Travel

“I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.”
~ Robert Louis Stevenson

Spring 2016: Villages and Abbeys of the Scottish Lowlands

May 2016 Villages and Abbeys Tour

What fun it was to escort two tours through the Lowlands of Scotland and Edinburgh in May 2016! Once again, our tours filled up within hours. I’m thrilled that 90 women traveled with me, yet saddened to think of others who wanted to join us but could not. Bless you for your interest!

We explored Dumfries & Galloway, historic Edinburgh, and the Scottish Borders—the lovely regions where my seven historical novels and armchair travel guide are set.

Each morning after our full Scottish breakfast, I taught the biblical stories of Leah, Rachel, and Jacob, which served as the inspiration for my first series of Scottish novels, beginning with Thorn in My Heart. Then, we boarded our motor coach and toured the rolling green hills of the Lowlands, including castles and abbeys, villages and gardens. Och, such a bonny place, full of history, folklore, and friendly people.

Villages and Abbeys Tour May 2016

We spent 5 nights in Dumfries & Galloway, 3 nights in Edinburgh, and 3 nights in the Scottish Borders. All three hotel properties were historic (and truly lovely), perfectly situated for our touring and exploring needs. Our last night was spent in Glasgow enjoying a fabulous farewell dinner before I sent everyone winging home the next morning with a suitcase full of delightful Scottish souvenirs and a heart brimming with memories.

“I loved the gardens, abbeys, castles, the places we stayed, the great Scottish food. There were so many loving touches you provided to make this an inspiring trip.”—Nancy

“This trip had all my favorite things: spiritual refreshment, flowers, history, and friends old and new. I laughed, I cried, and I had fellowship with my sisters in Christ.”—Ruth

Spring 2014: Highlands and Islands of Scotland

Highlands and Islands, Castles and Gardens Scotland Tour with Liz Curtis Higgs

Our May 7-19, 2014 and May 20-June 1, 2014 tours of the Highlands and Islands of Scotland both filled within hours after our registration opened. To all 87 women who traveled with us, bless you for your enthusiasm!

On each tour we journeyed across the majestic Highlands—from the standing stones of Kilmartin Glen to the fields of Culloden—while learning a wealth of history from our brilliant Scottish guide, Karen MacCormick. We traveled by ferry to experience the beauty of four western islands—Iona, Mull, Skye, and Arran. Then, we visited some of Scotland’s most atmospheric castles—Balmoral to Brodick, Cawdor to Inverary, Eilean Donan to Urquhart Castle on the banks of mysterious Loch Ness—and strolled through a dozen magnificent gardens.

Each morning we began with a half-hour Bible study, and also drew inspiration from ancient abbeys in Dunkeld, Iona, and St. Andrews, as we drank in the rich spiritual heritage of Scotland.

The Ideal Season for a Tour of Scotland

There’s ne’er a flower that blooms in May,
That’s half so fair as thou art!”
~ Robert Burns

May is the best month for a leap across the pond. The sun rises before five and tarries almost until ten, providing ample time to wander down every footpath that beckons. The air is scented with lilacs. Month-old lambs gambol along the hedgerows, and the rolling hills and glens are covered with the greenest grass you can imagine.

Our pace allowed for time to poke about the village shops, linger over pots of tea, and nibble on scones and jam. We brought our cameras to capture the splendid springtime scenery, and favorite novels to curl up with at day’s end. The temperature in May is very pleasant for traveling—around sixty degrees during the day, a bit chillier at night.

It was an amazing adventure! You’ll find lots of photos from our trip on My Scottish Heart on Facebook.

“Liz and her crew took great pains to make this trip memorable—incredible sights to be seen, new friends to be made, and new intimacy with the One who calls us His children!” —Gwen

“Encouraged, inspired, blessed with beautiful surroundings and beautiful people. The smiles and laughter made our faces hurt! God’s presence in every turn in the road.”—Donna

“A lifetime dream realized in a remarkable journey to Scotland, We arrived mostly as strangers, and left tied heart to heart.”LouAnn

“Beyond blessed to have been a part of such a God-inspired adventure.”Melody

“Remarkable in every way—incredible scenery, amazing hostesses, high jinks and laughter on the bus, fab hotels and meals, new friends found, thoughtful Bible teaching, and a true sense of being held lovingly in His hands.”Cindy

“Our Lord spoke to me so much in Scotland. His manifest presence showed in glorious ways. I will never be the same.”—Kelly

“Scotland with Liz—Scripture, stories, sisters, sights, sounds, smiles, scones, sheep, shopping—unparalleled satisfaction.”—Gwenn

 

Winter 2012: A Victorian Christmas in Scotland

Atholl Palace | A Victorian Christmas in Scotland

Season after season I longed to take readers on a tour of my favorite place in the world. Finally, 2012 was our year! I partnered with Beverly Henry at Luxe Travel to create a very special holiday visit to bonny Scotland, traveling November 25 through December 2, 2012 for Tour 1 and December 2 to December 9, 2012 for Tour 2.

From Glasgow to Loch Lomond to Stirling to Pitlochry to Edinburgh, we lodged in Victorian hotels, explored medieval castles, enjoyed traditional Scottish music, and shopped for Christmas gifts. We also shared high tea, popped into museums and galleries, toured the Palace of Holyroodhouse, dined in wonderful restaurants, and learned a wealth of history from our brilliant Scottish guide, Karen MacCormick.

A Wreath of SnowThough our tour is but a memory, you can take a virtual visit of Victorian Stirling by way of my Pinterest board.

Each participant also received an autographed copy of my 30th book, A Wreath of Snow: A Victorian Christmas Novella, a tender celebration of all things Scottish, all things Victorian, and especially, all things Christmas.

Our for-women-only tour was cozy and friendly, with forty or so women on each tour, traveling from town to town aboard a luxury motor coach, with a special part of our journey aboard a train—the Victorian way to travel. Both weeks provided dozens of happy memories in bonny Scotland!

“We had the best time.” ~ Linda

“Fabulous tour!” ~ Mary Kay

“Such a magical week. Thank you for sharing your Scotland. It exceeded all of my expectations!” ~ Vicki

“One of the most gratifying trips ever.” ~ Bonnie 

 

Planning to Travel to Scotland on Your Own?

Here are some of my favorite Scottish websites you might find helpful:

If you want information on historic properties in Scotland:

If you want information on lodging in Scotland:

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