2022 Baden-Powell Council Scotland Group Touring Itinerary

Want to follow the trip on Google Earth? You can download a .kml file here

Date Morning Afternoon Evening / Overnight
Monday July 11th We rented four cars one-way and dropped them off at JFK by 1:00PM. 

Delta Flight 46 - Leave JFK Airport in New York City at 16:40 

Tuesday July 12th
West End of Great Glen

Arrive at Schipol Airport in Amsterdam at 05:55. KLM Connecting flight leaves Amsterdam at 07:10, arrives in Edinburgh at 07:35.

Pick up rental vehicles and head northwest...


Visit Glencoe, the "Vale of Tears". This was the site of the famous 1692 massacre of MacDonalds by the forces of King William. The MacDonald chief delayed until the last minute to take an Oath of Allegiance to the King, and when he showed up in Fort William to take the oath he discovered that he could not do so there. By the time he took the oath at Inverary, the deadline had passed. The Earl of Stair sent a force of lowland Scots  (mostly members of the Campbell clan) to be housed by the MacDonalds in Glencoe. At a prearranged signal, the soldiers attacked their hosts, killing many and forcing many to flee into the winter harshness of the Glen.  

Nevis Range Gondola up Aonach Mr Mountain

The Nevis Range Mountain Gondola is the only one of its kind in Britain and reaches the heights of 650m. It was built on the north face of Aonach Mr, the 8th highest mountain in Britain, originally as a way to transport skiers to the slopes. The Mountain Gondola has become an amazing visitor attraction, allowing visitors to enjoy the scenic ride and absorb the stunning views and clear mountain air.

Overnight at the Spean Bridge Community Centre

Wednesday July 13th
Great Glen

Jacobite Steam Train

a/k/a The "Hogwarts Express", the Jacobite Steam train runs from Fort William to Mallaig along the beautiful scenery of the West Highland Line. Along the way, it crosses the Glenfinnan Viaduct (above) - can you see Ron Weasley and Harry Potter in their flying Ford Anglia?

We have tickets purchased for the 10:30 departure. 

Lunch - fish and chips at the scenic fishing village and ferry port of Mallaig 

Two of the leaders will drive the rental vehicles to pick up Scouts at Mallaig, then we drive to 
Urquhart Castle

The ruins of Urquhart Castle overlook Loch Ness. The trebuchet in front of the castle featured in a PBS special on siege engines. 

Drive northward to Thurso on the North Coast 500

Overnight at the Scout Hall in Thurso

Thursday July 14th
Take the early Northlink ferry from Scrabster to Stromness on Orkney.
Take a look at Northlink's Guide to Orkney...

Guided tour for the day - Lizzie Linklater - Lizzies Tours https://lizziesorkneytours.com/ 

We'll spend a day touring Orkney Mainland, the main island of the Orkney archipelago. This area was a center of civilization during the Neolithic (late Stone Age) period. 

Stones of Stenness

Ness of Brodgar Excavation

The Ness of Brodgar is one of the most important Neolithic temple sites in the world. The many monumental structures being excavated here predate the ring at Stonehenge by centuries. 

Ring of Brodgar

Skara Brae

Italian Chapel

During the Second World War, Italian prisoners of war were brought to Orkney to work on building the Churchill Barriers, which blocked off the entrances to Scapa Flow, home of the British fleet. They asked for a place to hold religious ceremonies, and were given a pair of Nissen huts which they transformed into a chapel using leftovers from around the area. 

St. Magnus Cathedral 

Evening walk to RSPB Hobbister

Overnight at the Second Orkney (Kirkwall) Scout Group Hall in Kirkwall

Kirkwall's an interesting place. Take a look at this web page from NorthLink Ferries about things to see in Kirkwall

Friday, July 15th
Take 0800 ferry from Houlton on Orkney Mainland through Scapa Flow to Lyness on Hoy

Drive to Rackwick, then walk to Old man of Hoy 
(3 hour round trip walk to cliffs overlook)



Emily's Tea Room and Ice Cream Parlor for lunch.

Scapa Flow WWII Museum
(Scheduled to re-open on 2nd July, in time for our visit)
Self-guided walking tour of the Hoy and Walls Wartime Trail

(this picture is of a gun emplacement on Orkney Mainland, but you get the idea - that's Hoy in the background)

Return to Orkney Mainland on 1640 Ferry
Dinner in Kirkwall

Possible evening walk, or relax at Scout Hall

Overnight in cabins on NorthLink Ferry - Leaves 23:45


Saturday, July 16th
Ferry arrives in Aberdeen around 07:00

Tour the Glenfiddich distillery 
We're booked for a private tour at 0945.  


Tomintoul Highland Games 

Games schedule: 
            1100 junior heavies and lights, Highland dancing events
            1200 Bands will play in the village square
            1300 Official opening - procession of marching bands at the Public Park
            1300 Senior heavies
            1500 Hill race starts
            Events are finished by 5pm

Duffus Castle

Duffus is a great example of a motte-and-bailey castle - a tower (the "keep") perched on a man-made hill (the "motte") inside an enclosure (the "bailey"). It's also a good example of what happens when you don't pay attention to building appropriate foundations...

Overnight at the Scout Hall in Keith

July 17th 
Northeast Coast
Elgin Cathedral

The cathedral sits in the middle of the City of Elgin. Begun in 1224, Elgin was the principal church of the bishops of Moray. It lost its roof shortly after the Protestant Reformation of 1560, and later its central tower fell. 
Scottish Lighthouse Museum

The lighthouse museum in Fraserburgh consists of a lighthouse built into an old castle and a museum of artifacts explaining the history and science of the lighthouses which kept shipping around Scotland safe for centuries. 

Stay overnight at Douglaswood Scout Centre about nine miles outside of Dundee, near Forfar
We can't check in until after 18:00, so we had dinner in Forfar before we headed over to Douglaswood.

Monday, July 18th
Kingdom of Fife

Royal and Ancient World of Golf Museum - St. Andrews

St. Andrews Aquarium

Stirling Castle

Sitting high on a volcanic rock overlooking the city of Stirling, Stirling Castle is an unforgettable sight. We're booked for a 14:30 entry - the castle closes at 17:00, so we'll have plenty of time for a tour and to look around at the Royal Apartments and regimental history museum and to take in the view from the ramparts. 

Overnight at 7th Beechwood Scout Hall in Stirling

Once again, we can't check in until after 18:00, so we'll have time for an early evening walk around Stirling Old Town before we go to the Scout Hall. 

Tuesday, July 19th through Thursday, July 28th Blair Atholl Jamborette

We'll arrive at the Jamborette on July 19th, and while the Scouts check in and join their Scottish patrols, two of the leaders will return the vehicles in Perth and ride the train back to Blair Atholl.
For the next ten days, we'll all be at the Jamborette.

You can find the story of the Blair Atholl Jamborette and pictures from past Jamborettes elsewhere on this website

Friday, July 29th
Blair Atholl 
On July 29th, we'll either take the train or ride a coach to Edinburgh. Depending on timing, we may go into Edinburgh by tram or stay in the Corstorphine area for dinner. 

We will stay at the  88th Craigalmond Scout Hall for the next three nights. 

Saturday, July 30th

Ride the tram to Princes Street in the city centre, walk to 

Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle is a historic fortress which dominates the skyline of the city of Edinburgh, Scotland, from its position on the Castle Rock. There has been a royal castle on the rock since at least the reign of David I in the 12th century, and the site continued to be a royal residence until 1633. As one of the most important strongholds in the Kingdom of Scotland, Edinburgh Castle was involved in many historical conflicts from the Wars of Scottish Independence in the 14th century to the Jacobite Rising of 1745. Research undertaken in 2014 identified 26 sieges in its 1100-year-old history, giving it a claim to having been "the most besieged place in Great Britain and one of the most attacked in the world".

We're booked for an 09:30 entry to the Castle. We'll plan to eat lunch in the Castle or nearby on the Royal Mile. 

Camera Obscura

An example of Victorian High-Tech, the Camera Obscura itself is an optical system which projects images of Edinburgh on a flat table, where our guide will take us on a tour of the city, swatting tourists along the way. The rest of the building houses exhibits of optical illusions and holograms. We're booked for a 14:00 start. 

Royal Mile

The Royal Mile leads from Edinburgh Castle on Castle Rock down a volcanic ridge to Holyrood Palace at the lower end. We'll walk down the upper part of the Mile, at least, which is lined with gift shops where our Scouts can view and purchase all sorts of tourist stuff. 

National Museum of Scotland

The National Museum is really two museums in one. The galleries in the newer building present Scottish history in an essentially chronological arrangement, beginning at the lowest level with prehistory to the early medieval period, with later periods on the higher levels. The Victorian building contains four zones (each with numerous galleries), covering natural history, world cultures (including galleries on the South Pacific, East Asia, and Ancient Egypt), European art and design, and science & technology. The Grand Gallery contains a variety of large objects from the collections, with a display called the "Window on the World" rising through four storeys, or about 20 metres, containing over 800 objects reflecting the breadth of the collections. Beyond the Grand Gallery at ground level is the "Discoveries" gallery, with objects connected to "remarkable Scots ... in the fields of invention, exploration and adventure".

Reproduce the 19th Century picture from Dean Bridge

Mr. Homrighaus found this old print at a garage sale. We discovered through research that it's a view from Dean Bridge in the New Town, looking northward toward Dean Village and Leith, which was taken by George Washington Wilson (hence the GWW marking). The University of Aberdeen has a collection of glass plate negatives from more than 30,000 of his images - about 1200 from the Edinburgh region alone - but they don't seem to have a copy of this one, which is numbered GWW6878. 

The University has a similar view in their collection entitled "VIEW TO THE NORTH SHOWING TEMPLE OF ST BERNARD'S WELL" (GWW 873) - click here to see it - which is listed as being in Wilson's1877 catalog. Our picture appears to be much newer, both from the catalog number being 6,000 numbers higher and from the fact that the foliage is much more grown up in the Dean Valley. Wilson died in 1893, so our picture must be later than 1877 and before 1893. From the growth of the trees, it would probably date toward the end of that range, from perhaps a few years either side of 1890. 

We'll try to find the spot where he took the picture and reproduce the view as closely as we can. 

Sunday, July 31st

The Royal Yacht Britannia in Leith - Step aboard The Royal Yacht Britannia, Her Majesty The Queen's former floating palace for over 40 years. Berthed in Edinburgh, follow in the footsteps of Royalty to discover the heart and soul of this most special of Royal residences.

We're booked for an 09:30 entry. 

Princes Street / New Town

The Georgian New Town is worth a walking visit in itself, just to look at the 18th century planned town which provided an opportunity for the wealthy to move away from the crowded and smelly Old Town centered on the Royal Mile. The New Town is north of Princes Street and the Princes Street Gardens below the castle in this picture. Princes Street Gardens was formed by filling in the artificial Nor'loch - a man-made lake which was built to protect the base of the castle mount. By the early 19th century the Nor'loch was just an open sewer, and the land was needed to build the railway to the Waverly Station and to eliminate the health risk and smell of the loch. 

Ghost Walk

We're booked for a Doomed, Dead and Buried Ghost Walk with Mercat Tours from 18:30-20:15.

August 1st


Delta Flight 209 - Leave Edinburgh 1050 - Arrive JFK 1325

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Last Updated 8/23/2022