Wilson Family Scottish Adventure - Final Information

Wednesday 19th June – Sunday 30th June 2024

Number of Travellers: 4
Duration: 12 Days / 11 Nights

Day by Day

Day 1 - Wednesday 19th June - Welcome to Scotland

Your private driver will meet you at Edinburgh Airport and you will set off for St Andrews. Enjoy the scenic drive stop for passing through Fife’s picturesque coastal villages, before arriving in the historic University town of St Andrews.

Drive time from Edinburgh Airport to Rusacks St Andrews is around 1hr 30 mins depending on traffic and without stops.

Once settled in your luxurious accommodation, take a stroll with a expert city guide to explore this historic university town. More recently the Prince & Princess of Wales famously met during their studies here but St Andrews is much better known for being the home of golf. You can feel the years of history in the streets and the soaring heights of the cathedral.

This evening, your expert private guide Douglas who will also be your driver for your onward adventures will pop by your hotel to introduce himself.

Overnight: St Andrews | Rusacks Hotel
Room Type: 2 x Linked King Rooms
Meals Included: None

Day 1 - Flight Details Read More +

Airline: KLM | Flight Number: KL0927
Departure Airport: Amsterdam | Departure Time: 12:15
Arrival Airport: Edinburgh | Arrival Time: 12:40

Day 1 - Transfer Details Read More +

Supplier: Littles Chauffeur Hire
Booking Reference: 2702735
Pick Up Location: Edinburgh Airport | Pick Up Time: 12:40 | Approx Duration: 1.25 hrs
Phone: +44 (0) 141 883 2111

Your private transfer driver will meet you in Arrivals and have a sign showing your name.

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 +44 (0)141 883 2111, which operates 24/7.

Day 1 - Afternoon Guided Tour of St Andrews Read More +

Activity: Afternoon Guided Tour of St Andrews
Expert Local Guide: Virginia Fowler
Start Location: Rusacks Hotel | Start Time: 15:00
Phone: +44 (0) 74629 52268

Your expert local guide will meet you at the reception of your hotel ready for your afternoon of explorations.

Day 1 - Guide Details - Douglas Gilbert Read More +

Name: Douglas Gilbert
Contact Number: +44 (0)758 412 6408
Meeting Place: Rusacks Hotel Reception

Your main guide will call you on your mobile to arrange a meeting time this evening to say a quick hello and chat with you about your trip.

Day 2 - Thursday 20th June - Fife Food Tour & Culinary Experience

This morning you will meet Douglas, your guide and a local chef who will lead today’s culinary tour and cookery experience, beginning in the historic town of St Andrews.

This area is famous for it’s array of fresh produce, artisanal cheeses and bakery treats. Engage with passionate vendors eager to share their knowledge and expertise as you select ingredients for the day’s cooking adventure.

After gathering your provisions, head to the chef’s home kitchen, nestled amidst the scenic coastal landscape. Under his guidance, immerse yourself in a hands-on cooking class, learning the secrets of traditional Scottish cuisine with a modern twist. From crafting savoury seafood dishes using the finest local produce to learning the history that has created these regional flavours, every moment promises to tantalise your taste buds and ignite your culinary creativity. After a rewarding day in the kitchen, sit down to enjoy the fruits of your labor, savouring each bite.

Overnight: St Andrews | Rusacks Hotel
Room Type: 2 x Linked King Rooms
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 2 - Fife Food Tour Read More +

Activity: Fife Food Tour
Fife Food Tour: Chris Trotter
Start Location: Rusacks Hotel | Start Time: 09:30 | Approx Duration: 5 hrs

You will meet your Guide, Doug and Chris, a local chef in the hotel reception ready to begin your day of delights. Doug will remain with you throughout the day.

Day 2 - Dinner Details Read More +

Restaurant: Rogue | Location: St Andrews
Reservation Time: 18:00 | Booking Reference: BZRFQLF9
Website: https://www.rogue-standrews.com/

Day 3 - Friday 21st June - Transfer to Gleneagles

Your guide will meet you in the foyer of your hotel this morning and together you will head west to Gleneagles. Stopping to visit the inspiring V&A Dundee on route, showcasing fresh Scottish design and its long heritage, enjoy some lunch before your onward journey to settle in at Gleneagles.

Arriving at the hotel, you will have time to settle in and relax before Liam and Matt embark on an afternoon activity of Clay Pigeon shooting at Gleneagles shooting school and Lilly and Kristin enjoy an afternoon tea in the beautiful dining room.*All activities at Gleneagles will be charged to your room.

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

Drive time from Rusacks Hotel to Gleneagles is around 1hr 30mins depending on traffic and without stops.

Overnight: Auchterarder | Gleneagles Hotel
Room Type: 1 x Large Manor Double & 1 x Large Manor Family Room
Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 3 - Clay Pigeon Shooting Read More +

Activity: Clay Pigeon Shooting
Gleneagles Hotel:
Start Location: Shooting School, Gleneagles Hotel | Start Time: 15:30 | Approx Duration: 1.5 hrs

Booking Reference: 14532160
Phone: +44 (0)800 704 705

*All activities at Gleneagles will be charged to your room, please pay directly at the hotel.

Day 3 - Afternoon Tea Details Read More +

Hotel: The Glendevon Lounge | Location: Gleneagles Hotel
Reservation Time: 15:30
Phone: +44 (0) 1764 290 014

*Afternoon Tea will be charged to your room, please pay directly at the hotel.

Day 3 - Dinner Details Read More +

Restaurant: Strathearn | Location: Gleneagles Hotel
Reservation Time: 18:30
Website: https://gleneagles.com/eat-drink/the-strathearn/

Day 4 - Saturday 22nd June - Landrover Safari & Wildlife Experience

This morning your guide will meet you in hotel reception. Arm yourselves with cameras and head north into the enchanting glen and prepare to delve deep into the wilderness on a private landrover 4×4 safari with a kilted Ranger. As you explore, look out for the russet red coats of red deer and the soaring silhouettes of golden eagles. Listen out for the chattering disapproval of grouse as they flap comically above the heath, chatting to your guide about the land’s topography. Returning to the valley to meet some Red Deer up close.

On your return to the hotel, Liam and Matt will head back to the shooting school for a session of Archery followed by an Air Rifle experience to finish the day.

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

Overnight: Auchterarder | Gleneagles Hotel
Room Type: 1 x Large Manor Double & 1 x Large Manor Family Room
Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 4 - Archery and Air Rifle Experience Read More +

Activity: Archery and Air Rifle Experience
Gleneagles Hotel:
Start Location: Trail Yard, Gleneagles Hotel | Start Time: 14:30 | Approx Duration: 2.5 hrs

Booking Reference: 14532160
Phone: +44 (0)800 704 705

*All activities at Gleneagles will be charged to your room, please pay directly at the hotel.

Day 4 - Dinner Details Read More +

Restaurant: Andrew Fairlie | Location: Gleneagles Hotel
Reservation Time: 18:45
Website: https://gleneagles.com/eat-drink/andrew-fairlie/

Day 5 - Sunday 23rd June - Indulge at Gleneagles

Today, you will stay local and indulge in all that Gleneagles has to offer. After breakfast, make your way through the hotel to the tranquility of the spa or take some time out for a little retail therapy in the beautiful arcade situated inside the hotel.

At 10am, head out for tree climbing and zip wire fun with a Gleneagles guide.

After some lunch at 2.30pm gather in the beautiful grounds for a Family Falconry experience which is sure to be a trip highlight.

There are many additional experiences you can pre-book from tennis to bike hire, not forgetting the numerous dining options from casual lunch options to fine Scottish fare, you will be spoilt for choice.

Today is your day to explore the wonders of a place that truly demonstrates the best Scotland has to offer.

Your guide will be on hand today if needed and will arrange a meeting time the night before.

Overnight: Auchterarder | Gleneagles Hotel
Room Type: 1 x Large Manor Double & 1 x Large Manor Family Room
Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 5 - Zip wire & tree climbing Read More +

Activity: Zip wire & tree climbing
Gleneagles Hotel: Gleneagles Hotel
Start Location: Trail Yard, Gleneagles Hotel | Start Time: 10:00
Booking Reference: 14532160
Phone: +44 (0)800 704 705

*All activities at Gleneagles will be charged to your room, please pay directly at the hotel.

Day 5 - Falconry Session Read More +

Activity: Falconry Session
Gleneagles Hotel: Gleneagles Hotel
Start Location: The Mews, Gleneagles Hotel | Start Time: 14:30
Booking Reference: 14532160
Phone: +44 (0)800 704 705

This is an activity reservation only, payment will be charged to your room.

Day 5 - Dinner Details Read More +

Restaurant: The Dormy | Location: Gleneagles Hotel
Reservation Time: 18:15
Website: https://gleneagles.com/eat-drink/the-dormy/

Day 6 - Monday 24th June - Journey North to the Cairngorm National Park

After a hearty breakfast, meet your guide and commence your journey to the Cairngorms National Park.

Along the way, enjoy a visit to historic Scone Palace, once the crowning place of Scottish Kings and Queens. Stroll the beautiful gardens and explore the unique Murray Star Maze before you continue north.

Embrace the scenic drive, absorbing the breathtaking landscapes en route. If time allows and you’re eager for adventure, your guide can suggest a picturesque walk amidst the stunning countryside. Settle into your accommodations and perhaps take a leisurely stroll and prepare for your adventures ahead in the Cairngorms.

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

Drive time from Gleneagles to The Fife Arms is around 2hrs depending on traffic and without stops.

Overnight: Braemar | The Fife Arms
Room Type: 1 x Scottish Culture Double & 1 x Scottish Culture Twinned
Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 6 - Dinner Details Read More +

Restaurant: Flying Stag | Location: The Fife Arms
Reservation Time: 19:00
Website: https://thefifearms.com/eat-drink/flying-stag/

Day 7 - Tuesday 25th June - Fly Fishing & Exploring Breamar

Today you will immerse yourself in the enchanting beauty of Braemar, starting with a morning of salmon or trout fishing on the Dee, Don, or Tay rivers guided by local experts. After a hearty breakfast, cast your line into the pristine waters, surrounded by the majestic Scottish Highlands.

In the afternoon, take advantage of the serene ambiance to engage in wild sketching. Conclude your day with a wander around the local village and dinner at the Fife Arms, enjoy dishes inspired by the flavours of the Highlands and reflecting on a day filled with unforgettable experiences and artistic inspiration.

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

Overnight: Braemar | The Fife Arms
Room Type: 1 x Scottish Culture Double & 1 x Scottish Culture Twinned
Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 7 - Fly Fishing Read More +

Activity: Fly Fishing
Fife Arms Hotel: Ali Parkin
Start Location: Fife Arms Hotel | Start Time: 08:15 | Approx Duration: 4.5 hrs

Phone: +44 (0)7766 548708

William will pick you both up from the Fife Arms Hotel at 8:15am and will drive you to the River Dee. Here you will meet Ali Parkin, who will be your fishing guide for them morning. Ali will give both of you a lesson in Spey Casting then once you are on the river fishing, you will both take it in turns to fish.

Please see Fly Fishing PDF’s in the Important Additional Information section at the bottom of this itinerary, please read in full ahead of activity.

*Fly fishing to be paid for at hotel reception ahead of activity.

Day 7 - Wild Sketching Read More +

Activity: Wild Sketching
Fife Arms Hotel:
Start Location: Fife Arms Hotel | Start Time: 14:00 | Approx Duration: 2.5 hrs

Phone: +44 (0) 1339 720200

*Wild Sketching to be paid for at hotel reception ahead of activity.

Day 8 - Wednesday 26th June - Hiking & Balmoral Castle

This morning, head out with your guide for a hiking experience in the beautiful woodlands surrounding Breamar. Walk through the ancient Caledonian pine forests, listening out for the white-water rush of a river and the bright sing-song call of a blackbird.

After lunch, enjoy a visit to Balmoral Castle, the Scottish home of the Royal Family since it was purchased for Queen Victoria by Prince Albert in 1852. Take a tour of the grounds, gardens and exhibitions before returning to your hotel to enjoy some of the food and drink on offer.

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

Overnight: Braemar | The Fife Arms
Room Type: 1 x Scottish Culture Double & 1 x Scottish Culture Twinned
Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 8 - Dinner Details Read More +

Restaurant: Clunie Dining Room | Location: The Fife Arms
Reservation Time: 18:45
Website: https://thefifearms.com/eat-drink/the-clunie-dining-room/

Day 9 - Thursday 27th June - Welcome to Edinburgh

It’s time to head back to where it all started, Edinburgh. You will be collected by a private driver and driven to your luxurious and iconic hotel in the city centre. Depending on your arrival time, you may wish to head out and explore a little before enjoying dinner and a good night’s sleep.

Drive time from Fife Arms to The Balmoral is around 2hrs 40 mins depending on traffic and without stops.

Overnight: Edinburgh | The Balmoral Hotel
Room Type: Two Bedroom Family Room
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 9 - Transfer Details Read More +

Supplier: Littles Chauffeur Hire
Booking Reference: 2702455
Pick Up Location: The Fife Arms | Pick Up Time: 09:30
Phone: +44 (0) 141 883 2111

Your private driver will meet you outside the foyer of your hotel.

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 +44 (0)141 883 2111, which operates 24/7.

Day 9 - Dinner Details Read More +

Restaurant: Forage and Chatter | Location: 1A Alva St, Edinburgh EH2 4PH
Reservation Time: 19:00
Website: https://www.forageandchatter.com/

Day 10 - Friday 28th June - 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’ 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.

In late afternoon, continue explorations at your own pace, pick up souvenirs or relax as you prefer.

At 4pm, you will join the public Harry Potter Trail, following in the footsteps of J.K. Rowling and her beloved Harry Potter characters on this enchanting tour.

Overnight: Edinburgh | The Balmoral Hotel
Room Type: Two Bedroom Family Room
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 10 - Half day guided explorations Read More +

Activity: Half day guided explorations
Local Expert Guide: Susan Smith
Start Location: The Balmoral | Start Time: 09:30 | Approx Duration: 3 hrs

Phone: +44 (0) 7779 727 898

Your expert local guide will meet you at the reception of your hotel.

*Your guide will have all the tickets and information required for your day. They will also give you directions to join the Harry Potter Tour in the afternoon, you do not need a ticket but please take a note of your booking reference.

Day 10 - Harry Potter Trail Read More +

Activity: Harry Potter Trail
Start Location: Bobby's Sandwich Shop, 4 Greyfriars, Edinburgh EH1 2QQ | Start Time: 16:00 | Approx Duration: 1.5 hrs

Booking Reference: B-NXDDW7X

Day 11 - Saturday 29th June - The Underground Tales of Edinburgh

After breakfast, your private city guide will meet you in the foyer of your hotel and take you on a tour of the city, showing you any sites that have sparked your interest. Later in the morning you will join a walking tour through Mary King’s Close, the underground alleyways of Edinburgh, where you’ll get to know the everyday lives of the people who once called these streets home. Get acquainted with royal visitors, and meet Edinburgh’s most infamous physician, the Plague Doctor.

After lunch enjoy some free time exploring, perhaps nosing into some of the independent shops that jostle for space on the colourful streets. Spend the evening indulging in some fine Scottish cuisine, celebrating your adventures together, before departing in the morning.

Overnight: Edinburgh | The Balmoral Hotel
Room Type: Two Bedroom Family Room
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 11 - Half day guided explorations Read More +

Activity: Half day guided explorations
Local Expert Guide: Davina Gibson
Start Location: The Balmoral Hotel | Start Time: 09:30 | Approx Duration: 3 hrs

Phone: +44 (0) 7967 113157

Your expert local guide will meet you at the reception of your hotel.

*Your guide will have all the tickets and information required for your day. They will also drop you off at the starting point of your Mary King’s Close tour. 

Day 11 - The Real Mary King's Close Tour Read More +

Activity: The Real Mary King's Close Tour
Start Location: St Marys Close, Edinburgh | Start Time: 12:30 | Approx Duration: 1 hrs

Booking Reference: 41758384

*Please arrive 10 minutes before tour start time to check in.

Day 12 - Sunday 30th June - Depart

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

Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 12 - Transfer Details Read More +

Supplier: Littles Chauffeur Hire
Booking Reference: 2702736
Pick Up Location: The Balmoral Hotel | Pick Up Time: 10:30
Phone: +44 (0) 141 883 2111

Your private transfer driver will meet you at the reception of your hotel.

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 +44 (0)141 883 2111, which operates 24/7.

Day 12 - Flight Details Read More +

Travel Date: June 30, 2024 | Airline: KL | Flight Number: 0928
Departure Airport: Edinburgh (EDI) | Departure Time: 13:15
Arrival Airport: Amsterdam (AMS) | Arrival Time: 15:45

Trip Details

Inclusions Read More
  • 9 nights accommodation, as stated in the itinerary above
  • Most meals, as stated in the itinerary above
  • The services of a qualified and experienced guide from Day 2 to Day 8 (plus 2 half days with Private City Guide in Edinburgh and 1 half day in St Andrews)
  • All transfers in a private vehicle driven by our guide on guided days
  • Airport Transfer on Arrival Day
  • Airport Transfer on Departure Day
  • All guided hikes mentioned in the itinerary
  • Entrance fees and activities mentioned in the itinerary, specifically:
    • Fife Food Experience
    • Scone Palace
    • Private 4×4 Safari
    • Red Deer & Gold Panning Experience
    • Balmoral Castle
    • Edinburgh Castle
    • Mary King’s Close Tour
    • Public Harry Potter Trail
  • 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 the main driver guide
  • All activities booked at Gleneagles and Fife Arms (these will be charged to your room):
    • Clay Pigeon Shooting
    • Afternoon Tea
    • Archery
    • Air Rifle
    • Family Falconry
    • Tree Climbing
    • Fishing
    • Wild Sketching
Notes Read More
  • Activities are only private if specifically stated

 

Notes On Weather & Flexibility

Weather – June 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.

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).

Important Additional Information Read More
  • Scotland General Info - PDF: View Now
  • Eat | See | Stay - Edinburgh - PDF: View Now
  • Wilson Salmon Fishing Experience - PDF: View Now
  • Wading Guidelines - PDF: View Now
  • Fishing Safety Statement - PDF: View Now
  • Fishing Kit List - PDF: View Now
Terms & Conditions Read More

Please see our booking terms here.


Accommodation

Rusacks Hotel

Pilmour Links | St Andrews | Fife |
KY16 9JQ | Scotland
Phone: +44 (0) 1334 474 321
Web: marineandlawn.com/rusacksstandrews

Gleneagles Hotel

Auchterarder, Perthshire | Auchterarder |
PH3 1NF | Scotland
Phone: +44 (0)1764 290 020
Web: gleneagles.com

The Fife Arms

Mar Rd | Braemar | Royal Deeside |
AB35 5YL | Scotland
Phone: +44 (0)1339 720 200
Web: thefifearms.com

The Balmoral Hotel

1 Princes Street | Edinburgh |
EH2 2EQ | Scotland
Phone: +44 (0)131 556 2414
Web: roccofortehotels.com/hotels-and-resorts/the-balmoral-hotel


Meet Your Guide

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!

Not a Lot of People Know This

A distant relative of mine was a Jacobite engraver who made the copperplate originals for Bonnie Prince Charlie’s banknotes. The plates were chucked in a ditch in 1746 in the aftermath of defeat at Culloden but were found and can be seen in the museum at Fort William today!

Favourite Place to Play

North Uist – a bird-watchers paradise. Plus, I’m a beach bum at heart.