Walking Holiday in Scotland

Trip Overview

In what may seem like an empty wilderness to the first-time visitor, life is rich and abundant in Scotland, the largest wilderness area remaining in the U.K. and in Europe. Storm-wrapped mountains, verdant stone-walled hills, unspoiled sand beaches, highlands bathed in northern light, wild and vast wind-swept lochs, fuschia heather on a balmy afternoon.....this is Scotland, the world's undiscovered secret. Dramatic, wild, and curiously unknown, it is also the home of a fiercely independent people, the Scots.

For AdventureWomen's fifth trip to this fascinating destination and our 2014 Walking Holiday in Scotland, we have gathered the perfect combination of activities: hiking and exploring the diverse landscapes of Scotland (some of which are accessible only by water); enjoying the company of a knowledgeable, Scottish naturalist-guide; experiencing first-hand the history and culture of the self-reliant Scots; and even tasting the "water of life," Scotland's term for their finest whiskey!

Our walking holiday hikes take us on an exploration of three of Scotland's distinct regions:  Central Perthshire, the Western Highlands, and the Inner Hebrides Islands. By walking through such a variety of regions in Scotland, we are able to savor the diverse Scottish landscape, history, and culture in a way that few trips can offer. This combination of locations provides an irresistible mix of highlands and lowlands, rugged seascapes and tranquil lochs, mountain passes and gentle glens. We'll walk the moors ablaze with purple heather and cross island-studded sea lochs by steamboat; visit mystical ruined castles and travel to the legendary Isle of Mull. We’ll see rhododendrons in bloom, visit splendid gardens, and watch Border Collies in action, rounding up sheep strewn over distant hillsides.

Our accommodations in Scotland are in charming and delightful hotels located in picturesque settings. Scottish meals throughout the trip are traditional and wonderful, especially the fresh seafood on the west coast, dining on salmon, fresh from the river Tay, and include hearty Scottish food and breakfasts that will delight and amaze you!

Join AdventureWomen on this glorious east to west traverse of the Best of Scotland!

Main Attractions

  • Explore three of Scotland's distinct regions: Central Perthshire, the Western Highlands, and the Inner Hebrides islands.
  • Hike up the Birks of Aberfeldy, lined by the silver birch trees celebrated by Robert Burns in his poem/love song, “The Birks of Aberfeldy.”
  • Ferry to Mull, “isle of the cool high bends" and stay in Tobermory, the most picturesque fishing village on the island.
  • Take a cliff-top walk to the castle of Dunstaffnage, one of the oldest stone castles in Scotland.
  • Travel by boat to the Isle of Eigg, known as the jewel in the Hebridean crown for its outstanding beauty.
  • Stay in three charming, historic, and lovely Scottish hotels, set in stunning locations and with wonderful dining rooms.
  • Enjoy camaraderie and share experiences with other AdventureWomen participants during this delightful, custom-designed walking holiday in Scotland.

What You'll See and Do!

Boat Travel, Cultural Exploration, Hiking, Natural History, Photography, Sightseeing, Walking, Whiskey Tasting, Wildlife Safari

What You'll See and Do

  • Cultural Exploration
  • Hiking
  • Natural History
  • Photography
  • Walking
  • Wildlife Safari

If you're curious about this trip, we would be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Walking Holiday in Scotland

Trip Itinerary

Did you know: Scotland is the largest wilderness area in Europe? This glorious itinerary takes us hiking through verdant countryside past mystical castles, spectacular gardens, “quintessential” Scottish scenery of Perthshire's rolling hills, dramatic western seascapes, and the rocky coastline of the Isle of Skye. Watch Border Collies in action rounding up sheep, cross island-studded sea lochs by boat, and spend evenings listening to traditional music, while sampling the "water of life" – Scottish malt whiskey.

Day 1

Friday, June 20, 2014:  Depart the U.S. on flights to Edinburgh, Scotland
Depart from the United States for your overnight flight to Edinburgh, Scotland. (Note: most flights will require a connection).

Day 2

Saturday, June 21: Into Perthshire and Robert Burns’ Aberfeldy
At 12 Noon we rendevous at the airport in Edinburgh  and transfer by bus to the charming Victorian town of Aberfeldy, central Perthshire, the ancient county of Perth, Scotland. Perthshire straddles both the Scottish Highlands and Lowlands, with glens, lochs, mountains and open spaces, and rich farmland and market towns. Situated in the geographical center of Scotland, the area has played an important part in Scotland’s long and turbulent history, and many of the well known historical figures have associations with the county: Ossian, Macbeth, William Wallace, Robert Bruce, Mary Queen of Scots, John Knox, Montrose, Rob Roy Macgregor, Bonnie Prince Charlie, and Robert Burns.

Let Fortune's gifts at random flee,
They ne'er shall draw a wish frae me,
Supremely blest wi' love and thee
In the birks of Aberfeldy.

From 'The Birks of Aberfeldy' by Robert Burns

Our first hike takes us up the Birks of Aberfeldy, which is lined by the silver birch trees celebrated by Robert Burns in his poem and love song, “The Birks of Aberfeldy.” The birches by the river-gorge that inspired his poem are still there, along with other broad-leaved species, in this romantic spot. Burns also admired the Falls of Moness above Aberfeldy.

The base for our first three nights is Balnearn House, a family-owned and run Scottish bed and breakfast set in the beautiful Tay Valley in the heart of Highland Perthshire.

Built in the late 1900s, Balnearn is a Victorian-style property set within its own private grounds, with comfortable and inviting guest rooms, all for our exclusive use. This Scottish hotel has free WiFi access, and always a roaring log fire in the spacious sitting room. Breakfasts are freshly prepared and served in the elegant dining room, where you will be offered a selection of both cooked and lighter options, including homemade granola or freshly made pancakes - the perfect start to our hiking day!

(3 hour walk)                                                            (Dinner)

Balnearn House
Crieff Road, Aberfeldy, Perthshire, Scotland PH15 2BJ
Phone: +44(0)1506 832 121
www.balnearnhouse.co.uk

Day 3

Sunday, June 22: Shakespeare’s Macbeth Was Here!
After a hearty Scottish breakfast (perhaps porridge and kippers, or
smoked haddock, fresh eggs, black pudding, potato scones and oat cakes with honey!), we transfer by minibus to the little town of Dunkeld, Perthshire, an old cathedral town on the banks of the River Tay. We walk through Birnam Woods, made famous by Shakespeare’s Macbeth. Some of the trees here are thought to date from the original forest, including Britain's oldest oak.

We have lunch at the local pub and at the end of the day transfer back to Aberfeldy for an afternoon visit to Cluny House Gardens, a beautiful wild garden with many varieties of alpine and Himalayan plants.

(4 hour walk)                                                            (Breakfast and Dinner)

Overnight Balnearn House, Aberfeldy

Day 4

Monday, June 23: Pitlochry, a Town Made Famous by Queen
Victoria
After breakfast we transfer by minibus to Pitlochry, a resort town in Scotland
made popular by Queen Victoria, who declared it to be one of the finest resorts in Europe. This proclamation resulted in the building of many beautiful houses and hotels in the Pitlochry area.

Our walk takes us along the Pass of Killiecrankie, where the British were almost annihilated by the Highlanders during the Jacobite uprisings. (You'll have to ask your guides to explain this to you, or do your own research on the internet, because there isn't enough space here to even give even a partial "synopsis" of it all!).

This scenic Scottish hiking trail takes us through the woods and up into the hills where we have wonderful panoramic views all around of Scottish landscapes.

Today we have lunch in the great outdoors, by the side of a silvery loch.

You are free for dinner tonight.

(5 hour walk)                                                             (Breakfast and Lunch)

Overnight Balnearn House, Aberfeldy

Day 5

Tuesday, June 24: Hike to Dunstaffnage Castle and Ferry to the Isle of Mull
Today begins with a transfer to Oban, Scotland, the gateway to the inner and outer Hebrides. We take a cliff-top walk to the castle of Dunstaffnage, one of the oldest stone castles in Scotland. It guards the seaward approach from the Firth of Lorn to the Pass of Brander, which protected the heart of Scotland. The castle was built about 1220 on a huge rock overlooking the Firth of Lorn, by Duncan MacDougall, son of Dubhgall, Lord of Lorn, and grandson of the great Somerled ‘King of the Isles’. These were stirring times in Argyll, due to the remarkable struggle between Scotland and Norway for control over the Hebrides.

Dunstaffnage castle, with its huge curtain wall, was captured by Robert the Bruce in 1309 and remained in royal possession for many years. It later became the temporary prison of Flora MacDonald in 1746.

Extensively restored, we'll visit this impressive fortress, which overlooks what was once the most important junction of the sea-lanes on the west coast of Scotland.

Late afternoon we board our ferry and travel to the Island of Mull, “isle of the cool high bends". Our base in Mull is Tobermory, the most picturesque fishing village on the island. This Scottish village is full of brightly painted houses, piled up around a busy harbor.

Our home for the next two nights is the Western Isles Hotel, renowned for its panoramic position overlooking the harbor and its excellent kitchen. This historic Scottish hotel was designed and built in 1882. Being late Victorian means that many of the rooms are spacious with high ceilings. As well as a comfortable accommodation, the hotel's fine cuisine is prepared from the best locally sourced ingredients.

(3 hour walk)                                                             (Breakfast and Dinner)

Western Isles Hotel
Tobermory, Isle of Mull, PA75 6PR
Tel: 01688 302012
International: +44 1688 302012
Fax: 01688 302297
www.westernisleshotel.co.uk

At some time during our walking tour in Scotland, we'll visit a distillery to “taste a dram,” of whiskey! Whole evenings can be whiled away in Scotland debating and researching which is the best Scotch whiskey. But it all comes down to individual taste, and you will have a great time deciding on your favorite.

Day 6

Wednesday, June 25: A Boat Tour to the Surrounding Scottish Islands off Mull
Mull is the largest of the islands of Argyll and the third largest in Scotland. It has a rich cultural heritage, stunning land and seascapes, and impressive wildlife. Beautiful beaches and bays abound, from Calgary and Kilninian in the north to Loch Buie and Carsaig in the south. The island of Mull is one of the best places to see rare sea eagles - and boat trips to the surrounding islands are a highlight of any visit to Mull.

From our base in Tobermory we travel to the west of the island and pick up our boat at Ulva, where we begin a guided boat trip around Mull to visit the spectacular surrounding Scottish islands. We pass the deserted and seldom visited Tresnish Isles, which are a haven for many types of birds and marine mammals. Our first stop is enchanting Staffa, where we land to visit Finegals Cave and its remarkable basalt columns. It is said that the motion of the waves crashing into Fingal's Cave, formed from the giant basalt columns, inspired Mendelssohn's Hebrides Overture.

Our second stop is Lunga, an island inhabited only by puffins and other seabirds. During our walk on the island we will be able to observe the Puffin colony up-close.

Tonight is free for dinner, to explore the gastronomic delights of Tobermory.

(4 hour walk)                                                            (Breakfast and Lunch)

Overnight Western Isles Hotel

Day 7

Thursday, June 26: Ferry Back to the Mainland and the Village of Arisaig
This morning we ferry back to Scotland’s mainland and the port of Kilchoan, on the Ardnamurchan peninsula. This rugged wind-lashed Scottish landscape is the most westerly point on the British Isles. Our drive takes us through through rugged, mountainous scenery, deeply cut by lochs and glens, one of the most magical corners of Scotland. We'll stop in Salen for a pub lunch and in the afternoon and walk to one of the most romantic ruins in Scotland, Castle Tioram (pronounced chiram, which means "dry land" in gaelic). Reached only by causeway at low tide, this 14th-century castle was the seat of the MacDonalds of Clanranald. It was burned in 1715 by its Jacobite chief to prevent it from falling into the hands of the Government.

Continuing to the sleepy fishing village of Arisaig, our hotel for the next two nights, the Arisaig House, is a very special place with an intriguing history, and nestled in a wonderful location. This hotel in Scotland is surely most peoples' idea of the ultimate romantic hideaway... an honest greystone mansion, originally built in 1864, but much altered in the 1930s. Our hosts for the next three nights are members of one family, the owners of Arisaig House, who run it as a luxurious guest house, offering freshly prepared seasonal meals, picnic lunches, homemade treats and the chance to really put our feet up! The hotel is set within 19 acres of landscaped Scottish gardens and woodland.

(4 hour walk)                                                            (Breakfast and Dinner)
Arisaig House
Beasdale, Arisaig, Invernessshire PH39 4NR
+44 (0)1687 450730
www.arisaighouse.co.uk

Day 8

Friday, June 27: Loch Morar
From Arisaig it is a short transfer to the silvery shores of Loch Morar, Scotland's deepest loch at over 1,800 feet. This area featured prominently in the film Rob Roy and Local Hero. We start in shady beech woods before the hiking trail opens up and follows the shore of the lake. We head over the hill, past the old hunting lodge to Tarbet, a tiny hamlet on the shores of Loch Nevis, to pick up the post boat and sail all the way back to Mallaig, Scotland enjoying a cup of tea on board. In Mallaig we have time to look around the craft and music shops before heading back to Arisaig.

(5 hour walk)                                                 (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner)

Overnight Arisaig House

Day 9

Saturday, June 28: The Island of Eigg
Leaving the Scottish mainland this morning, we travel by boat to the island of Eigg. More than an Island, the Isle of Eigg is a small island with a big reputation!

Eigg is dominated by “an Sgurr”, a dramatic pitchstone ridge, the largest of its kind in Europe. Laig Bay, a large white Atlantic beach, faces the Cuillins of Rum, one of the most memorable views on the west coast of Scotland. Further North is the Singing Sands, a stunning musical quartz beach surrounded by outstanding geological formations.

As well as being known as the jewel in the Hebridean crown for its outstanding beauty, Eigg has many other cultural and historical attractions: Picts and Vikings have left their marks, and its rich Scottish history is steeped in clan warfare and the crofting way of life. Eigg’s pioneering community buy-out ushered in land reform in Scotland, giving islanders control of their future for the first time. Among other achievements, Eigg has the first completely wind, water and sun-powered electricity grid in the world.

Our walk on the island takes us to the ancient burial ground at Kildonnan Church, the resting place of the MacDonalds who once owned the island. We continue on to the Bay of Laig and the Singing Sands, where there are exceptional views across to Skye and Rhum.

Returning to Arisaig, we celebrate our last night together on holiday in Scotland with another fine dinner in the hotel's excellent restaurant.

(4 hour walk)                                                 (Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner)

Overnight Arisaig House

Day 10

Sunday, June 29: Transfer to Fort William
This morning we transfer to the town of Fort William, at the foot of Britain's highest mountain, Ben Nevis, and the railway station by 11:00 a.m. Here you can board a train for Edinburgh or Glasgow, Scotland – for flights home.

There is a train from Fort William at 11:40 a.m. for Edinburgh via Glasgow. It is a beautiful and relaxing 3-hour-and-40-minute train ride to Glasgow, arriving at 3:35 p.m., with a transfer at 3:45 p.m. to Edinburgh, where you arrive at 4:36 p.m. These schedules are for 2013, but they should stay similar for 2014.

Unless you have a late afternoon or evening flight, you’ll have to overnight on your own in Edinburgh or Glasgow, and depart Scotland on an early morning flight on June 30, 2014.

If you're curious about this trip, we would be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Walking Holiday in Scotland

Traveling to Scotland


Traveling to Scotland: Arrival and Departure

You must be at the airport in Edinburgh, Scotland, by noon (12 p.m.) on Saturday, June 21, 2014, for the group pick up and transfer to our first hotel in Perthshire. If you are unable to arrive in Edinburgh by that time, you will need to come a day early and stay overnight, returning to the airport by 12 p.m. to meet our van for transfer to Perthshire.

It is easy to get to and from the Edinburgh airport from Edinburgh on the airport bus, and is just a 20 minute ride. We will meet in the Arrivals Area, at Costa Coffee (which is directly across from International Arrivals).

On Sunday, June 29, you will be dropped off in Fort William at the train station at approximately 11:00 a.m. There is a train from Fort William at 11:40 a.m. for Edinburgh via Glasgow. It is a beautiful and relaxing 3-hour-and-40-minute train ride to Glasgow, arriving at 3:35 p.m., with a transfer at 3:45 p.m. to Edinburgh, where you arrive at 4:36 p.m. These schedules are for 2013, but they should stay similar for 2014.

Unless you have a late afternoon or evening flight, you’ll have to overnight on your own in Edinburgh or Glasgow, and depart on an early morning flight on June 30, 2014.

Ciretta Green at Montana Travel (800-247-3538) can help with your air and any overnight hotel reservations.

Making Travel Arrangements and Air Flights to Scotland

We suggest you book your air reservations with our travel consultant soon after registering for this trip! 

On this AdventureWomen Walking Holiday in Scotland, we ask that you work directly with our travel consultant at Montana Travel to make your travel arrangements. After booking your trip, please call Ciretta at Montana Travel, in Bozeman, Montana, to discuss your air schedule based on the arrival and departure times we have set for the group pick-up in Edinburgh, Scotland, and the group drop off at the train station in Fort William. 

1-800-247-3538

Email: ciretta@mttravel.com

FAX 1-406-586-1959

CANADIAN RESIDENTS, please call 406-587-1188

When calling, please identify yourself as an AdventureWomen traveler. If you leave a message on Ciretta’s voice mail, she will return your call promptly. She will be happy to discuss your travel plans and help you decide when to purchase your ticket for the best rate. If you purchase your ticket through her, she can also help you with hotels, should you want to come early, stay longer, or share a hotel room with another participant. If you do not purchase your air ticket through Montana Travel, you are responsible for making your own arrangement for hotels, rental cars, trip extensions, transfers, etc.

Hiking Experience, Physical Condition Required & Health Insurance

This AdventureWomen trip is rated as moderate and requires that you be in very good physical condition, and be able to hike 7-10 miles (between 4 and 5 hours). The most you will carry is a small day pack with your rain gear, camera, water, etc.  Paths are through rolling terrain and can be rough and uneven, so good hiking boots are recommended, as well as a walking stick if you prefer to hike with one. The pace on this hiking tour is leisurely, with stops that include plenty of time for lunch, and exploring villages, cultural, and historical sites.

You MUST have your own health insurance and be in very good physical condition for this adventure, which is essential for your enjoyment, as well as to your personal safety, and the safety of the group.

About our Scottish Tour Guides

Born in England, head guide Gillian Arthur has lived much of her life in Australia and for more than 20 years in Italy. Ever curious and with a love of people, she will introduce you to the real heart of Scotland, where some of her ancestors lived. Her enthusiasm for the great outdoors and her passion for good food and wine always create a truly memorable experience for AdventureWomen!

James Renny, a local naturalist and well-known Scottish wildlife artist, will be assisting Gillian on our trip. Originally from Zimbabwe and a former game warden, kilt-clad James will delight and enthrall you with his knowledge of the local flora and fauna. As someone who knows him well said, "It is rather like having David Attenborough as a traveling companion!" James adds a wonderful dimension to our adventure.

Passports & Currency in Scotland

Citizens of the United States and Canada must possess a valid passport, which must be valid for 6 months beyond your intended stay. No visas or special inoculations are required for travel to Scotland. If you do not have a passport, please APPLY NOW! You should always carry with you 2 extra passport photographs, in case of emergency (if your passport is stolen or lost).

Bring a few hundred dollars in cash or Euros, credit cards, and a debit card (or ATM card), which is often the least expensive and easiest way to get cash. There are ATM machines at the airport and in most of the towns where we will stay. You can purchase nearly everything with a credit card in this part of the world.

Liability Form & Final Payment

Part of what AdventureWomen, Inc. hopes to foster is the taking of more self-responsibility for our own lives, health, and safety. Please read the Liability Form carefully, sign it, and return it with the remainder of your balance due by March 23, 2014.

If you're curious about this trip, we would be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Walking Holiday in Scotland

What's Included in the Cost of your Walking Tour in Scotland

  • 8 nights lodging (twin-bedded, double occupancy) in private bath, twin-bedded, double-occupancy rooms.
  • 8 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 6 dinners.
  • Pick up (June 21, 2014 at 12 Noon) from Edinburgh Airport, Scotland, and drop off (June 29) at 11:00 a.m. at the train station in Fort William, for your train to Edinburgh or Glasgow, Scotland.
  • Guided walking tours throughout Scotland with your European-based naturalist-guides.
  • Admission to all special events and private tours listed in the itinerary or to comparable attractions.
  • All baggage transfers.
  • Gratuities for all hotels, meals, and services which are included in your trip cost.
  • Private minibus transportation, entrance fees, boat fees and transfers (according to itinerary).

Not Included in your Walking Holiday in Scotland 

  • Round-trip international airfare into Edinburgh, Scotland.
  • Train fare from Fort William to Edinburgh.
  • All beverages with dinner.
  • Gratuities to your 2 guides. A gratuity for your guides is given entirely at your discretion, but the standard for a job well done is approximately $100 USD per person, per guide.

If you're curious about this trip, we would be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Walking Holiday in Scotland

What to Pack for your Walking Holiday in Scotland 

Ideally, you should bring one suitcase or duffel bag on your walking tour in Scotland, and your daypack should act as your carry on bag. Your carry on bag should contain one change of clothing, your camera equipment, all medications and your important travel documents. Pack lightly! 

The weather in Scotland, especially along the seacoast, can be inclement and unpredictable, so you should be prepared for weather of all kinds. The following is a list of items that are essential to bring, so you will be well prepared:

  • Waterproof parka and rain pants. The TravelSmith, LLBean, and Campmor catalogs have excellent, breathable rain gear. See the “Resources” sheet in your registration packet.
  • Medium-weight womens hiking boots. It is best NOT to wear shoes, even if they are walking shoes, because ANKLE support is absolutely essential, as is a good Vibram hiking boot sole. You do not need to buy heavy, leather boots as there are numerous, medium-weight, quality hiking boots on the market. Asolo, Garmont, Merrill, Vasque, and other makes are widely available and designed especially for women. Since they are waterproof, Gore-tex boots, although a bit more expensive, are our first choice. Other boots should be waterproofed with one of the excellent waterproofing products available such as Nikwax. Make sure your boots are well broken-in and that they fit properly. Please do not come in this trip with a pair of boots you have never worn before!!!
  • Comfortable hiking socks (Thorlo’s or similar). It is best to wear two pairs of socks while walking, a thin liner sock and a thicker wool or hiking sock.
  • Regarding Foot Care: To prevent blisters, many hikers use moleskin. However, we recommend bringing a small roll of ordinary duct tape as an alternative. Applied before the hike, it reduces friction much better than moleskin. If you develop a blister, Spenco “2nd Skin” is a very comforting necessity. Your foot care kit should also include: cloth Band-Aids (not plastic), individually wrapped alcohol pads, a small tube of Neosporin or other antibiotic cream, and foot powder.
  • Comfortable shoes for the evening in hotels.
  • Medium-weight jacket, fleece jacket, or sweater for cool evenings.
  • Small day pack: this should be large enough to carry a spare sweater, rain gear, camera, and a drink (or water bottle).
  • Money belt, waist pouch, or a way to carry your money, passport, and airline tickets. You can leave these valuables at the hotels while day hiking.
  • One-quart water bottle. We recommend the 24 oz. Nalgene Everyday OTG Tritan Bottle. Made of Eastman Tritan™ copolyester, the bottle is completely BPA-free. Tritan™ copolyester provides excellent impact resistance and is suitable for both warm and cold beverages.
  • Pants (loose and comfortable for walking) and two pairs of walking shorts (if you like to wear shorts). Zip off pants are often the most versatile.
  • Shirts (long- and short-sleeved) and a few T-shirts.
  • Underwear, sleepwear.
  • Hat for sun and rain protection.
  • Swimsuit.
  • Washcloth (sometimes not provided in Europe).
  • Three bandanas (100% cotton) for uses too numerous to mention.
  • Swiss Army knife or equivalent (for picnics, opening wine bottles, cutting cheese, etc.). Be sure to pack this in your checked luggage.
  • Sunglasses, sunscreen, lip balm with sunscreen.
  • Small flashlight with spare batteries and bulb to use if you need to get up at night and don’t want to wake your roommate by turning on the lights.
  • Earplugs. We recommend Mack's Pillow Soft White Moldable Silicone Snore Proof Earplugs, which you can buy at most drug stores. Good to 22 decibles!
  • Small travel alarm clock.
  • Toiletries, prescription medications, and a washcloth (sometimes not provided in Europe). To cover all your bases, you might also include an Ace bandage, Pepto Bismol, Immodium, and Correctol.
  • Ziploc bags in various sizes for dirty boots and dirty clothes, etc.
  • Camera and plenty of extra memory cards, batteries, adaptor (if applicable), and battery charger.
  • A collapsible walking stick (to fit into your suitcase) if you prefer to hike with one.
  • Book, notebook, pen, lightweight binoculars (optional).
  • Electricity: Scotland's electric current is 220 volts. There are two plug adapters: one with two fat prongs (2 prong European adaptor) and one with rectangular prongs.

Camera Equipment

For many women, photography will be a VERY LARGE part of this trip. The opportunities are endless, and the scenery spectacular! We suggest that you bring many more memory cards and batteries than you think you could ever use!

  • Digital camera, memory cards, battery charger, and adapter. In India, triple round pin sockets are the norm. Most digital cameras have a built in converter so you probably only need to bring an adapter. You can also purchase adapter plugs in stores. You will be able to charge all of your batteries in our hotels. 

Last-Minute Reminders

  • Make photocopies of your airline tickets and the first two pages of your passport, plus any visas (if they are stamped inside your passport) and put them in different locations (suitcase, carry-on bag, etc.).
  • Bring 2-3 additional passport size photos to use in emergencies.
  • Your valuables should be insured for the duration of the trip, but better yet, leave them at home.
  • Remove extra credit cards, driver’s license, and personal items from wallet or purse.
  • Make sure passport, tickets, and visas are valid and in the correct name.
  • Check with airline to reconfirm reservations and departure time (most airlines want to hear directly from the client for confirmations).

Some Extra Items to Add to your "What to Bring" List

For international trips, and with more than 30 years of experience flying around the world, we think these items help make your  long airline flights much more comfortable and even more bearable:

  • Neck pillow - Inflatable neck pillow for blissful support and deep sleep. For packing, it folds into itself. Self-sealing valve means nothing to close. Soft microfleece cover removes for washing.        Eagle Creek Large Inflatable Travel Neck Pillow at TravelSmith.
  • Sleep mask /Comfort eye shade - Ultra lightweight and comfortable, the Comfort Eye Shade screens out light and distractions for a cozier flight. Ultra-soft micro fleece for comfort. Adjustable elastic strap for a perfect fit. Made of Molded Polyester Micro Fleece.         Eagle Creek® Comfort Eye Shade at TravelSmith.
  • Travel compression socks - Reduce ankle and leg swelling and reduce the risk of deep vein thrombosis. These doctor-designed socks stimulate circulation through gradual compression that stops swelling and guards against (DVT). Made of coolmax®-lycra®-nylon. The TravelSox® cushion Walk Socks have extra-padded soles and are made of moisture wicking SoftPrim®.               TravelSox® Cushion Walk Sock™ at TravelSmith.
  • Noise canceling headphones - Block out unwanted sounds of children crying and airplane engine drone, and/or enjoy great audio sound. Reduce distortion and increase perceived loudness so you can enjoy sound at a lower volume. Get the around the ear design, which is very comfortable.
    • Bose Quiet Comfort 2 - List Price: $199.99. Oval shaped around-the-ear design, an iPod fits nicely in the center of the case between the headphones. You can get the next generation of Bose Quiet Comfort 3, but the cost is $349.00.
    • Audio Technica ATH-ANC7- List Price: $219.95 Excellent sound quality and above average noise cancellation. Comfortable leather cushioning around the ear and can be worn for long periods of time with no discomfort. Excellent headphones with a reasonable price tag.

If you're curious about this trip, we would be happy to answer any questions you might have.