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Best Place EverI was extremely excited for this tour even before I was registered. I knew it was going to be amazing and so much fun, but I didn't expect to fall in love with the country as hard as I did. It's so beautiful and the culture is unlike anything else. If you're thinking of selecting this tour for your group, I highly suggest you do. You will have an amazing time with the tour, everything about it was very in depth and I really enjoyed the amount of freedom EF gives you, yet the tour is so structured so tour is stress-free :)
Well pacedStories of Scotland was an absolute joy! The pace was slow enough to be able to enjoy the sights and sounds of Scotland. Wonderful castles & beautiful scenery as well as historical locations.
Souvenir? Maybe a little accent...Beautiful! Beautiful doesn't describe Scotland. Not only is the land an enchanting place, but the people are so loving and kind but proud to be Scottish. The tour was beyond believable and something I wish to do again very soon. My students were awed with the splendor in the history and the country. We all took a little bit of Scotland home in our hearts and maybe an accent as a souvenir.
Scotland Trip: Didn't get the value we paid forTook the EF tour to Scotland on June of 2019. While overall I enjoyed seeing Scotland for the first time and had fun with the group I was with, was disappointed with the monetary value of the overall trip. This is not my first time with EF Tours. We visited Ireland in 2015. And, I have traveled outside the US before without EF, so I do have some perspective of traveling abroad in general.
1. Two days before leaving for Scotland, our group was bumped from the Isle of Sky portion of our itinerary. Admittedly, it was one of the main reasons for me visiting the country.
2. Our ghost walk tour of "Specters of Scotland" did not include us touring the catacombs and spaces beneath the city like it was stated on our EF online itinerary. And, our ghost walk above in the city of Edinburgh was in broad daylight. I know we were visiting in June with longer days. However, as someone who has been on quite a few ghost tours, they start after dark for a reason.
3. Stops in some locations was an hour tops, bathroom time included. Or a stop with lunch time included. So, that meant that you had to rush to see a particular area and try to find a bathroom or decent lunch accommodations. In some cases lunch options were greasy fast food. Even the kids in our group found this to be unacceptable.
4. Our guide was a nice man. However, he was from England and not Scotland. Why didn't we have a Scottish guide? Why nobody who lives and works in the country?
5. While I know that Scotland is not necessarily mostly known for culinary delights, we ate pizza for two dinners. Would have liked something closer to what the locals eat, even if it was a type of fusion favorite and decent quality food. The pizza and spaghetti at the second restaurant was really bad. I barely touched it and was seriously disappointed. It just seemed a lazy and easy choice for EF to cut corners. And, just because we were traveling with younger people is not a good excuse. Several of the younger members of our group of 11 were disappointed. The other dinners were ok. Again, the quality of the food seemed rather low.
6. The train ride over the Glenfinnan Viaduct was on a regular contemporary train and not the coal powered train we expected. We even passed the coal powered train pulling out of the station, so it was available at the time for visitors. A lot of our group were Harry Potter fans and were hoping for the experience of riding in something similar to the movie. Also, our tickets were disorganized for the train we did ride on. Many were reserved for another group and we had to find seats separated from each other. Even sitting in seats not designated according to our ticket. Our guide even got into an argument with the train ticket checker over it.
7. Hotels were far away from city centers. I understand when we are in a rural area. However staying closer to (for instance) Edinburgh would have been ideal to take in shows, see more local/less touristy areas, etc. We and a few of the younger travelers were looking forward to this option. And, especially if you are stuck on the bus for an hour +, it helps to have a place to get out and stretch the legs.
Right before leaving on this trip, I had signed up for the EF Costa Rico trip next year. In light of this, I have serious misgivings about having done so. Considering cancelling my plans with EF.
Amazing!It was a great experience.
Scotland is Awesome.The time spent in Scotland was full of amazing scenery, fascinating places to visit, and wonderful people. From the visit to the Scottish Storytelling Center to the visit to Inverness, from the free time to explore the many attractions in Edinburgh to the castle ruins on Loch Ness, from urban settings to those in the Highlands, the trip provided the opportunity to explore the diverse points of interest Scotland has to offer.
Fun ExperienceWould definitely go again.
Needs a bit of tweaking but lots of fun!This is my fourth time as a group leader and the Stories of Scotland tour is a relatively brand new itinerary. Because of that, it does feel like some things need to be ironed out a little. For example, Inverness is not actually included as a stop but it should be, given its importance to the highlands. Our tour director was able to make arrangements for us to visit Inverness thankfully but we had limited time there. Also, the Isle of Skye was advertised but changed a few weeks before the actual trip. Despite that my students had a GREAT time. There were plenty of different kinds of activities to do. They really enjoyed the interactive Battle of Bannockburn simulation and taking the train across the famous "Harry Potter" route. The scenery in the highlands is mind blowing and despite having a lot of free time in Edinburgh our group found lots of things to do. The tour director assigned to my group was integral to the tour's success. She was friendly, knowledgeable, flexible and the students really made a connection with her. I think despite a few flaws that this tour is worth it and I hope they make a changes to perfect it down the road!
Beautiful country!I absolutely loved this trip to Scotland. I would however suggest less times, days, in Glasgow and Edinburgh and more time in the northern areas. It was absolutely beautiful. It snowed and the quaint little towns would have been wonderful to stay some time in.
Also, for our evening meals I believe we should have a choice. People pay a lot of money to travel, sometimes whole families go, and there needs to be some meal choices. We had chicken, peas, and french fries for two meals while in Scotland for a 9 day trip (2 days of flights). I believe this could be made better for our travelers. The hotel meals were outstanding and had choices for our people.
Awesome tripThis was one of the best trips I've been on with EF.
Our guide was great very interesting and knowledgeable.