2018 is proving to be an exciting year for us here at WOW Scotland! As well as introducing a bespoke mini-coach to our Isle of Skye tour, we are now offering Scotland shore tours from Glasgow Greenock and Edinburgh South Queensferry for all Royal Princess dates. Scotland has so much exciting history and scenery to offer. We can’t wait to show you it all.
On our new Glasgow (Greenock) tour you will: discover why Glasgow is known as the cultural capital of Scotland; experience the bonnie banks and thriving wildlife of Loch Lomond; admire the quaint villages and mighty hills of the Trossachs and learn the tales of one of Scotland’s largest and most important castles.
From sea to loch
As you leave Greenock, you are immediately treated to views of fantastic 19th Century architecture and towering abandoned cranes that were once used for shipbuilding. Our guide will tell you tales of this bustling port town, which is the second largest town in the Inverclyde area. As you make your way toward the tour’s first destination of Balloch, these rustic urban scenes are soon replaced by true Scottish countryside. Some fantastic sights that you will see along the way include: Dumbarton Castle perched on its volcanic rock, the Campsie Fells and Argyll Forest. (Fun fact – Argyll Forest Park was established in 1935 and was the first forest park to be created in the UK.)
Balloch is a picturesque village at the foot of Loch Lomond in the Trossachs National Park. From here, you will enjoy a one hour cruise of Loch Lomond. This relaxing journey crosses the Highland Boundary Fault to reach the ancient conservation village of Luss. Commentary from Scottish historian and well known television presenter, Neil Oliver, will keep you company on board the cruise. The loch itself is the largest inland stretch of water in Great Britain and it is surrounded by fantastic views of rolling mountain tops. You may even catch a glimpse of a red squirrel, hiding amongst the trees by the shore, or an Osprey soaring above.
When you reach Luss, you will have some time to explore this charming town, which has been granted conservation status by Historic Scotland. There is much to see here, including a 6th Century graveyard and medieval church. The village’s narrow streets, lined with elegant stone cottages and gift shops, are a dream to wander through and the Coach House Coffee Shop has a delicious array of homemade cakes – a perfect treat with a takeaway morning coffee.
From loch to castle
For many, the highlight of the day is the guided tour of Stirling Castle. Your journey to the castle is reached after a scenic drive through the heart of Rob Roy country – where Perthshire, Stirlingshire and the Trossachs, meet at the gateway to the Highlands. After passing through tiny towns, and open farmland (keep your eyes peeled for a beautiful restored and converted mill at Milton of Buchanan), the mighty Stirling Castle and neighbouring Wallace Monument come in to view. Dating back to medieval times, this ancient stronghold has both an interesting and turbulent history. You will have the chance to hear its tales from our expert guide, as he takes you on a tour through the Castle buildings. Alternatively, you can explore the castle on your own, and there will be plenty of time to grab a snack at the fantastic castle cafe. You can find out more about Stirling Castle here.
From castle to cultural capital
The day doesn’t end there. Before heading back to port, you will have the chance to spend some time in Scotland’s cultural capital – Glasgow. Glasgow is well-known for its vibrant arts and music scene, and it is home to several national performing arts organisations including: the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and the Scottish Ballet.
You will have the chance to wander through Kelvingrove Art Museum or take a relaxing stroll through its neighbouring park. Kelvingrove Art Museum has been one of Scotland’s most popular attractions since it opened in 1901. This stunning building features 22 galleries, displaying thousands of objects, artefacts, and interactive exhibits.
If you would prefer to rest your feet, some of the best pubs in Scotland are located just around the corner. Why not put your feet up, and sample the finest ales and whisky that Scotland has to offer. If whisky is your tipple of choice, we would recommend visiting The Ben Nevis on Argyle Street. This quirky, stone-walled watering hole is home to over 100 types of whisky, and offers a true Scottish experience. It is decked out with a number of Highland artefacts and if you look closely, you will see Gaelic etchings inscribed on the bar. Another great choice for whisky fans is The Islay Inn, just a short walk from The Ben Nevis. Of course, there is much more on offer than just whisky. Argyle street is the longest street by distance in the city centre, running at 2.1 miles and there is no shortage of interesting shops and bars to visit.
So, what are you waiting for!? This tour is running for all Royal Princess dates in 2018 and you can book your place here.