Day 1 - Monday, August 27:
Evening departure from Toronto to Glasgow with Air Canada. Dinner and breakfast served on board.
Day 2 - Tuesday, August 28:
Morning arrival at Glasgow International Airport, formerly named Abbotsinch. Here we begin our Scottish tour with a brief drive to The Kelpies, Scotland's modern engineering and artistic equine tribute. Then on to Linlithgow Palace, birthplace and christening chapel of Mary, Queen of Scots. Time to visit and lunch before continuing on by way of the Forth Bridge to Dunfermline Abbey and mid-afternoon hotel registration in St. Andrews. Opportunity to refresh before dinner followed by an evening stroll to the Old Course with perhaps a photo of the Swilcan Bridge and Burn!
Day 3 - Wednesday, August 29:
Transfer by coach to Edinburgh for guided tour of the Castle; its Battlements, Argyle Battery, St. Margaret's Chapel, the Crown Room and Mons Meg before we walk the Royal Mile with John Knox House, the High Kirk of St. Giles, the Palace of Holyroodhouse and faithful Greyfriars Bobby. Time for a touch of personal retail therapy before mid-afternoon brief coach transfer to Glenkinchie Distillery and a tasting of fine Lowland whisky. Return to St. Andrews and evening at leisure to wander the old university town.
Day 4 - Thursday, August 30:
Morning departure by way of the Tay Bridge and Dundee to Glamis Castle, the ancestral home of the late Queen Mother but inescapably associated with Shakespeare's Macbeth. Lunch in the castle, then on to Fettercairn, for our first Highland nosing at the 1854 Distillery. Later a superb photo stop at the Keith ancestral home of Dunottar Castle, precariously perched over the North Sea. We enter the Highlands by way of Stonehaven and the River Dee for an evening arrival at our charming country residence in Huntly. Dinner in house.
Day 5 - Friday, August 31:
This morning we begin our exploration of picturesque Speyside, traveling by way of Kildrummy Castle to the Cairngorm Mountains. We encounter familiar names… Tomintoul, Ballindalloch, Glenlivet, Knockandhu and Cardhu with Highland hospitality along the way demanding simple tastings. Lunch before a touch of Canada at Craigellachie. No Last Spike here but rather the Speyside Cooperage with demonstrations of traditional barrel making, so fundamental and essential to whisky maturation! Late afternoon return to Castle Huntly and dinner.
Day 6 - Saturday, September 01:
We travel this morning to Deeside, passing the Royals chapel church at Crathie and summer residence of Balmoral before arriving at Braemar where, in 1715, the Stuart standard was first raised marking the continued family claim to the Crown and calling the clans to arms. Today the site of the world renowned Highland Games, our grandstand seats provide excellent opportunities to see “The Royals”, enjoy pipe bands, traditional highland dancing and tossing the caber! Evening return to the Castle Hotel with time to enjoy an aperitif before dinner.
Please note: As is our tradition, we will be requesting Grandstand G seating. This stand is located on a line of sight immediately across the competition field to the Royals Box. The photography opportunities have been consistently remarkable. Thus Stand G is most popular. The games site plan is readily available through any search engine. Ticket requests world wide are currently being accepted by the Braemar Bureau. We will reserve Stand G seating at that time of each application but no guarantee can be made as to availability. Alternatives may apply. Please advise Pauwels Travel (Tezra) either by application or telephone as soon as possible if planning to participate. The Agency contact staff member is Ms. Tezra Lesage: firstname.lastname@example.org
Day 7 - Sunday, September 02:
A leisurely breakfast before we continue our Speyside exploration. Communities and sites will include Dufftown, Rothes and Keith each long associated with Glenfiddich, Glen Grant and Strathisla. Lunch somewhere as the spirit directs... Archiestown or Aberlour? Late afternoon to Castle Huntly and dinner.
Day 8 - Monday, September 03:
We depart by way of Fochabers to meet the waters of the Moray Firth. Following its coast towards Inverness, we arrive at Cawdor Castle, one of the two legendary residences attributed to Shakespeare’s MacBeth. Today, still a private residence, it offers a perfect example of Scottish castle architecture adapted to 21st C living! Lunch on the grounds followed by self directed tours of both the castle and the magnificent formal gardens. On to Culloden Moor, where, in 1746, the troops of George II destroyed both the Jacobite Rebellion with its Stuart ambitions and the centuries old social fabric of clan life. The memorial cairns and plaques offer mute testimony to the last battle on British soil and Bonnie Prince Charlie’s quest for the Throne. Arrival in Inverness and dinner at leisure.
Day 9 - Tuesday, September 04:
An optional morning: leisurely breakfastz a cruise on Loch Ness, a woolen purchase (or two), a walk in the town. Mid-day departure from the capital of the Highlands, through Drumnadrochit to Urquhart Castle with its unimpeded view of mysterious Loch Ness. Entering the Great Glen, a geological fault bisecting the Highlands through a series of natural freshwater lochs, linked by the Caledonian Canal, we continue on towards Fort Augustus and Invergarry to the quintessential poster castle of Eilean Donan. A photo-op before the Kyle of Lochalsh and the Hebridean Isle of Skye. Registration and dinner in house.
Day 10 - Wednesday, September 05:
A full-day tour of the island - the perfect harbour of Portree, the Storr and Quiring Ridges, Kilt Rock, the community of Kilmuir with its Museum of Island Life. Lunch and a tour of Dunvegan Castle, hereditary seat of the Clan Macleod. We return to our hotel by way of Colbost and the famous Talisker Distillery where a wee dram won't go amiss "for what ails ye!!" Dinner this evening in house.
Day 11 - Thursday, September 06:
An early departure from Skye enroute to Fort William. Skirting Ben Nevis, Scotland’s highest peak, we approach Glencoe before arriving at picturesque Loch Lomond. Here we enjoy our farewell Auld Lang Syne lunch on its "bonnie bonnie banks". On to Auchentoshan Distillery and one more tasting before evening arrival at our airport hotel. Energy left into the city for fish and chips in a "wee poke" is the easy and only recommendation...with perhaps an evening stroll on Sauchiehall Street with a quick pub visit to end our travels.
Day 12 - Friday, September 07:
Early morning transfer to Glasgow Airport and the return flight to Toronto via Dublin. Food service on board before landing at Toronto's Pearson Airport in the early afternoon.