Thursday, June 27, 2013

Travel Planner & Companion: England, Scotland, Wales!

If you've made the decision to visit England, Wales and Scotland (I'm not experienced with Ireland but it's an easy shuttle or a ferry across), does it make sense to you to travel with a large group, a set itinerary made up by someone else, and no option for changing your mind and rearranging your travel plans?

If not, you might want to consider traveling with someone who can make your arrangements, tend to your needs, and who will enthusiastically support your quest for knowledge of this fine country.

Some of your most desirable destinations cannot be reached by coach. Chance visits, narrow by-ways, remote villages or picturesque wayside inns, castles, houses and a wide variety of landscapes may be lost to you.

Group tours fit a need but if you have the urge to go at your own pace, stay another night, move faster to get in one more big house, or settle a little early for a cozy afternoon in, a personal companion may suit you better.

Many people I've spoken with have mentioned they traveled on tours but to them it was all a blur. They don't really remember a lot of it, having moved from place to place, with a tour guide talking all the while and sometimes it seemed like a muddle of fellow passengers moving en masse to get to the toilet, the tearoom, back to the coach and whisked away to the next destination.

Though any travel should be interesting and is enhanced by guided tours, time to relax, read the plaques, brochures, panels, and browse through books in a shop should be available--we learn best when we follow our own hearts and passions. You might go crazy over the textiles and tea sets of a big house, while your friend may harbor the desire to study the architecture and stare trance-like at a stone that was signed by a mason 500 years ago. Give yourself the luxury your deserve.

Why pay large sums of your good money to go away half full?

My fee would be all expenses paid, plus
an agreed-upon low supplement, depending
on the situation. I can drive, we can share,
I can stay separately in a more reasonable
B&B, should you want to go all out. I can
guarantee the expense for you will be
much more palatable than a tour expense.

And more fun!

Let's talk.

Phone: (208-462-2511)

Photos: Top, a lone afternoon tea with me, next to Scotland's Loch Lomond. 2nd, Ightham Mote in Kent, south of London. 3rd, Toilette items in State Bedroom, Chatsworth. 4th, signed Mason's block at Castle Raglan, South Wales.

New Book on Mary Queen of Scots!

New Historic Scotland book charts the travels of Mary Queen of Scots

A new book written and produced by Historic Scotland is being published today, Friday 28th June 2013 to tie in with the opening of the major Mary Queen of Scots exhibition at the National Museum of Scotland.

Mary Was Here, subtitled ‘Where Mary Queen of Scots went and what she did there’, is a fast-paced and very accessible guide to the travels of Scotland’s most famous historical figure.

Extensively illustrated, it charts Mary’s life from just before her birth at Linlithgow Palace to the months after her execution at Fotheringhay Castle in Northamptonshire.

Andrew Burnet, Publications and Information Manager at Historic Scotland and one of the co-authors said: “Mary Queen of Scots is a key figure in our history who continues to fascinate people from around the world. She has connections with more than 20 Historic Scotland properties including Edinburgh Castle, Stirling Castle, Craigmillar Castle, Lochleven Castle, Castle Campbell, Dumbarton Castle, Dundrennan Abbey and of course, her place of birth, Linlithgow Palace.

“The book is based around specific events on specific dates at specific locations, however its main focus is on Scotland, where Mary travelled widely during her brief reign.  It also features plenty of colourful imagery, including superb photography, and  more than 120 images from art collections in Scotland, England, France, Spain and Italy.”

The book includes sections on Mary’s childhood in France and her long imprisonment in England.   It also looks at key themes such as food and drink, sickness and health, marriages, costume and jewellery.

For information:

The book has been written by Historic Scotland’s Andrew Burnet, Nicki Scott and Sally Gall. 

Andrew Burnet is available for interview.

More than 35 Scottish sites connected  with Maryare covered in the book.  Additional properties include: Inchmahome Priory, Spynie Palace, Edzell Castle, and Whithorn Priory. 

 The book will be available from Friday 28 June, retailing at £7.95. It will be for sale at the National Museum  throughout the run of the exhibition (until 17th November).  It will also be sold at Historic Scotland’s shops at selected sites, including Edinburgh Castle, Stirling Castle, Linlithgow Palace, Dumbarton Castle, Lochleven Castle,  Craigmillar Castle, Inchmahome Priory and the Abbey Strand bookshop next to Holyrood Palace in Edinburgh