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5 Day tour for the Holme and Calder NT Association, visiting the Jewels of Ayrshire & Arran in Scotland
Highlights of our wonderful holiday include:
Founded in 1967 the Centre is located in a peaceful valley on the banks of the river Esk in Scotland. Kagyu Samye Ling was the first Tibetan Buddhist Centre to have been established in the West. It is a monastery and international centre of Buddhist training, known for the authenticity of its teachings and tradition and offers instruction in Buddhist philosophy and meditation within the Karma Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism. It is also a centre for the preservation of Tibetan religion, culture, medicine, art, architecture and handicrafts. Founded by two spiritual masters, Dr. Akong Tulku Rinpoche and Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, Samye Ling was the first Tibetan Buddhist Centre to be established in the West and was named after Samye, the very first monastery to be established in Tibet. Samye Ling is home to a residential community of over 60 people, made up of both monastic and lay volunteers. It is not a requirement to be a Buddhist to live here, but residents are expected to live according to the Five Golden Rules. A tour of the temple and stupa, the chance to attend a Buddhist prayer session, guided meditation and an opportunity for questions and answers.
Robert Burns is Scotland's National Bard and his poetry and songs are known and loved the world over. But who was he and what made him tick? The best place to get close to Burns and his genius is his birthplace in the beautiful village of Alloway. The flagship museum starts a journey that weaves through the village, taking you from historical buildings to landmarks known to Burns. Whether you're a die-hard Burnsian or brand new to the bard, a visit immersing yourself here will open your eyes and ears to an enduring hero of Scotland's literary heritage. The award winning museum houses the worlds definitive Burns collection including a miniature volume of verse that travelled 5.7m miles to space. Visit the humble thatched cottage where Robert Burns was born and spent the formative years of his life. Explore the museum which houses more than 5,000 Burns artefacts including his handwritten manuscripts. Follow in Tam o Shanters footsteps to atmospheric Alloway Auld Kirk and over the Brig o Doon. Climb to the top of the Monument in the beautiful riverside gardens, where Burns tourism began back in 1823.
This glorious 260 hectare estate was once the playground of David Kennedy, 10th Earl of Cassillis a man who was keen to impress with his wealth and status. It has strong links with President Eisenhower. Opulent to the extreme, the park is planted with conifers and beech, sculpted around miles of sandy coastline dotted with caves and finished off with a Swan Pond, an ice house, flamboyant formal gardens and fruit-filled glasshouses. The castle itself is perched on the Ayrshire cliffs. It was designed by Robert Adam in the late 18th century and is filled to the turrets with treasures that tell the stories of the people who lived here. Discover 40 buildings and follies in this rambling estate, including the magnificent castle. Dont miss Robert Adams Oval Staircase the dramatic centrepiece of the castle. Explore the woods, sandy beaches, parkland, Swan Pond and cliffs. The Armoury boasts one of the most important collections of flintlock pistols and swords in the world. Interactive multi-media tour.
- Scotland in Miniature Bathed by the gulf stream with swaying palm trees around the shores, stunning scenery, the amazing wildlife and the character of the island and its people make Arran special. From the rocky and mountainous north to the lush green pastures of the south, just like the Scottish mainland. It is only 56 miles in circumference, so nowhere is more than half an hours drive away.
The spirit of a unique and magical island since 1995 Independently owned and independently minded. Take a tour of this dynamic distillery, which does things the old way using traditional methods and a few chosen, pure ingredients, reviving an ancient heritage of whisky making on Arran.
Formal gardens, woodland and waterfalls set against the towering peak of Goat Fell. Visit this grand baronial castle and estate for the perfect day out. Enjoy a wander in the beautiful formal gardens, or venture further to discover ponds, waterfalls and woodland trails, where you can spot red squirrels. Packed with treasures, including period furniture, silverware, porcelain, paintings and sporting trophies. Explore Britains only island country park, extending from seashore to mountain top. Teeming with history and surrounded by mountains, Brodick is every inch the quintessential island castle. The present building was fashioned in 1844, but the seat dates back centuries to when its strategic position across the water made a Brodick a fortress to be reckoned with. Indoors, dark wood and heavy Victorian colours and sporting trophies hark back to an age of aristocratic leisure and luxury. Outside, formal gardens, woodland, waterfalls, bathing pools and bold rhododendrons conjure up an island charm that will beguile you.
Scotland's largest city has world-class museums and galleries, breath-taking architecture, wonderful parks, unique attractions. We take a guided tour of this fascinating City with an entertaining local blue badge guide.
A grand country house with impressive artworks, set in scenic Pollok Country Park, Pollok House was where it all began, back in 1931. The discussions for the founding of the National Trust for Scotland took place inside Polloks cedar-panelled smoking room. Now the house is undoubtedly one of the grandest in their care. This elegant stately home is set in scenic surroundings on the outskirts of Glasgow. The Maxwell family lived for six centuries on the site, but the main part of the present house was built in the mid-18th century an example of Georgian grandeur that would be at home in a Jane Austen novel. The house was extended in the early 20th century, but sympathetically preserved the 18th-century features. See fabulous interiors, period furnishings, silverware and ceramics. One of the finest collections of Spanish art in Britain, with masterpieces by Goya, Murillo and El Greco, including Lady in a Fur Wrap.
Dumfries House is one of Britain's most beautiful stately homes. Set in 2,000 acres of land, this stunning estate and 18th-Century house with its unrivalled collection of original furniture has something for everyone. Saved by the intervention of His Royal Highness, The Prince Charles, Duke of Rothesay in 2007, Dumfries House combines the neoclassical architecture of Robert Adam with the furniture of Thomas Chippendale and leading 18th-Century Scottish cabinet makers.
Ideally situated in Ayrshire, this stylish and comfortable hotel is a perfect base for our trip. With comfortable rooms, contemporary Brassiere restaurant, stylish bar and spacious lounge and free wifi.
Please note: Insurance - All customers must have cancellation insurance
The price is per person sharing a double or twin bedded room
Double/twin room for sole use - extra £85
There will be an extra charge for any passengers who are not National Trust members
Please advise us when booking if you have mobility difficulties or need a special diet
Depart at around 08.00hrs stopping en route, we visit the Samye Ling Monastery. Expect to arrive at the Hallmark Irvine Hotel in the late afternoon.D
A Burns morning, followed by Culzean Castle in the afternoon.D, B
A guided tour of Glasgow and visit Pollock HouseD, B
We take the ferry to the Isle of Arran and see Brodick Castle and the Arran DistilleryD, B
A guided tour of wonderful Dumfries House. Enjoy a delicious high tea on our homeward journey, returning at around 21.00hrsB, HT
D=Dinner, B=Breakfast, HT=High Tea
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