Scotland Trip Itinerary

map_of_scotland-thThe Friends turn 40 next year and have put together a trip to Scotland in celebration. We will focus on the south of Scotland, an area of wide-ranging climate. The gardens are equally diverse displaying everything from tropical to alpine. Read more below for details of this exciting trip and come to our program preview on Sunday September 12th at the Arboretum. Check regularly the Scotland trip section here on the website as we add more details.

The map on the right gives an overview of our route, showing each of our overnight destinations. Click on the map, by the way, to see a larger version. The remainder of this article will talk about these overnight locations and what we will see at each stop along our route. A much more detailed, daily itinerary with many weblinks may be found in the section entitled, Scotland Itinerary. Click there to browse through each day's activities.

Glasgow

On arrival in Glasgow, we will board our bus for a city tour of Scotland's second city. It is full of fine examples of old and new architecture, including medieval churches and fine late Victorian structures. Following the tour of the city, we will motor southeast to the small town of Peebles, where we will relax, dine and overnight at the beautiful Macdonald Cardrona Hotel & Golf Course.

Peebles

In the morning we will board the bus and visit two area sites, Dawyck Botanic Garden as well as Abbotsford House, Sir Walter Scott's romantic mansion. Following those visits, a drive through the countryside will take us to Dumfries where we will stay the next two nights at the Station Hotel.

Dumfries

In the morning, we will visit Logan Botanic Garden, an exotic garden of tropicals located on a peninsula sprouting from Scotland's southwest corner. In the afternoon we will visit Whithorn Priory, a wonderful ruin on a site over a thousand years old. Nearby is Wigtown, designated as Scotland's national book town, where we will stop en route back to Dumfries for dinner and overnight. The next morning, we are off to Culzean Castle, near Ayr on the west coast. The castle itself is imposing, overlooking the sea, and boasts plantings and gardens around the 600 acre site. After leaving the castle environs, we will proceed to Geilston Garden in Cardross. We move on then to the Buchanan Arms Hotel in Drymen, on Loch Lomond

Drymen

We stay in Drymen for two nights. The first morning, we take a short ferry from Gourock to Dunoon and then visit Benmore, Argyll's mountainside garden. Then its on north through scenic countryside to picturesque Inverary and its elegant castle. That evening we dine at the Buchanan Arms Hotel in Drymen. The next morning we drive east, through wild, lovely scenery around Tarbet, Crianlarich and the Trossachs National Park. Later in the day, we will visit Gargunnock House Gardens and then proceed to Edinburgh and our hotel for the remainder of the trip, the Roxburghe Hotel.

Edinburgh

In the morning, we will sightsee in this, Scotland's capital city, covering New Town, the Royal Mile, and a guided tour of Edinburgh Castle. Following lunch, we will visit the Royal Botanic Garden. Free time in the afternoon and evening may be used for more sightseeing, shopping and independent dining. The next day will be devoted to Gardening Scotland 2011 Gardening & Flower Show, the biggest garden event in Scotland.

Our last full day in Scotland includes tours of the Braid Farm Road Garden and the Hammond Garden, both private gardens in the city. In the evening, we will all gather for a farewell dinner at the Beehive Inn in the historic heart of the city overlooking the Grass Market.

Full details of the itinerary are found in the pages starting here.