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: www.sealsanctuary.co.uk

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: www.sealife.co.uk

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: www.thedungeons.co.uk

To register for special offers and up to date group visit information please visit www.groupfundays.co.uk

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: www.bowhill.org

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 diana@celticwelcomes.com

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 traveltrade@nts.org.uk, telephone 0844 493 2104