Archer England & Scotland Explorations V5 - Final Information

Sally, Durann, Steve, Richard & Lindsey

Monday 8th April – Monday 15th April 2024

Number of Travellers: 5
Duration: 8 Days / 7 Nights

Day by Day

Day 1 - Monday 8th April - Journey North and Thornborough Henges

This morning, meet your private transfer to transport you North through the heart of England to the historic town of York. You’ll make a stop along the way at the Thornborough Henges and marvel at this unique Neolithic Site of three huge circular henges dubbed ‘the Stonehenge of the North’. Many people have gathered here for over 2,000 years as a place of pilgrimage, an iconic site since the Bronze Ages. To end the day, you’ll be transferred to your accommodation in York.

Overnight: York
Meals Included: None

Day 1 - Transfer Details Read More +

Supplier: Executive Cars York
Pick Up Location: Mercure, Warwickshire | Pick Up Time: 10:00 am | Approx Duration: 3 hrs
Phone: 01904 693297

Please note: the private transfer will be making a stop at 35 Middleton Close, Tysoe prior to pick up Lindsey at 9:40 am on the way to the Mercure Hotel. The transfer will travel to York via the Thornborough Henges, where the clients will enjoy a 2 hour stop to explore.

Expected arrival time in York approx 4pm.

Day 1 - Thornborough Henges Read More +

Activity: Thornborough Henges
| Approx Duration: 2 hrs
Booking Reference: n/a
Website: https://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/thornborough-henges/

This site is free to access and self explore.
Please note that the northern henge is closed at present. This is due to storm damage to trees.

Day 2 - Tuesday 9th April - Exploring the City, York Minster and Museums

This morning, meet your expert local guide in York, one of England’s most beautiful historic cities. Ribbon your way through the snickelways , admiring the stunning medieval architecture and magnificent Georgian townhouses. Hear fascinating tales about the past inhabitants from your guide as you stroll down Shambles Street, considered one of Europe’s best-preserved medieval shopping streets, and admire the breathtaking stained glass windows of York Minster Cathedral. Explore the magnificent gothic architecture, stunning stained glass windows and take a rare opportunity to delve behind the walls of the present-day Crypt, where your expert guide will reveal the foundations of three spectacular cathedrals, built on this site over nearly 1,000 years.

In the afternoon, stand on the incredible excavation site of Vikings and learn about the fascinating legacies left by the Vikings during the 10th Century. Continue your historical journey at the British Railway Museum, home of iconic locomotives, and marvel at the collection of engineering brilliance. End the day with tea at the famous Betty’s Tea Room. Your guide will depart once you are settled, leaving you to admire the Queen Mary ocean liner inspired interior whilst you sip on British speciality tea’s.

Overnight: York
Meals Included: Lunch

Day 2 - Guide Details - Alvina Labsvirs Read More +

Name: Alvina Labsvirs
Contact Number: 07900 007 979
Meeting Place: The Grand Hotel Reception | Meeting Time: 9:00 am

Day 2 - York Minster Hidden Crypts Read More +

Activity: York Minster Hidden Crypts
| Start Time: 11:00 am | Approx Duration: 1 hrs

Day 2 - Jorvik Viking Center Read More +

Activity: Jorvik Viking Center
| Start Time: 1:30 pm | Approx Duration: 1 hrs

Day 2 - Railway Museum Read More +

Activity: Railway Museum
| Start Time: 2:30 pm | Approx Duration: 2 hrs

Day 2 - Betty's Cafe Tea Rooms Read More +

Activity: Betty's Cafe Tea Rooms
Start Location: 6-8 St. Helen's Square, York, YO1 8QP
Website: https://www.bettys.co.uk/cafe-tea-rooms/our-locations/bettys-york

Please note: Betty’s doesn’t take reservations so there could be a short wait for a table on arrival.

Day 3 - Wednesday 10th April - Durham Cathedral, Hadrian's Wall and Arrival into Edinburgh

After breakfast your local city guide from yesterday guide will meet you and transfer you North as you embark on your Scottish explorations to Edinburgh. Stop to explore Durham Cathedral, a World Heritage Site occupied since the 11th Century. Experience the history and tales of how this became the finest and largest example of Norman architecture in England. This is also where you will meet your main trip guide for Scotland, and continue your journey with them.

As you journey closer to the border, stretch your legs at Chesters Roman Fort. Enjoy a picnic lunch as you admire this fine view of Hadrian’s Wall. Onwards to Edinburgh to arrive at the grand Balmoral hotel, this evening, relax and settle into before your Scottish Adventures begin!

Overnight: Edinburgh
Meals Included: Lunch

Day 3 - Guide Details - Alvina Labsvirs Read More +

Name: Alvina Labsvirs
Contact Number: 07900007979
Meeting Place: The Grand Hotel Reception | Meeting Time: 9:00 am

Alvina will meet the clients and transfer them to Durham Cathedral, where they will handover to their Scotland guide, Jim.

Day 3 - Durham Cathedral Read More +

Activity: Durham Cathedral
| Start Time: 11:30 am | Approx Duration: 1.5 hrs

Day 3 - Guide Details - Alistair Jeffs Read More +

Name: Alistair Jeffs
Contact Number: +44 (0) 7858 121 521
Meeting Place: Durham Cathedral

Day 3 - Chester's Roman Fort Read More +

Activity: Chester's Roman Fort
| Start Time: 2:30 pm | Approx Duration: 1.5 hrs

Day 4 - Thursday 11th April - Exploring Historic Edinburgh

After breakfast, meet your private guide and an expert city guide in the foyer of your hotel and head out for a day spent exploring the beautiful cobblestone streets of the city. Full of history, the capital is very accessible by foot. Wander up the Royal Mile, passing the architecturally stunning St Giles Cathedral and intriguing alleyways of Old Town. Continuing on to Edinburgh Castle for a tour with your expert city guide, learn the gory and fascinating past of the city and it’s iconic castle. After your tour, pick up a coffee and a pastry from one of the wee artisan shops before enjoying a private tour of The Real Mary Kings Close, one of Edinburgh’s fascinating hidden streets.

Leaving the hustle and bustle of the centre, make your way to the Port of Leith for an luxurious afternoon tea on board the Fingal Boat with views of Leith Dock. After lunch, you will head to another boat docked in Leith, step back in time on the Royal Yacht Britannia for a tour of this amazing piece of the British monarchies history.

This evening enjoy dinner at the Witchery, one of Edinburgh’s most famous and historic restaurants.

Overnight: Edinburgh
Meals Included: Lunch

Day 4 - Full Day With Expert Local City Guide Read More +

Activity: Full Day With Expert Local City Guide
| Start Time: 9:00 am | Approx Duration: 7 hrs

Day 4 - Edinburgh Castle Read More +

Activity: Edinburgh Castle

| Start Time: 9:30 am | Approx Duration: 1.5 hrs

Day 4 - Private tour of The Real Mary Kings Close Read More +

Activity: Private tour of The Real Mary Kings Close
| Start Time: 11:00 am | Approx Duration: 1 hrs

Day 4 - Afternoon Tea Details Read More +

Hotel: Fingal Hotel | Location: Water of Leith, Edinburgh
Reservation Time: 1:00 pm

Day 4 - Royal Yacht Britannia Read More +

Activity: Royal Yacht Britannia
| Start Time: 2:30 pm | Approx Duration: 2 hrs

Day 4 - Dinner Details Read More +

Restaurant: The Witchery | Location: The Witchery by the Castle Castlehill The Royal Mile Edinburgh EH1 2NF
Reservation Time: 7:00 pm | Booking Reference: BPF2YR6J
Phone: 0131 225 0974 | Website: http://www.thewitchery.com/

Please note that is purely a table reservation, please pay directly.

Day 5 - Friday 12th April - Exploring Stirling's Past

This morning, delve into Scottish history as you arrive in Stirling. Accompanied by your private guide, explore the iconic Wallace Monument, steeped in the heroic tales of William Wallace. Then, journey to the majestic Stirling Castle, where royal stories unfold amidst ancient ramparts and grand halls.

After lunch, you will be joined by a expert city guide to visit the site of the Battle of Bannockburn to walk in the footsteps of Robert the Bruce. On the way back to Edinburgh, you will stop in Falkirk, the home of The Kelpies – the largest equine sculptures in the world. 

After a full day of exploration, head back to the city for dinner and a restful evening.

Your guide will arrange a meeting time with you the night before.

Overnight: Edinburgh
Meals Included: Lunch

Day 5 - Stirling Castle Read More +

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

Day 5 - Lunch Details Read More +

Restaurant: Fletchers
Reservation Time: 12:00 pm
Website: https://fletchersstirling.co.uk/

Day 5 - Wallace Monument Read More +

Activity: Wallace Monument

Start Location: Wallace Mounument | Start Time: 1:30 pm | Approx Duration: 1 hrs

Day 5 - Private Guided Tour of Bannockburn Read More +

Activity: Private Guided Tour of Bannockburn
| Start Time: 2:00 pm | Approx Duration: 2 hrs

Day 6 - Saturday 13th April - Glasgow Explorations

Today your guide will take your on a journey to the the city of Glasgow. Today will be lead by an expert city guide who will take you on a fascinating walking tour of some of the key highlights of ‘Scotland’s friendliest city’. Discover layers of history in the Cathedral and maze of the Necropolis, as well as varied and elegant architecture at every turn. Keep your eyes open for the vibrant street art too, it’s a flourishing and ever-changing theme of this bustling city.

Your guide will arrange a meeting time with you the night before.

Overnight: Edinburgh
Meals Included: Lunch

Day 6 - Lunch Details Read More +

Restaurant: Cafe Gandolfi
Reservation Time: 1:00 pm
Website: https://www.cafegandolfi.com/

Day 6 - Private Walking Tour of Glasgow with Expert City Guide Read More +

Activity: Private Walking Tour of Glasgow with Expert City Guide
| Start Time: 10:00 am | Approx Duration: 6 hrs

Day 7 - Sunday 14th April - Wandering & Holyrood Palace

After a busy few days, you will have a later start today. Enjoy a mid morning private tour of the National Portrait Gallery with an expert art guide. Delve into the world-class collection of portraits depicting iconic figures from Scottish history and culture. With insightful commentary, your guide unveils the stories behind each masterpiece, offering a deeper understanding of its historical significance and artistry.

After a leisurely lunch and the chance to pick up some last minute souvenirs from the shops, you will join a tour of Holyrood Palace where you will learn about some of Scotland’s most well-known historic figures such as Mary, Queen of Scots and Bonnie Prince Charlie. Your guide will bid you farewell here, leaving you to enjoy your last night in Scotland together. Maybe finish your trip with a special meal to celebrate your wonderful adventure together.

Overnight: Edinburgh
Meals Included: Lunch

Day 7 - Private Curator Tour of The National Portrait Gallery Read More +

Activity: Private Curator Tour of The National Portrait Gallery
| Start Time: 10:30 am | Approx Duration: 1 hrs

Day 7 - Audio Tour of Palace of Holyroodhouse Read More +

Activity: Audio Tour of Palace of Holyroodhouse
| Start Time: 3:00 pm | Approx Duration: 1.5 hrs

Website: https://www.royalcollection.org.uk/visit/palace-of-holyroodhouse

Day 8 - Monday 15th April - Depart

A private transfer will collect you from your accommodation and take you to the airport to make your onward connections. Waving farewell to the UK for now but taking with you special memories and wonderful stories of your explorations.

Day 8 - Transfer Details Read More +

Supplier: Littles Chauffeur Hire
Pick Up Location: The Balmoral Hotel, Edinburgh | Pick Up Time: 7:00 am | Approx Duration: 0.75 hrs
Phone: 0141 883 2111

Trip Details

Inclusions Read More
  • Meals as stated in the itinerary above
  • The services of a qualified and experienced guide from Day 2 to Day 9
  • All transfers in a private vehicle driven by our guide on guided days
  • Private Transfer to the Airport
  • All guided hikes mentioned in the itinerary
  • Entrance fees and activities mentioned in the itinerary, specifically:
    • Private transfer from Warwickshire to York via the Thornborough Henges
    • Entry to York Minster and Hidden Crypt
    • Entry to Jorvik Viking Museum
    • Entry to the British Railway Museum
    • Entry to Durham Cathedral
    • Entry to Chesters Roman Fort
    • Entry to Edinburgh Castle
    • Private Tour of May King’s Close
    • Fingal Afternoon Tea
    • Tour of Royal Yacht Britannia
    • Entry to Stirling Castle
    • Entry to Wallace Monument
    • Tour of Bannockburn
    • Private Tour of National Portrait Gallery
    • Tour of Holyrood Palace
  • Personalised trip design and delivery
Exclusions Read More
  • Accommodation
  • Flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Meals not mentioned in the inclusions
  • Activities and entrance fees not mentioned in the inclusions
  • Gratuities for the main driver guide
Notes Read More
  • Activities are only private if specifically stated

 

Notes On Weather & Flexibility

Weather – April in Scotland can be a very wide range of weather, and 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

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.

 

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
  • Where To Eat - Edinburgh General Info - PDF: View Now
Terms & Conditions Read More

Please see our booking terms here.


Meet Your Guide

Alistair Jeffs

Contact Number: 07858 121 521

Me In Three – Friendly | Irn Bru | Folklore

Life began as a skinny lad with a curious nature. Time was well spent roaming the countryside, ‘playing’ on the cliffs, roaming the fields and being taken to historic houses and castles by my Mum.

After 23 years in Her Majesty’s Armed Forces, travelling the world for better or worse (think climbing in Colorado, walking in Scotland, skiing in Norway, kayaking in Cyprus and digging holes in other places), my lovely Scottish wife and I moved to Scotland, renovated a historic building and opened a B&B.

Currently, I’m the President of the Moray Mountaineering Club and am a Munro Compleator (having reached the summit of all Scottish 3000′ summits). With a slight change of tack, I’m now halfway through bagging Scottish malt whisky distilleries and have hosted a whisky tasting on national TV.

Place to play

Majestic mountain landscapes such as Glencoe or the Cuillins in Skye; quiet beaches and the serenity of the Outer Hebrides; the historical sites of Orkney; and, of course, Cocoa Mountain.

Not a lot of people know this

We once got on a train to Timbuktu; we shouldn’t have…I’m trained in Escape, Evasion, Survival and Resistance to Interrogation.