Friday, 23 September 2011

CairnGorm Mountain for Groups


 At CairnGorm Mountain on 13thand 27th October loveable lurcher Moudy will demonstrate his abilities as a search and rescue dog at 11.30 in free demonstrations lasting 45 minutes. Between the 15th and 23rd of October visitors will have the chance to take part in native tree planting in free daily free 45-minute sessions at 11am and 2pm as part of a project to reinstate habitat for wildlife and plants. From 7th -30th October visitors can take the free ‘Exploroute’ and spend an hour following clues on a new easy trail which leads them around the lower part of the mountain, close to the car park and enabling them to make discoveries at every turn.                                                           
                                                                           
The attraction will also be open throughout November apart from the 1st,  2nd and 3rd. A ride on the funicular up the UK’s 6th highest mountain is unforgettable. Group discounts are available and pre-booking is not necessary.  As well as travelling up on the funicular railway for spectacular views, home-baking,  light lunches, gluwein and hot chocolate at the highest restaurant in the UK, there will also be a chance to call in at the Christmas Shop at the top which will be full of decorations, cards and lots of Christmas gift ideas.
Passengers can be dropped off at the door of the Base Station where mountain railway tickets can be purchased. For coach party groups a drivers’ cash-back incentive of £5 plus a £6 meal voucher applies.

CairnGorm Mountain Ltd, Cairn Gorm Ski Area, Aviemore PH22 1RB. Tel: 01479 861261


Explore East Lothian


Described as Edinburgh’s coast and countryside, East Lothian is right on the capital’s doorstep.  With excellent road links it’s the perfect base from which to explore.....

To help organisers make the most of all that East Lothian has to offer, East Lothian Council has produced a new series of coach-filling tour itineraries, ranging from simple half-day excursions to comprehensive group experiences.  The 6 tours suggestions are: Glorious Gardens and Heritage; Mighty Castles and Beautiful Coast; Coach Stop Dunbar; Swing into Action; Great Scots and Flight of Fancy.  Now, coach tour operators from across the UK are being invited to visit East Lothian to see for themselves the wide range of attractions and destinations on offer!

This varied and welcoming county is steeped in Scottish history. Here you can visit the birthplace of the Saltire (the Scottish Flag); uncover a turbulent past at Tantallon Castle, perched high on rugged cliffs, above quaint North Berwick; take a tour of the world famous Glenkinchie whisky distillery, home of the Edinburgh Malt; climb on board for a thrilling boat trip from the award-winning Scottish Seabird Centre to see seabirds on the iconic Bass Rock; and check-in at the National Museum of Flight for a tour of Concorde.

East Lothian boasts some of Britain’s best beaches (Gullane Bents, Yellowcraig and Belhaven Bay to name a few) and is home to a fantastic selection of world-class golf courses, an excellent horse racing course and a 256 seat theatre.  Picturesque towns and villages await you with an excellent range of independent retailers offering exclusive local merchandise, first class cafes, bars and restaurants.  From an elegant spa to restaurants with rooms and value hotels – there is accommodation to suit every budget for groups both large and small.

The tour itineraries packs are free to coach and tour operators and group travel organisers.
Anyone interested in bringing a group tour and requesting their own copy of Explore East Lothian, should contact Elaine Carmichael or Claire Dutton on 01620 827371/7181

Glamis Castle - Christmas treats Mulled wine & themed tours!


With the festive season just around the corner, get into the spirit of Christmas with a visit to Glamis Castle.  See the castle decorated for the festive season, and take the opportunity to visit our unique Pavilion Gift Shop. The Victorian Kitchen Restaurant will be serving festive flavours in front of the Yule stove.

With its Royal connections, Glamis - childhood home of the Queen Mother - has a special relationship with Christmas as it is the Royal family who is widely credited with introducing the Christmas tree to Britain in the 19th century.

The Winter Programme runs from 15 November to 31 December 2011 (closed 24, 25 & 26 December) from 10.30am - 4.30pm

All guided tours include a glass of Mulled Wine served in the Victorian Dining room.
Victorian Themed Tours are available with costumed guide at no extra charge.

£7.50 Adult - £6.50 Senior - £5.00 Child
www.glamis-castle.co.uk

EWM Scottish Deer Centre Scoops top Award and gains Zoo status


The Edinburgh Woollen Mill-owned Scottish Deer Centre in Cupar has been named the Best Visitor Attraction in Fife in the Local Hero Awards operated by radio station Kingdom FM and gained official Zoo status through being accepted as a member of BIAZA, (British & Irish Association of Zoos & Aquariums the international), the voice of British Zoos and Aquariums.

Gaining BIAZA accreditation recognises the important role the Deer Centre is playing in animal conservation and public education and opens up new opportunities for the attraction to become involved with international breeding and conservation programmes.

Simon Louden, Head Ranger at The Scottish Deer Centre said: “BIAZA membership  is something we have been working towards for years and we are all delighted to now officially be a “Zoo”. When visitors come here they are playing a vital part in helping us to continue with our conservation and breeding programmes developed to help to ensure the survival of endangered species.”

One of Edinburgh Woollen Mill’s popular Simply the Best sites , the Scottish Deer Centre is located in Cupar near the A92 in Fife, Scotland. It features the Zoo plus a retail store showcasing The Edinburgh Woollen Mill’s collections of ladies, men’s and children’s fashions, gift shop, Highland food and whisky shop and an attractive café.  Visitors will not only find around 150 deer but also other animals linked to deer and their habitat including wolves, birds of prey, Scottish wild cats, Soay sheep and otters.

David Read, Marketing Manager for Edinburgh Woollen Mill said: “Our team at the Scottish Deer Centre do an amazing job of providing not only  a wonderful environment for the animals but also an enriching experience for our visitors. We hope that our new Award combined with gaining BIAZA accreditation and the international status it brings will attract even more people to the Deer Centre.”

The Scottish Deer Centre has free parking for cars and coaches and is part of the Edinburgh Woollen Mill Simply the Best coach drivers incentive programme.

The Scottish Deer Centre has free parking for cars and coaches and is part of the Edinburgh Woollen Mill Simply the Best coach drivers incentive programme. The Scottish Deer Centre, Bow of Fife, Cupar KY15 4NQ. Tel: 01337 810391 or email: info@tsdc.co.uk www.tsdc.co.uk
 



Robert Burns Birthplace Museum


New for 2011 - world class venue for International icon

Robert Burns is synonymous with Scottish heritage the world over.  The National Trust for Scotland’s new 5-star multi-site Visitor Attraction is an exciting blend of the old and new with innovative eco-architecture, precious historic artefacts and cutting edge technology, designed to appeal to all ages and interests.  Set in 10 acres of Alloway countryside, there’s a lot to see and discover: 

Fun, interactive displays featuring the world’s most important Burns collection

Visit the thatched 18th century thatched cottage where Burns was born; climb the Burns Monument and explore Alloway Auld Kirk (said to be haunted...)

Step into history on the famous Brig o’ Doon which features in Burns’ epic poem, Tam o’ Shanter
Enjoy a stroll along Poet’s Walk and meet a famous Mouse along the way!

Relax in the 120-seat licensed restaurant serving traditional Scottish dishes and light bites and browse in the museum shops (tax free shopping) for exclusive Burns-branded gifts

Free destination maps with admission (foreign languages available)

Combine with a visit to nearby 5-star Culzean Castle to create a perfect day out for groups and FITs or visit www.nts.org.uk/discover   to see how you can follow the Burns Trail with our flexible, money saving, Discover Tickets

For more information and group bookings contact traveltrade@nts.org.uk; telephone 0844 4932104 (+44  131 2439304 outside UK)


Over the Pentland Firth to Orkney


Take the 21st century Pentland Firth crossing to Orkney with Pentland Ferries. The crossing takes approximately one hour during which you will sail through the Pentland Firth and into the Orkney Archipelago. This is the shortest and quickest sea route to Orkney with your coach.

Throughout the crossing there is the opportunity to see a wide selection of local wildlife including seals, porpoises, killer whales, puffins and other sea birds. As you pass the uninhabited islands of Swona and Stroma watch out for the feral cattle on Swona, now recognised as a separate breed after being left alone on the island since 1974.

Pentland Ferries Ltd offer the shortest crossing time to Orkney for vehicles and passengers. The route is the most sheltered between Gill's Bay in Caithness and St Margaret's Hope, South Ronaldsay in Orkney providing a more appealing option to travellers who are unsure of travelling on the sea.

The new purpose built catamaran, MV Pentalina, took over the Pentland Firth route from the MV Claymore on her arrival in Orkney. The catamaran will provide an even faster service and a greater carrying capacity reducing the crossing time between St. Margaret's Hope and Gills Bay to an hour. The MV Pentalina can take up to 8 coaches and 350 passengers in one crossing so is an excellent choice for larger operators. Please contact us to find out more about our competitive group rates.

Please contact us to find out more about our competitive group rates. www.pentlandferries.co.uk


 

Scotland’s first-ever Shark Nursery


Scotlands first-ever Shark Nursery has opened with almost 25 shark eggs and 10 baby sharks are transferred to a state of the art Shark Nursery at Loch Lomond Sea Life Aquarium, one of the largest fresh water and marine aquariums in Scotland.

Under special care of Displays Supervisor Leigh Hotson and her team of experts, the all-new Shark Nursery will become a permanent home for these special creatures. 

Once the tropical and native shark eggs is hatched, each new baby shark will then be transferred to one of the Shark Nursery's rearing tanks, before being transferred for permanent display in the Aquariums amazing Ocean tank.

Groups to the new Shark nursery at Loch Lomond Sea Life Aquarium will not only be able to view these special little creatures but they will also be able to learn how sharks pups are born through special tours and presentations available for visitors. 

Visit Loch Lomond Sea Life Aquarium and be wowed by the many strange, beautiful and fascinating creatures of the deep as you journey through the amazing underwater world.  Prepare for astonishing close views of everything from humble starfish to tropical sharks.


SEALIFE Loch Lomond, Loch Lomond Shores, Balloch, G83 8QL
01389 722440

Wilderness Scotland is the "No. 1 Adventure Travel Company in Europe"...


...as ranked by National Geographic Adventure. We offer tailored experiences for groups of all size within the inspiring and beautiful landscape of Scotland. 

We can package your entire experience with a unique blend of expertly guided activities from sea kayaking and walking to mountain biking and canoeing, all tailored to suit your levels of fitness and with accommodation and transport wrapped in. 

Be it a multi-activity journey through the Cairngorms National Park or a skills course to develop your mountain biking or navigation technique, let our expert team put you at ease and deliver a safe and  fun experience your group will savour for years to come.

Contact Craig if you would like to tailor a professionally delivered trip for your team or clients.

0131 625 6635
A small group of sea kayakers stretch their legs – Copyright Wilderness Scotland

The Fair is coming to town great day trip for all ages


On the 20th and 21st August 2011 the much celebrated Galloway Country Fair will arrive at Drumlanrig Castle, its new permanent home. Already key on the Scottish events calendar, the Fair’s new site will allow for greater visitor numbers, more trade stands and bucket loads of entertainment.

Now in its 10th year Galloway Country Fair is well established in the region and welcomes between 12,000 – 20,000 visitors over the two day period.

Set in the dramatic grounds of Drumlanrig Castle, Galloway Country Fair will see a wide variety of activities and events appealing to people of all ages. From terrier racing and falconry to pipe band displays, clowns and clay pigeon shooting, everyone is catered for.

Visitors will also be encouraged to explore the gardens and visit the Castle itself, which houses part of the world renowned Buccleuch art collection.

For more information and to purchase advanced tickets visit http://www.gallowaycountryfair.co.uk/

The Edinburgh Dungeon launches exclusive 50% discount for in2groups


The Edinburgh Dungeon is pleased to offer its best group rate discount exclusively to in2Groups for visits before the end of August

Delve into Scotland’s most horrible history at the Edinburgh Dungeon - experience live actors, thrilling rides and exciting special effects.  Step back into the darkest of times… are you brave enough to face 80 minutes of Scotland’s dark past?

New for 2011 – Sawney Bean: Cave of the Cannibals
Many armed parties have been sent to scour the Scottish Coastline to search out and end the murderous reign of the cannibalistic Sawney Bean Clan, none have returned. Find yourself creeping through the clan’s foul smelling lair and discover the leftovers of lost travellers as the hunters become the hunted…!

We’re pleased to be offering in2Group readers an exclusive rate: a 50% discount.

To take advantage of this fantastic opportunity call 0871 663 1672 and quote ‘In2Groups’. This offer is valid for visits up to and including 31.08.11.

Trossachs Woollen Mill celebrates addition to Hamish’s Highland herd


Staff at The Trossachs Woollen Mill in Kilmahog, near Callander, one of The Edinburgh Woollen Mill’s Simply the Best destination stores, have announced that one of their most popular attractions, Hamish the Highland Bull, has become a father for the first time.

Located in one of Scotland’s most scenic areas, the Trossachs Woollen Mill attracts thousands of visitors each month through its combination of great value shopping, weaving demonstrations and a high quality coffee shop.

Hamish has lived on the site for over 10 years and is believed to be one of the oldest Highland Bulls in the country.  Last year he was joined in his field by Heather the Highland Cow.  The two hit it off instantly.  The arrival of honey the calf on Saturday 5 March has now completed the family group on site..

Claire Muir, manager at The Trossachs Woollen Mill said;  “We’re thrilled at the new addition to our Trossachs Woollen Mill family. Hamish has been exceptionally popular with our visitors for many years and his companion Heather has also been welcomed with open arms.  We even had a fun wedding ceremony for them last year.  We thrilled that they now have a gorgeous baby calf and we know our visitors will absolutely love her.”

The Trossachs Woollen Mill is open seven days a week and has free coach parking. Call 01877 330178 for more information.

The Edinburgh Woollen Mill is exhibiting as part of the Scotland Stand C80 at BOBI.

Simply the best tea for two

The Simply the Best Visitor centres are offering their customers an amazing value Tea for Two at £8.95 this will include a selection of sandwiches and cakes plus cream & jam scones all served with a pot of tea or cup of filter coffee.

The offer is available at the following sites:
  • Kilmahog Woollen Mill t.01877 330 268
  • Trossachs Woollen Mill t.01877 330 178
  • Ben Nevis Highland Centre t. 01397 704 244
  • James Pringle Shopping Warehouse Leith t. 0131 553 5161
  • Inveraray Woollen Mill t. 01499 302 166
  • Holm Mills Shopping Village Inverness t 01463 223 311
  • Jedburgh Woollen Mill t. 01835 863 585
  • Moffat Woollen Mill t. 01683 220 134
  • Spean Bridge Mill t. 01397 712 260
  • Antartex Shopping Village Loch Lomond t. 01389 752 393
  • Mackinnon Mills Coatbridge t. 01236 440 702
  • The Scottish Wool Centre Aberfoyle t. 01337 810 391
  • The Edinburgh Woollen Mill Wilton Shopping Village t. 01722 741 212
  • Masson Mills Shopping Village Matlock Bath t. 01629 760 208
  • Watershed Mill & Visitor Centre Settle t. 01729 825 539
  • The Famous Lee Mill Devon t. 01752 691 100
  • Kernow Mill Cornwall t. 01752 851 898
  • James Pringle Weavers Anglesey t. 01248 717 717
  • The Old Station Welshpool t. 01938 556 622

For a full information pack on all our visitor Centres please contact Idy Davidson The Edinburgh Woollen Mill, Waverley Mills, Langholm Dumfriesshire DG13 OEB
Tel: 013873 82877

The glorious gardens of Argyll and Bute

 The ancient kingdom of Argyll is a special area with dramatic landscapes and a rocky indented coastline. Within this fastness lie the Glorious Gardens of Argyll and Bute, a group of nineteen gardens who work collaboratively, sharing ideas and standards and providing attractive and peaceful places to visit.

The sea and the mild currents of the Gulf Stream influence the special nature of the gardens on the west coast of Scotland. The resulting equitable climate with the generally acid soil provides ideal growing conditions for a wide range of plants from other countries, including some which would have to be grown under glass elsewhere. The nineteenth and twentieth centuries saw a vast influx of material into Scotland from plant collectors – conifers such as Sequoiadendron giganteum from North America, rhododendrons and magnolias from the Himalayas, crinodendrons and embothriums from Chile and myrtles, eucalypts and olearias from Australasia. This has continued to the present day.

The Glorious Gardens represent excellence in many spheres: world-renowned plant collections, historic walled gardens with greenhouses and formal spaces round castles and country houses, two rare Victorian ferneries, examples of period landscaped gardens and modern, newly-developed areas of prairie and gravel planting.

Gardens are precious and their continuing existence is often taken for granted. In a world of uncertainty, gardens provide peace and continuity. We support each other, sharing our ideas and initiatives – and we look forward to your visit when we can share our gardens with you.

Details of each garden are on our website www.gardens-of-argyll.co.uk

Cashmere... the finest and softest fibre in existence


Cashmere.  The finest and softest fibre in existence.  The Mill in Elgin is the only mill in Scotland to transform cashmere from fibre to finished article.  Each season our design team create exciting collections of fabrics, knitwear and accessories for ladies and men as well as for the home. You can find a fantastic range of Johnstons cashmere, lambswool and tweed direct from our flagship mill and your visit to Johnstons will not be complete without afternoon tea and a freshly made scone from our bright and airy coffee shop. Complimenting our existing Johnstons Coffee shop in Elgin, we opened a seasonal Courtyard Café in 2010.  Situated outdoors in the beautiful Courtyard patio, the café offers a wide range of seafood, meats, and summer salads – all made using fresh, local produce. 

You can take a free guided tour of the entire manufacturing process with one of our Johnstons experienced tour guides.  Watch for yourself as the cashmere is dyed, teased, carded, spun and hand finished by the latest generation of Elgin craftsmen. 

Opening Hours
Heritage Centre & Mill Shop: Monday - Saturday: 9am-5:30pm, Sunday: 11am-5pm
Coffee Shop - Monday to Saturday: 10am-5pm, Sunday 11am-4:30pm 

Tale of Twa Toons

In partnership with the National Trust for Scotland, Mercat Tours (5-Star Edinburgh Walking Tour Company) are offering private groups the ultimate Edinburgh city walking tour experience.

A Tale of Twa Toons will take visitors on a journey of discovery and contrasts, from the hustle and bustle of the Royal Mile and the heart of Edinburgh’s Old Town, to the sophistication of Charlotte Square and the stunning architecture of Edinburgh’s World Heritage Site. Tour price includes entrance to 17th-century Gladstone’s Land and 18th-century Georgian House.

Throughout, a Mercat guide will entertain and enthral visitors with stories of the life and times of people across the ages.
For tour bookings and enquiries email Mercat Tours at info@mercattours.com, telephone +44 (0)131 225 5445, or visit https://www.mercattours.com/tale-o-twa-touns.asp

See, explore, discover and enjoy!

The award winning Seaprobe Atlantis Semi-Submersible Glass Bottom Boat, from Kyle of Lochalsh, offers a unique opportunity to explore all the scenery and wildlife, above and below the waves, without getting wet. Enjoy the spectacular coastline of Skye & Lochalsh, with superb close-up views of the local seals and other wildlife above the waves, while below the waves, its huge underwater viewing gallery, easily-accessed, offers full head height, comfortable seating, and all-round underwater vision. Drift through beautiful kelp forests, and marvel at the rich diversity of wildlife in this Marine Special Area of Conservation.

SEE the seals on Seal Island on every trip, Regular Otters, and occasional Dolphins and whales.

EXPLORE Kelp Forests equal in beauty and sheer diversity to any coral reef with fish, starfish, crabs, jellyfish, anemones and more.

DISCOVER the 500ft long World War II Shipwreck, HMS Port Napier and...

ENJOY all the spectacular views above the waves, too. Not just all-round underwater vision, but the ultimate all-round experience.

Regular trips run daily from Easter to the end of October. Atlantis is suitable for all ages and agilities, and due to its sheltered design and location, the weather usually has no effect on cruises. Atlantis is licensed to carry up to 55 passengers, and offers on-board refreshments and toilets. Special group rates are available, coach driver incentives are offered, and free coach parking is plentiful.

For more information, Freephone 0800 980 4846, email:seaprobe@msn.com or visit www.seaprobeatlantis.com.


112 Years old -& still looking after groups visiting the Trossachs

112 years since she started life carrying Victorian sightseers on excursions on Loch Katrine, the famous steamship Sir Walter Scott welcoming visitors on board once more, providing holidaymakers with the opportunity of enjoying one of the most memorable experiences offered by Scotland’s maritime heritage.

Always a popular choice with groups, the Sir Walter Scott combines all the atmosphere of a Victorian pleasure steamer with totally up-to-date facilities and services, including comfortable lounges with panoramic views which allow passengers to relax and admire the passing scenery.
Each morning the Sir Walter Scott sails at 10.30am from Trossachs Pier (where visitor facilities include free coach parking, a restaurant and gift shop), for the return sailing to Stronachlachar, arriving back again at 12.30pm. In the afternoon there is another chance for passengers to sample the joys of travelling by steam, with several shorter 1-hour cruises.

Equally popular with groups visiting Loch Katrine is the modern cruiser ‘Lady of the Lake’, its name inspired by title of Sir Walter Scott’s famous poem. The ‘Lady of the Lake’ has its own programme of departures for 2011, including the ‘Legends of the Loch’ cruise, an afternoon sailing which introduces visitors to some of the many characters associated with Loch Katrine from over the generations, from the Highlander Rob Roy McGregor to Queen Victoria, who visited in 1859 to declare open the system which still supplies the city of Glasgow with water to this day.

Group Reservations for all sailings can be made by calling (01877) 332000. Timetable information and online reservations are available from www.lochkatrine.com

Stirling’s famous monument set to mark a milestone

The 150th Anniversary of the Laying of the Foundation Stone at Stirling’s National Wallace Monument is being marked this year by a series of special events at the famous landmark, which commemorates the Scottish patriot and martyr William Wallace.

On 24th June 1861 thousands of men, women and children travelled from all across Scotland for the ceremony of laying the foundation stone for the Monument, and 150 years later it stands as a testament to the high esteem in which William Wallace is still held.

Throughout the year, the Monument is presenting a programme of anniversary events, with presentations by costumed actors, guided walks, falconry displays, entertainment, and games and puzzles for children, meaning that there is something for everyone to enjoy. On the anniversary date (Friday 24th June) Victorian entertainers will recreate the atmosphere of bygone days, and every visitor will receive a special commemorative certificate to mark the occasion.

The programme concludes with special events and activities planned for 26th and 27th November 2011 (including free admission to all visitors on both days), to mark St. Andrew’s Day.

The setting of the Monument, just outside Scotland’s ancient capital city, and the significance of the story which it tells about Scotland’s turbulent past, means that it is always a popular choice for groups, for whom special discounted admission charges are available.

Further information on all events is available from The National Wallace Monument at (01786) 472140, or at www.nationalwallacemonument.com.