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Gardens Walking Tour

Arrival times:

Glasgow Airport: anytime.

Edinburgh Airport: by 8pm plus £33.00 transfer on arrival.

 

Departure times:

Glasgow Airport: anytime possible.

Edinburgh Airport: after 11.30am possible  plus £33.00 transfer on departure.

 

In addition to wonderful walking you can visit five public and private gardens, either by yourself or with a guide, which will inspire any garden lover. These comprise Torosay Castle and Gardens, Armadale Castle and Gardens, The Royal Botanic Gardens, Edinburgh, Dirleton Castle and Gardens, as well as having the option of a private or public garden in the Edinburgh area, and other gardens on the tour.

A background of dramatic coastal landscapes and lonely moorlands sets the scene for Scotland’s fascinating flora and fauna. It does not matter if you are already knowledgeable about gardening and natural history, or if you would just like to catch a glimpse of the hidden wealth of natural beauty – beginners and experts alike will be enthused by unique opportunities for watching nature and seeing an incredibly wide variety of rare seabirds, plants and flowers, as well as wild animals, in one of Europe’s last real wildernesses.

Our walks take you through the Scottish islands’ and Highlands’ breathtaking scenery . On foot you enter the romantic, wild beauty and tranquillity of the islands and the
wide open spaces of the Highlands, always returning in the evenings to good small hotels with good food and personal service. We change hotels only twice during the whole tour. You round off your richly varied journey by exploring the finest aspects of Scotland’s capital city.

As part of a small group or on your own initiative you discover spectacular landscapes, castles, whisky distilleries, the important monastic sites of Iona and much more. The continuing influences of Celtic and Scandinavian cultures, as well as the picturesque little fishing communities where visitors and inhabitants alike look forward to passing each day away from bustle and stress, contribute to the special charm of our exclusive tour.

Depending on the length of your holiday, along with the pleasure of visiting the superbly landscaped gardens of Torosay, Armadale and Dirleton, is the possibility of other wonderful experiences, among them seeing breeding colonies of gannets and puffins, sea eagles and golden eagles, dolphins and whales, herds of red deer, unbelievably extensive rhododendron woods, brilliant yellow gorse, moorland plants such as bog myrtle and orchids, insectivorous plants, rare ferns and alpine-arctic environments or bright heather-clad hillsides.

General Description of the Tour
You will be guided by your tour leader who is an experienced walking and Scottish tourist guide and knowledgeable about gardens.

The essence of the tours is enjoyment of the countryside, not mountain sport. You undertake idyllic island walks in lonely glens with picturesque lochs, along deserted beaches of white sand, and through colourful fishing villages. You wander along cliffs with marvellous views over the islands of the Hebrides; you make numerous boat trips and picnic on beautiful beaches. Also included is the possibility of a demanding mountain walk, the ascent of Ben More, Mull’s highest summit. You can ask your tour guide for alternatives to the more strenuous walks.

A varied journey in a small bus takes you from Edinburgh or Glasgow through Argyll, on to the beautiful Hebridean islands, and finally through the Western Highlands via Glencoe. You see the romantic wilderness of Rannoch Moor and travel parallel to the famous West Highland Way and beside scenic Loch Lomond. Then, at the conclusion of the tour, Scotland’s cultural centre, Edinburgh, awaits you with its castle, cafés and botanical garden, followed by further garden visits and walks in East Lothian.

The sightseeing highlights of the trip are the island of Iona, known as the cradle of Christianity, Castle Tioram, the fortress of Duart castle or impressive Torosay Castle with its garden. In the picturebook little town of Inveraray stands the fairytale Inveraray Castle, seat of the Duke of Argyll, and the interesting Inveraray Gaol Museum. On request you may be able to take part in a Scottish evening, and much, much more.

We make frequent stops on our journeys by comfortable minibus: for instance, beside Loch Lomond, famous in song, at the evocative ruin of Kilchurn Castle, in dramatic Glencoe and in historic Glenfinnan, as well as at a traditional fish smokery.

Maybe you would sometimes like to do something on your own as an alternative to a walk.
An excursion to picturesque fishing villages or small towns like Tobermory, the island ‘capital’ of Mull, is a possibility. Discover the impressive island of Staffa with its unique rock formations, or other islands such as Muck, Eigg and Rum. Tour Tobermory whisky distillery or visit Britain’s smallest theatre on Mull. Experience a historic railway journey or the historically significant Glenfinnan monument, as well additional walks, for instance to Europe’s deepest lake, Loch Morar. Take time out at the seat of Clan Donald, Armadale Castle and Gardens, or at significant prehistoric sites such as stone circles, or in cosy tearooms and traditional pubs where you can learn much about the country, the people, ale and whisky in conversation with the locals.

You do not have to be an experienced walker. You should arrive with the stamina and fitness to walk for 4 hours, bearing in mind that the Ben More walk can last 6 hours. Your tour leader will offer alternatives to all the more tiring and strenuous sections, so that no one need be overtaxed. Clients can easily take a day off from walking in order to relax, or to do something on their own.

You walk and travel in small groups which facilitates personal attention. The smallest possible group is 8 people. A tour group generally consists of 10 to 14 persons. On the walks you need bring only a small day sack to carry packed lunches, camera and so on. Luggage is transferred by road from hotel to hotel. Frequently we walk directly from the hotel. In cases where it is unnecessary to use a tour bus to take us to the start of a walk, if possible we take the train or a boat. In this way even a transfer can be an experience, and you enjoy your walk away from roads and traffic.

Individual holiday extensions in hotels, guest houses or self catering accommodation on the islands, in the Western Highlands, or in Glasgow and Edinburgh are a possibility.

Climate
Forget the prejudice that it rains constantly in Scotland. The mild, temperate climate is influenced by the warmth of the Gulf Stream. Frequently a light breeze blows and the temperature even in summer is not too hot for comfortable walking. When it does rain it is usually a shower. It does not rain all day long as in many other countries. The passage of clouds creates constantly changing scenes and wonderful contrasts of light and shade for the photographer. You can walk in ideal conditions from May to October.

Which of the five departures should you choose?

Spring tour
In May you see a profusion of wild flowers, making the Highlands and Islands incredibly colourful. Gorse clothes the scene in bright yellow. Everywhere bluebells form an intense blue carpet.

Summer tour
In June rhododendrons vividly colour the landscape in shades of white, pink, and purple. Rhododendrons grow abundantly in the area of the tour and to a considerable height in the woods. In the north Atlantic daylight scarcely fades. The magical light of dusk lingers, ending, only towards midnight after beautiful, long sunsets, in a romantic semi-darkness.

Late summer tour
In July and August there are many beautiful colours to enjoy. The emerald green of the Highlands and the deep blue of the lochs set off the other colours of the countryside to advantage. You will easily find as many as twenty different shades of green. As early as the beginning of July bell heather is in bloom. The flowering of the common heather takes place from mid-August to the end of the month, covering hills and moors in a pale purple. Our walks explore the heart of of this incredibly brightly coloured Highland landscape.

Autumn tours
Our Indian summer begins in the middle of September and reaches its zenith in mid-October. Bracken glows rust-red and brown; the deciduous trees such as birch, rowan and maple assume their bright, multicoloured autumn foliage. The violet of heather can still be seen as the grasses turn yellow and gold. The deep, intense palette of landscape oil paintings is reflected here in reality.

If you would like a detailed description of the tour complete with daily itinerary, please click here.

DEPARTURES 2017:

for 8 day tours, Saturday to Saturday
for 11 day tours, Saturday to Tuesday

Introductory tour: 08.04. – 15.04.

Spring walks: 20.05 – 27.05
Rhododendron time: 10.06. – 17.06.
Summer walks: 08.07. – 15.07.*, 29.07. – 05.08.*
Heather Season: 12.08. – 19.08., 26.08. – 02.09.
Indian Summer: 08.10. – 15.10.

Further departures by arrangement

* guaranteed departure
all others departures, minimum of just 8 people

maximum group size 16!!

Further departures by arrangement

 

You can travel with an English and German speaking international group. Please ask for details.

WOULD YOU LIKE TO EXTEND YOUR HOLIDAY?
You can combine this tour perfectly with the:

– walking tours:
“Western Highlands” – in the footsteps of Rob Roy – our classic!
“Northern Highlights” (Orkney and Shetland Islands and Sutherland)
“In the Heart of Scotland” – walking and culture based on a single location
“Western Isles” (Islands of Lewis, Harris, Uists, Barra, and north-west Scotland)
“Lake District” (English Lake District and Yorkshire Dales)
Self-guided railway and walking tour, 9 days

– Tours of Scotland:
“Scotland – the Whisky Trail and More” (exclusive bus tour for connoisseurs)
“Scotland in Style – Railway Adventure, 13 days (self-guided)

We can organise your own holiday extension.

 

INCLUDED IN THE PRICE:
8 day programme:
Gardens and walking tour includes all visits, guiding, admissions, road and/or rail travel, and transfers according to the programme, English-speaking tour leader – guide, 7 nights in good small hotels with en-suite rooms with bath/shower and WC and full Scottish breakfasts. 4 evening meals, luggage transfers, welcome drink. Brief city tour of Glasgow. Airport transfer. Entry to Glasgow and Edinburgh botanical gardens is free. Admission to Armadale and Torosay Castles about £5.00 each.

11 day programme INCLUDES IN ADDITION:
Gardens and walking tour as in the pubished programme. Detailed walking and touring information, 3 nights in good hotels with en-suite rooms with bath/shower and WC and full Scottish breakfast. Brief city tour of Edinburgh. Transfer to Edinburgh Airport.

 

WHERE AND HOW YOU CAN BOOK:
You can book through a travel agent or, of course, directly with Rob Roy Tours Ltd. Arrival by plane, train or private car.

PRICES 2017:

8 day Gardens and Walking tour
per person in double/twin room:

Introductory tour: 08.04.: £899.00

all other dates: £999.00
single supplement £259.00

 

• 11 day Gardens and Walking tour
per person in double/twin room:

£1,398.00
single supplement £90.00

 

– Discount for children up to 12 years sharing with parents: 50%
(Flight not included.)

Booking DIRECT WITH ROB ROY TOURS LTD:
PRICE ON ENQUIRY
especially for small groups.

If you have any questions, simply call us on 0044-(0)1620-890 908.
We will call you back right away!

Or send us an email at Urlaub@RobRoyTours.com or a fax to 0044-(0)1620-890 908.

 

PLANNED DEPARTURES 2018: (Saturday to Saturday, or, for 11day tour, to Tuesday)
7.4., 19.5., 9.6., 7.7., 28.7.*, 11.8., 25.8.*, 6.10.

*guaranteed departures
Further departures by arrangement

 

Book now!

 

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