Here you can quickly find answers to your own questions. Important: if you ever feel undecided or have further questions, please call us on 0044-1620-890 908. We will call you back! Through direct contact with us your personal wishes can best be taken into account in the planning of your tour and your individual holiday extension. With us you will always find a ready ear for your questions.
Questions before Booking
Questions after booking a tour
– Do I need a valid passport?
– Does Rob Roy Tours do guided group tours and individual tours?
With us you can take two kinds of tours – a guided tour with a friendly tour guide or an individual self-guided tour.
You can enjoy two kinds of tour with us – guided and self guided. Our guided tours allow you intimate encounters and contacts with the nature and culture, history and people of the Scottish regions. No longer will your experiences be those of an outsider looking in, but you will become a part of the country you are visiting. This applies equally to our self guided tours in which you travel independently, but of course without a tour leader acting as intermediary, contact, knowledgeable informant and trusted friend.
– Who leads the tours?
– I have never been on a guided group tour. How independent can I be travelling with a Rob Roy Tours group, and who will be on the tour?
Independent minded travellers appreciate our small groups and our self guided tours with their emphasis on individual attention and choice. You will meet friendly, like-minded people. Through shared experiences and social activities barriers disappear and new friendships blossom.
You will find our English speaking and international groups consist of an interesting and companionable mixture of couples and singles. Ages generally range from about 27 to 77. When you explore our web pages you will see some programmes are particularly well suited to singles, while others have families or a particular age group in mind.
– I would like to travel with an international group. Has Rob Roy Tours international English speaking groups for those interested in meeting people from other cultures?
Yes. Our tourists in international groups will typically want to make friends with English speakers and practise their English on you, and will be delighted to respond to your interest in their language and culture. All tours are international with English-speaking tour guides. If you want to travel in an international group, but are unsure about it, please ask us.
Often groups are bi-lingual, with the guide using English and another language, depending on the composition of the group.
– Can I go walking in Scotland without a guide?
With the detailed route descriptions provided for our self-guided tours you can hike through the beautiful Scottish countryside without a guide. Entrust yourself to the experience and competence of the specialists.
If you want to walk completely alone and on your own initiative, you should take note of the following. The Scottish mountains are not high in comparison with the Alps or the Rockies, but they should not be underestimated. You must be aware that you will be travelling through the last great wilderness of Europe with many featureless areas of moorland. It is possible to walk all day without meeting another human being. A particular problem is posed by rivers and streams without bridges and the incredibly rapid onset of bad weather, so that suddenly one loses one’s bearings. In addition, there are scarcely any signposts or way markings for walkers. The route descriptions in many guidebooks are, unfortunately, often useless and sometimes dangerous, since you will not find signposts in the countryside. Only those trained in the use of map and compass should venture into these areas without local guidance.
– What means of transport do we have on the tours?
For most tours we have our modern, comfortable minibuses which are the right size for most of our small groups. Besides, our minibuses have relatively low fuel consumption which fits in well with our concern for the environment .
We often use train connections on the famous West Highland Line or beautiful trips by ferry, which cuts down on the use of our own bus, thus increasing opportunities for your enjoyment of the country, its land and people, while at the same time showing care for the environment.
On walking tours we choose accommodation whose situation frequently allows us to go on walks directly from the front door. When a transfer is required, we often order our own tour bus, or alternatively enjoy making a train, public bus or ferry journey through romantic surroundings.
– How much do the climate and the colours of the landscape vary through the year?
Forget the myth that it always rains in Scotland! The mild, soft climate is influenced by the warmth of the Gulf Stream. Often a light breeze blows, and the summer temperatures are not too hot for pleasant walking. When it rains, it is usually in the form of showers. It doesn’t rain for days, or even all day, as it does, for example, in central Europe.
The easiest way to describe the climate is to say that here it is always early spring, sometimes a bit warmer, sometimes cooler, but always very mild. The cloud shadows on the hills paint a constantly changing landscape picture and produce contrasts of light and shade such as photographers dream about. Between May and October is ideal walking weather.
In May you can experience masses of wild flowers and incredibly colourful scenes in the Highlands and Islands. The gorse colours the land in brilliant yellow. The intense blue of wild hyacinths can be seen everywhere. June above all brings landscapes made brilliant by the colours of rhododendron flowers, ranging from white through pink to deep purple. Here rhododendrons grow wild and tall everywhere in the woods. In early summer in the North Atlantic the light scarcely fades. The evening atmosphere is prolonged by an enchanting luminescence that only towards midnight fades slowly from an idyllic and spectacular sunset into a romantic half light.
In July and August you experience many beautiful colours, but the emerald green of the Highlands and the deep blue of the lochs brings a new dimension to the landscape. You can easily identify as many as thirty different shades of green. Already at the beginning of July the bell heather starts to flower; at the end of August the ling, the commonest heather of Scotland, blooms. It is impossible to describe in words the brilliant purple of the hillsides. Our walks go through the midst of this extraordinarily transformed Highland landscape. From the middle of September our Indian Summer begins, coming to a climax in mid October. The bracken changes to rust red and shades of brown, the many deciduous trees such as birch, rowan and maple are clothed in brightly coloured leaves. The heather remains violet and the coarse grasses change to deep yellows. The profound tones and intense colours of a great landscape oil painting only come near to the reality.
– Is the journey to Scotland or Ireland included in the holiday?
No, you must organise the arrival yourself, though we are happy to help you with advice. Arrivals and departures are mostly at weekends. All tours end so as to allow you conveniently to combine one with another, and we can give you help free of charge with organising your holiday extension in a holiday home, hotel or bed and breakfast accommodation.
– Where do tours start and finish?
Most tours start in Edinburgh or Glasgow and finish in the same place. We collect you from the airport or at a mutually pre-arranged meeting point, and take you back at the end of the tour to the airport.
– Can I arrive by car?
Often holiday makers come in their own car and stay longer in Scotland after their tour. We advise them where best to park the car for the duration of the tour. On tours confined to one locality you can park your car at the hotel and use it for excursions as you wish. We will be happy to help you free of charge with the organisation of a holiday extension in a holiday home, hotel or bed and breakfast accommodation.
– What is included in the price?
Accommodation and breakfast in good small hotels, most or all evening meals, sometimes packed lunches, all transfers and transport of people and their luggage, the services of a tour guide, most or all entry fees and much more. Please read the tour description of the particular tour to find out exactly what is included in the tariff. It is important that you should not be worried about anything once on our tours.
– Which of the Rob Roy Tours walking tours can I manage? How long are the walks?
Basically all our walks are more about the enjoyment of the countryside rather than mountain sports. Mind you, you can also do more strenuous hiking with us. The description of each tour will give you precise information.
When all is said and done, you don’t need to be an experienced walker, but just to be fit. For your chosen walking tour you should come with the energy and willingness to walk for at least 3 or 5 hours. Anyone who wants to prepare can do so by taking leisurely long walks at home. Thus as you walk you will be able better to appreciate all the beauties of the landscape and forget any worries about your endurance or the discomfort of your still unbroken-in walking boots. By preparing beforehand you improve endurance and not speed, which is fine, since it doesn’t matter if you get back to the hotel from a walk one hour early or one hour late.
If you feel at all uncertain, please call us on 0044-1620-890 908. We will call you back!
– How can I book a tour?
You can easily, very quickly and simply book a tour with us in one of the following ways:
1 ) You complete a straightforward online booking form
2) You print a booking form and post or fax it to us
3) You telephone us on 0044-1620-890 908
4) You simply send us a brief message by e-mail, post or fax
– When and how can I pay for my tour?
You can pay easily and simply directly into our bank account using a banker’s draft or with a credit card.
1) Payment by banker’s draft. Together with our confirmation of your booking we will send an invoice for the deposit of £100.00 per person. You will transfer the balance at least six weeks before departure.
2) Payment by credit card
For security you may give us your card 16 digit card number by telephone or fax on tel/fax: 0044-1620-890 908, or you can send the 16 digit card number in two separate e-mails, 8 digits at a time. We need the name of the bank or company that issued the card and the expiry date as well as the name of the card holder (as it appears on the card). You authorise us to deduct the deposit of £100.00 per person from your card account, and, up to six weeks prior to departure, to deduct the outstanding balance.
– Where can I book my flight?
We will be happy to advise you on a suitable flight. Please call us on 0044-1620-890 908. We will call you back!
Essentially, your local travel agent is a good place to book your flights. Travel agents get only a small commission on flights. Please call three or four travel agents to get the best offer. Think about the planned time for the group transfer from the airport in Scotland. If you are taking a long distance flight, you may wish to consider arriving a day early and staying overnight in a convenient hotel to avoid possible delays or the effects of jet lag on the first day of your holiday. We can book overnight accommodation for you. Please ask us.
It is also easy and effective to book on the internet. Often these flights are good value, especially if you are travelling within Europe. For domestic and those coming from another European country useful internet addresses are:
Direct flights from
London Gatwick, Luton and Stansted – Edinburgh, Glasgow
Bristol – Edinburgh, Glasgow
Belfast – Edinburgh, Glasgow
Munich – Edinburgh, Glasgow
Berlin – Glasgow
Munich – Edinburgh
Amsterdam – Edinburgh
Direct flights from
Birmingham, Bournemouth, Bristol, East Midlands, Liverpool,
Newcastle, Cork, Kerry, Shannon – Glasgow Prestwick
Frankfurt Hahn, Bremen, Düsseldorf, Berlin and Memmingen – Glasgow Prestwick
Dublin – Edinburgh
Direct flights from
Frankfurt, Hamburg – Edinburgh
Munich – Glasgow
London City, Gatwick and Heathrow – Edinburgh, Glasgow
Direct flights from
Birmingham, Bournemouth, Cardiff, London Gatwick, Manchester, Norwich,
Southampton, Belfast, Guernsey, Jersey, Isle of Man – Edinburgh, Glasgow
– Am I insured on the tour?
Of course as tour operators we have public liability insurance, but no personal insurance is included the tour prices.
We strongly recommend you take out a comprehensive travel insurance policy with cover for accident or illness; medical emergency; repatriation costs; loss of luggage, money or personal possessions; personal liability; cancellation or delay of travel arrangements; and cancellation or curtailment of your holiday. (please see Terms and Conditions for particulars). A comprehensive travel insurance policy need not cost much and gives great peace of mind. You can easily obtain travel insurance from your travel agent or directly from an insurance company. Perhaps you can best take out insurance when you book your flight. You will get further information with our booking confirmation.
– Have I got health insurance on my tour?
As a traveller in the United Kingdom you are automatically insured against health emergencies. Repatriation costs are not covered, nor any treatment whatsoever that might be needed until your return home. The answer is a travel insurance policy that includes health insurance. If you are taking prescribed drugs, it is advisable to carry a copy of your prescription (described by the generic name) together with a cover letter from your doctor, just in case you need additional supplies.
FOR WALKING TOURS: should you suffer from a medical condition, we request you to consult your general practitioner about the decision to participate. In any case, you must inform your tour guide of any illness in advance. This applies also to conditions such as asthma and diabetes.
– Where can I obtain travel insurance?
You can easily obtain travel insurance from your travel agent or directly from an insurance company. Perhaps you can best take out insurance when you book your flight. You will get further information with our booking confirmation.
– Has Rob Roy Tours a large, attractively presented catalogue?
No, we aim to avoid the waste of precious natural resources, and publish detailed tour literature only on this internet site. We do not print an expensive, wasteful glossy catalogue.
Along with protecting the environment you have the added advantage that we pass on cost savings directly to you! We offer you as Rob Roy Tours customers even better value for money.
We will be delighted to post or fax you a selection of black and white copies of the most attractive Rob Roy Tours holidays or particular tour descriptions which are of special interest to you
– Do hotel or restaurant chefs cater for vegetarians, vegans or allergics?
Yes, absolutely. For instance, there is always a vegetarian dish offered as one of the choices on the menu. The chefs will be happy to attend to your special dietary needs if given prior notice. They can usually be alerted by us to particular sensitivities or allergies beforehand at the planning stage of your holiday. Please ask us.
– Will the tour programme be adhered to exactly?
The basis of your tour is your detailed description of the itinerary. Naturally your tour guide will try to follow the programme exactly. Nevertheless we reserve the right for ourselves and the guide under extreme weather conditions or other unforeseeable circumstances to make an on the spot decision to follow an alternative programme. This will be done in the interests of your safety.
– I am travelling on my own. Can I share a twin room?
You can make this request by ticking a box on our booking form. We will try to find a person of the same sex to share your room and will invoice you initially only for half the price of a twin room. Through our direct contact with our customers we often know personally the rooming partner we would suggest to you. We will let you know of the situation at least one week before departure. If we unfortunately cannot find someone to share, you can still pay us the single room supplement just before the start of the tour.
– Can I book more than one tour at the same time?
In most instances you can coordinate the end of one Rob Roy Tours holiday with the start of another. In addition we are happy to advise you on and help you with the organisation of your own personal holiday extension in a hotel or castle hotel, as well as in a B&B or self catering accommodation.
– I would like to stay longer than just for one tour. Do Rob Roy Tours holidays lend themselves easily to being combined with one another?
Yes. You can easily combine most of our tours with others. You will find in the tour descriptions precise information which will enable you to see which other tours can be combined with the tour of your first choice. In all tour descriptions you will find this information quite far down and immediately under the heading “Departure Dates”. Usually (but unfortunately not always) we can offer you a price reduction of between 5 and 10% on a second booking. Please ask us!
– Will Rob Roy Tours organise a personal holiday extension for me before and after my tour?
We are happy to advise you on and help you with the organisation of your own personal holiday extension in a hotel or castle hotel, as well as in a B&B or self catering accommodation.
This is a special service we offer our clients which does not necessarily earn us any money. We do it because we are pleased when happy customers willingly recommend our tours to others. And you will be pleased with the best possible advice and a genuinely good price that you would not get elsewhere.
Please make your selection here, for example from accommodation in Edinburgh, to excellent Highland hotels, to a sheep farm, about which our clients have always been enthusiastic.
You will always find us ready listeners to any requests you may have, however unusual.
– Can I go swimming in Scotland?
Yes, there is good swimming in Scotland. This results from the Gulf Stream on the West Coast and the islands, with fabulous white sandy beaches much better suited to bathing than the colder North Sea and the Highland lochs (besides which, as you surely know already, some lochs contain monsters).
– Which of the guided tours are specially popular with couples, singles or families?
You will find in our English speaking and international groups a very pleasant and interesting blend of singles and couples from about 27 to 77 years old. In that sense some of our programmed tours or tours restricted to certain groups are especially suited to singles or families, or to a particular age group.
When you search our website you will get detailed information from each of the tour descriptions. Or call us on 0044-1620-890 908. We will call you back! Through direct contact we can most effectively attend to your own personal wishes in the planning of your tour.
– Are the tours suitable for children?
Some tours are extremely well suited to children and others unfortunately not so well. Basically you can bring your children on all of our tours. That said, when everything is taken into consideration, some walking tours are really unsuitable for children under 12. In any event parents have full responsibility in every respect for children under 18. Tour leaders will not take children on walks unless accompanied by someone with parental responsibility.
An exception is our single centre holiday “In the Heart of Scotland” which is excellent for families with children. For a longer holiday you could, for example, ideally book this tour with a one week stay on a sheep farm. Or perhaps you would be interested in a child-friendly hotel or holiday home in a neighbourhood where your child could be in contact with other young people. The easiest thing to do is to call us with your own personal requirements on 0044-1620-890 908. We will call you back!
On all tours children up to 12 years old get a 50% price reduction if they always share their parents’ room. This applies to a maximum of two children sharing a room with parents. Sometimes the price reduction can apply up to 15 years old. Please ask us.
– What happens if I have to cancel my booking?
We recommend you take out travel insurance to cover yourself against having to withdraw from a tour. In that way you will be protected against having to meet all cancellation costs yourself. If you cancel a tour and cannot find someone to take your place, you will have to meet a proportion of the resulting cancellation costs yourself. You can find details in our Terms and Conditions.
You can eliminate this risk completely by taking out a travel insurance policy that includes cover for withdrawal costs. For a small sum you can obtain peace of mind.
You can easily obtain travel insurance from your travel agent or directly from an insurance company. Perhaps you can most conveniently take out insurance when you book your flight. You will get further information with our booking confirmation.
– What happens if Rob Roy Tours Ltd has to cancel the tour after accepting my booking?
Some Rob Roy Tours holidays are guaranteed to run. Other tours have a very low minimum number requirement of only 6 participants. If we have to cancel one of these tours because of lack of numbers – it has seldom happened – we will offer you a suitable alternative holiday of the same duration. Of course you can also withdraw from the contract and will immediately have your payments refunded in full.
Questions after booking a tour
– Do I need a valid passport?
Yes, a valid passport is the normal requirement for entry to the UK or Ireland, though citizens of certain European Union countries may use either a passport or Identity Card.
A tip: photocopy your passport and flight tickets before you leave home: in case of loss, it will be easier to obtain replacements. Keep these copies separate from your other valuables.
– Do I need a visa for entry to to the United Kingdom?
The citizens of countries in the European Economic Area, certain Commonwealth countries, and U.S. citizens do not need a visa to enter Britain. If you are travelling from another country into the U.K., you are responsible for being in full possession of a valid passport and all visas, permits and certificates that may be required. If in doubt about the need for a visa, please contact your nearest British Embassy, High Commission or Consulate.
A tip: photocopy your passport, other entry documents and flight tickets before you leave home: in case of loss, it will be easier to obtain replacements. Keep these copies separate from your other valuables.
– Does Rob Roy Tours recommend reading matter or films as tour preparation?
In view of the constant introduction of vast numbers of new titles we recommend you to seek detailed advice from your bookshop. Or ask us, if you want reading for a particular Rob Roy Tours holiday.
Some cinema and video films show the landscape of Rob Roy Tours holidays and give a lively introduction to Scottish history. Among them, for example, are “Rob Roy” and “Braveheart”. A fine novel of adventure which ranges over much of Scotland and 18th century Scottish history is Robert Louis Stevenson’s Kidnapped – on the Western Highlands and Islands and Highlands tours we will follow in part the footsteps of the novel’s hero, David Balfour.
– What must I bring on a Walking Tour?
We have a comprehensive equipment list which applies to all walking tours
You do NOT need to bring everything on this list, but should use it as an aid to holiday planning. However, please bring, without fail, strong walking boots with good ankle support, rain wear and clothing for warm and cold conditions. If you buy new boots you should break them in first so as to avoid discomfort on your Scottish tour.
– Must I prepare physically for a walking tour?
Basically all our walks are more about the enjoyment of the countryside rather than mountain sports. Mind you, we also have more strenuous hiking for you in our tour programme. The description of each tour will give you precise information.
You don’t need to be an experienced walker for most of our walking holidays, but just to be fit and in the mood to enjoy the freedom of nature. Anyone who wants to prepare can do so by taking leisurely long walks at home. Thus as you walk you will be able better to appreciate all the beauties of the landscape and forget any worries about your endurance or the discomfort of your still unbroken-in walking boots. By preparing beforehand you improve endurance and not speed, which is fine, since it doesn’t matter if you get back to the hotel from a walk one hour early or one hour late.
Whenever you have questions, please call us on 0044-1620-890 908. We will call you back!
– How much cash in the local currency should I bring?
You are strongly advised to bring about £100.00 sterling per person in cash with you (English or Scottish notes are equally acceptable), since you will have little opportunity to exchange currency on the first day of your walking tour.
Most credit cards can be used in cash dispensers to obtain money for day to day needs; this is cheaper and easier than having to change a lot of travellers cheques or bank notes from your own currency.
– Will credit cards be acceptable as a means of payment in shops?
Most credit cards are accepted in the United Kingdom; however, you will need ready cash for certain transactions outside the towns, and frequently in the smaller hotels, for buying drinks, snacks or souvenirs, giving tips etc..
N.B. American Express cards are not as widely accepted in the British Isles as Visa or Mastercard.
– Are there cash dispensers on my tour?
Yes. The island ‘capitals’ such as Tobermory or Portree have cash dispensers. As a rule you can use your bank card or credit card to obtain money. This is cheaper and easier than having to change a lot of travellers cheques or bank notes from your own currency.
– What tips are normally given?
When buying a meal for which you are paying individually, the usual tip in hotels and restaurants is 10%. No tip is expected when you buy a drink in a hotel bar or a pub. Should you be very happy with a particular hotel, it will be much appreciated if you give a tip to be divided among all the staff. Ultimately, of course, the decision of whether and how much to tip is up to you.
– Are all meals included in the tour price?
The majority of meals on the tour you have booked are included in the price. Please check your tour description. Sometimes evening meals are not included in the tour price when this makes sense in the itinerary. For instance, on an evening visit to a fishing village it is more fun to dine a la carte in a local fish restaurant than to eat beforehand in the hotel.
– When will I get precise information about the hotels I am booked into?
After you have paid the balance of your tour price and in good time before the start of your tour we will send you further documentation. This includes a list of your hotels with addresses and telephone and fax numbers. If you have not received final tour information two weeks before the start of the tour, please call us on 0044-1620-890 908. We will call you back!
– Do I need an adaptor for electric sockets?
The electrical voltage in the United Kingdom is 230 volts, 50 cycles. Please bring a three square-pronged adaptor plug and/or electric converter for your electrical appliances. Normally you will find a hairdryer already provided in your room.
– What is the international telephone code when calling from Great Britain?
For the USA and Canada the international code is 001. Other international codes can be found in a British telephone directory obtainable in your hotel or by calling International Enquiries on 153. As a rule, after dialling the international code you leave out the 0 at the beginning of the area or regional code. You can call home from all hotel telephones and pay phones. You can also be called back on pay phones. In order to call back your respondent abroad should dial 0044 and omit the first 0 of the pay phone number.
– Will I be sure to see wildlife?
It would be unusual if you were not to see an eagle, seals or deer on a walking tour. On certain tours you will certainly also see puffins and many other kinds of seabird, and may see dolphins or otters . Obviously one cannot give a guarantee, since these animals are, as the term wildlife implies, wild and not under our control. Much depends on luck.
If you ever feel undecided or have further questions, please call us on 0044-1620-890 908. We will call you back! Through direct contact with us your personal wishes can best be taken into account in the planning of your tour and your individual holiday extension. With us you will always find a ready ear for your questions.