• Edinburgh
  • St. Andrews Cathedral ruin, Scotland
    St. Andrews Cathedral
  • Scottish Whisky Tasting
  • The Hermitage Woodlands
  • Sheep Dog Demonstration
  • Cawdor Castle near Inverness
  • Scottish Highlands
  • Oban
  • Isle of Iona

Tour Questions? Call 425-608-4217

Best of Scotland in 10 Days Tour

from $2,895 + Air

Optional Single Supplement $525

See Tour Dates

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 Isles of Mull and Iona; and time-travel about the craggy castles of Edinburgh, Stirling and Urquhart. Join us for the Best of Scotland in 10 Days!

Dates & Prices

2015

2016

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 • Culross Palace tour • St. Andrews visit • Scottish musical evening • Scottish Crannog Centre tour • Dunkeld visit • Hermitage visit • Whisky distillery tour and tasting • Sheep dog demonstration • Scottish Highlands Walk • Culloden Battlefield tour • Clava Cairns tour • Cawdor Castle tour • Urquhart Castle visit • Loch Ness cruise • 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
  • $100 Shopping Spree (per household) at the Rick Steves Travel Store to get guidebooks and gear for your trip
  • 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 2016
  • 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 at 5 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. Tonight we'll sleep in or near the village of Kenmore (2 nights). Bus: 5 hrs. Walking: light.

Day 4: Crannogs and Whisky

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. Then we'll head to the Hermitage, where we'll hear about Scottish Romanticism amidst Black Linn Falls and towering forest. Next, we are onto the charming town of Dunkeld, where we'll tour its medieval cathedral. To conclude the afternoon, we'll take a whisky distillery tour, 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. This evening we'll enjoy dinner together, and then listen to the history of bagpipes and a real Scottish piper.  Bus: 3 hrs. Walking: moderate.

Day 5: Sheep Dogs and the Highlands

We're off to the Highlands today! We'll start off by learning about the nitty-gritty of Scotland's wool industry at a working sheep farm and watch a demonstration by talented sheep dogs. After lunch in the town of Aviemore, we'll enjoy a favorite Scottish past time by taking a walk through the spectacular landscape of the well-preserved Cairngorms National Park. We'll end the day in the Highland city of Inverness with dinner together. Sleep in Inverness (2 nights). Bus: 3 hrs. Walking: moderate.

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, and enjoy a picnic in this serene setting. 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. Tonight is a great night to enjoy some traditional music in one of the many pubs. Bus: 2 hrs. Walking: moderate.

Day 7: Loch Ness and Glencoe

We'll begin our day with a panoramic cruise on Loch Ness (monster sightings possible), from which we’ll see the dramatic ruins of Urquhart Castle. The boat will drop us at the base of the castle to explore in more detail before we continue on by bus. 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 is split between two B&Bs). Boat: ½ hr. 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

Barb

Dayton, OH

Tour: 08/10/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I was extremely pleased with the Rick Steve's Scotland tour. This was my third trip to Europe but my first with a tour group. It was everything I expected and moe.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I especially loved the walks along the river Baerns. The vistas in the highlands were so beautiful. I guess I liked the outdoor activities best."

Andrew

Flint, MI

Tour: 08/10/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Anne was very well informed on history and culture and history and was very generous in sharing that knowledge which greatly enhanced the overall trip experience. Accommodations were nice and I was well pleased with the locations chosen to visit.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I don't have a single standout wow moment."

Kate

Port Townsend, WA

Tour: 08/10/15

Overall rating: rating 2 of 5

Let me preface this review by saying that I have traveled in Europe for 30 years, first with my husband, and since his death, alone. I have read and used RS's books, but I've never taken a tour. I was surprised at how much of a typical tour it was. Breakfast at 7, on the bus at 8, off to a site, back on the bus off to another site, lunch, back on the bus and so on. I never felt like I had the time or opportunity to get to know the people or savor the places we visited.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Wow moment?? Wow look at all those tour buses in the parking lot. Wow look at those lines On the positive side. I did like the Cranog."

Michael

Paris,

Tour: 08/10/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I fell under the spell of Scotland. Its valiant and head-strong struggles for independence and religious freedom as well as the inter-clan rivalries have all been fought by a prideful, intelligent, and shrewd people. How can you not love them? The tour showed us all of this history as well as the extraordinary natural beauty which was all enhanced by our incredible guide, Anne.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" moment was at the sheep farm when the shepherd, Neil Ross, spoke a couple of hard-sounding syllables and one of his border collies took off after the flock of sheep on the horizon. I've never seen any animal run faster and with such immediacy. Incredible!"

Beverly

Paris,

Tour: 08/10/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was like a delicious haggis. Every ingredient blended to produce perfection. Beautiful scenery, a fascinating and exciting history, a well-balanced itinerary, friendly locals, amiable co-travelers, comfortable lodgings, delicious food--yes, even haggis!--and most of all our leader, Anne-- all combined to give me a trip I won't soon forget and one I was frankly sorry to see end.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Ferrying across the beautiful, tranquil Loch Ness gave me a chance to reflect on my Scottish ancestors and to realize my pride in having some Scot in my blood."

Brad

Seattle, WA

Tour: 08/10/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

From beginning to end, all aspects of this tour were fantastic. I especially appreciated the care taken to provide good orientations entering cities both big and small; local recommendations for walks, restaurants, grocery. Perspectives on history were delivered in bite sizes and delivered relative to our progress on the tour route. Plus, I loved that Anne wore her pride for her country on her sleeve, so to speak. It helped everyone really get into it.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Biggest wow moment was Oban sunsets and ferry to Iona."

Sandy

Wichita, KS

Tour: 08/10/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall, we enjoyed facts, sites and sights, many of which we were unaware. Hotels seem to be more upscale than in the past - I liked the quirky ones (long rambling building in meadow on Scand tour where our room had a sleigh bed) and somewhere a dining room with many antlers on ceiling. But I like the "fancier" ones, also. Bus ride across Mull was terribly bumpy; perhaps because we were in the back of bus. Maybe folks could double up for that ride. Friendliest group of our 5 RS tours.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"CRANNOCK - fascinating stories & demonstrations - "authentic" costumes SHEEP DOGS -even when shepherd sent only one dog out to round up the sheep, the others remained on "high alert" Incredible they're trained for specific whistles. Tiniest puppy was darling. IONA Happened to be in the chapel when their 2 pm "peace and social justice" 15 min. worship service was announced; enjoyed. Many songs in our Mennonite hymnal's supplements are from Iona view leaving Iona. HIGHLANDS"

Mary

Seattle, WA

Tour: 08/10/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved it all: the history, cultural and political info, local food and drink samples, the nature, the walks in the woods - and the great guide and fun group!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Being on Iona on such a beautiful day was awesome. Culloden more moving than expected. And sheepdog demo was really fun too. Visiting the crannog was very interesting as well. And enjoying the beauty of the country everyday."

Bill

Vancouver, WA

Tour: 08/10/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent tour with a very good guide

Karen

Vancouver, WA

Tour: 08/10/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was the very best vacation I have ever taken

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Finding where my grandmother was born. The night in Kenmore with the piper and highland dancer (member of tour) My husband enjoyed golfing in Scotland at Inverness golf course."

Emily

Leawood, KS

Tour: 08/05/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The whole tour was fantastic, and Colin was an excellent guide!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing sheepdogs herd on a real sheep farm and hearing a group of bagpipers rehearse next to a lake at our last rest stop were two of my biggest highlights."

Thomas

Fair Oaks, CA

Tour: 08/05/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Exceptional tour, Exceptional tour guide, John the exceptional bus driver who, as one tourist described, could thread his bus through the eye of the needle. The weather gods were with us and no walking through torrential rains was experienced. Overcast skies and windy days, but sunshine and blue skies were experienced in equal measure. Happy, memorable trip for a 74 year old, overweight guy who thinks he has Scottish ancestors. Feet are slowly recovering.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Lordy, I really don't have to choose do I? Oddly, I found the sheep dogs really impressive and a wow, as I did Cawdor Castle. Edinburgh and Stirling castles were definite Wow's. As a military history buff I was pleased to see the Commando Monument. Not a wow moment but a quiet pleasure to see a nation's acknowledgement of the Commando. Enjoyed all the sights selected for the tour. Would not like to do the Hermitage walk in a rain storm. Fortunately the weather was good."

Chris

Sacramento, CA

Tour: 08/05/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Colin and driver John went above and beyond our expectations to personalize the trip with extras such as cookies, desert Scotch, a picnic, and an exceptional itinerary.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The unexpected picnic; waking from a doze on the bus to "Highland Cathedral" on bagpipes as we first entered the glens. NOTE: we stayed an extra day for the Edinburgh Tattoo, it was exceptional and should be included (extra cost) when possible during August."

Mary Lynn

Covington, WA

Tour: 08/05/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

As usual, this was a great trip. This is my fourth Rick Steves tour and I wouldn't be coming back if they weren't a wonderful experience. Our group was terrific. My husband and I enjoyed the company of each and every one of the group! Our guide was organized, informative and often funny...and his singing voice was not bad!! The places we visited, the hotels where we stayed and our group meals met my expetations... and then some! And, of course, the scotch tastings!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many "WOW" moments...hard to just name one. The sheep dogs, the crannogs, the beauty of the countryside, the bagpipe performances of both the Canadian group and the demonstration by a local Scottish women piper."

John

Arlington, TX

Tour: 08/05/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a wonderful experince and one that I'll recommend to others. We saw many things that we would not have seen had we organized the trip on our own. Having someone else do the driving, incidently John was a pleasure, and organizing all the stops allowed me to sit back and enjoy the trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Probably spending time at the outlook at Glenn Coe. I personnaly would have liked to spend more time there and less time at the visitor center."

Steve

Tavares, FL

Tour: 08/05/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

An extremely well planned and time efficient sight-seeing tour. Accommodations and food were good to excellent. The tour guide was very well informed, approachable, organized and sensitive to the interests and needs of our specific group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"By chance, we encountered a pipe band en route to a local worldwide competition at our travel stop. They were tuning and practicing in the park. Our guide realized our interest in watching the practice march and extended our time at the stop.The band was from a Canada middle school with boys from 11 years on up. This fortuitous event allowed me to not only see pipers "in the making" but also to ask questions of the local folks gathered.I learned song lyrics taught to children are area dependent."

Caroline

Tavares, FL

Tour: 08/05/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our (spouse, Steve & sister & brother-in-law Alicia & Steve Murtha) first Rick Steves' Tour or any tour for that matter. I'm pleased to be able to report that it far exceeded my expectations for a number of reasons. 1. intelligent homogeneous group 2. excellent, personable, well prepared, helpful guide who met all our various different needs seamlessly...and the list goes on!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Every day was amazing so too many WOWS to list...that being said, on day 3 & first time out of Edinburgh, we stopped at "The Castle" in Culross. That house with its rich history and being so well preserved was an exceptional study of life in 17th C Scotland. I found it almost incredulous that a 17th C engineer had the means, vision, knowledge and courage to implement successfully so many new, never been done before, ideas, i.e. mining tunnels under water and ceilings in shape of boat hulls etc.."

Joan

St Catharines, ON

Tour: 08/03/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Marvellous! Inspiring! Full of heart and pride! Such a beautiful country, illuminated by Liz' broad knowledge of history, geography, culture and politics. Great food, accommodation and a very companionable group of travellers. The added touches of opportunities, both planned and spontaneous, to interact with Scots, brought added depth. The special celebrations (picnic, toast at national monument)created magical moments.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Several spring to mind. Niall and his border collies. Experiencing Schiehallion in the pub and talking independence with a young teacher. The Crannog. Gillie on the pipes and addressing the haggis. Urquart Castle emerging from the mists over Loch Ness. The peace of the thin space at Clava Cairns and our picnic. The toast at the national monument, encircled by Kathleen Jamie's powerful poem to Scotland."

Christine

Medina, WA

Tour: 08/03/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This is our 8th Rick Steves' tour and our first trip to Scotland. We had a fabulous time. Liz was our guide and we couldn't have had a better guide for the Scotland tour. She was fun, organized, helpful, excited about Scottish history and mindful of our individual needs.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorites were listening to the Scottish singers in Gulliens in Inverness and the Military Tattoo Bands."

Robin

Pine Knoll Shores, NC

Tour: 08/03/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

What a great experience! We loved beautiful Scotland, and Liz is a fabulous guide. We had a great group of enthusiastic, interesting, flexible and friendly travelers who made the trip even better. Scotland is an wonderful place to visit - beautiful scenery, friendly people, fascinating history - simply wonderful!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many "wow" moments on this trip! Meeting a working shepherd and his trained border collies was truly a "wow" moment. Watching him work with the dogs was amazing, and we were all ready to smuggle border collie puppies back in our luggage. The battlefield at Culloden was a "wow" moment, but so was visiting the crannog, riding the ferry on the Loch Ness, visiting beautiful Iona, and dancing to the music of the local band in the pub in Inverness."

Terry

Pine Knoll Shores, NC

Tour: 08/03/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Magical is one word I've kept using after our return. I knew Scotland would be beautiful and we would enjoy this tour as we have all the Rick Steves tours we've been on; but wow. Our guide, Liz, was fantastic and such a joy to be with. Like all Rick Steves tours you get the right mix of planned group activities combined with time to explore on your own. The Rick Steves experience builds your confidence to just jump in with the locals.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Not a fair question. So many to choose from. I'm going with the working sheepdog demonstration. Going in I was like: "Ok this will be cute" but then you get there and meet Neal. This shepherd is real people with such a passion for what he does. The puppies in our arms didn't hurt."

Laura

Penticton, BC

Tour: 08/03/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

- well organized - great guide (Liz) - loved the variety of experiences - bus driver was an integral part of the tour (Kennie)

Favorite "WOW" moment

"- being at Dunkeld and experiencing the church and yard as a "thin space""

Pete

Medina, WA

Tour: 08/03/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

overall it was great. Typical RS group, most understood that we weren't going to Four Seasons and that there'd be a more wide open element to the discussions about local politics and history, etc. (this was our 8th RS trip)

Charles

Fredericksburg, VA

Tour: 08/03/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We were excited to be touring Scotland on our first Rick Steves Tour. We had never been to Europe on an organized tour, we typically traveled on our own with guidebooks in hand and thought this might work for us. It did. Liz, our guide, was fantastic. The 24 people on a 60-passenger bus made the little journeys much easier. The hotels, the talks, the experiences, and so forth were right on with what we had hoped it would be and more. Just a wonderful experience!!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The biggest "wow" was discovering that my fellow tour people (not tourists for sure) were also going to the Edinburgh Royal Military Tattoo at the end of the tour. They were all really into being immersed in Scotland as we were. The show was great. but on the tour, there were lots of "wow" moments. The best for me was the pub in Inverness where we were thoroughly entertained by a live band playing traditional Scottish patriotic songs with local beer in our hands."

Judi

Bellevue, WA

Tour: 08/03/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was amazing! Not only enjoyable, but I learned so so much history. Liz is so knowledgeable. She had a great answer to about every question. She and driver Kenny also put in personal events like picnics and celebration of a tour members birthday. Surprise and wonderful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to pick just one. But probably the sheep dog demonstration. It was so personal and not "tourish"."

Margaret

St Catharines, ON

Tour: 08/03/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

"Here lies our land...Belonging to none but itself", the Kathleen Jamie poem on the monument at Bannockburn, where we started our farewell evening has a meaning to me it would never have had if I had gone to that monument aside from the tour. However, it also guided me to enjoy another week in the borders, independently exploring with my travel companions. Great balance of history and present, knowledge and sensory experience. Respect and integrity throughout.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting the Cranogs in the cold mist facilitated an appreciation for the high level of scientific thinking and communal activity that was occurring so long ago. The connection to the land continued the next day as we walked Cairngorms National Park and the day after at our picnic at Clava Cairns."

Lindsay

Raleigh, NC

Tour: 08/03/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

well planned itinerary FABULOUS guide! a Blue Badge with a great sense of humor...unbeatable!! nice, compatible group; several RST alums aboard

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Watching Neal Ross, the shepherd, whistle for his sheep dogs to "work"...amazing control and rapport between man and his well-trained animals!! This experience was a real treat, in spite of the fact that understanding Neal's brogue was practically impossible for me! Liz was however, an excellent translator!"

Karen

Edmonds, WA

Tour: 08/03/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We have traveled to Europe many times but had never taken an escorted tour. I chose a Rick Steve's tour because of the great reviews, small group size and outstanding tour guides. I was not disappointed,everything went as planned. Our guide Liz Lister was OUTSTANDING!! She was fun, organized, and really knows her Scottish history. She provided great stories, music, treats, laughs....everyday was an adventure. The hotels and meals were great! A splendid example of Scotland's hospitality.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many, but I must say the gardens at Cawdor Castle was really my favorite wow moment. The grounds all around the castle were just beautiful!! I also enjoyed the pub night in Inverness..great live music!!"

Stephanie

High Point, NC

Tour: 07/27/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a great tour with Nigel and the rest of the tour group around beautiful Scotland. The tour began and ended in lovely Edinburgh with castles, churches, puppies and pipers sandwiched in between! We were prepared for misty/rainy weather so when we had sunshine on several day we felt very blessed. The Scotch are warm, friendly and good-humoured people, we were greeted kindly wherever we went. The Highlands were breathtaking and we hope some day to go back!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many "wow" moments but two of my favorites were opportunities that would not have been available to us had we not been on a "Rick Steves" tour. The first was an adorable sprite of a bagpiper named Gilley, who played for us and shared about the bagpipes. The second was visiting a farm to watch sheep being herded by very well trained border collies through whistles and commands given by a modern day quintessentially Scottish "shepherd". Just awesome experiences!!!"

Paul

Rochester, MA

Tour: 07/27/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Always fly business class with long over night trips. I had never been on any travel tour. I was very surprised to fine it so well organized and friendly everyone was. Nigel was great as well as the bus driver Rodney. I don't know if I am ready to try driving on the wrong side of the road yet? I think I am castled out. But my wife can't get enough of them.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is had to comprehend the time periods. US was founded in 1620. We were in periods of 1200's to 1600's. They were more innovated than I had thought. How they built these towering castles back then is just amazing to me."

Camille

Levittown, NY

Tour: 07/27/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I found the tour to be better then I had expected. The hotels were more then adequate , the dinners all except for one were very good and our guide Nigel was helpful and a fountain of knowledge. The busses were comfortable and our drivers were careful on the roads and handled the busses well. I enjoyed the places we visited and would not be afraid to recommend a Rick Steves tour to friends

Favorite "WOW" moment

".. Seeing the Highlands and visiting the Colloden Battlefield were high on my list to see. Both left me speechless."

Gary

The Woodlands, TX

Tour: 07/22/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our trip was wonderful for a number of reasons; first, Ann is an outstanding tour guide who made the trip magical. Second, Scotland is the most beautiful country I have ever visited and I have traveled to many. Third, our coach driver was wonderful making the trip very comfortable. Fourth, the entire tour group was comprised of wonderful people with similar interests.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Each day was filled with a "wow" moment so selecting just one would be impossible."

Thomas

Seattle, WA

Tour: 07/22/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Though we'd utilized the Rick Steves books before when traveling to Europe, this was our first tour. I wasn't sure what to expect but it was awesome and almost felt decadent to be treated so well; no lines, never got lost, comfortable and interesting accomodations and, most of all, an amazing tour guide in Ann! She was an absolute font of information and an even better human being.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The stop to see the shepherd and his dogs"

Mary

Seattle, WA

Tour: 07/22/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is not my first ETBD tour but it's been over 10 years.This is still an incredible value! My tour was incredibly well planned and organized with a great mix of activities.We hiked, we learned about history, we enjoyed wonderful dinners together and saw amazingly beautiful scenery. It was well paced and our guide and driver were fantastic. I had a wonderful time!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite day was when we visited Neal at his sheep farm and watched as he demonstrated how his wonderful dogs do their job. When we got off the bus we were greeted by both the adult dogs as well as adorable puppies. It was fascinating learning about how the dogs are trained and work. Neal's passion for his work was evident. Later we were treated to meeting even more puppies, some only 16 days old. For this dog lover it was Nirvana!"

Matthew

Seattle, WA

Tour: 07/22/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very well-paced tour and Anne was a wonderful guide. I appreciated her knowledge and good spirits.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Loved the Battlefield/Museum at Culloden (I'm sure that I spelled that wrong) and our experiences in Edinburgh."

Gail

Sonoma, CA

Tour: 07/22/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a lovely time. Our guide, Ann, did a fabulous job. We loved all the sights, our group meals were tasty and our fellow travelers were delightful

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Inverness was particularly delightful"

William

Fort Worth, TX

Tour: 07/22/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Best tour we have been on. Anne very organized and knowledgeable. Especially enjoyed correlation of music with locations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Probably Loch Ness, just the eeriness and beauty."

Merri

Riverside, CA

Tour: 07/22/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I cried a few times on the 9th day while looking out the window as the bus wound through the spectacular countryside on it's way back to Edinburgh because I did not want the tour to end, or to leave Scotland. I learned so much about it's geology, culture and history as well as current social and political aspects. I saw breathtaking vistas, beautiful architecture, farmsteads, castle ruins, and experienced the lovely charm and hospitality of the Scottish people.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"That's a tough question, but mine for the most part took place in the Highlands. The beauty and majesty of God's creation is incredible. A 'wow' moment specific to the tour, though, was the Sheep Dog demonstration with Neil Ross. I was amazed at his expertise, and his command of 22 dogs as several split a small herd in two, and brought half of them to us at full speed! WOW. This was a part of the tour that beforehand I was ambivalent about, and it knocked my socks off!"

Kenneth

Columbia, MD

Tour: 07/22/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I think the selection of places to visit and the pace was about right for this kind of tour. There were places (castle gardens) where I would have liked more time. I enjoyed the group but I also appreciated that the tour included some time for individual activities. The tour guide Ann and the driver John were excellent.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The demonstration of the sheepdogs is something I will never forget."

Wendy

Shoreline, WA

Tour: 07/22/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Interesting places, great mix of natural and historical, buildings and lochs. Enjoyed the hotels and bed and breakfasts - all we so unique. Nice to do some hiking in nature. There was enough down time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hearing our lady piper's story that she had a man's haircut and dr seed like a man, because females couldn't be pipers. Loved hearing her play plus she was funny."

Bill

Redmond, WA

Tour: 07/20/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was my 1st Rick Steves Tour and we will be back for more. Liked the smaller more intimate size and exposure. Were able to view more thing not on the beaten path and get to know and associate with your traveling companioning than on a big boat.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Either walking around St Andrews the day after the British Open and exploring it at our own speed or watching the Sheep Dog demonstration."

Patricia

St Martinville, LA

Tour: 07/20/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had a great time on Scotland in 10 days. We saw a variety of sites and walked through both urban and rural settings. The tour gave me a sense of the different geographic areas throughout Scotland. I enjoyed the experience very much.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I don't know that I can pinpoint one wow moment. The Crannog on Loch Tay was one of my favorite stops. Walking through the countryside to the site was a good way to start the day. The exhibit and the staff where well put together and very informative. The prehistoric burial site touched my imagination and I wanted to stay there longer but not all my fellow passengers found it as peaceful as I did. The picnic of Scottish delights both the food and the drinks were an unexpected treat."

Dan

Holly Springs, NC

Tour: 07/20/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our second Rick Steves Tour (first one was the 17-day Best of Italy in 2014). Like that tour, this tour was packed each day with sightseeing, demonstrations, group dinners and free time. Not exactly relaxation, but you do get an excellent immersion into the country and the people. Overall, I was very pleased with this tour, our fantastic guide Colin (the Barbarian), and my 23 new friends from our shared experience. Rick Steves Tours are simply the best!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I have three "Wow" Moments but there are many more I could list. Number one was meeting shepherd Neil Post and watching him work with his amazing sheep dogs. Second was our drive across the Island of Mull with our informative and very funny driver/guide Richard. The scenery was breathtaking. Third was the Sunday morning boat cruise of Loch Ness. While we saw no monster, we had beautiful views of the lake and the surrounding mountains."

Tracy

Ashland City, TN

Tour: 07/20/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The Rick Steves tour was a wonderful intro to Scotland! The choice of sights to see and "field trips" was a great mix and we could not have asked for a better tour guide or bus driver, and we enjoyed getting acquainted with the people we traveled with. The only down side in packing so much into this tour was very little down time, which probably isn't possible with a 10-day tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many "wow" moments being in Scotland but one of my very favorites was taking the boat at Loch Ness to visit Urquhart Castle, truly a dreamscape!"

Ralph

Ashland City, TN

Tour: 07/20/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My wife and I wanted an introduction to Scotland. Our primary interest was in an historical tour that also provided a chance to understand something of modern Scotland and its desire for independence. I am very satisfied with the result.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think Inverness would be my favorite "surprise". I guess I did not know anything about the city and was quite taken with the highlands and its primary city."

Patricia

Redlands, CA

Tour: 07/20/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first Rick Steves tour. Overall it more than met my expectations. Our 10 day tour of Scotland was so much fun. The sights, the people, it added up to a fantastic experience. I also was able to explore my Scottish heritage. The fact that it was such a small group allowed us to get to know one another and become like family. Our tour guide, Collin and bus driver, Kenny were great. They both were an integral part of this tour. I can't wait for my next Rick Steves tour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite experience was definitely the amazing sheepdogs!"

Pamela

College Place, WA

Tour: 07/20/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent trip to Scotland! Our guide Colin, was personable, informative, and even a wee bit of fun! We enjoyed his commentary and the many surprises, like the delicious tablet, that he had for us along the way. The other people on our tour were interesting and exceptionally good traveling companions. We made several new friends who I hope we will continue to stay in touch. The food was very good and the accommodations comfortable and clean. We had a terrific trip!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hands down, it was the working sheep dogs at the farm. Amazing, amazing. The shepherd had about 15 puppies as well and it was so fun to see the little dogs instinctively herd the ducks and sheep. A close second for me was the Ilse of Iona. Gorgeous scenery, very spiritual and it really felt like we were in "middle earth" or something. Of course, St. Andrews and the Highlands were also was a highlight along with all the Scottish people we met. Hard to pick just one,"

Sue

Avon, OH

Tour: 07/20/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my once in a lifetime trip by all means. Colin was very knowledgeable about Scotland both historical as well as legendary stories. I had a great experience and would do it again if life allows me.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Just standing in the country of my grandparents"

Patricia

Homewood, IL

Tour: 07/20/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I did not have a clear picture in my mind of Scotland before the trip and having been to Ireland a few years ago, I was hoping to feel the difference between the two countries, knowing that they are, in some ways, similar. My experience completely fulfilled that desire. I came away with a much clearer understanding and a real appreciation for Scotland and her history. Since half of my ancestry in "Scots-Irish", it was very personally enriching for me.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We were just beginning to drive into the highlands and the views were stunning. Just then, the sun started to come out and our guide (Colin) started playing a beautiful, stirring bagpipe and orchestral anthem. The entire experience was glorious!! I also felt a big "wow" upon entering the Edinburgh Castle keep area:)"

Krista

Ellicott City, MD

Tour: 07/13/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

It was great!I enjoyed Nigel and Rodi, our bus driver. Our accommodations were good, with the exception of Pitlochery, where they were mediocre. As a teacher, the only suggestion I would have is rather than giving us an enormous amount of information which is really confusing, I wish there was some way of simplifying the information given. Was there anything that would tie in what was happening in one area to another area at the same time, what were people's lives like in different centuries.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved the crannogs- this was new to me. I loved the shepherd and his farm and dogs- it allowed a peek into a different way of life. I enjoyed the bagpiper and hearing about her life, the cruise on the River Ness. Of course I loved the castles and seeing the highlands."

Mary

Bloomington, MN

Tour: 07/13/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The whole trip was wonderful. We enjoyed all aspects - the guides, bus driver, other travelers and all the sights we saw and history we learned. A wonderful way to travel through Scotland. We really appreciate having the small group - only 23 of us. The hotels and meals together were outstanding. We liked having some nights on our own too.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to decide. The sheep dogs and puppies were pretty amazing!"

Brian

Meridian, ID

Tour: 07/13/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Very pleased with tour. Enjoyed the guides and fellow travelers. Wish we could have gone to a Caleigh!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sunset in Oban!"

Nili

New York, NY

Tour: 07/13/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a very interesting tour and covered a lot of territory. I would have liked a more leisurely itinerary but I knew that before I signed up, so it is not a complaint - I just wish you had some longer stays at each place available.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Not sure we had a wow moment, but it was all great."

Glenda

Sedro-Woolley, WA

Tour: 07/13/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was a great experience. I am already looking at future tours. I am hoping to get other members of my family interested in coming with me and have recommended the Scotland trip to family and friends.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There are too many to choose one. Each day was full of new experiences. I did particularly enjoy our boat trips and Urquhart Castle."

Shannon

Lexington, KY

Tour: 07/06/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had a BLAST! Scotland is a beautiful country and I was able to more fully enjoy it with the help of our guide, Colin, and bus driver, Kenny. I thought the tour showed us what Scotland was really like with all the varied activities (my favorites were the visiting the castles and the drive from Loch Ness to Oban). Colin and Kenny were informative of the various locations we visited and it was discussing typical life in Scotland with them during the group dinners and during the trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Viewing the landscape in the Glencoe area! My pictures just don't do it justice and my husband and I plan to come back to that region and explore the various hiking trails. I also loved Oban and really enjoyed the bagpipe concert in Kenmore."

Meghan

Murfreesboro, TN

Tour: 07/06/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Amazing! The sites were great, but I thought there were a few too many nature walks. Honestly I would rather have been able to see a historical site in the time we used for those nature stops. The range of historical sites we saw was great. Also, the combination of free time and guided time was perfect.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Driving through Glencoe just made me sit back and say wow! Such beauty and spectacular scenery for 360* as far as you can see. So beautiful!"

Bryan

Gurnee, IL

Tour: 07/06/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My wife and I had a fantastic time on our 10 day Scotland tour. This was our first "organized" tour (we had always planned our own in the past) but, based on the recommendation of a friend, decided to try a Rick Steves tour. We were not disappointed. We really liked the philosophy of experiencing the country as a local, and not just staying in big-box hotels and visiting clones of US restaurants. The attention to detail was outstanding.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I did not have one particular "wow" moment, but best enjoyed learning the history of Scotland and seeing many sites associated with Scottish history and pre-history. It gave me a real feel for the land and people of Scotland. A close second was seeing the sheep dogs in action."

James

Cincinnati, OH

Tour: 07/06/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

First time traveler to Europe, very pleased with the experience, would definitely recommend Rick Steves Tours and look forward to our next trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I'm unable to narrow it down to one WOW, so enough said."

Linda

Westlake Village, CA

Tour: 07/06/15

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

Overall, the trip was a "B." Our tour guide Colin and coach driver Kenny were excellent, as Helen in Edinburgh. I would've liked more free time in the villages. I would've skippedthe whiskey tasting in favor of longer village stops. I'd rate the meals a B+. Hotels were a big disappointment. Room 1, Kenmore Hotel, was a dump! The other hotels were just fair. We felt the tour was overpriced and for that reason we won't be returning.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Edinburgh, Colin and Kenny. Glencoe was beautiful. The Crannog and Hermitage were better than expected."

Norval

Olympia, WA

Tour: 07/06/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

First Rick tour. Terrific experience. well planned. Excellent tour guide, Colin.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Bordie collies herding sheep on local farm."

Patricia

Scotch Plains, NJ

Tour: 07/06/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We started the tour not knowing anybody but the group was friendly and we had a chance to meet everyone. Although being cold and rainy most of the trip, we did enjoy ourselves. Colin was very knowledgeable and gave us a good history of Scotland. The only complaint I have is in the town of Obin they split the group up into two bed and breakfast places. We hear the others had a choice of pancakes and waffles where we had the usual breakfast. Scotland was beautiful and we enjoyed the trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The dog herding - made us realize how much work goes into training them."

Julie

Gurnee, IL

Tour: 07/06/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steves' tour, so we weren't sure what to expect. Our guide, Colin, cheerfully made it his responsibility to insure that every detail of our trip was covered. We were able to enjoy Scotland in a relaxed, worry-free environment, in the company of friendly people who were as excited to be there as we were.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"On the way to visit the loch, Colin serenaded us with a beautiful rendition of "On the Bonnie, Bonnie Banks of Loch Lomond." It set the tone perfectly for our stop at one of Scotland's most picturesque lakes."

Daniel

Wausau, WI

Tour: 07/06/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Another amazing tour with an amazing guide and driver and wonderful travel mates.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Standing on the 18th fairway at St. Andrews"

Robert

Napa, CA

Tour: 06/29/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

What a history lesson and what a wonderful guide to take us through this great land and welcome us as a friend to one another and the great land of Scotland

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It was all pretty much a wow experience but the personnel touches delivered by our guide added so much more to the experience."

Joseph

Manchester, MO

Tour: 06/29/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The beauty of the landscape, the friendliness and warmth of fellow travelers, the effectiveness and generosity of the bus driver and tour guide were top-of-the line. Minor glitches were handled quickly and smoothly without drama. Questions were answered clearly by our main guide and local guides. This tour delivered more than was promised.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Stepping onto the Isle of Iona. The wind. The silence. The stark beauty of the island. The deep sense of history. Truly this is a "thin" place that nourishes my soul."

Caroline

Lake Oswego, OR

Tour: 06/29/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

From the moment Liz showed up at the hotel to the last supper - she was simply great - everyday had surprises in it - she made us laugh - told stories, brought us treats on the bus - and looked into our dining experiences to make sure we got what we needed- she played games with us like truth or dare to increase our knowledge of each other and our creative abilities - she played music on the bus During our free time she made suggestions which I heeded and was pleased with

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many moments were simply fabulous - several come to mind - the sheep dog training, which I thought I would sleep through - was simply amazing - the evening in a pub - July 4th, listening/participating in a ceilidh - that morning started with one of our group playing The Star Spangled Banner on a piano at the hotel - and on the bus, red white and blue M&M's - or wading in the loch when I spotted leeches - same afternoon we had birthday cake in the forest - simply amazing times"

Michelle

Largo, FL

Tour: 06/29/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was more than I expected. Tour guide was excellent, Driver was a character and the tour members were very pleasant.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I enjoyed the boat trip along Loch Ness to Urquhart Castle."

James

Davis, CA

Tour: 06/29/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was fantastic! I cannot begin to list the amazing things about both Liz and Roddy (the bus driver), both are incredibly valuable and made the trip that much better.

Favorite "WOW" moment

""Favorite wow momentS" would have to include competing in races at the Kenmore Highland Games, visiting a working sheep ranch and seeing demonstrations of the ranch dogs while playing with puppies, and viewing the amazing history in an easy to understand hands on approach!"

Murray

Largo, FL

Tour: 06/29/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A very comprehensive tour. I am not sure we lacked anything we would have wished to do or see. The segments were interesting, entertaining and educational. There was the right amount of breaks to balance with the busy exciting times. We were never bored. Scotland would not let us. the scenery was beautiful and varied. Scotland was a life long dream. I got all that I wanted. The friends we made on the tour included everyone that was along. The teen agers were especially welcomed by all.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Urquhart Castle awed me. Such history and beauty."

Travis

Napa, CA

Tour: 06/29/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Kenmore Highland games, Iona, Oban, the highland countryside."

Jane

Lake Oswego, OR

Tour: 06/29/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour guide Liz was terrific and offered so many wonderful facts, food and fun. The group was very convivial and got along great. The sights were terrific with tons of history to appreciate each stop. The hotels were in excellent locations so we could manage very well on our own. The food was great when we ate together. I loved the variety of things that we saw and the extra facts that Liz shared before we toured on our won.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"That is hard one to say as all of it was so enjoyable. I totally enjoyed the Shepard and the sheep dogs. I loved all the castles too especially Sterling Castle. The night a the pub for Scottish folk music was also a highlight."

Jacqueline

Seattle, WA

Tour: 06/29/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

In one word Fabulous. Liz was the perfect guide making sure everyone experienced Scotland through the eyes of someone who truly loves her country. She highlighted the geologic formation and diversity of the land, the history, and music. Roddy is a fantastic driver and always felt safe even on the seemingly narrow and windy roads. The entire group was a joy to travel with and as a single traveler always felt included.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were wow moments everyday that it would be difficult to highlight one. I'm sure my tour mates have covered them all very well. I knew I would be blown away by the scenery, and history as well as enamored with the people of Scotland but had no idea how much. If you get an opportunity to visit Scotland don't forget to admire the ever changing and dramatic sky."

Ray

Rantoul, KS

Tour: 06/29/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Arriving in Edinburg a couple of days early from UK was great idea. We was able to walk aroung and see attraction that we wouldn't normaly see. We also had to laundry and people at the hotel was great in helping finding a laundry and meeting the local folks to was also great. Scotland is great place to visit the experience was great and want to go back.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"In Edinburg their was flower garden that they had made into a clock and on the hour a bird would come out of the bird box. The hard work that went into this is unbelieveable. Their several wow moment another one would be the ease the sheep dogs would bring in and seperate the sheep. He also had new puppies also and he had started traing them it was great, The other one when we went to a pub and listen to the music I like it so much I purchase the music disc and I listen to it half dozen time"

Robert

Houston, TX

Tour: 06/29/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is our second tour with Rick Steve's and it has been yet another great experience! I could create my own travel plans, but there is no way to find out all there is to know about a place without what I consider some of the best guides in the business... and that is what a Rick Steve's trip is all about!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"How can you as me to pick just one? I think what makes for wow moments is experiencing the trip with others, so I could say trying to play the bagpipes made for a joyous moment for all!"

John

Ukiah, CA

Tour: 06/29/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was organized very well. This is typical of all 4 of the tours we have taken. I found the walking to be strenuous, probably just a function of my age. The tour guide, Liz, was most excellent. She was very strong in the history of struggle for Scotland.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The sheep dog demonstration. The gruff shepard/ranch manager truly loved his dogs and they returned this love in their joyful performances. The very young puppies were already half trained and happy as they could be."

Barbara

Ukiah, CA

Tour: 06/29/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A truly memorable tour with an exceptional tour guide, Liz. She was extremely knowledgeable about the history and culture of her country and shared this with us day after day. Our group was very compatible which made being together most enjoyable. Also must mention Roddy, our bus driver who drove us safely over the narrow winding roads.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It had to be the sheep farm that we visited one day and had a demonstration from the Foreman of the ranch working his Border Collie dogs to herd sheep from one pasture to another."

Sylvia

Rantoul, KS

Tour: 06/29/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Stimulating and educational experience with lots of fun.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Kenmore Highland Games,the shepherd and his dog herding demonstration and the pub experience."

Caitlin

Arden, NC

Tour: 06/22/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was amazing! As a first time solo traveler, I was nervous about meeting people and having the confidence to go out and explore the cities. It turns out I didn't have to be worried at all! Martin was extremely helpful and knowledgable, and the group bonded instantly. There was never a dull moment, and the places we visited were the perfect mix of historical significance and beauty. Martin went above and beyond to make this trip special for each person!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This whole trip was extraordinary, and I couldn't have asked for a better group to spend it with! My favorite nights were the ones we spent in Kenmore, and the hiking we were able to do there. The best part was getting to interact with the locals. Everyone was kind, open, and had that particularly blunt Scottish sense of humor. I loved getting to know Kenny, the coach driver, who was obviously proud of his homeland. He and Martin were the perfect tag team, and had us laughing the entire trip!"

Daniel

Glendale, CA

Tour: 06/22/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Enjoyed the tour guide, Martin, bus driver Kenny and all the members of the tour; all very sociable and easy to relate to. Got to see a large swath of Scotland, learn in detail about its history. The local Scots were very friendly.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Crannog visitor center, Sheep dog farm, Culloden battlefield, Isle of Mull"

Laurie

Lyme, CT

Tour: 06/22/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I have to say that we indeed did follow the stated itinerary and saw all the attractions stated. My one overall complaint is that there were too many "whistle-stop" tours. One could not totally appreciate a site because not enough time was given to tour it thoroughly. For example, in St Andrews there was barely enough time to quickly walk through the castle and abbey ruins plus get a lunch. The same goes for the Stirling Castle.

Judith

Sammamish, WA

Tour: 06/22/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful guide, expert (and funny) bus driver, very compatible group, great mix of activities, good hotels and food, amazing scenery.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Every bit of scenery but mostly the feeling from the people of Scotland. They were all so NICE!"

Nathaniel

Glendale, CA

Tour: 06/22/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sheepdogs!!!!"

Cecile

Lawson, MO

Tour: 06/22/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Had a fantastic experience. Martin, the guide, and Kenny the driver were the absolute best. We saw everything promised and learned so much history.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I was walking around the Hermitage and stopped in front of the most gorgeous view, forest, stream, peaceful and quiet. Oh and the sheep dog demo was fantastic."

Theresa

Petaluma, CA

Tour: 06/15/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

As usual with Rick Steves tours, I left this country with an understanding and respect for its culture and history. Scotland is full of surprises (haggis is actually pretty tasty!), quirky humor and breathtaking beauty. It was very interesting to hear the British history that I learned in school from the other side of the conflicts. That alone was an eye-opening experience that was worth the trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The whole of the Highlands is a WOW with its wild, spectacular scenery. On the Isle of Iona, in the monastery museum, is an exhibit about the Book of Kells and its origin at that same monastery site, another WOW. Still another WOW is Urquhart Castle on the banks of the moody, mystical Lock Ness. The sheep dog herding demonstration was just plain awesome."

Michael

Petaluma, CA

Tour: 06/15/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

It was a great overview of Scotland. I left most of the town's and sites with the feeling that I didn't have enough time there, which makes me want to return and stay longer. I would have liked to have a little more discussion of local politics, schools, government, etc. There was less free time on this tour than other RS tours. I could have skipped Cawdor Castle and had a little more time in Inverness, for example.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking out of the Glencoe visitor center through the trees to a clearing, I wasn't prepared for the awesome beauty of the Glencoe valley. A lot of the tour focused on history. Even the visitor center seemed to have a strong tribal history component, so the natural beauty of the Glencoe valley was a tremendous surprise."

Pam

Burlington, MA

Tour: 06/15/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I really like the tour focus on one country in depth because you feel like you get some level of understanding of its unique attributes. Scotland is full of beauty and a pervasive moodiness that reflects its landscape, weather and history. The expert commentary of our guide, Nigel, and our driver, Roddy, added depth to the experience that we never could have gotten on our own. The group members, too, added a dimension of camaraderie that enhanced the time we spent together.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My Wow moment was the drive through the valley of Glencoe, which was both jaw-droppingly gorgeous and eerily haunting. In true "wow" fashion, it had unexpected emotional impact."

Roger

Iowa City, IA

Tour: 06/15/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My overall tour experience was identical with that of the two previous Rick Steves' tours that my wife and I have been on (Paris with Elizabeth and Italy with Ben)--sharing a tour with very pleasant travel companions and being led by a very knowledgeable and entertaining guide adds up to a wonderfully memorable experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"While leading a very interesting tour of a (rebuilt) crannog on Loch Tay at Kenmore, the local guide casually mentioned that Pontius Pilate was born on the other side of the loch! Judging from a follow-up internet search, this is an assertion that is not known to the wider scholarly community. However, if true, it would belie the popular theory that the Romans came but did not stay for long (since Hadrian's Wall was begun in 122 A.D.)."

Donna

Weatherford, TX

Tour: 06/15/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was well organized. The tour guide was intelligent and well spoken. Our bus driver delighted us with his keen sense of humor. The food was well prepared for the region. The rooms were clean and neat. Loved all the hotels we stayed. We had adequate time to explore on our own. Our guide gave us the historical background and tour we needed to understand the culture and people of Scotland. The physical tour gave us a thorough idea of the geography of Scotland.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Iona, but I wish we had longer to stay on that island. All of the Highlands were wow moments."

Christine

Austin, TX

Tour: 06/15/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first tour. The tour guide, personal guides in Edinburgh, at the Cranog, at the castles and sheepdog demonstration were friendly, very knowledgable and were very open to questions. The bus was new. The bus driver occasionally joined in and that made us all more of a "family" as we spent 10 days together.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The sheepdog demonstration and the passion the sheep herder had for his dogs."

Lynne

Austin, TX

Tour: 06/15/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was wonderful. Scotland is such a beautiful country. I loved the places we visited felt like we got a true feel of the country.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting the sheep farm and watching Neal with his dogs was amazing. Getting to spend time with his border collie puppies was just icing on the cake."

Deborah

Park Ridge, IL

Tour: 06/15/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour was very comprehensive. The additional guides, Roddy, the driver, and the exhibits were first rate. Hotels were good. Seem to be getting better with each tour I take. As usual, the tour members were wonderful. The no grumps policy really carries through and provides a very interesting group of travelers. That really makes or breaks a tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The island of Iona and Oban were my favorite parts of the trip. I have been to Scotland previously and had not visited those areas."

Mary

Iowa City, IA

Tour: 06/15/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour itself was very good and no complaints about what Rick Steves Tours had control over. However, the cool and cloudy weather in late June got a little tiring and I was looking forward to returning home to summer.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Entering the dining room of the Kenmore House hotel and looking out the large windows and seeing the River Tay flowing by with the hills trees in background."

Fred

Bedford, TX

Tour: 06/08/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steves' tour, though we have previously used Rick's guide books. Short version: Two thumbs up and highly recommended. We opted to arrive a day early (good planning to start adjusting to the time zone change), and opted to extend another day after the tour finished, which gave us a down day in country. It was an outstanding experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Probably seeing the Scottish Highlands on our way to Oban on the west coast."

David

Canandaigua, NY

Tour: 06/08/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very balanced overview of Scotland with just the right combination of walks/hikes, lochs, castles (not too many), ruins, pipers, pubs and more. We enjoyed our pleasant fellow sojourners and our guide and driver were top notch (see below). Food quality overall was an unexpected surprise! Accommodations were always in great locales with basic amenities but occasional surprise views.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"A toss up between our St. Andrews day (Chariots of Fire Beach, The Swilken Bridge on the Old Course, the cathedral and the town), and our day with the sheep dog demonstration and gourmet picnic. Gillie the piper was a real treat as well. St. Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh just prior to the trip was a sacred and special place."

David

Fort Worth, TX

Tour: 06/08/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The guide was great and the weather was really good for Scotland.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Stirling Castle was impressive and Glencoe was beautiful."

Matt

Kent, WA

Tour: 06/08/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Another fabulous Rick Steves tour! Great guide, great tour members, great driver, excellent planning and organization. I felt lime it was an excellent mix of museums and histiory, and natural scenic beauty and outdoors stuff.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many wow moments, but probably my favorite was the views on the drive through Glencoe, i only wish we would have had time for a stop and a walk. The sheep dogs were truly amazing, but the sheep farmer was so annoying it kind of orevented it from being a wow moment."

Victoria

Redwood City, CA

Tour: 06/08/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Overall the tour was well managed and we saw many sights around Scotland. For this tour, it really just gives you a sense of what Scotland is about. The logistics all went according to plan and there were no mishaps. We are not Outlander fans so having less info about Outlander would have been appreciated. We would have liked a bit more learning about Scotch and more history of other cultures coming to Scotland. More time in Oban and less time in Inverness would have been nice.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"That's hard to say. The Culloden Battlefield and museum was very moving as well as the time spent in Ione. Kenmore was a beautiful and tranquil location and we appreciated being away from crowds."

Daniel

Redwood City, CA

Tour: 06/08/15

Overall rating: rating 2 of 5

Scotland is a beautiful country. Our tour gave us the opportunity to see much of the country, urban and rural. I particularly liked getting out of the bus and going for country walks or short hikes. Our tour guide seemed knowledgeable about Scottish history, which was one of my interests. With so much history though, I wish I had made a stronger attempt to educate myself before I went. I did not appreciate the "games" we played or the "buddy" system. Both seemed forced and juvenile.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The deep blue colors of the Scottish sky and the white clouds were impressive. I don't think I've ever seen such a beautiful sky."

Nancy

Palm Harbor, FL

Tour: 06/08/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed our tour of Scotland with Anne as our guide. Anne was most informative and knowledgeable and kept us abreast of historical and geographical facts along the way. Kenny was an excellent bus driver and kept the bus immaculate. We felt the choice of hotels/locations and points of interest were terrific and the food was very good. I would only remark that the breakfast at the Parliament Hotel In Edinburgh was not as good as other hotels.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For me, the drive through Glencoe was probably the highlight with regard to scenery. We had the bonus of a beautiful sunny day combined with spectacular scenery. There were any other occasions which we really enjoyed such as the border collie/sheep demonstration and the boat trip on Loch Ness. There was a great variety in the tour, a great guide and great group or tour members."

Bernice

Portland, OR

Tour: 06/08/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I thought the tour was extremely well organized, with every detail well thought out. Despite the obvious level of pre-planning the tour still managed to feel spontaneous and relaxing, which was delightful. I had never been on a group tour before and wondered if I would really enjoy 10 days of "organized fun" and I am pleased to say that I enjoyed it very much. It really felt good to have someone else worry about the details of where to stay and how to get there, and what not to miss.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our tour guide and our driver shopped for local fruits, cheeses, smoked salmon, scotch eggs, beer, wine, and soft drinks and set out a picnic for us while we were off exploring a stone bridge and photographing "hairy coos" (the hairy highland cattle). It was wonderful and so unexpected."

Randy

Eugene, OR

Tour: 06/08/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great sightseeing both in route through the country as well as the designated destinations. Outstanding tour guide, very personable, knowledgeable, and helpful. Very good bus Driver who was not only professional and courteous in his duties, but also blended in with the group as well as being tremendously helpful to the tour guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The trip up the River Tay. The lodging location and accommodations in Kenmore and the exploration of the area around it, very peaceful with a good mix of history and sightseeing."

Melody

Eugene, OR

Tour: 06/08/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was my long-held dream to visit Scotland, the country of my maternal ancestry. Anne helped make my expecations become reality! The memories, the comraderie, the fun, the experiences, the views, the visits to historic places, all were extraordinary! Anne, with her love of her country, invited us to join her in that appreciation and exploration and it was a joy. The places visited were memorable, sometimes haunting, beautiful and meaningful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"On the isle of Iona I was blessed with a chorus of birds bursting into song as I walked around the nuns abbey ruins. I felt like it was a gift to me as a remembrance of my sister who passed away 18 months ago."

Bobby

Goleta, CA

Tour: 06/01/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The itinerary was good. It hit all of the important sites in Scotland. Highly recommended for any one that does not want to drive on the left side of the road or do their own plan.

Terrell

Fairfax, VA

Tour: 06/01/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I have traveled many times to Europe but this was my first tour group experience. It was absolutely amazing and everything from the exceptional guide, route, hotels, tours and experiences were far beyond anything I expected. Thank you!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many....the sheep farm where we felt so really there, not like tourists at all. I helped shear the sheep and held the puppies. so enjoyed being there."

Kim

Pine Grove, CA

Tour: 06/01/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This is my first Rick Steves tour and I was very pleased with the combination of planned activities and the freedom to "do my own thing."

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I train dogs as a volunteer for a trainer in my area, so I LOVED our visit to the Leault Farm. Seeing the dogs work - especially the nine week old puppy - was a treat. AND he brought out a bucket of puppies for us to hold - heaven."

Bonita

Seaford, DE

Tour: 06/01/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first ever Rick Steves tour and my husband and I cannot stop talking about how fabulous it was. We have been sharing with all of our friends and family what we saw, did and experienced. And we know we will continue talking about it. Our experience was enhanced by the wonderful fellow travelers on the tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My two favorite moments were the visit to the sheep farm and experiencing the thrill of seeing the Old Course at St. Andrew's."

Stuart

Seaford, DE

Tour: 06/01/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The entire trip was thoroughly enjoyable! I have generally avoided group tours in the past, feeling that with a little research I could decide on my own what would most interest me. But the scope of Scottish locations and history intimidated me enough that I felt a guided tour would be best. That proved completely true! The guides, the venues, the transportation; everything about this tour made it one of my top favorite holidays!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"To my great surprise, I discovered that I quite likely have Scottish ancestry I had no previous idea about. At one of our tour destinations, I saw a clan name that was the same as the surname of one of my ancestors. After a little investigation, I'm quite certain my ancestor was of Scottish extraction. At the pre-tour introduction, I even made a small joke about having no connection to Scotland whatsoever. I was delighted to find I was wrong!"

Susan

Lexington, VA

Tour: 06/01/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a wonderful trip: great hotels, great guide, great sites, great food, great group of people -- what else can I say?

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Probably seeing the Highlands, although Edinburgh comes in a close second. Having heard about these places for many years, it was a thrill to see them and learn about their history, culture, etc."

Kathy

Olympia, WA

Tour: 06/01/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Brian did a wonderful job sharing the sights, history, and culture of Scotland with us. Amanda was a delight as Brian's assistant. Roddie the driver was a gem, and it was fun to watch him interact with Brian. The amount of free and structured time seemed well balanced. The other tour members seemed like old friends by the end of the tour. The accommodations and food were wonderful. We want to come back and spend more time exploring Scotland.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Leault Farm overall, but especially the bucket o' puppies."

Shirley

Virginia Beach, VA

Tour: 06/01/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour far exceeded my expectations. Brian, Amanda, and Roddy (our bus driver) worked as a team. They met our every need. Brian's ability to simplify Sottish history into understandable segments was amazing. It was clear that Bryan and Roddy had worked together before and that added to the trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite moment was the visit to the working sheep farm and the demonstration of the border collies. A close second was the visit to the crannog at Kenmore."

Mary

Suffolk, VA

Tour: 06/01/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I just really liked the Rick Steve's style of tour. I appreciated that tips were prepaid and an envelope was not going around at every stop. There were no required shopping stops, the rug store, the leather store, the cameo store, where it is obvious that the tour gets a concession for bringing a crowd. The "I will not be grumpy," pledge creates a pleasant group of travelers.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I really enjoyed all the variety of activities."

Valerie

Laguna Beach, CA

Tour: 06/01/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The overall tour experience was wonderful. We had great guides and a good group of people. The pace was perfect, and there was a nice variety to the activities. I have been on another tour that had a designated seat rotation which I preferred to leaving the rotation up to the travelers. A couple of people in our group seemed to always be in the front of the bus.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had many memorable moments rather than a "wow" moment. The border collie demonstration was very fun, the crannog center was fascinating, the scenery all over Scotland was beautiful, the castles were interesting, and I loved the history lessons all along the way."

William

Sedro Woolley, WA

Tour: 05/27/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very good group of people. Lots of new information on Scotland. The places visited were helpful in getting a feel for the history and current culture of Scotland.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Tie between the Crannog and Glencoe in the rain."

Nancy

Sedro Woolley, WA

Tour: 05/27/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Nice mix of tour events. Great group and tour guides.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Crannochs. Hadn't heard of those before. Also the surround film at Culloden brought tears to my eyes."

William F.

Glastonbury, CT

Tour: 05/27/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Nigel was excellent. The personal earphones used in the Edinburgh tour were excellent. You should consider using them in all walking tours so we could always hear our guide, Nigel, as we hiked in the woods or to any of the points of interest in Scotland. He had vast knowledge of the area and it would have been nice to always hear him. Maybe you could give everyone an earphone for the whole trip. He went out of his way to accompany me to the hospital when I had a health issue. I appreciate

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sterling castle, sheep dogs"

Eileen

Lakewood, CO

Tour: 05/27/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Another great Rick Steve's trip! Well organized, with lots to see as well as time for exploring on our own. Would have liked to have a little warmer weather, but that is out of your control :)

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" moment was our afternoon visit to Glencoe. It was a typical misty Scottish day, which gave the scenery a haunting beauty. Just a spectacular drive which really captured the soul of Scotland."

Nancy

Glastonbury, CT

Tour: 05/27/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was planned to appeal to everyone. We had choices, such as visiting the cathedral in St. Andrews, since we are not golfers. I loved the Sheep Dog Demonstration, and the Crannog Center. The demonstrations were very informative.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting the Weeping Glen (Glencoe). There were waterfalls everywhere, the colors were amazing, even though it was drizzling. I would love to see it with the heather in bloom!"

Diane

Seattle, WA

Tour: 05/27/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Appreciated having free time, room on buses, tour guide and bus drivers providing history of destinations, selection of destinations, selection of hotels, up front information on level of exercise and it was correct ... and am sure other but enough for now.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"WOW moment was sheep dog with piper closely following."

Greg

Lakewood, CO

Tour: 05/27/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Great trip, really enjoyed Edinburgh and learning about Scotish history.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Watching the sheep dog demonstration was awesome. Those dogs are so smart and have unlimited energy. Some of us got to give milk to the baby lambs, and we got to hold some baby sheepdogs that were around 4 weeks old."

James

Fuquay-Varina, NC

Tour: 05/27/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

tour was well paced and selection of historical sites was outstanding.All of our dinners together were wonderful with very good food and service. Nigel our tour guide was exceptional. His knowledge of Scotland and personality contributed greatly to the success of the tour. The trip was everything we had hoped for and exceeded our expectations. Thank you for an outstanding trip !!

Jon

Linwood, NJ

Tour: 05/27/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Exceeded expectations. Stress free.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sheep dogs and St. Andrews."

Craig

Dupont, WA

Tour: 05/27/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The sheep dog demonstration by Neal in Scotland."

Don

Spokane, WA

Tour: 05/25/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our 1st Rick Steves Tour. It was all of what we expected and much more. The very best part was our guide, Helen and our coach driver Kenny. They worked so well together, even thow they had never met. We would love to see them at the reunion. I believe we saw the very best of Scotland. Exceptional experiences were the buddy system, the closeness of the group, the Highlands, and the history, as shared by both Helen and Kenny.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The wow moment was in Inverness when we mixed with the locals at the famous pub. We sang, danced, and celebrated that Inverness had one the cup that day. Also, the working sheep farm and demo, feeding the lambs was so much fun. Culloden Battlefield brought many emotions to the surface. The picnic was so unexpected and delightful. Glencoe where the Campbell's and Macdonalds famous massacre was touching."

John

Menlo Park, CA

Tour: 05/25/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Scotland is a magical country. The tour allowed us to see so much of it in so little time. There were plenty of stops to stretch our legs, visit historical sites and towns and soak up the beauty.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Edinburgh is one of the most beautiful cities I've visited. The history, the architecture and the history all come together. My other "wow" moment was visiting the Scottish Crannog Center. Our Crannog tour leader, Daniel, was amazing and really helped bring the site to life."

Don

Olympia, WA

Tour: 05/25/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We enjoyed our tour. We enjoyed getting to know other tour participants. We had lousy weather when we were in Oban and were unable to go to Mull and Iona but we enjoyed our day in Oban and Helen had several good suggestions for things to see and do.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"When we were in the National Museum of Scotland on the first floor in the History of Scotland Exhibit we were delighted and amazed to find that Andy Goldsworthy had worked on several of the displays. We have enjoyed Goldsworthy's work for many years."

Daniel

Warr Acres, OK

Tour: 05/25/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I truly enjoyed not just the city of Edinburgh but getting out into the highlands, interacting with people, learning history and truly getting a taste of the unique Scottish culture which went far beyond the touristy schlock. The architecture, the forests and the lakes, rivers and seas were truly magnificent. I walked my legs off, ate whatever I wanted to and ended up coming back to the states much fitter and 7 pounds lighter for my adventure!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"A couple come to mind. First is the sheep herding with that 8 month old pup chasing and rounding up a whole heard of sheep. That was something special to see. The second was the splendid hikes with took in both the Hermitage Forest reserve as well as the Caledonian Forest. Truly breathtaking scenery."

Mark

Kenmore, WA

Tour: 05/25/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fun and a good value as always. I appreciate not having to drive, especially in Great Britain. Kenny, our driver managed to maneuver the coach through some pretty difficult streets.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Stormy weather in Oban with sheets of rain blowing sideways over the harbor. We didn't get to go to Iona that day but it didn't matter. The weather rolling through was the show."

Bob

Tulsa, OK

Tour: 05/25/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I always expect and get a great tour experience from your tours. This one was no exception and was even a pleasantly positive surprise. I didn't expect Scotland to be THAT beautiful. Just one big wow! Great guide, great driver, great group, great itinerary, great hotels and lodging - well, maybe one (Kenmore) was not so great because of the food service, but still an overall outstanding tour experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The whole thing was a "wow", but when we entered the highlands, the beauty intensified. Also Edinburgh was beautiful and, unlike most cities, full of character with a unique look and feel."

Diane

Kenmore, WA

Tour: 05/25/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We had a great time. I do think it would be helpful for this tour to be longer than 10 days. We would have liked to have more free time during the tour, and especially to have more time at some of the stops that felt a little rushed (particularly the stops in St. Andrews, Dunkeld and Oban). It would also be great to have more time in Edinburgh to more fully utilize our heritage passes. We would have liked the visit at the Scottish National Museum to be longer.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I didn't know what to expect from the visit to the crannogs, but I found them really interesting."

Stephen

Battle Creek, MI

Tour: 05/20/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a terrific time. I really liked the variety of activities. Scotland is beautiful and the Scots are very friendly. Our guide was very knowledgeable and shared a lot about the history and culture of Scotland.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Although we had the worst weather of the tour the day we visited the Isle of Mull and Iona, I enjoyed that visit the most. Stirling Castle and the Loch Ness cruise were also wow moments."

Cecile

Houston, TX

Tour: 05/20/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a trip I've dreamed about since I was a little girl...and Rick Steves did not disappoint. From the pre-trip preparation to the amazing tour guide to the fabulous farewell dinner, my trip to Scotland was everything I'd dreamed of.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"impossible to pick a favorite! The trip to Culloden was very moving. The crannogs were fantastic. The castles, the sheepdogs, the food... My travelling companions were a lot of fun and making new friends in such a setting was a great experience."

Robert

Great Falls, VA

Tour: 05/20/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Definitely the smoothest tour we have ever been on. Everything, from a logistics view went at least as well as we expected.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Highland Games (and the fact that we could deviate from the itinerary) were a highlight. And the shop dogs."

Kathy

Houston, TX

Tour: 05/20/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour deserved 10 Stars thanks to our wonderful guide, Liz. The tour was the perfect size so that the attendees could get to know each other. I enjoyed the guided tours as well as having some free time to explore what I was interested in. This was a great way to experience the culture, food, history, music and countryside.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had so many WOW moments – First had to be the highland games that we got to attend at Blair Castle in celebration of the Duke of Atholl's attendance to review his army; an evening at Gellions Bar with the band, Schiehallion; the waterfalls and countryside, the picnic at the standing stones at Clava Cairns, Gilly the bagpiper, the sheep ranch and border collies, Loch Ness, Culloden, the Isle of Iona and the majestic Ben Nevis. The whole tour was a WOW."

Mariah

Livermore, CA

Tour: 05/20/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour guide, Liz, was so awesome! She shared the history and all relavent footnotes along the way. Liz was so much fun besides being organized, friendly, and helpful. We also appreciated our driver, John!!! The overall tour experience was superb.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to narrow it down to just one."

Terri

San Antonio, TX

Tour: 05/20/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I had a great time. Scotland was beautiful and interesting.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking in the ancient forest with huge Douglas Fir trees to the Black Linn Falls."

Sharon

Gardnerville, NV

Tour: 05/20/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had so many wonderful experiences on this tour. I loved the Crannog Centre, the sheep dogs, Highland cattle, whisky tour, music and the Highland games. I could really see and understand how the wild lands of Scotland molded the people over the millenniums. Good mix of sites to highlight all of Scotland. I now know able Jacobites!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Stirling Castle's newly painted Royal palace was awesome. I had several wow moments."

Stephen

St Paul, MN

Tour: 05/20/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first tour experience. Choosing the Rick Steves company was the perfect choice. The mix of travel time on the bus, exploring sights on foot, and staying two nights at each location, added up to a full yet relaxed experience. In addition, our guide was engaged with us the entire time. The time on the bus was not just a ride. It was a rolling history class as she thoughtfully explained the countryside we were traveling through - connecting it to the stops we made.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"That moment when I started to realize the richness and complexity of Scottish history, and that this tour was going to be so much more than just sightseeing."

Joan

Alexandria, LA

Tour: 05/20/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was a lovely trip with an outstanding guide. I however was sick the whole trip so it definitely affected my experience. Weather was cold, wet and windy and my cough had to make the other travelers uncomfortable. I apologize and so wish I could have been a better travel companion.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The glacial land formation was spectacular. I liked that we go to visit castle ruins, reconstructed castles and a castle that is still a residence. It made the history truly come alive. I was very impressed with the level of attention the Scottish government pays to its national monuments."

Mike

Alexandria, LA

Tour: 05/20/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

trip was instructive,scenery was unbelievable sights well thought out, guide was fabulous. overall outstanding

Favorite "WOW" moment

"sheep dog demonstration initially ,but as we dove through "valley of tears" with brooding mountains, tops covered with clouds, cold, almost mystical feeling was an experience you could not describe with words."

Linda

Battle Creek, MI

Tour: 05/20/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

99% Fantastic. Loved the cities we visited, Isle of Mull/Iona, history, castles. Would like more free time in St.Andrews, Culross, Pitlochry, small villages, Black Linn Falls,etc. There seemed too much time on the bus (lots of backtracking)when we were near Pitlochry-sheepdog demo, distillery, etc. Time for Culloden seemed too long; Cawdor Castle too short. (Cawdor had more to do-castle, trails for hikers, golf for golfers).

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Boat ride and time to explore castle on Loch Ness."

Helen

St Paul, MN

Tour: 05/20/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was the first time I have ever traveled with a tour company and am completely sold on Rick Steves' Tours. I like that the groups are smaller and the buses are still full size. I was impressed with the quality of the places stayed and restaurants used. I especially liked our tour guide, Liz! Her knowledge and perspectives on Scottish culture, history, and geography made Scotland more than just a "view from the bus!"

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many it is hard to come up with just one. The history walk to the castle at Edinburgh, Culross gardens, the sheepdog demonstration, the Highland Games at Blair Athol, Culloden Battlefield, Stirling Castle, The Pub Band at Inverness, finding sea glass on the beaches of Oban, the Abbey at Iona and the bus ride on Mull to get there, Loch Ness Urquhart Castle come to mind!"

Patsy

Houston, TX

Tour: 05/18/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Absolutely loved it! Favorite places include Edinburgh Castle, Scottish Crannog Centre, Leault Farm, Clava Cairn, Culloden, and Iona. The boat/ferry rides to Mull and Iona are amazing and highlight the rugged beauty of Scotland. This was our third Steves tour, and I love the places we go that focus on the unique culture of every area.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Watching the sheep dogs work at Leault Farm."

Brian

Ottawa, ON

Tour: 05/18/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We loved this tour. We saw so much in a short time, yet still had personal time to explore on our own. The smaller tour size and excellent organization meant we could get into sites early and easily see and enjoy the experience without so many other visitors. The talks on history and culture during the bus ride was enriching and our guide, Brian was an excellent source of knowledge. The experiences were varied, and not just 'photo-ops' of buildings. The pace was perfect.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"At Culloden in the museum, I was singled out by the 'Jacobite' interpreter to demonstrate how to load and fire a muskat rifle because I had a red raincoat on and therefore I had to be on the British side against the Jacobites. I had my Scottish tartan on but it didn't matter! I found out that I would have been killed because I couldn't load it in 20 seconds. Very entertaining and educational. The surround movie was awe inspiring and terrifying. A memorable experience!"

Ann Marie

Irvine, CA

Tour: 05/18/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was fantastic! Enjoyed the places visited, the accommodations, the guide and driver.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My wow moment was seeing the places where history was made, from the Bronze age huts to the battle fields at Culloden. Awe inspiring!"

Mary Beth

Omaha, NE

Tour: 05/18/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was my 5th tour with Rick Steves, and as usual, it did not disappoint! Great sights, great guide, and great fellow tour members!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite day was when we visited the Crannogs near Kenmore. I found the experience absolutely fascinating! The interpreter there was extremely knowledgeable and gave us wonderful information and demonstrations. Running a close second was the day we visited the working sheepdog farm. What an incredible experience! Neill was quite a character and gave such a wonderful demonstration of life on a sheep farm and how his dogs work! Loved both days!!"

Deborah

Mason, MI

Tour: 05/18/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was an exceptional program that I will not soon forget. Everything...and I do mean everything...far exceeded my grandest expectations. The scenery was stunning, our guides were fabulous, the sights and places we visited were so steeped in history, the food phenomenal, and the vast variety of everything we saw and did made it all a dream come true for me.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The entire day we visited Culloden Battlefield, the Clava Cairns and Cawdor Castle....so much history...it was mesmerizing,"

Darlene

Laguna Hills, CA

Tour: 05/18/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I feel that I came away from this tour with a good understanding of the history of Scotland and its people. I saw a great deal of the country and had opportunities to explore a little on my own. Loved the piper! The coach driver was excellent and fun...loved his sense of humor and appreciated his skill. I have recommended your company to my friends and family.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I really loved the expanses of the highlands....the bleak yet beautiful landscapes really brought home the level of the sacrifices and difficulties the Scots faced throughout their face offs with the English over the centuries....especially the area where the Campbell massacre happened...the seven week old puppy that already knew how to face down a sheep. Incredible!"

Alan

Boones Mill, VA

Tour: 05/18/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Well planned. Hotel and motels were good. Food was good. I thought the selected sites were well planned out. Brian Hay was excellent. Couldn't ask for a better guide. Roddy was a very good driver, and bus was really clean. We just really enjoyed our experience.

Christi

Houston, TX

Tour: 05/18/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My first experience with this tour was great! The locations were interesting and fun and the people were wonderful. The few days that we spent more time on the bus were well worth it. I loved the combination of history and present day information and all the sites that we were able to see.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite part of the tour was the sheepdog experience. The weather was beautiful, the scenery amazing and the dogs were brilliant."

Melissa

Renton, WA

Tour: 05/18/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Overall I think the tour was a success. I had a great time and met some interesting people, and most importantly, I saw most of the places I have been dreaming of seeing for years. There were a few bumps of course, but I can't wait to go back to Scotland or to go on my next tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many, it's hard to pick, but I have to say Loch Ness and Urquart Castle. I've been fascinated by Loch Ness since I was a kid and always wanted to see it. While I didn't see any monsters, the fact that the water in the loch, is so black and when you're in the middle of the loch it just seems huge, it really gives life to the mystery. Another interest of mine is castles and ruins. That was my ideal day."

Melissa

League City, TX

Tour: 05/18/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my third Rick Steves tour and, like the others, this one was wonderful! Every day was full of interesting activities, fascinating history and culture, and gorgeous Scottish scenery. My fellow tour members were friendly, kind, fun people who embodied the Rick Steves "no grumps" philosophy. I had so much fun that I'm planning to take another tour in 2016.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I really enjoyed our visit to the reconstructed crannog on Loch Tay. It was such an evocative experience to sit inside the dark, cold crannog with the twenty-something other tour members, imagining life when Iron Age people lived in a similar place. The guide at the site was so interesting, explaining how people lived and worked back then. It's funny - sometimes the outings I gloss over when reading the itinerary (Iron Age dwellings...okay, whatever) end up being the things I enjoy the most!"

Susanne

La Mesa, CA

Tour: 05/18/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

When my friend Mary Beth first suggested we go to Scotland, I thought "Well, I've been to Scotland". Actually, I'd been to Edinburgh over 20 years ago - after a little research I realized how much more there was to see. Scotland doesn't disappoint - the scenery, the people and the history are all amazing. I love British history, so my trip inspired me to learn more Scottish history - very different from England's. The Scottish Highlands are amazing. A fantastic trip!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were quaint villages, fantastic castles, and such gorgeous scenery. But I have to say my favorite "wow" moments were at the sheep farm watching the border collies work and listening to Neil Ross' passionate words about the slow decline of his beloved way of life. A slice-of-life Scottish moment. Images of the peaceful Isle of Iona have also stayed with me - such a beautiful, sacred place, with an indescribable (celestial?) quality to the light..."

Ann

Fairfield, IA

Tour: 05/11/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Enjoyed every minute of the trip except the distillery. Wish I could have done something else during the time. Special mention of Kenny the bus driver. He was a great addition. He ate and socialized with the group and gave information and help as well as good conversation. Edinburgh turned out to be a much more beautiful city than I expected. And Anne showed us some of her favorite places too.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"i am a farm girl and seeing the sheep snd highland cattle was always a thrill. The visit to the sheepherding exhibition was special. Watching the dogs waiting to work and jumping in when called. The puppies jumping in todo the same. Having a lamb cuddle up in your arms."

Maggie

Valdosta, GA

Tour: 05/11/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Ann was well informed and made each tour member feel special. She made adjustments as needed.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cawdor castle and gardens."

Steve

Valdosta, GA

Tour: 05/11/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our third Rick Steves tour, and it was the best overall. Very compatible group and an excellent tour guide in Ann.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Wowed every day by the scenery ... Scotland is a beautiful country...especially the views from the various castles ... Although not a part of the tour, I was wowed by Holyrood Castle and the self-guided tour of the Britannia."

Karol

Tallahassee, FL

Tour: 05/11/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was appealing that we got to stay in a variety of larger cities (Edinburgh & Inverness) small towns (Oban) and a country village (Kenmore, my personal favorite). The itinerary was clearly well thought out. I liked the variety of activities from city experiences to a countryside picnic. There was so much packed into just 10 days, we stayed exhausted, but a very happy exhausted.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Getting a feel for life in the 17th & 18th centuries along Edinburgh's Royal Mile & Old Town. Seeing the afterglow of sunset over the west end of Loch Tay, snow dusted mountains in the distance. Seeing Border Collies expertly perform at Leault Farm's Working Sheepdogs; holding puppies & lambs. Unscripted group gathering at The Gellions pub in Inverness; throngs of people and loud music. King Scallops at an unscripted group dinner at Oban Fish & Chip Shop. Glencoe and surrounding mountains."

Kristin

Stone Mountain, GA

Tour: 05/11/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Although this was my 11th R-S tour, I wasn't sure how I would like this trip. We did not have the best experience with the my-way tour we did last year, and it has been some time since we did a "full" R-S trip. However, I am happy to say that everything that disappointed us last trip was a total non-issue this time. The hotels, hotel locations, guides, knowledge of guides and room assignments were all terrific. 10 Days in Scotland made me once again love R-S tours! Great combo of locations too.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"IONA! Everything about the island was a delight! I only stopped in the abbey briefly. The most enchanting part about the place was walking along the island and down to the beach through small road and pastures. The place is stunning."

Sharon

Marcola, OR

Tour: 05/11/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our trip was fabulous! I had very high expectations and they were exceeded. I loved Scotland and thought our tour itinerary was perfect. Our tour group was very compatible and everything ran very smoothly.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many "wow" moments for me. Being a big history reader and having just been reading farther back in time to humans after the ice age, I really, really loved our visit to the crannog. I also loved the short hikes we were able to take, our picnic, and I loved seeing the sheep dogs. Being on Iona was also very special to a history lover. I loved every minute in Edinburgh and the Scottish people we met & talked to everywhere we were. My trip simply could not have been better."

Susan

Westminster, MD

Tour: 05/11/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A wonderful introduction to a country rich in history and hauntingly natural beauty.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" moments: Iona in the sun! Culross with its lovely gardens. Bus ride across the Isle of Mull."

John

Westminster, MD

Tour: 05/11/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

An excellent introduction to the thousands-of-years history and spectacular scenery of Scotland, with a dose of the "romance" of the place thrown in.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Iona was beautiful and well worth staying longer to soak up the atmosphere, although I understand the practical reasons it can't be done on the tour. Our guide Anne rightly pointed out that it's not as nice in the rain - we were lucky."

James

Fairfield, IA

Tour: 05/11/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The Scotland tour was enjoyable and informative. I love to hear what people's lives are like in other places, and this tour fulfilled that interest wonderfully.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our visit to Culross, where we saw one of the best gardens I've ever seen anywhere, in the most picturesque setting."

Terry

Denver, CO

Tour: 05/11/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I thought a Rick Steves tour would be fun, but I didn't expect it to have such depth. I was delighted that Anne covered human and natural history, culture, songs and poems. Every minute of the experience was enjoyable. The parliament building, where we briefly stopped was beautiful and meaningful. Anne explained the reason for the use of wigs as well as the building's artwork and history.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visit to the Crannog Centre on Loch Tay in Kenmore Perthshire: We listened to David explain living conditions. Outside the crannog David showed us the lath technique for honing wood and stone. He mentioned how the animals were brought into the crannog at times and assured us the animals probably got use to the smell. Although there was no flue the smoke from fire goes through the roof's grass and stays high above the people and acts as a insect repellent."

Susan

Florence, OR

Tour: 05/11/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved our Scotland tour! The country is beautiful; the People are warm and friendly, our accomodations were clean and very comfortable, and our guides were amazing!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite WOW moment was watching George work with his border collies rounding up the sheep."

Christine

Raleigh, NC

Tour: 05/04/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was wonderful. Loved hearing about the places we would see while on the coach and getting a taste of Scottish music! Our leader, Liz, and Nigel her assistant, and Roddy the coach driver were fantastic. The 'free time' allowed was enough for me. Bad weather one day kept me from going back to a site that I wish I could have seen more thoroughly. But that's Scotland. I liked the balance of information presented. Scotland now and it's past. Overall, I love Scotland as a result.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The last site on the last day. Bannockbern. I cried a little. The crannogs came in second. I"

Evelina

Oxford, OH

Tour: 05/04/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Absolutely the most amazing, educational & fun tour! Our tour guides were so knowledgeable & made each & every day more exciting than the previous day. The tour was exceptionally well-organized; our accommodations were superb. There was ample free time to explore on our own. Overall, a fantastic experience!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many! The Crannog Centre was so unique & truly a learning experience as was the sheep farm. Favorite castle - Cawsor. The Scottish countryside is breathtaking. Everyday brought a new "wow"!"

Gary

Folsom, CA

Tour: 05/04/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was great. It was actually more than I expected. The history and beauty of Scotland was expertly shown to us by our tour guides Liz and Nigel. Everything was wonderful from the hotels and guest houses to the group dinners and our witty and humorous bus driver Roddy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My "wow" moment was when we were in Oban and it was too stormy, high winds and rain, for the group to travel to the islands of Mull and Iona and safely return. Our guide Liz quickly contacted a coach company to instead take the group to Inverary Castle for a tour. Great tour guides can always find alternative options."

Mark

Pampa, TX

Tour: 05/04/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved the detail that Rick Stevie's put into the trip: knowledge of history, time, space. Rod die,Nigel and Liz were all well versed in knowledge and scenery and they completed one another in their knowledge. It was a wonderful trip! What wonderful hosts are the Scottish people!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The water from the ocean to the rivers to the waterfalls was spectacular, especially the rainy day in the Valley of Sorrows. I could have spent the winter in the crannogs."

Richard

Rockport, MA

Tour: 05/04/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Elizabeth and Nigel were fantastic. (Brian was only with us on Day #1). The itinerary was very good. Accomadations varied but were interesting.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Oban and Urquart Castle on Loch Ness."

Faustina

Pampa, TX

Tour: 05/04/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The over all tour was great. Liz, Nigel, and Roddy were all very good. The historic sights were very educational and enjoyable. I also enjoyed meeting a real bagpiper and learning about that instrument. Loved the sheep ranch and seeing the border collies work. This is my second Rick Steves tour and it was what I expected. My one concern is that there are parts of the tour that always seems rushed. I seem to be always at the end trying to get a different picture or read a little more ifo.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Not anyone stands out more than another."

John

Pampa, TX

Tour: 05/04/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was great. Good people, good guides, good locations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I liked the golf course I liked the dogs"

Cathryne

Pampa, TX

Tour: 05/04/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Liz was a great guide and Nigel a super assistant. Liz's Scottish history lessons and fauna/flora guides were superb. She even added wonderful Scottish music on the coach to set the mood! Rick Steve's tours set up great locals: Daniel at the crannogs, Gilly the bagpiper, Neil the shepherd, and Andrew at Inverary Castle. The whole tour was a fun experience and made more so by the exciting political atmosphere and the SNP.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The scenery touched my heart: the fast running rivers, the great waterfalls at the Hermitage, the fields with new lambs gamboling, the Highlands weeping with rivulets. Then there were the daffodils, tulips, azaleas, camellias, such great Spring beauty."

Laura

Folsom, CA

Tour: 05/04/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We could not have been more impressed with every aspect of the tour. The guides and driver were splendid individually and as a team. The buses were extremely comfortable, as advertised (and I am NOT a bus person). The food and lodging DIVINE....for the first time in all our travels we had VERY comfortable beds every night! Every day we were introduced to a bevy of new sights and experiences - Scotland was brought to life by our guide Liz, the perfect ambassadress of her beloved Scotland.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I'm going to say that the sheepdog demonstration was utterly thrilling, however I am loathe to leave any of the other sights and experiences out. Each day brought myriad fascinating sights and sounds and our days were filled with awe and wonder."

Sara

Pampa, TX

Tour: 05/04/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The group of people traveling with us was great. Scotland was amazing, and I felt we saw the best of the country.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved St. Andrews! What a great experience being there just before the British Open."

Connie

Kent, WA

Tour: 05/04/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My experience was an experience of a lifetime. I would recommend a tour of Scotland to everyone, especially with Liz, Nigel, And Rodddy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow"moment was our boat ride on Loch Ness to the ruined castle."

Dianne

Peoria, IL

Tour: 10/01/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My husband and I are avid traveller's. We were looking for a new experience...something that would give us the freedom to be independent traveller's, but with all of the benefits of guided travel. We've used Rick Steves travel guides in the past and never once were disappointed with the guidance they gave us. It seemed only natural to take one of his tours. We are so glad we did-and so glad we chose Scotland as our destination this year.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For me it was meeting our tour group in Edinburgh the first night at the Parliament Hotel."

Margaret

Lagrande, OR

Tour: 10/01/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Well organized. wonderful, friendly, knowledgeable guide and friendly, helpful bus driver. Couldn't have asked for better weather Accommodations were great. It was our first tour and we would highly recommend a Rick Steve's Tour to our friends.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think the architecture was definitely an "eye opener". The Highlands, scenery, the "walks.""

Muriel

La Grande, OR

Tour: 10/01/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I thoroughly enjoyed this trip. Helen was exceptional as our guide, took superb care of the group. She even arranged for a yarn shop to open a bit earlier to accommodate the five of us who are avid knitters. We had a ferry to catch at 9:30 and the shop owner opened for us at 8:30. It was probably the best day he had had in a month. Helen was so knowledgeable about the history of Scotland and each of the sites we saw. The pace of the tour was just right. A perfect balance between riding, walking.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is difficult to say one "wow" moment. I was taken by the castles, the countryside, the shear beauty of Scotland. So much so, that I would like to return."

Edwin

La Grande, OR

Tour: 10/01/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Scotland 10 day tour was outstanding and 5-star is all aspects. My wife and I would love to revisit Scotland and have Helen our tour guide again. Every aspect of the tour was perfect including the pace, free time, organized structure, sites visited, transportation, food, tour guide and composition of fellow attendees. We enjoyed the knowledge that our tour guide shared with us regarding the historical sites and development of Scotland over the ages. She is a true professional.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The trip to the island Iona far exceeded my expectations. I had no idea of the importance the island played in the spread of Christianity into the United Kingdom. What a wonderful, special place the community has become, as well. Every site visited throughout the trip had wow moments...as well as those we took advantage of, namely, the Palace of Holyroodhouse and the Britannia ship. Iona visit was the "wow"."

Vic

Peoria, IL

Tour: 10/01/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour exceeded pour expectations. My sister told me that Scotland was "quietly beautiful." It was absolutely beautiful, no matter the weather. We have been to Europe eight times. Two were cruises. This was our second "tour." We had previously gone with on a tour of Italy with about 30 people, including many friends from Peoria, IL. My wife and I did not think another tour would be as good as that tour. This one was just as good, if not better.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were too many to mention them all. The Royal Mile, Edinburgh Castle and the Scottish Museum; Culross; Kenmore and the Crannog Center; the sheep dog demonstration; Urquhart Castle; Fort George; Dunkeld; Culloden; St. Andrews; Iona; Stirling Castle. If I had to pick my favorite day it was Crannog Center and sheep dog demonstration."

Katherine

Libertyville, IL

Tour: 10/01/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My high expectations were surpassed - the tour was well-run with clear communication from the staff, our guide went above and beyond to make sure we were able to do the things we really wanted, the meals were delicious, and we had a great mixture of different sites to appease everyone- from the history lover to those inspired by nature. The tour balanced perfectly each person's need to explore on their own, while having some guidance and group time, as well.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We had a professional bagpiper play for us at the hotel one night! Although it was late and we were all exhausted from the day of traveling and listening to a bagpiper didn't sound too appealing, I'm so glad that this was included in the tour. The woman was very entertaining and not only played a few songs for us, but showed us how the bagpipes work, let some of us give her bagpipes a try, and told us a lot of very fun stories. It was a wonderful, entertaining evening."

Gary

Bozeman, MT

Tour: 10/01/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Enjoyed this tour very much. The Scottish people are very friendly and interesting to talk to. The cultural heritage is fascinating to explore and achieve a better understanding.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The crannogs were something i had never heard of before this tour. It was very interesting to see and be able to walk around a restored crannog. The Museum of Scotland was also very well done and a great place to get a good historical perspective of the Scots."

Karen

Lawrence, KS

Tour: 09/29/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Anne is such a great Historian! Roddy is a great, kilt wearing (except on luggage days) bus driver. What a team! A fun bunch of folks on the tour and there you have it....a Great trip!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"That we actually got to the Ilse of Iona. Weather was so 'iffy', Anne was not sure we could get there. But every one of us on the tour weathered the rain and wind to walk to the ferry. All the way to Mull we were still not sure we'd make it. But, then the 'Ilse of miracles' shone through and the sea calmed and we had our glorious day on Iona."

Sarah

Vallejo, CA

Tour: 09/29/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was such a wonderful trip. It was great to have the opportunity to experience so much of what Scotland has to offer, from the historical sites to the extraordinary scenary. Both Anne and Roddie did a terrific job of getting us around the country in a fun, safe, timely and adventurous way. The tour members were lively and compatible, and the food in Scotland was delicious We had many dinners together, even on the unscheduled evenings.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"More discovery about the history of some of my ancestors, from Culloden to visiting Mull and Iona. I bought some books and took notes to share with other family members. Also, I couldn't believe how beautiful Scotland is, and how many outdoor activities are available there."

Sharon

Columbia, MD

Tour: 09/29/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our Scotland in 10 days tour was all and more than we expected. Our tour guide, Anne, was exceptional, very knowledgeable and a real joy to be with. Our bus driver, Roddy, was delightful and extremely accommodating. Our entire group was very friendly and I feel we all got along well. I would recommend this Rick Steves tour to anyone.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For me, like many others, it was a tie between the sheepherding demonstration and the performance of Gillie, the piper at the Kenmore Hotel. For my husband, it most definitely was St. Andrews."

Marion

Helena, MT

Tour: 09/29/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour gave us a great introduction to Scotland. There were some nice examples of Scottish culture, both historical and present day. The accommodations were quite good and the food was even better. I loved riding around Scotland in a coach being dropped off at interesting places for just the right amount of time and learning a lot of fascinating facts without much effort, except for a reasonable amount of walking.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The ferry ride to the Isle of Mull."

Linda

New York, NY

Tour: 09/29/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved it!!!

Ellen

Aiken, SC

Tour: 09/29/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Scotland was a fabulous place to visit. It was a dream come true for me as my Grandmother was born in Inverness. The tour was well paced with lots of small towns to visit as well as the larger ones. Every where you turned, you saw something new and differnt. What a beautiful country! Our guide made our trip even more special! We could have spent more time in Scotland.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The scenery in Scotland is just spectacular everywhere you turn!!! We had a great cab driver who helped us find where my Grandmother was born! I think that was one of my most special and meaningful moments of the whole trip!"

Karen

West Linn, OR

Tour: 09/29/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My sister and I joined the Scotland 10 day tour after we had visited the Outer Hebrides Islands and Isle of Skye. I enjoyed the 10 day tour as it provided an opportunity to visit other parts of Scotland. We liked the smaller group,being active,exploring diverse locales and the diversity offered on the tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I've studied earth science and have always been interested in the geology of various places. My "wow" moment occurred on our tour experience in Glencoe when having the opportunity to personally observe the magnificence created by the volcanics and glaciation in that unique location. Since I also have MacDonald ancestry, the massacre that took place there had a tremendous impact."

Patricia

Oregon City, OR

Tour: 09/29/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We saw a land filled with castles, historic battlefields, remnants of Vikings, moors with lavender and bracken ferns, lochs, and personality plus with Anne as our guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Island of Mull was so vast, with the hills and vistas, and a bus driver who really loved to tell us all about his island!"

Catherine

Helena, MT

Tour: 09/29/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was so much more than I had dreamed it would be. Scotland is beautiful and the people are warm and welcoming. With the expertise of our guide, I think we did, in fact, see the best of Scotland.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Two favorites: (1) driving through the Highlands and (2) visiting the sheep ranch to watch the dogs work."

Cheryl

Seattle, WA

Tour: 09/17/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was fun being in Edinburgh when Scotland voted on independence -Anne was very open with us about her position. We could feel and see the buzz in Edinburgh - lots of media presence. Also cool that St Andrews voted to include women as members. Loved the countryside - no factory farming here! - miles of pasture, sheeps and cows.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"When I played the bagpipes! My husband said, "We were all in shock!" While I didn't finger the pipe, I was proud to get the air out! At Glen Coe we saw a Hamish McDonald oil painting exhibit - loved the colors. We really like Iona - wish we'd had more time there. Plus holding border collie puppies, shearing sheep and Clava Cairns."

Karen

Post Falls, ID

Tour: 09/17/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first trip off the continent and it couldn't have been more enjoyable! Ann, our tour guide, was knowledgeable and was so accommodating and present with everyone on the tour, meeting our individual needs while allowing for a lot of autonomy, as well. The tour was a nice blend of tour activities and time to explore on our own. The participants were fascinating and friendly. The accommodations and meals together were top quality. p.s. Haggis rocks!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's difficult to distill down to just a few moments. There were times where it would hit me that I was standing in a historic spot (e.g. in Edinburgh castle where Queen Mary gave birth to James VI). A special place for me was the Clava Cairns. There was a spot where I felt such a high, fast vibration that I was drawn to just stand there. Afterwards I felt... Purely Clean, is the only way I can describe it.(sounds kooky, but SO true). Now I remember that feeling at my stressful job!"

Robin

Ellicott City, MD

Tour: 09/17/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was fantastic! From the moment we met Anne we knew we were in good hands! Anne gave us the overview of our Scotland trip and then off we went on a walk around Edinburgh! The next day we walked a lot and saw so much of Edinburgh and the Castle. While being in the city was great it was fantastic to head off into the countryside and eventually the highlands of Scotland. The tour pace was good and the people we met were great!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Driving through the highlands and hearing how the glaciers carved their way through the land to create the incredible valleys and mountains. (just one of many wow moments!)"

Carol

Bend, OR

Tour: 09/17/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our hotel was always perfectly located so that everything we would want was in walking distance. Our tour guide was fantastic and gave us a real taste of the country we were visiting.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were several but the best for me was the visit to a sheep farm as of course, Scotland is known for its wool. But the WOW came with the performance of the sheep dogs and their trainer. And of course getting to hold one of the puppies was great fun too."

Nancy

Keizer, OR

Tour: 09/17/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Anne was a terrific tour guide[INVALID]full of energy, full of knowledge about everywhere we visited, and always helpful with any questions we needed answering, and always "up." Her love of what she is doing certainly came through to all of us. I learned so much about Scotland, which was the place on my list of "must visit" after I retired. Even though it wasn't the first place I visited with RS, I' certainly glad that it was near the top. I loved the Highlands!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Heritage Walk. I have discovered that no where you travel in the same hemisphere, it can remind you of why you like to be out and about[INVALID]to see where in the world is similar to your home. The Scottish people were fantastic!"

Linda

Bend, OR

Tour: 09/17/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I was not sure what to expect in Scotland; generally I figure that I can tour by myself in places that speak English. But the amount of information about history and culture could not have been conveyed any other way.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking along the Royal Mile on the evening of the referendum on Scottish independence and seeing the young people out was amazing. The Highlands were another and Oban."

Lois

Bend, OR

Tour: 09/17/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Active and interesting varied itinerary. Loved the music on the bus tours. Very knowledgable guide. Good accommodations and well organized arrivals. Food everywhere was delicious.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved the sheepdog demonstration and picnic near prehistoric gravesite featuring all Scottish food and drink. Wow moment was seeing glen Coe."

Steve

Bend, OR

Tour: 09/17/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I would describe this tour as a "living history" tour. Anne would tell us about the history of a location and than we would visit it. I also enjoyed her personal anecdotes and her take on the Scottish referendum.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing and touring the site of the Battle of Colladon (sp). It was a "wow" moment because you could feel the presence of the men who died in this battle. Very sobering, but a"wow" moment nonetheless."

Tamara

Seminole, FL

Tour: 09/17/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first organized tour, and we couldn't have been more impressed. Everything was so perfectly organized so no time was wasted and we had the best experiences possible. Our guide was kind and knowledgeable, the hotels were much nicer than I expected and the included meals were very good. There were a lot of unexpected surprises too, like a private bagpiper coming to our hotel to perform and a picnic of locally made drinks and food provided by our guide. I loved our tour mates also.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite wow moment that I expected was the beauty of the landscape in Glencoe. It was breathtaking. What I didn't expect to affect me so much was the beauty and peace of the Isle of Iona. There was a wow moment every day for me though, I thought every day of the trip just got better and better."

David

Seminole, FL

Tour: 09/17/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We really enjoyed the itinerary and the way time in the city was balanced with time in the country. We thought the schedule of activities was thoughtfully developed, but the unscheduled extras really made this a special trip. Our guide was able to give historical perspectives as well as pop culture relevance. Anne really did a wonderful job from start to finish.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My wow moment was a toss up between the beautiful landscape and being in Edinburgh during the referendum. Our guide encouraged us to interact with the locals as they were campaigning and voting for or against Scottish independence, and we found ourselves following an impromptu parade of people to a "yes" rally in front of the Parliament building the night before the vote and it was so interesting to be surrounded by a crowd of locals demonstrating their political beliefs."

Connie

Portland, OR

Tour: 09/17/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was excellent overall, from our well-informed and very personable guide, to seeing a beautiful country with a good group of fellow travelers. I would return to Scotland any time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Just one? Edinburgh and its people made a very memorable impression. Even though I did the usual pre-trip research I was amazed at how compact, scenic, and pedestrian-friendly the city was. Equally impressive were the Scottish people. Not only were they very cordial, but very calm and composed as well. I was there during the election for independence and they seemed to show a great deal of respect for one another's differing opinions. We could take lessons from them in civility."

Gayle

Bend, OR

Tour: 09/17/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Tour provided an excellent overview of Scotland's history, geography and culture, but left me wanting to explore in more depth.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our visiting piper, Gillie, was a delight. That was when I felt like, "now I'm in Scotland.""

Charlotte

Texarkana, TX

Tour: 09/15/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I really enjoyed it. The history was great. I loved that we stopped at out of the way places that most people do not get to experience. The waterfalls for example. The unexpected moments - the field of hairy coos that came to the fence and let you pet them. Just an enjoyable trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We stopped to look at a bridge some guy had built. As we were getting on the bus, we noticed some hairy coos. They came to the fence and we were able to get some great close up shots of the very shaggy cows!!"

Susan

Houston, TX

Tour: 09/15/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Isle of Iona"

Mary

Fort Myers, FL

Tour: 09/15/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Well organized, informative, adequate free time. Met expectations, which were high due to previous Rick Steve's tour experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Most enjoyable (perhaps not "wow") was the bus driver's narrative on the single-track road across the island of Mull to the Isle of Iona. He was totally entertaining and made the trip seem short. Also, beautiful countryside."

Sylvia

Poulsbo, WA

Tour: 09/15/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A die-hard independent traveler,I approached this,the first tour ever for my husband and me, with some reserve wondering how I would fit into a set schedule and also being concerned (as an "advanced" senior) about keeping up physically. My concerns turned out to be unfounded. We did have to fit into a schedule, but that was off-set by not having to think about accommodations, etc.We appreciated the free time given to explore on our own and learned how to use lunch time breaks to our advantage.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Probably the unexpected view of Rest-and-Be-Thankful Pass. Scotland's unique beauty culminates in the exquisite scenery there. Might have been the Kenmore Hotel stop, but I had checked that out on the Internet and was not so surprised by the beauty there. Getting historical background in old churches and castles was great.And of course most of the scenery was always a "wow" experience"

Robert

Norwood, MA

Tour: 09/15/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My twenty five tour mates were all great story tellers. As we moved across Scotland, I learned about the lives of these people. As Colin narrated the events around us, I learned about the inner landscape of my fellow travelers. Colin is a great ambassador for travel.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing Loch Tay transform into the Tay river. The stillness of the loch became the moving force of a great river."

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."

Denny

Bellingham, WA

Tour: 09/08/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a great time with Liz! The one thing that I noticed with Liz was her attention to the "little things". Her wealth of information on Scotland was exceeded in her dedication to Scotland; as we were well informed on the history, recent politics, and the people of Scotland. The time spent in Scotland was interesting and informative but never to the point of overkill. There were days that we all went to bed tired, worn out with "tired bones"; but never too tired to spend time with friends.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had many "wow" moments but our time spent in Oban was extra special. The accomodations were first class; the resturants and local sites also."

Irene

Laguna Niguel, CA

Tour: 09/08/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I enjoyed Scotland more than I expected. I particularly enjoyed visiting all the sites where so much of their history occurred. The scenery was fantastic. The pace of the trip was perfect........big city to scenery to village to castle to sea side.........from walking to bus to ferry. It was a special time to visit Scotland. The referendum to stay or leave the United Kingdom was decided the day after the tour ended

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I particularly enjoyed the stop in a park to listen to Liz, our guide, and Roddy, our driver, discuss many of the ramifications of the upcoming referendum vote. It opened our eyes to many more issues that I had not considered. Interestingly neither shared how they would vote. They just gave the pros and cons."

Lorie

Edmonds, WA

Tour: 09/08/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved all the cities, the beautiful scenery and the very friendly people. My fellow travelers were all fun and cheerful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The battlefield at Culloden, as I had been reading the Outlander book series. Edinburgh Castle and Stirling Castle were very impressive also."

Elaine

Minnesott Beach, NC

Tour: 09/08/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved it all. The locations chosen for touring were excellent. Liz, our tour guide was awesome. Her historical knowledge added tremendously to getting a feel for the character of the citizens of Scotland, but she went above and beyond with lots of impromptu special treats. Special effort was made to have the group interact and become part of an extended family. We will keep in touch with many of our tour members.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My husband's father was an engineer on construction of the Forth of Firth Suspension bridge over 50 years ago. Construction of a new suspension bridge has begun. When we stopped to view the bridges over the river, Liz disappeared for a while, and returned with the head engineer for the new construction. He and my husband had a wonderful conversation about construction (as my husband learned from his father) of the old bridge. That was a wonderful personal touch to the tour."

Carlene

Bloomfield Hills, MI

Tour: 09/08/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Liz was a spectacular guide -- knowledgeable, efficient and with a great sense of humor. The entire tour was really a great experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The impromptu musicians we encountered in Edinburgh. Lots of great music in so many places!"

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."

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."

Michael

Williamsburg, VA

Tour: 09/08/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Really enjoyed the mixture of history, current culture, and overall 'look and feel' of the Scottish countryside. Great guide, and good companions to share it with.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Not a single moment, for me; my 'WOW' built gradually as the history (both 'ancient' and modern) of the Scots was revealed day-by-day. Thinking about the families ('clans', and even before them, with the Picts, Celts, ...), and how they interacted among themselves and with outsiders (English, Norse, ...) to create the history of Scotland was wonderful. The castles, palaces, and so forth that remain today tell a rich tale."

Robert

Bloomfield Hills, MI

Tour: 09/08/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a memorable trip with beautiful scenery, wide ranging interesting information, good food, and enjoyable traveling companions.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the white sand beach on Iona."

Shelby

Tacoma, WA

Tour: 09/03/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fabulous hotels. Especially Glenburnie in Oban. I have great memories of Oban from my childhood, now I have even better ones. This was a great visit.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The moment I met Ann. She was so sensitive to all of us.....even the one "grumpy" fellow. She played the loveliest music on the bus to enhance the experience for us. She explained where the music came from and what significance music has to the scots people."

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."

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.

Michael

Chattanooga, TN

Tour: 09/01/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very memorable experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Military tattoo in Fort George"

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"

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."

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."

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!"

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!"

Daniel

Chicago, IL

Tour: 08/25/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a really good tour. It took into play all the places we were expecting to see, plus some of the out of the way secret spots we could never have found on our own. We learned a lot of Scottish history along the way. The guides were excellent and well informed, even down to the bus driver on the island of Mull (very good humor, please keep him). The recommendations for things to do on our own panned out nicely, like the spots to hear live music.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think it was getting off the bus in Glencoe on a beautiful afternoon. Here we were in the heart of the Scottish highlands and the sun came out specifically for us. This was one of many stops that added outdoor beauty to our itinerary. It would be a great spot for a picnic!"

Charlene

Edmonds, WA

Tour: 08/25/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We loved Scotland. Colin was an excellent guide. I really cannot say enough about him. The tour was a little disappointing in the way all tours are. Too much time spent on some things, not enough on others. Specifically, on our walking tour through Edinbourgh we ended up spending too much time in the cemetery at Greyfriars and hearing stories of grave robbers. And a grand total of 35 minutes at the National Museum of Scotland. Why put it on the itinerary if you are not really going to see it?

Favorite "WOW" moment

"No wow moments."

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."

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."

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."

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!!"

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."

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"

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."

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!!!"

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""

James

Pearl River, NY

Tour: 08/11/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Oh"

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."

James

Coralville, IA

Tour: 08/11/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was an excellent tour. It lived up to expectations. A bit too much time on the bus, but frankly I don't know any other way to see so much of the country on such a short time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were two. Our time with Gilly the "pipes" player will be remembered for a very long time. The other was Colin our guide. I don't know how Rick could give us a better introduction and feel for Scotland than a trip with Colin."

Judy

Coralville, IA

Tour: 08/11/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Colin our guide was one of the best guides we have traveled with and this was out 7th RS trip. The tour was a great mini over view of Scotland.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting the countryside and staying in quaint lodges and B&Bs."

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.

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."

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."

Weather

Scotland / Edinburgh

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 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 the 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. The 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.