All Testimonials

We can’t thank you enough for all the work you did on putting this trip to Scotland together.

My Travel Consultant: Heather Hines, CTM, ACC

Lisa and Dave, London, ON - (trip to Edinburgh UK)
RIT (Royal Irish Tours) – Edinburgh delight This was an amazing start to the vacation. The hotel was great and right in the middle of the royal mile. In fact we probably could have stayed a full 3 to 4 days there is so much to see. We couldn’t fit it all in! It was nice to have a home base for a few days and know the hotel had been paid for but be able to come and go as we pleased. We really enjoyed the hop on hop off pass as well. That’s a great way to see certain locations of choice and see what is of interest and spend as much or as little time as we wanted at certain areas. The tour to St. Andrews and fishing villages was great as well. Got to see some really interesting little towns, one where they shoot the Outlander TV series. We had ample time to wander around ourselves in St. Andrews and look at the golf course, spend some time wandering the beach and town. ‎ Rabbies – Isle of Skye: This we have to say was a highlight. An absolutely incredible experience. Our driver Aaron made it particularly special. He let everyone introduce themselves and had “researched” us a little before the tour. We both thought it was a nice touch. He went out of his way to please everyone and was always engaging and very knowledgeable and basically a hoot to be around. One fellow on our bus wanted to climb up to Old Man of Storr so Aaron let whomever out (including us) who wanted to do that and took the rest of the people into Portree. He went out of his way to let us see the bridge used for Harry Potter and tried to time it so the train would be crossing. He also took us through a much more scenic view of the Highlands and also asked if we wanted to take the ferry over to Skye which we all agreed to for 6.50 each. The scenery is outstanding everywhere and a hiker’s/biker’s dream. This is a place we would both go back to. So many little places we stopped at for delicious baked goods (now I know why my mom had a sweet tooth) and tried Sticky Toffee Pudding in Portree, the best dessert in the world at The Granary a wonderful place to eat. Angus our host at Woodlands B&B was so great. The room was very spacious and spotless. The breakfast was delicious and hearty. Angus also shuttled us from town square to ‘home’ if we desired. He would drive through town square at 9:30 p.m. and if we were there we could get a ride and if not, no big deal. When we told Aaron we had to be to Tulloch Castle, it turned out that the taxi would have cost about £100 or more from where he could drop us off as our tour bus was not going to Inverness at the time we needed it to. He tried to get us on another Rabbies bus so we could get closer to our destination for free but there was no space available. He thought about it overnight and made a detour from the tour route and dropped us off at a Citylink bus stop at Invermoriston, a corner of sorts in the middle of nowhere. LOL Sure enough the CityLink coach bus came by 15 minutes later and for £10 each we made it to Inverness in an hour. What a great economical way to get around. From there we were able to take a taxi to Dingwall. Can’t say enough great things about Aaron. Dingwall – Tulloch Castle: In hindsight we wouldn’t have done this. It was very very expensive and our time would have been better spent for 2 nights in Inverness. The meal was fine and the room was fine but not much happening in Dingwall. The ghost didn’t even haunt us. LOL There was a ghost tour leaving from the bar, but it never materialized, much like the ghost. Inverglen Guest House – Inverness: Dave had contacted Susan and John and asked if we could drop off our luggage after we checked out of Tulloch so we wouldn’t be saddled with it for the day. We took a taxi back to Inverness and met John. Their house was lovely, spacious and such gracious hosts. He provided a map to get around Inverness, so we had a great time wandering around, looking through shops where there was just too much great shopping and restaurants, and took walks along the river. I had the best Cullen Skink ever at Number 27! Susan and John had also put together a list of their favorite places to eat. Inverness is a beautiful town, relaxing, clean, lots to see with several bridges to cross and see the sights from both sides. The breakfast Susan and John provided was better than the restaurants! Absolutely great stay overall. (they booked this B & B) Backroads Tour – Orkney Islands: This tour was a bit of a different feel, quite a bit of an older crowd than Rabbies, seemed like more driving, although in the end it made no difference. The pace overall was slower. Our bus driver Roddy was great. He took it upon himself to search out new, out of the way locations, he himself had not visited before. He took a lot of joy and pride in researching. Roddy was a mountaineer, runner, really amazing active man, very knowledgeable, interesting to talk to and extremely accommodating. He was extremely gracious in splitting his down time amongst all of us to chat and get to know us as individuals. And again, he went out of his way to please including taking us to the house where John Rae the explorer was born. It really was back roads. It was nice to have most things paid for in advance, ferry, hotels, entrance fees to the sites, most food, dinners were great, especially the last dinner together in Wick. A really nice dining experience. The West End Hotel in Kirkwall was a little interesting. Just enough room for the bed and washroom and the two of us and luggage. We also had a little unexpected adventure when we stopped to explore Brough of Birsay. We lingered a little too long laying on the ground peering over a cliff face looking for Puffins when Roddy realized the tide had started to come in and the water started to cover the causeway. Let’s just say it took a couple of days for a few of us to dry our shoes out! And we DID see Puffins! 3 of them. Well worth the wet feet. The history and Neolithic villages were incredible. It’s amazing to think of how old these settlements are and being able to get inside a few of them was surreal, hard to fathom really. Truly a remarkable experience. And more souvenirs! Also the local dairy (ice cream) and cheeses are amazing. The ferry ride over allows for some amazing pictures of the cliffs on the island of Hoy as you approach your destination. The boat has a side outdoor viewing area perfect for snapping pics. Some of the cafes we stopped at which seemed like the middle of nowhere had the best lunches and treats as well. We really can’t say enough about what we experienced on the Orkneys. The train ride from Inverness to Edinburgh was 3.5 hours. A great way to travel, comfortable, and more great scenery. With the tickets we bought we were able to change our times without a penalty, twice, to fit our timetable. The attendant at the station was so accommodating and we had a chance to converse with a couple of young local lads on route to Glasgow for a concert. Holiday Inn express – our last evening. Overpriced, noisy. But it’s understandable given location and people are coming and going at all hours for flights. Just don’t expect to get much sleep especially if there’s a BeeGee’s tribute on TV. The breakfast is available starting at 4 a.m. which was very convenient and the shuttle runs every 10 minutes to the airport which is a bonus. Overall, this trip was a dream come true. It’s hard to comprehend how much we took in, how much area we covered. It felt like home. I felt like I never wanted to leave Edinburgh when I first saw it. It was so special to get a feel for my Scottish heritage and I realized how British my mom actually was with her black and white puddings, tea and crumpets and scones and sweets! Even the red hair was a delight to see! Something you take for granted as a younger person. We’ll never forget the feeling of arriving in Edinburgh. It was like scenery from a fantasy book. People are friendly and sincere, helpful, the sites are out of this world. An unforgettable experience of a lifetime. It was a great mix of time on our own to explore and being guided. I think when you’re on a schedule and have limited amount of time and want to see as much as Dave and I did, it’s probably the best way to go. Sometime down the road if we want to go back we’ll have a better idea of where we might want to spend more time for example. But in the end it was all fantastic Can’t thank you enough for all the work you did on putting the trip together, Heather. We sincerely appreciate it.

I want to go to Edinburgh

calendar

Share your story!

Had a great trip with the help of Blowes Travel & Cruise Centres Inc.? Email it in (and any photo) to:

info@blowestravel.com