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“Four Days of Bliss and Inspiration”
Review of Scottish Routes

Scottish Routes
Ranked #105 of 265 Tours in Edinburgh
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: We all love being able to show our guests around the incredible country we call home. Everyone that works at Scottish Routes realises how lucky and privileged we are to be able to share Scotland with you.
Reviewed 27 September 2018

Date of experience: September 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ExperienceTeam, Guest Relations Manager at Scottish Routes, responded to this reviewResponded 1 week ago

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"bowmore house"
in 7 reviews
"islay distilleries"
in 3 reviews
"distillery tour"
in 3 reviews
"andrew and alison"
in 2 reviews
"perfect trip"
in 2 reviews
"malt whisky"
in 2 reviews
"highly recommend this tour"
in 3 reviews
"once in a lifetime"
in 2 reviews
"day tour"
in 7 reviews
"guide driver"
in 2 reviews
"private tour"
in 2 reviews
"trip to scotland"
in 2 reviews
"fantastic tour"
in 2 reviews
"his knowledge"
in 2 reviews
"scottish history"
in 2 reviews
"lagavulin"
in 5 reviews
"ferry"
in 4 reviews
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5 - 9 of 46 reviews

Reviewed 21 August 2018

Date of experience: August 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ExperienceTeam, Guest Relations Manager at Scottish Routes, responded to this reviewResponded 1 week ago

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 August 2018

We just recently returned from an epic adventure, beautifully choreographed by Scottish Routes Sarah and Clare, and flawlessly directed by Marti. We decided on two days on our own in Glasgow, followed by an 11-day guided tour, and finally wrapped it all up with two days in Edinburgh. While much of my focus was on whisky, especially from Islay, we had a small group with two couples, and we wanted a mix of history, architecture, sightseeing, and hiking.

Marti certainly did not disappoint, starting off on several different story lines and multiple historical eras as soon as we got in the van. He expertly started and paused each story line waiting for us to reach future destinations that would make the story unfold further at the location of the actual events.

Our tour took us from Glasgow via ferry to Brodick on the Isle of Arran for two days, to Campbeltown, then to Islay for three days, before heading up the west coast via Oban, Ft. William, Inverness, Grantown-on-Spey for two days, and finally down to Edinburgh. During this time, our story lines included ancient history of the mysterious Picts with their standing stones and cairns, Norse influences, and the landing and influence of St. Columba. Another era was that of William Wallace and Robert the Bruce of the late 1300’s. We spent a lot of time on the Jacobite rebellions of the late 1600’s and mid-1700’s including visiting the site of the infamous Glen Coe Massacre, and ultimately the ill-fated Battle of Culloden, where they have a fabulous museum. We also rode the Jacobite Steam Train, now famous from the Harry Potter movies. The Jacobite story was followed through the Highland Clearances, and merged into the illicit whisky trade, with the influence of the excise men to legalize and tax whisky.

As to whisky, there was an enormous amount to see and sample. On Arran, this included a distillery tour and tasting of The Arran Malt, which was quite enlightening as to why distillation of whisky so well aligns with Scottish sensibilities where nothing is wasted in the process. On Campbeltown was a stop at Glen Scotia for a wee dram, followed by a tour and tasting at J&A Mitchell, producers of Springbank/Longrow/Hazelburn, and their smaller sister Glengyle making Kilkerran. On Islay, we visited all eight active distilleries and passed by Ardnahoe, the newest one coming online soon, as well as Port Ellen, currently handling only maltings, but with rumors of returning soon as the once legendary distillery. Of the Islay distilleries, we stopped by for wee drams at Lagavulin, Caol Ila, and Bunnahabhain. We did a full tour and tasting at Laphroaig; a full tour, tasting at my favorite Ardbeg, plus a last minute table tasting of some rarer editions; a full tour and tasting at Kilchoman, the only distillery with malt on the floor; and a warehouse tasting direct from three single casks at Bruichladdich. Later on the trip were tastings at Cardhu, The Glenlivet, Glenfiddich, and a stop at The Macallan and their brand new, exceedingly modern facility which was both beautiful and somehow sterile and cold at the same time.

While all of the Scottish Route’s suggested B&B accommodations were excellent, we have to put in a special word for the hospitality of Margaret at the Lambeth House in Bowmore on Islay, and we couldn’t more highly recommend our time with Stewart and Jamie at Firhall in Grantown-on-Spey.

As this was our first fully-guided custom tour, we were so pleasantly surprised by how much insight we gained through an experienced tour guide. Marti is a Blue Badge member of the Scottish Tour Guides Association, meaning he is qualified to guide anywhere in Scotland. It is not an exaggeration to state that Marti is known by almost everyone at every venue we visited throughout the country, often eliciting an excited “Marti!” response, similar to Norm as he arrived at the bar in “Cheers.” What else is there to say, other than we are already starting to discuss plans for a future visit to see the Outer Hebrides, other locations in the Inner Hebrides like the Isles of Skye and Mull, and then up north to Orkney.

Barry and Pam (Colorado/USA) and Mike and Alla (Virginia/USA)

Date of experience: July 2018
Thank Barry S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ms-ClareD, Guest Relations Manager at Scottish Routes, responded to this reviewResponded 4 September 2018

Hello Barry, Pam, Mike and Alla,

Thank you for your incredible review - delighted to hear you had a great time on tour with Marti, and enjoyed your stays at the organised accommodation. Can't wait to hear from you soon to start planning your next Scottish adventure!

Kind Regards,
Clare

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Reviewed 29 July 2018 via mobile

We joined a Scottish Routes tour in order to visit Islay - and its distilleries! - as part of our trip to Scotland. I’m so, so glad we did! Brian was an incredible, knowledgeable, entertaining guide; the lodging at Bowmore House was spacious and well-run; and each distillery tour was unique and informative. We never could have replicated such a good experience by planning it on our own. Thank you, Brian & Scottish Routes!

Date of experience: July 2018
Thank charrock
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ms-ClareD, Guest Relations Manager at Scottish Routes, responded to this reviewResponded 1 August 2018

Hello!

Thanks for choosing Scottish Routes, we're delighted to hear you had a great time on tour with us and enjoyed your time with our tour guide Brian, your stay at Bowmore House and of course the wonderful Islay distilleries!

Kind Regards,
Clare

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Reviewed 19 July 2018

Date of experience: July 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ms-ClareD, Guest Relations Manager at Scottish Routes, responded to this reviewResponded 25 July 2018

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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