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What People Are Saying About Us

Very early in the tour we saw we got much more for our dollar than anything we could have put together ourselves. The value exceeded our expectations.

Tara Malmberg
Quitman, TX
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6-time honoree Travel + Leisure's World's Best Tour Operators awards

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Small Group Tour Highlights
  • Well-paced journey through Scotland
  • Glasgow touring
  • Glasgow’s unique architecture
  • Private curator-guided tour of Pollok House
  • Beautiful Scottish Highlands scenery, including Loch Lomond, The Trossachs National Park, Glencoe, Loch Ness
  • Evocative ruins of Urquhart Castle
  • Isle of Skye excursion
  • Historic Culloden Moor
  • Medieval St. Andrews
  • Edinburgh touring, including Edinburgh Castle and Holyrood
  • Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo (Select departures only)
  • Pleasing mix of guided touring and time for independent exploration
Day-by-Day Itinerary

Day 1: Depart U.S. for Glasgow, Scotland

Day 2: Arrive Glasgow We arrive in Scotland’s larg­­­­est city and transfer to our hotel. As guests’ arrival times may vary greatly, we have no group activities planned during the day. Late this afternoon we gather with our Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director for a briefing on the journey ahead. Then we enjoy a welcome dinner at either the acclaimed National Piping Centre or the well-appointed Corinthian Club.­ D

Day 3: Glasgow This morning’s tour highlights “Glasgow Style,” the city’s distinct architecture of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Though Glasgow has a rich medieval history, very few structures from that time survive; it is the Victorian-era buildings of red or blond sandstone with long lines that define the city’s historic built environment. Among the standout buildings we see: Glasgow Central Station, the Royal Exchange, and Glasgow City Chambers. We also visit Sir John W. Simpson’s immensely popular Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum. Following our city tour we visit Pollok House, ancestral home of the Maxwell clan and now a museum with the United Kingdom’s greatest collection of Spanish art. A curator takes us on a privately guided tour of the Edwardian country house after we enjoy lunch here. We return to our hotel mid-afternoon; the remainder of the day is at leisure. B,L

Day 4: Glasgow/Loch Lomond/Glencoe/Fort William We leave Glasgow this morning by motorcoach, bound for the scenic Highlands, Scotland’s sparsely populated historic northern region. We stop by the bonnie banks of Loch Lomond, Great Britain’s largest lake and part of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park. We tour the island-dotted loch by coach before continuing on to Glencoe, one of Scotland’s most beautiful spots with deep valleys flanked by steep-sided mountains, rushing rivers, and dramatic waterfalls. Then we travel on to Fort William, the Highlands’ second largest settlement, arriving late afternoon. B,D

Day 5: Fort William/Isle of Skye We embark on a full-day excursion to the Isle of Skye, the largest of Scotland’s Inner Hebrides, known for its vivid history, strong Gaelic influence, and stunning scenery. En route, we make a photo stop at Glenfinnan Monument honoring “Bonnie Prince Charlie” for his leadership in the Jacobite Rising of 1745. Then we board a ferry for Armadale on the southern tip of Isle of Skye, where our touring begins with a visit to Armadale Castle and gardens, where we have lunch. Next we set out on a scenic drive through the imposing Cuillin Hills (or “Black Cuillin”). Returning to the mainland via the Skye Bridge, we stop to visit iconic Eilean Donan Castle then dine tonight at our hotel. B,L,D

Day 6: Fort William/Loch Ness/Brora We depart today for the Northern Highlands, stopping en route at fabled Loch Ness. We enjoy a boat ride on the 23-mile-long lake best known for the unearthly creature alleged to live in its deep waters. We also visit the ruins of lakeside Urquhart Castle, one of Scotland’s most popular attractions. Dating to at least the 13th century, the castle sits surrounded by water on three sides, giving it a once-formidable advantage in battle. Then we travel on to the historic Culloden Moor battle site. After time on our own to tour the museum here, we take a private guided tour of the hallowed grounds, site of the last battle of the Jacobite Rising in 1746. Early this evening we arrive in Brora, a quaint Highlands village and our home for the next two nights. B,D

Day 7: Brora/Highlands Our exploration of the High­lands continues on today’s excursion along the Pictish Trail, sites connected with the late Iron Age/early Medieval Celtic people who once lived here. We visit striking Dunrobin Castle & Gardens, where we see a falconry demonstration then embark on a tour and tasting at a small local distillery that has been producing hand-crafted single malt whisky for generations. We continue our drive along the scenic coastal road flanked by small farms with sheep, cows, and Shetland ponies before returning to our hotel, where we enjoy dinner together tonight. B,D

Day 8: Brora/Kincraig/Pitlochry/St. Andrews Today’s first stop is Kincraig, where we watch a sheepdog demonstration with working border collies, known for their herding abilities. We travel on to the holiday town of Pitlochry in the heart of Scotland, where we enjoy some free time before continuing on to legendary St. Andrews late this afternoon; dinner tonight is on our own in this charming town. B

Day 9: St. Andrews/Edinburgh Home of Scotland’s oldest university (St. Andrews) and renowned as the home of golf, where the game has been played for some 600 years, delightful – and compact – St. Andrews measures just one mile across. This morning we embark on a walking tour of the medieval seaside town, followed by lunch together then free time to explore on our own. Later this afternoon we continue on our way to Edinburgh. Dinner tonight is on our own in the Scottish capital, which boasts a robust culinary scene. B,L

Day 10: Edinburgh Our morning tour of this stately city built on seven hills includes the 18th-century Georgian “New Town” and the medieval “Old Town,” where we visit Edinburgh Castle, symbolic heart of the country. This afternoon is at leisure to discover Edinburgh as we wish; museums, galleries, and shops abound. Guests on late July/early August departures will enjoy an evening performance of the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo. B

Day 11: Edinburgh This morning we encounter the Royal Mile, the historic boulevard ­connecting Edinburgh Castle with the Palace of Holyrood House. We tour Holyrood, as it is called, and see where British royalty schemed and slept as we tour the State Apartments. The remainder of the day is free for independent exploration. Tonight we celebrate our Scotland sojourn over a farewell dinner at a local restaurant. B,D

Day 12: Depart for U.S. We transfer this morning to the Edinburgh airport for our return flights to the U.S. B

Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo Departures

Jul 25, 29; Aug 1, 5, 10: These departures include reserved seating at the 69th annual Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, an entertainment extravaganza set against the evocative backdrop of flood-lit Edinburgh Castle. Highlights include
performances by the British Armed Forces’ Massed Pipes and Drums, the Massed Military Bands, and display teams and dancers from around the world – some 1,000 musicians, pipers, drummers, singers, and dancers.

B = Breakfast included L = Lunch included D = Dinner included

Tour Price Includes
  • Round-trip air transportation from listed cities
  • 10 nights’ accommodations in Deluxe, Superior First Class, First Class, and unrated hotels
  • 19 meals: 10 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 6 dinners
  • Extensive sightseeing as described, including all entrance fees
  • Services of an Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director
  • Private motorcoach transportation throughout your trip
  • Luggage handling for one bag per person
  • Gratuities for local guides, dining room servers, airport and hotel porters, and all drivers
  • $100 frequent traveler credit towards your next Odysseys Unlimited tour ($200 after 3 tours; $300 after 10 tours)
Tour Dates & Prices

2019 Tour Dates & Prices
including international airfare and all taxes, surcharges, and fees

May 4
Sep 4+
Sep 7+
Sep 18
May 18
Jun 8, 22
Jun 29
Aug 17
Aug 21
Aug 31
Jul 25*
Jul 29*
Aug 1*
Aug 5*
Aug 10*
Newark$4,778$4,978$5,478
Boston, Phil$4,978$5,178$5,678
Atlanta, Balt, Chi,
Cincinnati, Cleve,
Detroit, Wash, DC
$5,078$5,278$5,778
Charlotte, Dallas,
Denver, Houston,
Miami, Minneapolis,
Orlando, Tampa
$5,178$5,378$5,878
Los Ang, Phoenix,
Port (OR), San Fran,
Seattle
$5,278$5,478$5,978

Please call if your city is not listed or for land only prices. Prices are per person based on double occupancy and include airline taxes, surcharges, and fees of $483, which are subject to change until final payment is made.

Single travelers please add $1,495 Jul, Aug; $1,195 all other dates. Your $375 deposit is fully refundable up to 95 days prior to departure. All 2019 tour prices above (excluding airline taxes, surcharges, and fees) are guaranteed.

*Includes reserved seating at an evening performance of the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo

+Accommodations on Day 8: Apex City Quay (Dundee)

Business Class upgrade (subject to availabilty) on roundtrip Trans-Atlantic flight: $3,595 per person

A visa is not required for this tour.

Accommodations
    Grand Central Hotel Glasgow, Glasgow / Days 2-3 / First Class

    Dating to 1883, the opulent Grand Central Hotel was built adjacent to the Central railroad station.  The 186-room hotel has played host to stars such as Charlie Chaplin and Frank Sinatra, and boasts a prime “style mile” location in the heart of bustling Glasgow, close to local attractions, restaurants, and shopping.  Amenities of the recently renovated hotel include two restaurants and two bars (including a marble-floored champagne bar), laundry and dry cleaning services (for a fee), and complimentary Wi-Fi internet access.  Guest rooms have private bath, in-room safe, TV, and phone.  Please note:  the hotel does not have air conditioning.

    Nevis Bank Hotel, Fort William / Days 4-5 / Not rated

    Perched near the River Nevis in the scenic Fort William region just one mile north of the Fort William town center, this 20-room hotel provides travelers comforts in a modern setting.  An onsite restaurant and bar caters to all tastes with a wide range of food and drink, both contemporary and traditional.  Guest rooms have private bath with hair dryer, coffee- and tea-making facilities, complimentary Wi-Fi internet access, TV, and phone.  Please note that lodging alternatives are limited in this area of Scotland; while your stay in this locale should be enjoyable, the amenities at the hotel will be lower than elsewhere on your tour.  Also, because of the unique nature of this hotel, room sizes and views vary, and there is no elevator or air conditioning.

    Royal Marine Hotel, Brora / Days 6-7 / First Class

    Originally built as a private country house in the early 1900s by renowned Scottish architect Sir Robert Lorimer, the Royal Marine Hotel is situated amidst glorious coastal scenery in the Scottish Highlands, approximately one hour north of Inverness.  The hotel sits directly next to the clubhouse of the renowned Brora Golf Club (and just steps from a sandy beach), and its amenities include three restaurants and a fitness center with a swimming pool, Jacuzzi, spa, and gym.  Each of the 21 guest rooms offers private bath with hair dryer, complimentary Wi-Fi internet access, in-room safe, ironing facilities, tea- and coffee-making facilities, TV, and phone. Please note that this hotel has no elevator or air conditioning.

    Old Course Hotel, St. Andrews / Day 8 / Deluxe

    The world-famous Old Course Hotel sits adjacent to the 17th fairway of the renowned Old Course at St. Andrews, the spiritual “home of golf.”  In fact, Phil Mickelson’s misplayed tee shot during the 2015 British Open came to rest on the balcony of room 130.  The elegant hotel offers six dining options (including the Jigger Inn, golf’s most famous 19th hole), fitness center, indoor swimming pool, spa, rooftop hot tub, laundry service, and complimentary Wi-Fi internet access.  Each air-conditioned guest room includes private bath with hair dryer, tea- and coffee-making facilities, minibar, TV, and phone. 

    Tigerlily, Edinburgh / Days 9-11 / Superior First Class

    Sitting in the heart of Edinburgh’s city center, the unique Tigerlily has become one of Edinburgh’s most talked-about hotels.  This contemporary hotel boasts stylish, comfortable common areas decorated in a variety of bright colors, and features a popular restaurant and bar, complimentary Wi-Fi internet access, and laundry service.  Each of the 33 air-conditioned guest rooms has private bath with hairdryer, minibar, in-room safe, TV, and phone.

Ratings are based on the Hotel & Travel Index, the travel industry standard reference.
Tour Directors for this Journey
Susan Brown

“Susan was a delightful blend of friendly, efficient, and had a deft touch with tour members. She was ‘unflappable’ – a major asset.”
Kathleen & Alan Appleby
Middlesex, NJ

Conor Delaney

“…Conor was exceptional. He was an encyclopedia of information and he presented it in a very entertaining way. He went above and beyond to provide individual assistance. By the end of the tour he was a friend to all of us.”
Joseph and Susan Anghinetti
Bar Harbor, ME

Kirsten Griew

“Kirsten was outstanding in her in-depth knowledge of all things Scottish. She could answer just about any question. Very upbeat and great sense of humor.”
Dick & Sharon Neuman
Alameda, CA

Joe Harrower

“Joe is at the very top of his profession. He is the standard by which all should be compared and measured.”
Tom & Nancy Williams
Hingham, MA

Coinneach MacLean

“Best tour director we have ever had. Worked constantly to ensure every guest was getting maximum enjoyment. After 10 days, I felt he had educated us on the history, culture, and character of the Scottish people and society. The scope and breadth of his knowledge was incredible. Thank you for exposing us to Coinneach – he was really special.”
Bert Barnett
Memphis, TN

Andy Plews

“Andy is an asset to your company. He is well versed, entertaining, and caring. His knowledge of Scotland‘s history is amazing. He was a true gem!”
Brenda & Bill Gregory
Blowing Rock, NC

Marina Scott

“Marina was absolutely marvelous. Her knowledge was only surpassed by her kindness and sense of humor. She is the best!”
Ann Raff
Coral Gables, FL

Destination Insight

Suggested Reading

John McPhee
The Crofter and the Laird
McPhee packs up his family and returns for a year to his ancestral land on the Isle of Colonsay in this lyrical, appreciative portrait of place and traditional ways of life in the Hebrides.

Neal Ascherson
Stone Voices, The Search for Scotland
Ascherson writes with verve and insight on the centuries-old impulse toward nationhood in Scotland in this absorbing portrait.

Fitzroy MacLean, Magnus Linklater (Contributor)
Scotland, A Concise History
This richly illustrated survey brings Scottish history up to the present through its romantic figures and bloody battles. With 250 well-integrated illustrations, this revised fourth edition includes a newly added chapter on Scotland’s place in the 21st century.

Eyewitness Guides
Eyewitness Guide Scotland
This compact, illustrated travel guide features color photography, excellent maps and a region-by-region synopsis of Scotland’s attractions.

National Geographic Maps
Scotland Adventure Map
A double-sided folded map of Scotland by the National Geographic Society and World Mapping Project at a scale of 1:440,000.

Streetwise
Edinburgh Map
An accordion folded, pocket-size, laminated travel map of Edinburgh at a walking scale of 1:12,000.

John Scotney
Culture Smart! Scotland
A concise, well-illustrated and practical guide to local customs, etiquette and culture, equally of interest to the traveler and business person.

Alistair Moffat
The Highland Clans
This excellent compact history of the Scottish Highland clans brings to life their leaders, traditions, families and heroic deeds with color illustrations, photos, a clan map and an alphabetical family list.

Andrew Fisher
A Traveller’s History of Scotland
This brief history of Scotland through the 1990s is wide-ranging, accessible and necessarily condensed. With a useful chronology, a list of monarchs and a historical gazetteer, this book marches confidently through the centuries.

J. Philip Newell
Celtic Prayers from Iona
While wardens on the island, Philip Newell and his wife were inspired by Gaelic prayer and the poems of the 19th-century Scotsman Alexander Carmichael. To spread their appreciation for the art form, they developed this handsome book of prayers.

Barry W. Cunliffe
The Celts: A Very Short Introduction
A concise, revealing social history of the Celts by a reigning authority and popular writer.

Hugh Palmer
The Most Beautiful Villages of Scotland
Not just drop-dead beautiful, this lavishly illustrated compendium includes suggestions for historic hamlets, market towns, castles and estates. With notes on travel, hotels, restaurants and accommodations.

Andrew Beattie
The Scottish Highlands, A Cultural History
An exploration of the past and present of the Scottish Highlands, from the first Celtic settlements to their transformation into Scotland’s modern mining capital.

Fitzroy MacLean
Highlanders, A History of the Highland Clans
A marvelous storyteller, MacLean recounts the origins, uprisings and personalities of Highland Scotland from Celtic legends to the bloody defeat of Bonnie Prince Charlie at Culloden Moors in this vivid, beautifully illustrated history.

Samuel Johnson, James Boswell
A Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland and The Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides
Written when Johnson was 63 and Boswell 32 in 1773 (when they had been friends for ten years), these travel journals were the result of a three-month trip to Scotland. Johnson observed Scotland, and Boswell observed Johnson.

Neil Miller Gunn
Off in a Boat, Hebridean Voyage
Gunn captures the romance and exhilaration of small boat travel in this enchanting account of a 1930s voyage through the Hebrides, interweaving his own adventures with history and lore.

Adam Nicolson
Sea Room, An Island Life in the Hebrides
Nicolson explores the nature, history and magic of three remote islands in the Outer Hebrides in this affecting memoir. Tiny islands surrounded by serious tides, the Shiants nonetheless make their mark with 500-foot basalt cliffs, seabird and seal colonies and a long history.

William W. Starr
Whisky, Kilts, and the Loch Ness Monster
Beginning and ending in Edinburgh and making stops at Glasgow, Culloden, Loch Ness, the Isle of Skye and more, William Starr follows hilariously in the footsteps of Boswell and Johnson across Scotland.

Hermann Palssom, Paul Edwards
Orkneyinga Saga, The History of the Earls of Orkney
A fusion of myth and legend, circa A.D. 1200, by an unnamed Icelandic author. The medieval chronicle has its center of action among the Orkney Islands, describing their conquest by Norwegian kings during the Viking expansion of the ninth century.

Muriel Spark
The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie
A terribly witty novel from the pen of Dame Muriel. Miss Jean Brodie is an unorthodox teacher at an Edinburgh girls’ boarding school who wins the hearts and minds of her students, only to discover that girls from the provinces are ill-prepared for progressive thought.

Sir Walter Scott
Waverly
Scott drew on childhood tales for this richly detailed portrait of the Highland and Lowland Scots, culminating with the defeat of Bonnie Prince Charles at the 1746 Battle of Culloden.

Tony Soper, Dan Powell (Illustrator)
Wildlife of the North Atlantic, A Cruising Guide
This compact, illustrated guide covers the many petrels, ducks, gulls, terns and other seabirds, as well as the rich abundance of life existing under the waves, that populate the vast Atlantic region from the British Isles to Newfoundland.

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