Final Information Document - McVay Scottish Explorations - V6

Saturday 15th June – Saturday 22nd June 2024

Number of Travellers: 4
Duration: 8 Days / 7 Nights

Overview

We are delighted to share the Final Information details for your clients trip below, and are very much looking forward to welcoming them here!
While we hope things run smoothly for the duration of their stay, we know that unforeseen circumstances do happen and there are times when the clients may need to contact us for assistance. Please see below for ways to get in touch while on the trip;
Email: If you have a general question please feel free to email your Sales Consultant or Agent.
Note – Emails are monitored during office hours only.
Call us directly: Office number ++44 (0) 1479 420 020
Please note: Office hours are Mon- Fri 9:00 – 5:30
Out of Office Number: +44 (0)7766 794 640 for use after 5:30pm and at the weekends.
Note: If you require immediate assistance for an issue, problem or emergency, please call or Whatsapp our Out of Office Hours Number

 

Discover the true flavours of Scotland with insights from your expert guide. Explore history in the twisty cobbled alleyways of Edinburgh, hike in atmospheric glens and mountain ranges and celebrate it all with a special wee dram packed full of the flavours of Scotland. From the city streets to the wild Highlands, you are sure to fall in love with every inch of this character packed country.

Day by Day

Day 1 - Saturday 15th June - Welcome To Scotland!

On arrival at Edinburgh Airport you will be met by a private driver who will transfer you to your iconic city centre hotel to drop luggage before heading out to explore the city. Maybe take a leisurely stroll in Prince’s Street Garden, or visit the National Gallery.

Late afternoon discover another side of Edinburgh as you adventure down underneath Edinburgh on a underground tour of a warren of tiny fascinating streets dating from the 17th century. This evening is free for you to explore the local culinary options.

Note: Check-In time at your hotel is 3pm

Overnight: Edinburgh | The Balmoral Hotel
Room Type: Deluxe King interconnecting with Deluxe Twin
Meals Included: None

Day 1 - Flight Details Read More +

Airline: United Airlines | Flight Number: UA 36
Departure Airport: Newark Arrival Airport: Edinburgh (EDI) | Arrival Time: 8:05 am

Day 1 - Transfer Details Read More +

Supplier: Littles Chauffeur Hire
Booking Reference: 2704319
Pick Up Location: Edinburgh Airport Arrivals | Pick Up Time: 8:05 am | Approx Duration: 0.75 hrs
Phone: +44 (0) 141 883 2111

Your private driver will have a sign with your name on it.

Transfer Company system will send contact details for the chauffeur as an SMS 30 minutes prior to the reservation taking place, to the mobile number for the travelling passenger. If the client is unable to locate our chauffeur, they must call the mobile number provided, or call the Little’s Office on 0141 883 2111, which operates 24/7.

Day 1 - Underground Streets Tour Read More +

Activity: Underground Streets Tour
Start Location: The Real Mary King's Close, on the Royal Mile, opposite St Gile's Cathedral | Start Time: 2:00 pm | Approx Duration: 1 hrs

Phone: 0131 225 0672 | Website: https://www.realmarykingsclose.com/

Please arrive 10 minutes before your scheduled tour and have your tickets ready to show.

Your tickets can be found in the ‘Additional Important Information’ section at the bottom of this itinerary.

Location – Situated on the Royal Mile, across from the magnificent St. Giles’ Cathedral and the Mercat Cross. Entrance is located right next door to the flags and arches of Edinburgh City Chambers.

NOTE – TICKETS STILL TO BE ATTACHED

Day 2 - Sunday 16th June - Explore Historic Edinburgh & Meet Your Guide

This morning a private expert local city guide will meet you at your hotel and together you will head out to discover the tales of the cobbled streets and alleyways of Edinburgh’s historic Old Town. Visit some of the famous sights as well as discovering a few fascinating lesser known gems.

At lunchtime you will be met by your main trip guide and you can chat about your upcoming adventures over lunch. This afternoon, choose to continue exploring the city with your guide, or take some time to relax by yourselves, the choice is yours. 

Note: Potential free time for Spa Treatments this afternoon.

Overnight: Edinburgh | The Balmoral Hotel
Room Type: Deluxe King interconnecting with Deluxe Twin
Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 2 - Private Walking Tour Read More +

Activity: Private Walking Tour
Expert Local City Guide: Avril Conacher
Start Location: The Balmoral Hotel Reception | Approx Duration: 8 hrs

Phone: +44 (0) 7800 848 637

Please note that the afternoon is flexible, so you can choose to be more self-directed if you prefer

Day 2 - Guide Details - Andrew McMurtrie Read More +

Name: Andrew McMurtrie
Contact Number: +44 (0) 7741 314 872
Meeting Place: Edinburgh Castle | Meeting Time: 12:30 pm

Your local city guide will ensure that you all meet up as planned for lunch.
Meeting time is approximate depending on your morning explorations.

Day 3 - Monday 17th June - St Andrew's - Golf & Explorations

This morning start your journey north with your guide, heading to St Andrews in the Kingdom of Fife. Two of your party will explore this characterful university town, full of history and stories and more recently the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge famously met during their studies here. However, St Andrews is much better known for being the ‘birthplace of golf’ and two of you will tee off on a fabulous links course on the same coastline as ‘The Old Course’. Enjoy the history and coastal views of a superb round of golf as well as a chat with the local players.

Depending on timings, later in the day you may want to see if you can fit in a visit to one of the charming and picturesque fishing villages with your guide. These harbour houses are now popular with artists and writers but the sea still has a heavy influence on everyday life for most people in the local communities.

Your morning meeting time will be agreed with your guide the day prior.

Overnight: St Andrews | Old Course Hotel, Golf Resort & Spa
Room Type: Eden Double interconnecting with Eden Twin
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 3 - Round Of Golf - St Andrew's Links Read More +

Activity: Round Of Golf - St Andrew's Links
Start Location: Jubilee Course | Start Time: 11:52 am | Approx Duration: 4 hrs

Booking Reference: 2 pax - Ken McVay

Please note; Golfers should wear attire appropriate to the sport and clothing should not be scruffy or torn. The dress code in the clubhouses is smart/casual. Shorts should not have external pockets and must be of a respectable length.
Shoe Hire is available if your trainers do not have sufficient grip to prevent slipping.

Day 3 - Spa Updates at Old Course Hotel Read More +

From The Old Course Hotel;

I apologise for the short lead time of this note, I am writing to inform you about some upcoming refurbishment work that will be taking place in the fitness centre and spa.

From Monday 13th May 2024, our Kohler Waters Spa will undergo significant refurbishment. The Ladies changing rooms as well as the thermal suite which includes, cold plunge pool, experience showers, sauna and steam room will be closed for a period of 14 weeks whilst we undertake the upgrade, however the Spa pool will remain open during this time.

We will also be upgrading our fitness centre, with the installation of state-of-the-art Technogym cardio and resistance equipment, as well as improvements to the leisure/fitness centre reception area and corridor to the leisure changing facilities. This stage of the works will be from the 20th of May to the 22nd of June 2024.Below are the arrangements we will have in place during the works:

Kohler Waters Spa – 13th May for 14 weeksLadies Spa changing rooms will close and be moved to the Gents Spa changing rooms.Gents changing facilities will be available in the fitness changing rooms.Thermal suite completely closed.

Fitness Reception – 20th May till 22nd June (5-week duration)

The reception and lounge area will close and access only via the forecourt gym entrance.Fitness changing rooms will only be accessible via the Spa Reception. Please note access to the Fitness centre will be via the double door entrance directly into the gym from the hotel forecourt

We appreciate your patience and understanding during this time, we are doing all we can to mitigate and ensure the minimum disruption. I am hopeful with the enhancement to resort we have seen with the newly reopened Jigger Inn and our new West Deck you will share in our excitement at further investment in the facilities we have here in resort.

If you have any concerns or questions or would like to discuss any booking in particular that arrive during the time period of the works, I am on hand to assist.As ever, we thank you for your continued support of the Old Course Hotel and we look forward to inviting you to visit the newly refurbished facilities once they reopen fully.

Day 4 - Tuesday 18th June - Into The Cairngorms National Park

Today you transfer North into the beautiful Cairngorms National Park. Stop to visit the ‘spiritual home of Scotch Whisky’ where you will enjoy a private apothecary experience, creating your own unique spirit. Learn about the ancient heritage of Scotland’s modern distilleries and enjoy a wee dram before your lunch here.

Break your journey to visit the beautiful Glamis Castle and Gardens this afternoon, where you will tour the corridors with an expert private guide discovering the haunted tales of the past and exploring chambers not open to the general public. Stroll around the impressive castle gardens, taking in the array of scents, sights and sounds of the nature that surrounds you, before continuing to the Highland village of Braemar and your luxurious hotel.

Your morning meeting time will be agreed with your guide the day prior.

Overnight: Braemar | The Fife Arms
Room Type: Discovery Family Suite (Interconnecting Double Nature & Poetry with a Twin Scottish Culture)
Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 4 - Private Apothecary Experience & Lunch Read More +

Activity: Private Apothecary Experience & Lunch
Start Location: Lindores Abbey Distillery | Start Time: 10:30 am | Approx Duration: 2.5 hrs

Day 4 - Private Tour of Glamis Castle Read More +

Activity: Private Tour of Glamis Castle
| Start Time: 2:30 pm | Approx Duration: 1.5 hrs

Day 4 - Dinner Details Read More +

Hotel: The Flying Stag | Location: Your Hotel
Reservation Time: 7:00 pm | Booking Reference: 3RZ5N63L3

Please note that this is a table reservation only. Please pay directly.

Day 5 - Wednesday 19th June - Hiking & Highland Activities

A full day to take in the highlights of this beautiful area today. Today is the perfect day for a more challenging full day hike for those of you who want to head up to a summit. Discover characterful mountain slopes and ridges rising from a sparkling Highland loch with views which were beloved by Queen Victoria.

An alternative option would be a shorter morning hike before returning to the village for an afternoon relaxing at your hotel or exploring the charming streets and royal connections.

Your morning meeting time will be agreed with your guide the day prior.

Note: Potential free time for Spa Treatments this afternoon.

Overnight: Braemar | The Fife Arms
Room Type: Discovery Family Suite (Interconnecting Double Nature & Poetry with a Twin Scottish Culture)
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 5 - Dinner Details Read More +

Restaurant: The Clunie Dining Room | Location: Your Hotel
Reservation Time: 7:00 pm | Booking Reference: McVay

Please note that this is a table reservation only. Please pay directly.

Day 6 - Thursday 20th June - Transfer West To Glencoe Via Chocolate Treats & Tales of the Past

Transfer West today, enjoying the views and stopping at a couple of special locations on route. Travel on through the glens to reach a spectacular turreted castle, dating from the 16th Century. Here you will have a private tour and time to explore all the nooks and crannies of this restored castle which is the seat of the Clan Menzies. Discover the delights created by an award-winning Scottish Chocolatier with a private tasting guided by a chocolate master.

Then continue towards the dramatic mountains and ridges of Glencoe, recognisable as the backdrop in many films and TV shows. Head to your elegant accommodation to settle in before gathering in one of your suite living rooms to listen to local legends and fascinating tales of the dark past of Glencoe told by a local storyteller before dinner.

Your morning meeting time will be agreed with your guide the day prior.

Overnight: Glencoe | Glencoe House
Room Type: 2 x One Bedroom Suite
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 6 - Private Castle Tour Read More +

Activity: Private Castle Tour
| Start Time: 10:00 am | Approx Duration: 1.5 hrs

Day 6 - Private Storyteller Experience Read More +

Activity: Private Storyteller Experience
Start Location: Your Suite Living Room | Start Time: 5:30 pm | Approx Duration: 1 hrs

Day 6 - Dinner Details Read More +

Hotel: Your Suite | Location: Your Hotel
Reservation Time: 7:00 pm

Please note that this is a table reservation only. Please pay directly.

Please advise as soon as possible if this reservation is not required.

Day 7 - Friday 21st June - West Coast Explorations

Today take to two wheels to explore the rugged and fascinating West coast on E-Bikes. There are great options to suit all abilities and preferred levels of challenge, your guide will discuss the best options to plan the day. So many choices to choose from depending on energy levels, ferries and the weather. Keep your eye open for views of Castle Stalker as you head to Port Appin, or choose to cross over onto the quiet Ardnamurchan Peninsula for something completely different.

Depending on your route choices you can continue your bike adventures or choose to head to Oban this afternoon and explore this bustling harbour town. Maybe even pop into the distillery, which they will be proud to tell you is older than the town itself!

Tonight your guide will join you for your final dinner to celebrate your Scottish adventures. Raise a glass to toast with the traditional ‘Slainte Mhath’, or ‘good health’ and reflect back on the special experiences you have enjoyed together.

Your morning meeting time will be agreed with your guide the day prior.

Overnight: Glencoe | Glencoe House
Room Type: 2 x One Bedroom Suite
Meals Included: Breakfast and Dinner

Day 7 - Dinner Details Read More +

Restaurant: The Crannog at Garrison West | Location: Fort william
Reservation Time: 6:30 pm

Day 8 - Saturday 22nd June - Transfer to Glasgow & Depart

Your guide will transfer you south to Glasgow Airport to make your onward travel connections this morning. Depending on your departure times there may be a chance for additional explorations along the way (drive time approx 3hrs). Waving farewell for now but taking with you special memories and wonderful stories of your explorations.

Your morning meeting time will be agreed with your guide the day prior.

Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 8 - Flight Details Read More +

Airline: British Airways | Flight Number: BA 1499
Departure Airport: Glasgow (GLA) | Departure Time: 1:30 pm
Arrival Airport: London Heathrow | Arrival Time: 2:55 pm

Trip Details

Inclusions Read More
  • 7 nights accommodation, as stated in the itinerary above
  • Some meals, as stated in the itinerary above
  • The services of a qualified and experienced guide from Day 2 to Day 8 inclusive
  • All transfers in a private vehicle driven by our guide on guided days
  • Airport Transfer on Arrival Day, includes Meet & Greet
  • All guided hikes mentioned in the itinerary
  • Entrance fees and activities mentioned in the itinerary, specifically:
    • Private Genealogist Experience (includes pre-meeting research)
    • Private Walking Tour with Expert City Guide in Edinburgh
      • Includes 2 x Entry Fees, variable as per interest
    • Golf Round for 2 Pax on Jubilee or New Course in St Andrews
      • Includes club hire, electric trolley & caddy fees
    • Entry Fees for 2 Pax exploring St Andrews with Your Main Guide
    • Private Apothecary Workshop in ‘Spiritual Home’ of Scottish Whisky
    • Private Glamis Castle Tour
    • Qualified Hiking Guide to lead more Challenging Hiking on Day 5
    • Private Chocolate Tasting with Chocolate Master
    • Private Tour of Castle Menzies
    • Private Storyteller Experience in Local Pub
    • Full Day E-bike Explorations
      • Includes Qualified Biking Guide, Full Day E-Bike Hire & Support Van (driven by main trip guide)
  • £100 Per Person WOW Moment Budget
  • T-Shirt Drop Moment – FOC
  • £100 Per Person Hosting & Enhancement Budget
  • Personalised trip design and delivery
  • 24/7 In-Country Support from the Wilderness Team
Exclusions Read More
  • Flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Meals not mentioned in the inclusions
  • Activities and entrance fees not mentioned in the inclusions
  • Gratuities for your main driver guide
Notes Read More

Notes On Weather & Flexibility

Weather in Scotland can be very changeable. Suitable clothing and footwear is essential, as well as a flexible attitude. Plans may have to be changed to accommodate Mother Nature, and your guide will have back-up plans that they will discuss with you if required.

 

Essential Packing List

  • Waterproof jacket with hood
  • Waterproof over-pants
  • Sturdy hiking boots/shoes (sneakers or tennis shoes are not suitable for any hiking in Scotland)
  • Day pack 20-30 litre for carrying water and extra layers
  • Reusable water bottle
  • Warm layers
  • Warm hat, gloves and a neck gaiter
  • Hat, sunglasses and sunscreen
  • Smart casual attire for dinners
  • For Mountain Biking
    • Padded Cycling shorts for comfort
    • Leggings or similar (not loose wide pants)
    • Gloves for comfort

Note: If you would like us to provide trekking poles for your use then please just let us know and we will ensure these are available for you.

 

Luggage Notes

Please note that we expect travellers to bring an average of One Large Holdall or Suitcase and up to Two smaller day-bags or hand-luggage sized pieces. If you expect to bring more than this then please let us know well in advance of arrival so that we can ensure there is capacity for this (additional charges will apply if separate luggage transfers are required).

 

Useful Contacts

24 hour in-country support (Wilderness Scotland):  +44 (0)1479 420 020, or out with regular office hours +44 (0)7766 794 640 (urgent calls only)

Emergency services:  999 or 112
NHS 24 (24 hour free medical advice):  111

 

Tipping Guidelines

For tipping our guides – We don’t generally recommend a set amount as tipping is not expected in the same way that it is in North America. However, similar North American travel companies generally suggest something along the lines of £10-30 per person per day for your guide, which is a wide range to choose from. Generally, we would encourage you to ask yourself what you were expecting from your guide, and then think about how they have exceeded those expectations and choose an amount you are comfortable with.

For local services such as restaurants again tipping is not expected but if you receive great service then 10-15% of the bill is normal.

Important Additional Information Read More
  • Scotland General Info General Info - PDF: View Now
Terms & Conditions Read More

Please see our booking terms here.


Meet Your Guide

Andrew McMurtrie

Contact Number: +44 (0) 7741 314 872

Me In Three : Reliable | Interested | Calm

Growing up in Glasgow, the Scouts took me on many adventures, close and far, mainly by foot. I studied Topographic Science (the making of maps), thinking I’d get paid to walk up hills, but ended up working offshore on boats and rigs making sure all the infrastructure was put in the right place, then surveying it once it was there. Having spent over 30 years in the offshore survey sector serving the energy industries, with nearly half of that time offshore, my career has taken me all over the world from Australia to Brazil, and Angola to Vietnam – always looking for a hill to walk or run up – although living in Aberdeenshire at all times. I gained a few outdoor qualifications along the way in my adult Scouting roles, and I’m now able to ‘work’ in the outdoors, which truly is my passion.

I regularly orienteer competitively, including winter night-time events, so my navigation skills are well-honed! I have twice competed in Finland at Jukola an 11-person relay and the world’s largest orienteering event where approximately 1700 teams compete through the night. I have also completed 17 mountain marathons in various regions of the UK. These involve 2 days running over mountainous terrain while navigating a route and carrying all the kit you need.

Hiking and biking are my two main passions nowadays, but I’ve been known to sail and ski too, mostly in Scotland. My wife says I have an addiction to bikes – buying them!

 

Place to Play

Living on the edge of the Southern Cairngorms, much of my ‘play time’ is spent here and it is a great place to bike and hike. The journey over to the west coast is one I enjoy and there is always a sense of excitement when I’m in the campervan heading west. It is hard to leave Scotland for adventure though I have managed the occasional trip – climbing Mt Toubkal in Morocco, cycling and sailing holidays in Mallorca and skiing trips to the Alps.

 

Not a lot of people know this

I spent five summers in a row as a teenager on some form of Scout camp/expedition: Switzerland, Massachusetts, Austria, Bavaria and Norway. Scouts played a large part of my teenage life and the reason for my love of the outdoors, camping and adventuring. My first Munro was Ben Nevis, aged 12, at my first summer camp on the banks of Loch Sunart – 38-years later I compleated (yes, correct spelling) my Munros on Beinn Sgritheall, overlooking the dramatic Loch Hourn, Knoydart and with stunning views to the Skye Cullins and beyond. I’ve also managed 50 Corbetts so far but still climb Munros too.