2017 season report
Overall, the St Andrews & Fife and the Stirling & Trossachs tour offerings proved to be the
most popular in 2017, followed by the Loch Lomond tour. In addition to the usual Loch Lomond tour to Balloch, Luss
and Tarbet, we also had tour visits to both Inversnaid and Balmaha on the eastern shores of Loch Lomond, where
visitors were able to walk part of the West Highland Way.
Most of our visitors were from the USA this year, although
we did have some visitors from Canada as well. Among the more unusual tours were one to the various historical sites
associated with the Wars of Independence, and one where we attempted to do as many
castles and historical sites around the Forth Valley as we could in a day. By pure
coincidence, our visit to Lilithgow Palace was on the day of their annual jousting tournament, which added colour and spectacle to the tour.
One unusual request was for a visit to Rough Castle, the site of a Roman fort on the
Antonine Wall. The location is not readily accessible in a vehicle, but you can access it via
a footpath from near the Falkirk Wheel, and it is certainly well worth a visit if you don’t
mind the walk. If anyone else is interested, we can easily add it to the Falkirk Wheel visit.
We did quite a few walking or driving tours of Edinburgh in 2017, but these proved to be
less than satisfactory during the month of August, when the Edinburgh Festival was in full
swing, due to significant levels of overcrowding in the city centre due to the record number of visitors to Edinburgh during that month.
Looking forward to 2018, the one event which stands out
is the opening of the new V&A Museum of Design in Dundee, scheduled for this summer.
Designed by the Japanese architect Kengo Kuma and built at a cost of £80m, this exciting new building will house
exhibits from the Victoria & Albert Museum in London.
V&A Museum of Design Dundee
Although Dundee does already have various attractions
such as the Discovery ship and the Verdant Works, very few of our visitors have ever requested to visit these,
and so the addition of the V&A Museum of Design will undoubtedly help to establish Dundee as a major tourist destination.
The Volkswagen Transporter minibus, which has given us
excellent service for over 5 years, has now been replaced by a slightly smaller Volkswagen
Sharan vehicle, which is more suited to day tours.
The vehicle seats up to 6 passengers and has the usual
refinements such as comfortable seating, large windows, and of course air conditioning. The rear doors are wide
sliding doors, which make for ease of access to the rear seats, and the panoramic sunroof will certainly add a new
dimension to our visitors’ scenery viewing experience.