Join MPR News Correspondent and Cube Critic Euan Kerr on an enchanting 12-day tour of his native Scotland! Experience sweeping glens, crystal-clear lochs, iconic castles and rolling highlands: providing inspiration for many a poet, artist, musician and filmmaker. The journey begins in vibrant Glasgow and ends in the cultured capital of Edinburgh with the world- famous Edinburgh Film Festival. Engage in lively discussions of Scottish films and books from Euan’s custom-curated list over delicious meals and perhaps a wee dram. See for yourself what one Scottish writer describes as “the sights for which eyes were invented”. Space is limited on this amazing journey, so don’t “fouter”…reserve your space today!
Euan Kerr has worked at MPR News since 1985, except for a period in the early 1990s when he returned to his native Scotland to work for the BBC. At MPR he has been a reporter, a host, a producer, and an editor. He currently is a correspondent covering general interest stories and film. He also is one of the Cube Critics along with Stephanie Curtis. Born in Glasgow, Euan and his wife make their home in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Euan's Recommended Trip Books
• Lion in the North (John Prebble) - A concise history of a very complicated place written by one of the great chroniclers of Scotland’s past
• Scotland: The Autobiography (Edited Rosemary Goring) Contemporary accounts of major moments in 2,000 years of Scottish history
• Kidnapped (R.L. Stevenson) The great Scottish adventure novel, which is also an exploration of 18th century political tension, and a travelogue around the country
• 44 Scotland Street (Alexander McCall Smith) Written as a chapter a day novel for the Scotsman newspaper, this captures the contemporary sensibilities of Scotland’s capital
• Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner (James Hogg) A classic 19th century novel which satirizes the philosophical and religious turmoil which dominated Scotland for centuries
Euan's Recommended Trip Films
• Whisky Galore (1949): Classic Ealing comedy about an island without whisky because of war-time rationing, which receives an unexpected gift when a storm wrecks a cargo ship bound for the USA loaded with the spirit on the rocks. Interesting fact: 'galore' is one of the few Scots Gaelic words to make it into English
• Local Hero (1983): Bill Forsyth's whimsical story about an American sent to Scotland to secure a beautiful beach for an oil terminal finds himself caught between his job and a new found love of place
• Trainspotting (1996): Danny Boyle's gritty adaptation of Irvine Welsh's bestselling novel about drug addicts in Edinburgh gives a view of the city that is both unsettling and at times hilarious
• The Angel’s Share (2012): Social commentator Ken Loach combines working class reality with whisky mystique in this crime caper about a young hoodlum who discovers he has a tasters palate and an in to some very rare whisky
• The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1969): Who needs Downton Abbey when you can see Maggie Smith in this Oscar winning adaptation of Murial Spark's classic novel about a charismatic teacher at an Edinburgh girls school
• The Edge of the World (1937): Based on the true story of the evacuation of the island St Kilda, once Britain's most remote community, this film launched the career of director Michael Powell as well as several actors who became staples of British cinema
Optional group flight departs for Scotland
Day 1 Welcome to Glasgow
Relax and freshen up before meeting your host and Scottish guide for a welcome to Scotland feast at 6:00pm. Sleep in Glasgow (D)
Day 2 Discover Glasgow, Speedboat and Tall Ship
After breakfast, we'll begin our tour of central Glasgow with a boat tour along the River Clyde. We'll see the city's famous landmarks including the red sandstone Victorian buildings, delightful parks, and Glasgow Cathedral. Our city tour concludes with a visit to the beautifully restored Tall Ship at Riverside and the nearby maritime museum. Sleep in Glasgow (B, L)
Day 3 Glencoe via Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park
After a hearty breakfast we head north. En-route to Glencoe we stop to visit one of Scotland’s prettiest parks. Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park contain a diverse geography that includes 21 munros (Scottish mountains), two forest parks, 22 lochs, and over 50 designated special nature conservation sites that are home to a variety of wildlife. Loch Lomond itself is the largest inland stretch of water in Great Britain by surface area. Today you’ll go cruising on a lake in a historic steamship, and see Rob Roy’s gravestone. Arrive in Glencoe in the late afternoon. Sleep in Glencoe (B, D)
Day 4 Exploring Glencoe and the Jacobite Train
Glencoe is famous for its surrounding landscape; it is home to some of the most spectacular mountains in the UK and has been featured in films such as James Bond's Skyfall and several Harry Potter movies. Today you’ll have the opportunity to explore this region on foot, mountain bike, horse or train.
Described as the greatest railway journey in the world, the Jacobite Train 84 mile round trip takes you past a list of impressive extremes, beginning near the highest mountain in Britain, Ben Nevis, and Britain's most westerly mainland railway station, Arisaig. From here, on a clear summer's day, you can see the "Small Isles" of Rum, Eigg, Muck, Canna and the southern tip of Skye. The train continues on from here passing Morar and the silvery beaches used in the films Highlander and Local Hero. Sleep in Glencoe (B, L)
Day 5 North to Inverness via Skye
After breakfast we set out to discover the stunning Isle of Skye; famous for its breathtaking scenery and landscapes. It’s also known for its rich history, including clan warfare, the infamous ‘Bonnie Prince Charlie’ and the Jacobite Rebellion.
The Isle of Skye is also a great destination for wildlife watching with the White Tailed Sea Eagle at the top of bird watchers lists. Otters, seals, whales, dolphins and red deer are just some of the other impressive creatures that can be seen on and around the Isle of Skye.
After a bit of exploring we make our way north to Inverness where we will spend the next two days exploring the rugged beauty of this land. Sleep in Inverness (B, D)
Day 6 A Day in Inverness
Inverness makes a strong argument for best representative of the “real” Scotland. It’s a brilliant combination of iconic landscapes and history: bad King Macbeth hailed from here and the famous battle of Culloden was fought only a few miles away. At the same time, it possesses a welcoming and modern spirit of outward looking Scotland.
Today we’ll set out to discover the towns many sights. Visit the Victorian Market, sample some beers in a local pub and enjoy the lively atmosphere. You’ll also have some free time to relax and enjoy! Sleep in Inverness (B)
Day 7 Blair Castle and The Crannog Centre
This morning we set off for the Scottish Crannog Centre. This impressive museum highlights life in the Iron Age. Here we can walk in the footsteps of the original Crannog dwellers and get a taste of the by-gone village life with demonstrations of textiles, cooking, ancient crafts and technologies. There will also be an opportunity to paddle into prehistory in a replica log boat and go inside a Crannog Roundhouse. After lunch encounter 700 years of history at Blair Castle, the only castle in Britain with a private army. Take a garden tour with the hotel gardener and touch a massive Redwood Tree before dining at the hotel tonight. Sleep in Dunblane (B, D)
Day 8 Discover Stirling Castle
Stirling Castle was the key to the kingdom of Scotland, dominating a vast volcanic rock above the river Forth at the meeting point between Lowlands and Highlands. Its origins are ancient and over the centuries it grew into a great royal residence and a powerful stronghold. During the Wars of Independence, which were civil wars among the Scots as well as a struggle between Scotland and England, the castle changed hands eight times in 50 years. Infamous deeds took place here, like the murder of the earl of Douglas by James II. It was also a childhood home of some of the most famous people in Scottish and British history, such as Mary Queen of Scots and James VI and I. Nowadays, Stirling Castle is famous internationally as one of Scotland’s must-see visitor attractions. Sleep in Dunblane (B, D)
Day 9 Discover St Andrews and South to Edinburgh
This morning we set out to discover Scotland’s Secret Bunker. Six miles from St Andrews lies a secret, a relic left over from the cold war conflict.100ft underground with the entrance hidden in an unsuspecting farm house is RAF Troywood. RAF Troywood is an "R3" style ROTOR bunker built by the RAF is 1953 in response to the threat of nuclear war with the USSR. Troywood is 24,000sq feet of command center, incorporating the latest radar technology of the cold war era, dormitory, plotting rooms and kitchen facility’s to name a few. After touring this once secret command post, we head to St Andrews, the “home of golf” where we see the famous Royal and Ancient Clubhouse and the Old Course, then savor a traditional Scottish tea, cakes and sandwiches. We arrive in Edinburgh in the early evening. Sleep in Edinburgh (B, L)
Day 10 The Heart of Edinburgh and a night at the film festival
Today, our journey takes us further through cobbled alleys, elegant streetscapes, handsome squares and quiet parks of Edinburgh. Enjoy an in-depth walking tour, which includes the birthplace of the city: Edinburgh Castle. You’ll also enjoy a visit to the National Museum of Scotland. We’ll end our walk just in time for you to enjoy an independent lunch followed by a free afternoon to explore the Edinburgh’s charms at your leisure.
After, enjoy the Edinburgh Film Fest with your host. Sleep in Edinburgh (B)
Day 11 A Free Day in Edinburgh
There is so much to enjoy in Edinburgh: stroll down the Royal Mile to the Palace of Holyroodhouse, stop at Deacon Brodies pub (named for the man believed to have inspired Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde), or visit the Writers' Museum to see artifacts from the lives of Walter Scott, Robert Burns, and Robert Louis Stevenson. Take in the Scotch whisky experience to learn more about one of the biggest industries in Scotland, and maybe try a wee dram. Visit St Giles Cathedral, where a tossed stool became pivotal to the Scottish Reformation and check out Cockburn Street, site of a major battle in Avengers: Infinity War. Plan to meet your host for an early farewell dinner and another evening at the Edinburgh Film Festival. Sleep in Edinburgh (B, D)
Day 12 Journey concludes after breakfast
The Icelandair group flight departs from Glasgow in the afternoon. There will be an airport transfer provided for those booked on the group flight.
OPTIONAL: Two nights additional nights in Iceland
Those wishing to stay in Iceland may do so at an additional cost. Details in trip brochure.
- With MPR host Euan Kerr
- An expert Earthbound Expeditions guide
- Pre-trip dinner at Minnesota Public Radio HQ in St. Paul, MN
- All breakfasts plus ten multi-course traditional meals
- Eleven nights at four star hotel accommodations
- All entrances to castles, forts, museums and activities listed
- Tickets to film festival
- Specialty whisky and beer tastings
- A fun pub crawl
- Private transport throughout your journey
- Lively discussions on Scottish history and film, including Euan's customized book and film list
Pricing and Terms
Reservations: A $500 per person deposit is due at time of sign up. An additional $200 deposit is requested if opting for the group flight. Deposits are refundable for 60 days from your deposit date, minus a cancellation penalty of $75 per person. Final payment is due 90 days before departure. Deposits and payments can be made by check or credit card. Full terms and conditions at: https://earthboundexpeditions.com/the-boring-stuff/
KNOW BEFORE YOU GO!
Ways to save $200 - MPR and Earthbound Travel Alumni Save $100. Pay your balance by check and save $100.
Earthbound Expedition's Carbonfree® Partner program is an innovative and flexible way to help your calculate, reduce and offset your carbon footprint. You will help the environment, fight global climate change, and help make the transition to a clean energy future possible. A percentage of all profits are used to buy credits to help offset your carbon footprint while traveling. Information at: https://carbonfund.org/partners/earthbound-expeditions/
Packing: Porters are available at the hotels, but typically not at hotels, so please do not over-pack. It’s summer time in Scotland, so you may wish to bring a light rain jacket.
Physical requirements: In order to make the most of your trip, you should be able to walk independently for one to two miles, often over uneven cobblestones and be able to stand for a period of time during walking or museum tours or visits to other sights. You must also be able to maneuver luggage onto trains and ships (see above).
Dress: June is one of the best times to visit Scotland as the temperatures are mild, the rain is minimal, and the daylight hours are long. We suggest “casually smart” dress and you may leave your formal attire and family jewels at home.
Travel Insurance: Earthbound Expeditions strongly encourages the purchase of travel insurance coverage. We include information on trip insurance in your deposit information.
Concerts and Events: If a planned concert or event is cancelled for any reason, another concert or event will be included in its place. This is not cause for refund.
Hosted Journeys: The inability of a host to participate in a tour is not grounds for a full or partial refund.
Hotels: We have chosen four-star, centrally located hotels for you!
Two additional nights in Iceland are available for an additional cost. Details available in trip brochure.
Need more information?Call us: (1) 800-723-8454 Earthbound Expeditions is open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Pacific Standard Time. Contact us! Complete our contact form and one of our travel consultants will contact you to answer your questions and help you complete your reservation.