Flight of the Osprey

Bob and Penny

Wednesday 3rd July – Saturday 20th July 2024

Number of Travellers: 2
Duration: 18 Days / 17 Nights

Overview

Embark on a meticulously curated journey through the stunning landscapes of the British Isles, focusing on intimate encounters with its diverse wildlife. Guided by seasoned experts and enjoying time on your own, delve into the picturesque scenery. From the historic charm of Edinburgh to the imposing Bass Rock, followed by the untamed beauty of the Cairngorms and the serene allure of Mull. Keep a lookout for wildlife such as dolphins, minke whales, sea eagles and puffins on the coast and then, deer, badgers, pine martin and of course ospreys in the Cairngorms. Travel into England and Wales and immerse yourself in the splendour of this small but wonderful country. Enjoy hearing the Celtic language and spend your days visiting the osprey habitats, meeting with your local contacts and observing these incredible birds. On a trip designed to blend spectacular landscapes and handpicked accommodations with unique wildlife experiences, relax on a fantastic adventure.

 

Highlights

  • Seek out history in Edinburgh and wildlife on the coast.
  • Explore the Isles Mull and Iona, visit the Treshnish Isles on the search for puffins.
  • Enjoy a visit to see the Glaslyn ospreys in Wales and witness these beautiful birds up close.
  • Relax in handpicked, traditional accommodation each unique in both character and charm.

Day by Day

Day 1 - Wednesday 3rd July - Welcome to Edinburgh

Arrive in the architecturally stunning city of Edinburgh today and settle into your lovely accommodation. Depending on your arrival time, you may wish to head out and explore the winding alleys and cobblestone streets. Full of history, the capital is very accessible by foot. Visit Scott Monument and climb to the platform for spectacular city views. Head to The Meadows for some green space and to soak up the sites and sounds of the city, or visit the nearby National Galleries of Scotland. This evening, enjoy dinner and a good night’s sleep.

Overnight: Edinburgh | The Roseate Edinburgh
Room Type: House Superior
Meals Included: None

Day 1 - Travel Into Edinburgh Read More +

There is a regular tram from Edinburgh Airpot to the city centre, the best stop for your accommodation is Haymarket.

Alternatively there are taxis outside the airport.

Day 2 - Thursday 4th July - Exploring Edinburgh

This morning immerse yourselves in the winding cobbled streets of historic Old Town Edinburgh as you enjoy a private walking tour with an expert local guide. Discover the highlights of this unique capital city from the Palace of Holyroodhouse all the way up the Royal Mile, passing St Giles Cathedral to the mighty ancient fortress which is Edinburgh Castle itself. Walk the ramparts atop Castle Rock and hear the tales of the One O’Clock gun and the stories of locals of times past. Your guide will leave you here so that you can spend as much time in the castle as you wish.

Overnight: Edinburgh | The Roseate Edinburgh
Room Type: House Superior
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 2 - Guide Details - Joe Harrower Read More +

Name: Joe Harrower
Contact Number: +44(0)7710 126619
Meeting Place: Top of Waverley Steps | Meeting Time: 09:30

Joe will meet you at the top of the Waverley Steps, next to the cafe for a half day walking tour of Edinburgh.

 

Day 3 - Friday 5th July - Bass Rock and Aberlady Bay

This morning, meet your guide and travel from Edinburgh to the coast. Here, sail out into the swell on a boat trip to Bass Rock. Enjoy the views as the rugged coastline unfurls beyond the bow, keeping an eye out for curious seals, dolphins and an eclectic mix of seabirds. Sail around Bass Rock – home to the world’s largest colony of Northern gannets. Back on dry land, have lunch and visit the Scottish Seabird Centre, a marine conservation and education charity with an award-winning visitor centre tucked in the salt-stung town of North Berwick. Later, visit Tantallon Castle – an imposing fortress perched dramatically atop cliffs overlooking the dark North Sea. Admire the mighty curtain wall, the best example of castle architecture from the 1300s anywhere in Scotland. Return to your relaxed hotel this evening and enjoy dinner

Overnight: Gullane | Bonnie Badger
Room Type: Superior Room
Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 3 - Guide Details - Rob Bushby Read More +

Name: Rob Bushby
Contact Number: +44 (0) 7789 222463
Meeting Place: Roseate Hotel | Meeting Time: 10:00

Rob will meet you at the lobby of your hotel at 10am and together you’ll head to the coast.

Day 4 - Saturday 6th July - Isle of May and Tantallon Castle

This morning head out for a walk on Aberlady Bay, a local nature reserve and renowned bird-watching venue. Then, with a packed lunch embark on an adventure out to the Isle of May this morning. A National Nature Reserve, the island is home to a large puffin colony, grey seals, razorbills, shags, eider ducks and many other seabirds. Upon arrival, listen to a short talk given by the Nature Scot warden before exploring the islands. Wander carefully through the nesting terns, enjoying the fabulous scenery and abundant bird life. Enjoy your final evening on the east coast today.

Overnight: Gullane | Bonnie Badger
Room Type: Superior Room
Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 5 - Sunday 7th July - Arrive in the Cairngorms, Join your Photography Trip

This morning, together with your guide you will travel to the Cairngorms National Park. On the way, you will stop for a walk on a rewilding estate, here you will learn about the reintroduction of beaver to the area and to Scotland and witness a red kite feeding. Late afternoon, your guide will drop you off at your hotel, in time for your photography trip briefing.

Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 6 - Monday 8th July - Photography Trip

Day 7 - Tuesday 9th July - Photography Trip

Day 8 - Wednesday 10th July - Photography Trip

Day 9 - Thursday 11th July - Travel to Oban and explore Glencoe

After your photography trip finishes, meet your Wilderness guide and wind your way west to Oban. Today’s drive is beautiful as you traverse the northern reaches of the Cairngorms National Park, ribboning your way towards Fort William and along the shores of Loch Linnhe. We’ll stop at Glencoe visitor centre for lunch and to learn about one of Scotland’s most famous glens, it’s tragic history only eclipsed by it’s wild beauty. Later, arrive in Oban, a town on the west coast surrounded by rolling fields, craggy cliffs and sandy shores. Settle into your hotel this evening, which offers far-reaching views across the water and delicious seasonal food.

Overnight: Oban | Oban Bay Hotel & Spa
Room Type: Classic
Meals Included: Lunch

Day 9 - Guide Details - Douglas Gilbert Read More +

Name: Douglas Gilbert
Contact Number: +44 (0)758 412 6408
Meeting Place: Grant Arms Hotel | Meeting Time: 10:00

Douglas will meet you at the lobby of your hotel, ready to head off to the west coast.

Day 10 - Friday 12th July - The Isle of Mull and Visit Iona

After breakfast, catch the ferry from Oban across the sun-dappled water to the Isle of Mull. Once ashore, ribbon your way to the southern westerly tip of Mull and take a short passenger ferry to explore Iona – also known as the ‘Holy Isle.’ Although only a mile and a half wide and three miles long, this tiny island brims with history. Accompanied by your guide, visit Iona Abbey (founded in 563) and the Nunnery – one of the best-preserved medieval nunneries in the UK. A short scenic walk will take you to the island’s highest point for fantastic views across the water to the Treshnish Isles, Tiree, Coll, and on a really clear day, Rhum, Eigg and Skye. Back on Mull this evening, settle into your charming island accommodation and relax.

Overnight: Mull | Pennygate Lodge Guesthouse & Restaurant
Room Type: Duart
Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 11 - Saturday 13th July - Fingal's Cave and the Treshnish Isles

Today, embark on a boat trip to Staffa and the Treshnish Isles. Glide through the waves, soaking in the noise, sight and smell of the sea, as well as spotting coastal birds. Far-flung and remote, this is sure to be a very memorable day. Discover the unique geological formations of Staffa, including the iconic Fingal’s Cave, and wander amidst the rugged beauty of the Treshnish Isles. These islands are famous for it’s puffins, and you can take time to sit and watch them pop in and out of their burrows from just feet away. Back on Mull this evening, perhaps enjoy a drink before dinner, allowing the soothing sounds of the sea to be your soundtrack to another relaxed evening.

Overnight: Mull | Pennygate Lodge Guesthouse & Restaurant
Room Type: Duart
Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 12 - Sunday 14th July - Leave Mull and Travel to England

Leave Mull today and travel with your guide to Glasgow. From here, catch a train to Chester. Founded as a Roman fortress in the 1st century A.D you may want to take a wander around the Roman walls after dinner.

 

Overnight: Chester | Chester Grosvenor
Room Type: Superior
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 12 - Train Details Read More +

Travel Date: June 14, 2024
Departure Train Station: Glasgow Central | Departure Time: 14:34
Arrival Train Station: Chester | Arrival Time: 17:57

Your train from Glasgow departs at 14:34. You will need to change in Warrington Bank Quay. Your first train has assigned seating and it is a fixed time.

The second train is an Anytime ticket which means you can get any train that goes from Warrington Bank Quay (or Warrington Central) to Chester. There is no assigned seating on this train. This section of the journey takes around 30 minutes.

There will be taxis out station the station you can grab. It is about a 10 minute drive to your hotel.

Your tickets are attached in the important info section.,

Day 13 - Monday 15th July - Discover Wales

Pick your hire car up in Chester and head into Wales. Along the way, you might want to visit to the striking medieval fortress of Conwy Castle, which still towers over the town after 700 years. Make your way up the restored spiral staircase and take in the views of Snowdonia’s craggy mountains. Offering the most complete set of residential rooms inhabited by the medieval monarchy anywhere in England or Wales, a visit to the Castle is a fascinating and engaging experience. Afterwards, continue to your charming accommodation this evening and relax.

 

Overnight: Dolgellau | Penmaenuchaf Hotel
Room Type: Superior Double
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 13 - Car Rental Pick Up Details Read More +

Car Rental Company: Enterprise Rent-A-Car
Booking Reference: 1360824494COUNT
Pick Up Location: Chester (U318), Unit 1 Bumpers Lane, Sealand Industrial Estate, Chester CH1 4LT | Pick Up Time: 09:30
Phone: +44(0)1244 399393

Your hotel can arrange a taxi to take you to the Enterprise car hire pick up. It’s about a 10 minute drive.

Day 14 - Tuesday 16th July - Visit the Osprey Centres

Spend the day visiting the Osprey Centres and meeting with your local contacts

 

 

Overnight: Dolgellau | Penmaenuchaf Hotel
Room Type: Superior Double
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 15 - Wednesday 17th July - Visit the Osprey Centres

Spend the day visiting the Osprey Centres and meeting with your local contacts

Overnight: Dolgellau | Penmaenuchaf Hotel
Room Type: Superior Double

Day 16 - Thursday 18th July - Visit the Osprey Centres

Spend the day visiting the Osprey Centers and meeting with your local contacts

 

Overnight: Dolgellau | Penmaenuchaf Hotel
Room Type: Superior Double
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 17 - Friday 19th July - Visit the Osprey Centres and depart Wales

After a relaxed breakfast, pack up read to leave Wales and drive to Manchester Airport this afternoon. It’s abotu a 2 hour drive so on the way you may wish to stop at RSPB Burton Mere Wetlands for a walk and visit Ness Botanic Gardens. Later, drop off your hire car off and settle into your hotel near the airport ready for your flight home tomorrow.

 

Overnight: Manchester | Radisson Blu Manchester Airport
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 17 - Car Rental Drop Off Details Read More +

Car Rental Company: Enterprise Rent-A-Car
Booking Reference: 1360824494COUNT
Drop Off Location: Manchester Airport (U344) Car Rental Village, Manchester M225WH | Drop Off Time: 17:30
Phone: +44(0)161 498 3300

Day 18 - Saturday 20th July - Depart for home

After a relaxed breakfast, head to Manchester Airport and depart for home.

 

Meals Included: Breakfast

Trip Details

Inclusions Read More
  • All accommodation from Day 1 – 7 and then from Day 9 – 18
  • Most meals, as indicated above
  • Services of an experienced and knowledgeable qualified guide from Day 3 – 7 and Day 9 – 12
  • Ground transportation (excluding trains) from Day 3 – 7 and then from Day 9 – 12
  • Car hire from Day 13 – 19
  • All guided hikes and activities mentioned in the itinerary
  • Train tickets
  • Ferry tickets
  • Wildlife boat trips
  • Personalised trip design and delivery
  • Snacks throughout the trip
  • 24-hour in-country support from the Wilderness Team
Exclusions Read More
  • Flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Meals not mentioned in the inclusions
  • Airport pick up and drop off, taxis to car hire centres
  • Activities and entrance fees not mentioned in the inclusions
  • Activities in Wales
  • Travel while on the Photography Trip
  • Gratuities
Important Contact Numbers Read More
Wilderness Scotland Office | 9:00am – 5:30pm

UK: +44 (0)1479 420 020
US: 866 740 3890


Out of Office Hours | 5:30pm – 9:00am

+44 (0)7766 794 640


Emergency Services

999

Important Additional Information Read More

Get in Touch


Accommodation

The Roseate Edinburgh

4 West Coates & 5 Hampton Terrace | Edinburgh |
EH12 5JQ | Scotland
Phone: +44 (0) 131 337 6169
Web: roseatehotels.com/edinburgh/theroseate

Bonnie Badger

Main St | Gullane | Lothian |
EH31 2AB | Scotland
Phone: +44 (0) 1620 621 111
Web: bonniebadger.com

Oban Bay Hotel & Spa

Corran Esplanade | Oban |
PA34 5AE | Scotland
Phone: +44 (0) 1631 565735
Web: crerarhotels.com

Pennygate Lodge Guesthouse & Restaurant

Craignure | Mull | Argyll |
PA65 6AY | Scotland
Phone: +44 (0) 1680 812 333
Web: pennygatelodge.scot

Chester Grosvenor

Eastgate | Chester | Cheshire |
CH1 1 LT | England
Phone: +44 (0) 1244 324024
Web: chestergrosvenor.com

Penmaenuchaf Hotel

Penmaenpool | Dolgellau | Gwynedd |
LL40 1YB | Wales
Phone: +44 (0) 1341 212121
Web: penmaenuchaf.co.uk

Radisson Blu Manchester Airport

Chicago Avenue | Manchester |
M90 | England
Phone: +44 (0) 161 490 5000
Web: radissonblu.com


Meet Your Guides

Rob Bushby

Contact Number: +44 (0) 7789 222463

I’ve been fortunate to work in places of nature, grandeur and tranquility, and in roles that introduce and connect people to wild places throughout the UK. This has included the Lake District (and Australia) with Outward Bound, Glen Etive with Venture Scotland, and throughout the UK with the John Muir Trust.

Having done a ‘big trip’ in my youth, I now opt for shorter forays in Scotland and abroad, most recently taking my teenage daughters to India and California – adding another dimension to ‘adventure’. I’m a lapsed distance runner, and I immerse myself in the comedy, theatre and culture of Edinburgh’s Festivals every August.

Full Web Bio

Douglas Gilbert

Contact Number: +44 (0)758 412 6408

Mini Bio

My first job was as a summer warden at Hermaness National Nature in Shetland; how cool is that! I spent the next 35 years in conservation roles in the Scottish Highlands, Northumberland, The Peak District, and the Hebrides.

I’m interested in all things natural history, including our human relationships to nature. I am a canoeist, sea kayaker, biker, and standing stone enthusiast. I’m also fascinated by place names – where they come from and what stories they tell?! Tha beagan Gàidhlig agam, ach tha mi ga ionnsachadh fhathast!

Full Web Bio