Sightseeing Bus Tours in Scotland

Sightseeing in Scotland

Scotland is one of the constituent countries that make up the United Kingdom alongside Northern Ireland, Wales and England. Located in the northern part of the British Isles, Scotland is known for its beautiful natural landscape, its history and of course the friendliness of the Scottish People.

If you are visiting Scotland and want to do some sightseeing , there are numerous aspects of the country that can offer the views and experience that you are looking for. There are two national parks which all our minibus tours travel through. The Trossachs national park and the Cairngorms National park both of which are relatively new, being created in 2002 and 2003 respectively. Under the 2000 parliament Act there were four National Park aims: to conserve and enhance the natural and cultural heritage. To promote the sustainable use of the natural resources of the area. To promote understanding and enjoyment of the special qualities of the area by the public.

With a population of just under 5 ½ million people, a fifth of which live in Edinburgh and Glasgow  alone and the large majority spread around the four other cities (Dundee, Inverness, Aberdeen and Perth) and other major towns, there are large expenses of countryside that are for the most part uninhabited.

The union between Scotland and England was because of the politically and economically attractive with the prospect of the growing  British Empire offering growth, job and wealth the Treaty of Union of 1707. The ports of Scotland became very prominent with the tobacco trade, but Scottish merchants profited from other goods susch as iron, coal, sugar, rope, sailcloth, glass-works and soap-works, oh and breweries – the scots like their drinks ! Glasgow became one of the largest cities in the world, and known as “the Second City of the Empire” Glasgow became one of the largest cities in the world, and known as “the Second City of the Empire”

Scottish History can be traced back to the Iron age with evidence of settlers building defensive fortifications at places such as Dumbarton which lies on the northern banks of the River Clyde just outside of Glasgow.

Military bus tours covering Scottish battles

We have enjoy the company of many a traveller tracing their ancestry with trips around Scotland. Through-out the years, Scotland has seen its fair share of battles with recorded evidence of these dating back to 875 AD when Danes crossed the North Sea and fought the natives of Scotland.

So they say Scotish blood is around the world from just across the water in scandinavia to Austrilai and the United States. As anyone from Scotland will tell you, the English attempted to subjugate the Scottish people whilst under the reign of Edward 1st. Our business of sightseeing tours in Scotalnd would not really exist if it was not for the National Heroes such as William Wallace who came forward to lead the defiant Scots in open warfare against Edward’s army resulting in a spectacular victory at Stirling Bridge in 1297. Approximately 6,000 Scots held battle with over 9,000 English Cavalry and Infantry and triumphing.  A highlight of your Scottish bus tours is seeing the monument to Wallace which now stands at the site of this famous victory within easy viewing distance from Stirling Castle.

Tensions remained high with various battles taking place between the Scots and the English right up until 1575

The last pitched battle fought on British soil took place in 1746 and is known as the Battle of Culloden. Popular culture tells us of Bonnie Prince Charlie or the Young Pretender (grandson to James II of England/James VII of Scotland) attempting to claim the throne of England. He raised an army to further his cause. The army was defeated at Culloden which was a total massacre.

Famous Scots

William Wallace is probably one of the most famous Scots in history. Known for his defiance against Edward I of England and his subsequent death by being Hung, drawn and quartered in 1305. He is still regarded as a Hero of the Scots remembered in Film, Song, stories and poetry. The rousing song “Flower of Scotland” is a homage to the great warrior.

Robert the Bruce (Robert I, King of Scotland 1306-1329) led the Scottish in the first war of Scottish Independence against the English and is revered as a National Hero

Mary Queen of Scots was born to James V of Scotland, acceding to the throne when she was only 6 days old. Scotland was controlled by Regents whilst Mary spent her childhood in France, later marrying the Dauphin, Francis in 1558 aged 14. She was Queen Consort of France from 1559 until her husband’s death in 1560. She returned to Scotland and married her half-cousin Lord Darnley resulting in the birth of a child. 13 months later, Mary was usurped by her son who became James VI and then later James I of England. Mary was later executed after being accused of Treason against Elizabeth I.

Robert Burns was known as the National Bard. Famous for his poetry, Burns lived from 1759 to 1796. He is known for Auld Lang Syne which is often sung at Hogmanay.

Charles Rennie Machintosh was the creator of a product that has become essential in the UK due to the weather. Mackintosh developed a method of weaving that resulted in a waterproof fabric. From this, the Machintosh was introduced as a waterproof raincoat. With the amount of rainfall that is experienced in the UK, all we can say now is a big Thank You Charles!

If you know literature, you will surely be aware of Peter Pan, the boy who wouldn’t grow up. The Author, James Matthew Barrie was born in 1860 in Kirriemuir, Angus.

James Watt was born in Greenock on the southern banks of the River Clyde. He took the existing design of Newcomen’s Steam Engine and developed into a machine that utilised rotary action which effectively powered the Industrial Revolution. He is also known for developing the first copying machine through the use of special inks and papers that could copy a document.

Alexander Fleming was a Scottish Physician and Microbiologist who gained fame for developing the world’s first effective antibiotic substance (Penicillin).

The world would be a different place today if it wasn’t for our next famous Scotsman, Alexander Graham Bell. Whilst experimenting with devices to assist his wife and mother who were both deaf, he developed the world’s first practical telephone.

 Scottish Architecture.

On our Scottish bus tour you will be presented with some impressive architecture. There are a lot of examples of varying  types of castle across Scotland and when you look at the history of the country, it is easy to understand why. Most popular on our sightseeing bus tours is Edinburgh Castle, perhaps one of the most famous castles sitting onto of a volcanic plug high above the city. A visit to the castle is a must for anyone who is visiting the Country’s Capital City.

With Scotland’s many Clans scattereds  all over the region you do need a minbus with driver to get you around quickly.  If you want some help with your ancestry tour then this website could be of use to you is highlandtitles.com

Stirling Castle can be found in records dating back to 1110. A stronghold for the Scots in the War of Independence and the location of choice for many of the Scottish Royalty’s Coronations, the site of the castle stands high over the surrounding countryside giving a dominance over all who attempt to attack.

Dumbarton Castle occupies a spot that has been the site of a defensive structure dating back to the Iron Age. Dumbarton Castle can be seen clearly from the south of the River as you head west out of Glasgow and is an impressive site.

Inveraray Castle remains the seat of the Duke of Argyll to this day. The site has had a castle present for the past 1000 years with development of the building to what is present today being made at various stages of its history.

Edinburgh, the Capital of Scotland has seen many styles of building throughout its existence. Much of the old city lies underground comprising of narrow passageways that were blocked off to combat the plague and later built over by more recent builds dating around the Georgian Era.

Aberdeen is known as the Granite City due to the use of local construction materials dominating the city skyling.

Scottish Lochs, Scottish Glens and Scottish Mountains.

A popular demand on our minibus shuttle services is the mountains tours – particularly the 3 Peaks Challenge( the highest peak in England / Scotland 7 Wales)  If you want to climb the highest mountain in the British Isles, you will need to head to the North West town of Fort William which lies at the foot of Ben Nevis the UK’s highest mountain . Mountains that exceed 3,000 feet in Scotland are known as Munros, Ben Nevis being the highest and Ben Lomond being the Southernmost of these mountains.

19 out of 20 of the highest mountains in the UK can be found in Scotland which makes it a Mecca for climbers of all ages. The area that lies to the North in Scotland where you will find all of the mountains is known as the Scottish Highlands.

As you travel northwards, you will see the Highlands with their mountains rising up on all sides and in between those mountains, you will see the Glens or valleys. Many of these Glens give their name to the area or town that you may be visiting or to products associated with those areas.

A very famous Loch can be found in the North of Scotland running from Inverness in the East to Fort Augustus in the West. This particular Loch is home to the famed monster “Nessie” and of course we are talking about Loch Ness. Due to the depth of the Loch and its length of 23 miles, it holds the record of being the largest Loch by volume of water held.

Further south, near to Glasgow, is Loch Lomond. At 22.6 miles in length (north to south) and between 0.6 and 5 miles in width, Loch Lomond is the largest “Lake” when measuring surface area. It also is the location of over 30 inland islands including the largest inland island in the UK, namely Inchmurrin.  On one of those islands, Inchconnachan, you can find a Colony of Wallabies.

The longest stretch of inland water in the UK can be found at Loch Awe. Visitors to this Loch can also visit a 15th Century Castle ruin at Kilchurn.

 

Scottish Food & Drink Tours

If your posh then Scottish Cuisine tours with Beverage. When we think about a dish that is famous as being Scottish, we think of Haggis. The heart, liver and lungs of a sheep are minced with onion, oatmeal, suet, spices and salt, mixed with stock and cooked whilst encased in the animal’s stomach. The result, whilst sounding unappealing, is a delicious delicacy with a nutty texture.

The breakfast cereal Porridge is a hearty way to start your day. Porridge oats mixed with water of milk forms the basis of the dish with optional sugar, honey, double cream as an added flavour

Scottish Salmon is a seafood that is second to none in the area. With many Salmon trails across the country including Rogie Falls, it is no wonder that this particular fish is so popular.

Scottish Pie is a double crust pie case traditionally filled with minced mutton. Served hot or cold, it’s perfectly hand sized for sustenance on the go.

Made for flour, sugar and butter, shortbread is a rich, crumbly buttery biscuit that pairs perfectly with a hot cup of team. Originally an expensive biscuit and reserved only for special occasions such as Christmas and Hogmanay (New Year’s Eve), shortbread has made its way into the mainstream and is available year round.

In more recent years, Scotland has developed an uncanny love affair with anything that can be deep fried, including but not limited to Mars Bars.

Before you get the wrong idea Scotland can provide  a gastronomic experience to remember.

Scotland has 9  Michelin-star restaurants. Pick from nine eateries in superb locations – the UK’s most northerly Michelin-star restaurant, set within a rugged Highland landscape, Michelin-star restaurants in Edinburgh, to two Michelin-star dining in Perthshire.

 

Distillery Tours Scotland

When you think of Scotland and beverages, Whiskey springs to mind. There are approximately 120 distilleries in mainland Scotland and its surrounding islands each of which will produce an alcoholic drink that is savoured by connoisseurs from around the world.

Our distillery Tours will show you  what make each distillery unique as each Distillery will use locally sourced grain and waters to perfect their own particular brand. Pure whiskey or Malt whiskey will be the pinnacle product of a particular distillery. When these Malts are mixed together, the result will be the more popular brands (or blends) that are available in most supermarkets.

Whilst a major corporation from the USA can brag that their particular soft drink is the most popular in most countries around the world, this claim does not stand in Scotland. A home grown soft drink called Iron Bru is the most popular drink sold in Scotland.