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Guided Tours

Here are some sample tours with Sylvia:

edinburgh glasgow tour

Edinburgh and Glasgow city tours

A half or whole day tour of Edinburgh and Glasgow can include the following:

Edinburgh Castle, the great fortress dominating the city centre and home to the Scottish crown jewels.
The Palace of Holyroodhouse where Mary, Queen of Scots lived during her short reign and currently the Queen’s official residence in Edinburgh.
The controversial modern architecture of the new Scottish Parliament building
The medieval Old Town with its narrow lanes and wynds which contrast with the elegant neo-classical Georgian architecture of the New Town.

Glasgow is a city of fine Victorian architecture including the art nouveau architect and artist Charles Rennie Mackintosh. Glasgow was at the forefront of industrialisation in Britain during the 19th century and was famous for its shipbuilding industry. The wealth earned through these industries is reflected in the quality of the city buildings.
It is a friendly city with excellent shopping, reputedly the best outside London, and many fine art collections and museums e.g. Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum and the Burrell Collection.

 

soctland tour inverness glencoe great glen

Inverness, the Great Glen and Glencoe

A visit to this area can include some of the following:

Inverness is the capital of the Highlands and is built around the river Ness which has several interconnected islands.
Inverness Castle overlooks the river. The city centre is pedestrianised and easy to explore.

Outside of Inverness there is the awesome Fort George, built to control the Highlands after the 1745 Rebellion.

Cawdor Castle, built around a 14th century towerhouse with beautiful gardens.

Culloden Moor where the last battle on British soil was fought in 1746.

Loch Ness and on a promontory Castle Urquhart which is a picturesque ruin famous for “Nessie” sightings.

The Caledonian Canal. This great engineering work joins the North Sea with the Atlantic Ocean through the Great Glen and was constructed in the early 19th century long before the Panama Canal.

Spean Bridge where Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in Britain at 4406ft/1344m, can be viewed.

Fort William, a small town at the end of the Great Glen and in the shadow of Ben Nevis.

Glencoe is a dramatic brooding valley where members of Clan Macdonald were massacred by Clan Campbell soldiers in 1692.

 

skye hebrides tour

Isle of Skye and the Hebrides

A tour of Skye can include some of the following...

Armadale Castle Gardens and the Museum of the Isles which tells the story of Clan Macdonald and their rise in power to become the Lords of the Isles.

Portree, the picturesque capital of the island built round a natural harbour.

The Black Cuillin mountains with their famous, jagged peaks and the magnificent rock scenery of The Storr and The Quirang.

Dunvegan Castle, home of the Macleod Clan Chiefs for over 700 years.

Uig where the ferries depart for the islands of North Uist and Harris.

The Isle of Raasay which is easily identified by its extinct volcano Dun Caan.


oban mull tour

Oban and islands of Mull, Iona and Staffa

A tour to this area can include some of the following...

Oban
McCaig’s Tower on Pulpit Hill. An austere 19th century copy of the Coliseum financed by an Oban banker to give work to unemployed people but it was never completed.
Dunollie Castle which stands guard over the entrance to Oban bay.
Dunstaffnage Castle, a 13th century fortress built by the clan Macdougall.

Mull
Duart Castle, a 13th century castle overlooking the Sound of Mull and used recently as a film location for “Entrapment” with Sean Connery and Catherine Zeta Jones.
Tobermory, the prettiest port on the west coast with tall, brightly painted houses.

Iona
The island where St Columba arrived with 12 companions in 563 AD on his mission to Christianise the people of Scotland.
Iona Abbey, the Nunnery and Reilig Oran (royal cemetery) are all part of the religious settlement.

Staffa
Fingal’s Cave, surrounded by hexagonal basalt rocks and where the crashing of the waves inspired Mendelssohn to write his Overture.


northern highlands tour

Northern Highlands

A visit to this area can include some of the following:

Ullapool, a resort for all seasons situated on Loch Broom.

Inverewe Gardens created by Osgood Mackenzie and filled with many exotic plants which is surprising as the latitude is similar to that of Leningrad.

Dornoch has miles of sandy beaches and a championship golf course.

Dornoch Cathedral dates back to the 13th century and holds the dubious honour of having been chosen by Madonna for her second wedding.

Dunrobin Castle, the ancestral home of the Earls and Dukes of Sutherland set on a terrace overlooking the sea.  They have a fine collection of paintings and the formal gardens are a joy to visit in summer.

The Castle of Mey is a 16th century Z plan castle and was the private residence of the late Queen Mother. It looks over the stormy waters of the Pentland Firth.


St Andrews and Fife tour

St Andrews and Fife

A tour to this area can include visits to some of the following:

Fishing villages of the East Neuk (east corner) of Fife with their small harbours.

The Royal and Ancient Golf Course in St Andrews is the most famous golf course in the world dating back to the 18th century. St Andrews was an important religious centre up to the Reformation in the 16th century
The ruins of St Andrews Cathedral and the Bishops Castle are well worth a visit.

St Andrews University is the oldest in Scotland and was founded in 1410.

Falkland Palace which was a favourite hunting lodge of Mary Queen of Scots.

Fairy tale Glamis Castle where the late Queen Mother spent her childhood and which William Shakespeare made the setting for his play Macbeth.

 

stirling trossachs tour

Stirling and the Trossachs

A visit can include some or all of the following...

Stirling Castle, a dramatic fortress and royal residence built high up on a crag.

Argyll’s Lodging which is an excellent example of a 17th century town mansion.

The Wallace Monument which is dedicated to William Wallace the national hero. The film 'Braveheart' by Mel Gibson was based on his life.

The Trossachs is an area of great scenic beauty where the mountains and wooded slopes are reflected in the water of several lochs. The whole area was opened up to tourism by Sir Walter Scott in the 19th century through his book 'Rob Roy' and poem 'The Lady of the Lake'

Callander is a bustling village with plenty of shops and restaurants.

The Duke’s Pass is a beautiful road which winds over the hills to Aberfoyle. It is an old toll road built by the Duke of Montrose when he saw the first tourists arriving in the area.


whisky tour

Whisky tours on Islay

The distilleries of your choice can be visited.

Islay is the place to go if you enjoy malt whisky. There are seven distilleries on the island and the whisky produced here is famous for its distinctive peaty taste. The flavour is among the strongest of all the whisky regions. Today Islay produces about four million gallons of whisky a year, the bulk of which is exported overseas.

Ardbeg has a strong smoky flavour and is considered one of the finest Islay malts.
Bunnahabhain means “mouth of the river”. It is a mellow whisky with a soft, smooth flavour.
Bruichladdich is a subtle malt and less medicinal in flavour than other Islay whiskies.
Bowmore is the oldest legal distillery on Islay. It is a good malt for newcomers to try.
Lagavulin has a dry peaty smoke flavour with a touch of sweetness.
Laphroaig is a classic Islay malt with a trace of seaweed in its strongly peaty flavour.
Caol Isla overlooks the Sound of Islay which is the English translation of its name. It has a pleasant dry taste and is less peaty than others.

There is not one particular malt whisky that could be considered the best. It is a personal choice and there are malt whiskies to suit all tastes.


Specialist tours can be organized e.g. Clan roots, Golf, Castles, Gardens or film locations in the footsteps of Harry Potter, Rob Roy or Braveheart.

All tours are flexible (within reason) to allow you to experience the unexpected and unplanned delights of the countryside i.e. ceilidhs, highland games, pipe bands or meeting the people at the local pub.

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