Robert The Bruce statue
Caption: Robert The Bruce statue
Caption: Stirling Bridge
Caption: Distillery
Caption: Rosslyn Chapel
Caption: Stirling

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Activity level: Level 2 Requires moderate physical activity. You need to be able to participate in physical activities such as longer walking tours, walking over uneven terrain, climbing steps and be comfortable with some periods of standing. Not suitable if you have limited mobility or require a wheelchair/mobility scooter.
Destination: Scotland & Knights Templar
Duration: 7 days, 6 nights
Flight information: Arrive at Edinburgh Airport [EDI] on Day 1 and depart from Glasgow International Airport [GLA] on day 7
Pickup location: Edinburgh Airport [EDI]


Choose your own departure date for your group.

Explore and discover Scotland and its rich history in the context of The Knights Templar- discover how the crusaders of old are linked to Scotland’s struggle for Independence.

Scotland is a nation steeped in history, an area rich in myth and mystery. One subject of enduring fascination through the ages has been the Knights Templar and The Holy Grail. Scotland is surprisingly rich in history from this era. Explore Rosslyn Chapel, Arbroath Abbey, Edinburgh, Stirling and Glasgow in the company of renowned historian, stonemason and award-winning Sculptor, Shawn Williamson. Discover how research and exploration continues to throw new light on the history of Scotland and learn more about the fascinating way in which power and influence from Scotland has spread to America and across the world.


Itinerary summary: DAY 1 - Welcome to Bonnie Scotland, the Royal Yacht Britannia and Edinburgh Military Tattoo
DAY 2 - Royal Edinburgh Tour
DAY 3 - Rosslyn Chapel & Temple Ballentrodoch
DAY 4 - Lindores Abbey Distillery & Arbroath Abbey
DAY 5 - Dunkeld Cathedral & Stirling Castle, to Glasgow
DAY 6 - Glasgow Cathedral & City Tour
DAY 7 - Farewell to Scotland and Home
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Full Itinerary

DAY 1 - Welcome to Bonnie Scotland, the Royal Yacht Britannia and Edinburgh Military Tattoo

Please make sure you have provided us with your flight details if you require a transfer from Edinburgh airport to the hotel today.

Your Big Journey Company Tour Director will meet you in the hotel reception at 2pm. This afternoon, join us on our visit to the Royal Yacht Britannia, which served as Her Majesty The Queen’s home at sea for more than 40 years. Follow in the footsteps of generations of British royalty to explore this most special of Royal residences. Tour Britannia’s five decks with your included self-audio guide; the elegant State Apartments, the gleaming Engine Room. Discover where kings and queens, world leaders and celebrities were wined and dined; from Frank Sinatra and Liz Taylor to Nelson Mandela and Sir Winston Churchill.

With music performed by massed pipes & drums, military bands and cultural troupes, singers and the poignant refrain of the Lone Piper, tonight we enjoy a night of spectacular precision display at Edinburgh's Military tattoo. We also enjoy dinner together, to hear more about the upcoming tour from your Tour Director and to get to know the rest of your tour group.

Included meals: Welcome Dinner 
Accommodation: 4* Apex City Hotel Edinburgh (or similar) 

DAY 2 - Royal Edinburgh Tour

Today we enjoy a guided tour of Edinburgh Castle. Perched on an extinct volcano, the castle overlooks the city and has spectacular views across the Old and New Towns' World Heritage Site. Edinburgh castle houses the Honours (Crown Jewels) of Scotland, the Stone of Destiny, the famous 15th century gun Mons Meg, the One O' Clock Gun and the National War Museum of Scotland. We also head down the Royal Mile for a tour of the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the official residence of the Monarchy in Scotland. We will explore the Palace's close associations with some of Scotland’s most well-known historic figures such as Mary, Queen of Scots and Bonnie Prince Charlie.

There will be some free time this evening to follow your own interests and further sample the Scottish cuisine on offer in Scotland’s capital city.

Included meals: Breakfast 
Accommodation: 4* Apex City Hotel Edinburgh (or similar) 

DAY 3 - Rosslyn Chapel & Temple Ballentrodoch

This morning we head out of the city to the tranquil village of Roslin, to explore the 15th century Rosslyn Chapel.  Rosslyn Chapel is famous for its links with the Knights Templar, an order of knights most famous for being closely tid to medieval crusades to the Holy Land, The stone carvings here highlight the Templar’s symbols and connections and the chapel is known to have been connected to the Knights Templar even after their dissolution. Many historians now believe that the Templars continued well after their supposed demise here in Scotland, under the new identity of the Knights of St John. Rosslyn Chapel is also linked to several hidden biblical treasures, such as the Ark of the Covenant. Shawn Williamson will share his expertise here providing a fascinating insight into the chapel’s history, design and construction.

After lunch together, we travel a few miles to Temple Ballentrodoch, once the principal seat of the Knights Templar in Scotland. In 2009, two incredible Knight’s tombstones were discovered here by Shawn’s past colleague and Master stone mason Shug Douglas. After Shug’s discovery, Shawn was able to establish a type and form of the tombstones, which are now acknowledged to be in the style of the Knights Templar- Shawn and Andrew have found many other tombstones in this style across the Borders and Cumbria.

From Temple Ballentrodoch, we travel to Melrose Abbey, again associated with the Knights Templar. Melrose Abbey was built in 1136 and was home to Cistercian monks until it lost it’s roof during the Reformation. After also exploring the 12th Century Kelso Abbey we return to Edinburgh for the evening.

Included meals: Breakfast & Lunch  
Accommodation: 4* Apex City Hotel Edinburgh (or similar) 

DAY 4 - Lindores Abbey Distillery & Arbroath Abbey

Today we bid a fond farewell to Edinburgh and travel northwards. We make our first stop of the day at Lindores Abbey Distillery. Built in the 12th century, whisky has been made at Lindores Abbey since at least 1494. There can be no more atmospheric setting than this to take part in a distillery tour, to learn more about the history and the making of Scotland’s most iconic tipple. Once you’ve learned the ins and outs of whisky distilling, you will be offered the opportunity to try two delicious drams for yourself.

After lunch together, we continue on to Arbroath Abbey. Robert the Bruce and over fifty Scottish Barons signed the Declaration of Arbroath here in 1320. The declaration included the famous quote “for, as long as but a hundred of us remain alive, never will we on any conditions be brought under English rule. It is in truth not for glory, nor riches, nor honours that we are fighting, but for freedom – for that alone, which no honest man gives up but with life itself.” Much of the film Braveheart is set around this event. Experience the landscape and history of the area for which those men fought for yourself today.

Shawn regularly gives lectures at Newbattle Abbey College near Dalkeith. This evening, after dinner together at the hotel, we will enjoy a fascinating evening lecture on the subject of the Knights Templar in Scotland, with an opportunity for questions and further investigation.

Included meals: Breakfast 
Accommodation: 4* Apex City Quay Hotel, Dundee or similar 

DAY 5 - Dunkeld Cathedral & Stirling Castle, to Glasgow

First stop of the day today is at Dunkeld Cathedral. Built on the banks of the river Tay, there has been a place of worship here since the 6th century, and a cathedral here since 1260. The cathedral we see now took almost 300 years to complete, making the architecture here very interesting. Although now partly in ruins, the cathedral is open to explore with Shawn, who will talk to us about the cathedral in the context of its medieval history.

In and around Stirling exist some most historically intriguing places. After Lunch, we visit Stirling Castle, one of the largest and most important castles in Scotland. Stirling was hte site of many significant moments in Scottish History, including The Battle of Stirling Bridge in 1287, paramount in Scotland’s first war of independence against the English. Here William Wallace defeated the English on the banks of the River Forth. Once home to kings and queens, the castle and surrounding area is also the sight of imprisonment, murder and intrigue.

We finish the day in Glasgow, checking into our hotel where we will stay for the new two nights. There will be some free time this evening for you to explore Glasgow for dinner.

Included meals: Breakfast & Lunch 
Accommodation: 4* Abode Hotel, Glasgow or similar 

DAY 6 - Glasgow Cathedral & City Tour

Today we begin the day with a guided city tour of Glasgow. Glasgow is the largest sea port in Scotland and it has one of the oldest metro systems in the world. Our city tour will include Kelvingrove Art Gallery, the Necropolis Cemetery, Tolbooth Steeple and Mackintosh Queens Cross Church amongst others. We will spend some time exploring Glasgow Cathedral with Shawn, who will tell us more about the history of ths area. Glasgow Cathedral has strong connections to the history of ancient Scottish independence. 

We will enjoy a farewell dinner together this evening at one of the most well-known restaurants in Scotland - prepare to experience a real Glaswegian institution!

Included meals: Breakfast & Dinner 
Accommodation: 4* Abode Hotel, Glasgow or similar 

DAY 7 - Farewell to Scotland and Home

After a hearty Scottish breakfast at the hotel, today we say goodbye to Scotland. You will be transferred to Glasgow Airport to meet flights for the onward travel you have arranged.

If you wish to extend your stay in Scotland, ask our Big Journey Company team for assistance booking post-tour nights at the hotel. 

Included meals: Breakfast 
Accommodation: none 


More information

What's includedWhat's not includedImportant information

What's included

  • Transfers from Edinburgh Airport [EDI] to the hotel on Day 1 and from the hotel to Glasgow International Airport [GLA] on day 7
  • accommodation as detailed in the itinerary
  • All activities, visits, guides and excursions as detailed in the itinerary
  • Meals as detailed in the itinerary
  • Services of Big Journey Company Tour Historian, Shawn Williamson
  • Services of Big Journey Company Tour Director (subject to minimum numbers being reached)

What's not included

  • International flights arriving Edinburgh Airport [EDI] on Day 1 and departing from Glasgow International Airport [GLA] day 7
  • Transfers to alternative airports
  • Airport transfers outside of tour itinerary dates or from alternative airports
  • Visas, travel or medical insurance
  • Any personal items and anything not mentioned under included in price above
  • Any food and beverage not detailed in the itinerary
  • Entrance fees to non-stipulated attractions
  • Any optional activities offered
  • Gratuities
  • Any COVID tests or related entry & exit requirements

Important information

  • Please let The Big Journey Company know prior to travelling if you have any medical needs or take any medication that we need to be made aware of to ensure that you have a safe and pleasant tour.
  • Check in is after 2-3pm and check out is before 10am unless otherwise specified in the itinerary.
  • Cancellation 90 – 0 days prior to departure cancellation fee is 100%. It is your responsibility to ensure the correct travel insurance in place to protect you against the need to cancel your holiday. Deposits are non-refundable.
  • Further terms and conditions apply and will be provided upon request or at the time of booking. The Big Journey Company reserves the right to withdraw any offer prior to accepting a reservation request. This does not affect your statutory rights. This offer is subject to availability and space is limited.
  • Please consult your doctor for advice on vaccinations and innoculations before travel.

The big journey promise

The big journey company was set up with one goal in mind, to share our passion for inspirational cultures, destinations and experiences. Over the last 10 years we have had the privilege to escort thousands of travellers on awe inspiring and sometimes life changing journeys. Our promise to every guest who joins us is that we will do everything possible to make sure your journey not only exceeds expectations but delivers at least one moment of true amazement.

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Holiday tours are operated by The Big Journey Company Limited. Registered in England. Registered office: Marron Bank, Branthwaite, Cumbria, CA14 4SZ. Registered number: 6532140. The Big Journey Company Limited is a member of The Travel Trust Association member number U5675 and holds an Air Travel Organiser’s License number T7282.

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