We have linked with Field Farm tours to provide the Pre & Post Congress tours and these can be booked by clicking the following link:
Saturday 8th July to after breakfast on Saturday 15th July 2017
The charge for the post tour is £1,399.00 for a shared room with a single supplement of £290.00
Scotland has a rich natural, cultural and agricultural heritage. During the post-congress tour we will give you a small taste of it!
Final details are being confirmed however the route will take you north- west from Edinburgh (1) through Glen Coe (2) to Fort William (3) nestling in the shadow of Ben Nevis (Britain’s highest mountain). On day two you will travel on to Inverness (4), which is the capital of the Highlands and sits on the Moray Firth - known as the Riviera of the north (which doesn’t mean that it is warm enough for a bikini!). After the chance to cruise up Loch Ness to see if you can find the Loch Ness Monster – Nessie as we call her – and visit some local farms, a distillery and a castle (5) you will travel South and East to Aberdeen (6), which is the hub of the oil industry in Scotland. A tour up famous Royal Deeside (7) – following the course of the river Dee - will take in a visit to Balmoral, the Highland home of the British Royal family, and find out more about Highland Estates. As the tour travels back south to Edinburgh you’ll see a soft fruit farm next to the Angus Glens and hear about the production and processing of peas for human consumption (8).
Starting from Pollock Halls, Edinburgh on Saturday 8th July the tour will begin with a visit to SRUC’s Hill and Mountain Research Centre near Crianlarich. It extends to 2200Ha focusing on sheep production, tourism accomodation and enviromental research, particularly biodiversity. From there the tour will go on to visit the Glencoe Visitor Centre which is operated by the National Trust for Scotland. Glencoe is one of Scotland’s iconic glens and is surrounded by majestic mountains that are renowned in the mountaineering world. Ben Nevis, Scotland’s and the UK’s highest mountain sits at one end while the Aonach Eagach ridge, famed as the narrowest in mainland Britain, runs for 10 kilometres along the Glen. Not a walk we will be taking you on but if you want to get a flavour then have a look at some of the videos on YouTube.
Your evening meal and overnight accommodation will be at the Moorings Hotel, Fort William. This sits right beside Neptune’s Staircase, which is a series of eight locks that raises boats more than 21 metres from sea level in a very short distance (less than 500 metres).
On the second day of the tour, you will visit a livestock farm to find out more about red meat production in Highland Scotland and a croft. Crofts are traditional small agricultural units in North and West Scotland. There is specific legislation that protects crofting and crofter rights. Generally crofts do not provide sufficient income to support a family and crofters commonly have one, two or more other jobs. You can find out more from the Scottish Crofting Federation. Then the tour will take you along the Great Glen that bisects Scotland, running southwest – northeast across the country for 100km and following a geological fault. Along the way the tour will stop at the Nevis Range Centre and weather permitting you will be able to take a ride on the mountain gondola to see stunning views from Aonach Mor. You will also visit the iconic Urquhart Castle that sits on a on the edge of Loch Ness and is a favoured spot for Nessie watching. (Nessie is the name given to Loch Ness monster, which despite years of searching has only shown herself to a favoured few. There is a second less famous loch monster in Scotland – Morag – who lives in Loch Morar, but we don’t have time to take you there.) Your evening meal and overnight accommodation will be at the Drumossie Hotel on the outskirts of Inverness. This will be your base for the next two days so you can relax and settle into your rooms.
This morning you will visit some local farms producing cattle and sheep as well as growing some of Scotland’s high quality seed potatoes and arable crops. In the afternoon you will have some free time to enjoy Inverness before cruising up Loch Ness to get a unique view of the loch. To get a flavour have a look here.
For your last day in the Inverness area, we will take you to see some specialist vegetable growers along the Moray Firth. This area is also a well known area for dolphin watching – and you never know you might be lucky. The combination of sandy soils and local climate that benefits from sea waters warmed by the North Atlantic Drift (or ‘Gulf Stream’) enable the production of high value crops in this area of North Scotland. You will also see how an anaerobic digestion has been incorporated to manage waste and generate renewable energy. From there you will go on to see one of Scotland’s famous distilleries and visit some local producers to see how Scotland produces fine quality beef before returning to the Drummossie Hotel for the night.
As you travel towards Aberdeen today, you will visit a family farming business and find out more about how it incorporates wildlife conservation. This will be followed by the opportunity to learn about the production of malt for the whisky distilling industry and growing field vegetables for one of Scotland’s top brands ‘Baxters’. Before arriving at your hotel for the night we will stop at the Thainstone Agricultural Centre to have an evening meal and learn how it evolved as well as the diversity of sales that now take place at this facility, which in addition to the traditional farm livestock includes furniture and cars. Then it is on to the Ardoe House Hotel where you will stay for the next two nights.
Today, you will travel up Royal Deeside. The Dee is one of Scotland’s great salmon rivers and along with the River Don flows out to the sea at Aberdeen. Old rivalries are reflected in the local saying ‘A mile of Don is worth two of Dee except it be in fish and tree.’ In addition to visiting a deer farm, we will take you to Balmoral and a neighbouring estate to learn first hand about traditional Scottish Estates and how they are developing to meet the modern world, embracing shooting, fishing, conservation and tourism. In the evening we hope to give you an insight into a cooperative business that enables farmers to share under utilised resources and helps young people to gain work.
After your final night in the Ardoe House Hotel, today you will return to Edinburgh but not without first visiting a soft fruit farm that also has a farm shop and takes its produce from field to market. Soft fruit production along with bulb growing are among the high value crops produced for many generations in this part of Scotland. Nearby is part of the James Hutton Institute (previously known as the Scottish Crop Research Institute) where many new varieties of soft fruit have been developed. Later in the day, we will visit an award winning dairy farm which has installed robotic milkers and diversified into energy generation. Finally, if we can fit it in, we hope to take you to see peas being harvested for a local freezing plant and find out about the critical quality elements of this part of the production cycle.
Included in the Tour:
- Bed & Breakfast Saturday 8th Friday 14th July 2017 (Tour ends at breakfast on Saturday 15th July)
- Mid-morning and afternoon refreshments when taken
- Entrance to all visits listed on the tour
- Travel from Edinburgh to Edinburgh by coach
Whats not included:
- Alcoholic drinks
- Entrance to any optional visits that may come up where a charge is made
- Accommodation during the congress
Our Tour Company:
We have chosen as our partners to provide the tours Field Farm Tours Ltd who are a specialist tour company covering agricultural tours and further details about them can be found at- http://www.fieldfarmtours.co.uk