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  • Glasgow
  • Oban Harbor
  • Isle of Iona
  • Highland Cattle
  • Whisky Tasting
  • Sheepdog Demonstration
  • A crannog near Kenmore, Scotland
    Prehistoric Crannogs
  • Edinburgh

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Best of Scotland in 13 Days Tour

from $4,495 per person + air

Single Supplement $1,275

See Dates & Prices

On our Best of Scotland tour, along mossy mountains, windswept isles, mysterious lochs, and heathered glens, you'll discover a land and culture that are strongly persistent…and persistently lovable. Starting in underrated Glasgow and ending in royal Edinburgh, you'll wander over the monastic Isle of Iona; explore the rugged Highlands; ponder lochs Ness, Lomond, and Tay; try a wee dram at a whisky distillery; shake paws with a sheepdog; study the fairways at St. Andrews; and time-travel about the castles of Edinburgh, Stirling, and Urquhart. Join us for the Best of Scotland in 13 Days!

Dates & Prices

2023

What's Included

You'll get at least 21 group sightseeing events — at no extra cost!

Here's what you'll see and do on our Best of Scotland tour:

  • Glasgow neighborhood walk
  • Glasgow walking tour
  • Stirling Castle
  • Iona Abbey
  • Glencoe
  • Urquhart Castle
  • Loch Ness cruise
  • Inverness orientation
  • Culloden Battlefield
  • Whisky cooperage
  • Highland estate
  • Sheepdog demonstration
  • Whisky distillery tour and tasting
  • Scottish crannogs
  • Dunkeld Cathedral
  • Bagpipe performance
  • St. Andrews
  • Georgian Edinburgh orientation
  • Edinburgh's Royal Mile walking tour
  • Edinburgh Castle
  • National Museum of Scotland

Plus you'll get all this, too.

  • 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 group transportation from Glasgow to Edinburgh
  • 12 nights' accommodations in memorable, centrally located hotels
  • All breakfasts and half your dinners
  • All tips for guides and driver
  • A tour kit including a guidebook (when available) and a moneybelt
  • Guaranteed tour price, locked in the moment you make your deposit
  • Tour alum discount of $50 for each tour you've taken with us
  • 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 your tour

Fine print: You are responsible for the cost of your drinks and free-time sightseeing. See our Tour Conditions for important details regarding everything listed above.

Group sightseeing events subject to change.

Itinerary

Day 1: Welcome to Scotland

We'll meet at 4 p.m. at our hotel in Glasgow for a "Welcome to Scotland" get-together. Then we'll take an orientation walk through our neighborhood and get introduced to Glasgow's metro system, before getting acquainted over dinner together.

Light walking: 2–4 miles throughout the day on mostly level terrain. No bus. Sleep in Glasgow.

Day 2: Cosmopolitan Glasgow

Today our local guide will take us on a walking tour of Scotland's often-overlooked largest city. Famous for its architecture, Glasgow boasts Victorian facades, bold new construction, and beloved works by hometown visionary Charles Rennie Mackintosh — who gave Art Nouveau a Scottish burr. Along the way, we'll learn about the city's history and contemporary life, with stops at Glasgow Cathedral, bustling George Square, and thriving Merchant City. This afternoon you're free to explore Glasgow's world-class museums and the leafy parks of the West End. Tonight, find a local pub and enjoy some live music — trad or mod — in Scotland's music capital.

Moderate walking: 2–6 miles throughout the day with some hills and stairs. No bus. Sleep in Glasgow.

Day 3: Stirling Castle

We'll begin our day with a visit to the famous castle of the Stuart kings, Stirling, with its commanding views and royal apartments. After lunch we'll drive along the bonnie, bonnie banks of Loch Lomond on our way to the scenic coastal town of Oban, the "Gateway to the Isles." After an orientation along Oban's scenic promenades, we'll enjoy dinner together.

Light walking: 2–4 miles throughout the day on mostly level terrain. Bus: 4 hours. Sleep in Oban.

Day 4: Inspiring Isle of Iona

Today is for Scottish island-hopping: We'll ride a ferry and board a local bus for an entertaining trip across the island of Mull to the windswept Isle of Iona, the birthplace of Christianity in Scotland. We'll visit the 800-year-old abbey where monks created the remarkable Book of Kells — a rare bright spot in Europe's 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.

Light walking: 2–4 miles throughout the day on mostly level terrain. Bus: 2 hours. Boat: 2 hours. Sleep in Oban.

Day 5: Seaside Oban

Take a vacation from your vacation. Today is yours to hike up to McCaig's Tower for a sweeping harbor view, visit the ruined Dunollie Castle and its museum, take an excursion to Staffa to see the famed puffins, or just sit seaside and watch the sun set over the islands. However you spend your day, Oban is the perfect place to relax and drink in the best of the Scottish seaside.

Light to strenuous walking (your choice). No Bus. Sleep in Oban.

Day 6: Into the Highlands

This morning we'll head north into the rugged Highlands, stopping at the "weeping glen" of Glencoe — the hauntingly beautiful site of Scotland's most infamous massacre (Campbells and MacDonalds, leave your daggers on the bus). We'll continue through fabled scenery, where we will visit the evocative ruins of Urquhart Castle. After exploring its stony towers and expansive lake view, we'll take a panoramic cruise of Loch Ness (monster sightings not guaranteed). Then it's onto the capital of the Highlands, Inverness, where we'll take an orientation walk along the River Ness and share dinner together.

Strenuous walking: 2–8 miles throughout the day with lots of hills, stairs, and uneven terrain. Bus: 3 hours. Boat: ½ hour. Sleep in Inverness.

Day 7: Battle of Culloden

Today we'll tour the powerful Culloden Battlefield — the "Scottish Alamo," where Bonnie Prince Charlie's defeat in 1746 marked the beginning of the end of the Highland clan system. The remainder of the day is yours to explore Inverness' pedestrian-friendly downtown or stroll the lovely parks and promenades along the banks of the River Ness. Tonight is a great opportunity to enjoy some traditional music in one of Inverness' many fun-loving pubs.

Moderate walking: 2–6 miles throughout the day with some hills and stairs. Bus: 1 hour. Sleep in Inverness.

Day 8: Speyside and the Cairngorms

Today we'll drive through Speyside, famous for producing Scotland's favorite drink: whisky, of course. We'll tour a cooperage to watch master coopers build oak casks and learn about the importance of cask-aging in the flavor of Scotch whisky. After lunch, we'll visit Rothiemurchus, a Highland estate at the heart of Cairngorms National Park with one of the largest areas of natural forest in Britain. With a ranger as our guide, we'll learn of land and animal conservation efforts, including "hairy coos" (shaggy Highland cattle) and red deer.

Light walking: 2–4 miles throughout the day on mostly level terrain. Bus: 4 hours. Sleep in a village in the Cairngorms National Park.

Day 9: Sheepdogs and Whisky

We'll begin our day at a working sheep farm, where we'll watch talented sheepdogs in action and learn about Scotland's wool industry. After a quintessential Scottish lunch together, we'll tour a whisky distillery to sample a wee dram and get the inside story on this iconic Scottish industry. This evening, we'll enjoy dinner together and meet a Scottish bagpiper for some music and a lesson on this unusual instrument's history.

Light walking: 2–4 miles throughout the day on mostly level terrain. Bus: 3 hours. Sleep in or near the village of Kenmore.

Day 10: Prehistoric Crannogs

This morning we'll tour a reconstruction of Scotland's unique crannogs — prehistoric, thatched-roofed defensive huts built on piers out over the lochs — and learn about the Iron Age people who first farmed these lands. Then we're off to the picturesque village of Dunkeld on the River Tay, where we'll visit its medieval cathedral before having a free afternoon to find lunch, poke around town, or relax along the river. We'll regroup for dinner together.

Moderate walking: 2–6 miles throughout the day with some hills and stairs. Bus: 2 hours. Sleep in or near the village of Kenmore.

Day 11: St. Andrews

We'll begin today with a visit to St. Andrews, Scotland's oldest university town and a mecca for golfers worldwide. You'll have time to explore the ruins of St. Andrews' medieval cathedral, watch duffers playing the Old Course — considered the birthplace of golf — and enjoy lunch. Then we'll cross the famous Firth of Forth on our way into Edinburgh. After settling into our hotel, we'll take an orientation walk of Georgian Edinburgh, before setting you free for dinner on your own.  

Moderate walking: 2–6 miles throughout the day with some hills and stairs. Bus: 4 hours. Sleep in Edinburgh.

Day 12: Conquering Edinburgh

Today we'll wind our way through the Gothic streets of Edinburgh's old town, seeing the best of the city on foot. Our walking tour will take us up the Royal Mile — with its wealth of historic buildings, quaint shops, narrow lanes, and hidden courtyards — then onto Grassmarket and Greyfriars Cemetery. This afternoon, visit imposing Edinburgh Castle at your leisure to see the Scottish Crown Jewels and Stone of Scone and to soak up the dramatic views from this military stronghold and birthplace of the city. Tonight, we'll share memories of Scotland and toast new friends at our final dinner together. Slàinte!

Moderate walking: 2–6 miles throughout the day with some hills and stairs. No bus. Sleep in Edinburgh.

Day 13: 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. Turas math dhut! (Happy travels!)

Itinerary specifics subject to change.

Physical Demands

Our tours are physically active! It's an essential part of the Rick Steves tour experience. On our Best of Scotland in 14 Days tour — among other things — you'll need to happily…

  1. Carry/roll your luggage over uneven pavement (possibly several blocks) 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

Peggy

Tour: 09/07/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was even better than I expected.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The awesome scenery in the Highlands."

Christy

Tour: 09/07/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved the variety of sights on this tour - nature, history, city, country, sea. A thorough introduction to Scotland that will bring me back again. Our tour guide, Anne, was very knowledgeable and accommodating to the whole group. She and our driver made sure we arrived to our destinations safely and well prepared for the day ahead. The hotels and restaurants that we went to were all very nice. 10/10 recommend.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I don’t have just one, but my favorite moments were visiting Glencoe, the island hopping day trip across Mull and to Iona, and our walking tour of Glasgow."

Sara

Tour: 09/07/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I found our tour leader to be interesting and informative on a wide range of sclotland topics. I very much enjoyed the majority of the sights and experiences and loved the scenery we saw. The tour included almost all of the locations I had on my to-do list.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The beach at the north end of the Isle of Iona, and the hike some of us took on the Isle Of Kerrera on our off day in Oban."

David C

Tour: 09/07/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour certainly exceeded my expectations. It was well planned, there were little extras thrown in that I wasn't expecting, our guide was lovely and knowledgeable, our driver was excellent, and the places and sites we visited were varied and interesting on several levels. Also, when we had to leave the tour due to Covid, our guide was so helpful in reorganizing the last couple of days of our trip. All in all, a truly wonderful experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our first evening in Oban we took a long walk along the promenade and enjoyed the most amazing sunset over the islands and boats in the harbor. It was beautiful."

John

Tour: 09/03/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was wonderful. We got lucky that the other tour participants were just fun and awesome. We got even luckier to have a bus driver (Ian) that interacted with the group and our guide (James) in such a way that had us all in stitches the entire trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I can't say enough about how much we loved being in Oban."

Scott

Tour: 08/27/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The people, both the attendees and our guide and driver were outstanding. They made a beautiful country and people even better.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The gilley and the shepherd dogs. Plus all the history we took in."

Don

Tour: 08/27/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Would have been excellent except that I fell victim to Covid so we had to leave the tour with three days remaining. What we did attend was excellent.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"While we were at Iona, our tour guide, Julia, sang a Gaelic hymn while we ere gathered in the small chapel. It was beautiful and very moving."

Marcia

Tour: 08/27/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Being solo and my first RS tour, I was very pleased with how the whole group made sure I never felt alone or left out. The tour was just the right amount of group activities and free time. Our guide, Julia, was amazing and was always available to help especially with ideas for what to do with our free time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to pick one “wow” moment. Iona, the sheepdogs, the beauty of Glencoe and all the highlands."

Abbey

Tour: 08/27/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Julia is the most fabulous guide. She communicates her love for Scotland with great enthusiasm & joy. She is so knowledgeable & makes all the facts fun & entertaining. She is so available & attentive. She made the trip an joyous experience I will always treasure!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Loved everything but Iona was my favorite place. The Abbey was magical & Julia made it unforgettable by singing a lovely song in Gaelic."

Karen

Tour: 08/27/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was terrific, although we had to leave a few behind due to COVID. Our leader, Julia, was not only organized and specific in her directions, she easily rolled with the group losses. In addition she enriched the tour with her talents in singing in the chapel at Iona and fiddle playing as we walked in a forest near Dunkeld and Birnam Wood. I now appreciate Scotland's rich history and have a feel for the Highlands' rolling hills as well as the Lowlands' cities of Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were several wow moments - absorbing the tragedies which occurred at Glencoe and Culloden was emotional for sure, but for me visiting the islands of Mull and Iona were the top wow moments. Our Mull bus driver, Richard, was very informative and clearly loved his job and where he lives. Iona was a magical place rich in history, a place for reflection and solo walks."

Mary Ann

Tour: 08/24/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Lovely, knowledgeable tour guide with great locations to visit, and very pleasant travel companions.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking along the River Tay on the way to Dunkeld House at sunset"

Mary

Tour: 08/24/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This is a new itinerary for RSE, I think. Overall, it was very good - good mix of history, beauty of nature, "experiences" like the Cooperage, the sheepdogs, and the Crannog, and cities/towns/architecture/museums, etc. It DID feel rushed though, almost every step of the way. And the guide seemed stressed and in a hurry.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This is always a hard question. The beauty of the lochs, the moors, the mountains all around, every day. It never gets old."

Chris

Tour: 08/24/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent. Enjoyed the places and people!

Jeff

Tour: 08/24/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was a very enjoyable tour. No covid issues, great guide, pleasant group to travel with, much better weather than expected, really nice hotels to stay in, beautiful scenery and plenty to see and do. Really enjoyed it.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved walking along the river outside our hotel near Kenmore. So quiet, peaceful and a beautiful setting. The hotel made me feel like we were in a scene from Downton Abbey. I have never stayed at such a nice and relaxing place. I could have stayed there for a month."

Lynn

Tour: 08/24/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything about it was wonderful. We had a fabulous tour guide and driver, the weather was beautiful, and the sites and activities were engaging. We were exposed to so much that I couldn't take it all in, but I enjoyed every moment. Our group got along well and enjoyed each other's company. The restaurants and hotels were great. I feel like I truly experienced Ireland, even though I know there's a lot more to see. I would love to go back.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved the hawk walk at Ashford Castle. Lolly also arranged for us to see a world class Irish step dancer in a pub in Dingle. That was fabulous too."

Lisa

Tour: 08/24/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was my first tour and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The tour was well-organized without feeling over-structured. Our tour guide was knowledgeable and very personable, she gave us perspective on the people, culture and history of the country and specific areas visited. We saw a broad range of sites, had the opportunity to explore independently and our accommodations were mostly great - lots of character!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Highlands were gorgeous - pictures I have seen previously simply do not do them justice. I loved the small town/villages we stopped at enroute"

Kurt

Tour: 08/24/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a great tour guide in Liz. She was very organized, knowledgeable and kind. We started in Glasgow and it was interesting, but we were anxious to get out of the big city and see the rest of Scotland. We loved each and every location and I found myself more and more in touch with the land the further north we went. Liz really helped us to understand the highlights of Scottish history and bring our locations into context. The Highlands are stunning and I felt at home

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Castles were awesome, but the wide open spaces of the Highlands, Dunkeld, the Hermitage, and the Cairngorms were the biggest WOW for me. We also snuck in a couple extra days in Edinburgh and saw the Edinburgh Military Tattoo (that was pretty WOW)"

Kay

Tour: 08/24/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Scotland is an amazing place. The highlands especially. The weather was perfect during our visit. No rain. I know that is not normal but it did add a nice layer onto the Scotish experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Iona was my favorite place. Small island with the ruins of an ancient monastery. To spend time going through the buildings and contemplate what live would have been like for that early religious outpost."

Richard

Tour: 08/17/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Overall very good but thought there was a bit too much explore on your own. I think the tour could be improved by heading further north and adding a few days. A walk in the Highlands going up to the top of a hill/mountain would have been lovely.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Highlands - the scenery constantly amazed me."

Maureen

Tour: 08/17/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My tour experience met my expectations in most areas and exceeded them in others, but never disappointed.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Taking a hike at dusk along a ridge line blanketed with blooming heather in the Cairngorms National Park."

Melanie

Tour: 08/17/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Thorough guide, great travel mates, careful coach driver.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Two things : watching the shepherd work with his dogs and the farm’s sheep and Edinburgh’s military tattoo ."

Deborah

Tour: 08/13/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We enjoyed exploring and learning about Scotland. We had a great group of people on our tour and a great guide (Thanks James!). As always, we saw and did things on this trip that would be very hard to do on our own, which is one reason I continue to travel with Rick Steves tours. Hotels and included meals were also very good.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Although there were many, Iona was my favorite. Iona is charming, the blue water is amazing, and all the flowers add to the beauty of the island. Also enjoyed Dunkeld, St. Andrews, “hairy coos” and the sheep farm."

Elizabeth

Tour: 08/13/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved every moment of this tour. I especially appreciated the flexibility built into the schedule, allowing us to take advantage of real-time conditions. The Scottish people were warm, helpful, and had a down-to-earth humor that I found delightful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It might have been our tour guide, James, singing in the small chapel on the small island of Iona. He wanted us to feel the experience, and we did. After that, I think it was meeting Gilly, who played the bagpipes for us at the hotel in Dunkeld. What aremarkable woman!"

Marcia

Tour: 08/13/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I loved the easy pace of our Scotland trip. With all the incidentals arranged and scheduled it was nice to just enjoy it all. All the individual private tours and time to explore on our own made it a wonderful trip

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Iona, Neil and the sheep dogs were my favorites"

Sara

Tour: 08/13/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was excellent! The landscape is breathtaking. Such a great mix of city and country with full cultural experience. More than once I seriously wondered if I could get my husband to move. The people are so friendly. The guide and couch driver were an outstanding team. We shared many laughs along our journey.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This is tough because there were many moments that be saying ‘wow’ but I think the visit to the Isle of Iona. It was an unexpectedly beautiful day and the waters were brilliant shades of blues. Standing outside of the chapel I had a moment alone standing in a field with the wind blowing and the sunshine warming my face. You could only hear the island and te sounds nature makes. Then our guide sang a song in Gaelic to our group in the tiny little chapel. It was a moving experience."

Judith

Tour: 08/13/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

James was a great guide. The hotels and included meals were great

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The bagpipe concert we attended on our own in Glasgow. Favorite on tour moment visit to Culloden."

Peggy

Tour: 08/13/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I enjoyed our guide and the tour group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many. The sheep farm and sheep dog experience; the national park with red deer and Highland cows; Culloden battlefield; the friendly people of Scotland."

Richard

Tour: 08/13/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Had a great time; tour well organized and everything clicked. Learned a lot about Scotland.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sheepdog exhibition and Military Tattoo."

Nader

Tour: 08/13/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Experiencing Orange Walk in Glasgow."

Irma

Tour: 08/13/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful 2 weeks with great tour members and guide!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"When I saw the purple heather on the hillsides, I thought, "Wow, I'm in Scotland!""

Judy

Tour: 08/10/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my fifth Rick Steves tour, and it was as amazing as all the others. The people in the group were wonderful. Our guide, Julia, was awesome. Our bus driver, Ian, was also outstanding. We saw the most beautiful and inspirational sites throughout Scotland. I can’t wait to go back.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many. When Julia sang for us in the Abbey on Iona Island, I was overwhelmed with emotion. Also the hotel on Loch Rannoch was one of the best hotels I’ve ever stayed in."

Margaret B

Tour: 08/10/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The sad experience of two hotels kept this from being an Outstanding. Itinerary was great. Guide was terrific.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Iona"

James

Tour: 08/10/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great trip. My first time in Scotland and I found it to be a beautiful country with very friendly people.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Iona"

Thomas

Tour: 08/10/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour guide, Julia, was remarkable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Oban and the Highlands."

Michael

Tour: 08/10/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Scottish highlands can best be described as hauntingly beautiful. Any tour is a compromise and I understand that no tour can satisfy everyone, every time. Most of the hotels were fine and in the case of the Loch Brannoch Hotel, wonderful. The one exception was the Duke of Gordon Hotel, it was, in a word, squalid. I would have skipped Iona and substituted Skye in its stead but that is my preference. Julia was wonderful as a guide and Ian the bus driver was a courteous and careful driver.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Oddly my favorite moments was taking a walk on the isle of Kerrera - I saw 2 people on the 7 mile circuit. Glencoe was a favorite and I would have liked to spend a day there walking was a close second. Inverness was my favorite stop. The Edinburgh fringe festival and Military Tattoo should not be missed."

Anna

Tour: 08/10/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Delightful guide, Julia, along with brilliant bus driver, Iain, made the tour so enjoyable. Excursions were well-chosen and carefully paced. Hotels were excellent especially the Loch Rannoch in the Cairngorms. ( One dud: the Duke of Gordon in Kingussie. )This was our 3rd Rick Steves "Best Of" adventure and we highly recommend it. Castles, History, the Highlands, Hairy Coos, traditional music, great food, the Inner Hebrides, perfect weather.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Julia's traditional Scots Gaelic song in St. Columba's Abbey on the isle of Iona."

Robert

Tour: 08/10/22

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

I always felt on previous Rick Steves tours that we were receiving services that others were not getting. This time I felt that the hotels and meals were nothing special and in many cases a Rick Steves employee had never been there prior to our entry.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Island of Iona"

Cathryn

Tour: 08/10/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great weather, reunited with friends from other RS tours, great scenery.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Oban, weather beautiful, cool hotel, loved the ferry to the island"

Barbara

Tour: 08/10/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

It was generally interesting and informative. Some hotels were not up to my expectations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Actually it was the Royal Tattoo which wasn’t included. I also loved Glencoe and the airy coos as well as the dogs."

Barbara

Tour: 08/06/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The trip was a well-rounded exploration of Scotland and thanks to our guide Colin we learned a lot. He went above and beyond helping us to understand the history, politics, healthcare, and everything in between. It is important for us to not only see the sites but to understand the people and their culture.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There wasn't a particular "wow" moment. Every stop was different and unique from busy Edinburgh to the quiet of the highlands. I know cities offer a lot of 'must do' activities however I always love the country so visiting Mull & Iona was a real treat."

Lawrence

Tour: 08/06/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The itinerary was very good and covered much of what we wanted to experience in Scotland. From the streets of Glasgow to the spectacular Highlands.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many but a special one was the Military Tattoo"

Jerry

Tour: 08/06/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Awesome. Colin was great!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Isle of Iona"

Pauline

Tour: 08/06/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great in every way! Colin was a super guide, the itinerary was varied and well planned out, a very good tour group,, great weather and beautiful scenery.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many "wow" moments. The sheep herding farm, Edinburgh castle, The Culloden battlefield, Stirling castle, The crannogs, the "hairy coos", Iona and the Abbey, Glencoe and the Cooperage."

Joanne

Tour: 08/06/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

So many gorgeous sights and fun experiences, wonderful guide Colin, friendly tour mates, delicious food, charming lodging and fabulous weather!!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"so many WOWs!!! Delightful Oban & chatting with Jamie MacDougall at Dunollie Castle! Beautiful, serene Iona! Feeding & shearing sheep at Leault Farm! Dunkeld House Hotel! Bagpiper Gillie McNab! St. Andrews! Edinburgh tour with Mairi! Military Tattoo on our free night!!!"

Deborah

Tour: 08/06/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This Scotland tour was wonderful in all aspects: people met; sites and scenery; guide and driver; pace and accommodations. The scope of the tour hit many highlights of Scotland, though I extended my stay at the end to take in Isle of Skye. Citizens are maskless everywhere, though I wore mine regularly and returned home Covid-free.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite memories of the RS tour were travel to Glencoe and Oban and Isle of Ilona. The visit to the sheep farm with the working sheepdogs was amazing as well. Edinburgh was filled with people for the August Fringe Festival so crowded restaurants and sites."

Laurel

Tour: 08/06/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour had the perfect blend of group activities and time on our own. There also was good balance of city and rural activities. Hotels, restaurants and activities were all top notch.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many “wow” moments, that it is hard to pick one. That said, the biggest “wow” was the sheep dogs. We didn’t want to leave!"

Francis

Tour: 08/06/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tour was great. Colin our guide was fantastic so much knowledge of the history of Scotland.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Had lots of wow moments but the one that stands out was the military tattoo. It was a fitting end to a great tour."

Deborah

Tour: 08/06/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

An excellent guide, with great company. I experienced more of Scotland's culture, scenery, history, and people than I expected. Colin helped us be fully engaged through story, song, and humor, and seemed to know what was around every bend. Stunning views and interesting, small, out-of-the-way spots was a great balance. Plenty of time for socializing, as well as solo jaunts in city & countryside. Missed seeing Skye, tho I don't know when we'd have fit it in. I felt energized by the trip!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I'm a huge fan of traditional Celtic folk music. I was astounded to discover a talented young Scottish fiddler, Ryan Young. We chatted as we stood in line to see the famous fiddler Martin Hayes at the Edinburgh Festival. I had no idea this young man who didn't give his name was a performer in his own right. Later I happened to see him on a poster for his own Fringe Festival performance and was able to catch that show as well. Ryan Young was captivating...my new favorite Celtic fiddler!"

Mary

Tour: 08/06/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Nice balance of activities, tours and free time. Colin did a super job as our guide. His knowledge and enthusiasm of and for all things Scottish was infectious. He sang and shared some good music. The history of Scotland is very interesting. Beautiful country and nice locals. Loved the cool weather and seaside places (Oban, etc).

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The island if Iona. I wish we had had more time or an overnight there."

Frances

Tour: 08/06/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Colin was just right and tour was well planned as expected. Could have used more time in Iona and less time at the "outdoor museum".

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It changes, depending on what reminiscing and discussion is going on with fellow travelers. I really enjoyed the cooperage tour and demonstration."

Renee

Tour: 08/03/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved Scotland! Great group and guide. Wa

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I hadn’t thought about flowers. Walking and seeing amazing flower gardens. Flowers in every city in hanging baskets and tiers."

Ann

Tour: 08/03/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

My tour was everything that I hoped for. Great guides and a super fun group of people to travel with through Scotland.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Oban, Dunkeld, and the sheep dog tour."

Laure

Tour: 07/30/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Kudos to your scouts who chose the hotels and tour sites. Also your office did an amazing job of handling the Covid crisis in which we lost over half of our people as well as the Tour Director. Your team did a fantastic job of addressing the issue quickly and carrying on with the tour without a hiccup.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hands down it had to be the Cairngorms forest. In the evening after the tours and in the early mornings my husband and I were able to take some beautiful walks! Both Hotel locations were stunning."

Joseph

Tour: 07/30/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tour of Scotland was excellent.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Bus tour in the highlands."

Willem

Tour: 07/30/22

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

We started with 30 people including the tour guide and bus driver but finished the tour with only 13 people due to Covid-19. Despite the illness amongst our tour members, we had a good tour and even a few wow moments.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite wow moment has to be the sheep dog herding demonstration as well as the sheep shearing demonstration."

Thomas

Tour: 07/23/22

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

I was underwhelmed with the tour and the guide. The walking tour in Glasgow was not interesting and the orientation tour in Edinburgh was unorganized. The time allowed at many of the sites that we traveled to was too short. It seemed as if we had to 'hurry up' to get to the final destination of the day. Our guide worked very hard during the tour, however the overall daily events seemed off in terms of timing. The stories/narratives/history on the bus seemed to bounce around chronologically.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I very much enjoyed the sheep dog demonstration."

Alice

Tour: 07/23/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a wonderful story-teller Guide, Anne sho made history come to life. The tour is active with lots of outside adventures and time for my museum interests.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite day was the Cramog Iron Age center. We enjoyed artists demonstrating crafts. But the sheep dog demonstration was also great."

Thomas

Tour: 07/23/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our fourth Rick Steves trip and sadly probably our last. Unfortunatly I've aged out. I knew I was unable to do all the walking required and happily cheated with cabs as needed. Wish there were Rick Steves tours oriented to older ones with a slower shorter walking component but al the rest of the Rick Steves

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Glen Coe had the most visual impact followed by the drive across Mull. The highlight however was Anne Doig knowledgable, kind and capable"

Gary

Tour: 07/23/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Scotland was beautiful! Our guide Anne had a great love for Scotland and her love of Scotland was contagious.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I am not sure that I had a wow moment. That is not a bad thing. We had so many fantastic moments that it is difficult to pick one out that stands above the rest"

Robert

Tour: 07/23/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our guide, Anne Doig, was wonderful. We especially loved our time outside the cities. The food was just ok, and we did have a couple of unpleasant service experiences. Most of the hotels were great. We love the small-group tour experience which is why we choose Rick Steves tours. We appreciated the safety protocols, especially the requirement for a negative Covid test prior to starting the tour, but the mask requirement on the bus seemed silly at this particular point in time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"As a golf enthusiast, my husband loved his time at St. Andrews. For me, the castles were amazing - especially Edinburgh Castle."

John

Tour: 07/23/22

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

The guide was very good and we enjoyed most of the activities. But there was far more time on the bus than the itinerary (even the most recent one sent to us) listed.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The town of Dunkeld. We took a day off the planned activities just to avoid another day on the bus. We really enjoyed exploring the town."

Amy

Tour: 07/20/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We covered a lot of ground and saw many sights without seeming rushed. We enjoyed the flexibility of free time. The people really made the tour amazing- tour guides, drivers, fellow tour members, everyone was great.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Stopping at Glencoe, driving by and seeing the scenery and then stepping off the bus in the drizzle. Seeing the beauty of the area was breathtaking."

Nan

Tour: 07/20/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fantastic! Liz was gracious and efficient, keeping us inspired and gob-smacked each day with the wonders of Scotland.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our morning with Neil the Shepherd, and also touring the huge estate with our own Ranger to meet the hairy coos and red deer."

Mary

Tour: 07/20/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This 13-day tour of Scotland was outstanding. Our guide Liz Lister was incredibly knowledgeable, kind and went out of her way to address everyone's needs and interests. She is a national treasure for Scotland! I feel like we came away with a greater understanding of Scottish people, landscapes, culture and history.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many wonderful moments but I would say driving through the Highlands and visiting Glencoe with its haunting and majestic beauty were at the top of my list."

Marianne

Tour: 07/20/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour experience itself was lovely.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I was there to learn more about my heritage and my family who were early residents of the Fife district. My wow moment was when we were at the Cathedral at St. Andrews and I found a relative's name on a plaque there. Liz, our wonderful tour guide said to me, " welcome home.""

Stephen

Tour: 07/20/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This tour lived up to its "best-of" label. It included the major cities of Glasgow and Edinburgh, smaller towns like Oban and Inverness, the southern edge of the Highlands, and rural areas as well. As usual, I did quite a bit of background reading and watched a historical documentary and some TV series set in Scotland before the tour, so I got to see a lot of places I had explored virtually. This tour gave me a feel for the country and its people first-hand.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"One high point for me was the unscheduled visit to the prehistoric cairns and standing stones at Kilmartin. I like to feel the resonance of time in such places, and the notes here were particularly deep. The setting was beautiful, and we got a good walk, too."

Jeff

Tour: 07/20/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Third Rick Steve's Tour. I continue to take them because they are exactly what I'm looking for. A nice balance of organized activities, optional walks and free time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I really enjoyed spending time with locals in Glasgow & Inverness. In Glasgow we used your book to find music both nights in the West End."

Carol

Tour: 07/20/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was excellent. It exceeded my expectations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved seeing the sheep shearing, and watching the herding dogs. Meeting Neil, the shepherd was amazing."

Patricia

Tour: 07/20/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I loved the trip but became I’ll right at the beginning of it and wasn’t able to participate in many of the events. That being said, our group leader, Liz Lister was fantastic. The tour group was great as well

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Iona - the history, the setting."

Daniel

Tour: 07/20/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our guide, Liz Lister was awesome! Her energy, enthusiasm and love of her country was constantly on display. Her knowledge of Scottish history and lore, music, plants and geology is encyclopedic! The bus driver and local guides were also excellent, and they worked wonderfully with Liz.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I don't know if this qualifies as a "wow" moment or not, but I found the time we spent at the site of the Battle of Culloden very meaningful. Our guide did a skillful job of educating us on so many aspects of the lead up in history to that event before we arrived at the site. Just as we were arriving she was making some final remarks about what we were to experience--without seeing her face I could perceive the tears welling up in her eyes as she finished her remarks. I was moved."

Kay

Tour: 07/20/22

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

This is our first Rick Steves tour. First and foremost, it was lovely getting to know all our fellow travelers. The history and culture of Scotland told by our guide, Liz were wonderful. Aside from the very last place we stayed (terrible), all our lodgings were incredible and steeped in history. The food was delicious. However, we felt the schedule to be grueling (too little time in each place), and not enough detailed information given in terms of things to see and do on our own time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"No single "wow" moment. We especially enjoyed the stories that Liz told, the forests of Dunkeld, Glencoe, Inverness, Edinburgh, watching the shepherd work his dogs, the lushness and greenery of Scotland, the beautiful, historical cities and towns, and staying at such wonderful places, especially Dunkeld House Hotel by the River Tay."

Robert

Tour: 07/20/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had heard so much in the media about the difficulties of travel this summer but our tour went flawlessly. Liz lister was an amazing guide, the sites/events occurred without any difficulties, and our fellow travelers were delightful. This was a true Rick Steves experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I don’t have a favorite moment - each day provided at least one memory that I will not forget. I loved the combination of “not to miss” sites with smaller “out of the way” experiences known only to locals or very knowledgeable guides."

Deborah

Tour: 07/20/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent trip, incredible tour guide, enjoyable group of fellow travelers, nice blend of standard tourist "must see" sites and experiences mixed with smaller, less well known venues. I wouldn't have changed anything we did. Because of media reports we were worried about traveling this summer, but the whole trip went flawlessly.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I didn't have one wow moment. I had a highlight each day that will stay with me, and they are often the smaller, less well advertised experiences we had. I loved Kilmartin, walking the river in Inverness, the Hermitage, the folk museum(s), Iona, etc...."

Deborah

Tour: 07/20/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It covers a lot of ground. Our tour leader was wonderful and added greatly to our understanding of Scottish history and current issues. She was so thoughtful and we enjoyed sampling Scottish treats. The landscape was beautiful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The incredible beauty of Scotland was on display everywhere but one of my favorite moments was walking up to the castle ruins in Oban with my daughter and two of our tour friends after dinner. It was magical."

Mary Ellyn

Tour: 07/16/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I thought Nigel, our guide, did a great job of prepping us for the history and the importance of the various castles and battlefields that we visited on our tour. We were always at the sites before the crowds started to form. The various local guides were excellent and informative. I enjoyed the extra tour to Kilmarten with Nigel and had a new appreciation for standing stones and their ancient history.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing ancient history come alive at the Crannog Center with the demonstrations of the ancient tools and practices by the period costumed and knowledgeable staff. It was a part of Scotland that I wasn't aware of and I was truly WOWed by this re-actment of ancient traditions."

Homayoun

Tour: 07/16/22

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

It was a good and different experience for us. Stress on traveling light but excessive. Hotel Oban and B+B in Edinburgh were inadequate. Some sights, Iona, battlefields..required too much travel for too little to absorb..

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I really liked Inverness and Edinburgh"

Tana

Tour: 07/16/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The group was great, the accommodations were excellent, the tour guide very knowledgeable and fun!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Oban and the distillery"

David

Tour: 07/16/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Good group, guide and itinerary. I was a bit overwhelmed by the crowds at most places we went.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Experiencing the Coast Guard helicopter rescue practice while on the Loch Ness cruise."

Carol

Tour: 07/16/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved hearing about the history of Scotland as well as details about the areas we visited. Our guide, Nigel, was fun and knew his stuff. He also made the tour go very smoothly.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting the shepherd, Neil. It was a beautiful setting and great to see the dogs working and his opinions were priceless."

Howard

Tour: 07/16/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Overall we had another very enjoyable Rick Steves trip. Nigel is one of the best tour guides we have experienced. He was a walking history book. Once again hotels were a mixed bag and I would rank 2.5 out of 5. I truly wish the quality of hotels could be improved. I would add a full day to Edinburgh and skip the single day in Cairngorms. I also believe St. Andrews would be a great overnight stop as well. It is one of the most charming cities you visit as well.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"On our free day in Oban we took the ferry across to the small island and hiked up to a beautiful castle ruin. It was an amazing way to truly experience Scotland. I would then say Edinburgh and St. Andrews."

David

Tour: 07/16/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great! The tour was as advertised with only some slight adjustments needed due to when certain locations were open. Our tour guide, Nigel, was the best. He was knowledgable, an expert on how to tour each location efficiently, patient and unflappable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We hiked to Gylen Castle on our free day in Oban. It was roughly 5 miles round trip and was a beautiful, atmospheric hike, with wide shoreline vistas of ancient cliffs and ocean waves spreading below the castle perched on an overlooking cliff. Just amazing!"

Kathi

Tour: 07/16/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our guide and bus driver were wonderful. The pace of the tour was excellent with free time to explore on our own. The accomodations were good and in a central location. Our guide had lots of suggestions and answers when we had questions about history or places to go on our own. The size of the tour was good and I would not have wanted to have any more people on it.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I am not sure there was one Wow moment. The hotel at Dunkeld was wonderful in every aspect. The Riverside museum in Glasgow was great and small enough to feel you "saw it all:. The museum re-creation of the battle at Culloden was very well done. The sheep herding visit was very touching and personal."

Stephanie

Tour: 07/09/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Seumas MacLethchie, the tour guide, made this trip to Scotland amazing. His knowledge of all things Scottish, his humor, his ability to tell stories and pair with songs and music on the coach, his warm and kind personality and ability to reach out to everyone, and his selection of unique activities and experiences made this trip outstanding and memorable. Seumas also showed a reflective, contemplative side of himself when he spoke about some of the places we visited, such as Iona.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting the Isle of Iona via the Isle of Mull from Oban was my favorite. I learned so much about the the history of Iona Abbey, and I loved the windswept beauty, contemplative nature and slow pace of Iona."

Iona

Tour: 07/09/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Loved the variety of activities. Of course, I would have liked to spend more time at some and less time at others. B&Bs very nice, like the authentic experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Scenery"

Susan

Tour: 07/09/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We’ll organized. Sleeping quarters could not have better. Our guide has got to be one of Rick Steves best.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting with the seep herder"

Mary

Tour: 07/09/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Our tour was great!. To start, our tour guide, was extremely knowledgeable, attentive to the group's needs, and did a great job of painting the culture of Scotland through his personal narratives, local stories, and songs that spoke to the traditions of the different regions. The transportation was well-organized and the travel itinerary, allowed us to have a well-rounded perspective of the different regions of Scotland. The mix of planned events and downtime allowed me to learn and relax.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My wow moment was the island of Iona! The history of the island mixed with the sense of serenity filled my soul and left me wanting more."

Corina

Tour: 07/09/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Scotland is a beautiful country. Our tour guide, James, was such an ambassador for his country. This your exceeded my expectations!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I was truly overwhelmed with the beautiful landscapes… we took a side trip to Glencoe and the scenery was breathtaking."

Robin

Tour: 07/02/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We enjoyed our experience very much. This is a more laid back tour which was ideal for our post-pandemic return to international travel. While Scotland is not packed with sites like Rome or Paris, the scenery and the landscape were breathtaking.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We rode up a ski lift to an elevated position somewhere in the Scottish countryside. The views of the landscape and the sunny/cloudy skies were simply beautiful. We all enjoyed a wee sip of whiskey before heading back down to the bus."

William

Tour: 07/02/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent guide, good pace, great value

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Optional trip to Kilmartin. Should be on regular itinerary."

Richard

Tour: 07/02/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steves tour and it was fantastic! We learned a lot about Scotland and our tour guide, Nigel, was excellent! Besides his personal first-hand knowledge of the country, he was considerate of everybody and went out of his way to make sure we all had a good experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Gotta be St. Andrews during The Open!"

David

Tour: 06/29/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Way beyond expectations!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The highlands should be renamed WOW!"

Carolyn

Tour: 06/29/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

exceeded our expectations- and they were quite high after waiting 2.5 years to get to go to Scotland!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The beautiful landscapes and country sides of Scotland were breath taking- totally overwhelmed with God's natural beauty. So glad our tour director took us not only to cities with cathedrals and man made items but also the rustic natural areas of the country."

Robin

Tour: 06/29/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sheep dogs,Mull,Iona,Culloden"

Linda

Tour: 06/29/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The scenery in the highlands!"

Mark

Tour: 06/29/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a great vacation

Favorite "WOW" moment

"That the weather was absolutely stellar!"

Yoshihiko

Tour: 06/29/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

As expected it was an excellent way to be introduced to over all Scotland. The tour guide, Robert, is experienced and was well prepared for our trip. He explains some key points prior to the visit of each spot which makes the visit very efficient with better understanding. The tour gives you sufficient amount of freedom where you can experience in your own way or spend more time on what you are interested in.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Highland hillsides with many different shades of greens while feeling fresh air. Sat down at the bench along the river in Inverness for a sandwich."

Judith

Tour: 06/29/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Tour was well organized. Hotels were nice. Our tour guide Robert was knowledgeable and great with recommendations

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The river walk in Inverness"

Shelley

Tour: 06/29/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour has the best of both worlds, organized sightseeing and free time. Everything is timed perfectly.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking around all the the ruined castles"

Bruce

Tour: 06/25/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We connected with the people, culture, and history as we could not have on our own."

Julianne

Tour: 06/25/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We loved this tour. We saw so many parts of Scotland from the cities of Glasgow and Edinburgh to the west coast of Oban and nearby islands, to the Highlands and Cairngorms National Park. The tour had just the right amount of group activities and time on our own to explore interests. We couldn't have had a better tour guide and the bus driver was excellent and fun as well. The hotels were charming with nice rooms. Highly recommend this tour of Scotland.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The whole trip was "wow." There were so many different experiences that it is hard to select one as the best. All were outstanding."

Stephen

Tour: 06/25/22

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

The tour was very good until we started getting COVID. Although the experiences after leaving the group were also memorable, it was not what I take a Rick Steve's tour for. I prefer being helped throughout my trip and, for the last third of the tour, this was not possible.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking each morning next to the river Tay, through the trees, from our hotel to the town of Dunkeld and seeing the redwoods, oaks, foxglove and heather. This walk included a beautiful 14th century cathedral and fields of freshly mown hay. The walk culminated in a breakfast of tea and fresh scones at a local restaurant. We would not have experienced this if we were still with the tour group as they had breakfast at the hotel."

Debra

Tour: 06/25/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Unfortunately we had a short tour experience. My husband tested positive on the fourth day of our tour and we had to leave the tour at that time. We were very sad about that. For the time we spent with the tour we enjoyed it. Our guide James was amazing.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Duarte Castle on the island of Mull was beautiful. The weather was a little rainy and windy but we were still able to tour the castle and the grounds."

Guy

Tour: 06/18/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was a good overview of the geography, history, and culture of Scotland. We were able to see a good mixture of the large cities and small towns and the rugged geography of this part of the Uk. This tour in conjunction with our previous Best of England tour has given us a very good understanding of the UK.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Enjoyed touring Urquhart castle and the boat ride along the length of Lochness. The sheep dog exhibition was a close second."

Karla

Tour: 06/18/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Nigel was an amazing guide with personal experience stories that add so much to a tour. Beautiful country with amazing history

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Well, it was on our day off while in Oban. We went on a Taurus Mara tour and saw Fingals Cave and the most amazing Lunga Island with Puffins galore. We just sat back and let the come to us. Such an amazing experience. Truly nature at its finest."

Charlotte

Tour: 06/18/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful guide and excellent itinerary for my group. We had three adults and a teenager on this trip, all with very different interests and personalities, and there was something for everyone. The pace was just right with enough free time to shop, rest, or explore. We loved some of the activities which felt extra special to an RS tour - something we likely wouldn’t have gotten with another tour company. We all want to do more tours with RS!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting the working sheep farm and learning from the Shepherd, Neil. Cuddling puppies and feeding the lambs was definitely a feel good moment!"

Maggie

Tour: 06/18/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall, this tour exceeded my expectations and was definitely worth the wait and the discomfort of air travel this summer. Nigel,our guide, was exceptional in his knowledge, humor and patience. The group was friendly and interesting to a person. The bus experience was flawless -- Tam was the best driver ever. Our hotels and meals were delightful. This was such a great way to explore Scotland for the first time. The itinerary was great -- we were able to see so much!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think my favorite wow moment was our stay at the Dunkeld House Hotel. That was the most beautiful place on earth I think. My next favorite moment was the view from my hotel in Edinburgh. That will be etched in my brain forever."

Albert

Tour: 06/18/22

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

Nigel was knowledgeable and interesting. The sites visited were great although there was not enough time allowed for Stirling Castle. I take off some points for multiple accommodation issues

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I liked the sheep dogs and harry coos, not so enamoured with the deer. Felt the biggest wow was the lodge at Dunkeld and the whole experience if the forest and river including the walk to the falls."

Mary Val

Tour: 06/18/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Loved it, we knew what to expect from a RST and got it!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Watching the Shepard manage his flock with his dogs"

Melisa

Tour: 06/11/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Well organized. Great hotels. Guide was outstanding.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Loved the sheepdog demonstration. Glencoe took my breath away"

Robin

Tour: 06/11/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was amazing! Julia, our tour guide, was a wealth of information, talented and has raised the bar so high for tour guides, I’m not sure any other guides will meet my expectations on future tours. The hotels were much nicer then what I had been lead to believe were typical on these tours. They were very nice, comfortable and were located in central locations and lovely settings. The local tour guides were all excellent and very interesting. The places we visited were gorgeous!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had several ‘wow’ moments but my favorite was watching Neil, our local shepherd, instruct his border collies to herd his sheep and also hear him discuss his process on training the dogs and appreciating his passion and love of his job. A close second would be Julia singing a Gaelic song, acapella, in a small chapel on the Isle of Iona. The acoustics were spot on, truly a magical moment."

Barbara

Tour: 06/11/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We loved our tour guide, Julia?? Her passion for Scotland came through every day with so much history, folklore, and knowledge about so many aspects of this beautiful country. Neal and his sheep herding dogs was phenomenal. The seafood can’t be beat; best mussels ever. And the fish and chips! I tasted so many various whiskies-those from Speyside. The people were always willing to engage in friendly chats. The pubs and traditional music was a definite highlight.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting the puffins on the most gorgeous hillside overlooking the water."

Jean

Tour: 06/11/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Julia is a fabulous guide! Her passion for Scotland and it’s history greatly enhanced our experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many, Culladen, Glencoe, the Crannogs, Neil the shepherd and his dogs, could go on and on. However listening to Julia sing in the old church on Iona was very memorable."

Jorge

Tour: 06/11/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Best trip ever!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The amazing knowlwdge of our guide Julia. A masters class on Scotish history and overall trivia."

Walter

Tour: 06/11/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Scotland was fantastic, two days of drenching rain in Glasgow, but good weather the rest of the trip. The people were friendly, helpful and even liked our accents. Scotland is much like Western Washington and even have the same flowers and weeds. Our guide, Julia, was the best guide we have experienced in six Rick Steve's tours, and that puts her above some high quality guides from Spain and Italy. Our group was small and made smaller due to Covid, but was quite compatible.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were three wow moments. One was Julia singing in Gaèlidh in the Capilla de San Odrano Abad. Two was Julia playing her fiddle in a decaying barracks. Three was the sheepdogs working the sheep as instructed by the sheepherder using short word commands and whistles."

Gary

Tour: 06/11/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great. Fascinating, fun, beautiful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Music at MacGregor and Gellions bars in Inverness. Fantastic!"

Jamie

Tour: 06/11/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The entire trip was wonderful. Julia, our guide, was flexible, knowledgeable and just a lot of fun while the tour had a wonderful array of sights and experiences. I didn't have to think about any of the logistics but was just able to totally enjoy the experience!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's hard to pin down just one moment when there were so many!! That first glimpse of the Abbey on the Isle of Iona, the interesting and complex history that surrounded the battle of Culloden, the adorable sheepdogs, the moody skies and gorgeous highlands.....Scotland is just an amazing country with many different angles and this tour showed that beautifully."

Alison

Tour: 06/04/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a fantastic time. This was our first tour and it will not be our last. Nigel was an excellent guide, he answered all our questions and pointed us in the right direction for food and goodies to bring home. The bus rides were informative and fun. We had the best group. We learned how to do the French press coffee, get cash from and ATM, get tickets and ride the tram and the train, and how to get the bus driver to stop at your stop even if the bus wasn't suppose to stop there.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Loved Glasgow! the murals and the cloister in the University. Loved the sheep dog demo, the red deer and the hairy coos. The fish and chips in Oban were amazing! Oban and Iona were amazing and the sunsets were beautiful."

Bruno

Tour: 06/04/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Tour guide was great -- knowledgeable and personable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Culloden and Edinburgh Castle"

Aaron

Tour: 06/04/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall, we loved the tour. Nigel, our guide, was knowledgeable and fun, and I feel like we got to see and do nearly everything we could want in Scotland. The small group dynamic was great, and I definitely look forward to travelling with Rick Steves tours again.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For sheer "wow" factor, it's hard to beat the amazing view from Edinburgh Castle over the city. The combination of hundreds of years of history and the thriving city is awe-inspiring, and the perfect weather didn't hurt either."

Marsha

Tour: 05/28/22

Overall rating: rating 2 of 5

This was our first Rick Steves tour and overall I was disappointed, especially after comparing it to European tours I have been on, with other companies. In general there were too many tour members, accommodations were uneven, I understand the Covid difficulties, but being stuck at the back of the bus the entire time was unacceptable. The value for the money was just not there!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Staying at Dunkeld House Hotel!"

Kathleen

Tour: 05/28/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Generally positive. Good overview of the highlands.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Lunch as a group at the Oban Seafood Hut in Oban on a beautiful warm and sunny day."

Thomas

Tour: 05/28/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

While I was disappointed by the size of the tour group as I somehow thought there was a cap at a lesser number (we had 28 + guide and driver = 30 vs my previous tour of <20), the tour itself was well led by Robert, a veritable encyclopedia of information, and very capably driven by Ian. Fellow participants were friendly and destinations were varied and comprehensive. There were occasionally visits to locations that held less interest for me there were many more that bordered on spectacular.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Fionnphort Ferry Terminal waiting for the brief ferry ride to Isle of Iona and the abbey. The coastline is absolutely stunning. It rivaled anything I have yet seen and begged to be kayaked. Really gorgeous and, while I knew Scotland had dramatic coastlines, I was stunned that it boasted something lifted from the Caribbean."

Kathleen

Tour: 05/28/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was my first trip to Europe and a first Rick Steves tour. My assister has done many of Rick Steve's tours and loved them. So off I went with my sister to Scotland

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Coming into Oban, it is just a beautiful coastal town."

Bradford

Tour: 05/28/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a wonderful trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Edinburgh Castle"

Peter

Tour: 05/28/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Most of the sites visited and places stayed were wonderful. Some were not.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Iona"

Madeline

Tour: 05/28/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A very congenial group, a very knowledgeable tour leader, beautiful destinations and thoughtful experiences , combined to make a return to European travel a delightful experience. Of course we were also delighted to learn that Scotland is the land of blue skies and sunshine (only one day of rain the whole time.)

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There is never just one. Sunshine and oysters on the dock in Oban; the mesmerizing light in the highlands (that can’t be caught in a photo); watching the work at the cooperage (a real surprise); the sheepdog demonstration; the extraordinary city of Edinburg, that to my eye rivals Prague or Vienna. All were special moments."

Peter

Tour: 05/25/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall a very good tour despite the Covid threat. Julia was an exceptional tour guide, providing help and information even before we knew we needed it.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"1. When Julia sang a hauntingly beautiful song in the little chapel on Iona! 2. Hearing "trad" music in the Ben Nevis pub in Glasgow. 3. Hearing the Scottish accent of the guide at the cooperage."

Scott

Tour: 05/25/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was an ancestral heritage tour for me. I was floored.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The shepherd shearing his flock. Also, the knowledge of our guide."

Carolyn

Tour: 05/25/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We were pleasantly surprised at every turn on this, our first, Rick Steve's tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many! I have to say the sheep dog demo was probably our favorite group outing."

Jann

Tour: 05/25/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved the variety of modern and ancient, geology and anthropology, linguistics, music, etc.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Edinburgh Castle"

Karen

Tour: 05/25/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The overall tour experience was good, especially our guide. Unfortunately my daughter tested positive for Covid while we were in a very small town, Dunkheld, Scotland. It was in the middle of nowhere with one Dr. Office and one Chemist (drugstore). They were both closed for three days because of the Queens Jubilee celebration.This delayed our leaving Scotland for home by 3 extra days. We were not sick. My daughter was coughing but not alot.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite WoW moment was with the Shepherd showing us how his dogs work in shepharding the sheep."

David

Tour: 05/21/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Scotland is a great place and this tour did a great job of capturing most of the highlights.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our guide, James, singing songs in Gaelic was fun."

Cynthia

Tour: 05/18/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Our tour was cut short by my husband testing positive for Covid. We did greatly enjoy the short time we had on the tour, and our guide, Nigel was excellent. His knowledge of history, culture, and natural history coupled with his innate sense of curiosity and wonder of all things added much to our experience, as my husband and I also share that same sense of wonder and curiosity.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Iona was wild and beautiful with a deep sense of peace. The church and ruins are beautiful, and set against the cold, grey day were very moving. It was well worth the long travel to be there, and the drive on Mull was quite interesting and scenic, with fog shrouded lochs and sheep in green fields. The "hairy coos" were close to the road for a good view from the bus, and the kids skipping in the fields were just joyful to watch."

Daniel

Tour: 05/14/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I very much enjoyed my Scotland tour. The scenery was always beautiful. The one concern I had was the inability of all my fellow tour members to take the one thing which prevented me for traveling the last 2+ years, COVID, seriously. The diversity of the group which was from many areas of the US led to different believes concerning the pandemic. I never felt 100% safe because almost half of the tour members did not, in my opinion, respect the safety of the other half of us in this tegard.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"#1. Unfortunately, the inability of some of my fellow tour members respecting the safety of the rest of us. #2 The scenery was always amazing."

Robyn

Tour: 04/30/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful guide Helen and a super nice group of fellow travelers,fun bus driver too

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The City if Edinburgh is fantastic, scenery, sites, good.we also Really Really loved the Sheepdog visit with Neil"

Donna

Tour: 04/30/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything was fantastic! our guide Helen, the places we went, our accommodations,and fellow travelers.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to choose but the sheep dog demonstration, visit to the cooperage, standing on the bridge on the 18th fairway at St. Andrews and the beautiful scenery of Scotland"

Joan

Tour: 04/30/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Best of Scotland tour overdelivered. We visited more places, did more activities and enjoyed many more experiences than were listed on the itinerary.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Overall the natural beauty followed by exposure to history and tradition. This is really a cultural tour. Specific highlights: Boat ride on Loch Ness, Stirling Castle, shepherd & dog demonstration, and Ben Nevis gondola ride."

Lincoln

Somersworth, NH

Tour: 10/09/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Great!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Thoroughly enjoyed the Bagpiper, Crannog and Sheep Dog experiences. Every turn of the corner was a postcard image, beautiful."

Jerome

Perrysburg, OH

Tour: 10/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great diversity of experiences on the tour, with excellent tour guides, great locations to stay, and fun travelers to enjoy the trip with. It was my first Rick Steves' tour, but certainly will not be my last.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved the beauty of the country, the charm of each of the stops, and the great diversity of experiences. It was fun to go to the sheep farm and experience the dogs bringing in the sheep, and also go to a distillery and learn how Scottish Whisky is produced. I feel like I got a great "flavor" of Scotland, and had the ability to connect with some locals, which was very informative and interesting ... and enjoyable! I also loved the bed and breakfast in Oban!"

Elizabeth

Overland Park, KS

Tour: 10/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Scotland is a beautiful country and the Scots were very friendly and welcoming. I couldn't have wished for a better trip. I was traveling alone but my fellow travelers were friendly and inclusive. My rooms were comfortable and clean. The inn at Dunkeld was particularly charming and the guest house in Oban was lovely. The owner was delightful to talk to. The included meals were varied and delicious. The final dinner at Harvey Nichols was especially good.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is very hard to pick just one. There was one breathtaking view after another! Our guide in Edinburgh was fabulous. Sheila is very knowledgeable and exceptionally witty. I learned so much about the city and see details I would never have found on my own. Our visit too Iona was special...so much history in one very small, beautiful place."

Kenneth

Sturgeon Bay, WI

Tour: 10/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Well organized, diverse, and Nigel was outstanding. Lots of different experiences. Also a very good value. Plenty of room to stretch out on the bus.

Michael

Baltimore, MD

Tour: 10/09/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Overall the tour was great. Our group was very friendly and we enjoyed being a happy band of travelers with them. The itinerary (see comments at the end of the survey) for the most part was interesting and provided a good understanding of the history and culture of Scotland. We enjoyed meeting Scottish folks and found them to be very friendly and willing to help or just talk about "stuff". Nigel was flawless in his leadership and everything went smoothly. Loved the Whisper Sets - so much easier!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The visit to Loch Ness was spectacular. The weather was absolutely perfect and the Loch was beautiful. Urquhart castle was the best of the ruined castles and exploring it's many twists, turns and towers was one of my highlight moments."

Nicole

Inver Grove Heights, MN

Tour: 10/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour has a great balance of group time and free time. I was worried about all the time on the bus, but we made several stops for breaks (and gift shops) and the landscape was beautiful. Who knew there were so many waterfalls in Scotland? Our guide Nigel was fantastic and Grant, our driver, was excellent. It was a great way to see a lot of Scotland and learn the history and culture. The weather was perfect.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Dare I say the Haggis was my WOW moment? The food overall was quite delicious and really fun to try."

Nancy

Black Mountain, NC

Tour: 10/09/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This is my 1st RS tour and I enjoyed it a lot. Everything went smoothly, the group was nice and locations beautiful. Glad there were other single and women travelers. The bus trip was broken up and Grant was a great driver. The trip reminded me a bit of a cruise in that time to experience a location was limited to a shorter period than I would like before we moved on.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is hard to pick a favorite - I made a new friend from Glasgow while in Inverness,found the grave marker for the clan of my family heritage at Culloden, was surprised to find that Dunkeld was the sister/twin city for Asheville, NC where I live. I enjoyed the sheepdog demo and puppies and seeing hairy coos. Taking the chair lift at Glencoe highlands was fun.I enjoyed the bagpipe demo a great deal more than expected and loved Gillie. Was so happy hiking at the Heritage and seeing the waterfall."

Albert

Arvada, CO

Tour: 10/09/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Would recommend this tour to friends. Love the 'ruggedness' of Scotland. Our 2nd visit but did not repeat anything. Nigel was a great guide and our group was awesome too. Made a huge difference relative to some other tours.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Stepping off the plane in Edinburgh."

Mary

Sturgeon Bay, WI

Tour: 10/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our guide was excellent, the sites were fantastic, great side trips, the historical information excellent. We had great weather also!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Not one "wow", it was the overall tour!"

Frank

Peterborough, NH

Tour: 10/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall wonderful tour covering both city and countryside. Scottish Highlands positively beautiful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Has to be the visit to the sheep farm...still in awe of the border collies used to round up the sheep. Neal, the farm owner, was incredible with his ability to train and dispatch the dogs to herd the flock...all with unique whistles."

Patricia

San Francisco, CA

Tour: 10/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was wonderful! Every day was full of new experiences and amazing sights. The hotels were all very comfortable, clean, and well-located. Our guide James was very knowledgeable and shared many interesting stories, historic information, and personal insight. He and tour apprentice Diane were excellent. They arranged several amazing surprises for us which included a visit to a cattle auction and a mountain-top whisky toast at Kenmore. Also, we had an especially wonderful group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were 3 major wow moments for me. Of course, first, the sheep dog demonstration was amazing (even with the intermittent rain drops); second, visiting the Crannog was fascinating; and third, visiting the cattle auction where I took a million photos of hairy coos."

Virginia

Sacramento, CA

Tour: 10/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My tour far exceeded my expectations, which were high to begin with! From the orientation to the last day, the tour was very well handled, even when unforeseen circumstances occurred. Since coming home, I have not stopped thinking about what I learned, the beautiful sites, my wonderful tour companions, the fun, and the thoughtful and expert guidance that James provided. Not to mention the added bonus of having Diane along as our Tour Apprentice. She was so helpful and a true delight.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Wow moments were everywhere in Scotland! It is impossible for me to pick just one. From arriving in Edinburgh with it's beautiful grand castles and cathedrals, to getting up close and personal with the "Heddy Coos", to the awe inspiring island of Ione, to Stirling Castle. . . But with all that, the most beautiful and amazing view of the lands as we traveled provided WOW moments every day,"

Bruce

New Glasgow, NS

Tour: 10/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

As usual a very insightful and fun filled "journey". Just not a "tour". A "experience"

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Traveling up the ski lift chairs in Glencoe, to the top of the mountain and having a toast with some whisky. Incredible views."

Jacklyn

Mystic, CT

Tour: 10/02/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was our first structured tour and having Charlie and the speciality guides was a wonderful asset.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"1) National Museum of Scotland 2)Seeing the country side particularly the ride through Glencoe Valley"

Susan

Southborough, MA

Tour: 10/02/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent tour of the highlights of Scotland . I saw so much more and learned so much from our guides. The culture, politics, food and drink of the area came alive along with the history! There was a great mixture of tour time with the group and independent time to explore on my own. Our group of travelers was fantastic; everyone was on time and friendly and respectful. The activities were wonderful and meals together were great. Charlie our leader was top notch.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing Glencoe after a few days of rain when the water falls were overflowing and the mountains emerging from the fog! It was magical seeing Gllencoe's beauty in the mist. A close second wow was seeing Neil the shepherd and his dogs herding sheep and getting to hold a border collie puppy. And of course seeing all the castles was amazing- Edinburgh, St. Andrews, Urquhart, Stirling and Brodie."

Lew

Gainesville, FL

Tour: 10/02/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Charlie,our tour guide, was fantastic. Always available and made sure that everything went well. Very warm and enthusiastic. Whatever you are paying her, you are getting your monies worth.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting a wealthy mans home from the 1600's gave me real insite to how people lived then and how difficult life was. Visiting the sheep farm and watching the sheep herder show off his dogs by running them thru their paces was awesome. I enjoyed listening to his political views especially about Brexit."

Richard

Denver, CO

Tour: 10/02/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very well organized and informative. Most enjoyable except for some difficult showers.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the Scottish Highlands and learning some of the history."

Mary

Pittsfield, MA

Tour: 10/02/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

An excellent overview of Scotland. Our guide Charlie was energetic, positive, and made sure we all had a good experience. The balance of organized touring vs. free time was good. The tour left me wanting to go back to spend more time in my favorite places.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Difficult to choose, as usual with Rick Steves tours, but I especially liked the crannog visit, the sheep dog demonstration and the trip to Mull and Iona. I might never not have gotten to these if traveling on my own."

Patricia

Cumming, GA

Tour: 10/02/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

it was a great way to learn about Scotland and its people. However, it was too short.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite wow moment was the guided tour of Old Edininburg where we saw the window overlooking the cemetery and school where JK Rowling was inspired to write Harry Potter. Also, Victoria Street which served as Diagon Alley."

Lisa

Medford, MA

Tour: 09/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my 4th RS tour and I literally cannot fathom using any other tour company. I love the balance of tour group time and independent time. I always leave tired, but it's the best kind of tired, having gained new friends, knowledge about history and culture of a place I've only read about--I'm always in awe when I travel and it's a surreal experience for me to experience things and see places I've read about/seen pictures of. Rick Steves Tours knocked it out of the park again!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite moment was the sheep dog demonstration at Leault Farm w/ the shepherd, Neil. It was utterly amazing to see those dogs (who each have their own command whistles/calls) work. And even the younger pups were ready to work! Amazing to see. And I got to shear a sheep! I love animals and have always been intrigued w/ farm life, so I just loved this. We also got to see and pet 37 day old puppies and future herders!"

Sandra

Kennett Square, PA

Tour: 09/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

delightful, interesting, beautiful,fun!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"castle sights"

Nancy

Newtown Square, PA

Tour: 09/30/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Well organized, wonderful guide, friendly and kind coach driver(s), wonderful meals, comfortable accommodations, diverse and friendly group of fellow travelers.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is a tie between the whistling sheep dog demonstration and a most lovely scone."

Pam

Lincoln, NE

Tour: 09/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Simply amazing. The weather was better than expected and Nigel was an excellent guide. Grant was very interesting to talk with and a wonderful bus driver. I am not very adventuresome so it was great to have the mix of guided and unguided time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think I would have to say the visit with Neil. I had a border collie that was like a hired hand when I was first married but to see these dogs work the sheep was simply amazing. The whistles were so soft and negligibly different and yet the dogs did just as expected."

Toni

Poway, CA

Tour: 09/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a trip for our 45th anniversary and we couldn't have been happier with our decision to go with the Rick Steves 10 Days of Scotland tour. It was our first tour with Rick Steves and every part of it came off without a hitch! We felt we really gained an understanding of the Scottish culture, history and enjoyed the absolutely stunning scenery. Our group was a wonderful group to travel with, everyone was so polite and interesting. We highly recommend this tour to anyone.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting the Crannogs and the sheep dog herding demonstration were my favorite....both so authentic. Wonderful informative experiences. But the most exciting was learning I was related by name to a castle we toured!"

Holland

Frisco, TX

Tour: 09/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My tour experience was amazing! Nigel the guide was superb! We had so many experiences that do it yourself planners would either not have known about, or didn't have access to.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The landscape and scenery was my wow moment! Who would have thought there would be so many waterfalls in Scotland!"

Steve

Tigard, OR

Tour: 09/30/19

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

We previously did one of your Ireland tours. The one thing that I missed in Scotland was visiting the small villages with time to interact with the locals. We had more free time in places where the locals were playing music or we could just stroll the town for shopping and eating. For instance, the hotel in Kenmore is isolated and there isn't a real village within walking distance as far as I know. Other places we visited didn't allow us enough time to explore.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It was probably the Royal Mile guided tour. The guide was entertaining and witty. It would have been nice to see one of the old coal mining towns to see how people lived in the 19th and 20th century. Those times are the reasons that many of us have ancestors from Scotland."

Mary

Portland, OR

Tour: 09/25/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We thoroughly enjoyed our Scotland tour. The stops were beautiful with interesting sites to see. The Scottish people were kind, generous and extremely friendly. But most of all we were particularly happy with our guide, James. His unique knowledge and understanding of the Scottish history and its people was outstanding. He was kind, funny, but most important extremely knowledgable and had the ability to impart facts of history, religion, culture and Scottish lore in an interesting manner

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The scenery of the highlands."

Corey

Calgary, AB

Tour: 09/25/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We have taken 12 Rick Steves Tours in the past and the Scotland Tour was by far one of our greatest!!! We couldn't of asked for a better guide than James. His expertise and love for his country helped to excide our expectations. Scotland was an amazing country and we loved it all!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Edinburgh!!!"

Rick

Spartanburg, SC

Tour: 09/25/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steve's tour, but will not be the last. We received a lot more knowledge on the trip and got to see more things than if we would have done the trip by ourselves (and took twice the amount of time).

Annette

Tigard, OR

Tour: 09/25/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent tour that exposed us to the Scottish landscape, people and history in the way that most tourists would not experience on their own or in a published tour guide book.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The views of Loch Ness from the Urquhart Castle were absolutely breathtaking."

Joseph

Plainfield, CT

Tour: 09/25/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed visiting Scotland. It is a beautiful country full of surprises. I was a bit disappointed when I saw that there were 28 people on this tour. One of the reasons I chose Rick Steves Tours is the lower group numbers of about 24.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many "wow" moments, but, I would have to say that Glencoe was the "wowest!" Just so beautiful...."

Ralph

Calgary, AB

Tour: 09/25/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I have been on a number of Rick Steeves' tours and James, our guide made the trip for me. He is the best guide that I have encountered on Rick Steeves' tours and is one of the best on other tours that I have down in the past. His professionalism, candor and wit made the tour an excellent experience. He made Scotland!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Actually, I don't have a "wow" moment as the whole tour was a wow moment for me."

Paul

Fort Worth, TX

Tour: 09/25/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

James and the other guides were wonderful. They provided great insight, and kept things running smoothly.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sheep dog demonstration. How can anything else compete against puppies? Castles were pretty. Hotel near Dunkeld was very pretty."

Helen

Staten Island, NY

Tour: 09/23/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Great experience. We saw a lot of Scotland in 10 days. Great planning to pack in all of that. We were very busy and we all formed a very cohesive bond with each other.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Last dinner--fabulous restaurant!"

Lorraine

Chestertown, NY

Tour: 09/23/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour provided a very good overview of Scotland. I appreciated that the schedule booked us 2 nights per stop, so it didn't feel like I was constantly packing & unpacking. Our accommodations were comfortable throughout the trip and I enjoyed the goodies we shared back on the bus. Liz was a personable and helpful guide with a lot of good stories and provided entertainment on the bus rides between stops.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Wandering around both Iona and Culloden. Both sites were "haunted" and lent a sense of both history & spirituality."

Patrick

Dover, NH

Tour: 09/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

From beginning to end this tour was the best. The tireless efforts of our tour guide Liz made this tour a moment to prize forever.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our tour guide Liz was my favorite "wow" moment for this tour. From our hustory lessons, wonderful gaelic, and modern Scotish music while on the bus, to our wanderings around the beautiful countryside of Scotland, Liz was there for us enriching our experience and helping us experience the rich history of Scotland."

Raymond

North Chesterfield, VA

Tour: 09/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I really didn't know much about Scotland and now I know a lot! I enjoyed the history and learning about modern Scotland, the people and their culture. The scenery was breathtaking and I also enjoyed the people on the tour. We had some fun times!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The sheep dog experience."

Richard

San Francisco, CA

Tour: 09/23/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Very well organized and scheduled. Enjoyed the sites, getting the history and culture explained to me. Also loved feeling like I could immerse myself in Scotland.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were two: 1. Arriving at Urquhart Castle by boat on Loch Ness 2. Final Dinner at Four at Harvey Nichols Edinburgh and catching sunset views of the entire Edinbugh skyline."

Penny

Hoover, AL

Tour: 09/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was well organized and proper balance was achieved between walking tours, rest periods and bus travel. We had great fun with a group of interesting people from all over the US. We learned a lot about the people and places of the past by walking in their footsteps and connecting with their stories.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My wow moment was our visit to the Isle of Iona. I could hardly believe I was standing in that place where so much of civilization itself was preserved."

Eric

San Francisco, CA

Tour: 09/23/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour experience was quite good. We were very lucky with weather, for the most part, which helped a lot.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Having a chance to learn to play the bagpipes."

Deborrah

North Chesterfield, VA

Tour: 09/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

First of all, I just loved Scotland. Being able to experience the country and have everything so organized and easy was great. And secondly, our tour guide, was just absolutely fabulous. She imparted so much history and information and was so upbeat and fun. I had a wonderful first experience with Rick Steve's Tours!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The sheep farm and herding."

Abigail

Mentor, OH

Tour: 09/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was phenomenal.I can't get over the sheer number of things we got to experience in 10 days, and I returned from the trip feeling invigorated rather than exhausted. I'm not sure how that happened, but I chalk it up to the amazing skills, knowledge and support of Liz. This trip was the perfect blend of gorgeous sites and amazing experiences. Liz was a wealth of knowledge on history but also pop culture, music, and contemporary politics which really helped me experience Scotland fully.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My wow moment came on an unexpected day. Traveling from Edinburgh to Kenmore, Liz began to incorporate music into our travels. Music is such a strong memory trigger for me and to hear The Proclaimers, KT Tunstall, and Paolo Nutini who I love as well as new musicians like Amy MacDonald, Dougie Maclean, Schiehallion was really powerful for me. Then to arrive in Kenmore and stand on the shore of Loch Tay in the silence and the mist-It was so peaceful and moving--the music, travel, scenery. Perfect"

Mary

Vincennes, IN

Tour: 09/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I enjoyed every minute of it. Scotland is so varied, and I learned a great deal of history throughout the trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing Ossian's Cave at the falls in The Hermitage. And those huge trees! And the rushing river! Marvelous."

Laurel

Saukville, WI

Tour: 09/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Beat way to experience Scotland. The trip was a good sampling of the land and the culture.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The sunset in Oban was remarkable and I enjoyed the time in Iona. The isle of Mull was a quick drive thru but I would love to go back to investigate more."

Lorna

Issaquah, WA

Tour: 09/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

this was our second RS tour, and our expectations were met. it was interesting, educational, full of new experiences and most of all fun.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"each day had new things that were great, picking one is not so easy."

Karen

Jacksonville, FL

Tour: 09/21/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Enjoyable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Iona, Oban, Glencoe"

Anna

White Salmon, WA

Tour: 09/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I found Scotland to be full of surprises. And, Helen helped us to see the extensive beauty of the place she calls home. Good group of people. The tour was just busy enough - though, as usual, I want a little more time for independent touring. You can't have it all!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Lots of Wow moments: Ghillie the piper was amazing, as a musician, a speaker, and as a lovely human being with lots of humor. The highlands were unexpectedly rugged and beautiful. Iona was more than mystical - we wanted to stay and just breathe it in. The gardens (Culross and Cawdor Castle) were exceptional places to wander and explore. And, the Crannog center was an educational treat."

Lisa

Auburn, CA

Tour: 09/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was very well-organized and every day was a delight. The pace was perfect in terms of the number of activities each day. Scotland is such a beautiful country; I was pleasantly surprised by the diversity of the topography and the towns and villages we visited. Our guide, Helen, was delightful and very knowledgeable about each site we visited as well as the country's history. It was nice to have a few hours of free time each day to explore.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I can't pick out one thing because we did so many wonderful, different things. The crannogs, talks about the peoples' way of life and their ingenuity during that time (B.C.) was fascinating; the town Oban on the coast was beautiful; the sheepdog demonstration (and puppies to hold) was a delight (as well as having the opportunity sheer a sheep)! The castles were astounding, the stop at Culloden and trip to Iona very touching ...the delightful inns, the history..."

Nancy

Oxford, MI

Tour: 09/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tours (6 counting this one) attract very enjoyable companions. We have made several long term friendships. The learn, be active, and no grumps philosophy works, for me.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Since I'm a gardener, amazed to find many of the same perennials in Scotland that we have in Michigan, except they're so much bigger in Scotland. Garden in Culross circa 1700 was fascinating that they're recreating it. Cawdor castle garden was spectacular."

Dolph

Brooks, GA

Tour: 09/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour gave me a terrific overview of Scotland. Our guide Helen was as good as a guide could be. Her knowledge of all things Scottish from food to music to history made the trip. It was a very friendly group in which to travel including our bus driver. Overall a great vacation.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Two moments stand out for me. The sheepdogs and their Shepard and the vistas of Glencoe."

Reuben

Oxford, MI

Tour: 09/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my 6th tour. I've found that most of the people that sign up have the same positive reaction to the learn something, be active, and no grumps philosophy. The influence of Scotland on the world was well presented. Urquart castle was a fascinating trip to that era.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The crannog exhibit gave me a chance to see, touch, and actually USE some prehistoric items. I did a bit of college archaeology and was stunned at the level of data collection."

Carol

Mahwah, NJ

Tour: 09/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Not surprisingly, the people on the tour were comparable and friendly. Our guide Helen was superb; she had such a deep knowledge of the history and culture. The tour itself covered so many sites, some special ones off the beaten track like the crannog visit. I felt it was just the right combination of bus rides and walking, group time and time on our own. The country is beautiful, very clean, and the food was terrific (haggis- well that's a personal choice!)

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many... one moment was the realization that the ancient people were not primitive at all, but were very highly skilled. Also, shepherding with Neil- seeing a14 week old border collie successfully manage the herd was amazing!"

Joey

Marble Falls, TX

Tour: 09/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Informative , educational , interactive. Exceeded any expectations that I brought.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My telling the group at introduction that our surname was Campbell & having Helen saying there would be a lot to talk about on that topic. She followed through throughout the tour."

Peggy

Brooks, GA

Tour: 09/21/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The trip was great! Our guide, Helen, couldn't have been nicer, funnier, full of fun and laughter, and quite knowledgeable. There are always spots you'd like a little more time, and others less but that's all a matter of personal preference.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Didn't really have one this time."

Kristen

Concord, CA

Tour: 09/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our 6th tour. The group and guide were outstanding. I was concerned about 28 people, with people having to double up on the bus, but everyone was open and welcoming. The experiences were so varied, with lots of things we would never have found on our own, like the Crannog in Kenmore. Our guide was illuminating at the right times so we got the full appreciation. She is a Scot who loves her country and sharing it... as well as sharing the other folks we met like Gilly the bagpiper.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Culloden. I was overwhelmed with emotion, unexpectedly and to the point of tears. I had read up on it, and understood at a scholarly distance... but the video and the place blew me away. Glencoe was the next ultimate, emotionally. The Crannog experience was wonderful and unusual. It created a foundation for lots of later learning. Loved it."

Mary

Shady Cove, OR

Tour: 09/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved, loved, loved Scotland. Just stop using the last morning as a "day".

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hike in the Hermitage forest. The sheep farm sheep dog demonstration."

Gretchen

Alliance, OH

Tour: 09/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great tour, great people!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Loved the whole tour, hard to pick a wow moment. Loved seeing the sheep herding and of couse the hairey coos! I think learning about the Crannogs was interesting, I had never heard of them before."

Michael

Oak Harbor, WA

Tour: 09/18/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great tour guide and driver. Anne seemed to go out of her way to keep us informed. Her enthusiasm was contagious. The tour seemed to offer a very good overview of what Scotland has to offer. A good bit of history was well presented and the stops informative and entertaining, especially the Dewar's distillery and St. Andrews but I do have a bias toward Scotch and golf. Food was excellent. The hotel in Edinburgh was nice but would have been better with a working elevator.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our guide and her efforts to make us feel at home in Scotland."

Helen

Oak Harbor, WA

Tour: 09/18/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great!!! Thanks to Anne whose main concern was that we had a great "Scottish experience". And we did.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For me it was the visit to the border collie training sheep farm. And- the Piper!!!!!"

Timothy

Cupertino, CA

Tour: 09/18/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour guide Anne is an outstanding host. She is a proud citizen of Scotland and having grown up there., she was able to give us much local insight as well as long-running history. Transportation Nice, big bus. Our driver, Keith, was skilled, our Isle of Mull driver shared a lot of good info. The mainland bus had malfunctions two times but we stayed on schedule with replacements thanks to Anne and Keith's efforts. Scotland is a beautiful place with a storied history.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to find just one moment but I do remember being moved by the way the Neil Ross could get his dogs to herd the sheep. The atmospheric conditions on Loch Ness were mystical in the early morning with the still water and layers of low clouds and fog. Good thing I had my camera even if the legendary monster was a no show."

Wallace

Portland, OR

Tour: 09/18/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall, the trip was fascinating. It gave me a clearer sense of Scotland as an individual place with an individual identity, not just part of the UK.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My absolute favorite was visiting Neil Ross's sheepdog herding demonstration on his farm. Those dogs were absolutely amazing, as was Neil's ability to direct each of ten or so dogs individually, using only whistling. And getting to play with the puppies afterward was icing on the cake."

James

Colorado Springs, CO

Tour: 09/18/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

It was an education with non stop surprises along the way. Our tour guide Anne was excellent. I intend to continue touring with your company because of my experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"These occurred every day. The country side, cities, people, bus and boat transport, and tour sites opened doors to the world."

Ardith

Golden, CO

Tour: 09/18/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I thought the size of the group was good since we had the whispers to hear the guides plus the size allowed for plenty of room on the bus. I enjoyed the variety of activities from castles to dogs to bagpipes to boat rides. All the guides were enthusiastic as well as knowledgeable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My step brother ia a Brodie so seeing the Brodie Castle was the highlight of the tour. Anne was so helpful at arranging the details"

Karen

Colorado Springs, CO

Tour: 09/18/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The actual tour was outstanding. Ann, our tour guide, was very, very knowledgeable about Scotland, the culture, the sights, and the history. She has a pleasant and outgoing personality. Ann was very responsive to everyone's well being, and really made the trip very meaningful. Ann is a very caring person. Keith, the bus driver, was awesome. He is obviously an experienced, careful, and safe driver. The buses were problematic, and we had to switch to another bus twice.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Isle of Iona trip - Days 7 & 8 - were wow days. The history on the island is amazing. The mixture of traveling via bus and ferry was so interesting, especially driving when we drove on a one lane road to Iona. We were able to see the countryside, and we also were able to see a small herd of Harry Coo cattle. So much fun!"

Kathleen

Fairfield, CA

Tour: 09/18/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first "tour" of any kind (I'm 80 ). We did some "on our own" exploring 6 days before and 5 days after. Everything about the itinerary was wonderful. I loved the variety of sites we visited, the food, and mostly the locals we met and interacted with. This was much more walking than I expected (though warned) so was tired at the end of each day. Especially challenging was the time in Edinburgh at the beginning 2 days. But, everyone was patient with us who needed to catch up.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The sheep dog demonstration and the Kenmore stops were my favorites."

Carol

Hilton Head Island, SC

Tour: 09/18/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent itinerary Beautiful country Outstanding tour director and other presenters Good food Wonderful travel companions Good pace Appreciate ease of travel, no waiting in line Great sense of humor Strong presentations of history, culture, values

Favorite "WOW" moment

"tour of Edinburgh our city guide was topknotch"

James

Hilton Head Island, SC

Tour: 09/18/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

For my iterests this was a very well constructed tour. Great balance of urban and rural events and experiences. I came away feeling I got an accurate look at Scottish people, culture and geography. Meals were much better than on previous tours to Bulgaria and the Dalmatian Coast. Good selection of 3 star hotels and B and B,s with more than adequate breakfasts. Broken elevator in Brooks Hotel a minor inconvenience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sheep dog demonstration and Gilly's after dinner bag pipe presentation and stories."

Mary

Edmonds, WA

Tour: 09/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful tour. We were blessed with exceptional weather, which made Scotland shine at its very best. So much history, so many wonderful sights. Well organized and we felt taken care of, yet empowered to do outings on our own. Many days we had over 20,000 steps, so you do need to be prepared for that. Busy days!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The isle of Iona was spectacular. The veil is definitely "thin" there as the saying goes. We loved our time to wander the island on our own. Another hour or two there would have been welcome."

Carol

Longmont, CO

Tour: 09/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first Rick Steve's tour. I've used other companies and really enjoyed this one. There were no hidden surprises. The accommodations were great as was the bus. Our meals together were very fun.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The whole trip was WOW!"

Kristy

Rochester, WA

Tour: 09/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful group of people. Our tour guide was caring, knowledable and so fun. Our driver was excellent. The whole experience was really fantastic!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Having coffee early in the morning in Kenmore listening to the church bell mark the hour. It was my Scotland moment."

Mary

Issaquah, WA

Tour: 09/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Love the level of activities.

Brad

Lynnwood, WA

Tour: 09/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was excellent. Perfect mix of scheduled events with enough free time to explore on our own. The itinerary was well-planned, and included some amazing places we would never have found or scheduled on our own. Highly recommended.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were several such moments. All of them are favorites. The time spent watching the sheepdogs work was amazing. We saw a fantastic local band in Inverness that I still can't believe. We toured a re-created Crannog historical center which was extremely interesting. Iona was also spectacular - plus we had unbelievable weather. Mostly the whole trip was a "WOW"!"

Amber

Wheat Ridge, CO

Tour: 09/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

What a crazy adventure. It was my 1st time to do a tour, and oh my! We had the best tour guide, Charlie! Spoiled us rotten and I fear she has sat the bar high for the other guides in the future. Scotland was amazing; the weather was amazing, and we are so grateful for the experience to see the many sites, have the VIP service, and meet so many amazing friends!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Favorite "wow" moment was probably the day to Iona. I might have consumed too much whiskey with some friends from the group and a gang of locals at the pup the night before, so the day was going to be a bit shaky. Nonetheless, we boarded the ferry that morning and the weather was the worst we had experienced all week. It was cold, windy, and raining and we thought the day would be cut short from the wind. But just like the magic of this group, the sun came out and it was a gorgeous day in Iona!"

Michael

Federal Way, WA

Tour: 09/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I generally don't like tours, and prefer to venture out together with my wife and travel just the two of us "incognito" after a bit of pre-trip planning. This way we get a better feel for the places we see. This was my first Rick Steves tour, and it broke the mold from previous tour experiences in a very positive way. Our time was not monopolized by too many pre-planned activities. The group was small, convivial, and blended well with the locals.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Learning how hard it was to play bagpipes!"

Beverly

Tacoma Wa, WA

Tour: 09/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Had a great time! Wonderful guide. Saw everything I wanted to. Love that it started in Edinburgh so I could visit Holyrood Palace & the HMY Britannia on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Loved the whole trip ??"

Lori

Lynnwood, WA

Tour: 09/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first tour and it was an amazing adventure! Our guide and her assistant were so knowledgeable, kind and fun. We had a wide variety of experiences, learned a lot about the history of the country and really enjoyed getting to know our fellow travelers. One thing to keep in mind, there is a LOT of walking on this tour. I ate a lot of good food, including desserts, during the 10 days and I still came home 5 lbs lighter!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many things to choose from - I can't just name one. Loved the Crannog living museum, Stirling Castle (could spend a whole day there) and meeting so many friendly people in the pubs at night."

Taryn

Coon Rapids, MN

Tour: 09/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Exceptional! I expect no less from Rick Steve's tour, this was #8 for me, and not the last. Martin gave us a plethora of wonderful memories. He is like a walking encyclopedia. I love the history, and all the information/background on what we were seeing. I want a vacation where I am learning. Since I am still working full time, it is very important to use my limited vacation days on something so special and rewarding. Resting is for home, Travel is vacation!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's impossible to choose. I enjoyed everything we did, everything we saw. Scotland is a beautiful county, with kind, friendly people. A local stopped us while we were studying a map, and asked if she could help us. The scenery is spectacular, we saw it all, the ocean, the Highlands, forests, waterfalls, valley's and glens, Edinburgh, small towns. We saw Hairy cows, sheep dogs, bagpipes, crannogs, castles, cathedrals, ruins, but no Nessy."

Geraldine

Bend, OR

Tour: 09/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a great tour. Lots of laughter. So many interesting places to see and learn about. This tour ranks as one of our favorites.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the Scottish countryside and learning how difficult playing the bagpipes are."

Nancy

Bakersfield, CA

Tour: 09/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Beautiful country, nice mix of locations to visit, historical perspective of Scotland was well-covered and, for me, very thorough, friendly people at hotels and restaurants, fun, professional bus driver,

Favorite "WOW" moment

"How about moments...I loved Inverness, but I have to say our views of the bay in Oban took our breath away. The day before our tour began I spent the day at the National Museum of Scotland...amazing! The sheep dogs and shepherd were a unique experience. Loved the Glenmor valley, drives through the countryside with dialogue about terrain."

Lea

Bend, OR

Tour: 09/14/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I thoroughly enjoyed the tour of Scotland. Martin, and bus driver David, were a great team and worked well with our group. Martin was very helpful with questions of any sort, patient, and put the concerns of the group first. All travelers were friendly and on time.It was a great experience to see Edinburgh plus the towns and villages of Scotland. The weather was on our side many days and we experienced the beauty of Glencoe, Loch Ness, Oban and Iona in the sunshine!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved the sunsets in Oban, Neil Ross and the border collies, and the evening of music in the crannog. The ending of the video at Urquhart Castle definitely caused chills."

Rebecca

Bremerton, WA

Tour: 09/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steve's tour, and we were very impressed! A great value for the money, and we ended up doing many things that we never would have attempted "on our own". We are recommending your company to everyone we talk to!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The evening at the crannog, with the storyteller and music, was absolutely magical! It will be a lifetime treasured memory for me!"

Sandra

Oakdale, MN

Tour: 09/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I have not traveled overseas for almost 50 years. This was a very memorable trip for me. Our guide, Martin was wonderful. He gave us history and background on things we were going to see or do. I loved Brian's tour of Edinburgh. A lot of info to take it, but all of it very interesting. The bus driver on the Isle of Mull was fun too. Had a great time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Loved the Crannog. We walked over at night and sat by the fire, listened to music and a story teller. Martin even picked up the guitar. Then came back the following day for the history of the Crannog itself. Loved the food and the restaurants, and the quirky hotels. Can't choose one thing."

Philip

Orleans, MA

Tour: 09/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

All was thoroughly enjoyable. Nothing disappointed, and some things were pleasant surprises. I appreciated Rick's apparent positive relationship with the weather gods and how little precipitation we experienced. The variety of experiences and places visited added an unexpected breadth to our experience. Typical of RSTs, I found tour stops where I wished more time was allotted, but I do understand the nature of these tours and appreciate the pacing.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The personal interactions stand out for me. 1) I enjoyed Martin tremendously. 2) I enjoyed getting to know many of my travel mates as well. 3) The morning spent on the sheep farm with the Neil and his dogs felt like a candid glimpse of his rural life and love for his work 4) Sharing a ferry ride from Mull to Oban with the Britmyre Rugby Club and getting to talk to the boys was a hoot 5) Talking with singer/entertainer Gary Coogan after his gig in the pub in Inverness made a cultural tie."

Richard

Waunakee, WI

Tour: 09/11/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Scotland is a beautiful country with more small mountains and lovely rivers than I anticipated. Edinburgh was beautiful with so much to see. Could have used additional day here. I'm a golfer, so it was a treat to be able to walk on St. Andrews and get my picture TAKEN ON THE Swilken Bridge. Nigel was very knowledgeable and kept things interesting.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I would say the sheep dog demonstration and the ride up the ski lift were both WOW moments. I don't believe you get these type of experiences on most tours."

Emily

Pflugerville, TX

Tour: 09/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour took us to so many different areas of Scotland, seeing the way people lived and experiencing the history hands on. The geography and beauty of the countryside was breathtaking. From the bustle of Edinburgh to the quaint hunting lodge, and then the moors and the coastal towns, this tour gave a glimpse of this enchanting country. I love the people of Scotland, their kindness and willingness to walk this adventure alongside once strangers now comfortable travel companions.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The bookshop in Inverness, colorful bindings with enticing titles to browse, Collecting sea glass at low tide early in the morning in Oban Downing a smokey whiskey at the top of the lift with sweeping views of the mountains. Sticky toffee pudding, wanting to lick the bowl clean Sunset views back in Edinburgh at the last supper The gardens of the castle in full bloom in full sun! Yes, sun. Nigel narrating quirky and informative stories on the coach as we drove along the byways. So relaxing"

Donna

Sioux Falls, SD

Tour: 09/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Start to finish the tour was excellent....places, guides, experiences, Nigel, history, culture. Only one glitch and I'll reserve that for later!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cranog Museum! What a gem....that no one would see if not on a tour...or using a guidebook. gave a great insight into the people and history of Scotland."

Lonna

Walnut Creek, CA

Tour: 09/11/19

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

You know I've done other tours with other company's and I can't help but compare. To date I must say I like OAT the best. The guides are so knowledgable and so personable. I love that.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved the trip to Iona. The bus driver Richard was a hoot."

Susan

Waunakee, WI

Tour: 09/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Scotland is one of my favorite countries now. Every day was filled with new experiences and opportunities to learn. I do want to mention learning about the Crannogs was so interesting. Traveling through Scotland brought to life Outlander and Harry Potter.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved the trained dogs on the working sheep farm. I was amazed by and so admire the relationship between Neil and his dogs, his respect for the land, dogs, and sheep, and that you do your job and I will do mine philosophy he lives by. A lesson to be learned and followd for a better world. Of course snipping some wool and holding a wee pup warmed my heart."

Dennis

Brentwood, CA

Tour: 09/11/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

My wife and I enjoyed the opportunity to see this beautiful country. Our group was easy to travel with.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We loved seeing St. Andrews. We had lovely weather to watch the golfers and enjoyed a wonderful lunch there. Having seen this course on TV many times, it was a great experience to be there. The only thing better would've been playing."

Laura

Medford, OR

Tour: 09/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I enjoyed this trip so much! The accommodations were nice and clean, the meals were delicious and the guide, Nigel was awesome! The trips were very well organized and informational (wish I'd paid better attention to tell the truth). I had so much fun trying to keep track of who was who...exchanged numbers with a few at the end of the trip. hope I can make the reunion but not sure as of yet.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting Neil Ross and the farm. The sheep/dog demonstration touched my heart....and the puppies! Second favorite was the Crannogs. The employee (Karen I think) was passionate about her job and made it so very interesting. I think I'd like to make a donation to continue this endeavor.... I've never been on a tour before very impressed with organization and content."

Shar

Medford, OR

Tour: 09/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was organized from the very beginning. We had complete instructions of the day, the night before so we knew where to be when and where we were going. The time at each location allowed us to see most everything if you didn't dawdle. I think the idea of the whisper machine is great. As long as we could see Nigel we could hear him. This was helpful if we lagged behind on on the more strenuous walks. Nigel, our guide was great and knew his tour fully.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is hard to pick one. The scenery was so green, with the homes, churches and castles was awesome. Being inside buildings 100-1000 years old and imagining the life going on at that time. The crannog, shepherd and dogs, Gilly and the piper demo and talk, Loch Ness (didn't see Nessie), island of Mull and Iona, distillery . All the tour speakers showed they really loved their jobs and that added to the talk."

Alan

Valrico, FL

Tour: 09/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent guide and itinerary.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The sheep dog presentation was special. It was windy that day. It would have helped to use the audio devises."

Barbara

Steamboat Springs, CO

Tour: 09/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour lived up to expectations. There were a few glitches and surprises (ex. filming of Fast and Furious in Edinburgh) that kept our guide on his toes. Everyone went with the flow and James did a great job of making a silk purse out of a sows ear. He took us places that even he had not been to and it turned out to be some of the more memorable moments of the trip. Even if we missed something (like the Loch Ness cruise), James creatively remedied the situation. Great time!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The view out over the harbor from the hotel in Oban was magical."

Robert

Steamboat Springs, CO

Tour: 09/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

`Great knowledge guide with a sense of humor !!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Watching sheep hoarding dogs."

Laurel

Steamboat Springs, CO

Tour: 09/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I really enjoyed this Scotland Tour. There was so much variety in the places we visited, and James contributed all kinds of interesting information. He shared his music with us which I thought was very special. Learning about Scotland's history and following political events was most intriguing but also concerning. Our tour group couldn't have been better. Everyone was so upbeat during the entire trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sterling Castle was the best part of the tour. I had read extensively about Scotland's history, and to be in the place where so many significant events happened was really exciting."

Michael

Rio Verde, AZ

Tour: 09/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

excellent guide..........beautiful places and nice buses/drivers.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"not sure............too many!"

Nancee

Newtown, OH

Tour: 09/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I got to experience so many different aspects of life in Scotland that were varied and so interesting. James made the trip very special and his flexibility to deal with the challenges that pop up during a tour were phenomenal.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's a tie between the Munlochy Clootie well and the sheep herding dogs. The clootie well was totally unexpected and a last minute choice due to weather issues cancelling our regular plans. I think it was meant to be. Very spiritual, bizarre, ancient and modern - all in one. Our time there was special. The dogs and puppies were too cute and totally impressive... WOW...."

Gayle

Valrico, FL

Tour: 09/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Scotland was a beautiful country. James, our tour guide was excellent. He was from Scotland, lived there all his life and was very knowledgable on the culture and history. We were also lucky to have a good group of people and felt very comfortable. Everyone shared their prior experiences on other countries visited. This is our fourth Rick Steves' tour and every one was as good as the last one. Itinerary was spot on!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Favorite "wow" moment, was St Andrews. My husband and I live in a golf community and were excited to visit that area. The course(s) were breathtaking and the town quaint and great to explore."

Forrest

Springfield, IL

Tour: 09/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Perfect Rick Steves experience. Covered a lot of ground, but not so intense that we were ever overly tired. Plenty of time to unwind and wander on our own. Great group, made some good friends.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I love dogs of all kinds so the working dogs at the sheep farm was a highlight for me. The WOW MOMENT was when the 4 month old puppy jumped right in to the task and did his part perfectly. WOW! Loved it. Also have a strong interest in the history of the monarchy. Several wow experiences at the several castles we visited. Finally, I was thoroughly wowed by the Scottish National Portrait Gallery (portraits of royals on the third floor) which was no on the tour, but during free time."

Debbi

Coupeville, WA

Tour: 09/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Scotland tour was an exceptional experience in every way! Our group of 25 travelers jelled quickly allowing for positive and supportive connections. The tour was well paced with a nice mix of organized experiences and opportunities to independently explore. Julia, our tour guide inspired curiosity and engagement with her extensive knowledge of Scotland. Her ability to personalize the history and culture made my experience real.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I have several: 1) I was overwhelmed with the stark beauty of the Glencoe Valley. This I was not expecting! I felt connected to this place. Maybe my McDonald roots were speaking to me! 2) The bagpipe "demonstration" by Gilly. I loved her passion for her art and now have a new appreciation for the "pipes"."

Terry

Coupeville, WA

Tour: 09/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my second Rick Steves tour and I thought the first one was outstanding, this one was beyond it. Our tour guide was just the best....can't wait for my next one !

Harry

Coupeville, WA

Tour: 09/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Scotland tour exceeded my expectations in almost every regard. The country is physically beautiful....and green...and the various sights and sounds and tastes were wonderful. We had an expert tour guide who knew the history and the background of everything we visited our saw. We did the Ireland tour last year and we thought nothing could equal that . . .but Scotland certainly did and then some!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I have to list two! (1) The Crannog tour with a visit to an replica of thousand--year-old community dwelling built twenty feet off the shore of a loch. Amazing! And tour guides were excellent. (2) The sheep dog demonstration. Simply wonderful watching these dogs do the work they love and our farmer host was so willing to show off all their skills. And we got hold collie puppies!"

Carole

Grandview Heights, OH

Tour: 09/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I have traveled for the last 50 years and lived overseas - so not a newbie. This was the best tour I have ever taken. Scotland was so much better than expected but so were the tour members and our guide, Julia.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Really tough choice here. Every moment in Inverness. The sheepdog demonstration The Inner Hebrides"

David

Lake Oswego, OR

Tour: 09/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We loved our guide, Julia, and had a great group of fellow traveler. The trip was well organized, lots of fun each day, learned lots of history, and the weather wasn't bad. Mostly cloudy, but not a lot of rain. Loved the castles, the Highland scenery, the sheep dogs and puppies, tried Haggis and blood pudding, and truly enjoyed venison.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Wow moments included Culross (especially for Outlander fans), the sheep dogs, Cawdor castle, the visit to the Isle of Mull, Stirling Castle and the town of Kenmore was a favorite stop, so beautiful."

Lorraine

Seattle, WA

Tour: 09/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great tour. The pacing was good and the itinerary gave us a good idea of the various regions of Scotland.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Especially enjoyed the highlands."

Grover

Chester, VA

Tour: 09/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Crannog - the group had a great guide,explaining the prehistoric dwelling built on piers over the loch"

Cheryl

Kalispell, MT

Tour: 09/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Another tour in the books and as always fabulous. Everyone asks me which tour I've loved the best as this is my 9th. As I always say each country is different, each experience different and I can never pick a favorite. The accomodations were varied and fun from Princess style at Bonham to a wonderful B&B, to a very old, quaint inn on the bank of a river. Wonderful bus driver Paul.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Loved the evening with our bagpiper, listening to her stories and bagpipe was wonderful. The sheep dog demonstration and talking to the shepard and discussing his life so was so authentic."

Patricia

Newington, CT

Tour: 09/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I want to send kudos to you for Elizabeth as our tour director. This was my first experience with the Rick Steves tours and she made it incredible. We had a history lesson as well as background of the Scottish culture, traditions and geology. Liz went over and above with her little extras on our tour. I will return to Scotland at some point. Thanks again for a great experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many that I would say the whole tour was a great big "WOW"!"

Nora

Newington, CT

Tour: 09/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a great survey tour of Scotland. We got to see many of the highlights. I would love to go back for an in depth study of some of the sights we saw.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The drive up Glencoe Valley was far and away the best time of the tour."

Rebecca

Azusa, CA

Tour: 09/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

What a wonderful trip we had! I'm of Scottish descent, and so enjoyed seeing the land of my ancestors in such a comfortable and educational way. We so enjoyed the magnificent scenery and the fun look at famous sites - but I was struck by how much I learned of the culture and history of Scotland (without being boringly force-fed!). The tour takes in the breadth of Scotland's history as well as it's natural beauties and I came away fascinated by it's culture and determined to go back soon!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many to choose from ... I think though that the day on Iona will linger in my memory for a very long time. Our guide, Liz, related a quote about it - "A thin place where only tissue paper separates the material from the spiritual" and I am struck by how apt that is ... it's an amazingly spiritual place. Light years from the bustle of home. I left feeling renewed, and how much better can a vacation be than that!?"

Diane

Whitefish, MT

Tour: 09/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my 10th tour with Rick Steve's Europe and as usual I enjoyed every minute in Scotland. Fun, friendly group, exceptional guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Everyday was a WOW! We always come a couple of days early to take in activities not included on the tour. Really enjoyed the sheep dog demonstration with Neil, the drive through the Highlands at Glencoe was absolutely spectacular, and the historical tours and explanations of the various battles was amazing. Loved the seacoast towns and ferry rides to Mull and Iona."

Catherine

Chester, VA

Tour: 09/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Crannog was amazing"

Janet

Portland, OR

Tour: 09/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I keep thinking that every tour I go on is the best tour, but this was the very best (our 6th tour) because of Liz, our guide! And I loved every moment. The itinerary was wonderful. I loved that we got to see the big city, Edinburgh as well as the beautiful country glens and mountains, as well as the lovely towns such as Oban, Culross and Iona. The bus driver on the island of Mull was superb! And Paul, our driver for the whole time was also wonderful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many!! I loved the castles, especially Sterling and Cawdor where I did feel we had a fairly good amount of time to explore. I also so enjoyed learning about the Crannogs, the life of a shepherd and training their dogs, and walking the streets of Culross (fun to learn about what scenes from Outlander were filmed there!). The Dewar's whisky experience was a delight, as well as whisky tasting we did with Liz - all great fun! The bag piper was tremendous!!!"

When To Go & Weather

Any time between April and October is a good time to visit Scotland. However, the months of April, May, September, and October are best for combining the convenience of peak season with generally good weather and lighter crowds. While Scotland never quite feels crowded, July and August are considered peak season, with long days and the best weather (though never guaranteed).

Scotland / Edinburgh

Hotels & Flights

Tour Hotels

In case you wish to book pre- or post-tour hotel accommodations, the contact information for the tour's first and last hotels is included in your tour confirmation email as well as in the Itinerary section of your tour account. One month prior to the tour departure, you'll find the directions to your first tour hotel and a complete list of hotels where we'll be staying while on tour in the Documents section of your tour account.

Please note: There are no triple rooms available on this tour.

Flights

Our tours don't include airfare, so your flight arrangements and transfers are completely up to you.

Most tour members arrange to fly into Glasgow (GLA) and out of Edinburgh (EDI) — choose "multicity" on flight-booking websites. Alternatively, Glasgow and Edinburgh are less than an hour apart by train. You could choose to fly roundtrip to/from one of the cities and then take a train between Glasgow and Edinburgh.

We suggest arriving a day or two before your tour begins to allow ample time to get over jet lag and be well-rested for the first few days of your tour. For more information about transportation options for getting to and from your tour, see your Rick Steves Scotland guidebook.