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Scotland

As the land of kilts, whisky and Macbeth, Scotland is a nation of proud Celtic history and culture. With mystic lochs shrouded in thick mist and rolling highlands crowned by snow, Caledonia is astonishingly atmospheric in every season, from the gentle greenery of a Scottish summer to the spectacular snow-globe scenery of winter.

The brooding mountains and valleys are stunning and take travellers back to an era of war-painted warriors and Pict legend, while the numerous fathomless lochs may or may not be home to a myriad of mysterious beasts that lie beneath the serene blue surfaces.

Off the northern coast and stretching into the Northern Atlantic are the Hebridean Islands, havens of undeniable natural beauty. The capital city and seat of Scotland's government, Edinburgh, is a spectacular mix of monumental historic architecture and stylish contemporary architecture, set under the gaze of the city's magnificent Edinburgh Castle. 

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15 results matching: Scotland

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  • DestinationScotland
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  • DestinationScotland
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  • DestinationScotland
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  • DestinationScotland
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  • DestinationScotland
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  • DestinationScotland
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  • DestinationScotland
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  • DestinationScotland
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  • DestinationScotland
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  • DestinationEngland, Scotland
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Our customers love our Scotland tours
Orkney, Shetland and the Highlands
14 Oct 2019
Mr P Allen
5 stars
“An excellent tour, Sandra our tour manager was really efficient and the tour itself was very well thought out
Collected by Great Rail Journeys
Western Highlands and Hebrides
03 Aug 2019
Mr P Johnson
5 stars
“Thoroughly enjoyed the round of experiences in this holiday. A bit spoilt by the weather.
Collected by Great Rail Journeys
A Castle On The Shores Of Loch Fyne
22/Oct
Valbee
4 stars
“Your host Helene went above and beyond her remit, and is to be commended. Stonefield Castle hotel is lovely, if suffering staff shortages. A couple of younger servers somewhat surly, but mainly excellent - even turning out the jolly cleaner to serve dinner one night! The very knowledgable barman also had to serve at table, and did so graciously. It is in a beautiful location, rooms are good and public areas stylish and well appointed. Rather more coach travel instead of train than we had hoped for, and the hotel’s location a bit far from any of our objectives, but we certainly got around and both driver and coach high-grade. The main let-down was the school dinners style food at Hotel Indigo in Glasgow, where I feel we were victims of a long ago pegged price. We stayed an extra night, and felt the breakfast fare improved immediately our tour group moved on. But its location and the rooms were really good, so it’s a tricky call to remedy : they had only reopened four weeks previously, and some of the serving staff seemed poorly suited to their role, though most were trying hard and pleasant. The service improved at our second breakfast, when a restaurant manager appeared. The range of visits was good, Mount Stuart excellent - aided by the sublime Jim’s infectious enthusiasm and depth of knowledge.
Collected by Trustpilot
Highland Adventure
19/Oct
Diane
4 stars
“Beautiful Hotel, Very nice Tour Manager. The first day of the holiday was wonderful and left us very excited for the following two days, but the second day was slightly disappointing in that we had a Scotrail Deisel train rather than a "Great Steam Train Rail H=Journey of The Highlands" and were back at Inverness station by about 4:15pm. The third day was the drive to Aviemore by coach followed by a steam train ride on the Strathspey line. Scenery was nice but all in all quite disappointing, an extremely short train ride with a ten minute stop at Boat of Garten station, then another ten minute stop at the end of the line. We had been told this was the Glen Bogle Village, and most people seemed to think we would see the castle, but it was just a platform with a sign saying Glenbogle! That afternoon we were deposited back at the Hotel by 3:15pm, which was really the end of the Great Rail Journeys holiday as all that was left was to have dinner in the hotel and breamkfast the following morning and that was that. We were not expecting miracles, considering restrictions over the past year, but really this was only a three day holiday and NOT a five day one as advertised. We did still enjoy the trip as we were with friends, but it is doubtful that we would book another holiday with Great Rail Journeys. The Jacobite Express was really the only decent rail journey of the whole trip. Sorry.....
Collected by Trustpilot
Castles and Wildlife of Scotland
16/Oct
Kenneth Owen
4 stars
“Overall an enjoyable different experience. Caledonian Sleeper an experience but very cramped, unsuitable top bunk access or descent for older generation. Positive sleep not forthcoming on this train so elected to return over two days at end of tour at own expense. Food for breakfast on sleeper tick box request and don't forget to tick for milk for morning tea!. Adequate not inspiring. Boat trip saw no dolphins. Totally hit and miss. Free time in Inverness pe Tulloch Hotel journey fine. Hotel had atmosphere being an ancient castle turned into hotel.No lift so lots of stairs for fitness. Food fine in our view. Kyle rail Line to Lochalsh its scenic best and trip to Skye bridge and Eilean Donan castle. Long coach trip back but scenic different route. Dunrobin Castle and grounds with our good weather was most enjoyable. Alledale Wilderness Centre accommodation and food and 4x4 trek with rangers was just excellent and the principle reason for taking tour. Excellent service, beautiful lodge atmosphere and food. The trek was excellent with well informed passionate commentary explanations from principle ranger. Due to poor sleeper and additional 4 hours in Inverness again following Battlefield tour (which we did not do) we took train to Edinburgh, stayed overnigh, and train next day to London. The tour was in total worthwhile. Weather turned out extermely well. However it is suggested that changes be made to itinerary and travel in day to Edinburgh, then Inverness and likewise return with appropriate overnight stays. First Class of course both ways. Potentially reconsider the boat trip, although again a different aspect for the tour enjoyed with good weather. Alladale though just superb and a third night here would be icing on the cake.
Collected by Trustpilot
The Outer Hebrides and The Highlands
4/Oct
P Moody
4 stars
“Good experience
Collected by Trustpilot
Edinburgh, Glencoe and Isle of Skye
1/Oct
S Stafferton
4 stars
“Interesting, and very well managed under difficult conditions.
Collected by Trustpilot
Grand Tour of the UK
1/Oct
Leslie Blake
4 stars
“The tour was good with excellent local guides, the tour manager Peter Scott had to deal with a number of setbacks very successfully including the Sunday train strike in Scotland and arranging for alternative transport. The only drawback was only staying in hotels for one night and moving on to the next phase, this proved to be quite tiring.
Collected by Trustpilot
Edinburgh, the Highlands and Islands
3/Jul
J Wheatley
4 stars
“Good choice of places, experiences etc. Covid restrictions adhered to without affecting the trip.
Collected by Trustpilot

Scotland's Heritage Trains

Discover the fantastic railways of Scotland. It should come as no surprise that we love railways and we know many of you do too! That's why our tours feature some of the most iconic railways and trains on the continent.

Scotland's Climate

Despite its compact size, Scotland's climate is remarkably variable. Accusations of continuous rain throughout are exaggerated, although the Western Highlands are particularly wet. Scotland's high position in the northern Hemisphere means that it has longer daylight hours than other areas of Britain during the summer and shorter days during the winter. Whilst extreme temperatures are rare, January and February tend to be Scotland's coldest months although still mild with daytime maximum temperatures averaging between 5° to 7 °C. Late summer, July and August sees Scotland at its warmest when temperatures generally reach an average 19 °C.

Scottish culture is almost as old as the country itself. A particularly famous example of Scottish music is the use of bagpipes. While this wind instrument is not a Scottish creation, having its roots in Ancient Greece, the Scottish people have cultivated a strong appreciation of its unique sound incorporating a notable performance during at the Edinburgh Military Tattoo each August, which features over a hundred pipers playing in unison.

Scotland has produced a range of exceptional actors including the original James Bond, Sean Connery as well as Ewan McGregor and Tilda Swinton. Along with its theatrical heritage, there have been a number of literary giants from Scotland such as the world-renowned poet Robert Burns, Treasure Island author Robert Louis Stevenson and contemporary novelist Irvine Welsh.

Scottish Railways

Scotland has a fantastic array of railway lines which carry passengers across the country, from the rural islands of the north, through the snow-capped highlands and rolling lowlands, across the metropolises of Edinburgh and Glasgow, and along the Scottish English border.

This network also includes a number of heritage lines. The Strathspey railway offers a fantastic steam-hauled round trip in restored carriages through the scintillating Highland scenery, while the Jacobite Steam Train hauls original British Rail First and Standard Class carriages from the 1960s across the magical landscapes.

Scotland has always benefited from an abundance of fresh local produce of excellent quality and this has shaped the country's cuisine, producing traditional dishes and specialities that have become globally recognised and renowned. Perhaps the most well-known of these is a kind of sheep sausage called haggis. Despite its untoward appearance, interesting ingredients and unconventional recipe which involves cooking the food in a sheep's stomach, Haggis is well worth a try for a taste of true Scottish cuisine. Another curious Scottish delicacy is the deep-fried Mars bar, where a standard chocolate bar is fried in batter. Among some other Scottish fare that visitors should sample is Scottish Tablet, Cullen Skink, Aberdeen Angus Beef, Cranachan and Arbroath Smokies.

 

Significant events in the Scottish calendar include Burns' Night, Hogmanay and St Andrew's Day. Burns' Night is the celebration of the national poet Robert Burns' birthday on the 25th of January, and involves an extensive meal of haggis, swedes and potatoes as well as recitations of Burns' poems. Hogmanay is the Scottish name for New Year's Eve while St Andrew's Day on the 30th November is the day of the patron saint of Scotland and features many traditional Scottish festivities.

Should you choose to dine in a Scottish restaurant it is customary to leave a tip worth 10% of the bill's value, although if you have received exemplary food and service you may want to leave a greater amount. The Scottish accent can be difficult to understand at first, but it soon becomes easy and pleasant to listen to with manageable differences between Edinburgh and Glasgow in the north and south. The Scottish people are down-to-earth, affable and honest with an exceptional sense of humour.

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Lynne Broadley
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Helen Laverack
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James Starkie
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