Scotland:  Castles & Gardens
A Pacific Horticulture Society tour
July 10-21, 2013

Tour Leader Alan Cross
Tour Escort Pat Wipf

This tour is sold out.

July 10, Wednesday:  Depart USA/Canada for Glasgow, Scotland

July 11, Thursday:  Glasgow-Langbank, Renfrewshire
Independent arrivals in Glasgow. Transfer by taxi to Gleddoch House Hotel, just 8 miles from the airport.  The
estate was once the home of shipping baron Sir James Lithgow. The dining room offers stunning views of the
Clyde Estuary and the Kilpatrick Hills. This evening meet the other guests at our welcome dinner, complete with
Scottish piper and a glass or two of wine.

July 12, Friday:  Langbank-Oban
After breakfast at the hotel, we're off to tour gardens in the Oban area, including Crarae Garden, a spectacular 50-
acre woodland garden in a dramatic setting. Crarae has a wonderful collection of woody plants centered on the
Crarae Burn, which is spanned by several bridges and
tumbles through a rocky gorge in a series of cascades.
A wide variety of shrubs and trees chosen for spring
flowering and autumn color grow in the shelter of
towering conifers.   The lush, naturalistic planting and
rushing water give the feel of a Himalayan valley. We'll
also visit
Arduaine Garden,  a wonderfully moist and
mossy coastal garden, influenced beneficially by the
North Atlantic Drift and enjoyed by enthusiasts from all
over the world. Twenty acres of outstanding woodland
plants include a major rhododendron species collection,
and the usual spring-flowering favorites such as
camellia, pieris, azalea and magnolia.  Later today we'll
check into the charming
Ballachulish Hotel for a 2-night stay. The property is located in the West Highlands on the
shores of Loch Linnhe and Loch Leven with breathtaking scenery at the foot of dramatic Glencoe. Dinner this
evening will be in the hotel’s award-wining dining room.  
Breakfast, Dinner

July 13, Saturday:  Oban Area-Mull
This morning we depart by ferry for the nearby island of Mull where we visit Tobermory, a picture-postcard fishing
village surrounded by high woodland hills, brightly painted houses, and a bay filled with fishing boats. We will have
free time to enjoy lunch and explore the town. We will include a tour of either Torosay Castle and Garden or Duart
Castle dating from the 13th century. We return to Ballachulish in time for dinner.    
Breakfast, Dinner

July 14, Sunday:    Wester Ross-Scottish Highlands
After a leisurely breakfast, we'll check out and depart for a day of touring, including a special private opening of
Attadale Gardens. The gardens were created by Baron Schroder in the late 19th century, with hill paths
meandering through 20 acres of conifers and rhododendrons.  After the 1980 storms, the property was transformed
by owner Nicky Macpherson who, along with the head gardener, will give us a private tour. Attadale is an artist’s
garden designed to frame the magnificent views of Skye and the surrounding hills. Waterfalls, Monet bridges,
meconopsis, bamboo and candelabra primula are reflected in dark pools. Sculpture can be found in unexpected
places. We have been invited for coffee and cookies in the house where we can view the art collection.  Later today,
we'll arrive at  
Dundonnell Hotel for a 2- night stay including dinner each evening. The hotel offers the best of Gaelic
hospitality with comfortable rooms and all modern amenities.  
Breakfast, Dinner  

July 15, Monday   North-West Scotland
This morning we will tour Dundonnell’s a lovely elevated garden overlooking a small lake. Afterward we depart for
visits to local gardens and sights, including
Inverewe Garden.  One of the most beautiful places in Scotland, this 50-
acre garden was created in 1862. It is an oasis of exotic plants bursting with vibrant color thanks to the warm
currents of the Gulf Stream that flows along the west Scottish coastline.  Rhododendrons from the Himalayas,
eucalyptus from Tasmania, olearia from New Zealand and other species from such far-flung places as Chile and
South Africa all flourish here, in a display that changes with the seasons. We return with time to relax before dinner
at the hotel.  
Breakfast, Dinner

July 16, Tuesday   Inverness-Banchory   
Today we depart for Inverness, capital of the Highlands, located at the head of
famous Loch Ness.   Next we'll visit
Cawdor Castle & garden. Romantically linked
by Shakespeare with Macbeth, the castle dates from the late 14th century and
was built as a private fortress by the Thanes of Cawdor. The ancient medieval
tower was built around a legendary holly-tree. Cawdor is fortunate to have three
gardens. The Walled Garden is the oldest and dates from c.1600 and later
became a kitchen garden. The Flower Garden was laid out some 100 years later
and was originally designed for enjoyment in late summer and autumn. However
this garden's season has been extended to give pleasure from early spring with
bulbs, bedding plants, herbaceous borders, ornamental trees and shrubs all
providing delight. The Wild Garden, planted in the 1906s, is the youngest and lies
between the Castle and the stream of the Cawdor Burn.  Following our visit, we'll
pass through Forres & medieval Elgin on our way to Banchory and our home for the next two nights, the idyllic
Na-Coille Hotel, secluded in acres of magnificent woodland and parkland on the edge of the pretty village of
Banchory in Royal Deeside.  
 Breakfast, Dinner

July 17, Wednesday:  Aberdeenshire  
After breakfast, depart for a day of visits to surrounding gardens, including Pitmedden Garden where over 40,000
plants burst with color in the summer months The centerpiece of this property is the Great Garden, originally laid
out in 1675 by Sir Alexander Seton, 1st Baronet of Pitmedden.  In the 1950s the elaborate floral designs were re-
created under the guidance of the late Dr James Richardson; three of the formal parterres were taken from designs
possibly used in the gardens at the Palace of Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh in 1647. The fourth parterre is a heraldic
design based on Sir Alexander’s coat-of-arms.  Next we'll visit Crathes Castle, Garden and Estate.  Fairytale-like
turrets, gargoyles of fantastic design and the ancient Horn of Leys given in 1323 by Robert the Bruce are just a few
of the features of this breathtaking & romantic  castle & garden. We return to the Tor-Na-Coille Hotel late this
Breakfast, Dinner

July 18, Thursday:  Kinross  
Today we say farewell to Banchory as we head over Cairn O'
Mount to
Edzell to visit the castle & garden and enjoy a picnic
lunch.   The stylized walled garden was created around 1604.
Adorned with heraldic sculptures and carved panels, the
architectural framework surrounding the garden is unique in
Britain. The garden also includes walled flower and nesting
boxes and a delightful summer house. At our next stop we'll be
greeted by Marguerite Ogilvie, the owner of House of Pitmuies,
considered the best cottage garden in Scotland. There are
wonderful roses, a white border, vegetable garden and lovely
woodland. Our hotel for the next 3 nights is the
Green Hotel,
just 30 minutes from Edinburgh. The 5000-acre estate has two parkland golf courses, five restaurants, and a spa
and fitness club.  
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

July 19, Friday: Edinburgh
After breakfast, we'll visit the Royal Botanic Garden, capturing the imagination of everyone who visits and world
renowned for its horticultural excellence. Over 70 acres of beautifully land-scaped grounds provide a tranquil haven
just one mile from the city center. The garden is divided into different areas providing special habitats for groupings
of plants. There is a rock garden (considered one of the finest in the world), woodland garden and stunning
herbaceous borders. Later we'll have ample free time to explore the beautiful Georgian City of Edinburgh.
Breakfast, Dinner

Jul 20, Saturday:   
Following breakfast at the Green Hotel, we'll visit Falkland Palace & Garden.  Experience a day in the life of the
Stuart monarchs at their country residence for 200 years – and a favorite place of Mary, Queen of Scots. Set in the
heart of Falkland conservation village, and surrounded by extensive gardens, this partly restored Renaissance
palace features original and reconstructed rooms packed with 17th-century Flemish tapestries, elaborate painted
ceilings and antique furnishings. The beautiful, tranquil grounds are worth a visit alone. They’re home to the oldest
royal tennis court in Britain, built for King James V, as well as gardens designed by Percy Cane. Later, guests will
have the opportunity to explore the seaside village of St. Andrews on their own. The town has quaint shops, a
botanic garden and of course the world-famous links golf courses. This evening we gather for our farewell dinner to
share fond memories of our jaunt through historic and friendly Scotland.  
Breakfast, Dinner

July 21, Sunday: Kinross-Edinburgh
An early-morning transfer will be provided to Edinburgh airport. We will make an additional stop in the city of
Edinburgh for those who wish to extend their stay in the city.

This Pacific Horticulture Society tour includes:
        Baggage handling of 1 suitcase and 1 small bag per person
        10-night’s accommodation in rooms with private bath
        Transportation by private motorcoach with professional driver
        10 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 10 dinners including special welcome and farewell evenings
        All entrance and admission fees for included visits
        Services of Tour Leader, Alan Cross
        Assistance of Pacific Horticulture Tour Escort, Pat Wipf
        Taxes and service charges for included features.
        Donation of $250 to Pacific Horticulture Society

Not included:
        Airfare
        Items of a personal nature
        Porterage of excess baggage
        Airline baggage fees
        Activities, visits, meals

Tour price $3425 per person based on double occupancy,
$415 supplement required for single room.

To view Terms and Conditions, click HERE
To print Itinerary, Terms and Conditions, click HERE

STerling Tours, Ltd            
2907 Shelter Island Drive Suite #105-262    
San Diego, CA 92106      Tel: 619 299-3010     800-976-9497