Scotland: A Legacy of Cultural Achievement I & II


May 14-22 and May 26-June 3, 2017

With an optional extension: The Scottish Highlands
May 22-25, 2017

As Scottish poet Robert Burns penned in 1788, Scotland is steeped in auld lang syne, a distinctive national identity of dress, customs, and dialect distilled through centuries of hard fought battles alongside with tremendous feats in medicine, economics, literature and the arts. Upon this beautiful and often rugged landscape, Scots wrought exceptional decorative and fine arts, architecture, and gardens that will rival the sites included in our fall 2016 Study Trip to Yorkshire. In addition to the impeccable guidance of Frances Roxburgh at Specialtours, participants will also benefit from the insight and camaraderie of Trust Governors Helen Scott Reed, Alexandra Kirtley, and Robert Leath. The latter two have conducted extensive research on the connections of Scottish and American cabinetmakers working in the American colonies. Participants will also enjoy the contributions of Scottish curators and decorative arts historians throughout the tour.


ITINERARY  (subject to amendment)

May 14 and 26

Gathering at the elegant Caledonian Hotel on Edinburgh’s famed Princess Street, we set off for a walking tour of the grand 18th-century dwellings in New Town, where sweeping crescents, broad boulevards and elegant squares offered wealthy citizens a means of escape from the overcrowded Old Town. We visit the Georgian Town House on Charlotte Square, Robert Adam’s masterpiece of urban architecture with refined interiors. Drinks at Lyon & Turnbull’s Regency style headquarters and a welcome dinner at the Caledonian follow.

D included
Overnight: EDINBURGH

May 15 and 27

We depart for Newhailes, a magnificent and carefully conserved neo-Palladian villa famed for having some of the finest Rococo interiors in Scotland, including exquisite Chinese wallpaper and imposing Italian marble fireplaces. Our exploration is led by the Scottish National Trust’s chief curator emeritus Ian Gow, who oversaw the house’s renovation. In the afternoon, we are invited for a special private visit and lunch at Gosford, the seat of the Earls of Wemyss and March, set in 5,000 acres on the south side of the Firth of Forth and one of Robert Adam’s last great architectural commissions. We return to Edinburgh for an exclusive visit of the National Museum’s newly reinstalled decorative arts galleries with Senior Curator Stephen Jackson, before enjoying a red-carpet visit to the Royal Yacht Britannia.

B, L included
Overnight: EDINBURGH

May 16 and 28

Our day begins with a special early excursion to Hopetoun House, on the shore of the Firth of Forth with a splendid mid-18th-century mansion built for William Bruce by William Adam and his son John, featuring a stunning library and stairhall and noteworthy furnishings. The owners of a private family home in Fife receive us for a tour of their early Italian paintings and an exceptional library collection and host us for lunch. The afternoon offers an opportunity for an excursion to the Wemyss School of Needlework, founded in the 1877, which houses an important and unique collection of Scottish textiles and original source material as well as pieces collected from around the world.

B, L included
Overnight: EDINBURGH

May 17 and 29

While transitioning from the environs of Edinburgh to the Borderlands, our first stop is Arniston, a Palladian mansion built for the Dundas family by William and John Adam, containing intricate stucco work, beautiful portraits by Scottish artist Henry Raeburn, and period furniture. Charlotte More Nisbett welcomes us for a private lunch and tour of The Drum, another William Adam dwelling and the seat of the Lords Somerville, followed by an afternoon stop at Mertoun with the privilege of an exclusive viewing of the Duke of Sutherland’s magnificent collection of paintings. Our day concludes upon arrival at the charming boutique Roxburghe Hotel situated along the River Tweed within unspoiled Borderlands countryside. A gourmet dinner awaits us in the Conservatory.

B, L, D included
Overnight: KELSO

May 18 and 30

The day begins with an exciting private visit to one of Robert Adam’s greatest extant homes, Mellerstain, which illustrates the architect’s all-encompassing neoclassical style with exquisite aplomb, including complementing designs for furniture, plasterwork, and carpets. Traquair House is steeped in history as Scotland’s oldest continually inhabited house and features a renowned textile collection and equally heralded brewery, whose wares we sample during our lunchtime visit. Sir Walter Scott created the Scottish baronial style at his nearby house, Abbotsford, where the romance of his famous novels come to life. Returning to the Roxburghe for dinner, we pass the evocative Melrose Abbey ruins, typical of the great Catholic monasteries destroyed by border warfare.

B, L, D included
Overnight: KELSO

May 19 and 31

Driving northwest toward Glasgow, we immerse ourselves in the Scottish Buccleuch dukedom with a tour of Bowhill, a vast house dating primarily from 1812 and home to numerous treasures, including 18th century hand-painted Chinese wallpapers. Our drive toward lunch at the Buccleuch & Queensbury Hotel permits an opportunity to appreciate the quintessentially Scottish wild moorlands. We spend the afternoon at the expansive Drumlanrig Castle, a Baroque palace built of pink sandstone between 1679-91, containing a priceless collection of paintings by Da Vinci, Holbein, and Rembrandt, and relics testifying to the Douglas family’s Jacobite allegiances. Upon arrival in the great 19th-century city of Glasgow, we disembark at the historic and chic Blythswood Square Hotel.

B, L included
Overnight: GLASGOW

May 20 and June 1

We pay homage to Scotland’s greatest Arts and Crafts Movement architect and designer, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, with a morning tour of the Hill House in Helensburgh, overlooking the River Clyde. Mackintosh’s finest domestic creation, he designed nearly everything inside, from the decorative schemes and the furniture to the fittings and contents. His wife, Margaret Macdonald, designed and made many of the textiles as well. Our day continues, via the Kilcreggan ferry, with a private lunch at Ardgowan hosted by Sir Ludovic Shaw-Stewart. The house was built by Hugh Cairncross, Robert Adam’s Clerk of works, with a park laid out by James Ramsay, the Scottish equivalent of Capability Brown. The house was furnished by the firm of Gillows and the walls are densely hung with pictures collected on successive Grand Tours. Upon our return to the center of Glasgow, we enjoy a late-afternoon survey of this grand and vibrant city, including George Square, the City Chambers, and classical buildings by Alexander “Greek” Thompson.

B, L included
Overnight: GLASGOW

May 21 and June 2  

We visit two unforgettable sites on our closing day of excursions accompanied by renowned Scottish furniture historian David Jones. The spectacular coastal Culzean Castle was remodeled by Robert Adam and is a showcase of his later style of neoclassicism, seen in the Circular Saloon, perched on the cliff’s edge above the Firth of Clyde. We continue to the stunning Dumfries House for lunch and an afternoon tour. This 5-part villa represents a collaboration by the Adam brothers Robert, John, and James, and was preserved intact through the efforts of Prince Charles. Documented suites of furnishings by Thomas Chippendale and the Edinburgh cabinetmaker Alexander Peter highlight the beautiful interiors. We toast our extraordinary Scottish exploration before returning to Glasgow for a celebratory closing dinner.

B, L, D included
Overnight: GLASGOW

May 22 and June 3

Departures from the Glasgow or Edinburgh airports or the Highlands extension (see below).

B, included

Optional Extension: The Scottish Highlands

May 22

The extension begins with a scenic morning excursion northward from Glasgow on the West Highlands Line to Tulloch. We then travel along the infamous Loch Ness en route to the Beauly Firth and Dingwall, where we are received at Novar, the home of Mr. and Mrs. Ronald Munro-Ferguson, and our base of operations. The afternoon permits a leisurely exploration of the late-18th-century house and walled garden of this beautiful 20,000-acre estate, followed by dinner in the house with our hosts.

B, L, D included
Overnight: NOVAR

May 23

Our day commences with an outing to the Black Isle and romantic Cawdor Castle, built in 1372 and the setting for Shakespeare’s Macbeth. The house includes fine collections of furniture designed by Chippendale and Sheraton, tapestries, and paintings by Reynolds and Romney. In the afternoon, we enjoy a private visit to the Foulis Castle, seat of the Clan Munro, rebuilt in the later 18th century following extensive destruction during the Jacobite uprising. Upon return to Novar, we are treated to a Highland whiskey tasting and dinner.

B, D included
Overnight: NOVAR

May 24

We set off for Blair Castle on Blair Atholl for a tour of this quintessential, rambling Highlands home of the Duke of Atholl, with distinctive white turrets and façade. The castle has excellent holdings of decorative and fine arts as well as arms, armor, and the gloves and pipe of Bonnie Prince Charlie. While driving southward to Edinburgh, we pause at the House of Bruar emporium for some richly deserved retail therapy. Prestonfield House offers our lodgings for the evening, as well as the setting for a festive closing dinner to be accompanied by a rousing rendition of “Auld Lang Syne”!

B, D included
Overnight: EDINBURGH

May 25

Departures from the Edinburgh or Glasgow airports.

B included

Terms and Conditions

Land Arrangement Cost:
$6,375 per person, based on double occupancy for 8 nights, for the main tour. The optional extension to London is $2,925 per person, based on double occupancy for 3 nights.

Transatlantic airfare is not included. Please do not make your airline reservations until you have received written confirmation of your registration from the Trust.

A deposit of $1,500 per person is required by August 1, 2016. An additional deposit of $1,000 per person is required for the optional extension to the Highlands. Reservations and deposits are taken on an “as received” basis. You will receive a written confirmation from the Decorative Arts Trust. Do not make any irrevocable airline reservations until you receive your verification. Please make checks payable to “The Decorative Arts Trust” and mail to: 20 South Olive Street, Suite 304, Media, PA 19063.

Single Supplement:
The single supplement is $1025 for the main tour and $375 for the extension, to be paid along with the deposit.

Final Payment:
Will be due by January 31, 2017. Invoices for final payment will be mailed in early January.

Membership at the Sponsor level is required for participation in Study Trips Abroad.  Your membership contribution is fully tax deductible. If an increase in your membership level is necessary, the Trust will invoice you for the appropriate level upgrade with your final payment.

A donation to the Decorative Arts Trust of $500 per person is required for Study Trips Abroad. This gift is fully tax deductible and helps support the Trust’s mission and programs.

The schedule outlined in this itinerary is contracted for at this time but subject to change as necessary. A suggested reading list will be sent to you.

Each trip and the optional extension to the Highlands are limited to a maximum of 25 members and require a minimum of 15. The trip and/or extension will be canceled if under-subscribed, and deposits will be refunded. We will organize and maintain a waiting list on the basis of the time registrations are received. This is a strenuous trip. We regret that we cannot be responsible for those needing assistance on this trip. By registering, you are certifying that you do not have any mental, physical, or other condition of disability that would create a hazard for yourself or other passengers. The Trust reserves the right to decline anyone as a participant in this Study Trip Abroad should the person’s health, actions, or general deportment impede the operation of the Study Trip Abroad; the rights, welfare, or enjoyment of others; or the standing of the Decorative Arts Trust. A valid United States passport is required for this itinerary.

Included in Trip Cost:
Hotel accommodations in 4–5 star hotels, 8 buffet breakfasts, 7 lunches, 4 dinners, 1 cocktail reception, private coach transportation, local guides, admission in museums, historic houses, and gardens, gratuities for professional guides and coach drivers, and porterage for one suitcase only. The extension to the Highlands includes 3 breakfasts, 1 lunch, and 3 dinners.

Not Included in the Trip Cost:
Airfare, airport transfers other than specified above, alcoholic beverages other than when provided, personal expenses, and trip insurance are not included.

Cancellation and Refund:
If you must cancel your reservation, you are urged to do so as soon as possible in writing to the Decorative Arts Trust. All cancellations are subject to a $250 administrative fee. Deposits are non-refundable after August 1, 2016. Cancellations arriving by February 17, 2017, will receive a 50% refund. Cancellations arriving by March 31, 2017, will receive a 25% refund. There will be no refunds for cancellations received after March 31, 2017. THE TRUST STRONGLY ENCOURAGES ALL PARTICIPANTS TO PURCHASE TRAVEL INSURANCE TO PROTECT AGAINST CANCELLATIONS DUE TO ILLNESS AND INJURY.


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