Haggis Hunt II, QOC Scotland Tour. June 19th – 26th 2010

After all the weeks of route planning, Hotel bookings, arranging visits to places of interest and negotiating group discounts. Making arrangements for lunch stops, writing and producing an itinerary and route plan. Making countless phone calls, checking to ensure that all the mileages and timings worked out. Add in a good few sleepless nights worrying if it would all be OK and what a disaster it could be if something went wrong.

Carole and I had been on two tours of Ireland, Brilliantly organized by John and Jan Adam of the IKCC. So the QOC had invited their members to join us on this tour, even more worry. You can understand why, toward the end of the 2009 tour, I said to Carole, “no way am I going to do anther one”. But despite all my worries, it all went very well. Even the weather had been kind and no midges! OK the food and service at one of the hotels could have been a little better. We also had a minor glitch on one day when neither my trusty navigator nor GPS could find one of the planned fuel stops!

I must say thank you to Carole and to Steve Kodz for their support and help with the organizing of the 2009 tour.

In fact, you could say it went to well! Every one on the tour had such a good time; they asked that I organize another one. Despite me saying several time’s, I’m not going through that again, by the end of that last evening in Helensburgh I had been persuaded (probably to much alcohol) so here I am doing it all again!

The majority of the people on the tour said they would like to do Scotland again, fantastic scenery, great roads and not to much traffic are very good reasons. But would like to visit more toward the East next time, so that is what I have tried to arrange. So the following is the planned itinerary for the Haggis Hunt II.

Sunday June 20th. Most of the tour participants will be leaving from the Newark Kit Car Show, as last year, at around 10.30am. (Those that are not, including members from the IKCC, will meet at the hotel in Hamilton.) We will head north up the A1 & A1M to Scotch Corner Services for a lunch stop & refuel. Then the A66 across the top of the Yorkshire \dales to the M6 at Penrith. M6, A74/A74(M) to Gretna Services for a rest stop & refuel. Continuing on the A74(M) & M74 to the Avonbridge Hotel in Hamilton.

Monday June 21st. We head further north today, to Loch Katrine in the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park. For a lunch stop and cruise aboard the Steamship Sir Walter Scott. Then north once again approx’ 120 miles up into the Cairngorms National Park to the Loch Kinord Hotel in Dinnet

Tuesday June 22nd. North again today! Up through the Cairngorms on the A939 to the A95 close to Grantown-on-Spey, this is as far north as we go. Then south toward Aviemore, we will visit the Cairngorm Mountain Railway and have lunch high in the mountains. After lunch we will join the A9 and head south to Pitlochry to spend our 1st of 3 nights at the Craigvrack hotel.

Wednesday June 23rd. A bit of a rest day today, just a nice gentle drive along minor roads around loch Tummel and Loch Rannoch. With a lunch stop at the Bunrannoch hotel, before returning to Pitlochry early afternoon. Those that wish to could then visit Scotland’s smallest distillery, which is only approx’ 3 miles from the hotel.

Thursday June 24th. Take minor roads along southern shore of Loch Tummel to Daloist, then the B846 & A827 onto the A85, following the shore of Loch Earn to Crieff. We visit the Glenturret Distillery for the Famous Grouse Experience Tour and then lunch. After lunch we travel a short distance to the Caithness Glass Visitor Centre. Returning to the Craigvrack hotel via Aberfeldy, then the A827 & A9 to Pitlochry.

Friday June 25th. Leave the Craigvrack hotel on the A9 & M90 to Kinross. Then taking the A977 to the A876 & M876 to Falkirk. We visit the Falkirk Wheel for a boat trip and lunch. Leaving the Falkirk Wheel onto the M876, M80 & A80 toward Glasgow. Then M73 & M74 to Hamilton for a return to the Avonbridge hotel.

Saturday June 26th. The official end of the tour, time to say goodby.

Or is it!

The mileage for this tour, Hamilton to Hamilton, approx’ 600 miles.

The cost of this tour. Including 6 nights Bed, Breakfast & Evening Meals, entrance to all the above mentioned attractions and lunch on 2 of the days……£379.