Hidden Scotland

Rosslyn to Loch Tay – an exploration of sacred sites in the Heart of Scotland

25th – 28th June 2019

Highlights

  • Discover the mystery and magic of the famous Rosslyn Chapel, glen and castle.  Be amazed that such a wild place is so close to Edinburgh.
  • Have a tour of an artisan gin distillery and taste their delicious, colour changing gins, located in a beautiful Secret Herb Garden.
  • 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. 
  • 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 in the Tay valley and beautiful rare medieval paintings in a 16th century church.
  • Be enchanted by a magnificent holy well hidden high up cliffs in a cave in a highland glen. 
  • Visit an ancient loch dwelling and find out what life was like 2500 years ago.
  • Tour a highland farm who lovingly care for rare and native breeds and explore how the land was used in ancient times, visiting old shielings, ancient hut circles and field systems. Delicious refreshments transported for you on a Shetland pony!
  • Take a trip round a renowned highland whisky distillery and visit an artisan chocolatiers.

This is a fully guided tour by experts in the landscape interpretation through 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 Grahame Gardener and Sarah Ewing.

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

John Muir

 

Full Itinerary

Day 1

Pick up from Edinburgh and travel to our first destination, Rosslyn Glen. We will be met by our guide Scot who will take us on an exciting exploration of this most beautiful and magical of glens.  He will show us some of its hidden wonders, relating some of the many tales surrounding this mysterious glen and castle. 

We then venture onto 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.  We will have a guided talk about the chapel and time to explore at our leisure. 

Then travel to a secret garden for a delicious lunch in their amazing glasshouse.   We will then have a tour around the gardens with the owner, who will explain how using the organic herbs grown there has fined tuned their award winning gins. He will  explain the properties of the herbs used in the gin and why they change colour when you add tonic water! We also visit the drying room, the smell is simply divine in there! The gardens are set within 7.5 acres by a stream and a very enjoyable place to wander around at your leisure.  Then on to your stylish accommodation and evening at your leisure, maybe with a tot of gin!

“Where the forest murmurs there is music, ancient, everlasting”  – Fiona MacLeod

Day 2

After breakfast we make our way North to visit some of the tallest native trees in Scotland and spectacular waterfalls.  We will meet with your guide Grahame who will explain the significance of this place as we walk underneath the magnificent canopy. Then onto lunch on the banks of the majestic river Tay.  After lunch, Grahame leads us to explore a very special little stone circle hidden in the Tay valley and a chapel with beautiful medieval paintings, one of only two surviving sites like it in Scotland. Grahame will explain the origins and significance of these places.  Our final trip of the day is to a Highland distillery for a whisky tasting and tour. On to our comfortable accommodation in a pretty highland town with many nice places for an evening meal, possibly finished off with a dram from the distillery!

“Imitate the magnificent trees that speak no words of their rapture, but breathe largely the luminous breeze.”

D.H. Lawrence

 

 

“I sat staring, staring, staring – half lost, learning a new language or rather the same language in a different dialect. So still were the big woods where I sat sound might not yet have been born.” Emily Carr

Day 3

We meet with our guide Grahame and 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.  Next we venture onto one of the valleys most notable stone circles.  Grahame will explain its astronomical alignments and the significance of its siting.

After lunch on the shore of the beautiful Loch Tay, we head off to explore an ancient well site perched high above the valley floor, this is a fairly long steep walk, but the atmosphere at the well is incredible, a truly beautiful and tranquil place. The place is entwined in folklore as a wishing well, but also the haunt of dragons!  There are striking cup and ring mark stones nearby, your guide Grahame will explain the geomantic nature of this ancient place. We will allow for some tranquil time by the well. 

Evening at your leisure.

Day 4

Morning visit to a specialist rare and native breed farm for a wonderful tour of their land, accompanied by one of their Shetland ponies to provide delicious refreshments.   You will get a fascinating insight into how the land was cultivated and used in ancient times with outstanding views of the Tay valley and up to the enigmatic “fairy mountain” – Shiehallion, one of Scotland’s best known Munros.

Then time to explore the pretty town of Aberfeldy and its independent shops including a superb bookshop, a specialist tweed shop and art galleries.

To end this wonderful journey we visit an award winning artisan chocolatiers for a sample of their delicious hand crafted chocolates, there is a small interesting museum relating the history of their single origin chocolate which comes from a South Atlantic Island.

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

 

 

 “The earth has music for those who listen”   William Shakespeare

Pricing and Booking

The total cost of this 4 day/3 night tour is £675. This price is based on double occupancy, some rooms are available on a single occupancy basis on request for an extra fee.

A deposit of £150 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 2 months (60 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 journey through Hidden Scotland!

 

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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 12 people maximum
  • Hearty Scottish breakfasts
  • Lunches as noted on the tour
  • Whisky and Gin Tastings 
  • Admissions to all attractions listed on the tour itinerary
  • Personal full-time tour guides with expert local knowledge
  • All Transportation

 

For more details please see the additional information page

Carved Stone near an Ancient Well

Additional Information

What 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 12 people maximum
  • Personal full-time tour guides with expert local knowledge
  • Hearty Scottish breakfasts
  • Lunches as noted on the tour
  • Whisky and gin tastings 
  • Chocolate encounter
  • 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

What is the Activity Level of the tour?

This is an active tour with considerable walking, standing and outdoor exploring. Guests should be in good health and able to…

  • Walk on uneven pavement and open fields at least 2 miles
  • Scramble up rocks
  • Carry your own luggage
  • Be on your feet for 3 to 5 hours over the course of the day
  • Ride comfortably in a minibus for several hours at a stretch

Good to Know

Walks in Rosslyn glen are all on rough paths.

The walk to the well is up a steep path and on an uneven surface.  The walk to the well takes approximately 20 minutes up hill.

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 26th April 2019.  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 26th April 2019 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.