Mary Queen of Scots Tour
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Mary Stuart, known to history as Mary, Queen of Scots, was one of the most fascinating and controversial monarchs of 16th century Europe. At one time, she claimed the crowns of four nations - Scotland, France, England and Ireland. Her physical beauty and kind heart were acknowledged even by her enemies, yet she lacked the political skills to rule successfully in Scotland. Her second marriage was unpopular and ended in murder and scandal; her third was even less popular and ended in forced abdication in favor of her infant son. She fled to England in 1568, hoping for the help of her cousin, Elizabeth I. Her presence was dangerous for the English queen, who feared Catholic plotting on Mary's behalf. Mary never met her cousin and remained imprisoned for the next nineteen years. She was executed in 1587, only forty-four years old. By orders of the English government, all of her possessions were burned. In 1603, upon Elizabeth's death, Mary's son became King of England as James I. No Monarch before or since has traveled Scotland as has Mary.
Highlights: Edinburgh and Edinburgh Castle, Palace of the Hollyroodhouse, Linlithgow Palace and St. Michaels Parish Church, Stirling Castle, Inchmahome Priory, Dumbarton Castle, Callander, Craigmiller Castle, Lochleven Castle, Falkland and Falkland Palace, Kind Kyttock's Tearoom, Scottish Borders, Traquaire House, Dundrennan Abey, Bolton Castle, Carlisle and Carlisle Castle, Yorkshire Dales, Peterburgh and Peterburgh Cathedral. Fotheringhay Castle, Windsor and Windsor Castle, London City Bus Tour, Westminster Abbey.
Day - 1
April 9th - Depart to Edinburgh, Scotlands Capital City.
Day - 2
Arrive Edinburgh but our tour starts outside of the city. Our first stop will be Linlithgow to visit Linlithgow Palace. All of the Stewart Kings lived at the Palace. Numerous renovations to the palace’s grand facades and chambers were carried out as each sought to create the ideal modern palace. The Palce is best known as the birth place of Mary Queen of Scots. Beside the palace sits St. Michaels Parish Church where the infant Mary was Babtised. King David I gifted the church to the Cathedral of St. Andrews in the year 1138. Welcome Dinner at Forth Inn in Abberfoyle. Overnight Trossachs.(D)
Day - 3
Our journey this morning brings us to Stirling Castle where the infant Mary is crowned Queen of Scotland at nine months. Stirling is one of the finest examples of Renaissance architecture in Scotland and the Great Hall and Chapel Royal are wonderful highlights. Just down from the castle we stop at Darnley Coffee House for Lunch. This building was the residence of Mary's second husband Lord Darnley when in Stirling. Then we are off to Inchmahome Priory, where the young Mary spent three weeks on this island for her protection after the defeat of the Scots at Pinkie Cleugh. From Inchmahome we are off to Callander where the Woollen Mills are plentiful for some shopping before dinner. Dinner at The Lion and Unicorn a 400 year old coaching inn. Overnight Trossachs.(B,L,D)
Day - 4
After breakfast this morning we travel to Dumbarton Castle where the infant Mary last touched Scottish soil on her way to France. Dumbarton rises 240 feet high on a twin peaked volcanic plug of rock with the River Clyde on one side and the River Leven on two more. On our way east we will stop in Bathgate at the Tea Cosy for Lunch. We then travel to Edinburgh and Edinburgh Castle. Edinburgh Castle is a majestic landmark which dominates the capital city's skyline just as it has dominated Scotland's long and colourful history. The Crown, Sceptre and Sword used at Mary's Coronation can be viewed here and Edinburgh Castle is also the birthplace of King James VI of Scotland and James I of England. Dinner at the Witchery. Overnight Edinburgh.(B,L,D)
Day - 5
This morning we visit Palace of the Hollyroodhouse where Mary lived between 1561 and 1567. Founded as a monastery in 1128, the Palace of the Holyroodhouse is The Queen's official residence in Scotland. From here we journey to Falkland and will take Afternoon Tea at Kind Kyttock's Tearoom before a visit to Falkland Palace. The Royal Palace of Falkland was the country residence of Stewart Kings and Queens when they hunted deer and wild boar in the Fife forest. Mary spent some of the happiest days of her tragic life here. Our last stop of the day will be Lochleven Castle where Mary was imprisoned from June 1567 to May 1568, and the place where she was forced to abdicate in favour of her infant son James VI on 24 July 1567. Dinner on your own in Edinburgh. Overnight Edinburgh.(B,L)
Day - 6
After breakfast we will be heading south through the Scottish Borders and making our first stop at Traquair house, dating back to 1107 it was originally a hunting lodge for 27 Scottish Kings and Queens including Mary. The house exhibits the bed belonging to Mary Queen of Scots and a superb collection of Jacobite glass. We'll Lunch at the 1745 Cafe before departing Traquair. Then we make our way south to Dundrennan Abbey, founded by King David I in 1142. This is the place where Mary spent her last night on Scottish soil on 15 May 1568. The next morning she fleed across the border to England just as we are about to. Dinner and Overnight Carlisle.(B,L,D)
Day - 7
This morning our first stop is at Carlisle Castle. The castle was the first of many English prisons for the fugitive Mary. Carlisle Castle is a great medieval fortress that has watched over the City of Carlisle for over nine centuries. We will then travel to Bolton Castle, a spectacular mediaeval fortress, situated in the heart of the beautiful Yorkshire Dales, on the boundary of the Yorkshire Dales National Park. It was built in 1399 by Richard le Scrope. Mary was imprisoned here for 6 months after being transferred from Carlisle Castle by Lord Henry Scrope, Warden of the West Marches and Captain of Carlisle under order from Elizabeth I. Dinner at Lord Nelson Public House in Thirsk. Overnight Yorkshire.(B,D)
Day - 8
Mary was taken to Chatsworth in 1570 in an ill-conceived plot to liberate her. While here we will visit Chatsworth House Gardens. The garden contains some of the most famous waterworks in Europe where hidden ponds and gentle streams contrast with the noise and play of the cascade, waterfalls and fountains large and small. We then visit Tutbury Castle ruins near Nottingham. This beautiful 11th Century fortress has one of the most dramatic and powerful Royal legacies in English history. Mary was imprisoned her in 1569 and of all her many prisons the one she hated the most. She always maintained afterwards that she had begun her true imprisonment there, and this in itself was sufficient reason to prejudice her against it. Dinner and Overnight at Talbot Hotel near Peterburgh. The oak staircase, and other parts of the building, were brought from the ruins of Fotheringhay Castle. It was down these steps that she walked to her execution on 8th February 1587.(B,D)
Day - 9
Today we visit Peterburgh Cathedral where Mary was buried following her execution upon orders of Elizabeth I. She rested here until 1612 when her son had her body moved to Westminster Abbey. We then visit the remains of Fotheringhay Castle where Mary was tried and later executed on February 8th, 1587. Richard III was born here in 1452 and sadly, Fotheringhay is in complete ruins. We'll Lunch in Fotheringhay Village before continuing on to Windsor and Windsor Castle. Windsor Castle is one of three official residences of The Queen and has been home to the Sovereign for over 900 years. The Castle is the largest inhabited castle in the world and the oldest in continuous occupation. Dinner on your own in Windsor. Overnight Windsor.(B,L)
Day - 10
This morning we travel by train to London. We will start the day on an Open Top Bus Tour with hop on and hop off service all over London. We first stop at Westminster Abbey. Westminter is an architectural masterpiece of the 13th to 16th centuries, Westminster Abbey also presents a unique pageant of British history – the shrine of St Edward the Confessor, the tombs of Kings and Queens, and countless memorials to the famous and the great. It has been the setting for every Coronation since 1066 and for numerous other royal occasions. James erected a magnificent marble tomb for his mother in the south aisle of the Lady Chapel on which there is a fine white marble effigy under an elaborate canopy. She wears a close-fitting coif, a laced ruff, and a long mantle fastened by a brooch. At her feet is the Scottish lion crowned. The rest of the day is free to continue your bus tour of London. This afternoon we return to Windsor for a Farewell Dinner. Overnight Windsor.(B,D)
Depart for London Heathrow Airport for our trip home.(B)
Minimum Per Person Price: 2995 US Dollar (USD)
Maximum Per Person Price: 2995 US Dollar (USD)
Airfare is not included in the tour price. ****THIS TOUR IS ONLY OFFERED FROM APRIL 9TH - 19TH, 2008**** We are a small tour operator that prefers to arrange and conduct all own tours personally. We are only able to offer a limited amount of tours each year and usually only offer each tour one time a year. our includes all accommodation, full Scottish breakfast each morning. All lunches and dinners as listed in itinerary. Porterage of one suitcase per person. Motorcoach travel including tour guide. Knowledgeable guide for all tourist venues. All sightseeing as indicated in itinerary including any entrance fees. All taxes and service charges. All you need is you, a packed suitcase and your passport!