• Colorful Sunset in Highlands, Scotland

    Shepherded Through Scotland

    <p>My mom broke down in tears when we were in the <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/scotland-tours/" target="_blank">Scottish Highlands</a> last fall, thanks to a border collie puppy. As Senior Tour Operations Coordinator at <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/" target="_blank">Classic Journeys</a>, I suppose I should have predicted that. One of everybody’s favorite parts of this trip is when we go to our friend Neil’ s farm where he tends to a massive herd of sheep. When we pulled into his barnyard, there he was with 10 or 15 black and white border collies at his feet. Growing up, this was our family’s favorite breed, so they had us at hello. Then Neil issued a couple of sharp whistles like Morse code, and one of them charged off over a hill only to reappear minutes later behind about 30 sheep that he guided right down to us. Neil put all of the dogs through their paces for us, and then his son brought out a couple of warm, wiggly 8-week-old puppies for us to hold. You know, the sheer joy of a moment doesn’t get much more perfect than that. Pass me a Kleenex, Mom.<br><br><img alt="guests holding border collie puppies" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T0000026SFt&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000f9Kr" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></p> <p>Also, several people in our group including my parents are fans of the TV series Outlander.&quot; It’s about time travel—a woman from the 20th century slips back and forth to the Scotland of the 1740’s. What you quickly realize is that the director of that series doesn’t have to spend much on locations. Out in the Highlands, a lot of the scenery looks like it always has, even longer ago than when Claire met Jamie.<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/scotland-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T0000026SFt&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000012Bf8" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br>Of course, we didn’t need to rely on a screenwriter for our story. The secret Classic Journeys weapon is Davy, a longtime friend of ours and the guy who has to be <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/local-tour-guides/" target="_blank">Scotland’s best guide</a>. When you walk on Culloden Moor with him, you don’t have to guess what it was like the day Bonnie Prince Charlie was defeated there by the Duke of Cumberland. Davy paints the most vivid word pictures you’ll ever hear, about how the people dressed, and how their military formations were set up and what the battle felt like. He can also tell you that a red deer made that hoofprint, how tall the trees grow in the Caledonian pinewoods, and what St. Columba had to do with the Loch Ness monster. When a real estate agent in our group asked the going price today for a 2-bedroom cottage outside St. Andrews, Davy knew the answer.<br><br><img alt="Classic Journeys Scotland Guide, Davy" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T0000026SFt&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000f9Kw" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br><br>I came to realize that the kind of pleasure Davy has in being a super-guide is a lot like the pride and hospitality that the Scots extend every time you turn around. When we pulled up at Loch Ness Country House, for example, the staff was at attention, waiting for us. We felt like we were arriving at our own summer country home. You see a different variation on the theme at the Old Course at St. Andrews. You really don’t need to be a golfer to be impressed. The grass couldn’t be greener. I don’t think there was even a grain of sand outside any of the traps. Also, at the Scotch whisky distillery we visited, I could hardly believe all of the finesse and the strict historical standards that go into it. I wasn’t a Scotch drinker before, but I am now. (I’ll get back to you when I can tell the difference between a 12-Year-Old and a 21-Year-Old.)<br><br><img alt="Guests drinking scotch whisky" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T0000026SFt&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000f9L1" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br><br>For all that I thought I already knew about <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/scotland-tours/" target="_blank">Scotland</a>, I now recommend this trip for different reasons than I did before. This history isn’t just there on display, it really feels alive. Leave Glasgow or Edinburgh—great cities that I truly love—and you really feel that you are plunging back in time to a natural world where the lochs are the deepest, the Highlands couldn’t be higher, and there’s always a warm greeting and a wet puppy nose to make you happier than you ever thought you could be.</p>

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  • Colorful Sunset in Highlands, Scotland

    8 Must-Do Experiences in Scotland

    The <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/scotland/" target="_blank">Scottish Highlands</a> offer a wide-range of beautiful scenery and unique opportunities. Great heather-covered moors roll into a broad, blue horizon. Ruined castles stand watch over silvery lochs. There’s a wonderful wildness to it all. But for all of that sweep and solitude, it’s the close-ups of local life that we remember the most. You’ll meet the shepherd whose choreographed collies steer a flock with fluid grace. We walk with a naturalist along a windswept <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/scotland/" target="_blank">North Sea Estuary</a> famous for its salmon runs. And we’ll also introduce you to fascinating folks like the cashmere weavers of Elgin...the whisky aficionados at an artisanal distillery... and the groundskeepers who manicure a 600-year-old golf course to within a micron of perfection. Throughout, you’ll spend your nights in lovely country house hotels, and enjoy a wide range of walks from canal towpaths to Edinburgh’s lively High Street. We suspect you’ll join our honorary clan of travelers who count the <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/scotland/" target="_blank">Scottish Highlands</a> as one of their favorite destinations ever.<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/scotland/" target="_blank"><u><b>#1 INVERNESS</b></u></a><br>Start in <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/scotland/" target="_blank">Glasgow</a>, and head right out into the Scottish Highlands for a walk in the village of Luss on the sandy white shore of Loch Lomond. Visit the impressive <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/scotland/" target="_blank">Inveraray Castle</a> and take a guided walk through the 18th-century castle and 50,000-acre estate surrounded by great hilltop views and mountains of green.<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/scotland/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T0000026SJl&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000012Bum" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/scotland/" target="_blank"><u><b>#2 LOCH NESS</b></u></a><br>Visit the famous ruins of <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/scotland/" target="_blank">Urquhart Castle</a> on the shores of Loch Ness and then board a cruise on the loch&#39;s deep blue waters, Keep your eyes wide open, as the ruins sit on a fine headland near the stretch of the loch where many of the reputed Nessie sightings occurred. <br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/scotland/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T0000026SJl&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000012Buc" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/scotland/" target="_blank"><u><b>#3 CULLODEN MOOR/SPEY BAY</b></u></a><br>Visit the Battle site on <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/scotland/" target="_blank">Culloden Moor</a> where a one-hour battle occurred that changed highland life forever. On the way out, make sure to stop in Elgin at a woolen mill where raw cashmere is dyed, teased, carded, spun and hand-finished into luxurious woven fabrics. It&#39;s a must-see, as it&#39;s a rare look at one of the country&#39;s most storied crafts. <br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/scotland/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T0000026SJl&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000012BvV" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/scotland/" target="_blank"><u><b>#4 CAIRNGO</b></u></a><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/scotland/" target="_blank"><u><b>RMS N.P.</b></u> </a><br>Enjoy a fantastic walk in the crystal clear air through the <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/scotland/" target="_blank">Cairngorms National Park</a>. Afterward head to a nearby farm, where you can watch a Scottish shepherd and his sheepdogs herd their massive herds of sheep on beautiful, steep green pastures that are so well known in this region.<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/scotland/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T0000026SJl&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000012Buh" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/scotland/" target="_blank"><u><b>#5 FALKLAND PALACE</b></u></a><br>The gardens at <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/scotland/" target="_blank">Falkland Palace</a>, the country residence of Mary, Queen of Scots, are some of the best anywhere. Full of vivid flowers, beautiful plants, and a wildflower meadow that carpets the estate’s orchard, this is a place you should not miss.  <br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/scotland/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T0000026SJl&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000zVmx" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/scotland/" target="_blank"><u><b>#6 WHISKEY DISTILLERY</b></u></a><br>After 5+ centuries, <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/scotland/" target="_blank">Scotland&#39;s whiskey distilleries</a> remain one of the most characteristic crafts in the country. Visit one of the best and see how the single malt is produced, and participate in a “nosing” and tasting session.<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/scotland/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T0000026SJl&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000012BvL" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/scotland/" target="_blank"><u><b>#7 ST. ANDREWS OLD COURSE</b></u></a><br>Even if you’ve never held a golf club, you’ll know that <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/scotland/" target="_blank">St. Andrews</a> is the home of the world’s most fabled links where the game was first played around the year 1400. If you are a golfer then take advantage of the once in a lifetime opportunity to play a round of your own on the Old Course or one of the many remarkable courses in and around St. Andrews.<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/scotland/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T0000026SJl&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000012BwJ" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/scotland/" target="_blank"><u><b>#8 EDINBURGH</b></u></a><br>The historic capital is a beautiful blend of medieval Old Town, Georgian New Town, and Victorian Lanes, all over-lorded by the ancient Edinburgh castle. Take a stroll along the Royal Mile, <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/scotland/" target="_blank">Edinburgh’s </a>main thoroughfare and explore the sloped streets, lined with shops, medieval buildings, and landmarks. <br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/scotland/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T0000026SJl&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000012BvQ" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br>If you&#39;d like to do all these activities, plus a little more, without the hassle of logistics—join a <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/scotland/" target="_blank">Classic Journeys Culture + Walking trip to Scotland</a>. You&#39;ll have the trip of a lifetime!

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  • Urquhart Castle Ruins, Scotland

    5 Best Overseas Adventures: Northern Europe

    With 195 countries on 7 continents spanning our globe, choosing your next overseas travel adventure can be overwhelming. To make things easier for you, we&#39;ve rounded up our top five overseas travel adventures... starting with Northern Europe. Whether you choose the diverse nature of <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/iceland-tours/" target="_blank">Iceland </a>or the fjords of <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/norway/" target="_blank">Norway</a>, you&#39;re guaranteed to have a trip of a lifetime with Classic Journeys. The only question is... where to next?<br><br><b>TOP 5 TRIPS IN NORTHERN EUROPE:</b><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/iceland-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="Iceland" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002Ehnn&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000015r17" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><b><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/iceland-tours/" target="_blank">ICELAND</a></b><br>It absolutely feels like the planet is trying to spill its secrets on this island. Geysers spout hot spasms into the sky. <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/iceland-tours/" target="_blank">Gem-blue glaciers</a> groan and bully their way down rocky valleys. Rivers of cooled lava ripple through the landscape. A waterfall shoots horizontally from a high-up cleft before falling in a rainbow cloud of mist to an empty plain. A mountain is as likely to be pink or purple as gray.<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/norway/" target="_blank"><img alt="Norway" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002Ehnn&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000015r1C" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><b><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/norway/" target="_blank">NORWAY</a></b><br>You might be surprised by the variety of activities and amazing sights you&#39;ll experience in <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/norway/" target="_blank">Norway</a>. Imagine gliding through the serene blue waters of fjords on a private boat, walking on a glacier and exploring a Viking Ship Museum.<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/londonstonehengecotswolds/" target="_blank"><img alt="Cotswolds" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002Ehnn&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000015r1H" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><b><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/londonstonehengecotswolds/" target="_blank">COTSWOLDS, STONEHENGE &amp; LONDON</a></b><br>This isn’t just the superficially pretty <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/londonstonehengecotswolds/" target="_blank">England</a>, it’s the real thing—a rich cultural experience with personal introductions and remarkable access to non-public places. You’ll simply never forget it.<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/ireland-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002Ehnn&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000015r1M" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><b><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/ireland-tours/" target="_blank">IRELAND</a></b><br>Whether you’re wishing for a <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/ireland/" target="_blank">walking tour</a> or returning to roots on a <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/irelandfamily/" target="_blank">family vacation</a>, Classic Journeys has what you’re looking for on our tours of Ireland. Ireland travel with us means you’ll enjoy a perfect mix of the beauty, walkability and cordial blarney that make it a perennial favorite destination... plus visits to the best local pubs! <br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/scotland/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002Ehnn&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000015r1R" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><b><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/scotland/" target="_blank">SCOTLAND</a></b><br>We love the wide-screen scale of the<a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/scotland/" target="_blank"> Scottish Highlands</a>. Great heather-covered moors roll into a broad, blue horizon. Ruined castles stand watch over silvery lochs. There’s a wonderful wildness to it all. But for all of that sweep and solitude, it’s the close-ups of local life that we remember best.<br> 

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