Travel with Joyce James to Scotland – 2014,
the Year of Homecoming Scotland!
July 3 to July 21, 2014 – Always a popular itinerary. The sixteenth time the tour has taken place since 1995.
This tour has garnered many repeat participants and includes:
- Accommodation in Glasgow, Shetland, Orkney and the Isle of Lewis, in comfortable hotels with ensuite facilities.
- Five domestic flights with Loganair, the national airline of Scotland. In 2012, Loganair celebrated its 50th anniversary.
- 18 Full Scottish breakfasts; 17 dinners.
- Transfers and coach transportation as detailed in the itinerary.
- Scottish Heritage Pass for duration of trip.
- Small group, limited size.
- Workshops with members of the Shetland Guild of Spinners, Weavers & Dyers.
- Private visits with talented craftspeople: knitters, weavers, spinners, jewellery and textile designers, mills.
- Opportunities to explore your interests: music, bird watching, nature walks; museums and galleries; archaeological sites; gardens, crafts & culture.Relaxed time for knitting.
- Much, much more!
The 16th Scottish Skeins & Skeins Itinerary *
*Itinerary items subject to adjustment as trip details are finalized in the coming months.
Thursday, 03 July:
Our tour starts at our hotel in central Glasgow. Before evening dinner at the hotel, we’ll get together for a reception to meet your fellow travellers and to hear more about the plans for this unique tour.
Friday, 04 July:
Your morning is free.
In the afternoon, we’ll go to nearby Kilbarchan, where 800 handlooms once operated in cottages in the village. The only remaining example is the Weaver’s Cottage, now restored by the National Trust. This 200-year old cottage gives us an appreciation of what life was like in Scotland before the Industrial Revolution. Our next visit is to the nearby Paisley Museum to see their extensive collection of Paisley shawls and to hear more about the textile history of the area.
Saturday, 05 July:
Your free day in Glasgow . Your tour escort will give you a number of suggestions to visit in Glasgow—interesting museums, galleries, the designs of Charles Rennie Macintosh and the outstanding Glasgow Botanic Gardens with and the Glasshouse.
Another suggestion is to go to Edinburgh, just one hour away by train.
Sunday, 06 July:
In the early afternoon, our coach will take us to the Glasgow airport for our Loganair flight to Stornoway, capital of the Outer Hebrides (also known as the Western Isles), and the main islands of Lewis and Harris.
CEUD MILLE FAILTE – A Hundred Thousand Welcomes to the Outer Hebrides
We’ll check into our hotel for the next four nights. Joan Morrison, our popular Blue Badge Guide from previous tours will accompany us and enrich our travels.
Monday, 07 July:
Our day to explore Lewis:
- Calanais Standing Stones: a Neolithic prehistoric site of lunar significance
- Borgh Pottery
- Morven Gallery
- Butt of Lewis – the most northerly point in the Hebrides
- Gearrannan Village – a restored village of traditional thatched blackhouses
- Breanish Tweed – a weaving shed and collection of fine tweeds.
Tuesday, 08 July:
After breakfast, we’ll leave for our day on Harris, not a separate island but connected by a narrow peninsula with Lewis.
Our visits today:
- Harris Tweed Shop in Tarbert
- Bill Lawson’s genealogical visitor centre. This stop is one of the highlights of our tour.
- St. Clement’s Church. The building was first constructed in the 1500’s.
- Weaving shed of Donald John MacKay, designer of the Isle of Skye tartan. Donald John was recognized for his services to the Harris tweed industry and received an M.B.E. in the 2012 Honours List from Queen Elizabeth. He is always happy to demonstrate on his loom and to answer your questions. He has tweeds for sale.
Wednesday, 09 July:
A free day in Stornoway. Walk around the town – perhaps Visit the art gallery, An Lanntair (Gaelic for The Lantern) and the Museum nan Eilean, many little shops or just enjoy the activity in the busy harbour.
Thursday, 10 July:
After breakfast at the hotel, our coach will meet us and take us to Stornoway’s airport for our Loganair flight to Shetland. The flight schedule is excellent and we will not have to change planes, just touching down briefly in Inverness before arriving at
Sumburgh, Shetland’s main airport on the southern tip of the island mainland. We’ll be met by our private coach for our drive to the hotel in Lerwick .
En route, we’ll visit the knitwear studio of Doreen Brown, creator of the famous Fair Isle sweaters for the two Shetland ponies. Doreen specializes in machine knits and is always very welcoming. She will be pleased to have you see her designs and samples.
We’ll also stop at Wilma Malcolmson’s workshop. Wilma is justifiably acknowledged as one of the best sources of knitted garments on Shetland. She was commissioned to design and knit the sweaters worn by the staff at the Shetland Museum, and she’ll explain the significance of the colours she chose.
We’ll arrive at our hotel in Lerwick in the late afternoon. There will be time to relax before dinner. The hotel has a number of places where our group can gather for relaxed knitting.
Friday, 11 July:
After breakfast, you tour escort will take you for a walking tour of Lerwick. There are many interesting shops and a well-supplied book store with an excellent collection of knitting books. The architecture is little changed from historical photos. Take some time to see the comings and goings of the many vessels in the busy harbour.
After lunch, we’ll go to Jamieson & Smith. Arrangements have been made to meet with Oliver Henry, known as the ‘Wool Man’. Oliver is a recognized expert on Shetland sheep and their fleece. There will be time to visit the shop at J.& S. and meet the helpful staff, who will help you choose yarn for your projects from the wide selection.
We’ll also have time to visit the Böd of Gremista, home of the Shetland Guild. The böd was originally the home of Arthur Anderson, one of the founders of the P. & O. shipping line.
Saturday, 12 July:
Your morning is free. After lunch, we’ll go to the workshop of Shetland Jewellery.
This afternoon’s event has always been a highlight of past tours, when we meet with the talented members of the Shetland Guild of Spinners, Weavers & Dyers. This is a special time when Shetlanders, North Americans and Australians from previous tours have had a relaxed visit and come away with many warm memories and friendships.
Sunday, 13 July:
Your free day on Shetland. You may wish to take an optional trip to Unst and Yell, the most northerly islands of the U.K. Another idea is the ‘Seals & Seabirds’cruise to the island of Noss, a bird sanctuary. The cruise is accompanied by an ornithologist. There are a number of churches in Lerwick should you wish to attend a service.
Monday, 14 July:
This morning after breakfast, two talented members of the Shetland Guild will meet us at the hotel for a workshop on the intricacies of Fair Isle design.
Lunch is on your own. After lunch, our coach will take us to the village of Scalloway. We’ll visit the new Scalloway Museum, opened by the Prime Minister of Norway in May, 2012. The museum is dedicated to the participants of the Shetland Bus operation during World War II–a story of heroism and tragedy.
Before returning to Lerwick and dinner at the hotel, we’ll visit Burland Croft at nearby Trondra. Mary and Tommy Isbister are devoted to protecting the native Shetland breeds. This is a special place.
A lunch suggestion is at Hay’s Dock, the restaurant in the Shetland Museum.
After lunch, we’ll meet with Dr. Carol Christiansen, curator of the textile collection at the museum. Carol will talk to us about Shetland knitting and weaving, and will show us some special items which are not on open display.
The museum is well worth an extended visit.
Wednesday, 16 July:
There will be free time in Lerwick for last-minute shopping and sighseeing. Our flight to Orkney leaves in the mid afternoon and just takes 35 minutes flying time, before arriving at Kirkwall, Orkney’s capital.
Our hotel is the Ayre, our home for the next four nights. There will be time to explore Kirkwall before evening dinner at the hotel. The most stunning sight is the magnificent St. Magnus Cathedral, founded in 1137 and reputed to be one of the finest medieval cathedrals in Scotland.
Thursday, 17 July:
Your morning is free. You’ll probably want to buy some of the distinctive yarn from the North Ronaldsay breed of sheep. The yarn is in high demand and comes in five natural colours.
In the afternoon, our coach will meet us for an exploration of mainland Orkney. Two of the places we’ll visit are Skara Brae, a Stone Age village dating from 3000 B.C., and Maeshow, reputed to be one of the finest chambered tombs in Western Europe and built before 2700 B.C.
We’ll also go to the islands south of the mainland, Burray and South Ronaldsay. These islands are linked by the Churchill Barriers. Before returning to the hotel, we’ll stop in the tiny village of St. Margaret’s Hope (known by Orcadians as ‘the Hope’), to visit the craft shop called The Workshop.
Friday, 18 July:
Another opportunity to explore more of mainland Orkney:
- The village of Stromness, with its small, interesting museum of artifacts from the Hudson Bay Company. During the 18th and 19th centuries, before sailing on the long voyage to Canada, the ships of the HBC used to stop here to take on fresh water at Login’s Well. Many Orcadians worked as factors in northern Canadian outposts. Stromness also has several shops and two art galleries.
- Kirbister Museum to see how Orcadian ancestors lived, with Orkney’s last peat-fired central hearth and Victorian gardens. Corrigall Farm Museum , with its traditional ‘but and ben’ design. Both these sites have been preserved to show how life used to be on Orkney.
- We’ll follow part of the Craft Trail, with visits to jewellery design studios, a maker of the unique Orkney chair and a stop at the Woolshed.
After dinner at the hotel, if your tastes run to single malt Scotch, be sure to try one of the hotel’s selections from nearby Highland Park, the most northerly distillery in Scotland.
Saturday, 19 July:
Your free day on Orkney. The Orkney Library and Archive is the oldest public library in Scotland, founded in 1683. It is now in a new purpose-built building. You may also want to do some last-minute shopping or take a distillery tour.
Tonight is our special dinner to relive the many memories of our Scottish tour.
Sunday, 20 July:
In the mid-afternoon, our coach will take us back to Kirkwall’s airport and our flight to Glasgow.
NOTE: Due to international flight times, an overnight stay in Glasgow is probably necessary. Rooms have been reserved at the Holiday Inn Express, Glasgow Airport, within a short walk to the terminal (included in tour price).
Monday, 21 July:
Our tour ends after breakfast at the hotel. Flights back to your home cities.
Safe journey home!
Contact Joyce James for More Information:
Joyce James Tours
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