2 persons is the minimum required for a tour to run, if you are a solo traveller we can waitlist you for a tour and book you up once the first 2 persons have booked. If you are a solo traveller you may join a tour that already has at least 2 persons booked on. The single supplement payable is £55 per day.
It is a common misconception that Scotland is small and that it is possible to travel from one end to the other in a relatively short period of time. However due to the geographical nature of our country, we have many mountains to climb on small country roads which increase the time it takes to get from one place to another. We can certainly fit a lot into a days tour which we would call a photo stop tour, however to enjoy what Scotland has to offer, we recommend no less than a 7 day tour for the full experience. We would also recommend adding in at least a day for each Island that you wanted to visit.
Although we currently don’t run tours in Ireland, our trusted partners at Vagabond Tours do. Vagabond & Driftwood Small-Group Tours of Ireland are a top-rated, family-owned operator. In business for 18 years, Vagabond deliver personalised customer service with similarly high standards to ourselves. If you’re interested in combining Ireland and Scotland Tours, we heartily recommend that you read a little more about Vagabond on their website: https://vagabondtoursofireland.com
Peak season in Scotland is mid April to mid October. Getting off the beaten track with us certainly helps avoid the crowds but Scotland, even in its busiest periods (July and August), still has plenty of quiet spots to relax and enjoy. With many year-round tourist experiences available, a vacation at any time of year is possible but the majority of our guests choose a vacation in Scotland between March and November with some guests holidaying over the Christmas holiday period. Weather tends to be mild with temperatures May to September lingering between 60-75 degrees. There are certainly periods of warmer weather with temperatures soaring into the low 90s. As you are never too far from the coast the breezy conditions usually keep things feeling cooler.
Yes, we accept children of all ages however if you have not requested a private tour, we would show this as a " family friendly tour" so that others wishing to join the tour can decide for themselves whether or not this is the right group for them. We do expect all children to sit in child seats which we will provide for the duration of the tour. We also offer discounts to children under 12 sharing a room with their parents - please just let us know at the time of enquiry the ages and sleeping arrangements of your family. If you have babies trsvelling that require a baby car seat you must supply ths yourself, we can request cots at all hotels, but please bring the childs bed covers with you.
Generally, our tour sizes average around 6 persons with a maximum of 8 persons per vehicle as we don’t use large coaches for any of our tours. Groups of more than 8 persons can still be accommodated either with multiple vehicles or with a larger mini-coach.
Once our itinerary is agreed can we keep making changes?
In order to secure the best accommodaton for our guests we make hotel bookings as soon as the itinerary is agreed and the deposit is paid. At this stage we would not be able to change the tour itinerary unless in extreme circumstances. We reserve the right to alter any itinerary for oprational reasons, but endeavour to keep all cahnges to a minimum.
Can we book a tour at the last minute?
We recommend booking your tour as early as possible, once past New Year within the year of travel, rooms can become scarce especially on the islands and in the more rural areas. Late booking may result in guests being in different hotels.
Do all your hotels have Wifi/good mobile signals?
A majority of hotels do advertise that they have Wifi, however this is not guaranteed as in rural areas broadband can be intermittent, and in some Castle accommodation and traditional buidlings the walls are so thick that Wifi can only be accessed in certain areas. The same goes for mobile signal, it can't always be guaranteed that you will get a strong signal throughout the tour. If you require to have guranteed Wifi during your stay, you need to let us know at the time of booking. We will do all we can to accommodate this.
What kind of hotels/rooms do your guests stay in?
We favour small hotels, with Scottish character - beacuse of this the rooms types are not uniform (so if we book 3 double rooms for your group, they may all have different views and sizes). In the Scottish Highlands and Islands there are few large hotels with lifts and standardised rooms, any that there are are often used by the larger bus tour companies and we prefer not to use that kind of accommodation. Most of the hotels we use have restaurants on site, with excellent locally sourced food and many are the hub of the local community. If you request a specific type of room (i.e seaview) we will always do our best to oblige, but this will depend on what is avaialble at the time of booking. Have a look at some of our fantastic accomodation partners.
We will email a link for both bank transfer and card payment. A tour is only reserved once we receive the non-refundable deposit of £500 per person. If you do need to cancel please don't ask for a deposit to be returned as our terms are set to create fair booking conditons for all and protect the business from financial loss. As soon as you book and pay the deposit you should seek to take out insurance to cover for your loss in the event of cancellation.
Balances are due 45 days prior to the tour start date, but can be settled at any time. (see the Terms and Conditions for cancellation charges.)
Unfortunately we cannot start reserving slots or accommodation until we have received a deposit.
We do not sell insurance for our tours and recommend that you take out a suitable policy for your tour. We are not a flight agent and advise that you check flights with a local broker or with the relevant airlines.
The booking process involves filling out an online form with the details we require to book the tour - names of guests, dates of birth (required for some ferry journeys), conatcte details and special instructions, plus room type required. Any medical conditons that may affect you during the tour, such as mobility issues. storage of medication or severe allergies must be advised to us before touring. Your driver needs to be aware of this before commencing the journey and we need to be able to plan hotels and restaurants with any special conditions in mind. Failure to disclose information vital to the tour arrangements may affect the comfort of your tour, and it is often too late to make alternative arrangements during high season.
Please see our specific terms and conditions for full details.
You are responsible for any visa requirement specific to your nationality, and we advise you to check with UK immigration prior to travel.
Yes it is vital, once your non-refundable deposit is paid you must secure insurance that will cover you for all parts of your journey, and during your tour. This must be comprehensive to make sure you are protected, specific to your own circumstances and requirements. If you don’t have insurance to cover your trip appropriately we would not be liable for any costs you incur that are outwith our responsibilities and jurisdiction. The insurance must take into consideration the potential for travel to be disrupted by travel restrictions to or from the UK and/or travel restrictions within the UK.
How much baggage can I bring?
Our vehicles are roomy and can easily carry a large suitcase per person booked, plus 1 day bag with you in the main seating area. Please be aware that most of the hotels we use are in older, traditional Scottish buildings and dont have lifts to each floor - our drivers will assist you but oversize or excessively heavy luggage cannot be carried as the driver may be at risk of injury which would affect the tour. If you need to store excess luggage during our tour we dont have facilities for this, but both Glasgow and Edinburgh aiport have a chargeable left luggage service.
What should I pack?
Scotland gets a good amount of rainfall, that’s why our landscape is so verdant! plus there are some items that you shouldn't forget. Here's some ideas for packing.
Because we choose smaller family run establishments laundry often cannot get done overnight – on our longer tours we try and have a 2 nights stay around midway to enable guests to get laundry done. All hotels have hairdryers supplied.
It’s wise to get about £100 per person before your travel, while in Scotland there are plenty of ATM machines and most places take cards (check with your bank about charge for overseas transactions and let them know you are going overseas). If you do bring your own currency to change please tell the driver – as there are some more rural areas that cannot change currency.
Are bed sizes the same in the UK as in other countries?
UK bed sizes are smaller than in the US, refer to the chart below for the sizing, and bear in mind that many hotels in the UK dont have UK King Size beds, let us know your requirements and we will do our best to assist.
|(US term / UK term)||USA||UK/Ireland|
|Single/Twin||39in × 75in|
0.99 m × 1.91 m
|36in × 75in|
0.9 m × 1.90 m
|Double / Full||54in × 75in|
1.37 m × 1.91 m
|54in × 75in|
1.37 m × 1.91 m
|Queen / King||60in × 80in|
1.52 m × 2.03 m
|60in × 78in|
1.5 m × 2 m
|Olympic Queen / -||66in × 80in|
1.68 m × 2.03 m
|King / Super King||76in × 80in|
1.93 m × 2.03 m
|72in × 78in|
1.83 m × 1.98 m
Depending on the itinerary the tour starts just after breakfast (9 – 10am) and the day ends around 5pm. On some occasions the days are longer due to ferry timetables or unexpected stops or delays. If your driver arranges a time to meet we ask that this is adhered to, being late for the days touring affects all others on the tour and may result in missing ferries or attraction bookings.
Smoking/Vaping is not permitted in the vehicles, there are plenty of stops during our tours. Eating and drinking in the vehicle is permitted, but be mindful of others (many people have allergies to certain food types).
There is flexibility within our itineraries, the driver will discuss the days route with you before departure. Major changes cannot be made to routes, but very minor changes can be made if you have something specific in mind and other guests agree.
Our accommodations are all at least 3* standard, but the quality can vary as in many island areas we are very limited for choice - they will certainly not be of a uniform style. If there is an issue on any part of the tour, please don’t wait until the end of the tour to let us know. We are happy to offer you a form to offically note any issue that you feel hasnt been resolved or that you wish to be logged. In our experience, by letting the driver know, matters can be resolved. We want this tour to be the best it can be!
If we can retrieve the items for you and send to a hotel further on in your tour we will endeavour to do so, however as postage back to your home country can be costly we would charge for anything sent overseas. With this in mind it is important that you check for all your belongings on checking out of the hotel. You are responsible for any medication you have brought with you that may be refridgerated in the hotel, so please make sure this is retrieved on check out.
10-15% is the norm in restaurants and hotels (no gratuties are included in your tour price) for our drivers it will of course depend on the service you receive – as a guide we say £20-£25 per day, per couple. This is purely at your discretion.