2018 Baden-Powell Council
Blair Atholl Contingent Touring Itinerary

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Date Morning Afternoon Evening Overnight
Monday July 9th Carpool to Stewart Airport

Norwegian Air flight D81601 to Edinburgh - leaves 21:25 from Stewart (SWF)

Tuesday July 10th
Glencoe / Jacobite

Arrive at Edinburgh Airport (EDI) at 08:55
Pick up rental vehicles and drive to

Glencoe

(time permitting), 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.  

Drive to Fort William (lunch)

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 14:30 departure. 

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

Return to Fort William at 20:30

Overnight in
Spean Bridge Community Centre
Wednesday July 11th
Great Glen and North

Urquhart Castle

Once one of Scotland’s largest castles, Urquhart saw great conflict during its 500 years as a medieval fortress. Control of the castle passed back and forth between the Scots and English during the Wars of Independence. The power struggles continued, as the Lords of the Isles regularly raided both castle and glen up until the 1500s.

Culloden Battlefield

We'll drive to Culloden Moor, the site of the battle which ended the 1745 Jacobite Rising. 

The tide tables for July have been published - we won't be able to make it to Chanonry Point anytime near low tide (in fact, the tide will be within an hour of highest tide when we'd be there). So, we'll leave the dolphins for another trip.

We'll drive north up the coast on the A9 to Wick

Dinner at Wick 
After dinner, continue north to:

Castle Sinclair-Girnigoe

The only castle in Scotland to be listed by the World Monuments Fund. This once impregnable medieval / renaissance stronghold is now the most spectacular ruin in the North of Scotland

John O'Groats

Not quite the northernmost point in Scotland, but it's the touristy next-best-thing. We'll stop in for a quick photo at the direction sign in the harbour. 

Overnight at
2nd Thurso
Scout Hall
in Thurso
Thursday July 12th
Orkney

We'll take the Ferry MV Hamnavoe at 08:45 from Scrabster (near Thurso) to Stromness on Orkney Mainland, the main island in the Orkney Archipelago


On the way to Stromness, we'll cross the Pentland Firth, passing the dramatic Old Man of Hoy on the coast of the island of Hoy

We'll have a private tour guide for the day, and we'll see:

After we drop off our tour guide back in Stromness, we'll check in at the Scout Hall in Kirkwall and walk into town for dinner. 

High Tide at Kirkwall is at 21:55. Sunset is at 22:15 and it will be light until 23:00 at least, so we'll have the opportunity to do some exploring on our own. 

We'll plan on a coastal hike at Deerness to The Gloup and the Covenanters' Memorial after dinner.

 

Overnight in
Scout Hall in
Kirkwall
Friday, July 13th
Orkney
  • We'll start out in Kirkwall, the capitol of Orkney.

  • Broch of Gurness - The best-preserved Iron Age circular fort.

  • Lunch in Stromness

  • Tour Ness Battery near Stromness at 14:00. On the outskirts of Stromness, just a short walk from the town, stands Ness Battery. This important relic of Orkney’s wartime heritage once defended Scapa Flow against enemy attack, and after being closed for many years it is now open for guided tours.One of our expert guides will meet you at Ness Battery for a guided tour lasting just over an hour. On the tour we will share with you the history of the Battery and what life was like for the men who manned the guns. Your tour will take you inside one of the gun emplacements, and finish in the Mess Hall, which features the famous painted mural.

  • HMS Tern  - stop by a disused World War II airfield at the wonderfully named hamlet of Twatt.

  • Brough of Birsay - We'll see a Viking village and a lighthouse, and visit with the wildlife on this tidal island. The island is accessible by a causeway which is only above water at low tide (+/- two hours). Low tide will be around 16:30, and the island closes at 17:30 so we'll plan to arrive around 15:00 (option 1) or 16:00 (option 2) and leave around 17:30 +/- 

  • Time permitting, we can also see the Earl's Palace in Birsay, a ruined castle in the village.

Return to Kirkwall for dinner. The cruise ships will all be gone by 16:00, so we should have our choice of places to eat. Alternatively, we could eat dinner in Stromness.

After dinner, we can drive down the Churchill Barriers to one of the southern islands, or do a walk along the cliffs at Yesnaby, or spend some time exploring Stromness and the area around it - it's all open, as long as we can be back in Kirkwall by 22:00 to make sure we don't miss the ferry.

We board the ferry MV Hjaltland or MV Hrossey to Aberdeen at 23:00, to leave port at 23:45

Overnight on ferry

Tickets have been purchased - we have four four-person cabins

Saturday, July 14th
Stirling

06:00 Breakfast on the Ferry
Arrive at Aberdeen at 07:00, then drive to

Inchtuthil Roman Fort

Roman legionary fortress situated on a natural platform overlooking the north bank of the River Tay southwest of Blairgowrie, Perth and Kinross, Scotland (Roman Caledonia). It was built in AD 82 or 83 as the advance headquarters for the forces of governor Gnaeus Julius Agricola in his campaign against the Caledonian tribes. Positioned at the head of one of the main routes in and out of the Scottish Highlands, it was occupied by Legion XX Valeria Victrix and covered a total area of 21.5 hectares (53 acres)

Stirling Castle

 Stirling Castle is one of the largest and most important castles in Scotland, both historically and architecturally. It is surrounded on three sides by steep cliffs, giving it a strong defensive position. Its strategic location, guarding what was, until the 1890s, the farthest downstream crossing of the River Forth, has made it an important fortification from the earliest times. Most of the principal buildings of the castle date from the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. A few structures of the fourteenth century remain, while the outer defences fronting the town date from the early eighteenth century

Wallace Monument

The National Wallace Monument, dedicated to Willaim Wallace (a/k/a "Braveheart") stands across the valley from Stirling Castle - the picture above shows the monument with the statue of Robert the Bruce at the Castle.

 

In the evening, we can walk around the old town of Stirling after dinner. 

Overnight at the 7th Beechwood Scout Group Hall in Stirling
Sunday, July 15th
Stonehaven - St. Andrews

Dunnottar Castle

Surrounded by sheer cliffs overlooking the North Sea, Dunnottar is exactly what you'd expect a ruined castle to be. The surviving buildings are largely of the 15th and 16th centuries, but the site is believed to have been fortified in the Early Middle Ages. Dunnottar has played a prominent role in the history of Scotland through to the 18th-century Jacobite risings because of its strategic location and defensive strength. Dunnottar is best known as the place where the Honours of Scotland, the Scottish crown jewels, were hidden from Oliver Cromwell's invading army in the 17th century.

Dunnottar Castle has a free smartphone app guidebook for the Castle. I suggest that everyone who is planning to bring a smartphone on the trip should download that app, as it looks like it would add to the experience of touring Dunnottar. You can find the app on the iTunes App Store https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/dunnottar-castle/id1100237336?mt=8  or on the Google Play store for Android at https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.raw.dunnotar&hl=en_US 

Stonehaven Highland Games

Drive to St Andrews in Fife for dinner and a walk around the ancient university town

The town is home to the University of St Andrews, the third oldest university in the English-speaking world and the oldest in Scotland, as well as the ruined St. Andrews Castle and St. Andrews Cathedral. 

Then, drive to Edinburgh.

88th Craigalmond Scout Hall
Edinburgh 
Monday, July 16th
Edinburgh

Drop off the vehicles, then ride the tram to Princes Street in the city centre, walk to 

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 9:30 start. 

After the Camera Obscura, it's a quick 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".

Note: Edinburgh Castle has implemented pre-booked timed tickets in order to limit crowding. However, our Scottish Heritage Passes will allow us to scan directly in without having to pre-book for a time. Depending on when we finish with the Camera Obscura, we may grab lunch first or go directly to the Castle. 

Lunch on or near the Royal Mile

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".

Dinner at Gourmet Burger Kitchen  
on George Street in New Town

Ghost Walk

At 19:30 we have a private City of the Dead  Double Dead Tour, covering the South Bridge Vaults AND the Covenanter’s Prison in Greyfriars Graveyard.

Overnight
same as last night
Tuesday July 17th-
Thursday, July 26th

Blair Atholl International Patrol Jamborette

Friday, July 27th -
Tuesday, July 31
Home Visitation for Scouts, R&R for leaders
Meet around 20:30 on Tuesday evening in Edinburgh. 
Overnight in Edinburgh (to be arranged by Jamborette - probably 88th Craigalmond Scout Hall again).  
Wednesday, August 1st Spend the morning touring in Edinburgh - ride the tram into the city centre? See the Queen's yacht in Leith? Visit the Zoo? To be determined.

Fly Norwegian Air D81600, leaving from Edinburgh at 17:10, arriving at Stewart Airport at 19:30. Carpool back home. 

Last Updated 7/4/2018