WOOCS 2.1.6

Odyssey offers guided tours of Scotland each year. These Scotland tours are based in learning and seeing the culture and history of Scotland as a small group for seniors. The trips to Scotland are diverse from the Islands of Scotland to the history of Jacobites.

For those Mature or Senior Travellers who are interested in tours of Scotland’s Islands Odyssey offers then this link details our Scottish Island small group tours. Odyssey has also published a piece on touring the beautiful Scottish islands. As well as an article on the Best Islands in Scotland, and Standing Stones and Whisky which you may also enjoy.

Crafted tours for mature World Travellers

Tours of Scotland

Queen Victoria's Great Britain, Leadenhall arcade
Guaranteed

An era of enormous change, change which occurred in almost all areas of life. Developments in technology, science, medicine, politics, art and architecture. Enjoy talks and short lectures from a collection of knowledgeable guides on Victorian Britain in a small group.

 

21 days
British Isles
Level 2 - Moderate
Portree, Isle of Skye, Scotland
Guaranteed

Few people think of Scotland as an island archipelago. These islands all have one thing in common – they all contain living history. The people who dwell on them, for the most part, live their daily lives now as they did centuries ago. These isles are among the world’s great repositories of archaeological treasures including villages preserved almost in their entirety.

20 days
British Isles
Level 2 - Moderate
Small Group Tour of British Gardens
Pre-guaranteed

From medieval Knot Gardens to the English landscapes of Capability Brown, to the modern incarnations of Sackville-West and the Duchess of Northumberland, our 22-night tour traces and explores garden styles through the ages. We explore the gardens of Kent, England’s South West, Oxfordshire, Wales, The Borders and Edinburgh, Northumbria and the Peak and Lake Districts.

18 days
British Isles
Level 2 - Moderate
Whitby Abbey walking britain
Pre-guaranteed

This is an upgraded walking program with new paths including the Brecon-Monmouthshire canal walk and tracks on Arran in Scotland. The program is designed for participants who enjoy seeing the countryside on foot and is appropriate for active walkers. We stay at comfortable hotels with two days of walks followed by a day of travel to the next site.

22 days
British Isles, Europe
Level 3 - Moderate to Challenging

Explore 3,000 years of life on the mainland and on three of the islands. Only have time to examine segments of the country’s long and varied past. We will, delve deeply into a number of the events that shaped Scotland.

22 days
British Isles
Level 1 - Introductory to Moderate

Learn about the history of Liverpool, Newcastle & Glasgow by studying the history, culture & people who created these incredible cities. Spend one week in each place with local  guides who share their knowledge with you.

22 days
British Isles
Level 3 - Moderate to Challenging

The world’s largest arts festival, made up of almost an entire months’ worth of theatre, cabaret, children’s shows, experimental performance art, circus, comedy, and dance. On The Edinburgh Fringe Festival Small Group Tour for mature Travellers, we experience nine days of the Fringe in all its glory, taking in an incomparable range of shows and performances sure to delight and intrigue. We also explore the magical city of Edinburgh with a sightseeing tour scheduled into this programme.

9 days
British Isles
Level 1 - Introductory to Moderate

This program examines human occupation in Britain some 500,000 years before the Romans arrived. It begins in Shetland, the northern extremity of Britain and works its way south to Stonehenge, exploring the landscapes that represent some of the most important prehistoric sites in Britain. Most of the focus of this program will be experiencing these megalithic and earthen structures constructed between the Stone Age and Iron Age.

21 days
British Isles
Level 2 - Moderate

Explore the stunning scenery and the remarkable history of Scotland. This tour focussed on the history of the Jacobites commences in Edinburgh. During the 19 days you visit 19 locations as you travel from Edinburgh as far north as Inverness to finish in Glasgow. You stay in 8 locations. Learn from 10 specialist guides about the Jacobites visiting 28 places and experiences during the tour.

17 days
British Isles
Level 1 - Introductory to Moderate
Things to know

Touring Scotland

Getting around

Odyssey usually travels by coach and occasionally uses local transport, including trains and ferries. Specifics are always outlined in your tour itinerary. Scotland has a centralised and impressively extensive rail network run by Transport Scotland, which links towns to the major cities. It is also covered by a bus network that is said to place 95% of the popuation within 5 minutes walk of a bus stop, catering to local, national, and international services.

Accommodation

In major cities, Odyssey stays in centrally located 3-4 star hotels, with easy access to public transport. In smaller towns or rural areas, we usually stay in family-run hotels or guesthouses. On our long stay tours, during which you spend the length of the tour in a single location, we use serviced apartments.

Tour Guides

Odyssey always engages local guides with regional knowledge to ensure an authentic experience during which you can learn as much as possible about the history and culture of places you visit.

Geography, environment & weather

Scotland forms part of the United Kingdom, and the northern third of the island of Great Britain as well as 790 additional surrounding islands. These are encompassed by the Shetland Islands, Orkney Islands, and the Inner and Outer Hebrides. In terms of topography, it’s mountainous and rugged, although most of the population is to be found in the Lowlands in the south and east.

Scotland’s climate is above all distinguished by its changeability and variation. Sometimes, a short drive will take you to completely different conditions, so the key to preparation is layering! During Spring, Summer, and Autumn, max temperatures tend to range between 7 and 17 degrees celcius, and during winter, the average maximum temperature is 5 degrees. In Spring and Autumn, you’ll find that the weater is usually pleasant but there will still be snow on the mountains. The country is also known for its rain. However, because of Scotland’s topography, it rains far more in the west than it does in the east. Scotland’s sunniest location is The Fife Coast, with an average of 1500 hours of sunshine per year.

World Heritage Sites

The United Kingdom boasts 31 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, many of which are located in Scotland. You can view the official list of the sites here https://whc.unesco.org/en/statesparties/gb. It is well worth visiting every site, if you are able. But here’s a few highlights from the bunch:

New Lanark – a picturesque restored 18th century mill village that sits on the River Clyde. It includes recreated houses of those who worked at the cotton mill, and includes a shop selling locally made textiles!

The Forth Bridge – This is a distinct and gorgeous bridge that crosses the Firth of Forth. In 2016, it was voted Scotland’s greatest manmade wonder, and is often seen as a symbol of the country.

The Old and New Towns of Edinburgh – This one’s pretty self-explanatory, but remember, if you’re visiting Edinburgh, take your time to explore and wander through one of the best-preserved cities in the UK.

Festivals & events

The most famous and grandest Scottish festival is, of course, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. If you’re interested in the Fringe, check out Odyssey’s tour, which runs every year and includes a series of hand-picked events!
Also worth putting on the calendar is the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Fesitval, which takes place around May each year, and includes over 500 whisky-centric events. These include distillery tours, tastings, and much more.
If you’re into literature, the Edinburgh International Book Festival is among the world’s finest writers’ festivals. Taking place in August, it usually hosts around 1,000 writers and thinkers from across the globe.

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

Now is a better time than ever to explore Scotland’s food and drink culture. This is because in early 2018, Scotland began to implement a national strategy to position itself as a global destination for cuisine.

Scotland is probably best known for its whisky, the export of which brings billions of dollars into the economy. In regions known for whisky such as Speyside and the Isle of Islay, many distilleries are open for tours and tastings. You’ll also find that the flavour of whisky differs significantly depending on its region of origin, so it’s worth exploring a range of distilleries!

But Scotland isn’t simply a nation of whisky. Scottish lobsters are among the most sought after in the world, showing up on the menus of many Michelin-starred restaurants. Scotland is also known for its salmon, which is the nation’s biggest food export. It is generally of prestige quality, a product for which buyers will pay a premium.

Health & Safety

While much of Scotland is usually safe to travel around, it’s important to stay alert to anything unusual. Also, you will often see signs warning of pickpockets in areas popular with tourists, so it’s important to keep a close eye on your belongings at all times.

Electrical supply

Whenever you travel overseas, it’s always wise to take an appropriate travel adaptor. The electricity supply runs at 230V, 50Hz. British plugs have three flat, rectangular pins which form a triangle. These are shared by Ireland, Malta and some former British colonies, but Australia is not one of them.

See All

Tour Reviews

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
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
Overall the trip was great and met my expectation.
Errol H. June 2017
Lovely hotel and the location could not have been better. I'd stay there again.
Participant -17
Our driver and guide was exceptional; full of information about places we visited. Resourceful when we had extra time, in organising 'wee adventures'. Diverted several times to accommodate the special interests of group members.
Participant 2015
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
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
Excellent itinerary, transport and local guides!
Participant 2016

FAQs

Responsible Travel Tips for Scotland

  1. If sightseeing in rural areas, remember to be respectful of residents and locals. As well as being tourist attractions, these are peoples’ homes!
  2. Learn at least the local greetings to break the ice, a bit of Gaelic perhaps.. Although many locals speak English, the more you know of the native language and it’s slang, the greater your experience of the country will be.
  3. Carry a business card in your wallet or purse from your local hotel, to assist you with the return journey if you do become lost.
  4. Always ensure that you are covered by travel insurance. If you need advice on this feel free to contact Odyssey and we’ll be able to help.
  5. When travelling independently, make sure you check the opening hours of shops and museums so that you don’t miss out! Museums and galleries are often closed on Mondays. Also be certain to check whether your trip coincides with any public holidays, so you can plan accordingly.
  6. Consider contacting your bank to inform them that you may be making purchases overseas. Otherwise, they may flag any activity on your account as suspicious. Also, check which ATMs and banks are compatible with your cards, to ensure you can withdraw cash with minimal fees.
  7. Before departing, make sure you have a number of euros in a range of denominations. You don’t want to be carrying around enormous amounts of cash, but take enough to make it easy to pay in locations that might not accept credit card. It will also help you avoid card transaction fees, and it makes tipping a breeze.

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