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2017 season report

Overall, the St Andrews & Fife and the Stirling & Trossachs tour offerings proved to be the

Cruise boat at Inversnaid pier

Inversnaid pier

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.

 

2018 Outlook

Looking forward to 2018, the one event which stands out
V&A Dundee - due to open mid-2018

V&A Museum of Design Dundee

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.

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.

 

New Vehicle

The Volkswagen Transporter minibus, which has given us
Mike and VW Sharan at Dunsapie Loch

Volkswagen Sharan

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.

 

  

website news

Website Enhancements

Jan 2018

A lot of work has been done to improve the site - much of it behind the scenes - with the aim of improving the quality of information provided for each tour.

Several new photo albums have been added, such as the Doune Castle and Sir Walter Scott albums on the Stirling & Trossachs tour page, and new photos have been added to several other albums.

The links to other websites have all been checked and updated, or deleted where they are no longer applicable. This has actually been a major task, due in no small part to the Historic Environment Scotland pages all having their urls changed from the previous Historic Scotland ones. Hopefully there are now no broken links out there, but please inform us if you do come across any.

 

  

Mike’s Blog

Follow Mike’s touring experiences, thoughts and observations through the season

Your driver guide in his natural habitat

  

Looking back....

News Archive

Take a look back at news and developments over the past few years.

  

Events News

Find out what’s happening around Scotland on VisitScotland’s event finder page

 

Visitscotland is Scotland's principal tourism body

 

  

Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for the maintenance and running of Scotland's  historic buidlings, including castles, abbeys and many other ruins

Historic Environment Scotland News

What’s happening at Historic Environment Scotland (formerly Historic Scotland) properties.

  

National Trust for Scotland News

What’s happening at National Trust for Scotland’s properties.

 

The National Trust for Scotland has a broad portfolio of over 100 properties, including Grand Houses like Culzean Castle, Castles like Craigievar and wilderness areas like Glencoe

 

  

Scottish Natural Heritage News

Nature-related news and events from around Scotland.

 

Scottish Natural Heritage is responsible for protecting Scotland's nature

 

  

Edinburgh World Heritage News

News and events from Edinburgh World Heritage.

 

Edinburgh World Heritage is responsible for protecting Edinburgh's UNESCO status as a World Heritage Site

 

  

National Museums Scotland 

Exhibition programme planned for 2018

 

National Museums Scotland comprises several different museums including the National Museum in Edinburgh and the National Museum of Flight in East Lothian

 

  

  

National Galleries Scotland comprises three great art galleries, the Scottish National Gallery, the Scottish National Portrait Gallery and the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art

National Galleries Scotland 

Exhibition programme planned for 2018

  

 

 

Member of the prestigious Scottish Tourist Guides Association. Click to visit Mike's profile page

  

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