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Scottish Borders Short Break

4 nights starting from
£799

  • Visit Arniston, a splendid house built 1726-1732

  • Guided tour of Bowhill House

  • Abbotsford, home of Sir Walter Scott

  • A full day in Edinburgh 

  • Guided tour of the National Gallery of Scotland

Join Nicholas Merchant in a small group to explore the country houses of the Scottish Borders as well as renowned Rosslyn Chapel (as featured in the Da Vinci code) and glorious Edinburgh, with a guided tour of its National Gallery. The houses offer a wealth of art, furniture, ceramics and all have fascinating stories to tell, none more so than Abbotsford, home of pre-eminent Scottish author, Sir Walter Scott.

Available Departures

From

23 - September - 2018 £ 799.00 Travel Info Book Now

Provisional Timings

ITINERARY

Day 1: Arrive independently at the Macdonald Cardrona Peebles. This evening there will be a talk by Nicholas Merchant 'The Adam Family of Architects' followed by dinner with wine.

Day 2: Mellerstain, Thirlestane Castle and Traquair Houses.
The first visit on this wonderful new tour is to Mellerstain, an Adam family creation – by father and son team, William and Robert – this 18th century mansion dates from 1725 and is privately owned by the Earl and Countess of Haddington and contains many family treasures, particularly portraits. We will then travel to the 14th century Thirlestane Castle, where a light lunch will be served on arrival, followed by a private visit of the house. This afternoon we will have a guided tour of Traquair House, Scotland’s oldest inhabited house. It was originally a hunting lodge for the Kings and Queens of Scotland, and has been visited by 27 Scottish monarchs over the years. Dinner at the hotel.

Day 3: Bowhill and Abbotsford.
First up is Bowhill for a guided tour of the splendid collections housed within its walls, that would make any museum green with envy, beginning with the “Triumph of Caesar” tapestries and continuing through room after room filled with 18th century French furniture, Sèvres porcelain, silver, paintings by Gainsborough, Reynolds and Canaletto and, finally, in a room dedicated to Sir Walter Scott, one of the finest collections of miniature portraits in the world. Lunch is included here in the Minstrel tearoom. Afternoon visit to Abbotsford, home of Sir Walter Scott, who was a close friend of the Scotts at Bowhill. Scotland’s most famous writer’s unique, early 19th century house is redolent of his attraction to the country, including in its eccentric architecture relics of abbeys and castles. It also houses his library and multifarious collections. Second talk ‘Some Country Houses of the Scottish Borders’ and dinner this evening will be at the hotel.

Day 4: Edinburgh.
A full day in Edinburgh including a guided tour of the National Gallery of Scotland, one of the most handsome art galleries in Europe, overlooked by the castle. Afternoon free for independent exploration before returning to the hotel for dinner.

Day 5: Rosslyn Chapel and Arniston.
Our final day of visits takes us to Rosslyn Chapel, founded by the Earl of Caithness in 1456 to pray for the souls of the departed, the chapel was unused after the Scottish Reformation in 1560, until 1861 when it was reopened for use under the auspices of the Scottish Episcopal Church. This extraordinary building with its grotesque and mystical architecture is justly famous, particularly thanks to references to it in several fictional stories. After lunch by own arrangement, it’s off to Arniston, a splendid house built 1726-1732 by William Adam, father of the more famous Robert, for the Dundas family who still live in the house. The house was saved from dereliction by the present owners, much to their credit and boasts spectacular bold plasterwork, a strange clock, family portraits including a remarkable Raeburn and an extensive porcelain collection in the old library at the top of the house. Return to the hotel for approximately 17.30.

NB: Exact order of itinerary may vary according to local conditions and tour managers discretion.

Please note: Post tour extra nights are available at a supplement.

Please note the maximum group size on this tour is 25 passengers.

INCLUDED

  • Four nights’ bed and breakfast at the Macdonald Cardrona Hotel in Peebles, based on shared occupancy of a twin/double room
  • Welcome reception
  • First night three-course dinner with wine
  • Three further dinners in the hotel restaurant
  • Two lunches
  • All talks, guided tours and admissions
  • Coach touring itinerary and tour manager/guide throughout

NOT INCLUDED

  • Transport to the hotel is not included
  • Single room supplement
  • Extra nights on half board basis
  • Holiday insurance 
  • Meals other than those stated
  • Items of a personal nature such as drinks, laundry, telephone calls etc
  • Porterage and gratuities

HOTELS

Macdonald Cardrona Hotel, Peebles
Situated in beautiful Scottish Borders countryside, this four-star hotel is ideally located for this tour. The hotel has a restaurant and lounge & cocktail bar, which are decorated in a modern but cosy style. Bedrooms all have private bathroom facilities, TV, telephone, hairdryer and tea/coffee making facilities. Complimentary car parking is available at the hotel.

Macdonald Cardrona Hotel Website

MORE INFO - Please click here to see full details of this tour

Please note that all our UK tours start and finish at the relevant hotel.  

You can normally check in from 3pm onwards but hotels will always be happy to store your luggage if you arrive earlier in the day. 

For full details of how to get to the hotel, directions and the nearest train station, please click on the hotel website or call our office for details. These will also be sent automatically with your confirmation. 

The welcome reception and first evening dinner / talk will commence at about 7pm - full details will be sent with your joining instructions about 10 days prior to the arrival date.

We love to receive feedback from our customers. Their views help us to keep improving the ours we offer. If you have been on this tour and would like to submit a review, please log in to our client area here and fill in the short form.

Recent Reviews

 

Administation
Brochure Description
Flight/Train/Ferry
Accommodation
Tour Manager
Sightseeing Tours
Overall Impression

There were 13 in our party and our guide Nicholas Merchant, who was extremely knowledgeable and very good fun.

Review by King who travelled 03-June-2018


Administation
Brochure Description
Accommodation
Tour Manager
Sightseeing Tours
Overall Impression

As usual Nicholas was excellent throughout. The houses we visited were interesting and we learned much about the subject. The hotel rooms were fine but the attitude of the restaurant staff was lacking in that we were treated as "small group" o be pushed around (timings) had bigger groups who took priority. The meals were acceptable (especially the 1st night) but the lack of choice caused issues.

Review by Robson who travelled 03-June-2018


Administation
Brochure Description
Accommodation
Tour Manager
Sightseeing Tours
Overall Impression

An excellent tour

Review by Mr Peter Bentley who travelled 04-June-2017


Administation
Brochure Description
Accommodation
Tour Manager
Sightseeing Tours
Overall Impression

An excellent holiday. Well planned and the visits to the various houses, where we were welcome, were fascinating and instructive. Nicolas Merchant was extremely good and very interesting. The Hotel suited me well and the food was superb. However the rooms are small and there isn't a lift.

Review by Ms Susan Williams who travelled 04-June-2017


Administation
Brochure Description
Flight/Train/Ferry
Accommodation
Tour Manager
Sightseeing Tours
Overall Impression

Review by Mrs Jill Hurdman who travelled 04-June-2017


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