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Raine Polaski Tour of Scotland

A small group tour which commenced on Tuesday, July 27th, 2004. This wee Tour of Scotland was based out of the Highland Perthshire town of Dunkeld and the old coaching Inn, The Royal Dunkeld Hotel. This group of two couples brought music and laughter to Scotland, and mixed well and freely with the local Scots. They were a joy to be with. Before starting on their Scottish Tour, this group had already spent some time in the Capital City of Edinburgh, and were well rested and ready for their Tour of Scotland.

Tuesday - Day 1:
Met this 4 person group at the Quality Hotel beside Edinburgh Airport at 10.30am. From the airport we drove to South Queensferry to view the Forth Road Bridge. We then crossed the bridge and drove to Lower Largo in Fife where we took a short break and viewed the monument to Andrew Selkirk, the real Robinson Crusoe. From Largo we drove East to visit the fishing village of Pittenweem before lunching on Pittenweem Haddock at the Craws Nest Hotel in Anstruther. After lunch we visited the scenic village of Crail and Crail Pottery. From Crail we drove North to St Andrews for a quick visit to the famed St Andrews Old Course. From St Andrews we drove through rural North Fife along the long the River Tay to old Newburgh and then on to Abernethy where we ate a Bar Dinner at the Crees Inn. After dinner we drove North to Dunkeld where we paid a quick visit to a Jazz Session in the Tap Inn at Birnam before settling into our base location at The Royal Dunkeld Hotel, with its wonderful views of Birnam Woods.

Wednesday - Day 2:
After a full Scottish Breakfast at the hotel we drove North to the Highland Perthshire town of Pitlochry and then on to the South Banks of the River Tummel where we stopped to view a Celtic Praying Stone. This beautiful road along Loch Tummel leads to the hamlet of Foss. From Foss we drove to Keltneyburn and the Iron Fairy sculptures of Heather M. Cumming. Further west we visited Fortingall and Fortingall Yew. After Fortingall we drove to Kenmore to have lunch in the Taymouth Trading Company Cafe. After lunch we visited a wee charity Car Boot Sale in Kenmore, and then spent an hour boating and fishing on Loch Tay. In the late afternoon we drove up seriously steep hills and through the, sheepish, misty Glen Quaich to The Lonely Inn at Amulree where we had a wee cup of tea/coffee. Returning to Dunkeld we viewed The River Braan at Rumbling Bridge, then had dinner at the Tap Inn prior to some of the group attending a music session at the Taybank.

Thursday - Day 3:
After a full Scottish Breakfast at the hotel we drove the longest drive of our tour; 2 hours North to the famed banks of Loch Ness and the wee isolated village of Dores. ( Loch Ness is possibly Scotland's most famous stretch of water, renowned for perennial tourist attraction, the Loch Ness Monster. ) We weren't here to see the monster though, but to visit the Clan McBean Monument, which sits high on a hill a few miles from Dores. After lunch at the Dores Inn we travelled South, stopping to climb a hill in Stratherrick. Driving further South we spent an hour in Fort Augustus, before travelling East again to visit the Commando monument at Spean, and, further on the gatehouse at Laggan ( location of the BBC TV Comedy series, Monarch of the Glen ). After dinner in the village of Killiecrankie, at the Killiecrankie Hotel, we stopped at the Garry Bridge then drove to South to Dunkeld, some of the the group attending a music session at the Taybank.

Friday - Day 4:
After a full Scottish Breakfast at the hotel we drove North West over the moorland hills, where we came upon some Highland Cows, to Kinloch Rannoch. After a wee tea break we viewed the McDonald Mausoleum and then drove East along the North side of Loch Tummel through Strathtummel to the celebrated Queen's View. We then drove to Pitlochry for lunch and an hour or so of shopping. After lunch the group toured the unique Edradour Distillery. Returning to Pitlochry we watched a fishermen fishing for salmon at the wee hamlet of Port na Craig. South again to Dunkeld where we had a bar dinner in the Perthshire Arms Pub. Once again the group attended another music session at the Taybank.

Saturday - Day 5:
After a full Scottish Breakfast at the hotel we drove East to Blairgowrie where we visited the Piob Mhor kilt shop. From Blairgowrie we drove North East to Kirriemuir, the birthplace of J.M. Barrie, the author of Peter Pan. After tea and scones in Kirriemuir we drove South to Glamis to visit the famed Glamis Castle. After lunch in the Strathmore Arms we drove West to Eassie to view the ancient Eassie Stone. Returning to Dunkeld we stopped briefly on the road to view the Meikleour Beech Hedge. West again to Dunkeld where we had a second bar dinner in the favourite of locals, the Perthshire Arms Pub. Later that evening we had a few drinks in the Beer Garden of The Royal Dunkeld Hotel.

Sunday - Day 6:
After a full Scottish Breakfast at the hotel we drove South to Perth to visit a Car Boot Sale. We then drove from the Boot Sale West to Doune to visit Doune Castle. From Doune we drove to West the Trossachs town of Callander to attend the Callander Highland Games. After the games we drove to Lochearnhead and then on to Comrie and Drummond Trout Fisheries for a wee bit of fishing. From Comrie we drove through Crieff to Dunning where we viewed the famous Dupplin Cross and St Serf's Church. From Dunning we drove to Glenfarg to have dinner at the Bein Inn. Back in Dunkeld we had a few drinks in the pub at The Royal Dunkeld Hotel.

Monday - Day 7:
After a full Scottish Breakfast at the hotel we drove to the Fair City of Perth to visit
McDiarmid Park, home of professional soccer team, St. Johnstone Football Club. We then visited Perth Mart before heading South to the village of Abernethy to climb the Pictish Tower. From Abernethy we drove South to the village of Falkland to visit the Falkland Violin Shop owned by Bob Beveridge. After lunch at The Hayloft Tearoom in Falkland we drove West to Kinross to visit Loch Leven Castle. Returning to Dunkeld we had dinner at the Tap Inn then stayed on for a live music session.

Tuesday - Day 8:
After a full Scottish Breakfast at the hotel
we drove South through Perth and Dundee and across the Tay Bridge to ancient the city of St Andrews. After viewing the St Andrews University Quadrangle and the historic St Andrews Cathedral we visited The Reaper Drifter in St Andrews Harbour. We then drove South for lunch once again at the Craw's Nest Hotel. After lunch we drove North to Ceres to visit the Fife Folk Museum and then onwards to visit the Hill of Tarvit Mansion. An Edwardian mansion house with 500 acres of garden, built in 1696 and attributed to Sir William Bruce, the house at Hill of Tarvit was originally called Wemyss Hall. In 1904 it was bought by Mr F.B. Sharp and rebuilt to a new design by Sir Robert Lorimer to form a suitable setting for his collection of French, Chippendale and vernacular furniture, Dutch paintings, Flemish tapestries and Chinese porcelain. From Hill of Tarvit we drove West through Gateside for a brief stop at the Mini Mart. Returning North we walked up to the Dunkeld Hermitage to visit the Falls. The group then had dinner at the Atholl Arms Hotel.

Wednesday - Day 9:
After a final Scottish Breakfast at the hotel
we drove South to Edinburgh Airport, stopping for a while at both Dunfermline Abbey and North Queensferry before crossing the Forth Road Bridge.

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