views of the Highlands all around. Our hosts were exceptionally warm and generous, and the rangers who guided us were all very knowledgeable and caring. They opened my eyes so much to the natural world and natural history of the area

Pauline
(5)

I highly recommend Road Scholar based on my experience with them and my participation in the tour.

Enno
(5)

Excellent program, with lots of history and naturalist exposure. Hosts are very enthusiastic. Be aware that there are lyme-disease carrying ticks and preventive measures need to be taken.

Diana
(5)

Most tours are simply "tours." You see a lot of wonderful things and go wonderful places. The Aigas Field Centre offers a real program of beauty, education, pleasure, laughter, serious talk, and wonderful food and drink. Thank you, all: Sir John, Lady Lucy, Pete, Richard, Lucy, Emilie, Michelle. The visit would have been so much less without all of your good and smart work.

Helen
(5)

The Scottish Highlands are absolutely breathtaking, the Aegis Centre was fabulous, and the Aegis staff is absolutely the best!

Jeanne
(5)

One of the most enjoyable Road Scholar trips I have taken. The hosts and the Rangers who work at the Aigas Field Centre are gracious, knowledgable and just all around great people who are passionate about nature and the history of their country. Lady Lucy creates some fabulous food and Sir John has a wry sense of humor.

Leslie
(5)

This trip to the Aigas Field Centre was an astounding experience for me. The site, the staff, the hospitality, the experience to learn - all were so well thought out and executed, it required only that I be there! I loved it all and can't wait to go back... First though, I need to lose this weight that I gained from Lady Lucy's incredible meals - an unexpected program highlight for me! It was all just magic.

Debra
(5)

My time at the Aigas Field Centre was absolutely terrific. If you enjoy learning, you will love it, too! Worth every penny! Debra McGuire, 8/6/2019

Mary
This reviewer did not give a star rating.

This was simply a wonderful trip! Everything about it was well done, including our travel, our accommodations, the itinerary, the wonderful rangers and our gracious hosts, the food, etc. I would highly recommend. It was great to learn so much while experiencing the beauty of Scotland during our excursions...and having a wonderful time enjoying the people at Aigas and the beautiful surroundings there.

Karen
(5)

This is a phenonmenal program filled with a wide range of learning experiences, opportunities to explore a beautiful part of the world with new friends, and led by extrememly dedicated, talented hosts with their cadre of field rangers.

Becky
(5)

I highly recommend the Aigas Field Center experience if you like Scottish history, nature conservation, gourmet dining, expertly guided field trips, whisky tasting, live local music, dancing, and story telling; all in a picturesque setting with baronial manor surrounded by lush gardens and manicured lawns.

Sandra
(5)

I have always wanted to travel to Scotland and I believe that my recent trip to the Highlands and to the Aigas Field Centre was absolutely the best choice for me. The countryside in the Highlands is beautiful, mystical, and beckons one to return again and again.

Thomas
(5)

A very well organized program with a diversity of activities. I didn't think I'd especially enjoy Sir John's lectures, but he is an excellent speaker and quite down to earth. The Rangers are all exceptional people, well educated and chosen for people skills and willing to do anything to make your visit more enjoyable. The grounds are spectacular and the cabins comfortable. The main house is an amazing structure of Victorian excess but serves its purpose well with ample dining space. Those with more limited mobility were accommodated on walking excursions. All trips away from the main compound had frequent rest stops and we were always kept apprised of the itinerary, including rest stops.

Kyle
(5)

This program is wonderful. The location, scenery, hosts, food, excursions...need I go on? What a truly enjoyable trip! The first of many with Road Scholar, I can assure you.

Suzanne
(5)

This was our first Road Scholar trip and we have already put a deposit down on our next trip. I particularly liked the small group model, even though this "small group" consisted of 32 people - a nice mix of former professions and interests. The Aigas Field Center and Rangers were welcoming. Everyone was personable and well informed. The food was spectacular. There was a good balance of activities. The Road Scholar model was indeed "value added" beyond what I could have planned myself.

Dave
(5)

Aigas and all the staff, programs, field trips, are the standards by which all others should be judged. Kudos to Sir John, Lady Lucy and all the Rangers. We will be back.

Susan
(5)

Scotland and Aigas are beautiful. It was wonderful to be able to have a home base for 7 days (in comfortable lodgings) and to have supervised instructional outings. The meals were delicious and beautifully served. Sir John, Lady Lucy, Hermione, Greg, the rangers, kitchen staff and everyone were the most enjoyable hosts and educators. They all made every effort to make our visit the best it could possibly be. It was apparent to me that the Aigas we see today is due to years of hard work, dedication and love. I would recommend this program to anyone who wants to have a comprehensive visit to Scotland.

Ann
(5)

This trip to Scotland was delightful and I would recommend it to anyone who loves learning more about nature, history and culture. Ann C

Eric
(5)

Exceptional program and wonderful people! Every aspect—the site, education, lodging and food exceeded my expectations and I had high hopes for the program. Most impressive were our hosts/staff and the rangers. Every detail was planned and our hosts/rangers went beyond the call of duty to accommodate the needs of RS participants. The program’s personal touch is remarkable and without a peer in my experience.

Eileen
(5)

My only comment is that there was no "wrap-up" on the last night. We had a fine get-together over dinner but then there was no final word. This comment is not for a web site review. John accompanied us from Aigus to Glasgow and I guess I expected him to give some final comments, ot to lead us in concluding comments.

Keith
(5)

Many people will visit Edinburgh, or even Glasgow, and think they've seen Scotland. Those are wonderful cities to visit, but do go beyond the urban lowlands and do this program. It's here (and on the way and on the way back) that you will experience Scotland. This is an inspirational program at a site that that makes any vacation you've experienced in a hotel seem utterly sterile. You will be in the home of Sir John and Lady Lucy Lister-Kayes. They will welcome you as friends,not just guests. You will experience the landscape and flora and fauna of the highlands, but you will also be treated to an immersion into environmental ethics, restoration ecology and the history of a much misunderstood part of the United Kingdom. Sir John will regale you with friendly and humorous conversation before dinner and Lady Lucy will serve you breakfast each morning. All that is wonderful, but the Aigas Field Center rangers are the folks who make the program. They are the ones who will explore the nearly 100 acre Center with you and will both explain what you are seeing and lead you to your own discoveries. These will include long hikes in the woods, evenings in the "hides" (blinds) where you will watch badgers, pine martens, red squirrels and myriad birds. The rangers will also take you on field trips into the highlands and important history sites. If you like this combination of learning experiences in a truly magical setting, this is a trip not to be missed.

Michael
(4)

Good experience. Enjoyable and informative of Scottish history and culture. Weather was a little too cold and wet in October time frame.

Sarah
(5)

I thoroughly enjoyed the Scotland Agis Field Center trip from 9/13-9/23/2018. I met some really nice people and hope to stay in contact with some of them. The folks at Agis Field Center were welcoming and very knowledgeable. The meals were quite good although porridge every morning was a bit much. The dinners were varied and quite tasteful; the Haggis was very tasty (and I never could stand it previously). The field trips on the buses were excellent and well timed rest stops. I particularly liked the ones to Cawdor and Blair castles and also to the west coast of Scotland. Erchless Motte was quite interesting and educational. I'd do that trip again but I have so many other places to explore first.

Thomas
(5)

The Scottish Highlands program at he Aigas Field Centre was even better than described online and in the brochures. After this experience, one feels very much in tune with the history and culture of the region from past to present, in terms of nature, ecological, geology and environmental. Highly recommended.

Charlotte
(5)

The team at Aigas Field Centre provided an extraordinary experience from the location, setting, education and amazing meals. I highly recommend it.

William
(5)

Exceptional hospitality and setting at Aigas Field Center with a variety of educational experiences to immerse you in Scotland.

Barbara
(4)

A good week, blending all manner of nature studies, Scottish history and culture, and sightseeing. At Aiges you will be finely dined and feted: the Lister-Kayes are wonderful hosts. All the rangers are terrific--very knowledgable and friendly. The field trips to the west coast and to the Back Isle were especially enjoyable. Just be prepared for cold and wet weather! I suggest long johns, hat and gloves, a warm vest--just in case you need them. And of course a good breathable raincoat, which you'll likely need every day.

Esther
(5)

Aigas Field Center in the Scottish Highlands was a wonderful experience. The setting was beautiful and The accommodations comfortable. Sir John and Lady Lucy were excellent hosts and arranged many and varied excursions and events.

Joan
(5)

I love both of the Road Scholar programs I've attended. Presenters and leaders have been personable and made learning fun. I am planning my next adventure now.

Dennis
(5)

Our visit to the Highlands of Scotland via Aigas was exceptional. It met and exceeded our every expectation with programs that were balanced - nature, history, cultural. Even for those who don't consider themselves steeped in nature studies as we are, it was a great educational experience.

Genevieve
(5)

What an awesome trip! From the start with the first night stay at the Holiday Inn right across from the Glasgow Airport and greeting by a very happy lad, Robin. Check in went smooth even though we had to wait for our rooms. Welcome dinner was nice, meeting everyone and finding out where they were from. The trip the next day up to AGIAS was so much fun with the stops along the way. Robin is very knowledgeable of the area so we learned a lot along out way. When we drove up the beautiful country, he explained all about the sights we were seeing. Upon arrival to AGIAS there where a lot of WOW's! We were warmly welcomed and invited in to the beautiful castle house. After a short wait we were taken to our cabins where our luggage was waiting for us. The cabins were warm and roomy. We moved right in and made ourselves at home. Our first dinner at the huge long banquet table was outstanding. So much food every night no one would go hungry. Sir John and Lady Lucy were very gracious host and hostess as was their daughter Hermione. From the first day opening with Sir John orientation of AGIAS and then a tour of the beautiful AGIAS house we were all in awe. Lady Lucy took us a walk through her luscious gardens. So beautiful. For rest of week we were with Rangers traveling in van buses to so many places of interest in Scotland. Every day brought a new adventure and awesome sights of this gorgeous county. All of the Rangers were very When we got back to AGIAS in afternoon there was always high tea and cookies, brownies or other sweets. Dinner every night was scrumptious. Our group happened to be at Fortrose Chapel and witnessed a Scottish wedding. It was beautiful. My favorite highlights were Culloden Battlefield, Plodda Falls, free time in Beauly, Sir John bedtime story, Anne Croft, Scotland West Coast, Blair Castle on way back to Glasgow at end of program. Only dislike was the beer brewery. AIGAS is a beautiful, peaceful place to visit. The side trips are a bonus!

Bill
(5)

For anyone wanting to experience the full beauty of the Scottish Highlands with excellent base at field center, this is you chance to fully enjoy the scenery, animals, plants and people of Scotland.

Dorothy
(5)

Even though you stay at the Aigas Field Center for the week, you really do see a lot of Scotland. We learned a lot about a lot of different subjects. The young Rangers were all very nice, smart, polite, and always helpful.

Jim
(5)

This is an excellent program for individuals who would like to stay in one location and be introduced to the region’s natural and cultural resources. The personable, highly trained staff, exciting meals, and outstanding accommodations made our stay an outstanding experience that should be pursued by anyone with an interest in Scotland.

Andrea
(5)

Before our first Road Scholar trip this summer I had been dubious about a tour that was very structured. We have just returned from that trip: Aigas Field Center in the Scottish Highlands. It was outstanding. Above and beyond my expectations. The entire program was beautifully planned. I feel immensely enriched by what I learned about Scotland and experienced there. We are eagerly looking forward to our next Road Scholar adventure.

Rabindar
(5)

This was our first time using Road Scholar. We were pleasantly surprised to learn from several of 27 participants that many of them had used it over half a dozen times, one of them over 20! For us it was a dreamlike encounter with Road Scholar, beyond expectations, and we are looking forward for several more to come.

Jacqueline
(4)

AIGAS is a unique base for a vacation is Scotland. It is a HOME rather that a hotel or lodge. There is plenty to do on site during free time. So relaxing and welcoming. Hike up tot eh Lake, site in the various hide and view bird and animals or the scenery. The host and rangers better than the RITZ!






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