Enjoy the best of both worlds with a mix of private guided tours and transfers mixed in with a number of days on a small group trip taking in the best sights (some off the beaten path) along the way. After spending time in Edinburgh exploring the sights in the company of a private guide or doing some independent exploring, meet up with your small group multi-day tour make the most of the sightseeing opportunities to explore Edinburgh, Fife, Stirling & The Scottish Borders. Winter is a great time of year to visit Scotland with its Christmas markets, boughs of holly and decorative tartan sashes. Immerse yourself in the culture, nature and beauty of Scotland’s South East corner, home to castles, lochs, whisky distilleries and local bagpipe makers. Uncover myths and legends, learn how the Scots make their famous whisky and join highland dancers in a traditional ceilidh. This small group special departure tour (on Dec.30th) celebrates New Year’s celebrations, or Hogmanay as it's called in these parts! With spectacular events, incredible live bands, ceilidh dancing and one of the world’s greatest fireworks displays, welcome in 2013 at the famous Hogmanay Street Party. Fife, Dunfermline and Edinburgh - The Scots have a long tradition and rich history associated with New Year’s Eve, which they call Hogmanay. With spectacular events, incredible live bands, ceilidh dancing and one of the world’s greatest fireworks displays, welcome in 2014 at the famous Hogmanay Street Party.
Edinburgh Christmas Market - Set beneath the spectacular backdrop of Edinburgh Castle, this German-style Christmas Market has been a tradition in the city since medieval times. Make sure to sample the market’s delicious food and Gluhwein – mulled wine served in ceramic mugs. This market can be visited on 31st Dec 2013, 1st Jan 2014 or 2nd Jan 2014.
Meet your driver for your private airport transfer today. Please note that this service includes up to 3 hours of service.
A welcome package with your vouchers, a city map, train tickets (if relevant) and any other touristic information that we deem you may find useful will be waiting for you upon your arrival at your first hotel on your trip.
This is a fantastically central hotel, located in the heart of Grassmarket, steps away from Edinburgh Castle in the Old Town. The Apex City (4*) is located next door to its sister hotel, the Apex International. One of the best hotels in Edinburgh, the Yu Spa leisure facilities are based at the Apex International Hotel next door, and are available to residents free of charge and open daily. Facilities include ozone pool, tropicarium, plunge shower and gym with state-of-the-art technogym equipment.
Entrance ticket to Edinburgh Castle.
Edinburgh Castle has dominated its surroundings with majesty for centuries. The Castle's rock has been a stronghold for over 3000 years. Learn more of the history and stories about this ancient place at your leisure.
Enjoy an unmissable evening of Scottish music, costume, bagpipes, fiddles and dance in the magically historic setting of Prestonfield House. Lavishly filled with baroque plasterwork, panelling, tapestries, paintings and furniture, many of these splendid original contents commissioned for the house remain to be enjoyed by guests today, including an imposing portrait of King Charles II which gazes down over diners in the restaurant. Named as one of the Best 101 Hotels in the World by style-bible Tatler. Prestonfield is described by Conde Nast Traveller Magazine as so extravagant it’s like walking onto the set of some flamboyant costume drama.
Enjoy exceptional entertainment with wine and a gourmet dinner this evening served by kilted waiters, just moments from the Royal Mile. The meal consists of traditional Scottish fare, including a choice of 2 options for each course for main course, a desert, tea/coffee and a half bottle of wine. (Please note this is a sample menu: Appetiser: Orkney Clapshot Soup - A creamy carrot, turnip and potato soup or Gamekeeper’s Pâté - Rustic venison terrine with red cabbage chutney. Main course: Scotch Beef Auld Alliance - Silverside of Scottish beef braised with French claret jus, skirlie potatoes and heather-honey-roast vegetables or Scottish Seafood - Scottish salmon, hake and Finnan haddie, creamy Mornay sauce encased in puff pastry. Desert: Prestonfield’s Jubilee Cranachan - Raspberry mousse, toasted oatmeal, butterscotch and Parlie biscuit or Great Chieftain O the Puddin Race - A taste of traditional haggis, ‘neeps and tatties. Tea or Coffee and clotted cream fudge).
(Transfer to and from event not included). Arrive by 6:45. Dinner 7pm. Show 8-10pm.
Meet up with your Guide and fellow travellers of your small group tour this morning. The rendezvous is at 08.30am (please be here 30 mins before this) at Royal Terrace Hotel, 18 Royal Terrace, Edinburgh.
This morning, you will depart Scotland’s Capital, Edinburgh and head to Culross, one of Scotland’s most picturesque towns - home to Culross Palace and the 13th century Culross Abbey. The whitewashed, red-tiled buildings and winding cobbled streets will transport you back in time to 16th and 17th century Scotland. Continue to Dunfermline, once the capital of Scotland. Dunfermline’s royal and monastic past dominates the town that boasts a royal palace and a 12th century Abbey, which is the final resting place of Robert the Bruce and the burial site of many Scottish Kings and Queens. From here you will travel to Loch Leven, the largest loch in the Scottish Lowlands. Here, the enchanting Loch Leven Castle lies on a peaceful inlet. The castle gained notoriety when it became the prison to Mary Queen of Scots in the 16th century. Before returning to Edinburgh you will pass through medieval St Andrews, regarded as the home of golf and the picturesque fishing villages of East Neuk, each with its own distinctive character and charm.
This evening enjoy a welcome drinks reception followed by a four course Gala Dinner with Ceilidh dance performance.
The Carlton Hotel Edinburgh is located in the city centre and perfect for holidays and short breaks in Edinburgh. Situated on North Bridge overlooking the Royal Mile, the hotel is just minutes from Princes Street and the legendary Edinburgh Castle. The hotel boasts 189 bedrooms. Dine in the Bridge Restaurant or relax with a drink in the Bridge Bar. To complete your stay, let them pamper you in the hotel’s Beauty Rooms which offer a wide range of spa and beauty treatments, the perfect treat after exploring the city. The Health Club at the hotel offers a rangew of facilities including an indoor swimming pool, sauna, steam room, spa pool, squash courts and a fitness suite gym.
Today is devoted to Edinburgh. Spend the morning exploring this fascinating city, meandering down medieval lanes and elegant, sweeping terraces that hold over a thousand years of history and tradition. Located on top of an extinct volcano, Edinburgh Castle dominates the city centre skyline and from here you can enjoy fantastic views across the Scottish capital.
After visiting the castle, the remainder of the day is yours to the German-style Christmas Market or relax at your leisure. Set beneath the spectacular backdrop of Edinburgh Castle, this German-style Christmas Market has been a tradition in the city since medieval times. Make sure to sample the market’s delicious food and Gluhwein – mulled wine served in ceramic mugs.
This evening enjoy a four course dinner followed by a disco to dance in to the wee small hours or alternatively you have the option of going to the world famous Hogmanay street party. Upon your return to the hotel warm yourself up with festive mince pies and mulled wine.
Enjoy time at leisure to explore at your own pace, or relax at your hotel.
You will travel to Linlithgow in the afternoon to visit the magnificent ruins of Linlithgow Palace, set in a beautiful park overlooking the Linlithgow Loch. Discover the history of this great Royal Palace whose origins date back to the 13th century.
This evening enjoy a final dinner together in Edinburgh.
Your Small Group Tour ends after breakfast this morning at the Royal Terrace Edinburgh Hotel at approximately 9:00 am. Bid farewell to your Guide and fellow travellers as you close the chapter on this part of your travels.
VISA/PASSPORTThere are no border controls when travelling within the United Kingdom including the land border with England. Scotland has the same immigration and visa requirements as the rest of the United Kingdom.
United Kingdom is a party to the Schengen Agreement. As such, U.S. citizens may enter for up to 90 days for tourist or business purposes without a visa. The passport should be valid for at least three months beyond the period of stay.
HEALTHHealth insurance is recommended. Medical facilities are good quality. We recommend that you see a health-care provider who specializes in Travel Medicine. The doctor or health-care provider will determine what vaccinations and medication you will need, depending on factors such as your health and immunization history, areas of the country you will be visiting, and planned activities. For more information on travel requirements, visit the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website: http://wwwn.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/united-kingdom.aspx COUNTRY INFOCapital: Edinburgh Language: English & Gaelic in parts of Scotland Religion: Predominantly Christian, with sizeable Muslim, Sikh, Jewish and Hindu minorities. Time: GMT (GMT + 1 from last Sunday in March to last Sunday in October). Electricity: 240 volts AC, 50Hz. Square three-pin plugs are standard. Telephone: Country code +44. Mobile Telephone: Roaming agreements exist with most international mobile phone operators. Coverage is mostly good, but can be patchy in rural areas. Internet: There are Internet cafes and centers in most urban areas.
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