Archive for reference.
Garden and Landscape Expeditions with Green Alba in 2010
Following the successful holidays in 2009 with expeditions to Mull Iona Ardnamurchan and Skye, Aberdeenshire and Banffshire and Inverness to the Castle of Mey I am delighted to offer you another opportunity to explore Scotland with me. The only thing over which we have no power is the weather. We were fortunate most of the time. My knees acquired a good tan. We must however be ready for anything the weather throws at us! Bring walking boots and wet weather clothes. Be happy. Make the most of it.
I am offering new destinations with longer stays. As before the accommodation is based on Scottish Youth Hostels and Independent Hostels which are proving to be worthwhile and popular.
The accommodation is basic and low cost compared to bed and breakfast or Hotels. We self cater and live relatively inexpensively which keeps the overall cost down. You can choose to eat out if you prefer.
Individual parties can upgrade to more expensive accommodation if there is a demand.
1. Inverewe Garden and the Hydroponicum, Auchiltibuie (Four days)
The North West Highlands of Scotland is one of the most dramatic landscapes on mainland Scotland. Our exploration will take in Auchiltibuie and Inverewe and Durness. Big country with big landscapes and seascapes.
Inverewe Garden is one of the best known gardens in the world and was created on barren rocks by Osgood Mackenzie who brought tons of soil in by boat to create this great garden. A wonderful spectacle of Rhododendrons awaits the visitor in May and June and many other exotic plants from around the world can be seen flourishing far north thanks again to the North Atlantic Drift (Gulf Stream).
Durness is on the north coast and where John Lennon spent some of his childhood holidays. Below. Eilan Donan Castle, Dornie on the scenic route home.
Photograph: Elizabeth Milne. Copyright.
When: Usually a Monday to Thursday inclusive at time to suite clients. Cost per person £185.
Extended tour if preffered takes in Dunnett Head, Castle of Mey, John O'Groats and Dunrobin Castle (5 days) £215
2. Orkney Islands. (Five days)
Listen to local folk talking to each other. You could be in a different country .... in a Norse country. The Orkneys are a treeless landscape and very different from mainland Scotland. An ancient landscape where there are many things to see. Standing stones – the Ring of Brodgar and the neolithic village, Skarra Brae are examples. St Magnus Cathedral, in Kirkwall is a sight to behold, towering above the town and was started in 1137. It is not a ruin! It was built by the Vikings and has seen many historic events come and go.
An important strategic place during two World Wars the Churchill Barriers are a lasting feature of modern Orkney. The Italian Chapel is a triumph of man over adversity. Sea dominates this great landscape which is unforgettable. We will visit some of the islands by boat and maybe you can visit by plane if you decide to take the shortest scheduled flight in the world which is an unforgettable experience.
When:Monday 31st. May to Friday 4th. June. Cost per person £215.
3. Mull, Iona, Ardnamurchan and Skye (Four Days) – Island hopping through some of the most spectacular landscapes in Scotland.
Arriving at Torosay Castle by steam drawn train.
The grandeur of Mull and the dignity of Iona. On Iona the opportunity to hear Corncrakes rasping away in the long grass. Tobermory to children of a certain age “Ballamory”. The wild beauty of Arnamurchan and the lighthouse at the most westerly point on the British mainland which happens to have a nice wee tearoom. The ancient untouched mountains of Skye. Interesting hostels along the way and a view to die for at Uig Hostel.
When: June 14 to 17. Cost per person £215.
4. Inverness, John 'O Groats and Castle of Mey Caithness (Four days)
This is an eye opener. Grand design, horticultural excellence and hidden gardens make this a spectacular journey. See Dornoch Cathedral and walk the vast beach. Visit Dunrobin Castle and view some of the most outstanding garden design in Europe which is ranked alongside Versailles.
Sleeperzzz Hostel at Rogart - Liz and Liz relax outside their comfortable hostel.
The late Queen Mothers garden at the Castle of Mey is a triumph of man over nature in mid to late summer. Set overlooking the Pentland Firth the growing conditions are among the most hostile in Britain.
When: August 9 to 12. Cost per person £185.
5. Outer Hebrides – Lewis, Harris, North Uist, Berneray, Benbecula, South Uist and Barra. (Seven days)
Drive and walk through time to see the land and sea which has not changed much in thousands of years. Live in a Black House hostel which has been modernised. Visit the Black House at Arnol and see what domestic life was like up until not so long ago. Not only were the houses black. The people who lived in them tended to be black too because of the effects of burning peat in a poorly ventilated space. Peat was and in some cases still is the fuel of choice.
Islands where both modern and old ways of life can be seen side by side.
Every island is different. The moorland and agricultural land of Lewis gives way to the rugged inhospitable mountains of Harris. The mountainous landscape of Harris has been described as "like walking on the moon". It certainly is very different to any other part of Scotland.
The gale may howl and the wind might skirl ... inside the black house ye canna hear a whistle.
Irene and Janette in Gearrannan black house village in Lewis.
Huge beaches of white sand grace the west coast on the southern islands and rarely a soul to be seen. A different landscape which makes a lasting impression.
Here we are a world apart from our daily lives on mainland Scotland. Aeroplanes and Ferries are the lifelines to our world. Enjoy many hours of sailing to and from the islands.
When: If there is sufficient interest this expedition can be organised to suit.
6. Banffshire and Aberdeenshire (Four Days) – Wonderful castles and gardens in a big landscape. Seascapes and beaches to satisfy any coast lover. Visit Pennan of Local Hero.
Duthie Park winter gardens provide a sheltered area for spectacular plant displays.
See the spectacular indoor displays in Duthie Park Aberdeen ... Royal Deeside and Balmoral Castle and more.
When: August 23 to August 26. Cost per person £185.
Dates and times don't suit?
All of the above expeditions can be run to suit peoples needs. If the dates above don't suit you or you would like to visit at a different time of year contact me and we can make arrangements which do suit you. Taking account of supply and demand – lets see what we can do for you.