SCOTLAND TOUR 2019
HOT OFF THE PRESS!!
We are beyond excited and pleased to announce our SIXTH INTERNATIONAL TOUR!!
That’s right… come April 20 of 2019, we’ll meet up with 51 friends, fans, and family in Newark to kick off our second bus-tour of Scotland, and our sixth international tour overall. Three concerts over seven nights in Scotland – including two nights on the Isle of Skye, two in Inverness, a stay at the magnificent Atholl Palace, and two nights in Edinburgh.
[UPDATE: The tour sold out within a week of opening it for booking, so we've added a second bus - which is already 2/3rds full... only 18 seats left! So we'll actually meet up with 106 friends, fans, and family in Newark!]
The tour runs from April 20th-28th, departing/arriving out of Newark. It is a modestly-priced $2299 (plus departure tax). The price includes:
- international airfare from Newark
- seven nights accomodations (including one night at Atholl Palace)
- full Scottish breakfast daily
- three dinners with the group (including a banquet at Atholl Palace)
- admission to all scheduled attractions (Eilean Donan Castle, Dunvegan Castle, the Skye Museum of Island Life, a Royal Scot cruise of Loch Ness, Fort George, the Culloden Battlefield, Clava Cairns, the Edradour Distillery, Stirling Castle, and the National Wallace Monument)
- three performances
- deluxe motorcoach, driver, and guide
- porterage of 1 suitcase
You can find out more about the tour via this link:
We took 51 folks with us on our April 2015 Ireland Tour. They ALL had the time of their life! You will too, and we look forward to travelling with you all! This is, hands-down, the best tour we’ve put together. Don't miss out on this incredible opportunity
An overnight, trans-Atlantic flight from (very likely) Newark to Edinburgh. Get yourself to Newark... the flight is included in the tour. Dinner is served while in flight.
The first of our stretch-breaks on our drive from Glasgow to the Isle of Skye... the lovely, bonnie-banked Loch Lomond. Part of the Trossachs National Park, Loch Lomond is a corruption of the Gaelic 'lac leaman' or 'lake of the elms', and is the largest inland stretch of water in Great Britain (by surface-area).
Perhaps the second of our stretch-breaks on Day-2... the spectacular, beautiful pass of Glencoe, the mythical birthplace of Ossian, and site of the 1692 Massacre of the MacDonalds.
The third stop on Day-2's drive from Glasgow to the Isle of Skye, and the first featured attraction of the tour... the picturesque Eilean Donan Castle. After Edinburgh and Stirling Castles, Eilean Donan Castle is hands-down the most recognized castle in Scotland, and probably appears on more shortbread-tins and calendars than any other. It was originally built during the 13th-century reign of Alexander II, and eventually became a stronghold of the Mackenzies and Macraes. Because of the Mackenzies involvement in the Jacobite rebellion, the castle was destoyed. It was rebuilt by John Macrae-Gilstrap between 1912-1914. We will visit the Castle.
Day-2's travels... nearly five hours of driving, and another few of sightseeing and dining... come to an end as we cross onto the Isle of Skye and make our way into Portree - listed among "the most beautiful small towns to visit in Europe". We'll check into the Royal Hotel - whose history goes back a few hundred years, and which has been in in the ownership of the Macleod family for over a century. Most of us will have done some napping on the bus in between stretch-breaks, so your jet-lag should be puched off. Dinner will be on your own, and there are no less than a dozen restaurants between 1-4 blocks away from the hotel. Bon appetit!
Dinner, this evening, will be on your own.
Our first stop on Day-3, as we kick off our tour of the Isle of Skye, is the ruins of Dun Beag - an Iron Age broch (a drystone, hollow-walled round-house, and prehistoric counterpart to the medieval tower-houses scattered across Scotland. Dun Beag was excavated between 1914 and 1920 by the Countess Vincent Baillet de Latour, an amateur archaeologist (whose first husband was the 25th chief of Clan MacLeod).
Our second stop on our tour of the Isle of Skye is Dunvegan Castle. Situated off the west coast of Scotland, Dunvegan Castle is the seat of the MacLeod of MacLeod, chief of the Clan MacLeod. And it's the oldest, continuously-inhabited castle in Scotland, and has been the stronghold of the chiefs of the clan for more than 800 years.
For our third stop on Day-3's tour of Skye, we head northeast across the Isle and into the Trotternish Peninsula and come, at last, into Kilmuir. There we'll visit the Skye Museum of Island Life for a true insight into island life 100 years ago. A short walk from the Museum takes us to Kilmuir Cemetery and a visit to the Flora MacDonald Memorial, the high cross that marks the grave of the ever faithful ‘Preserver of Prince Charles Edward Stuart’. Then we return back to Portree and the Royal Hotel.
Dinner, this evening, will be with the group at the Royal Hotel.
After dinner, Tullamore will be performing in concert at Aros, Portree's community cultural centre. All are welcome - please join us. (Aros is 1.1 miles down the coastal Viewfield Road... about a 20-minute walk, or a 3-minute cab-ride.)
Our first stop on Day-4's drive from Portree to Inverness is in Fort Augustus - a small village at the southwest end of Loch Ness. There, we'll board the Royal Scot for a 1-hour cruise of the south end of the deep, freshwater loch along the Great Glen Fault that divides the Highlands from the rest of Scotland. Upon our return to the village, we'll have a stellar view of Fort Augustus Abbey.
For our second stop on Day-4, we drive to the promontory of Ardersier to visit Fort George, the home of the Queen’s Own Highlanders (Seaforth and Camerons) and the Black Watch, The Georgian star-fort was built between 1748 and 1757, and has been continuously occupied ever since.
After we wrap up Day-4's travels and sightseeing, we come, at last, into Inverness - the “Capital City of the Highlands” - on Scotland’s northeast coast, where the River Ness meets the Moray Firth, that dates back to a 6th-century settlement. We'll check into the Royal Highlands Hotel for a two-nights stay.
Dinner, this evening, will be on your own.
Our first stop on Day-5 is Culloden Moor - the site of the short, yet bloody battle that ended Bonnie Prince Charlie's Jacobite Rising of 1745. The battlefield is as moving as its history is tragic... from the memorial cairn to the many headstones marking the mass-graves of the clans. The interactive exhibits and living history presentations in the Visitors Centre bring the battle to life.
Our second stop on Day-5 is a visit to the Prehistoric Burial Cairns of Balnuaran of Clava (or "the Clava Cairns") - just a 5-minute drive from Culloden Moor and across the River Nairn. The Bronze Age remains are about 4,000 years old, and comprise passage-tombs, standing stones, and kerb stones.
For our final stop on Day-5, we head north across the Moray Firth to the ruins of Fortrose Cathedral - a red-sandstone edifice built around 1200AD, and once the episcopal seat of the medieval Scottish diocese of Ross.Only a small portion of the Cathedral remains upstanding, two apparently disconnected buildings - one was the south aisle and chapel, the other (which looks like a freestanding building) was originally the sacristy and chapter house.
Dinner on Day-5 will be with the group at the Royal Highland Hotel.
After dinner, the band will take a leisurely 2-minute stroll down to Church Street for their second performance of the tour at Hootananny. The bright, high-ceilinged, award-winning pub is home to acoustic music in Inverness - with live, traditional Scottish folk music every night, and a weekly ceilidh. Tullamore turned in a great performance there on their 2013 Scotland Tour.
After an early Day-6 breakfast, we make our final departure from the city of Inverness, heading southeast through the Cairngorm Mountains. We emerge from the Cairngorms National Park and eventually come to Pitlochry and the majestic 19th-century baronial estate of Atholl Palace, designed by the renowned Scottish architect Andrew Helton.
We'll get to Atholl Palace early enough for you to have the rest of the day to revel in the amenities this estate has to offer... rejuvenate yourself in the state of the art Lavender Spa, play a match on the Highland Tennis Championship Courts or nine holes of Pitch 'n' Putt golf, go salmon fishing... or enjoy a woodlands walk, take a Highland safari, or stroll through the spectacular Japanese or formal gardens.
The evening’s festivity, The Highland Experience, is a formal dinner and dance that you’ll never forget... complete with bagpiping; a parade of, and Address to, A Haggis; a magnificent banquet; some Highland dancing; and some Scottish country-dancing (that you'll be expected to join along in - even if it's only to clap). Afterwards, wind down the evening in the Bothy Bar... and then sleep like a king or queen tonight in your luxurious bedroom.
Day-7 begins with a short jaunt to the Edradour Distillery, the smallest distillery in Scotland, for a proper education and tasting of uisge bheatha, the 'water of life'. As the crow flies, the distillery is just a half-mile from Atholl Palace... but by us, it's a lengthy 2½ miles. After the tour of the distillery (and proving that it's always 5:00 somewhere), there'll be ample opportunity to sample the fine whiskys Edradour has available AS WELL AS to buy yourself an extra-special souvenir. (Mark's personal recommendation is the 14-year, cask-strength, Oloroso Sherry finished whisky. Seriously.)
For our second stop of Day-7, we wind our way south and west through Perth to reach Stirling, the ‘Gateway To the Highlands’. We visit Stirling Castle, the former home of Mary Queen of Scots - the emblem of Scottish independence and enduring national pride - whose long, turbulent history is associated with such great figures from Scotland’s past as William Wallace and Robert the Bruce.
Our third stop on Day-7 is a visit to the National Wallace Monument to take in the magnificent tribute to Scotland's national hero - William Wallace. Completed in 1869, the tower stands atop the summit of Abbey Craig, a hilltop near Stirling, from which Wallace was said to have watched the gathering of the army of King Edward I of England, just before the Battle of Stirling Bridge in 1297.
At the end of Day-7, we finally come into Edinburgh - ‘Auld Reekie’, the 'Empress of the North', 'Embro' - Scotland’s capital on the southern shore of the Firth of Forth, to begin the last leg of the tour. Friday evening will be the first of two opportunities to catch this beautiful city by night!
Dinner, this evening, will be on your own.
Day-8 is a free day in Edinburgh, and the possibilities are endless! You can start with Edinburgh Castle to the Palace of Holyroodhouse and the Royal Mile that connects the two. Then there's the Sir Walter Scott Monument and the Robert Burns Monument. Or Calton Hill with the Old Observatory House, the Nelson Monument, the City Observatory, and the National Monument of Scotland. You might take in the National Gallery of Scotland or Greyfriar's Bobby, or climb Arthur's Seat high above the city, or even spend some time in the Sheep Heid Inn, Scotland's oldest public house (rebuilt in 1880 from a pub on this spot selling liquor and victuals since 1360). Get going early, and see as much as you can!
After breakfast, we transfer to Edinburgh Airport for our flight home, and arrive home the same day. In the true Scottish Tradition we wish you a “Fair faw, an' haste ye back!”.