Scotland Wilds and Wellness Small Group Tour

   
 

Scotland Wilds and Wellness Small Group Tour

BY NIBBLES AND SIPS TOURS
www.nibblesipstours.com

UPDATED

6 months ago

DURATION

8 Days/ 7 Nights

SEASON

August 2 - 9, 2020

RATES

CAD 3,585.00 per person

EXPIRES

Jul 01, 2020
Scotland Wilds and Wellness Small Group Tour
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DESCRIPTION

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This short, off-the-beaten-track itinerary gives you time to explore and enjoy the areas of Glasgow, the Isle of Lewis, Kilmartin, and more. The focus of this trip is the mystical sites, with time for history and culture, and relaxation. You will return from this wonderful journey relaxed and refreshed. From the mystical stone circles to historic buildings, from an amazing food tour to yoga in the wilds of the remote islands, this tour has a touch of everything.

ADDITION RATE INFORMATION

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Rates based on Double Occupancy. Single Supplement may apply. Please contact us for details. Same sex room mates can be arranged. 5% GST not included.

ITINERARY

Day 1: Arrive Glasgow
Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom
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You arrive into the airport in Glasgow where your tour leader will be waiting with your private transport for the transfer to the hotel. It is important that we lead a normal day in order to get adjusted to the time difference, and so, after dropping our luggage at the hotel (a little too early to check in!) and enjoying our first breakfast in Scotland, we will be setting off with our local guide for a fun day of city touring.

We head off on the hop on hop off bus to see various sites in the city today.

The Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum houses one of Europe's great art collections. It is one of the most visited museums in the United Kingdom outside of London. Kelvingrove’s internationally significant collections are displayed in 22 state-of-the-art galleries. They include superb paintings and sculptures, silver and ceramics, European armour, weapons and firearms, clothing and furniture. The natural history of Scotland is treated in depth and there are displays of relics from Scotland’s history and prehistory.

We make a stop at the Glasgow Botanic Gardens where there is a fine Heritage Trail through the Gardens with almost 30 points of interest taking you down to the Kelvin Walkway and the Gardens Arboretum. Glasgow Botanic Gardens is an arboretum and public park. It features several glasshouses, the most notable of which is the Kibble Palace. The gardens were created in 1817, and run by the Royal Botanic Institution of Glasgow. The site was once served by a railway line, and Botanic Gardens Railway Station remains today in a derelict state as a remarkable example of a disused station. It is hidden behind some trees and a metal fence blocks access to the platforms.

Our last stop today will be the Glasgow Cathedral. The first stone built in the Glasgow Cathedral was dedicated in the presence of King David I in 1136. The present building was consecrated in 1197. Since that same period the Cathedral has never been unroofed and the worship of God has been carried out within its walls for more than 800 years.

The splendid achievements of the architects and builders of those far off days can be studied and admired. Not everything, however, is old and the Cathedral has one of the finest post-war collections of stained glass windows to be found in Britain.

From here we head back to the hotel for a bit of rest and our first Scottish dinner. If you like, you can have a wellness session before dinner with our very own Wellness Practitioner! Our dedicated practitioner will be travelling with us through the tour and will be available to give private sessions every day, along with yoga and meditation for the group. Ask us what is available!

Day 2: Glasgow To Kilmartin To Paisley
Kilmartin Glen, Scotland, United Kingdom
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We enjoy an early breakfast before we depart with our private transport and local guide to journey our way to some of the historical and mystical places in Scotland.

We travel approximately 2 hours to the Kilmartin area. Our first stop will be the Kilmartin Museum, which is our starting point to discover the fascinating prehistoric landscape of Kilmartin Glen.

Kilmartin Glen, in the heart of Mid Argyll, is one of Scotland's richest prehistoric landscapes. Over 800 historic monuments, cairns, standing stones, stone circles and rock art dating back over 5000 years have been recorded within this area. The Kilmartin Museum collects and cares for all of the archaeological objects that are found, by chance or excavation in Mid Argyll. Visitors and locals alike are able to enjoy these artefacts in the Museum gallery and they are able to step outside into the landscape to enjoy the sites and monuments where they were found. The Museum continues to carry out archaeological surveys and its excavations are continually uncovering new and exciting artefacts.

Also on site is an award-winning cafe and gift and book shop stocked with jewellery, art, cards and craftwork from local artisans. Our bookshop provides a range of fiction and reference books, of which many have a local or Scottish theme. We can enjoy lunch here.

From here we travel on to Carnasserie Castle. We have time to explore this magnificent ruined castle, the former home of the first Protestant Bishop of the Isles. This 15th century tower house was built by the reforming churchman John Carswell, the publisher of the first book printed in Scottish Gaelic, a translation of the John Knox’s Book of the Common Order. Having undergone only minor alterations during the late 17th century, Carnasserie Castle is a superbly preserved example of 16th century architecture. Positioned on a hill overlooking the serene Kilmartin Glen, it comprises a five-storey tower house with an impressive hall attached. It also boasts beautiful Renaissance masonry including molded string-courses, corbelled angle-turrets, ornate rainwater spoots, gunloops and an impressive armorial panel above the entrance. Blown up in 1685 by Royalist Forces during the Monmouth Rebellion, the castle fell into disuse before eventually being purchased by the Malcoms of Poltalloch in the 19th century. Today it is under the care of historic Scotland.

After our visit here we are returning along the same route back to Glasgow, but stopping outside of Glasgow, close to the airport for our night’s stay. We have time to rest, do some yoga, meditate, sessions and enjoy the restaurant at the hotel tonight.

Day 3: Inveraray To Glasgow To Isle Of Lewis
Isle of Lewis, Scotland, United Kingdom
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This morning we can enjoy breakfast at the hotel before heading back to Glasgow and the airport to take the short flight to the Isle of Lewis, located in the northeast of the country.

The Isle of Lewis is the most northerly of the group of islands known as the Hebrides, or the Western Isles. Also known as the “long islands”, these Isles stretch for 130 miles from the Butt of Lewis to Barra Head. Lewis is steeped in a history and culture which ranges back thousands of years. Ancient stone circles stand on the same land as the modern town of Stornoway, while most of the inhabitants speak Gaelic as their native tongue.

We land in Stornoway and meet our private transport. We arrive just after noon and head into the city of Stornoway for a light lunch at the Good Food Boutique and a chance to enjoy their unique store and products. We have a walk to explore the grounds of Lews Castle, and fingers crossed, the new museum will also be open for us to visit. This building has a long history. Built in 1847, by Sir James Matheson, following his purchase of the Isle of Lewis, it was completed in 1854. Sir James Matheson cofounded the Jardine Matheson Company and made his fortune from the Chinese Opium trade. Following In 1918 Lord Leverhulme, bought the Isle of Lewis. He had built up Lever Bros/Unilever. He had many ambitious plans, some which were followed through, many of which remained pipe dreams. In 1923, Lord Leverhulme gifted the Castle and grounds to the people of Stornoway. During the war, it was used as a naval hospital and its latter use was as the first home of the Lews Castle College until 1988.

Later this afternoon, we will be transported to our hotel about half an hour away from the city. We have time to relax, enjoy wellness sessions with our practitioner, do some yoga and meditate if you like. You can enjoy dinner on your own tonight or with the group.

Day 4: Isle Of Lewis
Isle of Lewis, Scotland, United Kingdom
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This morning we will depart for our day at the Callanish Stones. This is a story with no ending. Against the backdrop of their 5000 years, the stones have witnessed countless changes in the people and the landscape around them. The story tells about developing landscape, the evolving environment, a land of circles, stones, archaeology and conservation along with many other topics. In the absence of any sure knowledge, theories as to the meaning and purpose of such stone structures abound. Many adhere to the belief that they were used in rituals relating to the moon, stars and the position of the distant hills. Whatever inspired their construction, all agree that the experience of visiting the Standing Stones of Calanais is not to be missed. There are at least a dozen sites of interest around Calanais. The main stone complex contains around 50 stones in a cross-shaped setting. The impressive inner circle comprising 13 stones, the tallest of which is 4m high, and a small chambered cairn.

Here we can embrace the mysticism and energy, and do some yoga and meditation in one of the smaller stone circles, where there are no other tourists.

We are going to enjoy lunch at the wonderful café located here, before travelling on to Doune Broch. However fascinating the Standing Stones are, they are not the only prehistoric site worth visiting - Dun Carloway is one of the best-preserved Iron Age Brochs in the whole of Scotland. Positioned above a crofting township and close to a large sea loch Dun Carloway, like the Standing Stones, is in the care of Historic Scotland. The origin of the broch and its precise use is still not clear. We will enjoy a stop at the visitors centre and the site itself.

We return later to the hotel, where you can enjoy quiet time, wellness sessions, or take a walk. The beauty of the area is unforgettable. Dinner is on your own or join your tour leader in the hotel.

Day 5: Isle Of Lewis
Isle of Lewis, Scotland, United Kingdom
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It is easy to imagine that you have stepped back in time to experience the way of life in a typical crofting township of the last century. You can see traditional activities, including the weaving of the famous Harris Tweed. There is a small shop where you can buy mementoes of your visit, and you can relax in the cafeteria where you can enjoy the best of home-made fare. We will enjoy the site and have lunch here before boarding our transport and heading up to a remote northern area.

We will be making a short pilgrimage to the unique and beautiful St Moluag's Church. This site is believed to have been consecrated since St Moluag, a contemporary of St Columba, built a chapel here in the 560s. The present building is of unknown age, with estimates of its build date ranging from the 1100s to the 1500s. At the time of the Reformation it was said to have been dedicated to St Maelrubha.

As a result the church had become a centre for pilgrimage by those seeking healing, and it seems likely that the squint from the side chapel was constructed to allow pilgrims with communicable diseases (such as leprosy) to take part in services without coming into contact with those in the church itself.

The Reformation in 1560 seems to have brought traditional Christian worship at the church to a temporary halt. A visitor in 1695, Martin Martin, reported that the church had, within the living memory of those he met, been the focus of a pagan fertility festival each year on All Saints' Day (1 November). This was dedicated to the sea-god Shony.

Islanders from across Lewis came to the Church of St Mulway, where ale was brewed from that season's grain. Some of this was offered up to Shony by an islander standing up to his waist in the sea at night. Those present then returned to the church where the light provided by a single candle was extinguished and islanders went into the surrounding fields and spent the rest of the night "in dancing and singing, &c." Presumably the local birth rate peaked around the beginning of August each year.

Martin Martin goes on to report that by the time of his visit, more Presbyterian elements in Lewis society had stopped this annual festival. It is tempting to wonder whether what he was told was actually true, or just an early example of urban mythology in action. What is more certain is that the church's traditional role as a centre for healing and pilgrimage continued into the 1600s, and possible well beyond.

This is a unique and special place, and we have time to enjoy the church and area before heading back down the coast for our last night at our hotel.

Day 6: Return To Glasgow
Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom
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This morning we are going to rise early to head back to Stornoway for a walk along the beach and a visit to the St. Columba’s Chapel. St Columba’s (or Ui) Church is a 14th Century ruin sitting within its own Cemetery and located on a sandy isthmus near Stornoway.

Commonly known as St Columba’s (Ui) - Ui being the Gaelic for isthmus - the Church is also referred to as the Eye Church or its Gaelic equivalent, Eaglais na h-Aoidhe. Situated just above High Water Mark in this windswept part of the world, this medieval church, which was one of the most important medieval churches in the Western Isles, now it's in real danger of being lost to the sea.

This peaceful and mystical place is our last visit here on the island. After some quiet time and contemplation here, we head off to the airport for the short flight back to Glasgow. We arrive into Glasgow in the early afternoon and are transferred to our beautiful, historic hotel. You have the rest of the day free to enjoy the area. There are plenty of shops and sites to visit if you like, or enjoy the services of the hotel or sessions with our private practitioner. Ask your tour leader for ideas, or to join you!

Day 7: Glasgow Food Tour
Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom
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You can sleep in this morning. We will be departing on our food tour at approximately 11 am and will return to the hotel late in the afternoon.

The Wee Food Tour invites you to join us in a walking food adventure through Glasgow, once the “Second City of the British Empire”, that remains today a great city to visit and to live. Golf and whisky remain two of the best exports that Scotland has given the world, but experiencing the wide variety of Scottish dishes, sweets and savories is an experience that cannot be found outside of our ‘Dear Green Place’. Your afternoon of tastings will be experienced in six different restaurants, specialty shops and independent, family run businesses that are experts in their dishes and products they make. You will be able to wrap your mouth around over 20 different food items that even some locals have never tried!

In addition to tasting great food, seeing the city and enjoying the banter, your participation in The Wee Food Tour benefits our local community as we donate £5 from each ticket sold to our local food bank. We strongly feel that everyone in our community should not go hungry and know they are not invisible in their time of need.

You have free time until dinner, our last meal together as a group. Your tour leader will let you know what time dinner reservations are for.

Day 8: Time To Say Goodbye
Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom
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We can have breakfast in the hotel early this morning before our transport comes to take us to the airport for our international flight home.

WHAT'S INCLUDED

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  • 7 Nights 3*, 4* or 5* accommodations
  • Professional Tour Leader
  • Private transfers and transport
  • Wellness Practioner/Yoga Teacher
  • All breakfasts
  • 3 lunches
  • 3 dinners
  • Food tastings
  • Wellness sessions
  • Local or site guides
  • Internal flights
  • Entrances to sites

NOTES

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Small group tour with a maximum of 8 participants. 35% deposit at time of reservations, final payment due 60 days prior to tour. Monthly payment plans also available with a $250 deposit.


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