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best group tours for 30 somethings...??

Well, add this to the list of posts looking for tours and good input from folks who know.

The hubby and I will be in Scotland for 7 days - we're flying in and out of Glasgow. 
I think we are planning on spending most of our time north, Isle of Skye and the highlands...we like whisky and the outdoors.

That said, I know that there are tours that cater to younger visitors...we aren't the drink all day party all night type so I don't know if those are best for us. 
We are also decently active and I don't know how much we would enjoy a tour that caters to older visitors. 

Is there a happy medium?

I think we will want to spend a day/night or so in both Glasgow and Edinburgh, and we'll probably lean towards the airbnb route, instead of hotels, so if you have any suggestions on where to stay (what part of town, etc) that would be great!

The experience whisky stop is on our list for edinburgh...we are also into food, booze (not fancy, but good - I'd rather spend money on good cheeses than a fancy dinner type of thing.) history, music, etc.

Also, if there are any great used bookstores or local favorites type of places - We'd wholly appreciate your suggestions!

Thanks all!


  • fishyprofishypro Member ✭✭✭
    Hi @ThackersdoScotland, Just a quick message regarding your tour of Scotland and the Airbnb route. Try to stay away from Airbnb unless you have a full travel insurance! I have heard too many stories of people who have had injuries and the airbnb accommodation providers have not been insured as they are not recognised as businesses. Just be careful.
    Are you wanting to do tours only or are you hiring a car?
    Motel One in Edinburgh is very close to Waverley Station and is very central. This is a good hotel and it tends to be cheaper if you book online in advance. A little more expensive, but very worth it, is The Raeburn Hotel. I have stayed in lots of hotels in my time but I have never seen rooms so equipped in my life.
    Close to the Whisky Experience is the Camera Obscura. This is really amazing and well worth a visit.
    As far as food is concerned, there are thousands of restaurants on all levels. With your description in mind of what you like, I would try Jamies (Jamie Oliver) Italien, Scran & Scallie or Angels Share. All of these serve good food but at a normal price.
    As for the booze, you will be in Scotland! Go for it! Slainte!
    Best regards
  • @fishypro

    Oh, I figured booze wasnt going to be a problem! :smiley:

    Thanks so much for the heads up abt airbnb - I hadnt even thought about that!

    We saw the camera obscura too - I'm glad you mentioned it, it'll go on the list too!

    I'll give The Raeburn a going over as well

    For tours, we haven't been able to decide if we want to hire a car or just have a tour take us around. 
    I think we are open to both, but depending on how many distilleries we stop at, we were thinking a tour might be the best bet. 

    We've seen a few 3-5 day tours that seem to hit most of the boxes on our list - (highlands, distillery, isle of skye, steam train, etc) but I just always wonder about tours like that. 

    We still aren't 100% sure. I'm sure getting lost in the highlands would be a great story, but we don't want it to be the only one we come back with (lol)...or, come to think of it...maybe we do? :)
  • FofomaFofoma Member ✭✭✭
    @ThackersdoScotland Looking at the amount of Rabbies Tour Buses that I pass as I drive around Scotland - they must be doing something right. They appear to be a more informal type of tour but they definitely take you to all the popular places.

    Can I just add that The Raeburn is in a really nice part of Edinburgh ( slightly biased as I was brought up there :) ) Stockbridge - it has a lovely feel to it but is close to the City Centre and well served by public transport.
  • HorizonsHorizons Member, VisitScotland Ambassador ✭✭✭✭
    Do things yourself. Even if you can't drive, you can see a lot of Scotland with public transport. I'd also recommend visiting distilleries over going to the whisky experience, or spend that money drinking whisky in a nice bar :smile: Do visit IJ Mellis cheesemonger in Edinburgh for your fancy cheese fix.

    If you do pick the public transport route, I'd start from one of Glasgow / Edinburgh and end at the other city. You'll almost make a circle with that route and cover a few more places than a to & fro potentially.
    I'm Anirudh, an Indian travel blogger who has explored a lot of Scotland by public transport. My blog. Find me on Facebook | Instagram

    Best of Scotland in 1 week itinerary (fully by public transport)

    My Scotland travels (includes EdinburghSkye, HarrisMullArranOrkneyLoch Lomond, Islay, Oban, DunoonSpeyside)

  • @Fofoma - Alright, you guys have talked me into the I have to talk my husband into it :)
    I've been thinking about rabbies too....they seem to be doing something right, for sure.

    @Horizons  - I like your point of view for the whisky exchange...definitely something to consider. Where do you drink / recommend drinking in Glasgow or Edinburgh? (we prefer hole in the wall grubby bars vs fancy shiny hip popular bars)
     lJ Mellis? I'll add it to my list too :D 

    We'll take public transport around and between cities, but I think we'll take a tour for the highlands, so we don't have to drive - so we can look and drink at our will :)

  • HorizonsHorizons Member, VisitScotland Ambassador ✭✭✭✭
    @ThackersdoScotland My absolute favourite place in Scotland to have whisky is actually the Edradour distillery tasting room, my friend & I took the morning room that ends in the tasting room and spent the rest of the day tasting many vintage whiskies. In Edinburgh, I think you'll really enjoy Bow Bar I think, they are not fancy, a locals hangout and have 310 whiskies as if it is no big deal.
    I'm Anirudh, an Indian travel blogger who has explored a lot of Scotland by public transport. My blog. Find me on Facebook | Instagram

    Best of Scotland in 1 week itinerary (fully by public transport)

    My Scotland travels (includes EdinburghSkye, HarrisMullArranOrkneyLoch Lomond, Islay, Oban, DunoonSpeyside)

  • FofomaFofoma Member ✭✭✭
    @ThackersdoScotland I think you'll like the Oxford Bar - I love the Inspector Rebus books by Scottish writer Ian Rankin and this is the local for the author and his literary creation. It's definitely a no frills pub. Also have a look at the Guildford, Cafe Royal and The Voodoo Rooms all next to each other at the East End of Princes Street behind the Apple Store.
  • YourScotlandTourYourScotlandTour Member ✭✭✭
    Hi @ThackersdoScotland
    There are plenty of independent, private tour guides operating who will be able to build a bespoke tour to your specification. 

    Not as 'cheap' as a bus tour but more specific to your needs, wants and likes.

    Drop me a pm if you'd like more information ;-)
    Bespoke tours.
    Whisky, Castles and Food a speciality.
  • @Fofoma  & @Horizons
    thank y'all so much! 
    I'll check out some of Ian Rankins and look more into all of those places!
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