Thursday, 2 December 2010

Opening Soon! Robert Burns Birthplace Museum

From 1 December 2010, groups can visit Scotland’s new, international hub for Burns heritage. A bold, state of the art, eco friendly museum will house the most important Burns collection in the world where technology blends with precious historic items giving visitors a fantastic new insight into the life and legacy of one of the world’s most iconic writers. The new museum is the focal point in a beautifully landscaped park where visitors can also:

Cross the picturesque Brig o’ Doon (from the famous epic poem Tam o’ Shanter)

Visit the 18th-century thatched cottage where Burns was born

  • Climb the Burns monument and explore the atmospheric Auld Kirk of Alloway
  • Meet the famous ‘Mouse’ on Poet’s Walk – perfect photo opportunity!
  • Relax in the Trust’s new120-cover licensed cafe serving delicious Scottish dishes and light bites
  • Choose from an exclusive new range of Burns branded gifts reflecting his life and work
  • Receive free Destination Leaflet *with map (included in admission)

The new park also features improved signage, more parking space, and easier access for coaches and groups. Prices from £5.25. Open all year.

Take your group on a Burns 7-Day Trail with the National Trust for Scotland’s flexible Discover Tickets.

For more information visit, email or telephone 0844 493 2104 (+44 131 243 9304 from outside the UK).

*available in French, German, Spanish and Italian

Scottish Heritage Pass

Discover 5000 years of history with one pass

The Scottish Heritage Pass offers entry to Scotland’s most outstanding historic attractions. Historic Scotland, The National Trust for Scotland and selected members of The Historic Houses Association for Scotland have joined forces to create the Scottish Heritage Pass.

It makes visiting a host of ‘must-see’ heritage attractions all over Scotland – including Edinburgh Castle, Culloden Battlefield, Culzean Castle, Urquhart Castle, Traquair House, Mount Stuart and Stirling Castle – simple and great value for money.

The pass is sold exclusively to the Travel Trade and commission is available on all sales. Passes are valid for 7 consecutive days and can be used between 1 April and 30 September 2011.

2011 Prices

Retail Rate Trade Rate

Adult (16-59yrs) £38.00 £30.40

Concession (60yrs+) £30.00 £24.00

Child (5-15yrs) £20.00 £17.60

For further information on the pass and other commissionable products please contract the Historic Scotland Travel Trade Team on +44(0) 131 668 8797 or email

Stirling Castle: Royal Palace re-opening April 2011

The Stirling Castle Palace Project to return the royal palace to how it may have looked in the mid-16th century will reach completion in April 2011 and will see the re-opening of the Palace buildings after a £12 million investment to return the Palace to its Renaissance glory.

The Stirling Palace Project will:

  • conserve the Queen’s Outer Hall, Queen’s Inner Hall and Queen’s Bed Chamber so they are fully decorated and furnished in mid-16th century style;
  • present the King’s Outer Hall, King’s Inner Hall and King’s Bed Chamber as splendidly decorated, but unfurnished, lodgings – as it is believed they were after the death of James V;
  • use costumed interpreters to help bring the past of the palace to life for visitors;
  • create a Renaissance Gallery on the upper floor where the original Stirling Heads will be displayed;
  • feature displays and exhibits in the Renaissance Gallery allowing visitors to find out about Scotland’s place in Renaissance Europe;
  • Provide updated exhibitions in the palace vaults about the lives of courtiers;
  • Feature a new introductory display, telling the story of Stirling Castle throughout the ages.

For further information please visit our website or call our Travel Trade Team on +44(0) 131 668 8664

Two Great Offers!

Visit the Loch Lomond SEA LIFE centre and the Scottish SEA LIFE sanctuary and discover the wonderful word beneath the waves. At Loch Lomond be amazed to discover Cammy the first giant Green Sea Turtle in Scotland, and be wowed by the many amazing creatures from around the world, including the largest selection of sharks in Scotland.

At the Scottish SEA LIFE sanctuary come face to face with our resident seals and learn more about our rescue and conservation work with seal pups off the west coast. Also get up close and personal with the Einstein of the ocean a giant Pacific Octopus, who is one of the most intelligent sea creatures able to negotiate complex puzzles.

Both centres are

  • fully wheelchair accessible,
  • Toilet, catering and gift shop facilities on site.
  • Free car and coach parking

Free risk assessments.

£5 flat rate per person. Call 0871 423 2110 and quote ‘VisitScotlands Groups Guide’

New group packages for 2011!

New Lanark Visitor Centre Special Group Package for 2011 - only £11 per person, plus every 11th person goes free!

Our Special Group Package is all-inclusive and includes... entry to New Lanark Visitor Centre & Roof Garden, Afternoon Tea in the Mill Pantry Coffee Shop, 20% discount at the Edinburgh Woollen Mill store and New Lanark Gift Shop. All this for only £11 per person, plus every 11th person goes FREE!* Coach parties, clubs and societies welcome!

Surrounded by native woodland and close to the famous Falls of Clyde, this cotton mill village was founded in 1785 and became famous as the site of Robert Owen’s radical reforms. Today, New Lanark World Heritage Site is beautifully restored as both a living community and attraction, and is ideal for group visits.

The fascinating history of this unique village is interpreted in the award-winning New Lanark Visitor Centre. A highlight of the Visitor Centre is the “Annie McLeod Experience”, a dark ride, which features mill girl Annie who reveals the amazing story of the life and times in New Lanark in the 1820’s. There is a Roof Garden, which provides a panoramic and view of the historic village and surrounding natural scenery.

Delicious meals and homebaking are available all day in the Mill Pantry Coffee Shop. Plus there’s a large Edinburgh Woollen Mill store, the New Lanark Gift Shop, and Village Store.

The village is also home to the Scottish Wildlife Trust’s Falls of Clyde Reserve and beautiful walks along the riverbank can be enjoyed as well as some peregrine and badger spotting.

Accommodation is available in the New Lanark Mill Hotel, a stunning conversion from an original 18th century mill. Each of the 38 spacious bedrooms offers fantastic views across the surrounding conservation area and River Clyde, and the peaceful setting is ideal for those wanting to escape for a quiet break and take time to explore the attractions of the World Heritage Site and surrounding area.

* Terms and conditions - Cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer. 20% discount - exclusions apply. Advance booking essential. Available for visits 1st January to 31st March 2011.


New Lanark Visitor Centre, New Lanark, Lanark, South Lanarkshire, ML11 9DB

Tel: 01555 661345


Wilderness Scotland

Wilderness Scotland can offer you a truly inspiring Corporate Incentive Experience, Team Building Event, Company Away Day or Charity Challenge. We are the only 5star accredited activity provider in Scotland, so you can be sure that your experience will be delivered to the highest standards.

Our expert team will be on hand to help you every step of the way by providing you with advice on training, equipment and fundraising (if relevant) in the build up to your Challenge. Our Fully qualified guides will also ensure that you have an experience to remember at the event itself.

If your company or group are starting to think about something exciting to do in 2011, then this could be for you. We can offer you a relaxing luxury Highland Castle Escape on the banks of Loch Ness, to a challenging Sea to Summit Journey in the Cairngorms, we have the expertise to design and deliver a successful event that will stand out from the rest.

Our charity challenges or fundraising events are the perfect way to help raise funds, for your charity or group. Our unique challenges can include a number of outdoor activities such as walking and hiking, canoeing, sea-kayaking, mountain biking, nature walks, wild camping and eco-challenges.

To request a copy of our Corporate Events or Charity Challenge Brochures, then please email Craig Little, Group and Events Manager at Please feel free to visit our website to view some of our recommended challenges.

Forbes of Kingennie

Forbes of Kingennie Country Resort has joined Scotland’s Groups Guide for 2011. The resort is situated in the heart of the Angus countryside, yet enjoys easy access to major towns and cities via the A92 which is only two miles away, with Dundee City Centre a mere 6 miles from the resort.

Accommodation wise, the resort boasts 14 luxury lodges, with the most recent, Kingennie Court, purpose built for smaller groups accommodating 20 guests in 10 beautifully appointed twin bedrooms. The maximum capacity for all accommodation within the resort is 81 guests, and the resort can offer room only, bed and breakfast or dinner bed and breakfast packages.

Dining in the Waterside Restaurant is a delightful experience, with striking views overlooking the resort’s fishing ponds and golf course to the countryside beyond. High teas and lunches for groups are a speciality, with very reasonable rates offered for quality menus. The experienced chefs use locally sourced seasonal produce to create their freshly cooked dishes. So if your group is out exploring Angus, a meal or refreshment stop at Forbes of Kingennie Resort is the ideal choice.

If you would like to make an enquiry or booking or learn about any special offers, please contact Louise on 01382 350777.

Cruachan Power Station

Cruachan Power Station and Visitor Centre’s unique location makes it a popular attraction with over 60,000 visitors touring ‘The Hollow Mountain’ or visiting the purpose-built Visitor Centre each season.

Cruachan is very proud of the high standards of cleanliness and customer care that it achieves, which has been recognised by The Loo of the Year Awards. The visitor centre has again been awarded 5 stars for the excellent toilet facilities on site.

The centre houses a free exhibition, self service cafe with panoramic views over Loch Awe and an excellent gift shop offering a wide range of products. All this combined with a warm highland welcome makes it a great place to stop off with groups, for a guided tour of the power station or just to have a refreshment stop and use the gardens as an ideal place to let your passengers take some photos.

For information on our group rates or to make a booking please call 01866 822618 or visit

Clan Donald Skye

Spend some time at Armadale on the south coast of Skye discovering the history of the Highlands and Islands through the story of Clan Donald, its most powerful clan, at our award-winning visitor centre and museum.

Visitors can spend time here -
Explore our Museum of the Isles
Shopping in our gift shops for that perfect souvenir
Savouring delicious food & drink in our Stables Restaurant
**special group lunch menus available, from just £5.00pp **
Marvelling at our beautiful gardens with its ruined castle<>

Groups benefit from access to our preferential travel trade rates PLUS free admission and lunch for both the group driver and guide when your party is booked in advance.

Call Mags today to make your advance reservation on + 44 (0) 1471 844 305 or email

For further details, please visit

Clan Donald Skye, Armadale, Sleat, Isle of Skye IV45 8RS, Scotland, UK | Tel: +44(0) 1471 844305

Walk @ The Top at CairnGorm Mountain

Hitherto the 140,000 visitors who ride the funicular railway 2km up CairnGorm Mountain every year to visit the outside viewing terrace, mountain exhibition, restaurant and shop have not been permitted to exit the building at the top, in order to conserve the rare flora on the mountain plateau. Between July and October 2010 however the operators were granted permission for a trial period to take groups out at the top on a guided walk to the summit to experience the mountain at first hand. This proved very popular and over 1000 people went on the walk which takes about 90 minutes. The feed-back from customers was overwhelmingly positive with almost all commenting particularly on how the presence and knowledge of a guide enhanced their visit. The company expects to be able to continue to offer this experience in the non-skiing months of 2011 and beyond when small groups (max.10) or individuals will be able to book onto it.

For visitors not wishing to ride the funicular or walk there is a Mountain Garden at Base Station level where they can see the plants from the whole mountainside replicated. At the top of the garden is the Camera Obscura with 360 degree views of the surrounding landscape. These attractions are free.

Located only 15 very scenic minutes by road from the A9 at Aviemore CairnGorm Mountain is a place where visitors can engage with the landscape, the very thing which draws so many of them to Scotland in the first place.

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Don't pass on this great offer!

The Scottish Heritage Pass offers entry to Scotland’s most outstanding historic attractions.

Historic Scotland, The National Trust for Scotland and selected members of The Historic Houses Association Scotland have joined forces to create the Scottish Heritage Pass.

It makes visiting a host of ‘must-see’ heritage attractions all over Scotland – including Edinburgh Castle, Culloden Battlefield, Culzean Castle, Urquhart Castle, Traquair House, Mount Stuart and Stirling Castle – simple and great value for money.

Available exclusively through the travel trade with commission on all sales.

To order passes and for a full list of sites contact the Historic Scotland Travel Trade Team on +44 (0) 131 668 8797 or email

New ‘Royal Sailing Exhibition’ at Britannia

In Summer 2010 a new ‘Royal Sailing Exhibition’ opens at The Royal Yacht Britannia in Edinburgh.

This new exhibition tells the story behind the Royal Family’s passion for sailing. The focus will be on the annual Cowes Week regatta in the Isle of Wight, the Royal Family’s private holiday sailing in the Western Isles of Scotland, and past royal racing yachts.

In addition to this exhibition the classic and elegant 1930s racing yacht Bloodhound, owned by The Queen and Prince Philip in the 1960s, will be moored alongside Britannia. Visitors will have the opportunity to view one of the most successful racing yachts ever built. (Group organisers should note that from 2011, Bloodhound will be sailing on private charter during July and August and will not be on view to the public at Britannia.)

Special group rates are available for groups of 15 or more when pre-booked. For further information call our Group Sales Office on 0131 555 8800 or email

Friday, 21 May 2010

Truly Scottish Hospitality at its best

We at Morton Golf Holidays are delighted to have arranged for an enthusiastic group of 52 golfers from Australia to come to Scotland in July for this year’s Open Championship at St Andrews.

Morton Golf Holidays have been arranging wonderful golf holidays for groups since 1989 and we offer packages to suit every need possible. The group from Australia will enjoy rounds of golf on Carnoustie, North Berwick, Gullane, Kingsbarns, Lundin Links and Gleneagles as well as attending the Open on 3 days.

The will be staying at both the Macdonald Holyrood Hotel in Edinburgh and the Craw’s Nest Hotel in Anstruther. We will ensure the group enjoy some real Scottish hospitality and 3 dinners have been arranged at the Kingarroch Inn in Craigrothie, a Scottish night in the Craw’s Nest and a gala dinner in the new Rocca at Rusacks overlooking the Old Course itself and we are delighted that this last dinner is being sponsored by Tullibardine whisky.

If you have a group who wish to come to Scotland get in touch with Morton Golf Holidays who will take care of your every need and ensure that you see Scotland at its very best.

Contact Mr Peter Craigen, Morton Golf Holidays, Northlands, 48 The Muirs, Kinross, KY13 8AU Tel: 01577 865679. Web:

A great deal for the travel trade!

Agent Commissions increased to 25% on 2011 Travel Trade Discover Tickets

From 2011, commission rates will be increased from 20% to 25% on sales of the Trust’s flexible 3-, 7- and 14-day Discover Tickets. As a result, agent commissions will range from £6.25 to £17.50 per Discover Ticket sold.

Extremely cost-effective, Discover Tickets are perfect for both visitors and agents, providing easy access to National Trust for Scotland castles, palaces, stately homes, industrial heritage, gardens, parks, and the new Robert Burns Birthplace Museum.

2011 Discover Tickets:

  • retail from £25.00
  • can save visitors over 70% on standard admission prices
  • allow unrestricted access to over 90 attractions across Scotland
  • are sold exclusively to the Travel Trade
  • are issued on a sale or return basis
  • are valid all year
  • are only available through the Trust’s One-Stop-Shop

The Trust has also just launched its 2011 group rates with over 65% of 2010 rates held until 29 February 2012

For all bookings and enquiries email the National Trust for Scotland at or telephone 0844 493 2104 (+44 131 243 9304 from outside the UK).

Come Fly With Us!

The Scottish Seabird Centre at North Berwick offers visitors a unique experience of becoming a wildlife cameraman for the day to watch amazing wildlife close up - thousands of nesting seabirds, including puffins and gannets in spring and summer and seals in winter with their fluffy white pups. Sightings of dolphins, porpoises or whales are on the increase, so you could be lucky!!

The multi award-winning five star visitor attraction is perched on the sea at North Berwick with a Discovery Centre, Gift Shop and Licensed Café for refreshments to full meals, cooked on the premises using fresh local produce. We can cater for large numbers with, for example, lunch or high teas, also offering complimentary lunch/refreshments for drivers and free off site coach parking. Dine on the deck overlooking the sea and stunning views. Full disabled and baby changing facilities. An all weather attraction, the Centre is open all year. Open all year. Easy access from the A1.

The exciting Discovery Centre features live remote control cameras with giant screens, wildlife cinema, daily fish feeding, wildlife talks and walks, events and exhibitions. Environment Zone and Migration Flyway. Kids’ Playzone and family events programme with something for everyone and children’s workshops at weekends and school holidays. Boat trips to the Bass Rock and the Isle of May, including landing trips, home thousands of gannets and puffins.

North Berwick is just a short trip from the bright lights of Edinburgh, but it feels a million miles away. Stunning unspoilt coastline, blue flag beaches, dramatic panoramic landscapes, lovely individual shops, cafes and restaurants and officially the su
nniest place in Scotland!

The Seabird Centre has a great website at with nine live webcams and lots of information for planning your journey.

For further information visit
or call 01620 890202

The mighty miniature!

The Scotch Malt Whisky Society's 'Out and About' Whisky Tastings...if only we could bottle the atmosphere...

Impress with an exclusive and entertaining single cask, single malt whisky tasting at your event. As the provider of the world's widest range of single cask whiskies, the Society can add the extra touch with a variety of flexible formats, including tutored tastings before or during meals through to informal market-stall style whisky bars.

For a limited period the Society will provide a complimentary 10cl Mighty Miniature of Society whisky for each guest, when you book a tasting, any location of your choice, in 2010 for 25 people or more.

Contact the Events Team on 0131 555 2266 or to discuss how the Society can parti'sip'ate in your next special event. Visit

New SYHA restaurant & hostel

Two Hostels. One mile apart. Countless adventures for groups await.

Scotland’s largest hostelling organisation SYHA Hostelling Scotland is excited to announce the opening of Corrour Station House Restaurant and Hostel. Located on the remote and beautiful Rannoch Moor, this newly acquired hostel is being heralded as the destination for groups looking for a unique experience in 2010 and beyond.

Being situated just one mile from SYHA’s already well-established eco-destination Loch Ossian, school, walking and youth groups can now be easily accommodated between the two properties to enjoy the stunning scenery and abundance of wildlife right outside the hostel doors.

Corrour Station House will provide full dining services alongside Loch Ossian’s traditional style of self-catering accommodation – giving groups flexibility across two fantastic hostels.

For further information about opening dates and for group reservations please visit or call 0845 293 73 73.

SYHA Hostelling Scotland is a registered charity dedicated to providing low cost, quality accommodation across Scotland. The charity is committed to promoting the social, environmental and educational benefits of hostelling to all, from families to retired people, couples to groups of friends.

A sensational journey with the The Scotch Whisky Experience

From Perfect Pairings to Cocktail Capers the Scotch Whisky Experience is launching a series of new hands-on experiences. Visitors will be able to delve deeper into the world of Scotland’s most famous export and explore fabulous food and whisky matches, wonderful whisky cocktail recipes and tempting Scottish tapas.

These “mini master-classes” will be available to visitors who take the whisky tour or as a separate group event.

Scent of Success

Discover the world of Scotch whiskies through their unique aromas and learn how the master distillers use their nose to evaluate a whisky. Includes a tasting of one single malt whisky and a certificate with your score.

Cocktail Capers

Guests will all have a go at learning some cocktail skills and putting them to the test. Includes one mini cocktail and sampling of other cocktails made by the group.

Tempting Tapas

Our Amber Restaurant chef reveals a few gems of knowledge about the best of Scottish fresh and raw produce and how it can be used to create some great “Scottish Tapas”. Includes a tasting of one single malt whisky, three pieces of tapas and recipe cards.

Perfect Pairings

Do you share our love of chocolate or cheese? Scotch whisky has found its perfect food partners in recent years and we will share with you the secrets behind the best dram to match. Includes two single malt whiskies matched with chocolate and cheese.

  • Groups of under 10 £300.00 (choice of 2 sessions)
  • Groups of over 10 £30.00 per person
For further information contact Gillian Armstrong at The Scotch Whisky Heritage Centre, 354 Castlehill, The Royal Mile, Edinburgh EH1 2NE. Tel: 0131 220 0441 or visit:

Friday, 19 March 2010

3 of the best!

Nestling in a mature spruce forest on the shores of beautiful Loch Creran, the Scottish SEA LIFE Sanctuary, Oban enjoys one of the most picturesque settings in Britain.

With over thirty captivating natural marine habitats in a large indoor aquarium containing everything from shrimps and starfish to seahorses, sharks and rays. All this is in addition to a busy rescue centre for ailing seal pups, close encounters with playful North American otters, a fascinating woodland trail, a rustic children’s play area, a souvenir shop and a restaurant overlooking the stunning loch. Visitors will enjoy a truly memorable day out whatever the
Scottish weather.

For more information: 0871 222 6944 or email:

The Loch Lomond Aquarium SEA LIFE is situated within Loch Lomond Shores.

This is home to the National Park Gateway Centre and shopping mall and just five minutes from Balloch and introduces its visitors to many strange, beautiful and fascinating creatures of the deep.

Visitors will go on a journey that offers intriguing close encounters with a wide variety of species from humble starfish to mighty sharks ending up at the top of the aquarium with stunning views over the loch.

For more information: 0871 222 6944 or email:

The Edinburgh Dungeon located in Edinburgh city centre, is the perfect addition to any city break or tour programme.

This unique visitor attraction invites you to delve into Scotland’s blood-curdling history. Combining live actors, rides, shows and special effects to transport you back to those black, bleak times…are you brave enough?

For more information: 0871 222 6944 or email:

To register for special offers and up to date group visit information please visit

Bowhill, 5 Star as standard

Fresh from the success of achieving 5 stars in the Visit Scotland Grading Scheme and the first ever International Clan Scott gathering, Bowhill is gearing itself up for a great year of group visits.

The Scottish Borders home of the Duke of Buccleuch is internationally recognised for its outstanding art collection with works by Canaletto, Claude, Raeburn, Reynolds, Gainsborough and Ruysdael. Its fine rooms display tapestries, superb French furniture, Sevres and Meissen china and silver.

However, this year it is not only the indoors creating an interest. Part of an ancient royal hunting forest - Bowhill provided much poetic inspiration for Sir Walter Scott and William Wordsmouth - ranger led tours cover the gardens at Bowhill or can take visitors around Bowhill’s magnificent woodlands with its variety of peaceful walks.

Trish Gray, House Manager says “more visitors want to experience Bowhill as a whole including
the Victorian Kitchen, James Hogg Exhibition and the landscape, this really helps to bring their
visit to life.”

For information: 01750 22204 or email:

Celtic Welcomes - new island odyssey tours

Celtic Welcomes, established Scottish tour wholesaling specialist, is leading the way for UK coach operators in 2010-11 with a new range of island-hopping and inclusive boat cruise tours.

Celtic Welcomes has developed a range of purely island-based, as well as island/mainland combination tours. These itineraries open up often neglected areas to the UK coach tour market and make comprehensive use of Caledonian MacBrayne’s excellent ferry network. Proving particularly popular are “Scotland in Miniature” tours which combine several nights in either Ayrshire, Homecoming country, or on the Isle of Arran, then onto the Isle of Mull, following in Saint Columba’s footsteps from the Mull of Kintyre to the island of Iona.

Other popular Island Odysseys include the Southern Hebridean Isles of Gigha, with its world-famous gardens, Jura with its George Orwell connections, and Islay, renowned for its peaty malt distilleries. For those who prefer one base for their holiday, there is also an enticing variety of inclusive tours, such as “Cruise 3 Scottish Lochs” or “Steam breaks” - choose from boat trips with a warming whisky coffee, ocean-going steamship cruises, conventional and steam rail trips, adding colour and interest to enhance any tour programme.

For more information: 0870 290 3030 or email

The Robert Burns experience with the National Trust for Scotland

Humanitarian, national hero, poet and musician, lover and international icon, Robert Burns is Scotland’s most remarkable and best-loved son.
Perfect for groups, Burns National Heritage Park connects Burns Cottage and Museum, Burns Monument and Gardens, Alloway Auld Kirk, Brig o’Doon and the Tam o’ Shanter Experience, all within easy walking distance of each other. Services include coach parking, 120-cover restaurant and Burns-themed gift shop. Free driver/guide lunch vouchers are also available. From summer 2010, Burns National Heritage Park will be replaced by Robert Burns Birthplace Museum,
with admissions prices ranging from £5.25 per person.

For more information, telephone 0844 493 2104