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Day 1 – Overnight Flight to Edinburgh, Tuesday, September 27
We depart from JFK or Newark for our overnight flight to Edinburgh.
Day 2 – Edinburgh City Tour, Wednesday, September 28
When we arrive in Edinburgh, our Scottish tour escort will meet us at the airport and assist with a transfer to our hotel. Your city tour will start this afternoon. We will be able to compare and contrast the wide streets and elegant mansions of the Georgian 200-year-old “New Town” with the narrow lanes and medieval townhouses along the Royal Mile, the oldest part of the city and continue on to Princes Street, the main shopping thoroughfare that separates the two areas. Throughout our visit we will learn about many prominent Scottish inventors, doctors and writers. We finish our tour at the imposing Edinburgh Castle where you can see historic buildings and enjoy splendid views of Edinburgh. The balance of the day is free for independent exploring, shopping and dining on your own in Edinburgh.
In the afternoon, you may wish to visit the elaborately carved Rosslyn Chapel, easily reached six miles away on public transportation. It was well visited even before it became a prominent player in The Da Vinci Code. The Museum of Scotland, the National Gallery of Scotland, and the Royal Botanic Garden are other possible destinations.
We conclude the day with a welcome dinner.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Day 3 – Edinburgh City Tour with Holyrood Palace, Thursday, September 29
After a full Scottish breakfast, we will visit The Palace of Holyroodhouse. The official residence in Scotland of Her Majesty The Queen stands at the end of Edinburgh’s Royal Mile against the spectacular backdrop of Arthur’s Seat. This fine baroque palace is closely associated with Scotland’s rich history. The palace is perhaps best known as the home of Mary, Queen of Scots, and as the setting for many of the dramatic episodes in her turbulent reign. Mary was married at Holyroodhouse and witnessed the brutal killing of her secretary Rizzio by her jealous second husband in her private apartments. The palace briefly served as the headquarters of Bonnie Prince Charlie during the 1745 uprising. Today the State Apartments are used regularly by The Queen and other members of the Royal Family for State ceremonies and official entertaining. The afternoon is free at leisure to enjoy other sites of Edinburgh. Optional Dinner Show Highlights Scottish Culture. In the evening, you have the option of attending a dinner and show at the King James Thistle Hotel. According to the event’s producers, this is more than just a show; the evening is a cultural lesson in Scottish history. They report that even the panels and wall adornments convey abundant information about the rich and diverse past of our country. The fee includes transportation and an escort, a four-course Scottish banquet and a show that features Highland pipers and dancers and the very best in Scottish music, song and dance. The price is $190.
Day 4 -Loch Lomond & Stirling Castle, Friday, September 20
We depart Edinburgh and head slightly north west pass Bannockburn, scene of Robert The Bruce’s famous victory over the English in 1314, and then Linlithgow Palace, birthplace of Mary Queen of Scots in 1542. We continue to Stirling for a visit to the Castle. Stirling Castle is a great symbol of Scottish independence and a source of enduring national pride. The castle’s long, turbulent history is associated with great figures from Scotland’s past, such as William Wallace, Robert the Bruce and Mary Queen of Scots. We will also visit gardens, such as the Bowling Green Garden, an important feature of the castle. Here the royal family would stroll with their courtiers, talking of politics or maybe of love, watching entertainments, and playing games such as bowls and archery. We will drive through the picturesque village of Callander and pass the massive 14th century Doune Castle, which was featured in the movie Monty Python and the Holy Grail. We then travel towards Loch Lomond, Britain’s largest expanse of water, with time for a leisurely walk. Recently designated as a national park, the Loch Lomond and Trossachs area’s magnificent landscape has fired the imagination of writers and artists for centuries. With its lochs, glens and heather covered mountains, this area is well known as “Scotland in Miniature,” and was a favorite destination of Sir Walter Scott, who used the location as the backdrop for his Rob Roy and The Lady of the Lake. Then journey through Glen Coe, a spectacular glen made famous by the Campbells’ massacre of the Clan Macdonald in 1692. We continue to Oban for dinner and overnight.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Day 5 – Isle of Skye & Clan Donald Centre, Saturday, October 1
This morning we head north via Fort William and take the “Road to the Isles” through some of Scotland’s loveliest scenery, stopping for photos at the Glenfinnan Monument. We will take the bridge to the Isle of Skye, sometimes called the Misty Isle where we will visit the Clan Donald Centre to discover the history of the Clan Donald, Lords of the Isles and the most powerful clan of the Isle of Skye. We will continue to drive through the island and return to the mainland by bridge, stopping for photos at the picturesque Eilean Donan Castle. Then drive along the beautiful shores of Loch Ness, famous for its monster. We will pause to view the huge ruins of Urquhart Castle before continuing to our hotel in the center of Inverness.
Overnight: Inverness area
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Day 6 – Culloden Battlefield & Whiskey Distillery, Sunday, October 2
Today we will enjoy a leisurely day of discovery in the lovely countryside and majestic Highland scenery. We drive to Culloden Moor to tour the Visitor Centre and walk around the battlefield where, on April 16, 1746, British Government forces defeated the army of Prince Charles Edward Stuart in just one hour and ended hopes of restoring the Jacobite Stuarts to the British throne. And we will tour a distillery to see how barley and water are combined to create the “Water of Life” and enjoy a tasting. We continue our travel through the lovely scenery of Aberdeenshire with gentle hills and farms into Royal Deeside, an area that came into favor with Queen Victoria during the 19th century. Near the village of Banchory we will stop at the Falls of Feugh, a charming tea shop, which is popular with local people. We can sample afternoon tea with delicious freshly-baked scones and enjoy a talk on bagpipes, fishing or other aspects of Highland life. We continue to Blairs or nearby location in time for dinner.
Overnight: Blair Atholl area
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Day 7 – Glamis Castle & St. Andrews, Monday, October 3
We travel south through the lush countryside of Aberdeenshire to visit Glamis Castle, the legendary setting of “Macbeth” and childhood home of the late Queen Mother and then drive across the modern Tay Bridge to St. Andrews, the “Home of Golf.” We will see the famous Royal and Ancient Clubhouse and the Old Course and enjoy free time to visit the British Golf Museum or browse through the medieval town with its cathedral and castle. Leaving St. Andrews, we continue south back into Edinburgh and prepare for our return flight the next morning.
Tuesday, 04 October, 2011
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your departure flight home
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Trip price based on double room occupancy is $3499/person. This price is based on the rate of Exchange of 1GBP – 1.61896 USD. If the price increases or decreases by $50 or more, your invoice will reflect this increase or decrease resulting from currency fluctuations. Under $50, the price remains the same.
The single room supplement is $530. The special Scottish dinner extravaganza is an extra $190.
The following elements are included in the price of the trip
• Round trip non-stop air from JFK or Newark.
• $100 tax deductible contribution to Saratoga Arts, NYS Retired Teachers Association or Soroptimist International of Saratoga County.
• Full time tour escort and guide who will help make Scotland and its rich history and culture come alive for us.
• Gratuities for guides, bus drivers, tour escorts
• Daily breakfasts, and 4 dinners
• Private motor coach transportation throughout the trip
• Pre-departure documents and meeting
Not Included in Trip Cost:
• Airline tax and fuel surcharges are included up to $362 and are subject to change until airline tickets are issued. A cost of $10 beyond this fee will be passed on to travelers.
PRICE for $3499 per person double occupancy. The single supplement is $530.
SMALL GROUP FEE: A small group fee of $200 per person will be charged if the group number falls below 20.
PAYMENT SCHEDULE: Reservations are due ASAP. A deposit of $500 per person is due at time of registration. The reservation deadline is July 10. For reservations after this date, contact Edventures.
FINAL PAYMENT: Following your registration, Edventures will send an invoice. Final payment is due by July 10.
TRIP INSURANCE is a personal choice, but is recommended. Some purchase it through their local AAA office, which sells Access America. To get the best rates, you can compare costs online through agents like Squaremouth.com, InsureMyTrip.com or Totaltravelinsurance.com, which offer side-by-side comparisons. Please contact Edventures prior to purchasing trip insurance to assure that the trip is a “go.”
Do you still have questions about this trip? If so, contact Mary at Edventures 1 (607) 387-3322 or firstname.lastname@example.org.