Day 1 North up the East Coast of England to our overnight stop, the 4 Star Gosforth Park near Newcastle.
Day 2 We follow the coastal route into Scotland and make a lunchtime stop in Edinburgh. Then we cross the mighty bridges over the Firth of Forth and Tay Estuary and continue North to Aberdeen, our base for 4 nights.
Tours whilst at resort
A We walk in the footsteps of Queen Victoria at Haddo House, a magniﬁcent example of an historic Scottish stately home. It has impressive collections of period furniture, ceramics and art, including paintings by Sir Thomas Lawrence and James Giles. A 75-minute guided tour of the house is followed by time to explore the grounds. These include the formal terrace garden and Haddo Country Park, with its lakes, monuments, woodland walks and deer park. In the afternoon we discover Pitmedden Garden, one of Britain’s top historic gardens dating from 1675. In the stunning Great Garden, thousands of colourful annual bedding plants make up an elaborate summer spectacle. Visitors can also enjoy woodland walks and a fascinating herb garden. Today, Pitmedden features over 5 miles of box hedging arranged in intricate patterns to form six parterres which are ﬁlled with some 40,000 plants bursting with colour in the summer months.
B We spend the morning in Aberdeen and have included entry to the Maritime Museum. This award-winning museum tells the story of the city’s long relationship with the sea including the oil and gas industry. Then to nearby Crathes for a talk followed by two rides on the Royal Deeside Railway in a beautiful setting alongside the River Dee.
C To Drum Castle, gifted by King Robert the Bruce and home of the Irvine family for over 650 years. It is one of Scotland’s oldest tower houses and is set beside an ancient oak woodland. Drum has it all, from its medieval tower through to the Jacobean mansion. We include a 60-minute out-out-hours guided tour before it is open to the general public to discover this unique castle. After the visit, we make the short journey for a lunchtime visit to the ﬁne Scottish town of Banchory, adjacent to the magniﬁcent River Dee and surrounded by lovely rural countryside and attractive hills.
Day 6 A diﬀerent route as we begin our journey south and we travel through the Cairngorm Mountain National Park through Braemar, home of the Highland Games in Royal Deeside, and the spectacular scenery of the Spittal of Glenshee. Our overnight hotel is the 4 star Best Western Plus Samlesbury Hotel.
Day 7 We return home.