Coach Holiday exploring Scotland
A journey of discovery around some of Scotlands most magnificent castles, stately homes and gardens many of which feature as must-see visits on Scotlands famous Castle Trail. Aberdeenshire is known as 'Scotland's Castle Country' boasting some of the finest castles in the country with more per acre here than anywhere else in the UK. Experience a wonderful cross section of the most famous and dramatic venues.
After breakfast your driver will take you into Edinburgh centre for you to enjoy free time in this amazing city, Edinburgh is not only one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, it is a city with a fantastic position. The view falls on all sides - green hills, the hint of the blue sea, the silhouettes of the buildings and the red cliffs. It is a city that calls you to explore it by foot - narrow streets, passageways, stairs and hidden church yards on every step will pull you away from the main streets. A mid afternoon departure will get you to your hotel with plenty of time to settle in before your evening meal.
We have arranged a visit to the Aberdeen Maritime museum for this morning, Aberdeen Maritime Museum tells the story of the city's long relationship with the Sea. This award-winning museum is located on the historic Shiprow and incorporates Provost Ross's House, which was built in 1593. The Maritime Museum houses a unique collection covering shipbuilding, fast sailing ships, fishing and port history. It is also the only place in the UK where you can see displays on the North Sea oil and gas industry. Aberdeen Maritime Museum also offers visitors a spectacular viewpoint over the busy harbour. This afternoon a trip on the Royal Deeside Railway has been arranged, The Royal Deeside Railway is a standard gauge steam and diesel hauled heritage railway, in a beautiful setting running alongside the River Dee. The line is currently about one mile long and the return journey lasts about 15 to 20 minutes. At the Milton of Crathes, they have an award-winning Victorian station, a railway carriage tearoom, a shop with ice creams etc., all with a wonderful view of the surrounding hills. The Milton of Crathes complex includes craft shops, a restaurant and art gallery.
This morning we travel to Haddo House, Stately and striking, Haddo House casts a huge impression from the moment you set eyes on it. Designed in 1732 by William Adam, Haddo House underwent an opulent remodelling in the 1880s. As a result, it has the clean elegance and swooping lines of the Georgian style with a luxurious Victorian interior. You can enjoy a 75 minute guided tour of the house and then time to enjoy the gardens before we move on to Pitmedden Garden, Brilliant design and meticulous maintenance give Pitmedden Garden its unique charm. With almost 6 miles of clipped box hedging, the parterres at the heart of the garden are a masterpiece of intricate patterns and sparkling colours. The Great Garden dates back to 1675 when it was originally laid out by Sir Alexander Seton. In the 1950s the Trust re-created the garden based on 17th-century plans of the gardens at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh. An orchard planted in 2014 is packed with more than 200 fruit trees. With honeysuckle and jasmine also casting their scent in the garden, Pitmedden really is a delight for the senses.
Today we travel to Drum Castle for a guided tour, The sweep of 700 years of history is stamped into Drum's stalwart battlements, medieval square tower and sprawling extensions. The Royal Forest and Tower of Drum were given to the Irvine family by Robert the Bruce in 1323. Later a Jacobean mansion house was added, and in the Victorian era the lower hall was converted to a library. The beautiful Garden of Historic Roses is divided into quadrants that show how roses have been cultivated from the 17th to the 20th century. The ancient oak forest adjoins the castle, providing a sense of continuity through the centuries and a home for red kites, roe deer, red squirrels and badgers. The rest of the day is to be for free time in Aberdeen, Scotland's third largest city and is known fondly as The Granite City due to the local pale stone which adorns so many of its outstanding buildings. It is also nicknamed the oil capital of Europe, the Dallas of Britain and the silver city with the golden sands. Another nickname is Furry Boot Town after the Doric phrase Furry Boot Ye Frae!.
Today is at leisure in Aberdeen, A visit would not be complete without a walk through Old Aberdeen to see some picturesque and olden examples architecture in some of Scotland's oldest buildings such as Provost Skene's House. Examples of traditional fishing cottages can still be seen at nearby Footdee by the beach. A mid afternoon departure takes you on to your next hotel with time to relax before your evening meal.
We say good bye to our last hosts and make our way back to Lincolnshire, with comfort stops on the way.
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