You are invited to join The National Trust for Scotland Foundation USA for a five-night tour of the magnificent gardens of northeast Scotland led by Paddy Scott, founder of Discover Scotland’s Gardens.
We will visit privately-owned gardens nurtured by the same families for centuries and will have special access to important houses, designed landscapes, and plant collections cared for by the National Trust for Scotland, Scotland’s largest conservation organization.
Aberdeenshire is known for its fairytale castles and gently rolling countryside. Located in the shadow of the Grampian Mountains, the region features a unique micro-climate that offers challenges and rewards alike for gardeners and garden lovers.
Our tour is scheduled for June, when the days are long and the gardens at their most vibrant and fragrant. While we can’t promise anything, Aberdeenshire is regularly named Scotland’s sunniest city!
Highlights of our visit include:
· Pitmedden Garden, which contrasts a 17th-century design inspired by Le Notre’s Vaux-le-Vicomte with a contemporary reinterpretation of a parterre garden by British landscape architect Christopher Beardshaw
· Haddo House, an elegant Georgian manor designed by William Adam featuring opulent Victorian interiors and a terraced garden
· Castle Fraser and Crathes Castle, two of Scotland’s most evocative and enchanting tower houses, which date back more than five centuries
· Angus’s House of Pitmuies, considered to be among the best private gardens in Scotland
· The acclaimed walled garden at Dunninald Castle, another private home, entered through the marvelous wrought-iron Union Gate with its design of roses, thistles, daffodils, and shamrocks
Our tour features:
· Accommodations at Douneside House, a four-star hotel located within seventeen acres of gardens dating from the early 20th century. The family’s story is one of self-made fortune followed by incredible tragedy and resilience during World War II
· A welcome reception at The Georgian House, a Robert Adam-designed townhouse in Edinburgh’s iconic Charlotte Square, with a private after-hours tour
· A celebratory last night at the five-star Waldorf Astoria – The Caledonian in Edinburgh, with a farewell dinner in the elegant Versailles Suite
· Special access to the National Trust for Scotland’s landscape and curatorial team
This trip Involves walking for extended periods, sometimes over uneven surfaces.
Paddy Scott followed a successful career in business and consulting by becoming chief executive of Scotland’s Gardens, a well-known charity that raises funds by opening private gardens to the public. He also was one of the founders of Discover Scotland’s Gardens, a business dedicated to marketing Scotland’s gardens to the world. For the last seven years, Paddy has been using his unparalleled knowledge of Scottish gardens to organize tours for garden enthusiasts from the United Kingdom, United States, and beyond.
Please see the separate attachment with the complete Itinerary.
Although The National Trust for Scotland Foundation USA (NTSUSA), and Travel Muse Inc. and its ground operators will make every effort to adhere to the itinerary, on rare occasions it may be necessary to adjust arrangements due to circumstances beyond our control. Should any activities not be available, substitution will be made to the best of our ability and no refund will be made. Any additional costs necessitated by such changes are the responsibility of the tour member. Please note there will be significant walking and standing.
Prices are based on a minimum of 12 paying participants. Should the number of passengers fall below 12, certain program inclusions may be deleted. All amounts quoted with respect to charges for the tour and travel services are based upon rates in effect as of July 21, 2023. At the time of final payment, NTSUSA reserves the right to add any increased amounts arising from changes in taxes and from changes instituted by suppliers or caused by market conditions. All local/government taxes on hotels, meals, and services are included, in addition to normal gratuities to porters, waiters, and local guides. Rates are based on group participation, and there can be no refund for services or portions of the tour not taken. It is also understood and agreed that all excursions are optional, and refunds cannot be made to tour members who do not participate or complete the tour for any reason.
REGISTRATION AND PAYMENT SCHEDULE
ACH payments incur no additional fee. Payments by credit card will incur a processing fee of 2.9% for Visa and MasterCard, and 3.9% for American Express.
Please read the Terms and Conditions carefully. By registering for this tour, you consent to the Terms and Conditions and the Release From Liability Agreement including the Supplemental Release Regarding COVID-19 Agreement.
All cancellations must be made in writing to email@example.com. The cancellation fee covers administrative and operational costs and any penalties assessed by suppliers.
Cancellation fees are per person, as follows:
The cancellation fee will be waived or refunded if we have met the tour minimum of 12 participants and we are able to fill your place on the tour.
Travel insurance is the best way to protect your tour investment. Information will be sent to you upon receipt of your deposit.
The tour cost excludes airfare. Please arrange it on your own. For questions, contact Meg MacDonald at 617-480-0250 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The tour cost excludes trip insurance, which covers for trip cancellation and interruption, baggage delays, emergency medical expenses, and medical evacuation expenses. Upon receipt of your deposit, information about purchasing trip insurance will be sent to you.
Please note that, in most situations, standard Medicare will not pay for healthcare or medical supplies outside the US. Please check with your health insurance provider should you wish to purchase health coverage outside the US through a Medigap plan or other supplemental health plan.
AIRPORT / TRAIN TRANSFERS
The tour cost excludes transfers to the meet-up point at the Waldorf Astoria - Caledonian Hotel in Edinburgh and from the Caledonian Hotel in Edinburgh at the end of the tour.
HOTELS AND SINGLE SUPPLEMENT
Douneside House is a four-star hotel; and the Waldorf Astoria-The Caledonian is a five-star hotel. Rates are based on two persons sharing a room with one King or two Twin Beds with private bath and/or shower.
The right is reserved to substitute hotels when necessary. Although Travel Muse will endeavor to arrange for congenial travel companions, this cannot be guaranteed, and a single supplement will be charged when necessary.
FOR DESCRIPTIONS AND PHOTOS OF HOTEL ROOMS:
UPGRADE OPTION AT DOUNESIDE HOUSE
Deluxe Room (subject to availability) with spectacular views to the front of the House and over the Howe of Cromar. Generous in size, these rooms feature a Super King bed and antique furnishings, and come with a host of luxury amenities, including a flat-screen TV, hospitality tray, luxurious toiletries, a free-standing bath and walk-in shower. Add-on supplement: $800 total for 4 nights
UPGRADE OPTION AT WALDORF-ASTORIA – CALEDONIAN
Premier Room, which offer a choice of one king (33 sq. m./360 sq. ft.) or two twin beds (26 sq. m./280 sq. ft.). Add-on supplement: $120 for 1 night
Upgrades are subject to availability.
PHONE OR EMAIL
For questions about the tour, please contact Kirstin Bridier, Executive Director, The National Trust for Scotland Foundation USA, at 617-227-7500 / email@example.com.
For questions about registration and payments, please call Meg MacDonald, President, Travel Muse Inc., at 617-480-0250 / firstname.lastname@example.org.
This Agreement is important. It includes terms and conditions and releases Travel Muse Inc. from liability. By registering for this tour and securing your place with a deposit, you are consenting to this Release Agreement.
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Our luxury coach collects participants at the Waldorf Astoria – The Caledonian in Edinburgh at 9:30AM for the journey north to House of Pitmuies, a lovely Georgian manor on land that has been home to generations of Ogilvies, Mudies, and Lyells since the late 1500s.
The gardens at Pitmuies are frequently considered to be among the best private gardens in Scotland. Set in a designed landscape of 40 acres, the property boasts a double walled garden – a kitchen garden and a formal flower garden – dating back to at least 1780.
Below the house, a series of three rose terraces are linked by stone steps to the central fountain and pond. The garden is known for its long delphinium borders, which stretch the length of the terraces and have been grown in the garden since the 1920s.
The old grass tennis court is now planted with a central roundel sprouting stately spikes of Bear’s Breeks (Acanthus mollis), foxtail lilies, and galtonias around a modern slate sculpture by the celebrated Joe Smith and his daughter Jenny. Other highlights include a Pictish stone cross and cherry and beach trees.
We will have lunch at Pitmuies, then travel about 20 minutes to Dunninald Castle, a family home with a castle and gardens designed by Scottish architect James Gillespie Graham in 1824. Dunninald features an acclaimed walled garden (pictured here) set in a planned landscape of woods and wild garden. The walled garden is located a short walk from the house, at the end of a beech avenue planted in 1670, and is accessed through the marvelous wrought-iron Union Gate. Its design of roses, thistles, daffodils, and shamrocks represents each of the four home nations. The wild garden features snowdrops, daffodils, and bluebells seasonally.
Following tea at Dunninald, we continue on to Douneside House, the family home of the MacRobert family until Lady MacRobert’s death in 1954 and now a four-star country house hotel. After checking into our rooms for the next four nights, our group will meet at 7:15 pm for drinks in MacRobert’s Reply Bar followed by dinner in the Conservatory. Drinks and wine with dinner throughout your stay may be charged to your room account.
ADDRESS: Douneside House & Health Club, Tarland, Aberdeenshire AB34 4UL
TEL.: +44 (0) 13398 81230
RESERVED FOR TOUR PARTICIPANTS:
We have reserved Classic Rooms in the main house and two one-bedroom apartments a short walk from the main house in the Casa Memoria building. Classic Rooms offer views of the Aberdeenshire countryside and hotel's beautiful grounds. The Casa Memoria apartments have been transformed into contemporary guest apartments, each with its own patio and views across the lawn or onto a private garden. All rooms range in size and style and showcase an innovative classic-contemporary design that combine the property’s remarkable heritage with Scottish tradition and modern luxuries. All rooms have an en suite bathroom with a walk-in shower.
Upgrade to a Deluxe Room (subject to availability) with spectacular views to the front of the house and over the Howe of Cromar. Generous in size, these rooms feature a Super King bed and antique furnishings, and come with a host of luxury amenities, including a flat-screen TV, hospitality tray, luxurious toiletries, a free-standing bath and walk-in shower.
Upgrade Supplement: $800 for 4 nights