Please contact us for trips to Northern Ireland and Scotland – We will be running regular trips over the coming months.
SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon wants another referendum on Scots independence. Join veteran Scots journalist Brian Taylor on this fascinating tour.
The Northern Ireland and Scotland Tours can be booked back to back.
|DATES||Sunday, 27 June – Saturday 3 July 2021|
|DURATION||6 nights (3 in Glasgow, 3 in Edinburgh)|
Single supplement: £420
Meeting politicians, analysts, academics, journalists, community leaders, and ordinary people – from all sides and communities – we ask what’s next for Scotland? The UK leaving the EU poses new questions for Scottish Independence. The tour takes place in the wake of Scotland’s Parliamentary elections and starts in Glasgow, weaves through Stirling and Bannockburn, before ending in Edinburgh.
Join us to meet the people involved, ask your own questions and make up your own mind.
Single supplement: £420
As with all of our expert-led tours, we ensure that our groups remain small and intimate, and will not exceed 14 people.
Note – We also run bespoke group tours for families and groups of friends, tailoring them to your dates and time available and focusing on any special interest. Please contact us for more information.
Watch our recent webinars about the region
The UK’s four home nations have all had differing approaches to the pandemic. Boris Johnson pushed for a more liberal approach, while Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland have been more cautious. Magnus Llewellin, the editor of Scottish edition of The Times, argues that the COVID-19 crisis has exacerbated the differences between the four nations, and is a taste of things to come. There is, however, a different case to be made, one in which devolved power goes hand-in-hand with co-operation in a united and C21st kingdom. Joined by Melanie McDonagh, formerly a leader-writer on the Evening Standard.
Brexit – the final gambit
At midnight on 31 December 2020, the UK left the EU’s single market and customs union, and the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice. Alex Pigman, a journalist with Agence France-Presse, has followed the UK-EU negotiations from the outset, and here takes a broad look at relations between the two sides, and how they might develop from January 1 under the terms of the trade deal struck on Christmas Eve. David Gavaghan, meanwhile, who is one of Northern Ireland’s best-known businessmen, joins us from Belfast to offer an Irish perspective on the situation.
Brexit & the Union
Brexit’s done and dusted and we can all move on. Think again. It’s far from clear what role Britain seeks for itself having left the EU and there is a looming constitutional crisis as Scotland pushes for independence. Northern Ireland too may follow. Professor Jennings, head of Political Theory, Social Science and Public Policy at King’s London is joined by Scottish Parliament Member, Murdo Fraser, and constitutional expert David Torrance for a discussion on where the UK goes next.
Scotland & Independence
Britain is arguably on the verge of the most significant change in 200 years. Repeated polls show Scottish voters want their country to leave the UK and become a separate state. Our Scotland Tour traces how this turn of events has come about and notably the impact of Brexit. We look at the rise of the SNP, the impact of devolution on Scotland and the UK as a whole, and look at what kind of state Scotland might become.
The tour takes place in the wake of Scotland’s Parliamentary elections and starts in Glasgow, weaves through Stirling and Bannockburn, before ending in Edinburgh.
Like all our tours the trip is designed like a news documentary – with access to real people and real life situations. All of this is combined with some great analysis and interviews with key political leaders on both sides.
Glasgow Turns Yellow
Sectarianism, Religion & Politics
Banockburn, Stirling, Edinburgh
Independence & A Constitutional Crisis
Salmond vs Sturgeon – Plus Identity Politics
If you would like to book a tour please click here to fill in our booking form. Or call us on 0843 289 2349 or email us at [email protected] to find out more.
Dates: Sunday, 27 June – Saturday 3 July 2021
If you would like to book your Scotland & Independence Tour please click here to fill in our booking form. Or call us on 0843 289 2349 or email us at [email protected] to find out more
All of your accommodation and some meals with water are included, as well as local transport (except during your free time).
Flights are not included in the price and need to be arranged by customers themselves or with an agent.
Following the news
Like all our tours the itinerary is focused on current affairs. Events on the ground may change and the final schedule may be adjusted accordingly.
COVID-19: We won’t go to a country unless it is safe to do so- we remain guided by the UK Foreign Office travel advice. For this reason some dates may change depending on the situation on the ground.
We follow local Covid-19 safety measures and guidelines.
This tour starts in Glasgow on a Sunday evening- 3 nights Glasgow. The tour ends in Edinburgh on the Saturday morning- after 3 nights Edinburgh.
As on all our expert-led tours the groups are deliberately small and will not exceed 14 people. Frequently we travel with 10-12 people. Limited spaces are available.
UK passport holders do not need a visa. Other passport holders may require a visa. It is always good to check with the embassy in your country for latest advice regarding visa requirements.
The tour is mid-summer. Days are long and can be warm but evenings are cooler. Some rain is to be expected.
Sunblock and rain gear are essential.
What to Wear
Dress is generally relaxed and casual. We suggest taking layers as the weather is variable in summer in Scotland! Rain showers are not uncommon too so please ensure you pack a rain jacket. Most important is to have comfortable shoes for walking.
Men: Will need a jacket and tie for some of the meetings.
Women: You will need smarter dress for one or two meetings.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office publishes regularly updated travel information on its website www.fco.gov.uk/knowbeforeyougo which you are recommended to consult before booking and in good time before departure. Where it considers it appropriate to do so, the FCO may advise against all travel or all but essential travel to particular countries or parts of particular countries. Similarly, the FCO may withdraw any such previously given advice. Where the FCO issues such advice, we may as a result cancel your tour or make changes so as to avoid the area concerned (see clause 10). Alternatively, we may ask you to sign a form confirming you wish to proceed with the tour notwithstanding the FCO advice. It is in the nature of the itineraries we offer that the FCO may have issued such advice in relation to the country or parts of the country we are intending to visit prior to confirmation of your booking. In this case, you will be asked to sign the above form before we confirm your booking.
Advice on health requirements may be obtained from your GP, or alternatively from the Department of Health leaflet Advice on Health for Travelers, or the Department of Health in the UK. For further information on vaccination requirements, health outbreaks and general disease protection and prevention you should visit http://www.fitfortravel.scot.nhs.uk/destinations.aspx
We suggest you visit your own doctor or local travel clinic who will have the most up-to-date travel advice, and be able to recommend any vaccinations prior to travel based on your medical history.
Great British Pounds.
Plugs are 3 pin UK.
Wifi is available in all hotels as well as many coffee shops and restaurants.
Brian Taylor is a former political editor for BBC Scotland and columnist for the Scottish broadsheet newspaper The Herald.
Brian covered politics on television beginning with the 1979 United Kingdom general election. He joined the BBC in 1985, co-presenting the BBC Scotland political programme Left, Right and Centre and presenting Good Morning Scotland. Following this, he was appointed political correspondent and then political editor in 1991. In 2009, he presented Holyrood and the Search for Scotland’s Soul, a documentary by BBC Scotland Investigates to mark the 10th anniversary of the devolved Scottish Parliament.
On 10 September 2020, it was announced that he would retire at the end of October. In February 2021 it was announced that Taylor had joined The Herald as a columnist.
Taylor has written two books on Scotland’s new Parliament: The Scottish Parliament (Polygon, Edinburgh University Press, 1999), an account of the road to devolution and its consequences; and Scotland’s Parliament: Triumph and Disaster (Edinburgh University Press, November 2002), analysing the early years of the new Parliament.
Scotland & Independence 2013
A most enlightening and exciting journey. I so enjoyed the quality and quantity of scheduled speakers we heard from, propounding their differing views around their specific areas of expertise. But I got so much pleasure when you also managed to spontaneously include a total stranger in our discussions – in the Courts, in the pub, outside public housing, in private homes – as this gave me a feeling of having covered all of Scotland in a nutshell in the 8 days. AL
Thanks to Jamie, Nick, and David, for helping to make the summer of 2013 one of the greatest travel experiences of my life. AL
Scotland & Independence 2014
Great tour. Everyone back here in Australia is so interested to hear what is going on in Scotland, I have been attempting to explain it all. JS
Fascinating ……… thank you! WA
“I learned a lot – from the places we visited, from the fascinating group of people we met – and, not least, from Seamus. I couldn’t have asked for a more varied programme in a whirlwind tour. I now need some time to digest what I have heard and seen, and will do so in the coming weeks. Everyone promised on the programme showed up; and everyone, without exception, was fascinating. Some of what I heard reinforced my thinking, some of what I heard challenged my beliefs, and some things were completely new or left field.”
Our Scotland Tour Expert, Brian Taylor, has written the following books:
The Scottish Parliament (Polygon, Edinburgh University Press, 1999), an account of the road to devolution and its consequences.
Scotland’s Parliament: Triumph and Disaster (Edinburgh University Press, November 2002), analysing the early years of the new Parliament.The Battle for Scotland‘ (Penguin, most recent edition 1995) is to my mind the best primer on Scottish politics, particularly the post-war period. It’s out of print (and very out of date) but easily obtained on Amazon’s ‘used and new’ section.
My Biography of Alex Salmond (Birlinn, paperback edition 2011) is the only book on the SNP leader and First Minister, so worth a read.
For a study of why the Conservatives declined as a political force in Scotland, it’s also worth checking out another of my books, ‘We in Scotland – Thatcherism in a Cold Climate‘ (Birlinn, 2009).
Gerry Hassan’s recent book, ‘The Strange Death of Labour Scotland‘ (Edinburgh University Press, 2012) offers a good overview of post-war Labour history in Scotland.
Another book edited by Gerry, ‘The Modern SNP – From Protest to Power‘ (EUP, 2009) gives a relatively recent overview of the Scottish National Party’s current thinking and strategy.
‘Scotland’s Future‘ (Dundee University Press, 2013) gives a good, academic overview of many issues – notably economic – in the independence debate.
And next month another book called ‘Scotland’s Choices: The Referendum and What Happens Afterwards‘ (EUP, 2013) will offer the most up to date survey of the current debate.
And Scotland on Sunday has just published this, a collection of essayists arguing for and against independence:
For a cultural perspective, also worth looking at ‘Unstated: Writers on Scottish Independence‘ (Word Power Books, 2012)
For erudite blogging from a Nationalist perspective, it’s worth looking at:
While from a more Unionist perspective, look at:
www.thinkscotland.org/columnists/articles.html (blogs by me, Alex Massie and Euan McColm)