Tour: GJ - 2013 (GJ) - 2013 / 2014

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Itinerary

DAY 1Arrive in Glasgow, Scotland

Welcome to Glasgow! Check into your hotel. The rest of the day is free to relax in Scotland’s largest city. At 6 pm, meet your Tour Director and traveling companions for a welcome dinner at your hotel. (Dinner)

Glasgow, Scotland Glasgow, Scotland 
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DAY 2Glasgow–Alloway–Carlisle

Start your grand tour of Scotland with interesting Lowland sights: Scottish poet ROBERT BURNS’ BIRTHPLACE and MUSEUM at Alloway, and Gretna Green, where the blacksmith used to wed runaway couples. Step over the border for a guided visit to CARLISLE CASTLE, which has guarded England’s frontier with Scotland since the 11th century. Overnight nearby. (Breakfast, Dinner)

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Gretna Green

Gretna Green


"There are many legends of love that surround Gretna Green – the first town encountered across the Scottish border. For centuries, Gretna Green has been synonymous with elopement and blacksmith marriages, although marriage by a blacksmith is more legend than fact. Until the 18th century, church marriages among the lower classes in Europe were almost unheard of. Instead, lower class weddings were usually looked at as “marriage by declaration.” When England passed the Marriage Act of 1754, establishing church weddings as the only legal form of marriage, a sudden industry began over the border in Scotland, where couples could still wed by declaration. Scottish “blacksmith priests” began working in pubs and inns and the eloping couples came in droves."
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DAY 3Carlisle–Abbotsford–Edinburgh

First, see a section of Hadrian’s Wall, the Roman coast-to-coast defense against marauding northern tribes. On the way back over the Scottish border, glimpses of the house of Mary, Queen of Scots, and Jedburgh ruins. Finally, take a guided tour of Sir Walter Scott’s newly refurbished ABBOTSFORD HOUSE, and after the tour, enjoy a Globus Local FavoriteGlobus Local Favorite CUP OF TEA and SHORTBREAD at the brand new visitors’ center. Overnight in Edinburgh. Don’t miss our optional Scottish evening with Highland dancers, bagpipers, and the Ceremony of the Haggis. (Breakfast)

View over Auld Reekie in Edinburgh, Scotland 
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DAY 4Edinburgh

Morning city sightseeing with a Local Guide introduces you to the 200-year-old “New Town” and famous scientists, inventors, and novelists. In the “Old Town,” drive up the narrow Royal Mile to EDINBURGH CASTLE to admire Scotland’s Crown Jewels, then explore HOLYROOD PALACE (except when the Queen is in residence). The afternoon is free to enjoy the Scottish capital at your own pace. A unique optional experience: board the former Royal Yacht Britannia to see how the Royal Family and crew of 240 lived and worked on board. Dinner rounds off this optional evening. For departures August 3, August 10, and August 17, tickets are included for tonight’s performance of the world-renowned MILITARY TATTOO. (Breakfast)

Enjoy the sounds of bagpipes and drums at the Military Tattoo performance The Edinburgh Castle dominating the skyline of Edinburgh, Scotland Atop the famous Edinburgh rock, the Edinburgh Castle provides panoramic views For over forty years, the Royal Yacht served the British Royal Family.  Britannia is now a unique five-star visitor experience; come and tour five decks of this historic ship. 
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DAY 5Edinburgh–St. Andrews–Pitlochry–Inverness

Over the elegant Forth Road Bridge and through Fife to St. Andrews. Cross the Firth of Tay and via Dundee head into the Highlands with a lunch stop in the Victorian mountain resort of Pitlochry. Then, visit a WHISKY DISTILLERY, nestling in a beautiful pocket glen in the nearby hills, before you drive through the Grampian Mountains to the Highland capital, where you spend the next two nights. (Breakfast, Dinner)

Pitlochry, Scotland 
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DAY 6Inverness. Highlands Excursion

Fascinating visits on today’s excursion. At CULLODEN VISITOR CENTRE the story unfolds of the crushing Hanoverian victory over Bonnie Prince Charlie’s Scottish clans. Then, call at CAWDOR CASTLE, setting for Shakespeare’s Macbeth and home to the Thanes of Cawdor for over 600 years. Back in Inverness, the rest of the day is at leisure. Our recommendation would be to join the Loch Ness Experience optional excursion, which includes a cruise on the loch followed by supper. (Breakfast)

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DAY 7Inverness–Thurso

Continue an unforgettable journey and follow the coast road to majestic DUNROBIN CASTLE, for centuries the seat of the Dukes and Earls of Sutherland. Visit the formal gardens and enjoy a fascinating Globus Local FavoriteGlobus Local Favorite FALCONRY DISPLAY. Before dinner you may want to join an optional excursion to a local pub. (Breakfast, Dinner)

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DAY 8Thurso. Excursion to the Orkney Islands

A fascinating day full of adventure. At John o’Groats, board a FERRY for the 45-minute crossing to South Ronaldsay, one of the Orkney Islands, where a local coach and driver-guide await you. Cross the four Churchill Barriers and overlook Scapa Flow, where the German fleet scuttled itself in World War I. Visit the ITALIAN CHAPEL, built by prisoners of war in 1943 from scrap metal, concrete, and other materials. Then, head for SKARA BRAE, where you see the fascinating remains of a 5,000-year-old Neolithic village and visit SKAILL HOUSE. Yet more highlights: the Ring of Brodgar, the Orkneys’ Stonehenge, and finally Kirkwall, the small and picturesque island capital. Globus Local FavoriteGlobus Local Favorite LUNCH at a typical island restaurant is included. Return to the mainland by FERRY in the late afternoon. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Ring of Brodgar on the Orkney Island 
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DAY 9Thurso–Ullapool–Isle of Skye

A day to sit back and enjoy the breathtakingly wild and unspoiled scenery, some of the finest in Britain. The northern coast is lined with miles of yellow sandy beaches and pretty estuaries, and the hills and mountains take on a purple hue as the summer progresses. This is Scotland at its best! Make a lunch stop in the quaint fishing port of Ullapool. Late-afternoon arrival on the Inner Hebridean Isle of Skye. (Breakfast, Dinner)

Enjoy the panoramic views of Scotland from the Isle of Skye 
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DAY 10Isle of Skye

Striking landscapes, weird rock formations, and dramatic waterfalls will capture your attention on your drive around the Trotternish peninsula. Visit the thatch-roofed cottages at the MUSEUM OF ISLAND LIFE, close to the last resting place of Highland heroine Flora MacDonald. Then, follow the spectacular coast route, stopping for photos of waterfalls and gorges, to the island capital of Portree. On the way back to Broadford, take in the views of the jagged and dark peaks of the Cuillin Hills. (Breakfast, Dinner)

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DAY 11Isle of Skye–Glenfinnan–Isle of Mull

Call at the Clan Donald Centre for a visit to its MUSEUM OF THE ISLES and insight into 13 centuries of clan history before boarding your FERRY at Armadale to sail across the Sound of Sleat. Rejoin the mainland at Mallaig and follow the “Road to the Isles,” passing Glenfinnan. Finally, take the FERRY to the Isle of Mull, where the next two nights are spent. (Breakfast, Dinner)

Isle of Mull, Scotland 
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DAY 12Isle of Mull. Iona Excursion

A leisurely day to relax and enjoy the best of the Scottish western isles. Drive across Mull for a visit to the beautiful and fascinating Isle of Iona. Time to visit the CATHEDRAL and explore the religious settlement before returning to the hotel in the early afternoon. Later, enjoy the drive up to Tobermory for a visit to the quaint island capital. An exciting optional excursion will be available before dinner tonight. (Breakfast, Dinner)

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DAY 13Isle of Mull–Inverarary–Glasgow

The final island FERRY crossing brings you to Oban. Then, over the Pass of Brander and from Inveraray to the “Bonnie Banks” of Loch Lomond. Back in Glasgow this afternoon your orientation city tour takes in the fine 12th-century cathedral, imposing university buildings, and elegant Georgian squares. Time for last-minute shopping before enjoying a farewell dinner at your hotel. (Breakfast, Dinner)

Loch Lomond Loch Lomond Glasgow, Scotland Glasgow, Scotland 
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DAY 14Glasgow

Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (Breakfast)

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