Explore Scotland - Saturday 4 May 2019 to Wednesday 8 May 2019


About Explore Great Britain

Dear Partner,

I am delighted you are joining us for the ExploreGB educational trip and I hope you enjoy your time touring Great Britain.

Our Product Development Team in London have been working incredibly hard over the past 12 months to ensure you have a fantastic trip with new itineraries including visits to top attractions, hotels and destinations which you can sell to your clients.

Below you will find a detailed itinerary of your educational trip, along with a comprehensive map and contact details for all the suppliers you will be meeting with throughout the tour.

I hope this ExploreGB educational experience provides you with the inspiration and contacts necessary to enable you to deliver your own tours to Great Britain.

Best Wishes,

Carol Dray Commercial Director

Welcome to Scotland

Scotland is renowned for its stunning scenery – with 40 designated National Scenic Areas from mountains to islands and gentle countryside. Beyond this natural beauty, Scotland’s cities offer a wide range of cultural attractions, including a wide range of castles and museums, as well as some of the best shopping and dining in the UK.

Please note:

You’re restricted to 14kg (31lbs) of luggage per person. This should be one piece of luggage similar to an airline carry-on bag (approximately 55cm x 45cm x 25cm / 22in x 17in x 10in) and a small bag for onboard personal items. We wish we could let you carry more, but this is a legal requirement in place for your safety.

If you are travelling with a larger suitcase, you will be able to store it in The Kimpton Charlotte Square Hotel during the trip to Arran, and the bag will be delivered to you before you board the train to York on May 8th.

What to wear
We will spend a bit of time outdoors and also make a nature walk, so we recommend you bring comfortable footwear and waterproofs for your tour. Both dinners will be fairly informal, so no need to bring formal evening wear on the 3 day trip to Arran.

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Day 1

Saturday, May 04, 2019 - Edinburgh

Arrive in Edinburgh and meet the group and your tour guide before enjoying dinner at the Kimpton Charlotte Square.

Visit Scotland is providing complimentary ASVA passes for everyone upon check-in.  https://www.asva.co.uk/browse-attractions.php

The Principal Hotel - Bedroom


Arrival in Edinburgh
Transfer to the Kimpton Charlotte Square
18:00 – 18:15Meet with tour guide and rest of group in hotel lobby
18:15 – 18:30Transfer to the Principal George Street
18:30 – 19:30Site inspection at Principal George Street
19:30 – 19:45Walk to the Kimpton Charlotte Square
19:45 – 21:30Dinner at Kimpton Charlotte Square & overnight stay
Day 2

Sunday, May 05, 2019 - Edinburgh

A walking tour is a great way to get to know a city – and with both a tour of Edinburgh castle and an Eat Walk Food Tour, visitors will get a real taste of Edinburgh in more than one way! Taking in Edinburgh’s best foods and incorporating at least five different tastings, the Eat Walk Food Tour is a fascinating experience and also gives the chance to learn about the quirky history of the city and its vast selection of restaurants, bars and shops.

Dinner for the evening will take place at Contini Restaurant, and will include welcome cocktails and a bagpipe workshop!

Return to the hotel for the evening.


08:00 – 09:00Breakfast in the hotel – meet group in Kimpton Charlotte Square lobby.
09:00 – 12:00Walking Tour of Edinburgh including castle – with VB Guide
12:00 – 15:30Eat Walk Edinburgh Tour (lunch) . Guide to sit out this tour and meet the group at Ghille Dhu at 3.30pm
15:30 – 15:35Walk back to Kimpton Charlotte Square hotel
15:35 – 17:30Free time/ refresh for dinner
17:30 – 18:00Transfer to Contini Restaurant
18:00 – 21:30Dinner at Contini Restaurant and Scottish entertainment

Supplier Information

NameEdinburgh Castle
CategoryFood, beverage & Entertainment Venues
ProfileA Mighty fortress, the defender of the nation and a world-famous visitor attraction - Edinburgh Castle has dominated the skyline for centuries. And the high volcanic rock on which it stands has been occupied for thousands of years.
Phone+44 (0)131 225 9846
Frequency:There are daily guided tours available. It is best to ask on the day the times of the tours.
FIT or Groups:FIT and Groups
Translation:Audio guides are available in English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Chinese - Mandarin, Japanese and Russian

Supplier Information

NameEat walk Edinburgh
CategoryTour Operator
ProfileFood walking tour, visiting 5 venues tasting locally sourced Scottish food with 3 of the stops also having drink tastings. The guide will talk about the history of the city as the group walks between venues. The tour last 3-3.5 hours and food consumed equates to a two course lunch with drinks.
Min - Max capacity:4/12
Private tours:Yes
FIT or Groups:Yes
Translation:Spainish, German and French
Day 3

Monday, May 06, 2019 - Edinburgh to The Isle of Arran

Meet your Rabbie’s driver-guide at the hotel in Edinburgh this morning. Leave Edinburgh and travel to Loch Lomond where we stop for photos in Luss. We will have time to explore the small conservation village and have a short walk on the ‘bonnie, bonnie banks’ of the loch. Leaving Luss, we take a drive up through the steep-sided mountains known as the Arrochar Alps to the great viewpoint of the ‘Rest and Be Thankful’.

We finally reach the picturesque town of Inveraray where we will stop for lunch, before continuing along Loch Fyne to the Kintyre Peninsula and the pretty harbour town of Tarbert. From here it’s a short drive to Claonaig, where we check in for our ferry to the Isle of Arran.

On arrival, we head to the nearby Lochranza Castle and have time to explore the ruins as well as take in the atmosphere of the island. We then travel the short journey to Brodick, the main town on Arran, where we will check into the Auchrannie Resort, our accommodation for the next two nights. Later in the evening, we enjoy an evening of Scottish food and music at Crofters’ Music Bar in Brodick.

Overnight in Brodick, at the Auchrannie Resort.

Auchrannie Resort


08:45 – 09:00Pick-up from Kimpton Charlotte Square hotel in Edinburgh (Leave any excess luggage with reception)
09:00 – 13:00Travel to Inveraray with a comfort stop in Luss and a photo stop at “Rest and Be Thankful”
13:00 – 14:15Lunch at the George Hotel in Inveraray – three course set menu
14:15 – 16:20Travel to Claonaig ferry via Kintyre and Tarbert
16:20 – 16:50Cal Mac ferry from Claonaig to Lochranza
16:50 – 18:00Arrive at Lochranza, with time to explore Lochranza Castle on arrival (weather permitting) before travelling to Brodick
18:00 – 19:30Check in at Auchrannie Resort
19:30 – 21:00Dinner at Crofter’s Music Bar – 2 course menu to be pre-ordered (View here)
21:00Transfer back to the hotel – if you wish to stay longer, it’s a ten minute walk back to the hotel

Supplier Information

NameRabbie's Tours
CategoryTour Operator
ProfileGo beyond the guidebooks with our award-winning tours. Ideal for FIT or small groups. With departure points across the country, we now offer a selection of over 60 scheduled tours ranging from 1-17 days. PLUS: Customised tours, Self-Drive and City Break packages for the Travel Trade.
Phone0131 226 3133
Min - Max capacity:Min: 1, Max: 16
Frequency:A selection of tours are available all year, departing daily.
Private tours:Yes
FIT or Groups:FIT and small groups
Day 4

Tuesday, May 07, 2019 - The Isle of Arran

Today is a full day to explore the Isle of Arran, and its food and drinks offerings. Arran has a wealth of local produce making the island an ideal haven for foodies. But Arran is also alive with wildlife, mountains, and beaches, and after today you will understand why the island is often called ‘Scotland in miniature’.

Highlights will include a visit to the newly reopened Brodick Castle, a tour and whisky tasting at the Isle of Arran Distillery, and the Neolithic stone circles of Machrie Moor. We will arrive back in Brodick late afternoon and visit Arran Brewery to sample some locally produced beer. After returning to our hotel, we will enjoy a 3-course dinner at the resort.

Overnight in Brodick, the Auchrannie Resort.


07:30 – 09:00Breakfast in the hotel
09:00 – 09:15Pick-up from Auchrannie Hotel
09:15 – 09:45Tasting and talk at Arran Cheese Shop
09:45 – 10:00Transfer to Brodick Castle
10:00 – 11:00Tour of Brodick Castle
11:00 – 11:30Transfer to Isle of Arran Distillery
11:30 – 12:30Distillery tour at the Isle of Arran Distillery
12:30 – 13:30Lunch at the Isle of Arran Distillery – Distiller’s Platter
13:30 – 14:15Transfer to Machrie Moor
14:15 – 15:45Arrive at Machrie Moor and walk to the Neolithic stone circles of Machrie Moor and back*
15:45 – 16:30Transfer to Isle of Arran Brewery
16:30 – 17:30Visit the Isle of Arran Brewery
17:30 – 18:45Return to hotel
18:45Dinner at the hotel – three course choice menu


* = Arriving at Machrie Moor car park after lunch, we will spend 1 hour and 30 minutes here to walk to the stones and back (weather permitting). The walk is approximately 1 mile to the stones, and 1 mile back (2 miles in total).

Contingency plan: in the case of inclement weather, we will explore Blackwaterfoot and have some free time in Brodick this afternoon.

Day 5

Wednesday, May 08, 2019 - The Isle of Arran to Harrogate

It is time to say goodbye to the Isle of Arran, as we take the morning ferry across to Ardrossan on the Scottish mainland. There will be time onboard to enjoy a Scottish breakfast during the one hour sailing. From Ardrossan, we will drive straight to Edinburgh, where we will enjoy a two-course lunch at the Scotch Malt Whisky Society. Each course will be accompanied by a specially selected whisky.

After lunch, we will continue to Waverley railway station where a train will take you to York, and on to Harrogate.


07:45 – 08:20Pick-up from hotel and transfer to Cal Mac ferry*
08:20 – 09:15Cal Mac ferry from Brodick to Ardrossan
09:15 – 11:45Arrive at Ardrossan, Transfer to Edinburgh
11:45 – 13:30Arrive at the Scotch Malt Whisky Society for lunch – two course lunch, with whisky
13:30 – 14:00Transfer to Edinburgh Waverley**
14:00 – 16:32Train from Edinburgh Waverley to York with LNER
16:45 – 17:15Transfer to Harrogate

*= As breakfast is served from 7.30am at the hotel, we have arranged for breakfast on the ferry
**= Any luggage left with The Kimpton Charlotte Square Hotel during the trip to Arran will be available for collection before you board the train to York

All times are subject to change.