2023 Scotland - Coast To Coast
Enjoy the splendour of two Scottish coasts from West to East, packed full of great included visits and attractions, this twin-centre holiday is a real treat. From the spectacular Ayrshire coastline staying in the bustling port town of Stranraer to the ‘Granite City’ of Aberdeen with its sparkling granite buildings and monuments shimmering o the sunlight, this tour is packed with heritage and adventure including a spot of dolphin-spotting!
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 – To Cumbria - After joining your holiday coach, travel north with suitable stops for lunch and refreshments. Travel to the edge of the Lake District to 3* Shap Wells Hotel located between Penrith and Kendal. The hotel is surrounded by 30 acres of woodland and wildlife, perfect for a relaxed stroll this evening. DBB
Day 2 – To Stranraer – Journey across the border today to arrive in good time to explore Stranraer. Situated at the head of Loch Ryan and gateway to the Rhinns of Galloway, Stranraer is a bustling port town with plenty of shops and eateries as well as its main attraction, the Castle of St. John, a ruined four-story tower house built around 1500 which sits on a green in the main street. Check into the 3* North West Castle Hotel for your 2-night stay, just a 10-minute walk to the town centre. DBB
Day 3 – Start the day with a visit to Portpatrick, a peaceful picture-postcard harbour and seaside town on the western shore of the Rhins of Galloway peninsula. This pretty town of pastel-coloured houses offers superb views over the Solway Firth to Ireland and the Isle of Man and is set around a small bay with cliffs forming the backdrop. Then it is onto the magnificent Castle Kennedy Gardens, just a few miles east of Stranraer. 75 acres of spectacularly designed loch-side landscape create a romantic garden paradise with something for everyone to enjoy. From stunning fauna to beautiful scenery, sculpted landforms, spectacular walks and popular bird hides, the Gardens are a hidden treasure in South West Scotland. The inspiration of the 2nd Earl of Stair in the 1730s, the colourful displays of rhododendrons, azaleas and embothriums are legendary, so too are the many rare and exotic plants, 20 Champion Trees, the walled garden, atmospheric avenues and the romantic ruins of 16th Century Castle Kennedy. The giant lily pond is a truly remarkable sight. Return to Stranraer for dinner and overnight.
Day 4 – Aberdeen via Dundee – Say goodbye to Stranraer today and begin the journey across Scotland to Aberdeen via Dundee where there will be time for lunch and a visit to Discovery Point. Entrance is included to Captain Scott’s ship, Discovery, which he sailed on his remarkable Antarctic expedition, and you will gain an insight into the man who captained this historic adventure at the turn of the 20th century. Adjacent on Dundee’s revitalised waterfront is the impressive V&A Dundee, which opened in September 2018 as the first design museum in Scotland (entrance FOC - entrance fee applies to special exhibitions). Continue to Aberdeen for your 3-night stay at the centrally located 3* Park Inn by Radisson Aberdeen. DBB
Day 5 – Head into the Cairngorms National Park and the Balmoral Estate today, the Scottish home of the Royal Family, where you will visit the largest room in the castle, the Ballroom, as well as the exhibitions, grounds and gardens at leisure. (NB admittance to Balmoral is subject to members of the Royal Family not being in residence). Then spend some time in delightful Braemar, right in the heart of Royal Deeside. This ancient village is situated in the spectacular mountain scenery at the eastern gateway to the highest mountains of the Cairngorms National Park and is home to the world famous annual Braemar Gathering and Highland Games. Entrance is included to the Braemar Highland Games Centre which explorers the history and unique story of the traditional sports and games. Head back to Aberdeen via the fine Scottish town of Banchory is located adjacent to the magnificent River Dee.
Day 6 – Just a short drive this morning to Torry Battery at Greyhope Bay where visitors can enjoy and connect to the natural, marine and historical environment on Aberdeen’s doorstep through the delivery of a marine experience centre. The site has a unique heritage and offers spectacular panoramic views of Aberdeen city, harbour and coast, and the best view of charismatic bottlenose dolphins. Tea and coffee are included whilst listening to a marine wildlife talk. Head back into the city centre for an afternoon at leisure to explore the ‘Granite City’. As well as unique architecture, Aberdeen boasts plenty of attractions to keep you busy and to offer a glimpse into the city’s culture and history - from its seafaring heritage at the Aberdeen Maritime Museum (entrance FOC) to the exotic plants and tranquil ponds of Duthie Park. Aberdeen isn’t just a city by the sea, it’s a city of the sea, where ships dock right up against the city-centre streets. Aberdeen has two Old Towns: Old Aberdeen, with its cobbled streets, mature trees and 15th century fortified cathedral. And Footdee, a quirky fishing quarter at the water’s edge, with squares of tiny cottages, flower-filled gardens and brightly painted outhouses, their eccentric decorations drawing on the city’s seafaring soul.
Day 7 – Your final day in Scotland and what better way to spend it than with a stop in the truly delightful Edinburgh with its atmospheric cobbled streets of the old town to the attractive Georgian avenues of the new town. Head south across the border later today for your final overnight stop in the Newcastle area at 3* Mercure George Washington Hotel. DBB
Day 8 – Continue south as you head back to interchange with comfort stops en-route arriving home during the eveningBack to top
NORTH WEST CASTLE HOTEL, STRANRAER – 2 nights
The 19th century 3* North West Castle Hotel is a fine country house hotel, located across the road from the shores of Loch Ryan, just a 10-minute walk to the centre of Stranraer. Once the home of the Scottish Explorer, Sir John Ross, the hotel makes an excellent base for exploring the beautiful local area. All 72 spacious, homely bedrooms are equipped with TV, hairdryer and tea / coffee making facilities. The grand dining rooms offers views across the loch and the wood-panelled bar has plenty of comfortable seating. Leisure facilities include an indoor swimming pool, sauna and gym. There is a lift.
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PARK INN BY RADISSON ABERDEEN – 3 nights
The contemporary 3* Park Inn by Radisson Aberdeen is located in the city centre, just off Union Street, in the city’s ‘Granite Mile’. Each of the 185 comfortable bedrooms is equipped with TV, hairdryer and tea / coffee making facilities. The stylish restaurant is decorated in bold colours whilst the modern bar is furnished with plenty of comfortable sofas and seating for guests to relax with a wide selection of drinks The hotel has a fully equipped fitness centre and lift. Singles are double / twin for sole occupancy.