• Edinburgh Castle
  • The Hermitage Woodlands
  • Scottish Whisky Tasting
  • Sheep Dog Demonstration
  • Cawdor Castle near Inverness
  • Glencoe
  • Castle Stalker near Oban

Tour Questions? Call 425-608-4217

Best of Scotland in 10 Days Tour

On this bonnie journey that starts and ends in royal Edinburgh, your Rick Steves guide will immerse you in the rich culture and history of Scotland. You'll walk the Royal Mile; study the fairways at St. Andrews; shake paws with a sheep dog; try a wee dram at a whisky distillery; explore the Highlands; ponder Lochs Ness, Garry and Lomond; wander over the Isle of Iona; and time-travel about the craggy castles of Edinburgh, Stirling and Urquhart. Join us for the Best of Scotland in 10 Days!

What's Included

  • A small, friendly group of 24-28 people — half the size of most tour groups
  • Full-time services of a professional Rick Steves guide and local experts who will make the fascinating history, art and culture of Scotland come alive for you
  • All tours and admissions — at no extra cost — covering at least 21 group sightseeing events • Walking tour of Edinburgh's Royal Mile • National Museum of Scotland • Edinburgh Castle tour • Culross Manor tour • St. Andrews visit • Scottish musical evening • Dunkeld visit • Hermitage visit • Whisky distillery tour and tasting • Scottish Crannog Centre tour • Pitlochry visit • Sheep dog demonstration • Culloden Battlefield tour • Clava Cairns tour • Cawdor Castle tour • Urquhart Castle visit • Loch Ness visit • Glencoe visit • Isle of Iona visit • Iona Abbey tour • Stirling Castle tour...and more
  • All group transportation from Edinburgh to Edinburgh
  • 9 nights accommodations in memorable, centrally-located hotels and B&Bs
  • All breakfasts and half your dinners
  • All tips for guides and driver
  • Free stuff including Rick Steves Great Britain guidebook, moneybelt and earplugs
  • Guaranteed tour price, locked in the moment you make your deposit
  • Optional single supplements — this tour has a limited number of private rooms for solo travelers for an additional fee
  • Tour alum discount of $50 for each tour you've taken prior to 2015
  • 50% discount on a consulting appointment with our in-house experts to assist with your pre- or post-tour travel plans
  • Flexibility should you need to transfer, or cancel/interrupt your tour
  • Fine print: You are responsible for the cost of your drinks and free-time sightseeing. See our Tour Conditions Agreement for important details regarding everything listed above

Itinerary

Daily Activity Key
  • Light = 2-4 miles of mostly level walking throughout the day.
  • Moderate = 2-6 miles walking throughout the day with some hills and stairs.
  • Strenuous = 2-8 miles walking throughout the day with lots of hills, stairs and uneven terrain.

Day 1: Welcome to Scotland

We'll meet around 4 p.m. at our hotel in Edinburgh for a "Welcome to Scotland" get-together. We'll then take a short neighborhood walk and enjoy getting acquainted over dinner. Sleep in Edinburgh (2 nights). No bus. Walking: light.

Day 2: Conquering Edinburgh Castle

Today we'll see the best of Edinburgh on foot, starting with a walking tour of the Royal Mile and its wealth of historic buildings, quaint shops, narrow lanes and hidden courtyards. Next we'll start the "hike" through the history of this land at the impressive National Museum of Scotland. Then we're off to tour the birthplace of the city, the massive and imposing Edinburgh Castle to soak up its dramatic views. The rest of the day is free for your own explorations. No bus. Walking: strenuous.

Day 3: Culross and St. Andrews

We cross the famous Firth of Forth this morning as we head into the Scottish countryside. Our first stop is in the picturesque burgh of Culross, where we'll learn about long-ago lifestyles as we tour a 17th-century cottage "palace." Then we're off to St. Andrews, Scotland's oldest university town and mecca for golfers worldwide. You'll have time to explore the ruins of St. Andrews' medieval cathedral, watch duffers playing The Old Course, and enjoy lunch. This evening we’ll enjoy dinner together, and then listen to the history of bagpipes and a real Scottish piper. Tonight we'll sleep in or near the village of Kenmore (2 nights). Bus: 5 hrs. Walking: moderate.

Day 4: Whisky and Waterfalls

This morning we'll learn about Scottish Romanticism amidst the Black Linn Falls and towering forest of the Hermitage. We'll also visit the charming town of Dunkeld and its medieval cathedral. After lunch we'll tour a whisky distillery, learn about this iconic Scottish industry and enjoy a wee dram of single malt. Then it's back to Kenmore via Sma Glen, a picturesque glen that contains all the scenery of the Highlands rising from the banks of the River Almond. Bus: 4 hrs. Walking: moderate.

Day 5: Crannogs and the Highlands

This morning we'll tour a reconstruction of Scotland's unique crannogs: prehistoric, defensive homesteads built on piers out over the lochs. We'll also learn about the first people to farm in this part of the world, millennia ago. After lunch in the town of Pitlochry, talented sheep dogs will entertain us with a demonstration at a working sheep farm, where we'll learn the nitty-gritty of Scotland's wool industry. We'll end the day in the Highland city of Inverness. Sleep in Inverness (2 nights). Bus: 3 hrs. Walking: light.

Day 6: Culloden Battlefield and Cawdor Castle

Today we'll tour evocative Culloden Battlefield where, in 1746, Bonnie Prince Charlie's defeat ended decades of Scottish rebellion against the English government. We'll also stop for a look at the Clava Cairns, an impressive collection of prehistoric burial chambers. On our way back to Inverness, we'll tour the turreted Cawdor Castle and its magnificent gardens. The remainder of the afternoon is yours to explore Inverness or stroll along the banks of the river before dinner together. Bus: 2 hrs. Walking: moderate.

Day 7: Loch Ness and Glencoe

We'll begin our day with a panoramic view from the ruins of Urquhart Castle, perched atop a rock overlooking Loch Ness (monster sightings possible). After lunch in the canal-side village of Fort Augustus, it's on to haunting Glencoe, site of Scotland's most infamous massacre (Campbells and MacDonalds, keep your daggers on the bus). We'll end our day in the scenic coastal town of Oban, where we'll sleep (2 nights, group may be split between two B&Bs). Bus: 4 hrs. Walking: moderate.

Day 8: Inspiring Isle of Iona

Today we'll board a ferry and hop on a local bus for an entertaining ride across the island of Mull to our destination: the windswept Isle of Iona, the birthplace of Christianity in Scotland. We'll tour the 800-year-old abbey, where monks created the remarkable Book of Kells, one of the sparks of creativity that pulled Europe out of the Dark Ages. We'll then set you free to explore or find a spot to meditate on this tiny, spiritually-charged island. We'll return to Oban, and our own century, in time for dinner. Boat: 2 hrs. Bus: 2 hrs. Walking: moderate.

Day 9: Loch Lomond and Stirling Castle

We'll drive along the bonny, bonny banks of Loch Lomond and through central Scotland on our way back to Edinburgh. En route we'll visit the famous castle of the Stuart Kings, Stirling, including the newly restored Renaissance Palace. Tonight we'll share memories of Scotland and toast new friends at our final dinner together. Sláinte! Sleep in Edinburgh (1 night). Bus: 4 hrs. Walking: moderate.

Day 10: Tour Over After Breakfast

Breakfast is provided, but there are no group activities today. Edinburgh's airport and train station are easy connections from our neighborhood. Glasgow is one hour away by train; London is 90 minutes by air. For those tempted to continue their trip, Edinburgh is a great jumping off point to Paris, Dublin, Amsterdam and many other exciting destinations. Cheerio!

Itinerary specifics subject to change.

Activity Level

Our tours are physically active! It’s an essential part of the Rick Steves tour experience. On our Best of Scotland in 10 Days tour — among other things — you'll need to happily...

  1. Carry/roll your luggage over uneven pavement (several blocks possible) and up stairways to reach your hotel; then up several flights of stairs to reach your room.
  2. Be on your feet, walking and standing for up to three hours, indoors and outdoors, in all weather conditions.
  3. Sleep with street noise and no (or weak) air conditioning.
  4. After orientation and transportation lessons, be able to navigate towns and cities on your own.
  5. Walk up steep hills in Edinburgh and at Urquhart Castle.

Reviews

Thomas

Minnesott Beach, NC

Tour: 09/08/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Good group, good leader and bus driver. Well selected itinerary. Great organization of the details.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to list."

Stuart

Moscow, ID

Tour: 09/08/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Our guide was first rate. Our group had no complainers. The pace was good and I liked that Rick tells you what is NOT on the tour so we could budget our free time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Standing in a grave yard on the isle of Iona where 7 kings of Scotland are buried."

Carole

Edmonds, WA

Tour: 09/08/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Learned alot about the Scotish History. Was very impressed with the beauty of the landscape. I was surprised to see mountains that were over 3000', I guess I just assumed that Scotland was more rolling hills & flat lands. We used a 'whisper system' in Edinburgh that didn't work very well if you were too far away from the guide. It would have been nice to have that in other places along the trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I really enjoyed watching the Shepherd work his dogs with the sheep. They are such beautiful animals & even the sheep were fun to watch."

Bill

Seattle, WA

Tour: 09/03/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour guide, Anne, made this an enjoyable experience. The tour was well planned, informative, and interesting. Anne provided local insight into history, geology and customs. She also shared her perspectives on the Scottish independence vote just before voting day; greatly appreciated by all of us. As with the other RS tour that we took, everyone was friendly,energetic, well-mannered, and respective.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Although not much of a castle-person, the Stirling Castle visit was particularly interesting, especially the tapestry working project and the kitchen exhibit."

Doris

Terre Haute, IN

Tour: 09/01/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I found Scotland to be magical and traveling was easy. I've lived and traveled in Third World countries for soooo long, this trip was a breeze. I love the buffet breakfasts and the included dinners.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Every 5 minutes, I experienced "wow" moments. I'm not crazy about dogs, yet the sheep dog visit was interesting and I'm glad I had that experience. Loved the Crannog Center and the castles. Just the right amount of Castles, one more would have been tooooo much. My only low point was the Pict burial mounds outside Culloden Battlefield. Could have lived without visiting them because I did NOT experience a deja vu there. Perhaps other people did, I didn't."

Kathleen

Weaverville, NC

Tour: 09/01/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

What a wonderful first experience of a RS tour. From our first meeting to the last hurrah after that last breakfast the group was cohesive, adventurous and friendly. The sites were most interesting, the pace fast but lively and the scenery and landscape of Scotland was the star. Martin, Stewart (bus driver)and Nigel were outstanding and so knowledgeable in their respective fields. All went out of their way to help whenever they could. The group coalesced to form many memories for us all.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were several but for me it came down to the crannogs. A very interesting site and gathered inside was so instructive and fascinating. Also a special event after a dinner in Kenmore was Gilly, the wee bag piper. She was such a great example of someone with passion about her love, bagpipes, and it was a pleasure to have her explain the workings of them and her life in a band, etc. It certainly resonated that she was one of the first women in the 60's to play before the queen."

Scott

Tualatin, OR

Tour: 09/01/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great tour guide, assistant and driver. We liked everyone in the group. This was our first Rick Steves tour so we were apprehensive. However, it was everything we expected and more. One of the things I worried about was the group mentality aspect. The thought of sharing a candy bar with the whole bus struck me as ludicrous. Fortunately, that was not required. We also did not want to play name games.

Sandra

Chattanooga, TN

Tour: 09/01/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful, interesting hotels. Knowledgable , funny, hardworking guides. Well chosen stops of interest, historical significance and charm. Great group

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Iona"

Michael

Chattanooga, TN

Tour: 09/01/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very memorable experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Military tattoo in Fort George"

Philip

Weaverville, NC

Tour: 09/01/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a wonderful tour with the guidance of our "Walking Google" ... Martin. He was great and sooooooooo knowledgeable. The luxury bus was wonderful and with Rick Steves Tours and Martin setting the stage from the beginning,there were no surprises resulting in us enjoying ourselves tremendously. We look forward to doing another Rick Steves Tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite moment, although maybe a little morbid, was standing in front of the head stones of the various clans at the Culloden Battlefield. It was raining and the wind was blowing hard (twice inverting my umbrella) and I could picture the English and the Scots in their hour-long battle. The interactive displays in the museum itself had set the stage and I was able to relive the experience but in full safety."

Jan

Altadena, CA

Tour: 09/01/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Wonderful nuggets of experiences set against the gorgeous Scottish countryside. And so exciting to be there during the run-up to the referendum!

Hans

Anacortes, WA

Tour: 09/01/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

It was an excellent tour. We enjoyed the traditional downtown hotels. The guide was very good' Personally I would have enjoyed more lectures on the history. It might have been nice to have a map. I know I could have found one in the Rick Steve book but to have a copy would be helpful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many great events and sites."

Shigeru

Long Beach, CA

Tour: 08/25/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I left my heart in Scotland, High on a hill, It calls me... My heart's in the Highlands, my heart is not here, My hearts's in the Highlands, wherever I go. Do I need to say more?

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Definitely the Highlands, so many breathtaking Lochs and heather covered Glens!!!"

Mark

Bellingham, WA

Tour: 08/25/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour provided us with an excellent exposure to all the sights and sounds of Scotland that we could hope for. We saw all the castles, Abbeys, lochs, hairy coos, sheep, and ate all the seafood we could in 10 days. Would highly recommend the tour to others, who like us, fear driving on the "wrong side of the road"!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"On the edge of the North Sea, St. Andrews was stunning. We were expecting the golf links, not castle ruins with a unique siege warfare mine and counter mine, an infamous "bottle" prison. Nor did we expect Scotland's oldest medieval church, built in the 12th century on the site of a century's old Celtic monastic order. The 1st church, St. Mary on the Rock, St Rule's Church with its 108' tower built around 1130 and the cathedral, started around 1160 and dedicated in 1318. Impressive!"

Robert

Micanopy, FL

Tour: 08/25/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had A very good time, the things I thought I would like the most were not the best things. The little hidden gems that We would have never though of or tried were by and far the best. This was one of the best tours I have been on.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Time at and around Kenmore."

Nina

Micanopy, FL

Tour: 08/25/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Colin was the best travel guide I've ever had. He kept us moving along with the skills of a border collie, shared the history of his country, sings well, and is a smart and caring person. He really helped our travel "buddies" get medical help, and made everything seem easy and seamless. Taking a guided trip is definately the way to go for us. The itinerary hit everything we wanted to see, long enough to see it, and explore a litte bit, too. I had a great time!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I saw a golden eagle sitting on a stone fence coming back from the abbey at Iona. Our room in Oban was on second floor with bay window with view of the sea. I think we both said Wow! at the same time. The tapestries at Sterling, and the garden at Cawdor Castle was beautiful. I was surprised how much I liked Gillie's demonstration of the bagpipes, and I wished I had swiped a puppy from the sheepdog demonstration.oh gee"

Beverly

La Crosse, WI

Tour: 08/25/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour of Scotland was wonderful because the country is beautiful and has a thrilling history, the people were generous and fun, our hotels and food were wonderful, there was a variety of activities and sights but most of all we had Colin who has to be the perfect guide. You tour philosophy stresses "no grumps", be ready and eager for the unknown and operate as a grownup who can travel without hand holding - great!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"All of Edinburgh. Being in a place of historical significance "wowed"me. The shepherd and his dogs were fun and we especially loved his honest remarks about the trouble the government causes him. It reminded us of how alike we all are in the world."

John

La Crosse, WI

Tour: 08/25/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

It was a very enjoyable tour. Adding to the experience was the fact that we were there during the final campaign for independence. Colin is a excellent tour leader. We learned from him and enjoy having him as a friend. A personal note......I travel to learn about people who are different than I am. There is VERY little that separates the Scottish culture from mine. Mostly we see castles and other ruins from the past. The music is not really Scottish any more and now is more interntl

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We went to a bar that served mussels that was recommended by one of our group and had a wonderful time. Great mussels. Met some locals and had some laughs and good times. On my final day I went to see where we would catch the airport bus. When I was there a high school aged boy waited there too. I asked him how school was that day and he answered by I was totally unable to understand what he said. He had a great accent!!"

Gail

Chicago, IL

Tour: 08/25/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Although we have traveled a lot, my husband and I have never taken any kind of tour before. This was a terrific experience. Each day was well planned and efficiently executed. No time was wasted. I appreciate that expectations were clearly stated in the beginning, as this helped things run smoothly. Our guide, Colin was sensational! He was immensely knowledgeable, articulate and able to share his love of Scotland with us. He was funny, compassionate, and exercised great leadership skills.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many cool moments, i.e. sheep shearing, and crannoughs, but my favorite was the Robert Burns poem on the chimney wall of the Kenmore Hotel. It was so intimate and unheralded...perfect discovery. It made up for the sketchy plumbing! Lovely location, by the way."

Kathryn

Beaverton, OR

Tour: 08/25/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had a wonderful time on the tour. It was all that I had hoped it would be and more. At every turn there was something so beautiful to see, and the tour itself was well organized and managed. Colin did an excellent job of telling us about what we were seeing and explaining anything in advance that we might be doing -- like taking a ferry that we needed to exit in a hurry to catch our bus on Mull.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" moment was at almost every turn as we rode through the Highlands. It is such magnificent country, and one spot is more beautiful than the next. Seeing the hairy Highland cows was a real treat also."

Paul

Beaverton, OR

Tour: 08/25/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great tour. Colin was outstanding and we enjoyed our time with him very much. He was funny, talented (he could even sing) and very helpful. He made our Scottish experience even more fun. I would highly recommend this tour and this guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I would say when we crossed the border between the lowlands and the highlands and looked at the beautiful scenery. It was amazing."

Cliff

Long Beach, CA

Tour: 08/25/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

WOW! What a wonderful tour! We saw so many things and learned so much. It was great to have such a contrast of castles and palaces and raw, rugged nature.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Glencoe area. We happened to have gorgeous weather, and the scenery was just spectacular. We will long remember those views!"

Thomas

Las Vegas, NV

Tour: 08/18/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our guide, Martin, was witty, knowledgable and extraordinary. We got a wonderful sense of Scottish history and a panoramic view of the multifaceted beauty of the Scottish landscape. The accommodations were delightful. The smaller local properties which Rick Steves [INVALID]s, in my view, add to the sense of place and culture that you take away from a Rick Steves tour. The sponsored meals as well played to the getting a sense of the place. Overall an excellent experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The wow moment for me was at the Culloden Battlefield. The immersive audio visual presentation at the beginning of the tour was stunning in conveying in a small sense what this mostly hand to hand battle must have been like. I walked amidst a spitting rain shower through the reaches of the battlefield and imagined what the conditions could have been and I felt that I could see the ghosts of these warriors. It is something that I will not forget."

Bryan

Alexandria, VA

Tour: 08/18/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was one of the best, if not the best vacation of my life; and I've been around the world a few times for pleasure and business. The tour was paced perfectly and very thoughtful in it's itinerary. Well done!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Whiskey and Waterfalls! It was all great."

Gerry

Van Nuys, CA

Tour: 08/18/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Martin was a scholarly mother hen with enthusiastic overtones......just great

Favorite "WOW" moment

"porpoises swimming by our breakfast window at oban.....right on "cue""

Jeffrey

Traverse City, MI

Tour: 08/18/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful tour. Martin our guide did a wonderful job contributing history and background to the areas we visited. I cannot imagine the tour without his invaluable contributions. He is very very well versed on culture, history and archeology as well as places to eat and visit on our own. Well paced. I never felt rushed or bored. Roddy our bus driver was friendly and helpful he did amzing things with our bus getting us in and out of places that hadn't enough room for a car let alone a bus

Favorite "WOW" moment

"hard to pick one"

Kristina

Dekalb, IL

Tour: 08/18/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my third tour and all have been excellent. This tour seemed to have less free time than others, but that might be due to it being shorter than the other tours I did. I really think that one extra day should be added in Oban and that would be a free day so that people can explore the town or take a boat ride or just relax a little. We get in town fairly late in the day and then the next day is all ferry rides and then we leave.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Loved the dogs like everyone else. Also liked Oban a lot. Too little time spent there. I enjoyed Cawdor Castle and the Crannogs a lot too. The countryside around Kenmore was especially pretty too."

Peter

Lubbock, TX

Tour: 08/11/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was a lot of fun for my first-time packaged tour. We will consider going on another one in the future. Having two other couples that are long-time friends also helped. Colin was knowledgeable, friendly and very helpful. I would definitely go back to Kenmore, but the ferry and bus ride on Mull was the only good thing about the trip to Iona.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"seeing a white-tailed sea eagle on the Isle of Mull"

Joan

Pearl River, NY

Tour: 08/11/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Colin was a great guide; Stuart was a great driver. Great trip.

Charles

Buffalo Grove, IL

Tour: 08/11/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I enjoyed all aspects of the tour: the main cities (Edinburgh, Inverness), the stop at St. Andrews, Loch Ness, the day trip to Iona, the whisky, the distillery visit, the countryside, the castles, learning about the battle of Culloden, and the sheep farm visit. All were worthwhile.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This may sound strange, but it was when Colin told us the story behind the song "The Bonny Banks of Loch Lomond." This is a song I had learned in 5th grade chorus class 50 years ago and still remember. The way he told the story was very moving and meaningful to me. Upon returning to the US, I bought two versions of the song for my IPAD."

James

Pearl River, NY

Tour: 08/11/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Oh"

Carol

Sudbury, MA

Tour: 08/11/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very informative with a nice mix of types of learning experiences. I was too sick one day to join the group and missed the trip to Mull and Iona, but was told that too much of that day was devoted to transportation.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Kenmore--a beautiful town with lots to do. I'd have loved a third night there. Rooms were great, especially our bathroom."

Pat

Oshkosh, WI

Tour: 08/11/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Scotland in 10 Days was the best vacation of my life. The scenery was spectacular, the towns and villages we visited were fascinating, and there was always something new and intriguing to learn about. The meals and hotels were great, our guides were charming and helpful, and our bus driver was wonderful. What a perfect combination of history, culture, hiking, sightseeing, and socializing

Favorite "WOW" moment

"1.visiting the farm, watching the border collies in action, getting to pet the puppies and feed the baby goats 2.the Lake Tay crannoch was simply amazing. a 4000 year old house brought back to life -fascinating 3.the bus ride along the length of the Isle of Mull, with the witty commentary by Richard, our driver was simply wonderful! 4.the spectacular grounds and gardens of Cawdor Castle"

Karen

Los Altos, CA

Tour: 08/11/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Despite the cold and sometimes rainy weather, we had a great trip. Colin was a terrific guide and Casey was a cheerful and reliable assistant. And Stewart, our coach driver, was excellent!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Just looking at the highlands, with sheep, etc. Sheepdog exhibition was a lot of fun."

Judith

Ojai, CA

Tour: 08/11/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had no idea how wonderful, interesting and exciting a trip to Scotland would be. Your itinerary and the explanations, history and stories provided by our guide, coach driver, and assistant guide helped to make this an outstanding tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There was a series of "Wow" moments. It would be hard to pick just one; each was so unique. The knowledge of our guides made this so much more than just "visiting" places. Just "going on your own" does not provide the depth and completeness that is provided on a tour."

George

Dixon, MO

Tour: 08/04/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We were blessed to tour with an amazing group of people and Liz and Roddy were superb team. Liz's knowledge of Scottish history and culture were nothing less then "as advertised". Professional, with a very Rick Steve's spin of allowing us the ability to feel like independent travelers but providing opportunities to feel close as a group. Would love to see tour extended a day or two longer to allow a little more time at some of the locations, but as a first time with Rick Steve's highly recommend

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Liz's game of truth or not, gave the group an opportunity to laugh and enjoy our little tour family."

Marilyn

Colorado Springs, CO

Tour: 08/04/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Scotland is not a "wow" vacation; it is many subtle "oohs and ahhhs"."

Cynthia

Dixon, MO

Tour: 08/04/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my 2nd RS tour, and once again your team delivered a wonderful tour experience. The only thing I would change if the schedule would allow it, is a little earlier departure time from the hotel and a little later return time back at the hotel (1700 vice1600) allowing more time at some of the sights we visited.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I thought the whole tour was wonderful, but I think my wow moment was walking around Edinburgh and realizing that I was in Scotland."

Leanne

Wasilla, AK

Tour: 08/04/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first trip with RS tours and could not have asked for a more enjoyable experience. Liz was an absolutely wonderful guide and her knowledge she shared with us of Scotland was very much appreciated. She was always doing the little extra stuff for our group and we all loved her for it. Roddy our driver was very funny and his team work with Liz was well match. RS tours selection of hotels & B&B were very charming and places we visited were beautiful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Loved Edinburgh and had a great time exploring the city. Inverness had a lot of surprises and I was not aware you can view dolphins from here. Dogs/sheep herding demostration was very impressive and of course even though we had a lot of rain that day, Isle of Iona was beautiful. The sun was out just long enough for our visit there and to see the abby."

Robert

Mill Creek, WA

Tour: 08/04/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I felt Liz was our strongest RS guide yet in 7 tours. She had an amazing depth of knowledge in all fields and great people skills. The tour group was one of our favorites thus far, a mixture of ages and backgrounds that meshed well together. Roddie, our driver, greatly added to the tour. My only disappointment was the amount of commuting time required to reach the Isle of Iona vs quality time on the island. I'd like to have more time there.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Enjoyed visiting the Old Course at St Andrews and the beach. Visiting the sheep farm and listening to Neil's wife, Glynis from CO of the US, describe the passion he has for his trade. Watching dolphins fishing on an incoming tide at Chanonry Point near Inverness and seeing some amazing photos. We were saying "Wow" and a whole lot more when 3 Swifts (birds) joined us in our room in Kenmore...nature up close. The chance to grab a horn of a hairy Hielan Coo(highland cow)."

Debbie

Mill Creek, WA

Tour: 08/04/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Liz was a great guide, full of knowledge, fun, and passion about Scotland. The group was one of our most enjoyable in 7 RS tours. Scotland was breathtakingly beautiful with the mountains, firths, and glens. Enjoyed the castles and those which are now relics. Roddie was a welcome addition, only twitching once the entire tour.;-) I was disappointed with the lack of time in Iona compared to the length of time to reach it. I would like to see more days added to include a night in Iona and Glascow.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sheep herding with Glynis and Neil and the chance to hold and feed a 2 week old baby goat named "Hiccup." Chance to watch dolphins near Inverness feeding on salmon. The surprise mini-tattoo in Sterling. Walking into our room in Kenmore to find three birds already occupying the room...the expressions on Liz and the hotel staff was priceless when I let them know. The piper, Gilly, who performed and taught those willing to play the bag pipes in Kenmore."

Jennifer

Calgary, AB

Tour: 08/04/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Liz was a wonderful guide. Full of lots of information but even if she didn't know or was unsure she would find out for us!! She let our interests lead her in different directions, when she found out I was Canadian she pointed out things just for me including the birthplace of one our Prime Ministers!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I don't have 1 wow moment but had a great overall experience ... But what I found most interesting was when Liz broke down the Gallic roots of the place names .. Ben = mountain etc ..."

Lilette

Houston, TX

Tour: 08/04/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Except for the weather and missing seeing the Highlands/Loch Lomond in all its glory because of it, the overall experience was superb. Liz was a perfect tour guide in every way. I can't really think of any negative except that we sometimes did not have much time to spend in some places like Iona and it took so long to get there and back and the weather was particularly bad that day but, like a miracle, the sun did peek through as we were leaving so we got a glimpse of what it can look like.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I guess my favorite came at the end when we were at the Robert The Bruce monument and a band in full uniform with bag pipes and drums played unexpectedly. A young girl danced a folk dance as well. Liz explained the significance of the monument's poem regarding all the fighting that has occurred in Scotland and who the land belongs to "...Come ye all nations. You win me who take me most to heart". It was a fitting finale."

Ronald

Houston, TX

Tour: 08/04/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great tour overall, Liz, our guide, was outstanding in her knowledge of history and current events, always clearly explaining. It was a joy. Great leadership. Tour gives a taste of Scotland, like most tours can only tickle you to possibly go back for more. This was our seventh tour with RS and we will be back for more. Consistently high quality since 2005 when we first started. As long as this level continues, we will book more tours in Italy and France for sure.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"None in particular, just great to visit this country."

Ross

Salem, OH

Tour: 08/04/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steves' tour. We had an extraordinary experience with Liz, a superb guide, and with the others who were on this tour with us. As an overview of Scotland I don't know how it could be done better. Liz has both breadth and depth of knowledge, and shared that knowledge skillfully and meaningfully with everyone. Roddy, our driver, added greatly to the success of this tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For me, probably two: the opportunity to get a tour of St. Giles in Edinburgh, and the brief introduction to the Ksle of Iona. With another couple on this tour, we had planned to return to Iona when the tour concluded. We did so, stayed two-and-a-half additional days, and were able to get a flavor of Iona that really isn't available from the brief stop the tour makes there."

Laureen

Santa Cruz, CA

Tour: 08/04/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had a wonderful trip! Liz was an outstanding guide! I would absolutely take another Rick Steves Tour. The hotels were lovelly.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved the Castles! The sheep dog exhibition and Clava Cairns"

Nancy

Spokane, WA

Tour: 07/28/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Helen and Julia were delightful. I would not hesitate going on a tour with them again. Helen was very knowledgeable and helpful to everyone. Julia was a wonderful Tour Assistant and I enjoyed her evening of violin playing. All of the hotels were very nice and comfortable and the breakfasts were outstanding. Our bus driver (Roddy) was the best and I loved it when he showed up one day in his kilt.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The sheep herding. The Border Collies were a delight to watch herding the sheep and keeping them in line."

Phyllis

Council Bluffs, IA

Tour: 07/28/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I really enjoyed our Scotland trip. The history and the beauty of the country was soooo interesting. Helen, our guide, was outstanding. She is so personable and fun to listen to (cute accent!). "Wee bit" will be forever in our vocabulary now.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite day was the one where we visited Culloden battlefield, the cairns, and Cawdor castle. I'm a history and literature buff so I loved that day."

Kay

Centerville, WA

Tour: 07/28/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

So enjoyed our guides and felt very safe with Roddy, our bus driver!! Weather was great and accomodations were very good. Everyone was very friendly and helped me find Cameron Clan souvenirs...even was able to order some Cameron material to be sent home so I can make some pillows for Christmas presents!!!

Alan

Council Bluffs, IA

Tour: 07/28/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I knew nothing about Scotland before this trip. I came away impressed with the people, their history, and the topography. Their history fascinated and was thought provoking. I would like to return and go further north of Inverness. I know others thought Glasgow might be worth a look. We did stay ( the Council Bluffs, Iowa 7 ) and take in the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo. Very Impressive!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I liked Kenmore. Everything about it was outstanding from the accommodations, to the food, to the scenic beauty, to the history of the people, to our walking tour ( unofficial ) to the castle and it's golf course."

Pat

Camas, WA

Tour: 07/28/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fabulous way to travel. Took away all the worry over getting it right... Our guide Helen was better than GREAT! Our drivers were the best and added a lot to the tour Julia added a "touch of Home", a connection back to RSTs Our tour group was soooo much fun Rick Steve's Tours is very professionally done. "LOVED IT!!!!"

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to pick the best WOW...but the antiquity really struck me. Walking the streets and waysides of my ancestors was incredible. Visiting Iona Island really moved me...my mom was named after the island."

Bob

Camas, WA

Tour: 07/28/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking where my ancestors lived, worked, and walked"

Michele

Irvine, CA

Tour: 07/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved Scotland, our guides, and our fellow tour members. This is why I keep coming back to Rick Steves tours. The quality is excellent and being comfortable on a bus that isn't packed with people is so important. We had a fantastic time, met some great fellow tour members, and we will treasure our memories forever.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The drive across Mull to the ferry to Oban was a definite highlight and wow moment. The islands are so beautiful and the weather was fantastic so we were very fortunate. Glencoe was another favorite with the stunning green hills and waterfalls. Last but not least, the sheepdog farm when the dogs all came out to greet us. It was instant joy - loved those puppies!"

Michael

Alpharetta, GA

Tour: 07/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My wife and I had a great trip

Favorite "WOW" moment

"All events were equally wow moments"

Kerma

Chico, CA

Tour: 07/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I thought the tour was very well thought out. I appreciated the comfortable coach, the exceptional tour guides. Loved learning more about Scotland's history, and felt we got a good overall feel for the landscape. The sights were all breathtaking. Also, very nice group of people to travel with. I had a great time!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I absolutely loved the gardens at Cawdor Castle. Sobering to visit Culloden Battlefied, appreciated the historical significance. The best room we had was in Oban, loved the B&B. But also really liked the Kenmore Hotel, so nice to be in the country. Hard to pick a favorite, all the sights were exceptional, Scotland is so beautiful."

Monique

Surrey, BC

Tour: 07/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I really enjoyed the tour. It actually exceeded my expectations. Colin and Agust were awesome. The people on the tour were very nice. The bus driver, Stevie, was an excellent driver.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's hard to think of a single "wow" moment. To me, it was all wow!"

Danielle

Irvine, CA

Tour: 07/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour was great. We had two great guides and a great bus driver (Stevie). Everything on the tour was fantastic with great hotels and meals. We really lucked out with all the sunshine, but what made the tour even better was the vast amount of knowledge that Colin had about everywhere we went.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Obviously my favorite wow moment was seeing Glencoe with the beautiful sunshine on the green mountains and the small waterfalls everywhere. It was simply breathtaking. Although seeing the sheepdogs and puppies was a very close second."

Marilyn

Morton Grove, IL

Tour: 07/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tour guide Colin was very professional and knowledgable. I cannot recall a single question he could not answer. Itinerary was fabulous. Especially liked 2 night stays. Great group size (24)

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I know this may sound silly, but the sheepdogs were amazing. I love dogs, and to see them in action was so much fun. They so smart ! Loved when the sheep dog puppies were trotted out."

Betsy

Sugar Land, TX

Tour: 07/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

What a wonderful trip! We had a great combination of amiable travelers, a solid co-leader, and a delightful leader. The pacing of the trip was good -- we saw a lot and had sufficient time to explore on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think the drive into the Highlands and seeing the glory of the unspoiled countryside was the piece (and peace) that will stay with me, especially Glencoe. The stay in Oban was probably the highlight. I really didn't want to leave!"

Gary

Morton Grove, IL

Tour: 07/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steves tour. About half of the other travelers have been with Rick Steves before. This tour was the first one lead by Colin, who was perfect for our group. He was "mentored" by Agustin, who complimented him as well. The tour was informative , educational and fun. The pace was just right for us. We enjoyed the fact that we stayed in the hotels for 2nights at a time. The hotels were fine, all with private bath and elevator. The food provided was very good.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"As others have mentioned, the sheepdog herding demonstration was a highlight. I thought Stirling Castle was the best historic stop on the tour. Its been brought up to date as an interactive exhibit for all ages."

Carol

Chico, CA

Tour: 07/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved it! Our tour guide, Colin, was exceptional and it was his first tour! He was smart, knowledgeable, informed, funny, and talented. I love that he sang to us and that he recited Scotish poetry. The places that were selected were not only important to Scotish history, but to world history also. I simply felt at home there, thanks to the choices and to Colin.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Wow moments are generally personal ones, so the first that come to mind are having the opportunity to feed carrots to the Highland cow and watch the sheepdogs work. But overall, the experience at Culloden was almost an awakening. I had no idea the importance to world history and what ultimately followed after that terrible battle. The battle itself was a tear jerker. The people of Scotland are very hospitable."

Jeannette

Seneca, SC

Tour: 07/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Scotland is a beautiful country and Colin, our tour guide,(who took care of us without seeming to do so) helped our wonderful group of 25 learn about and appreciate the history, the culture and the upcoming vote about separation from England. This was our first Rick Steves' tour and it will not be our last. Our group had a couple that were on their fifth Rick Steves' tour and I can understand why. There was a good balance between arranged touring and time on our own to explore our stops.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I was truly awed by the beauty of the highland landscape and the setting of the abbey on Iona."

Robert

Safety Harbor, FL

Tour: 07/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Colin and Agustin were excellent guides. Colin's knowledge of Scotland and Agustin's experience provided an enjoyable vacation and a wonderful learning experience. Getting to know about the customs and the culture made the tour invaluable. The accommodations were fantastic, the pace was good--staying 2 nights in each hotel/B&B was appreciated. The amount of guided commentary and time to ourselves to explore was a highlight for us. Great tour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think my favorite "wow moment" was Iona. The whole experience of being there was satisfying for both body and soul. The trip across Mull was one I wish we had more time with."

Laurence

Fircrest, WA

Tour: 07/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Colin and Agustin were great. Colin was a walking excilopidia and new something aboutt every stop and nook and cranny. We learned a lot and had very good time. Agustin did well in keeping us together and being sure things were going well. Our driver is to commmended in that he was delightful, and very good at his driving. (Stevie) All in all it was a great tour and unforgettable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Everything was great, from sights and restraunts and little things that Colin and Agustin provided."

Janet

Safety Harbor, FL

Tour: 07/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Having watched Rick Steves for years and utilized his travel resources for past vacations, we were very excited to finally have an opportunity to actually be part of a Rick Steves Tour, so the bar was set pretty high before we ever left home. As high as our expectations for this trip were, the experience exceeded them. This was an exceptional experience from beginning to end, and I would and have recommend it.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were numerous 'wow' moments, but I will mention three. First, I had the opportunity to visit Iona, which has been on my bucket list for years. It is a special place for me. The second 'wow' really was an ongoing connection with the people of Scotland. To a person, they were gracious, engaging, polite, friendly and fun. The third 'wow' was the group dynamic that developed on our tour. I believe this was the result of the fact that Rick Steves tours attract engaged travellers."

James

Pittsford, NY

Tour: 07/14/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was my first tour and the first with Rick Steve's tour. While I have been a long time fan of Rick on PBS, I was uncertain how I would like being on a tour. Any apprehension was immediately erased and I really enjoyed this tour. The scenery in Scotland is beautiful, all the people we interacted with as part of the tour were friendly and interesting, the hotels and meals were all excellent. And our tour guide, Liz, made Scotland and its history come alive.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The tour was filled with one surprise after another, which was a WOW all by itself. Iona was a WOW in terms of the serenity and beauty. Everywhere you looked there were beautiful flowers everywhere. On Iona we stopped at the cafe in the Heritage Center cafe for lunch. After lunch I stepped out the back of the building and was wowed by the beautiful flowers and the well kept garden which symbolized how much caring and love of beauty the Scots have. The sheep dog demo was another WOW."

Carol

Granite Bay, CA

Tour: 07/14/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Thoroughly enjoyed everything from meeting our wonderful guide, Liz, Brodie, our driver, and his Scottish brogue banter with Liz. Liz was an amazing guide. Her depth of knowledge and the way she presented it made us fall in love with Scotland. From the geological beginnings, the influence of the many invaders, the battles, up to the current events and upcoming vote, we had a "crash course in all things Scotland".

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting Strathmiglo, our Scottish ancestors home. Glencoe, St.Andrews cathedral ruins. Before trip, I had associated only golf with St. Andrews. What a beautiful setting on the ocean."

Barbara

Evanston, IL

Tour: 07/14/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first Rick Steves' tour and I was impressed. The tour was great. What a fabulous way to brush up on history, see the scenery and visit the land of my ancestors. I had wanted to visit Scotland for quite a while and the tour enabled me to see most of the places on my "to do" list in an efficient manner.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The highlands around Glencoe were definitely jaw dropping and Liz's recounting of the history of the area made it even more impressive."

Janet

Franklin, NE

Tour: 07/14/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I can't believe how wonderful this trip was. It had the right balance of structured time and free time. Every event or location seemed to be special or better than the day before! Scotland has so much to offer and I think we received a wide variety of looks at the country: it's history, the people, the geology and it's sense of pride.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"How can there be one wow moment! Everyday had its wow moments. I did get goose bumps when we read the poem at the Battle of Bannockburn memorial: Kathleen Jamie's poem Here lies our land: every airt Beneath swift clouds, glad glints of sun, Belonging to none but itself. We are mere transients, who sing Its westlin' winds and fernie braes, Northern lights and siller tides, Small folk playing our part. 'Come all ye', the country says You win me, who take me most to heart."

Sandra

Highlands Ranch, CO

Tour: 07/14/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Outstanding from start to finish! The gorgeous weather was a bonus!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Every day had "wow" moments! The hike through the Hermitage and the enclosure opening to a beautiful waterfall was one. Oban is wonderful and the Isle of Iona is special."

JT

Coppell, TX

Tour: 07/14/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Overall..It was a great tour. Not one to voluntarily go on a bus anywhere, I was very impressed. The weather was unseasonably beautiful, which was a perk. We enjoyed above average accommodations, good food, beautiful scenery, plenty of historical landmarks, great people to share the experience and the best guide in the whole wide world! Action packed and fun-filled!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Among my favorite "wow' moments include: the Hermitage; the Three Sisters outside of Glencoe; singing the "Bonnie Bonnie Banks of Loch Lomond", on Loch Lomond, and our room at the B&B in Oban."

Irene

St Paul, MN

Tour: 07/14/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Highland games. Unique national sport competition, Scottish dances, marching bands with bagpipes. I felt truly emerged into Scottish culture; I was part of the crowd cheering participants."

Eric

Evanston, IL

Tour: 07/14/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was great! Scotland was very beautiful and our tour guide Liz was excellent. She provided lots of information on walks and on the bus reading history, architecture, music etc. This helped us understand what we were seeing and put it all in historical context.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Glencoe was literally breath taking! The beautiful green mountains, the mist and the waterfalls all added to the beauty. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the sheep dog demonstration. Neil has an amazing control of the dogs with just a whistle or a short verbal command. The dogs love to herd the sheep."

John

Gainesville, VA

Tour: 07/14/14

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

This was my first RS tour so I only have other tour companies to compare it to. The tour leader was great, knowledgeable, friendly, and helpful--with a good sense of humor. The hotels was good but some room assignments were poor by the hotel-seemingly giving my end of the alphabet name the basement treatment. A complaint to the tour leader rectified this. I have a few recommendations: depart for Iona early in the day; slow the pace for more free time, and use audio devices.

Norma

Hendersonville, NC

Tour: 07/14/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Full of sights and experiences. Our guide, Liz was a wealth of information on Scottish history, geology, politics, culture...everything.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Standing stone circle and burial mound with time to explore."

Rebecca

Omaha, NE

Tour: 07/14/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Best vacation, ever! Liz and Roddy have spoiled me for any other tour! RST really works to make sure you get the most for your money. Read up on your destination before you go, follow the tour guide's instructions on timeliness, keeping track of your buddy, etc., and you will discover you have more appreciation for the sites and more time to spend enjoying them.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There are so many "wow" moments I could list, but really, the combination of understanding the history of Scotland and it's people added a facet to everything I experienced so that something that might have been beautiful, in fact became sublime. And, take extra film for Glencoe."

Janis

Florence, KY

Tour: 07/14/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We saw several different cities/towns, historical sites and places of interest on our tour. Our guide Liz was very knowledgable about each of them and each place had unique and interesting qualities. I was never bored and learned a lot about Scotland, it's history , culture and people.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I can not single out one particular "wow" moment because everyday I said "wow" at least one or more times. Some of my favorite memories were the sheep and sheepherding demonstration, learning how the bagpipes were played, the Duke's folly overlooking the waterfall, the Highland games, the drive through the Highlands and the Three Sisters Mtns., the castles and ruins we saw, the folk band we heard one night before dinner, and of course seeing the Loch Ness monster."

Joe

Orlando, FL

Tour: 07/07/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Very interesting and enjoyable. Probably a been there done that type of experience. We went to Scotland principally because my wife's schedule prohibited us from travelling earlier, as we have on many of our prior RS tours, so we needed a non-hot weather destination.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My wow moment was when I learned that the massive 9000 seat bleachers for the Edinburgh Tatoo are set up and taken down each year."

Lois

Windham, NH

Tour: 07/07/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour far exceeded my expectations. It was well organized, full of adventure, and ran smoothly. Hotels were better than I had expected, especially the one in Oban. Nice balance of tour and free time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Climbing to the top of the tower in St. Andrews cathedral and looking out over the city. A beautiful day - the whole view with the Castle and shoreline was stunning. Also Glencoe was beautiful, despite the overcast weather. Absolutely have to return to hike there!"

Peter

Windham, NH

Tour: 07/07/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour exceeded our expectations. We were looking forward to a great 10 days and they sure were!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many "wow" moments - often daily. The sheep dog demonstration was very impressive and the landscape of Glencoe took one's breath away"

Beth

Coralville, IA

Tour: 07/07/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

What a wonderful trip! Awesome scenery, and the staff (all 3) were superb. I learned so much from them about Scotland.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The scenery. Also the way this group bonded was phenomenal."

Janice

Athens, GA

Tour: 07/07/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The trip was terrific from start to finish. This was my second Rick Steves' tour, and I wondered if I would be disappointed given the high bar set by my first tour. I was not. It was well planned and executed, with just the right mix of guided experiences and free time to explore. I love how these tours blend cities and rural experiences. Prior to the trip, I looked forward to Edinburgh, but I also loved the time we spent in tiny Kenmore in an inn established in 1572. Scotland is magical!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Only one? The skyline of beautiful Edinburgh. The prehistoric crannog. The gardens at Cawdor Castle. The Isle of Iona. All were "wow" moments. I also got to hold a border collie puppy!"

Francie

Orlando, FL

Tour: 07/07/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I enjoyed learning more about the history and culture of Scotland, and it was interesting to see some of the places where the history took place.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The beauty of the mountains and glens of the Glencoe area."

Steven

Sun Prairie, WI

Tour: 07/07/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a wonderful tour, full of content and little facts and lots of fun people. Anne and Helen did an outstanding job as guides and Roddy was a great driver. I truly enjoyed myself...but then I would expect nothing less from one of your tours.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I thought the sheep demonstration was wonderful. I just marveled at how those dogs worked. I also liked the rugged beauty and serenity yet powerful feeling of Glen Coe."

Marisa

Houston, TX

Tour: 07/07/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I got so much out of the tour - it truly gave a taste of everything Scotland has to offer. Castles, a distillery, sheep dogs, there was a little bit of everything and there was never a dull moment.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The time I spent with some other solo travelers - mostly outside of the tour itself but at the suggestion of the guides (restaurants, bars, etc)."

Nancy

Willowbrook, IL

Tour: 07/07/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Got to see everything I'd wanted to see in Scotland and more. Mostly nice hotels, delightful group of travelers, two very capable guides. Very grateful for the good weather we experienced!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Glencoe - the majesty of those hills and the power of the water flowing down the creases in them."

Frances

La Crosse, WI

Tour: 06/30/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had a great time on this trip! I love to learn, and on this trip I learned a lot about the history, culture and current events of Scotland. The guide was excellent, and the group was congenial. I travel with RS partly because of the "no grumps" policy, and once again my fellow travelers were wonderful. I also appreciate the balance of guided time and free time, so that I can explore the things that interest me.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I love the ancient places, so the Cranog and the Clava cairns were "wow" moments for me. After we wandered through the cairns and the standing stones, Liz offered an excellent picnic. It was an idyllic hour in a beautiful setting."

Christine

Tulsa, OK

Tour: 06/30/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had my reservations about being comfortable in the climate of rain and 60 degree weather since I am a sunshine driven person, but once I got there I fell into the mystery and beauty of Scotland and its people that I barely noticed the weather. The food, landscape, culture, history, and whisky are beyond any country we have experienced. A true gem of the world!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The wow was having our own private bagpiper concert after dinner at the Kenmotr and the demonstration and question and answer period that followed. It was very personal moving me to tears."

Stephen

Tampa, FL

Tour: 06/30/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Liz was excellent! She is personable, caring, knowledgeable and efficient. As a guide i would rate her with our bird watching guide in Costa rica as being committed to making the experience wonderful and getting the most out of it. As a southern fisherman would say "She is a keeper" As for the trip events: Best were Edinburgh, Culross, St Andrews (needs more times there), Crannogs and Kenmore, Culleden, Oban and Iona,and Sterling Castle. Worst Cawdor as Sterling does it better!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Edinburgh - I would drop something out and end the trip with another day there. Sheep dog experience. St. Andrews cathedral and golf course (but that for me was only a drive by), Culloden battle field tour, and the abby at Iona. Also Liz as guide and person!"

Mary

La Crosse, WI

Tour: 06/30/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I have been on one other RS tour to Italy. It was a perfect balance of with the group and alone time. The guide was efficient, very knowledgeable, warm and funny. I wasn't sure this second tour could be as good, but it was. From now on, I guess I will just expect the tours to be a great balance of activities with really wonderful guides.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Iona is a pretty wonderful WOW place."

John

Winter Haven, FL

Tour: 06/30/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Awsom and exciting!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"St Andrews castle,cathedral,college"

Linda

Charlotte, NC

Tour: 06/30/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour was very good. Our tour guide (Liz)was great. She was fun. good sense of humor and bought us special treats along the tour. We learned a lot of the history and saw beautiful highlands,lakes waterfalls.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"When we were in the quiet woods in an enclosure and the windows opened to a beautiful waterfall."

James

East Lansing, MI

Tour: 06/30/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Superb tour. I love the opportunities for out-of-the-way experiences. The breathtaking border collie roundup with personal commentary of Global Cooling :) , the crannogs amd lochs, the Culloden Battlefield made ever so alive by Duncan, and the aura of Iona. And who could ever forget the bumble bee tour with Countess Dowager Angelika Cowder as our host? And Liz is tops!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"One wow moment was a very humble experience. We toured the gardens and grounds of a 17th century cottage by the gardener. In his understated humility, he has created a stunning perennial flower garden that's as good as they get! And in direct contrast, chatting with the Countess Angelika Cowder about the art in her castle and gardens. What a presence! She has created very innovative grounds with her choices of art, gardens, and of course, environmental sensitivity."

Carolyn

Holly Springs, NC

Tour: 06/30/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Scotland and the tour was everything we wanted. We wanted smaller cities and got Edinburgh, friendly people, beautiful scenery and a peaceful surrounding. Even though we were quite busy the whole trip, we were never exhausted or overwhelmed, which we sometimes have been on other tours. Liz was a fountain of knowledge and always had a smile for everyone. She is a wonderful guide. Our hotels were great, actually much nicer than we were expecting.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Listening to Amazing Grace played by the piper band high school band from the US at Edinburg Castle and the border collie demonstration herding sheep."

Deborah

Huntington Beach, CA

Tour: 06/30/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great tour leader-knowledgeable and fun. I learned a great deal about history and Scotland. It was great seeing where my ancestors came from. I felt like I got to go home to Scotland!

Michael

Phoenix, AZ

Tour: 06/30/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

As with other tours, the depth and rigor of the information presented by the tour guide was truly exceptional. We returned to the US with considerable depth of knowledge regarding the historical, political, and social aspects of Scotland. We always feel so enriched after a Rick Steves' Tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My 'wow' moment(s) were related to the diversity of the topography. I had no idea of the varied terrain and beautiful landscapes of the country."

Erin

Mississauga, ON

Tour: 06/30/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was an amazing introduction to Scotland: The history, the culture, the landscape, and the architecture were all expertly explained by Liz. I took away so much from this experience, and I cannot wait to return and spend more time in this amazing country - 10 days was not enough!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So much. Every day I think there was a different moment. If I had to choose one, it would be the country itself and how richly it was displayed over 10 days."

Grant

Granger, WA

Tour: 06/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

1. it was very nice not to have to drive any where in the UK. 2. so nice not to have to try and decide what to see or where to go. Our guide was GREAT. The bus was brand new! Clean windows every day. The rooms were very nice. The people on the street were very friendly. I would do another tour. We already started looking in the catalog.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I liked the battle fields, Caulodon? the history,"

Amelia

Tallahassee, FL

Tour: 06/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Probably visiting Culloden - I was very interested in the Jacobite period, so that was moving to visit. Also Glencoe, the scenery was breathtaking."

Gwendolyn

Tallahassee, FL

Tour: 06/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a great tour of Scotland as well as a great price point.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Culloden; Oban; Glencoe (oh, that's 3!)"

Janet

White Bear Lake, MN

Tour: 06/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The entire tour was wonderful in nearly every aspect. The small-group size made it easy to get to know one another and share moment-to-moment experiences as a whole group or as smaller groups of 4 or 6 folks during each day. We could spend good, impromptu time with local folks in almost every stop. The only improvement I'd suggest is allowing more time for wanderings through places like the Hermitage, Pitlochry, Loch Ness and Iona. Maybe "Scotland in 12 Days"?

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Oh, my gosh - how to narrow it down!!? The mirror-like reflection of the hillsides on the lochs...stuffing our hoods and pockets with sheepdog puppies (we returned every one before leaving!)...quietly walking Culloden battlefield in a perfect scene-setting drizzle...salmon, salmon and more salmon...traditional dance lessons led by the most patient bagpiper/dance teacher you can imagine! And all of it done with the folks in our group - tour-ers, guide and bus driver."

Brian

Boerne, TX

Tour: 06/23/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I really enjoyed Scotland and Anne did an excellent job as our guide. Roddy our bus driver was a phenomenal driver...probably the best I have ever seen! I rate the Scotland tour a 7 on a 10 point scale (10 high).

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My wow moment were the little things like watching my daughter's face light up as she watched the Boarder Collies herd sheep and then playing with 6 puppies!"

Norma

Torrance, CA

Tour: 06/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Ann is very knowledgeable on the history of Scotland, very pleasant, beautiful personality and went out of her way to make our trip even more special. Roddy our driver is an amazing driver and has a good sense of humor. Roddy was very patient with all of us and was a good sport taking care of our luggage. I would be very happy to travel with Ann and Roddy again in the near future.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our time in Kenmore was special, the demonstration of how people lived in the past. Also, the drive through the area where Harry Potter and Skyfall were filmed was incredible. Our stay in Oban, it is beautiful there and would be happy to go back to visit. All of my trip was a WOW moment"

Betty

Madison, WI

Tour: 06/23/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Overall the trip was outstanding. Highlights were Iona, Glen Coe, the sheep dogs. What marred the trip was the second afternoon and evening in Inverness? There was little additional we could do in Inverness and the hotel was inferior. We could have moved on. Also Urquhurt Castle could easily be eliminated because of the tourist hordes from the cruise ships.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Iona was definitely the highlight - just wished that we could have been there longer"

John

Madison, WI

Tour: 06/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a great tour. We've been to Scotland before, but only in the cities. Being able to be in Kenmore and Oban was fabulous.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Watching the sheep dogs go through their paces - and visiting Iona."

Kimberlee

Essex Junction, VT

Tour: 06/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was wonderful. It was lovely meeting new friends and learning about the history of Scotland as we traveled through the country. All of the accommodations were comfortable and inviting. Anne was an incredible guide. All of our tours, transportation, and meals together were smooth and well orchestrated. She brought everyone together into a great big happy family. She made the history come alive for me.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My wow moment was seeing Iona from the ferry as we entered port."

Brian

Apo Ae, AE

Tour: 06/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was a bit shorter than other Rick Steves' tours we have taken. As a result I don't think the group bonded as well as they have on other tours. Still it was a very amiable group and everyone got along. The best thing about Scotland is Scotland. The historical sites don't really match up to other places in Europe, but the countryside is a very beautiful in June and the people are wonderful. Edinburgh is a world class city and worth spending more time in.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" moment would have to be the village of Kenmore. The lights of the houses seen from across the lake made me feel as if I had stepped into a Thomas Kincade painting."

Palmer

Santa Barbara, CA

Tour: 06/16/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I thought the trip was great. I think our tour leader, Martin, was flat-out EXCELLENT. My only complaint about Martin was that he was almost always narrating for us on the bus rides and I think sometimes we just wanted to tune out. But he sure knows a lot and I did enjoy what he had to say. The bus driver was great (Roddie?)

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Many favorite moments, but I particularly enjoyed the visit to the sheep farm. I also liked the day where we visited Culodden, Clava Cairns and Cawdor castle. Kenmore is a beautiful town and I enjoyed the Crannog visit."

Kumud

Staten Island, NY

Tour: 06/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

hotels were quaint and very comfortable. Guide was funny and very knowledgeable. The tour fuflfilled my scotland viewing expectations. there was a house that we had to tour and the local guide was sick- I felt that the local museum should have let us tour the house with a museum chaperone but without the guide.

Richard

Braintree, MA

Tour: 06/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall I was very pleased. The attractions visited were very representative of the best of Scotland. The hotels were clean, comfortable, with excellent service. The food was very good, and the coach provided for transportation was clean and comfortable. I feel the group got along well and fitting with Rick's philosophy there was little complaining. Martin, our guide, was informed, friendly, and always in good humor, as was our driver Roddy. I missed having a pub partner not your fault.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I believe my "wow" moment was the first view of Edinburgh Castle upon reaching the city and the wonderful city tour we took. There were many 'wows' to be had all around Scotland, but the first views of downtown Edinburgh -- its parks, monuments and history -- was my favorite."

Connie

Kearney, NE

Tour: 06/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We learned so much about the history of Scotland and saw a wide variety of sights. Our guide (Martin) was knowledgable and interspersed straight information with humor and interesting tidbits. It was amazing! I liked the combination of planned and unplanned time, group meals and on your own meals.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Stirling Castle when we saw weavers weaving tapestries that will hang in the Queen's Hall "for the next 500 years"!"

Jane

Fort Woarth, TX

Tour: 06/09/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I was pleasantly surprised Scotland was so pretty. I had no expectations of what it was like other than similar to England and Ireland, but it can hold its own with both countries...for beauty, people, and history. One hidden gem of a country.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Other than the Border Collie puppies, I would say the Isle of Mull. A beautiful day didn't hurt any either. There was just peace and something mystical about that island. Just to wander around on it on a nice day was a "Wow." Inverness also held a "special" memory for me."

Jan

Lawrenceville, GA

Tour: 06/09/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved the sights and all the people. I felt the number of people on the tour was perfect. Just enough and not too many. Scotland is beautiful and I enjoyed seeing the all the different parts of it.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved the sheep dog presentation and the visit to Oban and Iona."

Laurel

Chuluota, FL

Tour: 06/09/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Robert and Margaret went out of their way to make us feel welcome, safe and always informed. They were very experienced and organized.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The day we went to Mull and Iona was our special day. The weather was perfect. I did not expect the water to be as blue as the Bahamas..The Isle Of Iona was so pleasant, breezy, with ruins everywhere, sheep in pasture, and the hairy coos traffic jam on the way back made us all go crazy!Highland cows are so adorable. As a photographer,I appreciated the stops for photos.Loved the crannogs.Very cool, medieval and different from all the stone castles.Loved Gilly,the lady bagpiper.What personality."

Judy

Atlanta, GA

Tour: 06/09/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Iona was my favorite stop on our tour. I loved exploring the island but would have loved more time there. Was a beautiful and tranquil place. I will go back and visit the Iona."

Janis

Santa Ana, CA

Tour: 06/09/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved the entire experience and thought our tour guide Robert was very thoughtful and extremely knowledgable about the country. He also tried to keep the tour flexible to accommodate changes in the weather, etc. He was also kind in letting me use his cell phone to make a reservation at a B&B.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite moment from the tour was our visit to the sheep farm where we watched the shepherd direct his border collies to round up the sheep and bring them in from the pasture. He then showed us how a sheep is shorn and let members of our group give it a go."

Stan

Sunriver, OR

Tour: 06/09/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

During the tour our guide, Robert, told us his father had told him he was playing with the tour participants dreams. He told him to be careful not to ruin their dreams. Robert was great and we had the best time on our tour. Our dreams were not ruined and in fact were improved as Robert is a gem. We were very surprised with the weather also, as we only had a couple of rainy times on the whole tour. Also, our bus driver for the tour, Scott, was very good and a real character as well.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think the Isle of Iona was amazing. It was dry there as well. We later toured Dublin and saw the book of Kells to complete the Iona experience. Endinburgh was also very nice as were the days from Inverness to Oban"

Rhett

Chuluota, FL

Tour: 06/09/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was outstanding. It was the first Rick Steves' tour for my wife and I and our first tour outside the US. Both Robert and Margaret provided knowledge to answer our questions and coordination to keep us on schedule. We especially liked the free time that was given at many of the tour sights to allow us to investigate the items that we were interested in. Our bus driver, Scotty provided safe transport and contributed the local knowledge at many of the sites. The tour was well done!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite wow moment was the famous grouse experience. The tour of the site was educational and fun. The free samples of the different scotch brands that were used for the blending of the famous grouse were very tasty."

Carole

San Mateo, CA

Tour: 06/09/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our 2nd RS tour (lst-St. Petersburg). We adored the group and could have taken everyone home with us! Tour was marvelous! some quick notes: Once again,as on previous RS tour, my "buddy" did not want to give any info and made for an uncomforable experience. Perhaps,the buddy system could be changed to a different format. We would have loved more time at St.Andrews,(overnight?)and Isle of Iona. It might be worth considereing an overnight on the Isle of Mull/Iona portion.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Favorite "squeal" moment-seeing the sheep dogs running down the hill to begin "work." The sheep dog demonstration was marvelous and I could have spent the day at the farm. There were so many wow moments: St. Andrews Cathedral, Kenmore Area and the walk in the evening to the Castle, the tour at Cranog, tour of Culloden Battlefield (by Robert,)Glencoe-breathtaking scenery,the trip to Iona Abbey-memorable, Cawdor Castle gardens, loved DunkillCathedral and area, and the view-Stirling Castle"

Harold

Beaufort, SC

Tour: 06/09/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great tour! Good hotels, outstanding food & a terrific selection of sites to see. Our guide was fabulous both with management of the tour and knowledge of the country. Will be back for another RS tour soon.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The time spent on the Isle of Iona. What a beautiful place."

Christine

Nampa, ID

Tour: 06/02/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a wonderful tour. I really like castles and the ones in the tour were a good variety of renovated, ruins, and lived in castles. The walk in Kenmore to the old Tay Castle on our own time was fun. The walking tours by our guide in Edinburgh were great. Loved the village of Culross. The ruins of the huge abbey in St. Andrews. Picnic at Clava Cairns. The music in Inverness. Ferry ride to Mull was very scenic. Iona is pretty on a sunny day! Learned about the upcoming vote.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The view of the countryside from Stirling Castle was amazing."

Judy

Boise, ID

Tour: 06/02/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a wonderful trip. Scotland is a small country but there was so much to do and to see. Liz our guide was so knowledgeable and made the most of the time we had. Also the guide book gave us good ideas of places to visit that the tour did not cover - we used some of the guided tours and learned a lot about landmarks ,places of interest and history.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Island of Iona was my "wow " moment. Sitting on a bench above the church and looking out over the landscape and the sea and in the foreground the sheep grazing in the field around an old rock archway. A very peaceful place to be. It was hard to leave."

Kathleen

Mesa, AZ

Tour: 06/02/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Thoroughly enjoyable, learned much history, saw much natural beauty, great group, wonderful guide, good driver, mostly good weather .

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Border collie sheep herding demonstration a real treat, Neal such an interesting character, the dogs were incredible, 5, 7-week old pups, baby lambs, you'd have to be a stone to not love every second of it. The day we did Culowden Battlefield, Clava Cairns and Cawdor Castle was also great, finally got close to some hairy coos; the gardens were lovely. The Carrog center also a real eye-opener."

Phil

Carmichael, CA

Tour: 06/02/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our guide, Liz, was outstanding, which made the experience very enjoyable. I'd like to make 2 suggestions: Iona should include an overnight stay (Preferred Option) or be replaced in the itinerary (Option B). As it is, it's roughly 3hrs to get there & 3hrs back, & rushed 2hrs there. Feeling rushed defeats the Iona experience and travel to experience is much too high. Would have loved a day devoted to nature. Scotland is so beautiful. Maybe a slow day & hiking in the Oban area.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many Wow moments to pick one. Scotland is beautiful vistas day after day. It's amazingly beautiful."

Deirdre

Stillwater, MN

Tour: 06/02/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The guide was terrific and made our experiences so deep and lasting because of her knowledge and personality! We loved Scotland and the tour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The night we all went to a pub for beer and music was the best. We loved the music and the whole scene. It felt like real Scotland."

Jack

Yuma, AZ

Tour: 06/02/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Very nice. Very good guide. Very good accommodations, food and sights. Well thought-out itinerary. One opportunity for improvement (see below).

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Glen Coe; my favorite part of Scotland."

Frank

Whiting, IN

Tour: 06/02/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Liz was a great guide ! I was disappointed by the Parliament House Hotel. Very small lobby, no bar, and food was very average at best. Bus was clean and the driver was very helpful. I would have liked more time at the Islands, traveled all day for a 3 hour visit. I learned a great deal about Scotland and had a really good time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The mountains and islands, very beautiful"

Danny

Nampa, ID

Tour: 06/02/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great guide , great intro to Edinburgh from Canton hill. Good pace . Excellent history. If you want to experience Scotland, this is the tour to go on.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Iona. It would be a better experience to stay overnight in Iona. The island can't be explored in two hours."

Donna

Lake Oswego, OR

Tour: 06/02/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our Scotland tour was well organized, informative, educational and interesting. The accommodations were well located and comfortable. Staying in each location at least 2 days made it possible to venture out and experience the area. Our travel companions were all lovely people, and we enjoyed sharing our travel experience with them. We appreciated that we were not "herded" around to sites, but were given the time and opportunity to explore on our own. We could not have had a better experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many "wow" moments that it is difficult to choose just one! Hiking in the Highlands was breathtaking and watching the demonstration of sheep dogs at work was fascinating."

Jeffrey

Lake Osewgo, OR

Tour: 06/02/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We've travelled extensively throughout Europe for almost 40 years, much of which was independent travel. We've taken 3-4 guided tours, generally with mixed results. This tour (guided by Elizabeth) was quite simply, one of our 2 or 3 best adventures. Our tour was exceptionally well organized with no surprises but pleasant ones! Points of interest, lots of walking and a wealth of knowledge from Liz. She made the decided difference between average and excellence!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"1-St. Andrews 2-Kenmore area 3-40th Anniversary surprise (organized by Liz and our fun and expert coach driver, Roddy!"

Mary

Minneapolis, MN

Tour: 06/02/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

What a beautiful country! And what welcoming, helpful, friendly people!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"As usual on one of these tours I was saying "wow!" almost non-stop, but I suppose my favorite moments were at the sheep farm (puppies!), and in the gardens at Cawdor Castle. Also, there was a lovely evening at the Kenmore Hotel when a trio of folk music musicians were playing in the bar."

Wes

Stillwater, MN

Tour: 06/02/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My overall tour experience was simply excellent. From the first evening's climb up Calton Hill to orient us to Edinburgh and explain some of the geology of the area and why the city and castle are located where they are, to each succeeding day's tour, coach travel, meals, and lodging everything was well planned and thought out, extremely organized, and went off so smoothly that it seemed fairly effortless to those of us taking the tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My absolute favorite 'wow' moment was when our tour guide strongly recommended that we attend, with her, several of the local pubs in Inverness that would be having live, contemporary, Scottish folk music that evening performed by her favorite band. By the time we got to the second pub and had 'had a few pints' it was easy to talk to the locals, dance a time or two, and for a few hours forget that you were a tourist and could feel like you belonged in that space with those people at that time."

Pamela

Lagrange, GA

Tour: 05/26/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Roy, Nigel, and Rody (our bus driver) were great! I loved Scotland! I really enjoyed the touring and liked not having to plan it myself and miss out on somethimg I didnt even know I wanted to see

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Every place had their own little wows. I loved seeing things and going to places that have been here for so long."

John

Choctaw, OK

Tour: 05/26/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Generally a great time. The group meals were good, the hotels comfortable, and our tour group got along well. Under the heading of not R-S Tours fault it rained often during the tour. The day spent traveling to Iona and Mull, which was possibly the best sight seeing opportunity of the tour, was lost in the fog and rain, and William and Kate's royal visit preempted our distillery tour. On the positive side we brought good rain gear and R-S Tours found us another distillery to visit.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The sheep dog demonstration was great. Watching such highly trained dogs work was a real pleasure. The museum and self guided tour of the Culloden Battlefield was the best presentation of this type of material I have seen. Watching Roddy pilot our bus through spots I probably couldn't drive my car was also great fun."

Trudy

Vancouver, WA

Tour: 05/26/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Risk Steves' tour. It was the best tour of several companies we have tried, and our best trip to the United Kingdom.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"In Iona, the Argyll Hotel has a well tended, organic garden. The menu takes pride in it's organic offerings. After we finished lunch on our own, my husband discovered a healthy slug crawling out from under his plate, towards his beer. How much more organic can you get? We thought it was hilarious. We deposited the slug outside. To others, this moment might not be memorable or funny. The point is that the tour allowed ample private discovery along with the benefits of 28 fellow travelers."

Carol

Maple Valley, WA

Tour: 05/26/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I learned so much about Scotland: its history, geography, and archeology that I don't think I would ahve gotten in any other tour. I also enjoyed the free time to explore what I was interested in. And when I had a health emergency the tour guide, Roy, was extremely helpful and supportive. I will highly recommend anyone taking a Rick Steves tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Learning and visiting about ancient burial grounds of peoplke about 4,000 years ago. I learned so much about their creativity, and their how their spiritual jo9urney was so wrapped into their lives. The other Wow event was visting the Abbey on the Island of Iona. I have read a lot about this place and it was very "holy" moment to worship there at a prayer service around peace and justice."

Judy

Choctaw, OK

Tour: 05/26/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Another great trip with interesting sites and commentary. Tour guide Roy was extremely knowledgeable, bus driver Roddy was always extremely competent with driving and had a terrific sense of humor. Tour assistant Nigel was also extremely helpful. Disappointments included the re-arrangment of the tour due to Will and Kate's visit to the distillery, but Dewar's tour was a nice second choice.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Growing up on a small farm with border collies, I have always loved border collies, their beauty, intelligence and physical abilities. At the sheep farm in the highland, I loved seeing so many well trained dogs work together. It was an amazing combination of intellect, physical capability and exceptional training--man and dog working together to achieve a goal."

Terry

Lagrange, GA

Tour: 05/26/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful trip. Beautiful country, mountains and people.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The areas of Glencoe and Iona."

Kenneth

Beverly, MA

Tour: 05/26/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Excellent overall. Roy was very knowledgeable about Scotland and its deep history. Nigel was a very positive addition to the group. Roddy not only expertly and safely drove our bus/coach, he contributed greatly to our tour experience with his vast knowledge of current and historical Scottish events and was a gracious and fun tour "member".

Ron

Del Rio, TX

Tour: 05/26/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour guides were great, but the hotel in Inverness was terrible. Customer service was lacking and the facility itself was subpar. I could not take a shower one morning due to an excess of hot water...it would not cool off. The tour itself was very evenly paced and did a good job displaying the beauty of Scotland. I would recommend it.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite moment was watching the Border Collies work the sheep. Very impressive."

Cheryl

Warsaw, MO

Tour: 05/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had such a wonderful time in Scotland! Wonderful travel companions, excellent travel guide and driver, breathtaking scenery, great hotels and breakfasts, and a perfect itinerary sampling all that Scotland has to offer. Couldn't ask for more!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Couldn't possibly give one. Every day was a new "10"."

Alan

Gainesville, GA

Tour: 05/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Anne did a great job and explained geology,history and genealogy! She was great!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Edinburgh!"

Ronald

Kirkland, WA

Tour: 05/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Oban and the islands of Mull & Iona Stirling Castle"

Karen

Kirkland, WA

Tour: 05/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was wonderful! Everything we saw and did were all great experiences and we learned a whopping lot of Scottish history. The scenery was beautiful since the "bluebells of Scotland" were all in bloom and there were pheasants everywhere (in addition to the sheep) of course.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Going to Iona was probably the most spectacular - very special place to go. Oban was my favorite city - we had great seafood two nights in a row when we were on our own for dinner."

Rosanne

Granbury, TX

Tour: 05/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a great mix of activities. Anne was really organized and seemed to care greatly that tour members had the best experience. She surely went out of her way to help in any way possible. She even went out of her way to organize a picnic featuring Scottish food and drink. The schedule was a little too packed for my taste. I would have enjoyed more free time.I only recall two free afternoons and I had to spend one doing laundry.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Loved the sheep dog farm. I'm an animal lover so. . . I also loved the scenery of Glencoe."

Joanna

Worthington, OH

Tour: 05/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved the small group size. The tour members were all friendly but happy to spend time exploring on their own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved the crannog. The guide was excellent and it was interesting to imagine people living there thousands of years ago"

Randi

San Luis Obispo, CA

Tour: 05/19/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Great tour, fantastic guide and wonderful group of people.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Probably Glencoe,plus an amazing bus driver on the Isle of Mull."

James

Los Alamos, NM

Tour: 05/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our 5th tour with RS and have enjoyed all of them. I could not say any one was better than the other. They were all really really great! A very enjoyable experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I very much liked the visit to the Cranog on the loch near Kenmore."

Peter

Fredericton, NB

Tour: 05/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My overall tour experience was excellent. As usual, we had an interesting and fun group of fellow travelers from all over the U.S.. My wife and I again were the token Canadians. Our guide Anne, was very hard working and resourceful, and was determined have us all make the most of our tour. Anne has a warm sparkling personality and a great knowledge of Scottish history, which she shared with us in a clear and concise way, making the attractions all the more enjoyable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many such moments. While visiting the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards museum in Edinburgh Castle you see the Eagle and Standard taken from Napoleon's troops at Waterloo. I'd heard of this since school and there they were! The view from the various castles was spectacular, and I can imagine trying to attack one. The visit to the crannog demonstrated how tough, intelligent and resourceful these ancient ancestors of us were, especially in view of the rugged terrain and the weather."

Daniel

Napa, CA

Tour: 05/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very well organized, thoughtful itinerary.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many. The sheepdog exhibition will probably stick with me the longest."

Steve

Denver, CO

Tour: 05/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This trip was my second Rick Steves tour and it was again a great experience. The tour had just the right amount of touring, group dinners and free time. Our guide Ann was very knowledgeable concerning all aspects of the tour and Scotland. She was one of the tour highlights. I enjoyed the accommodations which all had character. Perhaps most of all I enjoyed my travel companions. These tours seem to attract like minded people who take the "no grump" pledge seriously.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many wow moments and we saw some great sights. However the wow moment for me was our last dinner together. Ann presented each of us with a handwritten note , we each presented our buddies with a small gift, and we all laughed and cried about our wonderful times and new friends. I have to say experiencing Scotland with Ann and our group was an un parrelled experience."

Catherine

Napa, CA

Tour: 05/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Anne was a wonderful tour guide! She is an amazing ambassador for Scotland. We covered a great variety of territory with the least amount of stress. For anyone who would like to visit Scotland, I highly recommend this tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The town of Oban and the Isles of Mull and Iona."

Jim

Hartford, WI

Tour: 05/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour schedule was perfect. Just enough time at each stop, so we never felt rushed. The introduction night really set the pace, as we were breifed on the importance of being on time, and listening to the guides if there were any schedule changes. The tour was far more than a "sightseeing " bus ride through Scotlands scenic beauty. The guides really excelled at informing the group about so much more than just the topography. I learned so much about the country's history, politics and customs.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The ride up into the Glencoe overlook. The weather was very moody, and created a perfect backdrop in a surreal setting. When Liz played the soundtrack from Skyfall, it was the perfect combination of sight and sound."

Cristy

Greenwood Village, CO

Tour: 05/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour group was fortunate as we had Liz who had been leading groups in the past and had Rick Steves in her tour last year. Plus we had Helen who was training to lead tours. The two of them were full of information. Of course, not to be left out with important dates was the bus driver, Roddy. He was a quiet Scot to be valued when he did speak. I learned to value his contribution even more so when I took to the road on my own for a few days after the tour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We have used the Rick Steves books for travel but I underestimated the impact of a tour experience. The fact that we were learning the history of the country while driving down the roads in Scotland was a wow for me. Liz & Helen are so knowledgeable that we never stumped them with a question. I must say that I came back more a fan of Rick Steves tours than I expected. The trip was a great value from so many perspectives that I have no doubt we will be participating in more tours in the future!"

Diana

Mesquite, NV

Tour: 05/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

very pleasant,informative,enjoyable.would take another rick steves tour. liz,helen, roddy, richard, and savannah were outstanding.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"almost impossible to answer,but the countryside, the town of oban, and gillie, the bagpiper."

Lois

St Michael, MN

Tour: 05/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first tour and I was somewhat apprehensive about the idea, but it was great - comfortable, easy, efficient, wonderful! The little activities used to quickly learn names and get acquainted with others were beneficial and fun, even if a bit "corny". The lodging choices were excellent. The tour meals were excellent. Our guide, apprentice, driver and assistant were knowledgeable, friendly and they made the tour a true success.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting the Glencoe area - amazing panoramic scenery. Breathtaking and awe inspiring. Also loved the Sterling Castle."

Linda

Raleigh, NC

Tour: 05/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Absolutely amazing...outstanding in every way! I think I picked the perfect time to visit with all the bluebells in bloom and gorse covering the hills every where you looked.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's very hard to pick a "wow" moment but the sheep dog demo and the baby lambs and puppies...what was NOT to love! Now that I think of it...Glencoe with water streaming down as though the hills were crying."

Richard

Salem, OR

Tour: 05/12/14

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

Liz was an excellent tour guide providing not only exceptional historic information, but also information regarding the geology, botany, and disasters like the Tay bridge failure near Dundee. Helpful hints for independent travel like we received on previous Rick Steve ETBD tours, however, was lacking. Accommodations, especially location-wise, were wonderful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting the Isle of Iona and its significance in shaping the history of Scotland."

Lillianne

Hartford, WI

Tour: 05/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It started off from the moment we booked! Rick Steves' did a wonderful job of preparing us for the trip. Plenty of materials to help us in planning and it was so nice to be able to read up on the places we would visit and the hotels we would stay in before we got there. We got plenty of time to ourselves which was lovely. The meals were super and everything was so very organized; it allowed us to really take in all the wonders of Scotland without the worries!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Ah - this is a hard one to answer!! There were so many. I think the battlefield of Culloden was quite stirring. The views as we traveled the Highlands were incomparable. Maybe the picnic at Clava Cairn was the over the top moment for me. Such an unusual place to visit! Gosh - I almost forgot our evening walk to Taymouth Castle....... through the woods along the river and then .... there it was!"

William

Mesquite, NV

Tour: 05/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Having traveled quite a bit on our own, my wife and I were somewhat apprehensive about traveling with a group. We needn't have been. We found that travel on this tour was relaxing and well paced at the same time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The bagpipe demo with Gillie. Her enthusiasm for her instrument was contagious. I have discovered a love for bagpipe music I didn't know I had."

Mike

Jackson, ME

Tour: 05/05/14

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

A little slow. Sort of geezer pacing. WE're in our late 60's but sometimes felt we were on vacation... from vacation.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hmmm..."

Jean

Reedley, CA

Tour: 05/05/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I didn't think any tour could top my RS Ireland tour, but Scotland did! I thoroughly enjoyed the city of Edinburgh and then the many wee towns we visited and stayed in. There was just the right amount of castles and churches. Anne was a warm and knowledgeable guide who made everyone feel so "at home" in this wonderful country. The Scottish people are so welcoming and engaging and showed us great hospitality. This has been my most favorite Rick Steves tour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"After watching the movie at Urquhart Castle, the curtains opened and there was a 180 degree panoramic view through the windows of the Castle in all her glory! That view just took my breath away! Another "wow" moment was visiting the Crannog just outside Kenmore. That's a must to keep on the tour because it is so unique . Sitting in the crannog and trying to imagine these prehistoric peoples living in one of these "homes" made history come alive!"

Barbara

Lacey, WA

Tour: 05/05/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"All were WOW PLUS!! Loved the tiny Kenmore and River Tay, hike to Hermitage, Culloden, Isle of Iona, the Highlands, Gillie and her bagpipes, the group we travelled with, the crannogs, and mostly lovely Anne and awesome Roddie."

Tore

Olympia, WA

Tour: 05/05/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"the Border Collies"

Linda

Kirkland, WA

Tour: 05/05/14

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

Anne was an excellent tour guide, a good source of information, history, stories and personal life stories, which added to the overall understanding of Scotland. Robert was not interactive with the group. I was disappointed in the low activity level, not very much walking. I wish Anne would have talked more about current politics and current state of affairs. Please do away with the buddy introductions and "gifts," they seem superfluous.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"On the bus, going through the Scottish highlands with music playing and the sun shining!"

Linda

San Jose, CA

Tour: 05/05/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I'm a new traveler. this was my first trip abroad. I had a wonderful time. Our guides were well informed and personable. the coach was very comfortable and bathroom stops were often and appreciated. I LOVED the sheep dog demonstration the most. What fun! the nature walk in the Hermitage-beautiful. Top of the list for best accommodations was Glenburnie Hotel. Loved the bagpipe demo too. great fun.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"sheepdog demo"

Suzanne

Lombard, IL

Tour: 05/05/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

From the moment I landed in Edinburgh - I fell in love with the sights and sounds of Scotland I arrived on Friday morning - so I was ready to hit the ground running ?? I enjoyed the tours and locations ( not a big fan of Inverness ). Anne was so knowledgeable - her love of her homeland shines through - it was great having Colin & Robert on board as well And Roddy behind the wheel - was an asset !

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The highlands - the scenery was breathtaking - the waterfalls out of the rock, the lochs, munros, quaint villages - I cannot just pick one ?? I left a piece of me amongst the beauty of the land - so I will be back ! I am still wowed about my trip"

Robin

Chagrin Falls, OH

Tour: 09/23/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a wonderful tour experience. I am glad that this time we arrived a day early and extended our stay by a few days in London. Our guide was delightful, her knowledge and her entertaining of us while on the bus extraordinary. The variety of music she played, including requests from the group, her treats along the way, our picnic in a graveyard, the extra little stops because it was a beautiful day. They were things she knew we would enjoy, or things we should know about (Commando Memorial).

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Glen Coe is the first wow that comes to mind. I loved everything about the Highlands, and the fact that we went on the distillery tour of my favorite scotch whisky of the past 40 years (The Famous Grouse), WOW! The most unexpected wow was the Commando Memorial. I am so thankful that she found time for us to stop."

Carolyn

Bend, OR

Tour: 09/23/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great! Group was congenial, people generally on time for coach departures, group meals just fine our guide's procedure of calling the restaurant in the morning, then gathering our meal requests so the restaurant could be prepared for a large group meant meals were served promptly. Could not think of any suggestions...everything went smoothly. Staying in each hotel for 2 nights was great...the first night we had a group meal so that the following night when we were having dinner on our own works

Connie

Plano, TX

Tour: 09/23/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My husband & I loved the pace of this tour. Ten days was just long enough to see everything. We liked having some time off to ourselves to explore on our own. Our guide and our driver Roddie were a FABULOUS team for us! Our assistant, who joined us later, was helpful with info on Glasgow (which we took the train to on our own when the tour ended.) We loved the natural scenery! We loved the history! We loved the architecture! We loved the stories & songs! We will miss SCOTLAND!!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Researching my family history as a STEWART! We really loved Stirling castle! Every room was an art exhibit from the tapestries on the walls to the painted ceilings, to the ornate fireplaces! The view from the top wasn't bad either!"

Richard

Bend, OR

Tour: 09/23/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great...our guide added so much

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Can't say there was a favorite. All were good."

Patricia

Springfield, MO

Tour: 09/23/13

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

lots of bussing. lots of b&b's. I was definitely not someone who mixed well with this group, but that was not your fault. fortunately I have been with a rick steves tour where I thoroughly enjoyed the others in the group. I wish we could have skipped one of the castles and had a little more time to explore the small towns. please think about making this a fourteen day tour and giving us another day in Edinburgh and two days in Glasgow. i'll return to iona fot at least one full day.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"iona. definitely. but after the t0ur, in a churchyard(maybe st.giles?)Ifound a gravestone for a lieutenant who was 'killed in cabul(sic) on November 2, 1941.( look up 'british in Kabul") and thought of the pete seegar song 'where have all the flowers gone""

Catherine

Annapolis, MD

Tour: 09/23/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Scotland trip was wonderful! My only disappointment was that it ended too soon. From Edinburgh to the Highlands and Iona, a working farm and Stirling Castle, all of the points on our itinerary were so enjoyable. We learned so much from our own guide and those at the sites. Our guide and bus driver were always accommodating and working hard to meet the needs of the group. We have told everyone we know to go visit Scotland, if they can, via a Rick tour of course!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were too many to single just one out, but the Holy Isle of Iona and Stirling castle were two biggies."

Catherine

Hillsboro, OR

Tour: 09/23/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Scotland took my breath away. Beautiful country, delicious food, warm, friendly people who were eager to share the history of their country with us. This was my first tour ever, and also the first time I had traveled overseas alone, so I was a bit apprehensive, but the group was great, and gathered me in and made me feel very much a part of the fun. I'm already planning my next Rick Steve's tour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There was so much spectacular scenery in Scotland that "wow" happened over and over, but one of my favorite experiences was a little break we took to stretch during a long bus day. We stopped next to a field with "Heilan Coos" and we fed them bits of apple. I also loved the peaceful, spiritual Clava Cairns and the picnic we shared after wandering through the cairns."

Marion

Stonington, CT

Tour: 09/23/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour was better than expected mostly due to our wonderful guide. I feel it gave me a good understanding and appreciation of the Scottish culture, history and landscape. We also had amazing weather- which didn't hurt! Our group was quite diverse in age, which we really liked, and most everyone was fun, involved and well traveled.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite moment was taking a brisk walk following the shoreline and passing through a sheep pasture to access the white sands and turquoise waters of the Isle of Iona as the sun was breaking through the clouds. It was breathtaking."

Elizabeth

Nashville, TN

Tour: 09/23/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Too much to tell. The tour was excellent in all ways, well organized, informative but not too informative, people great, food great, hotels good, tours well executed.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The highland scenery and the border collie/sheep demonstration."

Sandra

Los Angeles, CA

Tour: 09/23/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Edenburgh was fantastic. Museum, swedish cider, reataurants, vat refunded without all the bother at the airport or any fees on the credit card. The Zoo was highly unusual being it was on a steep hill. Princes street park beautiful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Unique Crannogs. The guide was excellant. Showing how the prehistoric man made a lathe making furniture & drilling holes in stones. Island of Iona"

Janet

Pottsville, PA

Tour: 09/16/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I absolutely loved this tour of Scotland. She was an awesome tour guide, and we learned so much about Scotland. The towns we visited were everything I expected.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Glencoe was definitely my favorite "wow" moment. Absolutely over the top experience."

Richard

Amarillo, TX

Tour: 09/16/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our guide was very prepared. Roddy, driver, was the friendliest, most helpful driver. The tour included sites which gave a rounded, "non-politically correct" impression of Scotland, the good and the less than good. I had taken over thirty semester hours of British history in undergraduate studies, yet our guide gave me another viewpoint. History is written by the winners, but remembered by those who might not have won.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Iona. Without a doubt a place of personal satisfaction. Wish we had had more time there, but would not wanted to give up anything from the tour for that wish."

Sandra

Mandeville, LA

Tour: 09/16/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I truly loved Scotland and its people. The scenery was awesome.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is hard to say but probably the drive thru the Glencoe region. I would have liked to spend more time there. The mountains were majestic."

Stephen

Fallbrook, CA

Tour: 09/16/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything worked well, meals were excellent, free time was well balanced, and the coach accommodations very nice. Roddy is a true professional and he kept us on time and organized through a very bus week. There were a few more people on this tour (additional tour guide was added) which made for some venues very crowded.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The day on Iona. very unique experience, and a memorable one. It is a lot of travel for the day, but it was well placed with the stay in Oban so it worked well. I would have liked one less day in Inverness (didn't like the Best Western) & an extra day in a more lay-back area such as Oban or Kenmore."

Dianne Kane

Fallbrook, CA

Tour: 09/16/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We were immersed in Scotland throughout the tour: its culture, geology, history, foods, music, & politics through the ages. Every stop was memorable; every sight impressive. The schedule was full but not over-taxing, & we were well prepared with a foundational knowledge before we arrived at our sites. Our guides assured that all events went off without a hitch, and we were able to appreciate every aspect of the itinerary because of it.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The day on Iona was wonderful, and relaxing. A unique experience, and falling mid-tour it was the right time for this kind of an environment. Glencoe was another amazing site where I would have liked to spend more time, espcially hiking."

Maureen

Riverton, IL

Tour: 09/16/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I learned so much history, geography, and a deeper understanding of the huge political decision that Scots must make in deciding whether or not to seek independence from Great Britain.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The natural beauty of Scotland was beyond my expectations."

Linda

Yamhill, OR

Tour: 09/09/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our 5th RS tour so we pretty much knew it would be a great value for our travel dollar. Having seen the "greats" of Europe, it was ,as expected, more of a laid back visit of spectacular beauty and rich the rich history of a people who know how to value their freedoms.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My "wow" moment was driving across the countryside and seeing Stirling Castle rising up above the landscape."

Floyd

Woodland, CA

Tour: 09/09/13

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

Overall, I enjoyed the Scotland tour and thought it was a good experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I enjoyed visiting the golf course at St. Andrews and the golf history museum. There was a lot of history and tradition tied to that place and it permeated the town and surrounding area. I am not a golfer but I appreciated it anyway. I also enjoyed the sheep dog demonstration and the distilleries where scotch is made."

Ed

Yamhill, OR

Tour: 09/09/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our 5th tour and, other than stretching the group size limit, didn't disappoint.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing Edinburgh Castle towering over the city."

Jackie

Redmond, WA

Tour: 09/09/13

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

This was our 7th tour. It was not as varied as some of the others. There was a tendency to see too many castles as other points of interest were ignored. Had trouble thinking of "wow" moment on this one. There just wasn't much that stood out.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"After much thought the only "wow" moment was St. Andrews and being able to walk on the course and take a picture on the bridge that goes between the 17th and 18th holes. If we had not been golfers, I don't think the appeal would have been so great. Unfortunately, that was pretty much the only "wow" moment for me."

Patricienne

San Diego, CA

Tour: 09/09/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first guided tour with any company and just loved the experience. Chose Rick Steve's because of his PBS programs and all seemed well organized. A neighbor has taken 3 Rick Steve's tours and highly recommenced it. I liked the idea of someone saying when to show up for meals,etc. and then wheels up for departure.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Could not fit this below but would have liked more time in St. Andrews. What a beautiful town and very vibrant. Maybe a full day and night."

Chuck

Edgewood, WA

Tour: 09/02/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Scotland tour was as fantastic as we had hoped – scenery, history, food, tour members, guide, bus and bus driver, and overall experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There was no single "wow" moment. It was all "wow". We especially liked the western coast and the outstanding weather given that it was almost Fall."

Cynthia

Crescent City, CA

Tour: 09/02/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour of Scotland exceeded my expectations. Historical, cultural, and city sites visited were interesting and varied, as were the visits to a working sheep farm and bagpipe maker. In fact, several of the sites visited were quite unique, not at all your everyday tourist stops. However, our guide was absolutely exceptional! He brought Scottish history and culture to to life.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our Scotland experience was full of "wow" moments, including beautiful Kenmore with Taymouth Castle and the Crannogs, the Culloden Battlefield, and the gorgeous seaside town of Oban. However, the best part of the Scotland experience was the opportunity to meet and become friends with all the other enthusiastic members of the tour."

John

Louisville, CO

Tour: 09/02/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great People, Great Weather, Great Country and a well organized tour. Martin L. was fantastic.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The highlands."

Larry

Issaquah, WA

Tour: 08/26/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour guide, a true Scott, was intent on sharing the history and significance of the places we visited, as well as enjoying the scenery and company - she was very knowledgeable, and lent a personal interest to the last 800 years of history. The hotels selected were superb, and the food excellent.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The tour included a visit to a sheepdog trainer, that was a hit! Little did I know that each dog had a unique set of commands; so Rover would have a short whistle to crowd the sheep tightly, with Rover2 had a short shout to accomplish the same maneuver. Who knew? There was a lively discussion of how he trained the dogs: never rewarding good behavior, only punishing bad behavior. It sure paid off in results, but the suggestion to apply this to raising children caused a lot of discussion."

Weather

Scotland / Edinburgh

Edinburgh Weather

Pre-Tour

We've put together some specific information on what you should know about this tour before you go. You'll also find more general information about "Getting Ready for Your Tour" on our Tour FAQ.

Trip Resources

Learn more about Scotland: Check out a collection of Rick's TV shows, radio interviews and articles, plus find a list of recommended books and movies.

Transportation

Prior to your tour departure, you will receive detailed directions on how to get from the airport to your first tour hotel, as well as contact information for your first and last hotels in case you wish to book pre- or post-tour hotel accommodations.

Many tour members arrive a day or two before the tour begins — and those who don't, wish they had. This allows you ample time to get over jet lag and make the most of the first few days of the tour.

Most tour members will arrange to fly in and out of Edinburgh. It’s a major transportation hub, which makes additional travel before or after your tour quite easy.

For information about flying within Europe, ask your travel agent or check Rick's list of European budget airlines

Read Rick's train travel and rail pass tips to decide if your travel plans merit a rail pass.

If you have additional European travel or tour questions, contact the Tour Department at 425-608-4217 or email tour@ricksteves.com.

Sightseeing On Your Own

If you arrive in Edinburgh before your tour begins, use Rick Steves Great Britain guidebook to get oriented. Ride the public transportation and get over your jet lag with lots of fresh air and exercise.

Here are a few suggestions for sightseeing in Edinburgh that we will not do as a group: National Gallery, Scottish Parliament Building, Palace of Holyrood House, Royal Yacht Britannia, St. Giles' Cathedral, Rosslyn Chapel. Your guidebook also has plenty of ideas for any extra time you may have before or after your tour and your guide will be happy to help you with post-tour plans.

Packing

For advice on what (and what not!) to pack, see Rick’s packing tips.