Touring around some of Scotland’s top historical sights
A Scottish Independence Tour
‘Independence’ has been one of the most prominent words throughout these parts in the last weeks, months and years. Whether the result of the referendum left you pleased, angry, relieved, incredulous, unified, divided or just plain exhilarated it has been impossible to avoid. While much of the debate has focussed on current social and political issues there is no escaping the country’s long flirtation/fight with achieving an independent status. Convenient then that I take a tour around some of our most legendary independence sights with Invent Scottish Tours.
Non-driving visitors to Scotland have often asked me about the best transport options for seeing our very best rural spots. With public transport inconvenient at best I am always confident in recommending our many guided bus tours. In a highly competitive area the standards are set consistently high across the industry. Customers have the ability to just sit back and put themselves in the experienced hands of charismatic drivers. I have tried a couple of tours over the years but was delighted to recently accept Invent’s invitation to experience their Independence themed tour.
Central Scotland is riddled with some of the most relevant spots in Scotland’s independence journey. Nods to famous names including William Wallace and Robert the Bruce are frequent. Although stops are open to popular vote, the options along the road include Stirling Castle, Dunfermline Abbey, Linlithgow Palace, Wallace Monument and the new Battle of Bannockburn Centre. Beginning and ending on the Royal Mile in the heart of Edinburgh, I would always encourage visitors to speak up early if they have preferences to include from that list.
Stirling Castle is undoubtedly one of the best in Scotland. Strategically it has always been of huge importance and for the modern visitor is a wonderful way to spend a couple of hours. Since its recent upgrade the interiors are more lavish than ever, while the views over Stirlingshire and the Ochil Hills are glorious. Dunfermline Abbey holds the body of Robert himself in what was once Scotland’s capital, while for a more detailed review of the Bannockburn Visitor Centre take a look at this blog post from earlier this year. The focus today is, of course, constantly historical so if castles, battles and blood and gore are not your thing, consider alternatively themed options. If though, like me, you love your history you are sure to be in your element.
One of Invent’s strongest assets is the flexibility within their tours. Being tied to set-in-stone timescales is not usually suitable for most Scottish trips so the scope for wiggle room within the itinerary is welcome. Provided there is a consensus from the back seats on the bus the schedule is flexible. As has always been my experience in this industry, Invent also boast an excellent tour guide in Gavin. With a wealth of historical knowledge he was made for this kind of tour. It is always wonderful to share such a journey with others and, for this predominantly independent traveller, it was a pleasure to be in the capable hands of a fellow Scotland and history fanatic. With maximum tour numbers of eight, a more personal experience is also guaranteed.
Although I was kindly invited to participate in Invent Tour’s Scottish Independence Tour, the above is an honest account of my experience and I would not talk up tours unless I felt they would add value to visitors’ experiences.
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