Footsteps of the Ancient Gaels

September 13 - 26, 2019 Scotland & Northern Ireland

Footsteps of the Ancient Gaels

Sept. 13, 2019
Glasgow to Pitlochry

Fri. Sept. 13th, After you are met by your Tour Director and Coach at Glasgow Airport, we depart towards Stirling, where our first stop is one of the bigger castles in Scotland, Stirling Castle. We join a tour of this ancient building sitting high on the hill overlooking the town. After our visit, our next stop is at the William Wallace Monument where we have the opportunity to climb to the top of this historical Monument, all 246 steps of it. Free time for lunch before we head on up to Pitlochry where we arrive mid afternoon with some free time in this lovely Highland town, often winner of Scotland in Bloom. Welcome Dinner Inc. Overnight Pitlochry. (BD)

Footsteps of the Ancient Gaels

Sept. 14, 2019
North to Aberdeenshire

Sat. Sept. 14th, Today we head north through the Cairngorm Mountains, and our first stop is at Dunnottar Castle, sitting out on a rock in the North Sea. We take the long walk down and back up to the ruins of the ancient castle, then we continue on to Fyvie Castle, one of the most haunted Castles in Scotland. Fyvie has been featured on many Haunted TV shows. We also visit some standing stones along the way. Overnight Aberdeenshire. (B)

Footsteps of the Ancient Gaels

Sept. 15th, 2019
Travel to Inverness

Sun. Sept. 15th, After our good Scottish breakfast, we depart along the northern coast road, called the Dolphin Coast. We stop at Pennan, the village on the sea where “Local Hero” was filmed, then on to Portknockie where we take a walk along the cliffs to see Bow Fiddle Rock, a beautiful naturally carved rock at the edge of the sea that is said to look like the bow of a fiddle. We then stop at Spey Bay at the Dolphin Center for a visit. We then head towards Inverness, driving through some beautiful scenery and we stop at Culloden Battlefield where the last land battle on British soil took place when Bonnie Prince Charlie tried to reclaim the throne. We then make the short drive to Clava Cairns which was the inspiration for the books written by Diana Gabaldon, the Outlander Series. We learn about the history of the cairns and experience the mystical feeling around this area, before our last stop of the day at Wardlaw Mausoleum which was also featured in Outlander, as it’s the burial place of the Lovat Frasers, inc. the Old Fox, Lord Lovat. Overnight outside Inverness. (B)

Footsteps of the Ancient Gaels

Sept. 16, 2019
Travel to Isle of Lewis

After our good Scottish breakfast, we head north west to Ullapool where we catch the morning ferry to the Isle of Lewis. Both Gaelic culture and the language are still very much alive in the Outer Hebrides, and you’ll notice the road signs are in both English and Gaelic. Free afternoon in Stornoway to shop, explore or visit some local pubs before we head to Harris for the evening. Overnight Isle of Harris. (B)

Footsteps of the Ancient Gaels

Sept. 17, 2019
Day trip around Lewis

Today we visit the world famous Calanais Standing Stones, which historians believe likely stood before the Great Pyramids of Egypt were completed, and the exhibition where we hear the history of the area and can walk among the stones and get a glimpse of life during Neolithic times. We then continue north to Gearrannan Blackhouse Village, a cluster of small cottages that are now a museum of the Isles, where they tell us the history of peat, Tweed weaving, and the way of life on these far flung islands in the North Atlantic. We have lunch along the way in a quaint café, before we head to The Butt of Lewis where we get some amazing views of the cliffs and the lighthouse, hopefully on a sunny day. We head south on the island to the Isle of Harris which is actually the same island to Tarbert, where we head to our hotel for the next two nights. Overnight Isle of Harris. (B)

Footsteps of the Ancient Gaels

Sept. 18, 2019
Explore the Isle of Harris

After your good Scottish breakfast, we have a tour of the new Harris Distillery that is distilling whisky and gin. We then continue south and have lunch (not inc) at a local purpose-built cafe, with beautiful views over Luskentyre Beach. We continue on to the end of the island and visit St Clements Church, a historical church owned by the McLeod’s who owned a lot of the island in the past. We drive past some of the stunning beaches of Harris, of which Luskentyre persistently gets voted among the top. We also stop at Seallam! (which means “Let me show you!” in Gaelic), the premier genealogy center in the Hebrides. We return to Tarbert. Overnight Tarbert, Isle of Harris. (B)

Footsteps of the Ancient Gaels

Sept. 19, 2019
Harris to Skye to Fort William

Today we depart on the morning ferry from Tarbert back to the Isle of Skye where we visit the Fairy Pools at Skye, which is a walk of about 1 hour round trip, up into the Cuillin Hills to see the now famous pools where often locals go swimming in the stealy cold water. (Not a hard walk). We then head to Armadale where we get the short ferry ride back to the mainland. We continue along the scenic Road to the Isles, with a short photo stop at Glenfinnan Monument, before we head to our hotel for the evening in nearby Glenfinnan. (B)

Footsteps of the Ancient Gaels

Sept. 20, 2019
South to Brodick, Isle of Arran

Today we drive south stopping along the way at Dunadd Hill Fort (Dùn Ada). Story has it that this was the location where Gaelic kings were symbolically married to the land. You will have the opportunity to climb to the top and put your foot into the Dunadd Footprint (or in Gaelic, Fail na Coise) as the ancient kings did. We will also have time to visit the new Museum at Kilmartin Glen, in the haunted valley of Kilmartin before we catch the later afternoon ferry to Lochranza, on the Isle of Arran. We drive south to the main town of Brodick. Overnight Brodick, Isle of Arran. (B)

Footsteps of the Ancient Gaels

Sept. 21, 2019
Day trip around Arran

After breakfast, we have a Day trip around Arran, stopping at Lochranza Castle ruins, Arran Distillery, Brodick Castle and Gardens, and Blackwaterfoot. We take the string road across back to Brodick where we visit Home Farm shops where you can buy local cheese, chocolate and aromatics. Return to the hotel. Overnight Arran. (B)

Footsteps of the Ancient Gaels

Sept. 22, 2019
Ferry to Northern Ireland – Portrush

Today we take the morning ferry from Brodick to Ardrossan on the mainland and head south to Cairnryan where we get the ferry to Larne/Belfast in Northern Ireland. We head north for just an hour to the Northern Coast where we check into our hotel for the next two nights. Overnight Portrush area. Welcome to NI Dinner Inc. (BD)

Footsteps of the Ancient Gaels

Sept. 23, 2019
Giant’s Causeway & Game of Thrones

After breakfast, we have a tour around the Northern Coast, visiting the famous Giant’s Causeway, Bushmills Distillery, have a chance to walk over the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge, and possibly visit some locations where the Game of Thrones was filmed. Overnight Portrush area. (B)

Footsteps of the Ancient Gaels

Sept. 24, 2019
South to Downpatrick

Today we head south of Belfast to the town of Downpatrick, where we visit the Down Cathedral where St Patrick is buried. We also visit the St Patrick’s Centre and learn about the famous Patron Saint of Ireland. We arrive in Belfast mid afternoon. Free time to explore the city with a Hop On Hop Off bus ticket for two days. Overnight Belfast.

Footsteps of the Ancient Gaels

Sept. 25, 2019
Belfast Free Day

Free day in Belfast with your bus ticket. You’ll have time to visit the wonderful Titanic Museum, The Ulster Museum, Botanical Gardens and much more, or take a Game of Thrones Tour if you are a big fan, as it is filmed in Belfast at the Titanic studios and other locations around the country. (Entry fees in Belfast not included in tour price.) Final night dinner in Belfast. (BD)

Footsteps of the Ancient Gaels

Sept. 26, 2019
Belfast Airport

Morning transfer to the airport for your flight home from Belfast. Or we can take you back to Glasgow if you prefer to return from Glasgow. (Your flight would need to be on the 27th)

Tour Package

Tour Includes:

13 nights in historical properties, 3- and 4-star, full Scottish or Irish breakfast daily, 3 dinners, airport transfers, services of professional coach driver and luxury midi coach,tour director for the complete trip, and entry into all sites listed (except Belfast), 2 day Hop on Hop off Bus tour in Belfast and all taxes

Not included are airfare, other meals, personal items at each hotel, drinks and phone calls. Most hotels have free Wi-Fi but not all.

Per Person

$ 3895

Based on double occupancy

  • Deposit of $750 is due upon booking.
  • Balance is due 60 days prior to travel.

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