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A Journey into the Celtic Spirit

Rosslyn to Loch Tay – a fascinating tour into the true spirit of Scotland

April 21st – 24th 2020

Highlights

loch view

  • Discover the mystery and magic of the famous Rosslyn Chapel with its long association with the Holy Grail.
  • Tour an artisan whisky distillery, the oldest in Scotland.
  • Travel through dramatic Highland scenery.
  • Discover the beauty of the Tay valley, the river is the longest in Scotland and its loch one of the deepest, an area rich in neolithic sites and inhabited since ancient times.
  • Explore a little known stone circle and ancient rock art and delve deep into Scottish history.
  • Visit a 14th century castle with a dramatic past, home to one of the oldest clans in Scotland.
  • Find hidden treasure in Scotland’s most sacred, beautiful and remote glen.
  • Visit an ancient loch dwelling and find out what life was like 2500 years ago.
  • Be enthralled by an open air cathedral of trees at the Hermitage, home to some of the tallest native trees in Scotland and dramatic iconic waterfalls.
  • See Scotland at its best and feel its true spirit.

This is a fully guided tour by experts in the landscape interpretation through archaeoastronomy; geomancy, folklore and storytelling bringing the places you visit vividly to life and showing you the hidden secrets of these places.  Your guides for this tour are Scot, a highland bard and Sarah Ewing.

“When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe.”

John Muir

 

Rosslyn detailRosslyn chapel

Full Itinerary

Day 1

Pick up from central Edinburgh by our guide Sarah and travel to our first destination, Rosslyn Chapel.  It is a rare architectural gem with exquisitely carved stonework; it has long been associated with mystery, the Knights Templar and is even said to be home to the Holy Grail. It was made famous by Dan Brown’s book The Da Vinci Code, but there is alot more going on at Rosslyn than is suggested in the book! We will have a guided talk about this extraordinary chapel and time to explore at our leisure, there is so much to see, it is hard to know where to look.

Then travel out of the Lowlands and towards the Highlands of Scotland!  We will have a stop for lunch at the oldest distillery in Scotland, dating back to 17th century.   Their fine restaurant in a lovely setting by the river and a perfect setting to relax in before our whisky experience.  We will have a private tour of the distillery; it really is one of a kind. Everything is done in a traditional way, relying on expert knowledge and a keen eye rather than technology.  It is a wonderful personal place producing top class whisky which we will have a chance to sample.  The smell of the malt with the river running by in a beautiful glen, all just seems to befit a good place to create good whisky and a great place to sample it.  After time to browse in their excellent shop it is onwards again and heading further into the Highlands.  We will traverse rugged glens and remote moorland to finally descend down taking in outstanding views of the Tay valley and up to the enigmatic “fairy mountain” – Shiehallion, one of Scotland’s best known Munros. We arrive at a pretty highland town on the banks of the river Tay, which will be our home for the next three nights. Evening at your leisure, there are many nice places to eat in the evening maybe followed by a dram of whisky!

“O Scotia!  my dear, my native soil!  For whom my warmest wish to Heaven is sent” 

Robert Burns – 1785

Rosslyn ChapelGlen roadDistillery vat

Day 2

After breakfast we meet with our guide Scot for an exciting explore of the many treasures the Tay valley has to hold.  The area has been a major trade route and pilgrimage route from east to west for millennia and it has an incredibly rich history.  There are scattered throughout the valley many very fine examples with Neolithic and Bronze Age monuments. With Scot we will visit some of its best.  We will traverse the length of the Tay, one of the largest and longest lochs in Scotland, passing in the shadow of great Munros , we will explore places off the beaten track with Scot regaling all sorts of incredible stories, folklore and facts about this valley.  There will also be a chance to see the healing stones of St Fillian *.  After a full day out evening at your leisure, maybe a gentle stroll on the banks of the river Tay.

“The mountains are fountains, not only of rivers, but of men.  Therefore we are all, in some sense, mountaineers, and going to the mountains is going home”

John Muir – 1918

  WaterfallsStone circle

Day 3

We meet with Scot and will spend the day exploring Glen Lyon and its mythology. Glen Lyon, is a hidden remote highland glen, the longest enclosed glen in Scotland and its most sacred.  Sir Walter Scott described the glen as the loveliest in Scotland.  It has a great natural beauty and a remoteness of landscape that is felt by the visitor. It was the site of the last Pictish strongholds pre 900AD, home to early Christian sites, a Fairy hill of the Celts, the last continuously kept earth Goddess shrine in Great Britain and legends and talks of Fionn MacCumhal.  It is quite a place.  We will explore these themes with Scot as we journey through the glen.  Return to your accommodation to relax in its wonderful Highland setting.

Evening at your leisure.

“Highest of all, where white peaks glanced, Where glistening streamers waved and dance, 

The wanderer’s eye could barley view 

The summer heaven’s delicious blue; So wondrous wild, the whole might seem 

The scenery of a fairy dream.”

Sir Walter Scott – 1810

Praying Hands of Mary - Glen Lyon Glen LyonScot guiding

Day 4

Morning visit to an ancient loch dwelling on Loch Tay and see what life was like in the area in the early Iron Age, it’s a great insight.  We then venture onto a 14th century castle with a big history, including being a place Bonnie Prince Charlie briefly stayed.  We will have a fully guided and fascinating tour exploring this incredible building.  Afterwards there is a chance to visit the clan’s mausoleum and pre reformation kirk which feels as if the ancestors a very much still alive, containing extraordinary art work, altar and two sanctuary stones.

Then time to explore Aberfeldy with its lovely eateries and great array of independent shops, including a much acclaimed and superb bookshop, specialist tweed shop and art galleries.

We then begin the journey home stopping at an award winning artisan chocolatiers, there is a small interesting museum relating the history of their single origin chocolate which comes from a South Atlantic Island.  To end this wonderful journey we visit some of the tallest native trees in Scotland and spectacular waterfalls.  Its a wonderful place to walk underneath the magnificent canopy.

Then homeward wend to Edinburgh and say farewell to your new found travelling friends.

 

CrannogCastlekirk paintingSanctury stone

 

Farewell to the mountains, high covr’d with snow.

Farwell to the straths and green valleys below;

Farewell to the forests and wild-hanging woods,

Farewell to the torrents and loud-pouring floods. 

Robert Burns – 1789

 

loch

 

Pricing and Booking


The cost of this four day tour is £695. (Please note during our Thanksgiving promotion this price is reduced to £660 – offer ends on 29th November 2019, please quote code Holiday20 when making your booking)

 

A deposit of £250 per person will secure your place on the tour; reservations are accepted on a first come first serve basis.  The balance must be paid in full 3 months (90 days) before the start date of the tour.  If the balance is not paid by this date, we reserve the right to regard the reservation as cancelled.

 

To book this tour, please click on the link below and you will be taken to a registration form and upon completion to the payment page for PayPal’s secure payment to pay your deposit and secure your place on this tour.

 

We very much look forward to welcoming you on your Celtic Spirit journey!

 

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What is included in the tour?

 

  • Extremely comfortable 4 star accommodation that has been carefully selected for high standards of comfort and beautiful locations. Fees are based on double occupancy, single occupancy at extra charge.
  • Intimate tour group 10 people maximum
  • Hearty Scottish breakfasts
  • Lunches as noted on the tour
  • Whisky Tastings
  • Admissions to all attractions listed on the tour itinerary
  • Personal full-time tour guides with expert local knowledge
  • All Transportation

* please note lunches on day 2 and 3 are packed lunches

For more details please see the additional information page

Carved Stone near an Ancient Well

Additional Information

crestWhat is included in the tour?

  • Overnight accommodation in 4 star accommodation that have been carefully selected for high standards of comfort and beautiful locations. Fees are based on double occupancy, single occupancy at extra charge.
  • Intimate tour group 10 people maximum
  • Personal full-time tour guides with expert local knowledge
  • Hearty Scottish breakfasts
  • Lunches as noted on the tour
  • Whisky tastings
  • Admissions to all attractions listed on the tour itinerary
  • All transportation

What is not included?

  • Airfare (we can offer guidance on best ways to book)
  • Expenses before and after the tour
  • Teas, Lunches and dinners (except where specified)
  • Any side trips or excursions guest do outside of the set itinerary
  • Gifts, souvenirs, laundry, cleaning, telephone calls, telexes, faxes, cables, wines, liquors, beer, mineral water, soft drinks and incidental expenditures
  • Porterage – we carry our own bags, always
  • Tips for tour guides, hotel staff

Good to Know

Walks on day 2 and 3 will be on rough tracks and uneven surfaces.

Weather

Scotland is a land of sunshine, mists, wind, rain and anything else it feels like doing.  Conditions can change quickly but tours will not be cancelled due to poor weather. There might be slightly altered itineraries but tours will still go ahead.  The most important thing is to be prepared for all weather conditions to ensure you are comfortable.  Some of the most amazing photos can be taken just before or after storms the light can be incredibly intense and certainly brings you closer to nature!  Highland locals would say it is possible to experience all four seasons in one day and if you don’t like the weather – just wait 20 minutes!

What to bring

  • Waterproof jacket and trousers
  • Walking pole (if required)
  • Sturdy shoes or walking boots
  • Rucksack
  • Diary and paints if you like to record your trip

What is the Cancellation Policy?

In the event of cancellation before 22nd January 2020.  Your deposit will only be refunded if your place is filled by someone else, in which case it will be refunded minus an administration fee.

In the event of cancellation on or after 22nd January 2020 no refunds will be issued unless your place is filled by someone else, in which case it will be refunded minus an administration fee.

All cancellations must be received in writing.

Smoking Policy

Please note all properties we stay in, follow a strict no smoking policy, no smoking is allowed on or near the properties or whilst in transit from site to site.  Scotland has strict no smoking laws.  It is now illegal to smoke in and around accommodation and public interiors. To make it comfortable for all on our tours no smoking is allowed at the tours sites either.

Travel Insurance

We recommend you take out travel insurance.