2021 - 'Scotland In Miniature'
Ayrshire & Arran
Ayrshire and Arran sit on Scotland’s glorious west coast, home to the wonders of island life, ancient castles, panoramic vistas and beautiful sandy shores. It is the region that gave Scotland its National Bard, Robert Burns, and is one of the country’s top golfing destinations. Based in the Ayrshire coastal town of Irvine, you can be sure of a warm welcome at the popular Riverside Lodge Hotel, as you explore this scenic corner of Scotland. This brand-new tour features a day out on the fabulous Isle of Arran which is often referred to as ‘Scotland in Miniature’.
PLEASE NOTE: Price is per person and based on two people sharing a twin/double room. Single room supplements and upgrades are not included.
Day 1 - Drive northwards with suitable stops for lunch and refreshments. Arrive at your hotel in Irvine early evening where a welcoming cup of tea/ coffee and Scottish shortbread awaits. DBB
Day 2 - 4 At leisure in Irvine with two included excursions. Pianist entertains on one evening in the hotel.
Once a major west coast seaport, Irvine's beautiful harbour stands in testament to the town’s important maritime past. See this history in the architecture found around the harbour, including stunning Georgian buildings. Learn all about the town’s shipbuilding heritage at the Scottish Maritime Museum (entrance £8.50 in 2020), located in a former shipyard building. Irvine also lies on the superb Ayrshire Coastal Path, steeped in history and fine coastal views.
ISLE OF ARRAN – ‘SCOTLAND IN MINATURE’
Just a very short drive this morning takes you to Ardrossan to board the ferry across the Firth of Clyde to Isle of Arran. The 55 minute crossing takes you to Brodick, the island’s main town where you will enjoy an included visit to grand, baronial-style Brodick Castle, the quintessential Victorian ‘Highland’ estate, dramatically set by the sea against the backdrop of Goatfell. A scenic tour of the island will show you the ever-changing landscapes of highland glens and rugged mountains and take you passed picturesque coastal villages before crossing back to mainland on an afternoon ferry.
ROBERT BURNS BIRTHPLACE MUSEUM & CULZEAN CASTLE
Enjoy a unique encounter with Scotland’s favourite son at the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum in the pretty village of Alloway. This flagship museum is set in 10 acres of the poets’ cherished countryside and includes the humble cottage where he was born as well as modern museum which houses artefacts from his life including handwritten manuscripts. The village is also home to the iconic Brig O’Doon, the narrow, arched bridge that Tam o’ Shanter raced across on horseback. This afternoon head to the spectacular late 18th century Culzean Castle in its stunning cliff-top location near Turnberry. Robert Adam’s masterpiece is filled to the turrets with treasures and is nestled in a world of woods, terraced gardens, beaches and secret follies.
LARGS & KELVINGROVE ART GALLERY & MUSEUM
Head along the coast to the traditional Victorian waterfront resort of Largs, which is reminiscent of bygone seaside days of gentle pleasures with its promenade, minigolf, old-fashioned eateries and ice cream parlours – a visit to Nardini’s, Scotland’s most famous ice cream parlour, is a must! Enjoy a slice of retro Scotland! Then head to the west-end of Glasgow to visit the stunning Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum (entry FOC). It reopened in 2006 after a three-year refurbishment and since then has been one of Scotland's most popular visitor attractions. Explore the 22 galleries and discover everything from art to animals, Ancient Egypt to Charles Rennie Mackintosh plus a changing programme of temporary exhibitions and displays.
Day 5 - After breakfast, return homewards, arriving back at your local joining points early to mid-evening.Back to top
RIVERSIDE LODGE HOTEL, IRVINE - 4 STAR
Located on the outskirts of Irvine overlooking a golf course, the refurbished Riverside Lodge Hotel offer stylish, comfortable accommodation in very pleasant surrounds. The fresh and airy en-suite rooms feature tea / coffee making facilities, TV and free Wi-Fi. There is a contemporary restaurant and spacious lounge bar.