Small group tour of Scotland

Scotland is not merely defined by its castles, lochs, and whisky distilleries, or by the enigmatic Loch Ness monster. The rugged splendour of the Scottish Highlands has provided a dramatic backdrop to a deep history that dates back to the eras of the Roman and Viking empires, ultimately shaping the nation of Scotland. Embarking on a small group tour of Scotland often involves delving into lesser-known paths to uncover truly authentic experiences. Whether you opt for a day trip to iconic spots like St Andrews, Fort William, or the regal vessel Britannia in Edinburgh, followed by a visit to Arthur’s Seat or a stroll along the historic Royal Mile, the narrative of Scottish history remains ever-present and immersive.

Small group tours of Scotland

Crafted tours for mature World Travellers

Guaranteed
Prehistoric Britain small group history tour

21 days

Aug

Prehistoric Britain small group history tour including standing stones

Visiting England, Scotland

This guided tour invites you to explore UNESCO World heritage sites at Skara Brae in the Orkneys, Isle of Skye, and Stonehenge in a prehistoric tour. This escorted tour has trips to key sites in Scotland, and the Irish sea in Wales such as Gower Peninsula and National Museum in Cardiff and England. Each day tour is supported by local guides.

From A$16,750 AUD

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Guaranteed
Portree, Isle of Skye, Scotland

20 days

Jul, Sep, May, Aug

Scottish Islands and Shetland small group tours for seniors

Visiting Scotland

An escorted small group tour for couples and solo travellers of the Scottish isles including the isle of Skye draws on local guides to share their knowledge of the destinations in this unique part of Scotland. UNESCO world heritage site are visited as breathtaking scenery and authentic experiences are shared in a group of like minded people on this guided tour of remote Scotland.

From A$16,695 AUD

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Sale
Queen Victoria's Great Britain, Leadenhall arcade

21 days

Sep, Jun

Queen Victoria's Great Britain: a small group tour

Visiting England, Scotland

A small group tour of England that explores the history of Victorian Britain. This escorted tour spends time knowledgeable local guides with travellers in key destinations in England and Scotland that shaped the British isles in this period including a collection of UNESCO world heritage locations.

From A$15,880 AUD

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Pre-guaranteed
Edinburgh Fringe Festival small group for Mature travellers

9 days

Aug

Edinburgh Festival Fringe Small Group Tour

Visiting Scotland

One of the few European tour companies to have in Scotland an escorted small group tour of Edinburgh during the fringe festival. As well attending performances, this trip includes time to experience, the old town, new town and the royal mile, a UNESCO world heritage site plus Edinburgh Castle and Palace of Holyroodhouse.

From A$6,875 AUD

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Jacobites, Scottish History small group mature travellers tour

17 days

Jul

Jacobites, Scottish History small group mature travellers tour

Visiting Scotland

Small group tour on the Jacobites commences in Edinburgh. During the 19 days you visit 19 locations including the Culloden battlefield as you travel from Edinburgh as far north as Inverness to finish in Glasgow. Learn from 10 specialist guides about the Jacobites.

From A$15,295 AUD

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Whitby Abbey walking britain

22 days

Sep, Jun

Rural Britain | Walking Small Group Tour

Visiting England, Scotland

A walking tour into England, Scotland and Wales provides small group journeys with breathtaking scenery to destinations such as Snowdonia national park , the UNESCO world heritage site Hadrians wall and the lake district. each day tour provides authentic experiences often off the beaten path from our local guides.

From A$15,880 AUD

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Industrial revolution

23 days

Oct, Apr, Sep

Canals and Railways in the Industrial Revolution Tour | Tours for Seniors in Britain

Visiting England, Scotland

A small group tour of Wales, Scotland & England that traces the history of the journey that is the Industrial revolution. Knowledgeable local guides and your tour leader share their history with you on this escorted tour including Glasgow, London, New Lanark & Manchester, Liverpool and the Lake district.

From A$17,860 AUD

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Small Group Tour of British Gardens

16 days

Jun

British Gardens Small Group Tour including Chatsworth RHS show

Visiting England, Scotland

This small group tour will explore gardens in Scotland and England with knowledgable local guides and a tour leader. We explore the gardens in and around Edinburgh, Chester, Stratford upon Avon - Shakespeare's birthplace, Oxford and London in a 22 day tour.

From A$16,095 AUD

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tours of scotland

22 days

Jul, Sep, Jun, Aug

Scotland small group tour | Tracing 5,000 years of history

Visiting Scotland

This guided tour of Scotland with a tour leader and local guides includes the isle of Skye, Orkney islands, the Scottish highlands with breathtaking scenery. Edinburgh including the royal mile, Palace of Holyroodhouse, Fort William, Urquhart castle, Stirling castle, loch lomond, Hadrians wall and New Lanark also a UNESCO World heritage site.

From A$15,995 AUD

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A 15 pence Isle of Man postage stamp issued in 1979 depicting a Viking ship.

28 days

Jun, Sep, May, Aug

Vikings in Britain; small group tour

Visiting England, Ireland

Vikings in Britain, escorted educational small group tour for senior couples and mature solo travellers who for 27 days explore Ireland, the isle of Man, Scotland and England and the viking history.

From A$20,385 AUD

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Liverpool, Newscastle, Glasgow

21 days

Jun, Aug

Liverpool, Newcastle, Glasgow

Visiting England, Scotland

Spend 22 days in 3 cities in England and Scotland. Your tour leader and Knowledgeable local guides examine the history of these great cities. Liverpool & Glasgow faced onto the Irish sea, and Newcastle onto the North sea, and all where connected to the city of London.

From A$13,915 AUD

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Scotland

13 days

Jun, Aug, May

Scotland's Great Trails Walking Tour

Visiting Scotland

An escorted walking tour of Scotland. This trip is mainly in the Scottish Highlands. Your tour leader guides you to Stirling Castle, Loch Lomond and Craignorms National park with experienced local guides. The tour for mature couples and solo travellers finishes in Edinburgh with time to visit Edinburgh Castle and the Royal mile a UNESCO World heritage site.

From A$11,560 AUD

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Lindisfarne

22 days

Apr, Aug

Seven Ages of Britain, snapshots of Britain through the ages.

Visiting England, Scotland

This guided small group tour starts in Scotland and finishes in England. On Orkney we have a day tour to the UNESCO World heritage site, Skara Brae, before travelling to city of York. Your tour leader continues to share the history from the Neolithic to the Victorian era. The tour concludes in the capital city, London.

From A$15,995 AUD

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Mangersta Sea Stacks Lewis Outer Hebrides

26 days

Sep, Apr, May, Aug

Scotland's West Coast small group tour

Visiting Scotland

Explore the West of Scotland, join the gulf stream and visit and spend time with a small group educational tour for senior couples and mature solo travellers visiting with time to explore in depth, Skara Brae, Mull, Iona, Oban and Glasgow and the communities of the Atlantic.

From A$21,935 AUD

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Modern pot stills in a distillery in Scotland

19 days

Jul

Whisky and Other Scottish Wonders

Visiting Scotland

A guided small group tour of Scotland is a day tour collection that includes Edinburgh, the royal mile, Edinburgh castle, and the old town a UNESCO World heritage site Experience and learn about, Kellie castle, St Andrews, Skye, Balmoral castle, Loch Lomond and Loch Ness as well touring the Scottish highlands to finish in Glasgow.

From A$17,525 AUD

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As you journey beyond urban areas with your tour guide, the picturesque national park scenery unfolds during your Scottish tour. The itinerary takes your small group through the Scottish Highlands, along the coastal route towards St Andrews, the Trossachs National Park, and the Cairngorms National Park. You’ll have the opportunity to marvel at mystical lochs like Loch Lomond and explore Glen Coe in the Western Highlands, offering breathtaking vistas. Exploring historic castles such as Doune Castle, Stirling Castle, Midhope Castle, and Urquhart Castle at Loch Ness are essential stops, deeply rooted in Scottish history and typically included in guided day trips.

Commencing your Scottish journey in Edinburgh, the capital city offers a compelling starting point, although Glasgow is also emphasized as an excellent launchpad for small group tours in Scotland. The historical rivalry between these two cities adds an intriguing dynamic to Scottish heritage. Odyssey provides tours starting from both Edinburgh and Glasgow. Predating the Viking era, Scotland was inhabited by the Picts, believed to have migrated from Scythia (Scandinavia) before establishing influential kingdoms in what is now northern Scotland. King Malcolm II, reigning from 1005 to 1034, unified territories that closely resemble modern Scotland. For in-depth insights into Scottish history, our article on Scottish History delves into the country’s formation and the significance of Edinburgh as Scotland’s capital.

Embrace Scottish culture, humour, and a rich history during your Scottish tour, where education intertwines with stunning landscapes and picturesque backdrops. The quaint cobblestone streets of Glasgow and Edinburgh stand in stark contrast to the majestic Scottish Highlands, featuring landmarks like Ben Nevis and the Scottish Isles of the Outer Hebrides or Isle of Skye, all harmonizing seamlessly with Scotland’s renowned whisky tradition. Scotland’s distinctiveness within Great Britain is exemplified by treasures like Harris Tweed, showcasing the country’s unique cultural tapestry.

Group tour of Scotland for seniors

Our exclusive guided tours of Scotland cater to mature or senior travellers, solo explorers, or couples looking for a personalized experience led by knowledgeable tour managers and local guides. Venturing beyond the typical tourist spots, our Scotland tours offer a unique blend of uncovering hidden gems while also exploring major cities like vibrant Edinburgh, bustling Glasgow, and creative Aberdeen. Delving deep into Scotland’s rich history spanning over 5,000 years, our tours cover significant events such as the Jacobite Rising, including visits to pivotal sites like the Culloden battlefield and iconic Edinburgh Castle. We also delve into the historical significance of whisky distilleries in Scotland, tracing back to the Ancient Celts.

In Edinburgh, our itinerary includes indulging in high tea at the Signet Library, exploring the historic Palace of Holyrood house, Edinburgh Castle, and a fascinating walking tour along the Royal Mile accompanied by a local guide. For those intrigued by archaeological wonders, our Scottish Isle and Shetland Isle excursion offers a journey to the outer Hebrides and the Isle of Skye, renowned for their archaeological treasures. If you are contemplating joining an Odyssey tour of Scotland, consider your preferences in terms of destinations such as Scottish islands or Highland castles, as well as your preferred mode of exploration—be it a coach tour or leisurely walks. Plan the timing of your visit and the most convenient mode of transport within the country to enhance your overall experience.

Regardless of the sightseeing tour you select for your Scottish getaway, whether encompassing the entire country or immersing yourself in a single city, Odyssey Traveller ensures ample time to absorb and appreciate Scotland’s unique culture, stunning landscapes, captivating history, and hospitable locals—whether you are embarking on this journey solo or with a companion.

Best walking tour of Scotland for older travellers

Embark on a remarkable journey through Scotland’s breathtaking landscapes with a walking tour, immersing yourself in the natural splendour of the Scottish Highlands and the vast wilderness of the national park. Trek through rugged mountains, serene lochs, lush countryside, and pristine beaches, allowing you to truly connect with the stunning scenery. Inhale the crisp highland air, observe playful otters by the coast, and conquer the peaks of the Cuillin range. Walking not only invigorates the body but also fosters a profound bond with the land, enriching your overall experience.

Indulge in a distinctive travel adventure with a walking tour of the Scottish wilderness, carefully crafted for senior and mature travellers by Odyssey Traveller. Whether you are a couple or a solo explorer, these tours cater to different fitness levels and offer flexibility. If you prefer a leisurely afternoon sipping tea, you can rejoin the group later at your own pace. Each meticulously planned walking tour is led by experienced guides who ensure an enriching exploration of Scotland at a relaxed pace, encouraging you to fully immerse yourself in the rugged beauty of the landscape.

On our Scotland Walking Tour, you will traverse two of Scotland’s most remarkable trails: the Formartine and Buchan Way, and the Rob Roy Way. Experience the country through these long-distance walks, meandering through picturesque glens, expansive farmlands, and encountering charming lochs and castles along the route. The journey is interspersed with visits to intriguing historic sites, promising a fulfilling exploration of Scotland’s rich heritage. Each day, expect to walk up to 15 kilometres under the guidance of dedicated Odyssey tour guides and knowledgeable local experts.

The Formartine and Buchan Way, a former railway line converted into a scenic trail, begins in Aberdeen and culminates at the coastal town of Fraserburgh, home to the renowned Museum of Scottish Lighthouses. Immerse yourself in the history and natural beauty of Scotland as you traverse this fascinating route, offering a perfect blend of outdoor adventure and cultural discovery.

Scottish Islands

Shetland Islands
St. Ninian’s Isle, Shetland Islands

St. Ninian’s Isle in the Shetland Islands offers a unique perspective on island-hopping in Scotland, a country known for its rich island heritage. Scotland boasts nearly 800 islands, scattered along its western and northern coastlines, each with its own distinct character and allure. While only 60 of these islands are inhabited, and ferries serve just 46 of them, the proximity of any point on a Scottish island to the coast never exceeds eight kilometres.

Exploring these islands as part of a Scotland tour unveils a tapestry of landscapes including sea lochs, peat moors, and pastoral lands populated by sheep and cattle, all steeped in Scottish history. The remnants of abandoned crofts from the Highland Clearances, ancient standing stones, and mysterious brochs speak to the layers of history etched into the land. The geological and climatic diversity of these remote islands has shaped their unique cultures and heritage, influencing local land use practices and landforms.

Scotland’s islands can be broadly categorized into three main groups: the Inner and Outer Hebrides, which include the picturesque Isle of Skye, the Orkney Islands, and the Shetland Islands. For those intrigued by the idea of exploring these Scottish gems, our Scottish tours of the islands offer an immersive experience, covering the Outer Hebrides, Orkney, and Shetland, including visits to UNESCO World Heritage sites like Skara Brae over a 20-day itinerary. To delve deeper into the enchanting world of Scottish Isles, explore our comprehensive article on these captivating destinations.

Articles about Scotland

Jacobites, Scottish History small group mature travellers tour

11 places to consider visiting in Edinburgh off the beaten track

Edinburgh or Glasgow, which is better the Scots will ask the traveller. Take a small group tour for mature solo travellers and couples to think about the answer. Or visit Manchester, Bristol, Liverpool or the Scottish isles to give an answer.

28 Jul 21 · 3 mins read
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Dunnottar Castle, Aberdeen - Scotland

Aberdeen, Scotland

Aberdeen, article to assist senior couples and mature solo travellers learning about Scotland, its history and the islands of Skye and Orkney or the Whisky on a small group tour.

3 Feb 20 · 3 mins read
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Atlantic Ocean - Punta del Este, Maldonado, Uruguay

Atlantic Ocean and How it Shaped Ancient Communities In Europe

Article of interest for senior couples and mature solo travellers joining a small group European tour to Faroe Islands, Scottish Isles, Morocco or Portugal. Focus is on the early exploration of the Atlantic.

1 Sep 21 · 12 mins read
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Inverness castle, Scotland

Birth of Scotland

Escorted small group tours for senior couples and mature solo travelers seeking to learn. Article about Scotland and you can learn more about the Jacobites, Orkney or Shetland islands as well Edinburgh, Aberdeen and more.

13 Aug 21 · 10 mins read
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Scottish Islands - Isle of Skye

Country Spotlight: Scotland

Article sets the platform for small group tours learning about Scotland and the Scottish isles for senior couples and solo travellers.

27 Jul 21 · 7 mins read
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Nelson Mandela Pl. Glasgow

Glasgow; Nelson Mandela Place

How Glasgow stood with the South African Leader Against Apartheid as part of learning about Scotland before joining a small group tour for senior couples and mature solo travellers.

12 Jun 19 · 6 mins read
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Man beside his Hattersley loom used for creating tweed cloth

Harris Tweed - a story

A cloth only woven on the Outer Hebrides of Scotland. Enjoy a small group educational tour for senior couples and mature solo travellers to learn more about this craft and much more on a Scottish isles tour.

20 Sep 21 · 4 mins read
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Industrial revolution

Industrial Revolution. Britain's contribution to the world

Britain and the industrial revolution. A progressive period that spanned Queen Victoria's period. Small group package tours for mature and senior travellers explore this fascinating period of history across England and Scotland and key cities such as Manchester, Liverpool, Newcastle and Glasgow.

9 Oct 17 · 36 mins read
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Lewis

Islands of the Outer Hebrides: The Definitive Guide for Travellers

Scotland's Outer Hebrides are discussed in this article to assist the mature solo and couple in planning to visit Scotland and the British isles on a small group tour.

8 Aug 21 · 10 mins read
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Stromness, Orkney Islands, Scotland

Orkney Islands, Scotland

Explore the Orkney and other isles of Scotland on a small group tour for senior couples or solo travellers interested in Scottish history. Learn about Skara Brae and prehistoric Britain as well as the importance of Peat and Whisky.

27 Jul 21 · 5 mins read
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Woman stacking peat blocks

Peat and Scotland

Article about Peat, a historically important organic product for fuel and making whisky. Read and learn more about Scotland, its history, the islands and neolithic past before joining a small group tour for senior couples and mature solo travellers.

4 Oct 19 · 7 mins read
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Callanish standing stones on the isle of lewis

Shetland Islands Discovered: The Definitive Guide for Travellers

Article for senior and mature travellers, couples or solo travelers, interested in visiting the Shetland isles of Scotland. Explore on a small group tour to learn about the Bronze age, standing stones, peat and whisky and more when visiting the Scottish isles.

26 Jul 21 · 14 mins read
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Articles about Scotland

Touring Scotland

The need to know

Getting around

When planning your Odyssey tour, transportation details are meticulously laid out in the itinerary. Scotland boasts a well-connected rail system overseen by Transport Scotland, seamlessly linking towns with major urban centres. Alongside this, a comprehensive bus network ensures that 95% of the population is conveniently located within a 5-minute walk of a bus stop, catering to a range of local, national, and international travel needs.

Accommodation

In urban hubs, Odyssey ensures accommodation in conveniently situated 3-4 star hotels, offering seamless access to public transportation. Conversely, in remote villages or countryside settings, our preference leans towards charming family-operated hotels or cosy guesthouses. For extended tours where you remain in one place throughout, we opt for serviced apartments to provide a comfortable and homely setting for the duration of your stay.

Tour Guides

Odyssey consistently partners with knowledgeable local guides to enrich your travel experience, providing genuine insights into the history and culture of the destinations you explore.

Geography, environment & weather

Scotland, a vital part of the United Kingdom, occupies the northern region of the Great Britain island alongside around 790 nearby islands, including the Shetland Islands, Orkney Islands, and the Inner and Outer Hebrides. Its terrain is characterized by rugged mountains, yet the majority of the population inhabits the Lowlands situated in the south and east.

The Scottish climate is notably unpredictable and diverse, with conditions changing rapidly even with just a short drive. Therefore, layering clothing is crucial for preparedness. In Spring, Summer, and Autumn, temperatures typically range from 7 to 17 degrees Celsius, while the average maximum temperature during winter is around 5 degrees. During Spring and Autumn, the weather is generally pleasant, albeit with lingering snow on the mountains. Known for its rainfall, Scotland experiences significantly more precipitation in the western regions compared to the eastern areas. Notably, the sunniest spot in Scotland is The Fife Coast, boasting an average of 1500 hours of sunshine annually.

World Heritage Sites

Scotland is home to a significant number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, with 31 in total across the United Kingdom. Among these treasures, a few notable highlights include New Lanark, a beautifully restored 18th-century mill village nestled along the picturesque River Clyde. Here, visitors can explore recreated houses of former cotton mill workers and even purchase locally crafted textiles.

Another standout site is the iconic Forth Bridge, a stunning structure that spans the Firth of Forth. Voted as Scotland’s greatest manmade wonder in 2016, this bridge is not only a marvel of engineering but also a symbol of the country’s rich history and ingenuity.

Furthermore, the Old and New Towns of Edinburgh offer a captivating journey through time. Edinburgh stands as one of the best-preserved cities in the UK, inviting visitors to immerse themselves in its historical charm and architectural splendor. When exploring this vibrant city, taking the time to wander through its streets and soak in the atmosphere is truly a rewarding experience.

Festivals & events

The Edinburgh Fringe Festival stands out as Scotland’s most renowned and grandest cultural event. For those captivated by the Fringe, Odyssey’s annual tour offers a meticulously curated selection of events. Another notable addition to the calendar is the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival, a celebration occurring each May, boasting an array of over 500 whisky-focused activities such as distillery visits, tasting sessions, and more. Literature enthusiasts would find the Edinburgh International Book Festival a must-visit, ranking among the world’s premier gatherings for writers. Taking place in August, this festival typically welcomes approximately 1,000 literary figures and intellectuals from around the world.

Reading List

  1. The Island Nurse by Mary J MacLeod
  2. The Furrow Behind Me: The Autobiography of a Hebridean Crofter by Angus MacLellan
  3. Standing Stones by Beth Camp
  4. The Scottish Islands:
  5. A Comprehensive Guide to Every Scottish Island by Hamish Haswell-Smith

Eating & Drinking

Scotland’s food and drink culture is experiencing a renaissance, making it an ideal time to delve into its culinary offerings. With the initiation of a national strategy in early 2018, Scotland has embarked on a journey to establish itself as a global epicenter for cuisine.

While Scotch whisky stands out as Scotland’s most renowned export, generating substantial revenue for the economy, there’s much more to savor. Regions like Speyside and the Isle of Islay boast numerous distilleries welcoming visitors for tours and tastings. Each whisky carries a distinct flavor profile, influenced by its specific region, inviting enthusiasts to explore the diversity across different distilleries.

Beyond whisky, Scotland’s culinary landscape shines with its prized Scottish lobsters, esteemed by connoisseurs worldwide and frequently featured in Michelin-starred restaurants. The nation’s premium salmon holds a prominent position as Scotland’s major food export, renowned for its exceptional quality commanding a premium price in the market.

Health & Safety

While traveling in Scotland is generally safe, it is crucial to remain vigilant and mindful of your surroundings at all times. It is common to encounter warning signs about pickpockets in tourist-heavy areas, necessitating a constant vigilance to safeguard your belongings.

Electrical supply

When traveling abroad, it is essential to pack the right travel adapter to ensure your devices can plug into different electrical outlets. In countries like Scotland, the standard electricity supply operates at 230V and 50Hz. British plugs, commonly used in Scotland, have three flat, rectangular pins arranged in a triangle shape. It’s important to note that while countries like Ireland, Malta, and some former British colonies use similar plugs, Australia follows a different plug standard.

Tour Reviews

Great hotel (perfect location), wonderful tour guide (Robert was excellent in every respect), the half-day walking tour was fun and informative, and the events selected exposed me to Fringe events I probably wouldn't have seen otherwise. Very well thought out and put together.

Participant -17

Edinburgh Festival Fringe Small Group Tour

Please evaluate your tour Program Leader, Robert Williams Communication - Exceeded expectations Organisation - Exceeded expectations Local knowledge - Exceeded expectations Engagement - Exceeded expectations Friendliness - Exceeded expectations Care and concern for your needs - Exceeded expectations Do you have any comments to make (good or bad!) about your tour Program Leader? - I cannot compliment him too highly

Participant -17

Edinburgh Festival Fringe Small Group Tour

Lovely hotel and the location could not have been better. I'd stay there again.

Participant -17

Edinburgh Festival Fringe Small Group Tour

We found all the guides in each place excellent, some more than others, but always knowledgeable and obviously in love with their chosen careers. David our coach driver was excellent also, coping with some difficult situations with a cool head and providing us with a running commentary on a country he knows so well - especially Norfolk his home county!

Sally and Angus H. June 2017

Rural Britain | Walking Small Group Tour

Wife Brenda and I just completed Odyssey tour in UK entitled “Canals and Railways” led by Mal Bock. Absolutely superb, and Mal’s leadership faultless. Extremely good value considering only seven guests, superb local guides and drivers, a most comfortable coach with seating for 24. . Hotels chosen were excellent, most with real character, not places one would have chosen without local knowledge and recommendation, . My wife and I have visited the UK many times- I was born there, but we saw so many places which were new to us. Thank you Odyssey!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ian Sanderson

Canals and Railways in the Industrial Revolution Tour | Tours for Seniors in Britain

Excellent itinerary, transport and local guides!

Participant 2016

Prehistoric Britain small group history tour including standing stones

Overall the trip was great and met my expectation.

Errol H. June 2017

Rural Britain | Walking Small Group Tour

Excellent selection and diversity from different types of events. We saw wonderful things that would not have occurred to me on my own.

Participant -17

Edinburgh Festival Fringe Small Group Tour

FAQs

What time zone is Scotland in?

Scotland has a single time zone , Greenwich mean time. The nation observes daylight saving time from the last Sunday in March to the last Sunday in October.

Is tipping customary?

When embarking on an Odyssey tour, rest assured that tipping is taken care of, relieving you of that concern. However, during your leisure time or if you are traveling independently, it is crucial to ensure you tip appropriately for services, following the European custom. Typically, in Scotland, it is customary to tip between 10-15% of the bill at restaurants or 1 to 3 GBP at more informal dining establishments. When settling your tab for drinks, rounding up to the nearest whole number or leaving the change is considered polite. Additionally, when taking a taxi, a gratuity of 10% is customary, and it is recommended to leave a small note or two for hotel porters and concierges as a sign of appreciation for their service.

What is the internet service like in Scotland?

Internet access is readily available in most hotels and many cafes across Scotland. Nonetheless, when exploring the most remote regions of the country, the service may be non-existent or of subpar quality until you reach more developed areas.

Can I use my mobile phone in Scotland?

Ensure to contact your cell phone provider to inquire about making calls and using data while in Scotland. Typically, providers offer a daily fee for continued service at regular rates. However, it is crucial to notify your provider of your international travel plans to avoid any disruption in service due to potential security measures, similar to those employed by financial institutions.

Should I visit Loch Ness while I'm in Scotland?

Loch Ness, situated in the stunning Scottish Highlands within the Great Glen, is renowned worldwide for the mythical creature said to inhabit its depths. Located just a 20-minute drive from Inverness and a 3.5-hour drive from Edinburgh, a visit to Loch Ness is a must during your time in Scotland. To truly experience its beauty and explore its attractions thoroughly, plan to dedicate at least half a day, although a full day allows ample time to take in all the major highlights and even circle the entire loch for a comprehensive experience.

Why visit the highlands and islands of Scotland?

A carefully curated small group tour tailored for couples and solo travellers, exploring the enchanting Scottish Isles, with a particular focus on the Isle of Skye. This immersive experience is enriched by the insights of local guides who generously impart their wealth of knowledge about this distinctive region of Scotland. The tour includes visits to UNESCO World Heritage Sites, allowing participants to marvel at the captivating landscapes and partake in genuine cultural encounters within a community of kindred spirits on this expertly guided expedition through the remote corners of Scotland.

What is a small group tour?

Odyssey has honed its expertise in crafting educational small group tours tailored for seniors, with group sizes typically ranging from 6 to 12 individuals, capped at a maximum of 18 travellers since its establishment in 1983. Specializing in journeys that delve into educational, cultural, and heritage experiences, our programs are curated to enrich and stimulate the minds of active and curious explorers within an intimate group setting.

What language do you speak in Scotland?

Depending on who you ask, Scots is a language, a dialect of English, or slang.

It is still one of Scotland’s three official languages (the other two are English and Scottish Gaelic), but it is mostly mutually intelligible with English.

What can you do in 'wild' Scotland?

Scotland‘s diverse wildlife sets the stage for a myriad of outdoor pursuits, catering to all adventure enthusiasts. From immersive walking holidays to exhilarating cycling and mountain biking escapades, from serene sailing trips to thrilling whale-watching tours, and from tranquil fishing expeditions to a gamut of other exciting adventures, Scotland promises a rich tapestry of experiences for all outdoor enthusiasts.

What can you expect on this small group tour?

Odyssey presents effortless, convenient, and leisurely escorted small group tours throughout Scotland, encompassing the enchanting Scottish isles. Delving into the fairy-tale natural beauty, ancient heritage, World Heritage Sites, and renowned islands of Scotland, our tours promise breathtaking scenery at every turn. Embark on an adventure with Odyssey’s small group tours of Scotland, crafted for senior travellers, guided by seasoned and enthusiastic individuals.

These specialized Scottish island tours feature visits to the Outer Hebrides, Orkney, and the Shetland islands, meticulously curated for mature and senior travellers keen on exploring the historic sites beyond the Scottish mainland. Dive into the treasures of the Orkney archipelago and the captivating landscapes of the Outer Hebrides on these tailored small group tours.

Why choose best Scottish tours?

Odyssey’s highlights include:

  1. Experience Scotland in miniature on the Isle of Arran.
  2. Explore the outer Hebridean Islands of Lewis and Harris with their fantastic geological formations, standing stones, and Broch.
  3. See Iona, the tiny island from which St. Columba took Celtic Christianity to the British Isles.
  4. Visit the Western Isles of the Hebrides where our ferry takes us to the Isle of Skye.

What are the most beautiful places to go in Scotland?

Scotland, with its wild beaches, sparkling lochs and romantic castles, is one of the most beautiful countries on Earth:

What are the best tours in Scotland?

Embark on an enriching journey through the Scottish islands with Odyssey Traveller’s captivating island tours, including the lesser-explored Shetland Islands. This guided tour spans 20 days, offering three departures annually. Delve into the living history of Scotland on this exceptional expedition, not only focusing on popular Scottish isles but also delving into the uniqueness and breathtaking beauty of smaller islands. Utilizing the Calmac ferry network, this island tour provides a comprehensive exploration of the nation’s past and present.

While the residents of these islands lead contemporary lives, remnants of ancient traditions still linger, showcasing a profound contrast. The Scottish Islands boast a rich tapestry of history, housing remarkable archaeological sites such as the prehistoric Callanish standing stones and stone circle on Lewis and Harris. Additionally, the islands feature isolated monuments, stunning natural landscapes, and picturesque villages that offer a glimpse into the past.

This program extends its exploration to the captivating Shetland and Orkney Islands. In Orkney, the escorted small group tour immerses in the Neolithic history surrounding Skara Brae, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Moreover, participants have the opportunity to visit a whisky distillery on the Isle of Arran, adding a flavourful twist to the cultural journey.

What time zone is Scotland in?

BST – British Summer Time / GMT – Greenwich Mean Time

What kind of temperatures can you expect in Scotland?

During the spring months of March, April, and May, Scotland typically sees average maximum temperatures ranging from about 7°C to 13°C.

Moving into the warmer months of June, July, and August, Scotland experiences its peak temperatures, with average maximum temperatures ranging from approximately 15°C to 17°C.

As autumn sets in from September to November, temperatures in Scotland tend to hover around 8°C to 14°C.

Finally, December through February marks the coldest period in Scotland, with average maximum temperatures usually resting at around 5°C.

What is the journey on the Jacobite steam train like?

Renowned as one of the most extraordinary railway journeys globally, this 84-mile round trip showcases a series of remarkable extremes. Commencing near Ben Nevis, the tallest peak in Britain, the route includes a stop at Arisaig, the westernmost mainland railway station in the UK. It then meanders past Loch Morar, the deepest freshwater loch in Britain, and the River Morar, the shortest river in the country, before reaching its destination alongside Loch Nevis, the deepest seawater loch in Europe.

Why is a local tour guide important?

Local guides are invaluable resources for travellers, offering a wealth of knowledge about their city’s hidden gems and providing exclusive access to authentic local experiences. Their ability to quickly adapt to unforeseen circumstances and readily adjust plans ensures a seamless and tailored exploration of the destination, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the culture and ambiance just like a true local would.

How many in your group?

Odyssey specializes in educational small group tours for seniors, typically groups sizes are between 6 to 12 people. Odyssey has been offering this style of adventure and educational programs since 1983. We offer a wide range of fully escorted, cultural and heritage journeys that expand horizons and broaden the mind. Our tours are designed for active, inquisitive travellers in a small group environment.

Which experiences are best for tours in Shetland islands?

There are plenty of things to do in Shetland. The islands have some of the most incredible landscapes in the UK and a Viking heritage. Odysseys Scottish Islands and Shetland small group tour, we. will view the wild, untamed scenery of Shetland, where we may catch a glimpse of some of the islands’ tiny ponies, colonies of sea birds, and other wildlife. We trace the ancient Celtic and Viking influences on the Shetland Island peoples and their language, as we visit some of the remote villages in our search for historical treasures. We will also visit the Shetland island museum in Lerwick, the harbour of Scalloway, the Sunburgh Head, and Jarlshof, where the museum explains the sprawling sea-front ruins spanning 3,000 years.

The Shetlands are just over 300 kilometres from the Norwegian coast and were under Norse rule until 1469. About 14 of the hundred or so islands in the Shetland Island group are occupied and these cliff-edged islands now form the northernmost part of Scotland. Shetlanders have a distinctive dialect derived from their long connection with Norway and nowhere on the islands is more than 8 kilometres from the sea, so that fishing and salmon farming still provide a major contribution to the economy. However, North Sea Oil has been the major source of recent revenue. Shetland too boasts some of Britain’s most stunning coastal scenery, awesome colonies of sea birds, abundant marine life, and a rich pre-history.

Which experiences are best for tours in Orkney islands?

On Odysseys small group tour to Scotland that includes the Orkneys, we will experience some of the most beautiful scenery in the British Isles. On the Orkney mainland we learn on our Orkney tour about some of the prehistoric, Celtic, and Viking influences on the island peoples, visit some of the picturesque small towns and villages, and catch a glimpse of some of the island’s seals, otters, and colonies of sea birds while we search for historical treasures in its great collection of ancient sites. After lunch the Orkney tour visits the Standing Stones of Stenness, the Ring of Brodga, and the prehistoric village of Skara Brae. We will also learn about the wartime history of the island as we view the Churchill Barriers and Italian Chapel, the St Magnus Cathedral.

Both Orkney and Shetland have close links to the Nordic countries through language, lifestyle, and history, despite the fact that the Orkney Islands are within 10 kilometres of mainland Scotland. The Orkney isles differs from the Shetland Isle in that it has flat and undulating islands with rich soil, which makes the grass green and nurtures summer crops of grain. Shetlanders are fishermen with farms while Orcadians are farmers with boats. Orkney is, however, still known for its dramatic coastal scenery, abundant marine bird life, and islands which contain the densest concentration of prehistoric and ancient sites in Britain, testifying to their long history of settlement. Eighteen of the 67 Orkney Island are inhabited.

On the second day on Orkney small group tours, we will have a morning guided tour of Kirkwall, and a visit to Bishop’s and Early’s Palaces, before leaving you the afternoon to further explore Orkney Island.

Articles about Scotland published by Odyssey Traveller.

The following list of articles published by odyssey Traveller for mature aged and senior travellers to maximise their knowledge and enjoyment of Scotland when visiting:

For all the articles Odyssey Traveller has published for mature aged and senior travellers, click through on this link.

External articles to assist you on your visit to Scotland

Responsible Travel Tips for Scotland

  • When exploring the rural areas of Scotland, it is essential to show respect towards the local residents who call these places home, as they are not just tourist attractions but actual communities.
  • Learning a few local greetings, such as Gaelic phrases, can be a great way to connect with the locals and enhance your experience of the country. While English is widely spoken, knowledge of the native language and its colloquialisms can enrich your interactions.
  • Carrying a business card from your hotel in your wallet or purse is a smart idea, as it can assist you in finding your way back if you happen to get lost while touring the countryside.
  • Travel insurance is a must for ensuring a worry-free trip. If you need guidance on selecting the right coverage, don’t hesitate to reach out to Odyssey, and they will provide you with the necessary assistance.
  • When embarking on independent travel, be sure to verify the operating hours of shops and museums to avoid missing out on any experiences. Note that many museums and galleries are closed on Mondays, and it’s prudent to check for any public holidays that might affect your plans.
  • Notify your bank in advance about your travel plans to avoid any disruptions in card usage due to security measures. Familiarize yourself with the ATM and banking options that are compatible with your cards to minimize withdrawal fees during your stay.
  • Before your departure, it’s advisable to carry a moderate amount of euros in various denominations. This will facilitate payments in locations where credit cards may not be accepted, help you steer clear of excessive card fees, and simplify the process of tipping during your travels in Scotland.

About Odyssey Traveller

We specialise in educational small group tours for seniors, typically groups between six to 12 people from Australia, New Zealand, USA, Canada and Britain. Our maximum number of people on a tour is 18 mature aged travellers.We have some 150 tours and offer 300 scheduled departures on offer each year. Odyssey has been offering this style of adventure and educational programs since 1983.

Odyssey Traveller is committed to charitable activities that support the environment and cultural development of Australian and New Zealand communities.

Odyssey Traveller scholarship for Australia & New Zealand University students.

We are also pleased to announce that since 2012, Odyssey has been awarding $10,000 Equity & Merit Cash Scholarships each year. We award scholarships on the basis of academic performance and demonstrated financial need. We award at least one scholarship per year. We’re supported through our educational travel programs, and your participation helps Odyssey achieve its goals. Students can apply for the scholarship by clicking on this link to find out more details.

Join our loyalty program when you join an international small group tour.

Every International small group tour taken typically contributes to your membership level in our Loyalty Program for regular travellers. Membership of the alumni starts when you choose to take your first international small group tour with Odyssey Traveller, discounts in tour pricing for direct bookings accrue from your third tour with Odyssey Traveller. To see the discounts and benefits of being a Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Diamond alumni member with us, please see this page.

For more information on Odyssey Traveller and our educational small group tours, visit and explore our website., remember to visit these pages in particular

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