Amazing tour director, amazing driver, amazing places--and amazing Orkney!
I loved this tour, mostly because of the fantastic tour guide Onya and driver Gordon and the locations, especially the trip up to Orkney, which has been a dream of mine for years (and it didn't disappoint). We were lucky enough to see the Ring of Brodgar surrounded by blooming purple heather. Feedback: TOO SCHEDULED: Although I loved all we saw, for me the tour was a little too jam-packed. I would have loved a few free afternoons or even a full down day; next time I might not check baggage and a day midway through to do laundry would be great. It was so much to absorb, and I myself would have preferred fewer castles. I'd also like some hotels with 3-night stays (and none with single nights). FOOD: I struggled with there being way too much food--and too rich food. I'd love an option for half portions, appetizer only, etc--or even food options besides heavy hotel dinners (such as sandwiches, pub buffet, salad night, afternoon tea). The food was making me feel sick by the end, although I skipped lunches and left a lot on my plate. ACCESSIBILITY: I was glad we had requested a shower rather than shower-in-bath but this was not honored at our first hotel, Novotel Glasgow. Along with several others, I really struggled with the slippery tub with super-high sides and high floor; we were talking about how scary it was and how awful if someone fell on the first night. After that, Onya made sure she phoned ahead to be sure. No grab bars anywhere. Also some gardens and castles had no handrails next to steep steps; once I fell outside in a garden. THEMES: I'd like to see some different theme tours (animals, archeology, etc.) or even just more animals (loved sheepdogs, birds of prey, Irish National Stud on previous tour).