Tour: GJ - 2014 (GJ) - 2014 / 2015

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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–The Trossachs–Stirling–Bannockburn–Edinburgh

Start your grand tour of Scotland with an interesting drive into the picturesque forested region known as The Trossachs. Stop in Aberfoyle, the charming village on the banks of the River Forth, then follow the route along the Lake of Menteith and through Callander to Stirling. Take photographs of the Wallace Monument, testimony to William Wallace’s victory over Edward I of England’s troops at The Battle of Stirling Bridge in 1297, as re-enacted in the film Braveheart. Next, visit STIRLING CASTLE, a great symbol of Scottish independence and favored residence of Scotland’s kings and queens. Today’s final highlight is the new BANNOCKBURN VISITOR CENTRE, commemorating the key battle in the Scottish Wars of Independence on June 23-24, 1314. Drive on to Edinburgh, your base for the next three nights. (Breakfast)

View over Auld Reekie in Edinburgh, Scotland 
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DAY 3Edinburgh

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. Don’t miss our optional Scottish evening with Highland dancers, bagpipers, and the Ceremony of the Haggis. (Breakfast)

Atop the famous Edinburgh rock, the Edinburgh Castle provides panoramic views The Edinburgh Castle dominating the skyline of Edinburgh, Scotland The Holyrood Palace in Edinburgh serves as the offical residence of the Queen 
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DAY 4Edinburgh. Abbotsford Excursion

Today’s excursion brings you into parts of the Scottish Lowlands and Border Counties. Stop first in Peebles, an attractive and bustling town on the Tweed River, before arriving in Melrose for a guided tour of Sir Walter Scott’s newly refurbished ABBOTSFORD HOUSE, which contains an impressive collection of historic relics, weapons, and armor, as well as an extensive library with over 9,000 rare volumes. On your way back to Edinburgh, take your photographs of Melrose Abbey, the burial place of Robert the Bruce’s heart. This afternoon, join 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. (Breakfast)

NOTE:
For departures on August 2, 9 and 16th, 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 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, nestled 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 romantic, fairy-tale CAWDOR CASTLE, set in stunning grounds with beautiful gardens and home to the Thanes of Cawdor since 1370. Back in Inverness, the rest of the day is at leisure. Our recommendation for this afternoon would be to join the Loch Ness Experience optional excursion, which includes a cruise on the loch. (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. After Globus Local FavoriteGlobus Local Favorite a light LUNCH at the Tasting Hall café, take a guided tour of the award-winning ORKNEY BREWERY and sample the local ale. 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. 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–Inveraray–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 
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DAY 14Glasgow

Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (Breakfast)

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