Day 1, Saturday, 21st May: A hotel room near Heathrow airport has been reserved for everybody to recover from jet-lag in their own way. No dinner has been booked, but a full English breakfast is included for tomorrow morning.
Day 2, Sunday, 22nd May: During the day the tour members will be taken to a nearby campsite where their rented motorhomes will await. After a comprehensive tutorial everybody can start to become familiar with their vehicle and we will then visit a local supermarket to stock up on food etc. This evening we will all stroll to a nearby traditional pub for a simple dinner.
Day 3, Monday, 23rd May: This morning we will be collected by a bus with an expert guide for a combined bus/walking tour of London. After a morning seeing some of the sights, we have a ride on the latest, spectacular London attraction, the London Eye. Our group will avoid the queues by hiring a capsule for our own private use. The “flight” lasts about 30 minutes and provides some of the most spectacular views of London. Guests will be served traditional afternoon English tea and cakes during the “flight”. At the end of the day we will be returned to our motorhomes for a relaxing evening.
Day 4, Tuesday, 24th May: The morning can be spent relaxing by the river, or strolling around the lovely old town of Chertsey. This afternoon we will be collected by bus and taken to Windsor for a short tour of this traditional “riverside town”. As the evening begins we will go the entrance to Windsor Castle and start our first exclusive event. Windsor is the oldest and largest occupied castle in the world and the Official Residence of Her Majesty the Queen. Its rich history spans almost 1000 years.
The Castle covers an area of about 5 hectares (13 acres) and contains magnificent State Apartments furnished with treasures from the Royal Collection, St George's Chapel (one of the most beautiful ecclesiastical buildings in England and the burial place of 10 monarchs), and Queen Mary's Dolls House, a masterpiece in miniature. We will have a private evening tour of the castle with an expert guide. At the end of this wonderful evening we will be taken back to our motorhomes by bus.
Day 5, Wednesday, 25th May: London has so many historic and interesting sights that we have arranged another bus tour with an expert guide. This will enable you to see much more than the usual tourist.
Day 6, Thursday, 26th May: We head north-east today to our next campsite in the county of Norfolk. This evening we will have a private guided tour around Sandringham House, which is privately owned by the Royal Family. Sandringham is where the Royal Family spend the Christmas holiday period.
Day 7, Friday, 27th May: Today we continue north and follow in the footsteps (or horse’s hooves!) of Dick Turpin. Like him, our destination is York, but we will be staying at a pleasant campsite, not a prison. The total drive will be about 220 miles, but most of the roads are dual carriageways or motorways so it will not be too stressful.
Day 8, Saturday, 28th May: Today we will have a guided tour of this most beautiful of cities. There are so many historic attractions that the day will simply fly past. A simple lunch has been arranged at a historic inn.
Day 9, Sunday, 29th May: We continue north but stop after about 120 miles at a pleasant campsite on the borders of England and Scotland. It may be a good idea to spend the rest of the day relaxing.
Day 10, Monday, 30th May: Today we have a short excursion to see Hadrian’s Wall. This wall was built 2,000 years ago to keep the marauding Scottish clans from the “civilized” Roman conquerors of England. Hadrian’s Wall marks the northern-most point of the Roman Empire. The wall originally ran from one side of the country to the other and large parts of it are still standing. There are also several forts available to visit. With a little imagination you can see what an incredible obstacle it presented to Scottish Clansmen armed only with spears, swords and clubs!
Day 11, Tuesday, 31st May: We continue north and enter Scotland. The Scottish lowlands are very attractive and there are several lovely little towns en route to explore. This evening you should arrive at after 17.00 at the Famous Grouse distillery in Crieff. We will park overnight in their car park. There are no facilities available, so you will need to use your motorhome’s shower and toilet. This evening we will have a VIP private tour of the “Famous Grouse Experience”, which is a lot more than a normal distillery visit. This will be followed by a traditional gala dinner in their award winning restaurant. After dinner we will be entertained by a Scottish dancing demonstration. At the end of the evening we only have to walk a few yards to reach our motorhomes for a good night’s sleep.
Day 12, Wednesday, 1st June: Today we will have a leisurely drive of about 100 miles to arrive at our campsite by the sea near Oban. The route will take us through Glen Dochart and Glen Lochy, which will be a taster for the beautiful scenery we will encounter later on the tour. This site has won the award for the best in Britain in the past.
Day 13, Thursday, 2nd June: A completely free day to explore the area, swim in the sea or do absolutely nothing. You can take a bus from the campsite into the fascinating town of Oban if you wish.
Day 14, Friday, 3rd June: We have a short drive of only about 60 miles which will bring us to the beautiful campsite on the shore of Loch Ness. En route we can stop and experience the eerie atmosphere of Glen Coe. It was here that the infamous massacre took place. Further on you can stop in Fort William for a stroll around the town before continuing north to the memorial to the commandos at Spean Bridge. After this we suggest you stop for a look at the village of Fort Augustus before arriving at the Loch Ness campsite. Swimming (or paddling) in the Loch is possible from the campsite, which also has its own bar. Any group member who sees the monster, and can produce photographic evidence, will receive a full refund on the tour price (providing GB Privilege is given distribution rights for the photograph)!
Day 15, Saturday, 4th June: We head north today and will arrive at historic Balmoral Castle in the afternoon. Set amongst the magnificent scenery of Royal Deeside, in the shadows of Lachnagar it was purchased by Queen Victoria in 1848 and has been the Scottish home of the Royal Family ever since. We have been granted the right to park our motorhomes at a designated place in the castle grounds ready for our dinner in the Piper’s Hall this evening. Obviously, the dinner will be of a high standard and will be accompanied by good quality wines. You will need to use your motorhome’s own shower and toilet as there will be no facilities available.
Day 16, Sunday, 5th June: We head west today and cross the bridge to the lovely isle of Skye. Our destination is Dunvegan, a small village whose castle is the home of the Laird of the McLeod Clan. Our campsite is on the beach within easy walking distance of the village and castle. Your drive will take you past the forbidding Cuillin hills and alongside some of the most beautiful coastal scenery you could imagine. It was to Skye that “Bonnie Prince Charlie” fled after his defeat by the English at Culloden in 1746. The famous “Skye Boat Song” recalls the events when he was rowed across the channel by Flora McDonald to escape the clutches of the English army.
Day 17, Monday, 6th June: Today we suggest you just relax and enjoy the scenery. You could go exploring and may see otters, eagles, seals etc. There is a top class restaurant in walking distance from the campsite. If a group of people wanted to go there for lunch or dinner the tour director could arrange a group booking.
Day 18, Tuesday, 7th June: We drive south today. Our destination is the Clan Donald Centre at Armadale. There are no facilities available, so you will need to use your motorhome’s shower and toilet. This historic building is on land which was part of the MacDonald clan’s territory. It houses an award winning museum which demonstrates the history and former power of the MacDonald clan. We will park overnight in the castle’s car park and in the evening be treated to a high quality dinner in their restaurant. This is an opportunity for you to really enjoy a meal at MacDonald’s. As there are no facilities available you will need to use your motorhome’s own shower and toilet.
Day 19, Wednesday, 8th June: We leave Skye this morning and have what could be the most beautiful drive of the tour, up the west coast of Scotland to arrive at our next campsite in the remote village of Durness. Our campsite is located on the cliffs overlooking a lovely beach. The campsite has its own pub and restaurant so you can give the chef a day off if you wish.
Day 20, Thursday, 9th June: This morning we will have a traditional Scottish breakfast in the pub before heading east along the Scottish north coast. The views are nearly as good as those yesterday. We will arrive at the castle between 17:00 and 18:00. The public will have left the castle by then and we will be able to park up without any problems. There are no facilities available, so you will need to use your motorhome’s shower and toilet. The Castle of Mey was the private property of HM Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother. She bought it when her husband King George 6th died.
She spent as much time as possible at the Castle of Mey, because she considered it to be her true home and she loved the peace and quiet, as well as the beautiful views and seclusion. This evening we will walk up to the castle and be welcomed with glass of champagne before taking a private, guided tour. After the tour we can all stroll back to the restaurant for a super dinner in the restaurant they have built overlooking the North Sea. After dinner we can stroll back to our motorhomes to spend the rest of the evening in this most privileged “campsite”, with wonderful sea views.
Day 21, Friday, 10th June: A short drive south will bring us to our next campsite near the Culloden battleground. There will be time to visit the site which was the scene of the bloody battle which finally ended the hopes of the Scottish Clans installing their own king over all of Britain. The battlefield site is well explained by the information available at the site itself – and the facts certainly debunk the many myths that have sprung up about the battle.
Day 22, Saturday, 11th June: We continue south today, but only for about 100 miles to arrive at our next wonderful castle, Glamis Castle. As well as being the setting for the play Macbeth, Glamis was the childhood home of HM Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother and the birthplace of Princess Margaret.
We will park our motorhomes within 100 yards of the castle and in the evening we walk up to the castle for a truly spectacular evening. We will start with drinks in the drawing room, which will be followed by a private evening tour of the castle.
During this tour the barriers that are put up during the day to stop the general public from touching the many historic pieces of furniture will be removed and we will be allowed to sit in the chairs and examine the paintings etc. in as much details as we wish. During the day the State Dining Room is also closed to the general public – they can see but they can’t touch. We will actually use the table, cutlery and crockery which are on display while being treated to a magnificent Scottish 6-course banquet. We will be "piped" into the castle and into the dining room. The whole event has been described by an American journalist as “the finest evening I have ever experienced”.
Day 23, Sunday, 12th June: We continue south to arrive at our final Scottish campsite in the city of Edinburgh.
Day 24, Monday, 13th June: We will be collected from the campsite this morning and taken on a full day tour of the capital of Scotland – Edinburgh. The tour will combine walking and riding in the coach. Lunch will be taken in the top floor of a pub called Deacon Brodie’s. Deacon Brodie was the real person whose exploits were taken by Robert Louis Stevenson as the basis for Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde. The real Deacon Brodie was executed in 1788 using the gallows that he had designed before his arrest. The city of Edinburgh is the home of many fascinating stories such as Deacon Brodie’s and we will have the opportunity to hear some of them during the day.
Day 25, Tuesday, 14th June: A completely free day so you can relax and prepare for this evening’s fabulous event, an exclusive visit and banquet aboard the Royal Yacht Brittania. This magnificent ship has played host to some of the most famous people in the world. But, above all, she was home to Her Majesty the Queen and the Royal Family. Now you are welcome on board to discover the heart and soul of this most special of royal residences. The meticulous attention to detail and high standard of service employed when the Yacht was on royal duty is still rigorously followed.
The Executive Chef will, as one might expect of a Royal Galley, prepare exquisite cuisine to match the superb surroundings. From Sir Winston Churchill to Boris Yeltsin, Rajiv Gandhi to Nelson Mandela, some of the world’s most influential people have been welcomed aboard Britannia; now you can stand where they stood, see what they saw and dine as they dined. After this superb dinner we will be treated to a private performance of “Beating the Retreat” by a massed pipe band. Watching this most ceremonial and moving performance will put the finishing touch to a wonderful tour.
Day 26, Wednesday, 15th June: Although the tour is finished, we still have to get the motorhomes back to the rental company. This means driving back to London. Tonight we will stop at a campsite near York.
Day 27, Thursday, 16th June: We continue south and will arrive at our campsite near London.
Day 28, Friday 17th June: The rental company will arrive at the campsite today and take the motorhomes back. We will then be collected and taken back to an airport hotel. This evening everybody can relax over a simple pub dinner and reminisce about the whole experience.
Day 29, Saturday, 18th June: The tour ends this morning after breakfast.
- Overnight at Famous Grouse distillery with dinner
- Overnight at Balmoral Castle with dinner in Piper's House
- Overnight at Clan Donald Centre with dinner
- Overnight at Castle of Mey
- Two bus tours of London with guide
- “Flight” on London Eye in private capsule
- Private, evening tour of Windsor Castle, Sandringham House
- Guided tour of York
- Visit to Hadrian’s Wall
- Private tour of Castle of Mey with Champagne
- Dinner in Castle’s restaurant
- Overnight at Glamis Castle
- Private tour, drinks reception and banquet at Glamis Castle
- Full day tour of Edinburgh
- Private tour of Royal Yacht Brittania and farewell banquet.
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Europe Scotland England Local Culture Cultural Journey
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