Scotland Travel Guide
Many companies offer fully guided tours in Scotland, from basic to luxury. Most of these are full packages including hotels, all food, and transportation costs in one flat fee. Because each tour company has different specialties, do a bit of research—either on your own or through a travel agent—before booking. You'll want to know about the hotels you'll be staying in, how big your group is likely to be, precisely how your days will be structured, and who the other people are likely to be.
CIE Tours offers all-inclusive themed tours of Scotland; moderately priced tours by Globus cover Scotland and Great Britain. Heart of Scotland has a seven-day ultimate tour of Scotland that takes you through the Lowlands, Highlands, Borders, and islands; the company also has many one-day tours that could be appealing for part of a trip.
Another option is Rabbie's Trail Burners, which offers small-group guided tours in and around Scotland, as well as handy day tours from Edinburgh and Glasgow. They have won numerous awards including the Scottish Thistle award for sustainable tourism.
CIE Tours (800/243–8687 or 0208/638–0715. www.cietours.com.)
Globus (866/755–8581. www.globusjourneys.com.)
Heart of Scotland Tours (01828/627799. www.heartofscotlandtours.co.uk.)
Rabbie's Trail Burners (0131/226–3133. www.rabbies.com.)
You can find tours for many special interests. We recommend Celtic Dream Tours, which specializes in Celtic-inspired excursions, as well as golf and whisky tours. The Wayfarers offers exciting walking tours through the countryside. Classic Scotland offers tours of castles and gardens as well as a literary tour that takes in the homes of Robert Louis Stevenson, Robert Burns, Walter Scott, and J.M. Barrie.
Celtic Dream Tours (813/317–6039. www.celticdreamtours.com.)
Classic Scotland (01866/464–7389. www.classic-scotland.com.)
The Wayfarers (800/249–4420. www.thewayfarers.com.)
Scotland has fabulous golf courses; a tour can help enthusiasts make the most of their time. VisitScotland has a dedicated golf website with a list of tour companies.
Golf Scotland (866/875–4653. www.golfscotland.com.)
Scotland for Golf (01334/460762. www.scotlandforgolf.co.uk.)
Thistle Golf (0141/942-4043. www.thistlegolf.co.uk.)
The Scottish Tourist Guides Association has members throughout Scotland who are fully qualified professional guides able to conduct walking tours in the major cities, half- or full-day tours or extended tours throughout Scotland, driving tours, and special study tours. Fees are negotiable.
Scottish Tourist Guides Association (01786/447784. www.stga.co.uk.)