The Edinburgh Festival is a generic term used to describe the cultural explosion in August each year. Since the late 1940s Edinburgh has become a hotspot for artistic talent beginning with the International Festivaland the Fringe. The summer programme has grown with the Edinburgh Book Festival, the largest book festival in the world, the Edinburgh Film Festival, a world renowned showcase of cinematic talent and the Military Tattoo in the magnificent backdrop of Edinburgh Castle. The Jazz festival starting in late July and the Edinburgh Mela in the last days of August bookend a phenomenal six weeks of arts and culture in the city. Hogmanay is the world's most famous celebration of New Year, the Edinburgh Science festival is a springtime journey of discovery in its own right and the Children's Festival starts the summer with playful exuberance. It's no wonder that Edinburgh has truly become the FESTIVAL CITY.
Proposed Scotland Itinerary
Day 1 Depart USA
Your trip begins with an overnight transatlantic flight to Scotland. Relax and enjoy the in-flight meal service and onboard entertainment.
Day 2 Glasgow
Upon arrival at Glasgow airport, collect your luggage and proceed to the arrivals hall. A representative will be there to meet you and direct you to your first hotel. In the afternoon we shall take a city tour, passing Glasgow Cathedral: a magnificent medieval structure built in the 14th century. You are free this evening to further enjoy this wonderful city. Maybe a closer look at the monuments in George Square, shopping in Buchanan Street, a leisurely walk in the Glasgow Green or a visit to one of the many fine pubs. This evening we shall enjoy a Welcome Reception followed by evening dinner together. (D)
Day 3 Loch Lomond/Glencoe/Inverness
After breakfast, we visit the “Bonnie, bonnie banks of Loch Lomond” where we will stop for a short cruise on this famous Loch. So much myth, legend, and history precedes a visit to the expanse of Glencoe and Loch Leven, that many visitors are unprepared for the sheer beauty and breathtaking serenity of this vast sweeping pass. We will pass Urquhart Castle, a stronghold on a rocky peninsula overlooking Loch Ness, where we will stop for pictures. Continuing on to Inverness, the capital of the highlands and our hotel tonight, we shall enjoy evening dinner together. (B, D)
Day 4 Inverness
After a leisurely breakfast, we visit a local kilt maker where we can learn all about the famous tartans’ (plaids) and then continue on to the famous Culloden Battlefield where Bonnie Prince Charlie’s army was defeated by the government troops in 1746. This afternoon, take the time to explore Inverness with its suspension bridges across the River Ness, old stone buildings and Ben Wyvis soaring above the skyline. This evening, we will have dinner together in a local area restaurant. (B, D)
Day 5 Aberdeen
This morning, after breakfast, we depart Inverness for Aberdeen. First, we will stop to visit a Scottish shepherd at work with his faithful sheepdog. We then continue along the coastal road to Nairn and Elgin, before traveling south into Aberdeen. Upon arrival in Aberdeen, we will have a panoramic tour before checking into our hotel. Enjoy dinner at the hotel and, tonight, we will enjoy an evening of barbershop harmony with the locals of Aberdeen. (B, D)
Day 6 Glamis Castle/St. Andrews
This morning, we will depart Aberdeen and travel south. Along the way we will stop to tour Glamis Castle, the childhood home of Queen Elizabeth. We continue our drive into ancient St. Andrew’s, the birthplace of golf. See St. Andrew’s University, founded in 1413, and the oldest university in Scotland. There will be time in the quaint village of St. Andrew’s which is full of traditional Scottish craft shops, pubs and restaurants, or perhaps you will prefer exploring the ruins of St. Andrew’s Cathedral. We travel on to the imposing city of Edinburgh and our downtown hotel. Tonight, we will enjoy dinner at the hotel prior to attending the sold out event of the Edinburgh Tattoo. Enjoy pipes and drums as you have never heard them before in the outdoor setting of Edinburgh Castle. (B, D)
Day 7 Edinburgh City
This morning’s tour takes us along Princes Street with its fine shops and through the lovely Georgian squares and terraces of the new town. We continue along the historic Royal Mile to the palace of Holyrood, the official Scottish residence of Her Majesty the Queen. Our tour concludes at Edinburgh Castle where we will enjoy a lunch in the castle before we view the Scottish Crown Jewels and take in the breathtaking views of the city from the castle ramparts. This evening you are free to enjoy the city for a lighter dinner before we meet with barbershop singers from the Edinburgh area enjoy a farewell get-together and evening of song. (B, L)
Day 8 Depart Edinburgh
Following breakfast, we leave for Edinburgh International Airport. As you board your flight and leave for home, you’ll take with you many wonderful memories of a beautiful country, and warm friendly people. [B]
Merry Ole England
Sound Assembly Chorus sings in the Chapel at Blenheim Palace, in Oxfordshire, UK, Birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill.