FAQ's for Touring Holidays
Costs and Arrangements
How does your service work? How are you remunerated?
We live largely off commission from hotels and other providers - 'largely' since some smaller inns and B&Bs do not pay commission and we therefore have to mark up slightly to cover our costs. Please see also our Standard Terms and Conditions.
How much will it cost?
We are always wary about suggesting how much a trip will cost, since there has to be such a long list of assumptions and explanations. What we can give you is an indication of the cost of various types of accommodation: Good B&Bs in the countryside will cost about GBP £30 - £35 per person per night, though in the heart of Edinburgh it can be as much as GBP £60 or £70 in August. Dinner, bed and breakfast in a good country house hotel will cost about GBP £150 per person. Top end castles and hotels go up to GBP £180 per person for just B&B.
Are there any extras on top of your price?
We lay out clearly all the arrangements we are proposing for both meals and lodgings including all taxes, insurance and other compulsory expenditure. You need to take account of lunches, snacks, drinks (except when guests in a castle) entry charges for castles and attractions, and petrol.
Can you send us some literature?
We do not produce any printed literature since we are essentially agents for a wide range of castles and other establishments. It would be quite impossible to do justice to all the possibilities in a brochure that would not both weigh a ton and break the bank. We are however delighted to answer all your questions and continue to make suggestions until we find the right solution (assuming it exists!).
When to Come
What will the weather be like?
Unpredictable! July and August are the warmest and most popular months. August embraces the Edinburgh Festival with associated Military Tattoo which is well worth including, and the heather is undoubtedly at its best in the latter part. May and June can be wonderful - flowers everywhere with long evenings and stunning sunsets. September has a habit of producing the best weather of the lot. October tends to be variable, but it's still good for golf and the birches on the hillsides and the beeches in the valleys are always showing spectacular colours.
Here are approximate average midday temperatures in Scotland:
|January 6 C / 43 F||May 14 C / 57 F||September 16 C / 61 F|
|February 6 C / 43 F||June 16 C / 61 F||October 13 C / 55 F|
|March 8 C / 46 F||July 18 C / 64 F||November 9 C / 49 F|
|April 10 C / 50 F||August 18 C / 64 F||December 7 C / 45 F|
When should we book?
In general three or four months in advance is quite adequate. Notable exceptions are: anywhere nice at Easter, castles on summer weekends, and Edinburgh in August (even B&Bs). For all these you should book NOW!
Should we hire a car or use public transport?
You are much better with a car. The adventurous will enjoy tying up train services with local bus timetables but it is not an efficient way to use limited time, and some of the most interesting attractions are hard to get to. Driving on the left is not really so hard and we send all our clients some helpful hints in advance!
How long does it take to get around?
If enjoying the countryside as you go, you should reckon on the following:
|Glasgow Airport to Inverness||3 hours 45 mins|
|Glasgow Airport to Fort William||2 hours 45 mins|
|Edinburgh Airport to Inverness||3 hours 15 mins|
|Edinburgh Airport to Aberdeen||2 hours 30 mins|
|Aberdeen to Inverness||2 hours 30 mins|
|Inverness to Skye Bridge||2 hours 15 mins|
Where should we fly to?
It makes little difference for most itineraries. Glasgow and Edinburgh both have transatlantic flights. Some people find it convenient to come in via Dublin (Ireland) or Schiphol (Holland). If you come via London, do not be tempted to drive up to Scotland - train is often a good option and flying with our low cost carriers can be both cheap and easy.
Do you do bus tours?
No. For bus tours we recommend Rabbie's Trail Burners.
Do you book ferries for us?
We are delighted to do so and this is certainly advisable for longer journeys such as the Orkney Islands and the Outer Hebrides where it will dictate your day.
Can we stay as guests in a private castle?
You certainly can! A limited number of castle owners take in paying guests. If you are four or six, this is much easier to arrange than if you are only two - and it makes for a better party!
Can we book a haunted castle?
Certainly. Every castle worth its salt has a ghost, but they tend to appear once every hundred years or so.
Do we need to bring formal evening wear?
Wherever dress is an issue we will give you clear guidelines. Normally a jacket and tie is perfectly adequate for a castle. Most hotels have no dress code
What is the main advice that you give your clients? (and which they do not always take!)
TAKE IT EASY! Scotland does not lend itself well to a helter-skelter rush round well known monuments. It is a place to relax and enjoy the scenery.