Monday, September 12, 2016
Tuesday, September 13- Edinburgh Airport arrival
After arrival at Edinburgh airport, transfer to hotel in Edinburgh. Time to rest and relax after the flight or explore Edinburgh on your own. Welcome dinner in the hotel tonight to meet tour guide and companions.
Overnight: EDINBURGH (D)
Wednesday, September 14- Edinburgh City Tour
Depart hotel in the morning for a city tour including Edinburgh Castle, Royal Mile, Newtown, Princes Street etc. Edinburgh is the inspiring capital of Scotland, where centuries of history meet a vibrant, cosmopolitan city in an unforgettable setting. See the Stone of Scone and the Scottish Crown Jewels at Edinburgh Castle.
After free time for lunch, visit Edinburgh Royal Botanic Garden & Dovecote Tapestry Studios. Dovecot Tapestry Studio is a world renowned producer of hand-woven tapestry. Continuing a century-long heritage of making and collaboration with leading international contemporary artists, the Studio is dedicated to producing extraordinary works of art by commission from private and public collectors from across the globe.
Comprised of over 70 acres, the Edinburgh Royal Botanic Garden is home to the Scottish heath garden, the world famous Rock Garden, the Queen Mother’s Memorial garden, and a stunning herbaceous border. The Victorian Temperate Palm House is the entrance to explore ten distinct climatic zones.
Overnight: EDINBURGH (B)
Thursday, September 15- Culross Palace and Gardens
Travel to Culross Palace and gardens which is the location of the ‘Outlander’ series with Claire’s tiered herb garden and many of the buildings that are featured in the show. Stop at the Red Lion for a pub lunch (not included) before returning to Edinburgh for a free afternoon to explore.
This evening enjoy a ‘Scottish Evening’ of traditional Scottish food, music, and entertainment in the splendid setting of Prestonfield House.
Overnight: EDINBURGH (B,D)
Friday, September 16- Falkland Palace/St Andrews Botanic Gardens/Edzell Castle
Depart Edinburgh this morning and travel to Cupar in the ‘kingdom of fife’ where we will stop at Falkland Palace and Gardens. Set in a medieval village, the Royal Palace of Falkland is a superb example of Renaissance architecture. A frequent visitor, Mary Queen of Scots, inspired the planting of the gardens. Highlights include the Chapel Royal, the Tapestry Corridor, and Britain’s oldest tennis court.
In the early afternoon, proceed to the historic seaside town of St Andrews, famous as the location of one of Scotland’s oldest university and of course for being ‘the home of golf’. Visit St Andrews Botanic Gardens; about 8000 species of ferns, herbaceous plants, shrubs and trees are grown here. Continue to Brechin area for a visit to Edzell Castle & Gardens. Edzell’s stylized walled garden was created around 1604 and is adorned with heraldic sculptures and carved panels, making it unique in the British Isles.
Overnight: FORFAR (B)
Saturday, September 17- Fort William/Ben Nevis
Depart Forfar this morning and travel across country to Fort William, set amidst spectacular mountain scenery, the traditional ‘Gateway to the Highlands’. Free time available this afternoon for individual leisure activities in this delightful resort.
Lying in the shadow of Ben Nevis, Fort William is the ‘Outdoor Capital of the UK’ and the main town in Lochaber. Fort William’s setting is dramatic, on the shore of Loch Linnhe, and under the mighty hulk of Britain’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis. There is a footpath to the top of the mountain starting close to the town. Just a few minutes from the town is Glen Nevis, one of Scotland’s most picturesque Highland glens.
Overnight: FORT WILLIAM (B)
Sunday, September 18- Isle of Skye/Armadale Castle
Depart this morning for a full day excursion to the Romantic Isle of Skye. It is renowned for its natural beauty and offers plenty of wildlife, history, geology, dramatic scenery, hillwalking and a variety of other outdoor activities. Situated off the west coast of mainland Scotland, Skye’s landscape is distinctly Highland with its lochs, heather-clad moors and towering peaks – most famously the Cuillin mountain range. This range is the most outstanding feature on Skye and the peaks are visible from all over the islands. Today we will visit impressive Armadale Castle and Gardens, collectively known as “Clan Donald Skye” comprising two distinct elements, the 40 acres of formal gardens, the surrounding woodland and the ruin of Armadale Castle itself.
Overnight: FORT WILLIAM (B,L)
Monday, September 19- 7 Loch Ness/Cawdor Castle/Cairngorm National Park
Depart this morning from Fort William for the beautiful shores of mysterious Loch Ness, where we will enjoy a boat trip to admire the wonderful views on either side. In the afternoon continue to Cawdor Castle to admire the various magnificent gardens. The Walled Garden is the oldest and dates from c.1600 and later became a kitchen garden. The Flower Garden was laid out some 100 years later and was originally designed for enjoyment in late summer and autumn. The Wild Garden is the youngest, being planted in the 1960s and lies between the Castle and the stream of the Cawdor Burn. Return to Fort William via Aviemore and the stunning scenery of the Cairngorm National Park.
Overnight: FORT WILLIAM (B)
Tuesday, September 20- Loch Lomond/Inverary Castle/Trossachs National Park
Depart this morning from Fort William and travel south via the wild and evocative scenery of Glencoe – scene of the famous 1692 Glencoe Massacre – and on to beautiful Loch Lomond to enjoy the glorious views which surround the lake.
Visit Inveraray Castle, the filming location of Downton Abbey’s Christmas episode and one of the most iconic castles in Scotland. Recently renovated gardens that cover 16 acres, a traditional tea room, a magnificent country manor, and woodland walks complete the visit. The flower borders are laid out in the shape of Scotland’s national flag.
Overnight: GLASGOW (B, D)
Wednesday, September 21- West Kilbride/Culzean
Depart this morning for a visit to West Kilbride, Scotland’s only designated craft town. Here you can experience the wealth of craft and design talent from Scotland and the U.K across various venues in the town. In the Barony Centre, visitors can see innovative exhibitions, choose from a range of exquisitely crafted objects and take part in creative activities.
Continue our journey down Scotland’s west coast, past the world-famous golf-course of Troon, to Culzean Castle.
Packed to the turrets with antique furniture and furnishings, artworks, porcelain and other fascinating period objects, Culzean Castle is a superb example of high-class living, 18th-century style.
Highlights include the Round Drawing Room with its panoramic view of the Clyde; the Armory, which holds one of the world’s largest collections of swords and pistols; and the grand Oval Staircase. In the formal gardens you can admire the Fountain Court with its orangery and terraces below the castle. Or head for the Walled Garden for colorful borders, a stone grotto and fruit-filled glasshouses, all in a peaceful setting.
Overnight: GLASGOW (B)
Thursday, September 22- Moffat Shopping/Priorwood Gardens
Depart the hotel this morning, stopping in the charming small town of Moffat to visit a weaving/knitwear shop, for which this area is well known. Time at leisure to wander, shop and have lunch on your in this pretty town.
Continue through the beautiful countryside of the ‘Scottish Borders’ region to Melrose, where there will be a visit to Priorwood Gardens. With an enviable setting in the ancient precinct of the magnificent 12th-century Melrose Abbey, this delightfully rustic walled garden has three distinct areas to explore. A dried flower workshop gives visitors an overview of the garden’s history and highlights, while also housing Scotland’s only dedicated dried flower garden, with a drying room where you can pick your own blooms to order.
The apple orchard cultivates many historic varieties, conjuring up connections with the garden’s past, when it may have been used as a kitchen garden by Melrose Abbey monks. The latest addition is the woodland area, bringing further biodiversity and a touch of wildness to the garden. Priorwood Gardens is a specialist center for the craft of dried flower arranging. The garden also includes an orchard where you can see historic apple varieties being grown organically.
Overnight: MELROSE (B)
Friday, September 23- Sir Walter Scott’s Abbottsford/Kelso Abbey
Depart this morning for a visit to Abbotsford House, the renowned residence of Sir Walter Scott, one of Scotland’s most famous writers. Sir Walter Scott’s Abbotsford remains as one of the most famous houses in the world. It reflects, almost as no other place, the mind, enthusiasms and preoccupations of the man who built it. Constructed on the ample proceeds of a literary career without parallel, it is an enduring monument to the tastes, talents and achievements of its creator. Sir Walter Scott’s imagination and creativity extended beyond the walls of his house into the outdoors and the creation of beautiful formal gardens. Each garden at Abbotsford is distinct in character; taken together, they form three outdoor ‘rooms’ designed to offer picturesque settings for the main house. The gardens we see today are still fundamentally Scott’s work, though with certain alterations carried out by his descendants to adapt the space for the changing needs of the family.
This afternoon travel to Kelso to visit the remains of beautiful Kelso Abbey, one of the best Romanesque architecture examples surviving anywhere in Britain. Enjoy free time to explore and have lunch in Kelso (not included).
Overnight: MELROSE (B)
Saturday, September 24- Broadwoodside/ Whisky Distillery
Depart this morning for a visit to Broadwoodside Garden. The garden at Broadwoodside was started with a blank canvas in 2000 and continues to develop. Everything has been planted and maintained by Guy Donaldson, the gardener who has lived and worked there from the start. Cutting edge garden design, along with imaginative plantings, distinguish this garden.
Continue our journey to the coastal area of North Berwick, for a visit to the Scottish seabird centre.
Finally finish today with a visit to Glenkinchie Whisky distillery in Pencaitland to learn about and sample this most famous of Scottish products.
Tonight enjoy a farewell dinner with your fellow travelers.
Overnight: EDINBURGH AREA (B, D)
Sunday, September 25- New Hopetoun Gardens
After breakfast depart for visit for New Hopetoun Gardens & Garden center, followed by time at leisure and/or transfer to airport for return flight to USA. (B)
Carlton Hotel Edinburgh
Thrums Hotel Kirriemuir
BW Imperial Hotel Fort William
Buccleuch Arms, St Boswells
Holiday Inn Edinburgh Corstorphine Road
Tour organized by Pathfinders at www.pathfinders-tours.co.uk which has worked with Federated Garden Club and MD Hort for years.
- 12 Nights 3-4 star hotel
- Full Scottish breakfast daily (13), I lunch, 4 dinners
- Coach transportation including road tolls/parking fees
- Sightseeing activities and garden entrances as listed
- Local guide in Edinburgh
- Local taxes and service charges for included services
- Services of UK tour manager throughout
- Loch Ness boat trip
- Ferry transportation, Isle of Skye return
Does Not Include:
- Travel Insurance
- expenses, drinks, laundry, other meals
- Guide/driver gratuity
- Airfare (As of July 2015, airfare to Edinburgh runs around $1800)
I will let you know when I fly in and what airline I will use so you can maybe fly into Edinburgh at the same time.
Costs in British Pounds
|Per Person in double/twin||2,910.00||2,295.00|
As of July 2015 in dollars, this cost would be:
|Per person in double/twin||$4,374.00||$3,572.00|
PAYMENT SCHEDULE AND CANCELLATION POLICY
$200 Deposit is require to reserve a space, made out to Claire Jones. I will return this check to you 45 days ahead of the trip when you must make your full payment directly to the travel company. The deposit that you pay in advance is just a good faith deposit so that I can reserve the proper amount of spaces on the trip. Let me know if you want a single or double.
45 days prior to arrival a final payment is required directly with the travel company.
Payment is preferred by direct debit/wire to Lloyds bank. I can give out details on how to do this. You can also pay by credit card-Visa/ American Express/ Master Card but there is a 3% fee on top of that.
Before 90 days No charge unless non-recoverable pre-payments have been made, e.g. farm home stays, or special events such as theatre tickets, special or sports event tickets etc.
Between 16 – 90 days Non-recoverable costs as above plus any hotel cancellation penalties, plus 10% of the tour price per person to cover administrative costs.
Between 8 – 15 days As above plus 30% of the tour cost.
Between arrival – 7 days Full cancellation charges apply
For departure from tour for health or other reasons – recoverable ground costs will be refunded less any expenses, i.e. medical, taxis, etc., not paid at the time by the client, and 10% administration fee.
Please note where a cancellation results in the total number of paying passengers falling below the minimum number for the price category, unless there is 100% cancellation fee, the cost of the whole tour will be revised to the price for lower numbers (i.e. 30 persons – with 2 cancellations, the price for 25 would apply). If numbers fall below a category previously quoted, we reserve the right to furnish a new price.
We do strongly recommend that passengers take out some form of cancellation and medical insurance.