David McGuffin's Exploring Europe Logo
Duration: Aug 3 2017 - Aug 12 2016
Location: SCOTLAND and WALES
Price: $3469 + air$500 discount : $2969 + air
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Your Adventure Starts Here!

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The Isle of Iona

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EDINBURGH CASTLE

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CONWY CASTLE

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LOADS OF FUN!

  • TOUR OVERVIEW

    TOUR OVERVIEW

    This tour begins visiting my favorite destinations in Scotland.  Enjoy the grandeur of Edinburgh and its cliff-hanging castle, St. Andrews (the home of golf), and the vast rugged beauty of the Scottish Highlands.  We’ll wrap up our tour on the west coast visiting the port town of Oban, the remote Hebrides Islands, and Loch Lomond.

    In England, experience the serenity and beauty of the Lake District.  Then enjoy three days in North Wales experiencing medieval castles, quaint villages, beautiful gardens and steam locomotives.

    Your Adventure Starts Here!

  • TOUR ITINERARY

    DAY 1:  Welcome to Edinburgh

    After airport formalities, meet your Exploring Europe guide for introductions, a warm welcome and a wee dram of spirits. Then, enjoy an orientation walk around the famous Royal Mile. You will receive a Hop-On-Hop-Off Edinburgh Bus Pass providing you free transportation and a comprehensive open-top bus tour of Edinburgh for the duration of your stay. Later, we will meet for a group dinner to get to know one another.  Walking: moderate. Sleep 2 nights in Edinburgh. Dinner.

    DAY 2: Edinburgh

    Today, we will see the best of Edinburgh on foot by strolling the Royal Mile featuring its historic buildings, narrow alleys and hidden courtyards.  Enjoy lunch on your own and an opportunity to experience the National Museum of Scotland.  Finally, visit the historic Edinburgh Castle, the “birthplace” of the city with its spectacular views and vistas.  Enjoy the remainder of the day at your leisure. Walking: moderate.

    DAY 3: St. Andrews and the Highlands

    Today, cross the famous Firth of Forth and travel through the Kingdom of Fife to St. Andrews, the home of golf and the famous Old Course.  St. Andrews is equally important for its medieval town and cathedral.  After lunch, we will head across some of the most scenic mountains in Scotland on our way to the Highlands.  We’ll set up for the evening in a little village where you can enjoy dinner and lots of peace and quiet.  Driving: 4 hours. Walking: moderate. Sleep 1 night in the Scottish Highlands. Dinner.

    DAY 4: The Highlands and Oban

    Experience the wild rugged beauty of the Scottish Highlands today as we make our way to Fort William, drive along Loch Linney, and ultimately to the coastal town of Oban.  Enjoy a group dinner featuring fresh-caught seafood and a quiet evening in town.  Driving: 5 hours.  Walking: Light. Sleep 2 nights in Oban.  Dinner.

    DAY 5: The Hebrides Isles

    Today, we will board the ferry to the Isle of Mull and eventually Iona, the birthplace of Christianity in Scotland.  Here, you will have several hours to experience the 800-year-old abbey where the Book of Kells was written and fabricated by the local monks.  Enjoy some time on your own to experience the island.  Finally, return to Oban for an event-free evening and a chance to kick up your heels at a local pub. Boat: 3 hours. Driving: 2 hours.  Walking: Moderate to Light. 

    DAY 6: Loch Lomond and England

    Following breakfast, we will take the “low road” down toward Loch Lomond and eventually to the Lake District National Park in England.  Here, enjoy a short orientation of our peaceful little village and plenty of time to wander, take a walk or simply relax. Sleep 1 night in the Lake District. Driving: 5 hours. Walking: Light.

    DAY 7:  Northern Wales

    After breakfast, we will drive into Northern Wales and set up near the coastal town of Conwy.  Enjoy an orientation walking tour and a visit to the hilltop Conwy Castle.  We will meet later for dinner at a favorite restaurant. Driving: 4 hours. Walking: Light. Sleep 3 nights in or near Conwy. Dinner.

    DAY 8: Sights and Attractions to the south of Conwy

    We will begin by visiting the colorful Bodnant Gardens (weather permitting) where you can spend several hours enjoying the flora and fauna, walking the miles of trails and relaxing. Next, we will visit a working woolen mill in the village of Trefriw where you’ll learn how raw wool is transformed into fabric.  We will end our day in the delightful village of Betws-y-Coed, a picture-perfect setting with lots of shops, waterfalls, wooded paths and cafes. Then, it is back to our B&B for a free evening.  Driving: 4 hours.  Walking: moderate.

    DAY 9: Trains, Slate Mines and Castles

    Enjoy a visit to Caenarfon Castle, the home of the Prince of Wales and a look around the bustling town center. Then we will hop on an old- fashioned train powered by a steam locomotive to explore Snowdonia National Park.  We will finish up our sightseeing with a visit to a slate mine near the village of Blaenau Ffestiniog.  After a busy day, you’ll enjoy our grand farewell dinner to cap off your Celtic tour experience.  Train: 2.5 hours. Driving:2 hours. Walking: Moderate. Dinner.

    DAY 10: Heading Home

    Your tour ends today after breakfast.  You Exploring Europe guide will be available to help guide you with making transportation connections to Manchester Airport or other location in the UK.

     

  • WHAT’S INCLUDED

    Transportation provided by coach, mini-bus, train, flights and ferry in Scotland and Wales.

    Hand-picked accommodations in centrally located hotels, guesthouses, and B&B’s.  All meeting David’s highest standards of quality.  All rooms have private en-suite bathes.

    All tips and gratuities to guides, drivers, restaurant and hotel staff.

    Guaranteed Small Group consisting of 6-24 travelers.

    All breakfasts and dinners as noted in the itinerary. 

    Traditional and gourmet dining experiences at some of David’s personal favorite restaurants. Eating well is a priority and you’ll enjoy fine regional fare featuring the best the locale has to offer.

    Tours and admissions to the following attractions, experiences, and sights:  SCOTLAND:  Edinburgh driving and walking tour ▪ Edinburgh Castle admission and guided tour ▪  Edinburgh Hop-On-Hop-Off Bus Pass ▪ walking tour of St. Andrews ▪ Oban orientation stroll ▪ Isle of Mull and Iona cruise and coach/walking tour ▪ Stirling orientation driving tour  ▪ Glasgow orientation information.  WALES: Conwy walking tour ▪ Conwy Castle entrance ▪ Bodnant Gardens (weather permitting) ▪ Trefriw Woolen Mills ▪ Blaenau Ffestiniog Slate Mine ▪ scenic steam train rides in Northern Wales ▪ Caernarfon orientation walk and Castle entrance ▪ and much more (itinerary specifics are subject to change).

    A fulltime Exploring Europe guide and local experts dedicated to bringing to life the art, history, and culture of the tour destinations.

    David’s printed tour handouts detailing each day’s historical and cultural experiences.

    Free luggage tags and David’s custom designed drawstring backpacks.

    Our Unconditional Tour Price Guarantee that once locked in, will never change.

    Comprehensive Travel Insurance providing full coverage for emergency medical, baggage loss, and trip delay from the moment you depart for your tour.

    $50 Tour Alumni discount for each McGuffin tour you’ve taken prior to 2017.

    $100 discount if making all payments by check, cash or bank draft. The $400 initial deposit may be made by credit card and still qualify for this discount.

    Single rooms for solo travelers are available for an additional fee.

    Please note – You are responsible for the cost of your drinks at all group dinners and for any additional costs incurred while sightseeing on your own.

  • KEY TO WALKING & PHYSICAL ACTIVITY

    Walking and Physical Activity: We have planned this trip to provide maximum tour experiences by foot, boat, and vehicle. The basic nature of Europe does require some degree of physical activity to get out and see the sights, especially in the countryside. To help you plan, we’ve included a daily projection of physical activity. Here is our key for our walking activity ratings:

    Light – Walking done on level surfaces with some small hills and elevation gains. In most cases, the bus will drop-off and pick-up at nearby locations. Two miles or less of required walking during the day.

    Moderate – Walking done on paved and gravel paths. To enjoy the full tour experience, some up and down hill walking is to be expected. Four to five miles of walking per day.

    Strenuous – Walking done on rugged and rocky paths with some steps and stairs. Up to six miles of walking per day.

    Your Choice – No matter what your walking ability, we will help you find alternative ways to enjoy and experience all Europe has to offer. To get the most out of our tours you should be able to operate at the light level everyday with spurts of moderate and strenuous.

  • SIGN UP FOR THIS TOUR

    To reserve a seat on this tour you must agree to our Tour Conditions (in the PDF Application below) and provide us with a deposit of $400 per person. We accept MasterCard, Visa, American Express, Discover, and PayPal for all tour deposits and payments.  Additionally, we accept personal checks (US banks only), bank drafts, and money orders made payable to David McGuffin’s Exploring Europe (in US dollars).

    STEP 1: COMPLETE AN APPLICATION

    Open this fillable PDF Application and complete your tour sign up  information.

    Return the application by way of:

    – email – bookings@davidmcguffin.com

    – FAX – 1-800-570-1351

    – USPS snail mail – Exploring Europe, 4026 Hidden Acre Rd, Middleburg, FL 32068

    STEP 2: MAKE YOUR DEPOSIT PAYMENT

    -Submit your payment by check or money order and send along with the tour application to or office at the address listed above.

    -Email the tour application and credit card information as an attachment to bookings@davidmcguffin.com

    -Submit you payment at our online secure website by clicking the “Sign Up Now” button below AND follow up by completing the fillable PDF Application and sending to or office via one of the methods mentioned above.  In this case, there is no need to provide credit card information on the fillable application.


     

     

    STEP 3: FINAL PAYMENT

    Your final tour payment is due in our office at least 90 days prior to the start of the tour.  The due date is noted on your tour confirmation letter and invoice. If you sign up for a tour less than 90 days before its departure, the entire tour price must be paid, and the deposit portion ($400) is non-refundable.

    We offer a $100 discount if all payments (beyond the initial $400 deposit which may be paid with a credit card) are made by check, cash, bank draft, or money order.

    Deposits for tours are refundable for two weeks from the date we receive it in our office. Additionally, deposits received in 2016 for any 2017 tour departing after April 1 are 100% refundable through January 5, 2017. After these dates, deposits are not refundable for any reason and will be forfeited if you cancel your tour reservation. All cancellations must be in writing. Cancellations will be effective on the date the written notification is received by David McGuffin’s Exploring Europe, Inc. by mail, e-mail, or fax.

    Once we receive your application and deposit, we will send you a confirmation over e-mail (or written notification if no e-mail address is provided). If you would like to talk to a tour expert before signing up, please give us a call at 800 570-1351 or e-mail us at tours@davidmcguffin.com.

Edinburgh is loaded with history and is entirely walkable, just walk slowly.  The old middle ages-era town straddles a pedestrian road known as “The Royal Mile.”  It begins at Holyrood Palace (at the bottom of the hill) and rises 1.2 miles upward to the Edinburgh Castle.  It is my favorite town in Scotland. Your Adventure Starts Here!

SPECIAL FEATURES

  • Small Group: Only 6-24 passengers. 
  • Experience two Celtic cultures.
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  • Gourmet Dining at some of David’s favorite restaurants featuring fresh local-sourced products.
  • Traditional music, plenty of pubs, and loads of fun.