Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Scotland Independent Travel Tour Package

For further information on this tour, contact Across the Pond Vacations at 310-791-6101, or e-mail


The Scottish Experience - Eastern Scotland

(April through October)

13 Days/11 nights – $3,695.00* per person, land only, double occupancy. Independent package.

Your Tour Price Includes:

  • Airport transfer from Edinburgh Airport to your Edinburgh hotel
  • 11 nights in 4-star and 5-star hotels **
  • 5 days car rental in an automatic shift, air-conditioned mid-size car
  • Full Scottish breakfast, daily
  • Admission to:
    • Royal Yacht Britannia
    • Palace of Holyroodhouse
    • Edinburgh Castle
    • Glamis Castle
  • Ghost and Ghouls Extended Tour in Edinburgh
  • Clay Pigeon Shooting Morning or Afternoon
  • Day long Whisky Distillery Tour, including Private Driver/Guide
  • Visits to (entrance fees not included):
    • Rosslyn Chapel
    • The Real Mary King's Close
    • St. Andrew's Golf Museum
    • Balmoral Castle (3/29 through 7/31)
    • Cruise on Loch Ness
    • Urquhart Castle
    • Cawdor Castle
  • Airport transfer from Glasgow hotel to Glasgow Airport

* Land only, per person price - if airfare required, please inquire with an ATP Vacations Tour Manager. Tour rates will increase in August due to Military Tattoo and peak season.
** Hotels listed in tour description indicate first choice. Equivalent hotels of same star quality and location supplied if first choice unavailable.

All independent tours can be made into group tours for already assembled groups.


Don your kilt and travel through Eastern Scotland as its beautiful countryside and cities inspire and amaze you. With exciting events, wonderful wildlife, amazing attractions and activities, delicious food and drink, and of course, the greatest golf going, there's just so much to see and do in Scotland! From castle hopping to clay pigeon shooting to whisky tasting, you won’t want to miss out on encountering the lovely Scottish people and their hearty and true way of life!



Day 1 - Departure from U.S. to U.K.

Day 2 – Airport transfer from Edinburgh airport to Edinburgh 4 star hotel

Day 3 - Full Scottish breakfast, Rosslyn Chapel, The Real Mary King’s Close, Ghost & Ghouls Extended Tour of Edinburgh, 4-star Edinburgh hotel

Day 4 - Full Scottish breakfast, Royal Yacht Britannia, Palace of Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh Castle, 4-star Edinburgh hotel

Day 5 - Full Scottish breakfast, collect rental car, drive to St. Andrews (St. Andrews golf optional), 5-star St. Andrews hotel

Day 6 - Full Scottish breakfast, drive to Dundee, Glamis Castle, drive to Aberdeen, 5-star Aberdeen hotel

Day 7 - Full Scottish breakfast, Balmoral Castle, 5-star Aberdeen hotel

Day 8 - Full Scottish breakfast, drive to Inverness, visit Loch Ness, Urquhart Castle and Cawdor Castle, 4-star Inverness hotel

Day 9 - Full Scottish breakfast, Culloden Battlefield, clay pigeon shooting, rental car, return, 4-star Inverness hotel

Day 10 - Full Scottish breakfast, full-day Speyside whisky distillery tour with private driver/guide, 4-star Inverness hotel

Day 11 - Full Scottish breakfast, train to Glasgow, 4-star Glasgow hotel

Day 12 - Full Scottish breakfast, Glasgow tour on own, 4-star Glasgow hotel

Day 13 – Full Scottish breakfast, transfer from Glasgow hotel to Glasgow airport, depart or continue on (please inquire for additional tour days)


Detailed Itinerary:

Day 1Departure – Depart on your overnight transatlantic flight.

Day 2 – Welcome to Scotland! – You’ll be met at Edinburgh airport by your driver and taken in to the city of Edinburgh, the inspiring capital of Scotland. 'Edinburgh,' said writer Robert Louis Stevenson, 'is what Paris ought to be'. Take a look around - Edinburgh Castle dominates the city-center skyline and from its ramparts you look down on medieval lanes and elegant, sweeping terraces that hold over a thousand years of history, mystery and tradition, combined with a modern, dynamic city with a distinctively Scottish twist. The day and evening are yours to get acquainted with this extraordinary city. (Edinburgh Hotel: Edinburgh Hilton or 4-star equivalent.)

Day 3 – History and Mystery in Edinburgh – After a full Scottish breakfast, visit the beautiful Rosslyn Chapel, notably featured in the cinematic hit, “The DaVinci Code”. Founded in 1446, the Chapel is in fact only part of the choir of what was intended to be a larger cruciform building with a tower at its center. The Chapel has a deep and turbulent history and displays architecture and carvings that are not to be missed. Afterwards, go back into the city’s center and you’ll find that hidden beneath the Royal Mile lies Edinburgh’s deepest secret: a warren of hidden ‘closes’ where real people lived, worked and died.  For centuries they had lain forgotten and abandoned. The Real Mary King’s Close, Edinburgh’s most famous Close, is where you will experience the sights, sounds and maybe even smells of an amazing street that time forgot.  Where everyday people went about their day to day lives and where you will now walk in their footsteps. Tonight, you’ll be entertained and possibly spooked by Mercat Tours’ Ghosts and Ghouls Extended Tour. By day Edinburgh is a bustling metropolis – but at night the old buildings and narrow closes take on a more sinister air…A long history of murder, torture, hangings and plague has left a haunting legacy on the city's Old Town and ghostly apparitions now walk its streets. End your experience with a complimentary drink in the atmospheric Megget’s Cellar, a candlelit nook located above the Underground Vaults, where the guide will continue to entertain you with eerie tales from Edinburgh’s past. (Edinburgh Hotel: Edinburgh Hilton or 4-star equivalent.)

Day 4 – Royal Edinburgh – Today, after your full Scottish breakfast, you’ll visit the more “royal” places in the city. First, you’re off to the Royal Yacht Britannia. This magnificent ship has played host to some of the most famous people in the world. But, above all, she was home to Her Majesty The Queen and the Royal Family. Next, you’ll take in historic royal Edinburgh with a visit to the Palace of Holyroodhouse. Founded as a monastery in 1128, the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh is The Queen's official residence in Scotland. Situated at the end of the Royal Mile, the Palace of Holyroodhouse is closely associated with Scotland's turbulent past, including Mary, Queen of Scots, who lived here between 1561 and 1567. Successive kings and queens have made the Palace of Holyroodhouse the premier royal residence in Scotland. Today, the Palace is the setting for State ceremonies and official entertaining. Next, it’s Edinburgh Castle, the ancient stronghold which dominates the sky-line of the city of Edinburgh from its position atop Castle Rock. Edinburgh Castle dominates the city of Edinburgh like no other castle in Scotland and over one thousand years of history sit on top of the famous Edinburgh rock. When you see this mighty fortress, you will understand why over a million people per year visit Edinburgh Castle. (Edinburgh Hotel: Edinburgh Hilton or 4-star equivalent.)

Day 5 – “Fore!” St. Andrews  – This morning after your full Scottish breakfast, you collect your rental car (mid-size, automatic transmission, air-conditioned car), leave Edinburgh, and head off to St. Andrews – the home of golf and Scotland’s oldest university, University of St. Andrews! For the golf enthusiast, a trip to St. Andrews is a call home from the mother-ship. (A day of golf at St. Andrews may be arranged upon request – additional fees apply.) For those who are not golf nuts, St. Andrews still has plenty to offer. Visit the university (recently attended by Prince William), or see the beautiful cathedral (once Scotland’s largest building). A visit to the picturesque ruins of St Andrews Castle, standing on a rocky promontory much worn away by the sea, is definitely worth a visit. Tonight, relax in your five-star hotel and soak in the atmosphere of this classic Scottish town. (St. Andrews Hotel: Fairmont, St. Andrews or 5-star equivalent)

Day 6 – Dundee and Aberdeen – After a hearty Scottish breakfast, you continue north, stopping on the way in the fourth largest town in Scotland, Dundee. Dundee is situated near the mouth of the River Tay, in the region of Angus and is also known as the City of Discovery. It was here in 1309 that Robert the Bruce was declared King of the Scots and also the place where William Wallace was educated and committed the first act of murder that caused him to go into hiding. Then it’s on to Glamis Castle in the rolling hills of Angus. Childhood home to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother (d. 30 Mar 2002), Glamis (pronounced Glahmz) Castle gives the appearance of an almost fairy-tale-like castle. The castle’s history, the stunning interior and the beautiful gardens will make a lasting impression and add to a memorable visit. Next, it’s on to your 11 acre home for the next 2 nights, Aberdeen. (Aberdeen Hotel: Marcliffe at Pitfodels or 5-star equivalent)

Day 7 –Aberdeen and Balmoral Castle – After breakfast, you have the opportunity to explore Aberdeen, the third largest city in Scotland. Today, you’ll drive west to Balmoral Castle; the Scottish home of the Royal Family since it was purchased for Queen Victoria by Prince Albert in 1852. (Note: open daily from 10am -5pm from Saturday 29th March until Thursday 31st July.) In addition to seeing everything this beautiful castle has to offer, we recommend enjoying the marked walks through the woods, up Craig Gowan hill overlooking the Castle and along the riverside. These marked walks offer stunning views of the Castle and Estates and pass by some of the commemorative monuments. Return this evening to Aberdeen and enjoy a day well spent and a night of luxury. (Aberdeen Hotel: Marcliffe at Pitfodels or 5-star equivalent)

Day 8 – Inverness & Loch Ness  – Today is about adventure. After breakfast, you’ll set out for a lovely drive from Aberdeen to Inverness, stopping on the way at Cawdor Castle. A superb castle and just what every visitor is looking for ...  Scottish history that you can touch and see and sense for yourself. Cawdor Castle is a splendid house and the home of the Cawdor family to this day.

Next, you’ll see the ruins of Urquhart Castle, alongside Loch Ness. Urquhart was, in its day, one of the largest strongholds of medieval Scotland, and remains an impressive structure, splendidly situated on a headland overlooking Loch Ness. It is also near these castle ruins where the majority of “Nessie” (Loch Ness Monster) sightings occur. Just 2 miles from Urquhart you will find Loch Ness Cruises in Drumnadrochit – we recommend one of these cruises and will happily making bookings on your behalf. (Inverness Hotel: Kingsmills Hotel or 4-star equivalent.)

Day 9 – A Sporting Day – After a hearty full Scottish breakfast, you’ll visit Culloden Battlefield. As the last land battle within the UK, in which King George II’s troops defeated Bonnie Prince Charlie and his Jacobite supporters in 1746, this virtually untouched site is of major international and historical significance. Next, you’ll enjoy the country pursuit of Clay Pigeon shooting set in a beautiful wood in Moray which was part of the original Caledonian Pine Forest. Upon return to Inverness, you will return your rental car as you will no longer need it. After such an exciting day, perhaps an evening relaxing in a local pub is just the thing for tonight’s entertainments. (Inverness Hotel: Kingsmills Hotel or 4-star equivalent.)

Day 10 – A Wee Dram – A full Scottish breakfast will give your stomach a good base for today’s adventure… discovering the Whisky Trail! You’ll find more than half of Scotland’s malt whisky distilleries here, each with its own warm welcome, and an invitation to see, smell, taste and absorb the magic of whisky. No need to worry about driving – that’s why we have hired your own personal driver and guide for the entire day. You’ll be the local expert on “Uisghe Beatha”, the water of life, when you return home. (Inverness Hotel: Kingsmills Hotel or 4-star equivalent.)

Day 11 – Going to Glasgow – After breakfast, you’ll travel south to Glasgow. We’ve arranged for you to take the train for this 3-1/2 hour trip so you can sit back, relax, and take in the view of this phenomenally beautiful country. The day is yours to relax and do exactly as you please. (Glasgow Hotel: Glasgow Hilton or 4-star equivalent.)

Day 12 – Glasgow – The day is yours to explore Glasgow. Glasgow is one of Europe’s most exciting and beautiful destinations, combining the energy and sophistication of a great international city with some of Scotland’s most spectacular scenery. Glasgow is also an architectural dream: Victorian red & honey sandstone, Italianate steeples and medieval spires along with neo-gothic towers and the art nouveau of Charles Rennie Mackintosh decorate the largest city in Scotland. Glasgow has an amazing portfolio of more than twenty museums and galleries – many of them free – including the unique Burrell Collection, stunning Mackintosh House and cool and contemporary Gallery of Modern Art. Retail therapy and international restaurants abound. This is the ideal time to squeeze in your last minute shopping! (Glasgow Hotel: Glasgow Hilton or 4-star equivalent.)

Day 13 – A Fond Farewell – We know you’ll be sad to leave this beautiful country with its warm, friendly people. After a full Scottish breakfast, we have arranged an airport transfer to Glasgow airport. “Beannachd Leat” or as we say in English, Farewell.

* Prices from $3,695/pp based on double occupancy. Single, triple and quadruple occupants will change rate. Final price will be based upon exchange rate at time of booking, and time of year traveling.

** Hotels listed in tour description indicate first choice. Equivalent hotels of same star quality and location supplied if first choice unavailable.


For further information on this tour, contact Across the Pond Vacations at 310-791-6101, or e-mail


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