Our journey will begin in Northern England’s Lake District, an area known for its 16 beautiful lakes surrounded by rugged hills and quaint villages. Beloved poet William Wadsworth lived in this area and we will visit his home. A short train ride and a cruise on lovely Lake Windermere will give you a perspective from both land and water of this picturesque area.
Castles, tartans, kilts, bagpipes, passionate people and whiskey blended with a rich history make Scotland a must see destination. Scotland may be a small country, but it is packed with history, culture and welcoming people.
Having visited Scotland on two separate occasions, I am diffidently a fan. Bordered on the south by England, the rest of Scotland is surround by water. The Atlantic Ocean is on the west coast and the North Sea on the east. Did you know there are over 790 islands that make up Scotland’s coastline? These islands are divided into four main groups; the Shetland, Orkney and the Inner and Outer Hebrides.
On our journey, you will stay for two nights on an Orkney Island before visiting mainland castles, roman ruins and touring the Royal family yacht, Britannia, now permanently moored in Edinburgh and the Isle of Sky.
Bagpipes, kilts, performers and music are all part of the well-known Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo. Did you know that the term “tattoo” originates from a 17th-century Dutch phrase doe den tap toe (turn off the tap)? The signal it was time for “last call” was marked by the regiment’s drummers beating the drums to signal the last duty of the day. This signaled all tavern owners each night to turn off the taps so the soldiers would return to their lodgings. The first public military tattoo performed in Edinburgh was in 1949 and called “Something About a Soldier”. This first year was so success that the following year in 1950, the official name of the event was changed to the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo. The Tattoo is an annual event performed every August and attracts crowds from all over the world to watch. We know you are going to enjoy this spectacular event!
There are many lochs (Scottish Gaelic and Scots word for a lake or for a sea inlet) in Scotland and we will visit three, Loch Lomond, Loch Katherine and Lock Ness. We will cruise on Loch Lomond, Scotland’s largest loch, considered the most romantic and the centerpiece of Scotland’s first national park.
If you have ever heard anything about Scotland’s lochs, you have probably heard about Loch Ness and its local inhabitant Nessie. Nessie, is an aquatic being whose story dates back to the sixth century AD. So the story goes, that one swimmer was reportedly drowned by Nessie. An attempt made by a second swimmer escorted by boat completed the swim. This swimmer was also interrupted by an aquatic creature but after the boat captain made the sign of the cross and told the creature to back away Nessie did so.
There have been many pictures taken of the mysterious creature and in almost all of them Nessie looks similar to our Okanagan Lake monster, Ogopogo. Could they be related or members of the same aquatic species? Loch Ness like Lake Okanagan is a very large and very deep lake and over the years, many people have reported seeing and have tried to capture these elusive creatures on film. On this tour maybe you will be the one to see, or photograph Nessie!
Written by: Joan Niemeier