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Scotland & the Edinburgh Military Tattoo

10 days Special Event Tours
Witness Scotland’s cultural high notes for yourself at the annual Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo. Set against the backdrop of Edinburgh Castle, the festival features performances by the world’s best martial bands and dancers. After the Tattoo, head to the untamed Scottish Highlands, visiting a whisky distillery, searching for the Loch Ness monster and wandering through ancient castles along the way.

Let us handle the details

Expert Tour Director

      Local       cuisine

Handpicked hotels

Sightseeing with local guides

Private transportation

Personalized flight options

Maximum tour group size: 35 travelers

Let us handle the details

Expert Tour Director

      Local       cuisine

Handpicked hotels

Sightseeing with local guides

Private transportation

Personalized flight options

Your tour includes

  • 8 nights in handpicked hotels

  • Breakfast daily, 4 three-course dinners with beer or wine

  • Multilingual Tour Director

  • Private deluxe motor coach

  • Guided sightseeing and select entrance fees

Overnight Flight 1 night

Day 1: Travel day

Board your overnight flight to Edinburgh today.

Edinburgh 3 nights Hotel info

Day 2: Arrival in Edinburgh

Included meals: Dinner

Welcome to Scotland! Meet your fellow travelers at tonight’s welcome dinner.

Day 3: Sightseeing tour of Edinburgh & the Tattoo

Included meals: Breakfast

Get to know Edinburgh in all its medieval beauty on a tour led by a local expert.

• View the elegant Georgian-style New Town and the Royal Mile, two UNESCO World Heritage sites

• Pass the Sir Walter Scott monument, the largest monument to a writer in the world

• Enter Edinburgh Castle to view the Scottish crown jewels and Stone of Scone

Spend a free afternoon exploring Edinburgh on your own or add an excursion.

Tonight, join thousands of others under the lights of Edinburgh Castle for an evening of military bands, dance and performances at the Military Tattoo.

Optional Excursion - Abbotsford House & Melrose Abbey $69*pp Details

Travel through the Scottish Borders region to Abbotsford, where you’ll enjoy an included lunch. Continue on to Abbotsford House, the 19th-century estate of Sir Walter Scott. The poet designed his home in the Romantic style to imitate the elaborate baronial estates of British aristocrats. Today it serves as a museum for the Scottish memorabilia and artifacts that Scott collected throughout his lifetime. Then, visit the ruins of Melrose Abbey, one of the most impressive of the four Borders abbeys. Please note: This excursion is seasonal from April through October.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $79)

Day 4: Free day in Edinburgh

Included meals: Breakfast

Spend the day exploring on your own or add excursions.

Optional Excursion - St Andrews $79*pp Details

St Andrews may be most well-known as the home of golf, but it's also the site of Scotland's oldest university. On this excursion, you'll pass by the 16th-century grounds of St Andrews University, the alma mater of Prince William, who met Kate Middleton here. You'll also pass by the ruins of the town's cathedral and castle. Later, visit the British Golf Museum, where you’ll discover how golf transformed from a Scottish pastime into a global obsession. Please note: The British Golf Museum will be closed for renovations through May 2015.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $89)

Optional Excursion - Scottish Céilidh $119*pp Details

Enjoy a special evening of Scottish tradition as you witness an authentic céilidh, an age-old Scottish celebration. Along with a savory dinner of local favorites, the evening will feature folk dancers, bagpipers, fiddlers and the “Ceremony of the Haggis.” Please note: This optional is seasonal from May to September.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $129)

Inverness Region 2 nights Hotel info

Day 5: Travel to the Inverness Region

Included meals: Breakfast

En route to Inverness, stop in Perthshire, the gateway to the Scottish Highlands.

• Visit the historic Blair Castle, home to the Dukes and Earls of Atholl that dates back to medieval times

• Explore Edradour distillery with a guide and enjoy a whisky tasting

Day 6: Free day in the Inverness Region

Included meals: Breakfast

Spend the day exploring on your own or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Eilean Donan Castle & Isle of Skye $99*pp Details

After a scenic drive to the coast, hop a ferry and travel to the Isle of Skye, famous for its association with Bonnie Prince Charlie. Visit the stately Clan Donald Centre, which portrays clan life on the island and pays homage to Gaelic culture and Highland history. Make your way back to the mainland and over to the banks of Loch Duich to visit the iconic Eilean Donan Castle, arguably the world's most photographed castle.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $109)

Western Highlands 2 nights Hotel info

Day 7: The Western Highlands via Loch Ness

Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Continue westward along the Great Glen, making several stops before arriving in the Western Highlands region.

• Visit the Loch Ness 2000 Exhibition, where you’ll see a full-scale replica of the loch’s legendary monster

• View an audio-visual exhibit detailing the history, sightings and myths surrounding the loch

• Stop at the Caledonian Canal, which runs between Fort William and Inverness

Day 8: Free day in the Western Highlands

Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Enjoy a free day in the Western Highlands or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Duart Castle & Isle of Mull $75*pp Details

Board a ferry at the Oban Ferry Terminal and cruise to the Isle of Mull, the second largest island of the Hebrides. Here, you’ll disembark at the charming coastal village of Craignure and set out for a guided tour of the 13th-century Duart Castle. Then transfer to Tobermory, a small fishing village known for its brightly painted main street, where you’ll enjoy free time for lunch and exploring. Please note: This excursion is seasonal from April through November.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $85)

Glasgow 1 night Hotel info

Day 9: Sightseeing tour of Glasgow

Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Stop in Glencoe, site of the notorious 1692 MacDonald clan massacre, and take the high road past Loch Lomond on your way to Glasgow. Arrive in Scotland’s “second city,” where you’ll embark on a guided tour. 

• Discover local highlights, including George Square and the River Clyde 

• Admire the city’s university and medieval cathedral

• Visit the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and the Burrell Collection, which features everything from ancient Egyptian artifacts to Rodin sculptures

Later, join your group for a farewell dinner in Glasgow.

Day 10: Departure

Included meals: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Transfer to the airport for your flight home or extend your stay to continue exploring Glasgow.

Add Glasgow $269 pp

In Gaelic, Glasgow means "the Dear Green Place," a fitting title for the city with more parks per square mile than any other city in Europe. Famous for its passion for football (soccer) and its fabulous shops that beat those in Edinburgh hands-down, Glasgow is also renowned for its distinguished university, which is over 500 years old, and Kelvingrove Park, the vibrant meeting ground adjacent to it. Most impressive, though, are the Glaswegians, so genuine that their warmness and lyrical speech stay with you long after you depart Scotland's shores.

Glasgow 2 nights Hotel info

Day 10: Free day in Glasgow

Included meals: Breakfast

Spend the day exploring on your own or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Hadrian's Wall & Carlisle Castle $79*pp Details

Travel to the region bordering Scotland and England to discover the historic Carlisle Castle. This medieval fortress was once the site of many battles, as well as the holding place of the imprisoned Mary, Queen of Scots. After exploring the castle, head to Hadrian’s Wall at Birdoswald Fort. Originally a defensive wall constructed by the Romans in 122 A.D., Birdoswald Fort is the longest continuous stretch of the Wall remaining. From its elevated location, you’ll be able to catch stunning views of the Irthing Valley and the Lake District Fells.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $89)

Day 11: Free day in Glasgow

Included meals: Breakfast

Enjoy a full free day in Glasgow or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Historic Scotland & Stirling Castle $115*pp Details

Visit Stirling, a town steeped in the history of the Wars of Scottish Independence. For generations, Sterling Castle held off British advances and served as a rallying point for rebellious Scots. It was within Stirling Castle that the infant Mary Stewart was crowned Mary, Queen of Scots. In addition to the castle, you’ll also tour Stirling's quaint Old Town, which still retains its medieval look and feel. Then journey into the valley where "Braveheart" William Wallace beat back the British at the Battle of Stirling Bridge. Your excursion also includes a visit to the Antonine Wall, a UNESCO World Heritage site built in 142 AD, just 20 years after the completion of Hadrian’s Wall. Visit what remains of the wall at Falkirk before taking a ride on the famous Falkirk Wheel, an ingenious boat-lift that carries boats from one canal to another.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $125)

Day 12: Departure

Included meals: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Transfer to the airport for your flight home.

How's the weather?

  • Edinburgh, Scotland
  • Glasgow, Scotland
Temperature Precipitation
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Passport & Visa

In order to enter Scotland, U.S. and Canadian citizens need a valid passport. The expiration date must extend at least six months beyond the date of your return home. No visa is required for U.S. or Canadian citizens. If you are not a U.S. or Canadian citizen, you must contact the consulate for your specific entry requirements.

Health

There are no major health risks associated with traveling to Scotland. Be sure to check with your doctor or health care provider for the latest updates and overseas travel requirements.

Transportation / Walking on tour

Round-trip flights arrive in Edinburgh and depart from Glasgow. Included transportation is by private motor coach. All of the cities and towns on this itinerary are accessible on foot, but you  may want to break up periods of walking by using both have a fairly efficient bus system. Passes and packages are available. If you decide to take an excursion outside the cities on your own, make use of ScotRail’s excellent train system. You can pick up trains at Edinburgh’s main station (near the Scott Monument, between Old Town and New Town) and at Glasgow Central and Queen Street Stations.

Clothing & Packing Tips

To ensure you’re comfortable while out exploring, we recommend packing lightweight, loose-fitting clothing that can be easily layered. For sightseeing, we suggest bringing a sturdy pair of walking shoes or sneakers, as well as a lightweight sports jacket or rainwear. If you’re planning a visit to a high-end restaurant or performance, you may also want to bring dressier attire. Also, please remember that it’s preferable to avoid showing bare legs or shoulders during visits to churches or other religious sites (entrance may be denied on this basis).

Baggage Allowance

Airlines have varying weight restrictions on luggage. Some airlines may impose additional charges if you choose to check any baggage. Please contact your airline or refer to its website for detailed information regarding your airline’s checked baggage policies. Bear in mind that your luggage will probably weigh more on your return trip due to souvenir shopping. We allow only one suitcase per person. One carry-on bag is also permitted, provided that it does not exceed 45 inches (length + width + height). There may be times when you will have to handle your own bags, and you’ll find that lightweight luggage provides a distinct advantage. Make sure you label your baggage and carry valuables, medication and documents in your carry-on luggage.

Cuisine

Like the rest of Britain, Scotland often gets a negative reputation for its cuisine, but in truth the food here has been improving since an influx of international choices became available in the early 1990s. For traditional Scottish fare at a reasonable price, try a pub meal, which often features delicious vegetarian options. Specialties of Scotland include shortbread, kippers, smoked salmon, Scotch broth, venison, oatcakes, jelly, jam, and of course, haggis (made of sheep innards). Indian, Chinese and Italian food are widely available and delicious. Scotch whisky is a favored local spirit, and Scotch ales (especially from microbreweries) are some of the best in the world.

Currency

The British pound is the currency you will be using on your tour. Better rates of exchange are usually available in Scotland, although it’s worth ordering some currency from your local bank to use when you first arrive. We advise that you take a combination of bank/debit cards and credit cards. They may be used at ATMs, which are widely available in Edinburgh and Glasgow (mostly on the Cirrus and Plus international networks). We suggest informing your bank and credit card company of your travel plans, so they don’t confuse your international purchases for fraudulent charges.

Tipping

At the conclusion of your tour, it’s customary to offer your Tour Director and driver a gratuity. We recommend tipping in your tour country’s currency, the equivalency of $3USD/CAD per person per day for your driver and $6USD/CAD to $9USD/CAD per person per day for your Tour Director. If applicable, we also recommend the equivalency of $2USD/CAD per local guide. Tips can only be paid in cash. Please keep current local currency exchange rates in mind when tipping.

See what our travelers say about this tour—all reviews are authentic and unedited.

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5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 8/14/2014

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: CT

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Scotland and Military Tattoo

The tour was excellent and our tour guide, Tom, was nice and capable as can be. I loved everything about the tour. The only trouble I had was finding someone to contact when we missed our connection at Heathrow. I wish we had been given a number to contact our tour guide.

 

Hello Dale, Airline delays can surely be frustrating. In the event of a change in airline itinerary en route to tour, we always encourage our travelers to notify our dedicated emergency support team directly via our emergency line at 1.617.619.1911. This team is available 24/7 for assistance. This is the most efficient way for us to be made aware of any delay, rearrange airport transfers and relay messages to your tour director. We’re so happy to hear the rest of your tour was so enjoyable!

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | October 07, 2014

4 / 5

4 / 5

Traveled On: 8/14/2014

Number of Past Tours: 2

From: IN

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Optional Tour

The tour was very nice, but ended with a very big disappointment The reason we stayed the extra days was to take the offered optional trip. Had we realized the trip would be cancelled, we would not have spent the additional funds to stay the additional days. We will certainly take this into consideration when choosing another tour. I would recommend this tour to a friend with a qualifying statement that the optional tours could be cancelled since two on this trip were cancelled. Tom was a great tour director. He did his very best to make suggestions for our extra time and put a dinner together for our last evening. He certainly did his part.

 

Hello Christina, Thank you for posting your review. Our optional excursions require a minimum number of participants to operate. As travelers are able to book excursions either pre-tour or on-tour, we are unable to determine before your departure whether or not the excursion will be cancelled. In the unfortunate event that an optional excursion is canceled, our tour directors are always great resources for finding alternative activities. I completely understand your disappointment in the cancelation of your planned excursion, but I do hope that your overall tour experience was a positive one.

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | September 25, 2014

4 / 5

4 / 5

Traveled On: 8/1/2013

Number of Past Tours: 2

From: TX

Tour Director: 3 / 5

Tour Value: 4 / 5

Great Accomodations/meals

The accomodations/meals on the tour were some of the best I have experienced traveling with GoAhead and EF. Our tour director was not Scottish and resorted to reading from a book to us regarding the sites we were seeing while on the bus. He needed to educate himself beforehand. He had great organizational skills though.

3 / 5

3 / 5

Traveled On: 8/1/2013

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: TX

Tour Director: 3 / 5

Tour Value: 3 / 5

Bus driver was excellent

The tour was all right. Tatoo was wonderful, I just felt that the tour was not all together. We had accommodation problems and changes in the schedule. Some of it was very good and other things were just ok. Loved the whiskey distillery but was rushed. Loved the tattoo, but was rushed. Everywhere we went was rushed except the castles and they should have been rushed. Would have loved to hear about local customs and culture, but was given only history lesson. Maybe too much to see in a short time. Lovely country, but tour was lacking something.

2 / 5

2 / 5

Traveled On: 8/1/2013

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: CT

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 2 / 5

Bait and switch?

This was to be and should have been the tour of our lifetime, a visit back to our heritage. Unfortunately due to poor planning and booking of hotels causing time constraints 3 out of our 5 excursions,that were preplanned and prepaid for, were canceled on us. This is something that I believe they should of been aware of and we should have been apprised of ahead of time and not on our day of arrival in Scotland. Mansel, our tour director, I must say did try to make the best of a difficult situation but it does not take away the disappointment of our dashed expectations and lack of seeing what we thought we paid for and expected. Upon calling customer service upon return I was told so sorry, I'll pass it along...to whom? I thought you were customer service? I had to press the point I had prepaid these excursions and inquired as to when I would expect a refund...I don't know, let me check(?...this is customer service) and to add insult to injury was informed 4-6 WEEKS...this is unacceptable in my mind. I paid week in advance in good faith for services that were not delivered and I believe as a professional tour company they should have been well aware of prevailing circumstances, made proper reservations well in advance to insure a proper tour with advertised excursions. This was the main reason for our choosing Go Ahead, unfortunately we were misguided. I have expected a return phone call in reference to my complaint and as yet, nothing. I can't help but feel that now it's done it's out of sight out of mind. The one good thing I have to say is Scotland is a beautiful country and the people I spent the time with were exceptional, my fellow passengers, tour director and drivers.

 

Thank you for sharing your thoughts Cheryl. I'd like to assure you that a member of our Evaluation & Quality Department will be reaching out to you this week to further address the concerns you mentioned in your initial phone call with our customer service department. We look forward to speaking with you soon.

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | August 14, 2013

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 8/16/2012

Number of Past Tours: 2

From: CO

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 4 / 5

Great trip

Great trip

4 / 5

4 / 5

Traveled On: 8/16/2012

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: FL

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 4 / 5

Scotland

We went on Go Ahead Tours of Scotland and had a fabulous time. Some of the hotels were a bit marginal, but that was offset somewhat by location. Terrific Tour Guide and good coach driver.

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 8/16/2012

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: WA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Scotland

Excellent itinerary, well planned, and Tom Quinn was an outstanding and knowledgeable tour guide. We will request him on future tours.

4 / 5

4 / 5

Traveled On: 8/16/2012

Number of Past Tours: 7

From: MA

Tour Director: 4 / 5

Tour Value: 4 / 5

Falling in love with Scotland and its people!

The Royal Tattoo, City of Edinburgh, Walkingthe Old Course at St. Andrews, a Scotch Distilliery anddozens of new scotches to try, a chance to look for Nessie, the magnificent castles, the spectacular scenery of the highlands and moors, golfing with a few locals, and meeting and expereincing the friendliest people we wever found make this a truly wonderful experience.

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 8/16/2012

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: WA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

We fell in love with Scotland!

The pace of this tour was exhausting and amazing as we got to see so much in just under 2 weeks! The Military Tattoo was unbelievable and worth the entire trip to see! Our tour director was fantastic, very schooled in history, and just a really nice guy!

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