Presbyterian Tour of Scotland
In the 16th century John Knox introduced the Scottish reformation and therewith Presbyterianism. As a result, the Presbyterian Church replaced Catholicism as the official religion. This tour gives you the chance to gather with other like-minded travellers to discover Knox’s sources of inspiration in Scotland. Experience the thrill of walking in the footsteps of John Knox and learn about the forces which formed Presbyterian beliefs whilst enjoying the beauty of Scotland.
Dates available throughout 2020
Welcome to Edinburgh
Upon arrival in Edinburgh your private coach transfer will collect you from the Airport and take you on a panoramic tour of the city, taking in all the iconic sites such as Edinburgh Castle, the Scottish Parliament and The Royal Mile, the main street in Edinburgh since the 13th century which leads from the Castle to Holyroodhouse Palace.
You will then check into your hotel and relax before your welcome meal at the hotel. The rest of the evening will be free to spend at your leisure.
After a traditional Scottish breakfast at your hotel you will head to Edinburgh Castle to enjoy a guided tour of one of the oldest, fortified palaces in Europe. There has been a royal castle dominating the Edinburgh landscape for nearly a thousand years. With a long history as a royal residence, military garrison, prison and fortress – the castle is alive with countless exciting tales. When you climb Castle Hill, you will walk in the footsteps of soldiers, kings, queens and even the odd pirate or two. After a guided tour you will have free time to explore the castle at your own pace.
The rest of the day will then be free to spend at your leisure, exploring the closes, wynds and hidden gems of this incredible city.
St Giles Cathedral and Holyroodhouse Palace
After a tradition breakfast at your hotel you will begin your journey in the footsteps of John Knox; starting with his former home – the John Knox House. One of the oldest houses in Edinburgh with parts dating back to 1470, it has been described as ‘improbably picturesque.’ Tradition says that a small window on the first floor was once used by Knox, leaning out to preach to people in the street below. The houses connection to John Knox saved the building from demolition and today it tells the story of the Reformation and how people lived 400 years ago.
Next stop on your Knox tour will be St. Giles Cathedral; founded in 1124 it became the focal point for the Scottish Reformation in the 16th century. On his return to Scotland in 1559, Knox marched an army of followers into St. Giles’ and preached there for the first time. The following week he was elected minister of the church and today it is regarded as the Mother Church of World Presbyterianism. You will have the chance to partake in a short prayer service as 12.00 before enjoying some free time for lunch.
After lunch your guide will lead you down the historic Royal Mile to Holyroodhouse Palace. The Palace was home to Mary Queen of Scots between 1561 and 1567 and where she had numerous confrontational audiences with John Knox. Enjoy a guided your of the Palace and some free time exploring its majestic splendours and fascinating history.
Time permitting you will then visit the Canongate Kirk on the way back to your hotel, this is the parish church of Holyroodhouse, Scottish Parliament and Edinburgh Castle.
Upon returning to your hotel, the rest of the evening is free to spend at your leisure.
Stirling and Aberfoyle
After a traditional breakfast at your hotel you will head to the city of Stirling where James VI was educated by Scottish Reformer George Buchanan. Visit the church of the Holy Rude which was once a Royal Cathedral where John Know preached for James VI’s baptism in 1566.
Enjoy a guided tour of Stirling Castle; dating back to the 15th century and nestled between the Highlands and Lowlands of Scotland, it is known as the ‘brooch’ fastening Scotland together.
After some time exploring the castle and an independent lunch you will head to the traditional Scottish village of Aberfoyle. Here you will visit the delightful Scottish Woollen Centre and see its dog and duck show where the shepherd will give you an insight into the history of Scottish sheep and work his dog ‘on hand’ with the ducks.
You will have some free time here to wander around, see the rare breeds of sheep, goats and miniature horses and do some local shopping.
You will then return to your Edinburgh hotel to spend the rest of the evening at your leisure.
St Andrews and Perth
Today you will head to St Andrews, a spiritual centre in Scotland for centuries and the home of golf. St Andrews Cathedral was once the largest church in Scotland but fell into ruin after John Knox’s sermon which was inspired by Wishart’s martyrdom. In the ruined castle, you will see the Bottle Dungeon where George Wishart was imprisoned before being burned at the stake. You will stop in Perth to see the church where John preached and unleashed the storm of the Reformation upon Scotland.
Upon arriving in Pitlochry, one of Scotland’s most beautiful and vibrant places, you will check into your hotel and spend the rest of the evening at your leisure.
After breakfast your journey will take you north to Inverness via the Caringorms National Park; situated in the heart of the idyllic Scottish highlands and the largest peak in the U.K. You will enjoy a panoramic tour of Inverness, taking in all the major sites, before enjoying a two hour boat cruise on Loch Ness. You will hear the legends and tales surrounding the mystical loch which holds more water than all of the lakes in England combined – be sure to keep an eye out for Nessie.
You will also enjoy a visit to Urqhart Castle which has dominated the landscape over Loch Ness for more than 1,000 years and has witnessed some of the most dramatic chapters in Scottish history.
You will then check into your Inverness hotel and the rest of the evening will be free to spend at your leisure exploring Inverness.
Culloden Battlefield and Cawdor Castle
After breakfast explore the majestic highlands filled with myth, legends, history and undisturbed scenery. Your tour will start with a visit to the Culloden Battlefields where you will discover why so many Highlanders lost their lives in this final, bloody confrontation of the Jacobite Rising in 1745 – the final pitched battle to take place on British soil.
The next stop will be the Clava Cairns; these exceptionally well preserved prehistoric burial cairns were built during the Bronze Age and have dominated the landscape for more than 4,000 years.
As your journey continues you will see the iconic Culloden railway viaduct before winding down a country lane and setting your eyes on Cawdor Castle of Macbeth fame. The castle dates back to the 14th century and was built as a private fortress by the Thawes of Cawddor.
After some time exploring this incredible castle you will head back to your Inverness hotel where the rest of the evening will be free to spend at your leisure.
Spey Valley and Edinburgh
After breakfast your journey will take you back to Edinburgh via the Spey Valley; a land of lochs, mountains and picturesque valleys. You will visit one of the whiskey distilleries in the area for a tour and tasting of a few drams before passing Balmoral Castle and stopping in one of the quaint villages for a late lunch.
Upon arrival you will check into your hotel and enjoy your last evening in Scotland at your leisure.
After breakfast your private transfer will collect you and take you to the Airport for you to commence your journey home.
All accommodation is based in 4* centrally located hotels with a Full Scottish Breakfast included each morning.
All prices shown are per person, and based on a group of 25 people sharing twin or double rooms.
Rooms for single occupancy are available and a supplement will apply – please contact us for details.
Rates are NETT and non commissionable and are available to Travel Trade only – Public rates are available on request.