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PostHeaderIconTravel with Joyce James to Scotland
July 4 to July 22, 2013.

Sorry, Sold OutAlways a popular, unique itinerary. The fifteenth time the tour has taken place since 1995, new visits are planned to match your interests.

2013 is the Year of Natural Scotland and you will appreciate the many scenic sights we’ll see throughout our Scottish itinerary.

  • This tour has garnered many repeat participants.
  • Accommodation in Aberdeen, Shetland, Orkney and the Outer Hebrides (Lewis & Harris), Glasgow, in comfortable hotels with ensuite facilities.
  • Scottish Heritage Pass for duration of trip.
  • Small group, limited size.
  • Workshops with members of the Shetland Guild of Spinners, Weavers & Dyers.
  • Private talk and visit with Kate Davies at our hotel in Glasgow.
  • Private visits with talented craftspeople: knitters, weavers, spinners, a basket maker, jewellery and textile designers, mills.
  • Opportunities to explore your interests: music, bird watching, nature walks; museums and galleries; archaeological sites; gardens, crafts & culture.
  • Relaxed time for knitting.
  • Much, much more!

Tour price: $6585.00 CAD/USD

Click here for details of what is included in the price.

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The 15th Scottish Skeins & Skerries Itinerary - July 4 - 22, 2013*

*Itinerary items subject to adjustment as trip details are finalized in the coming months.

Thursday, 04 July:

Coast of ScotlandOur tour starts at our hotel in central Glasgow. Before evening dinner at the hotel we’ll get together for a reception to meet your fellow travellers and to hear more about the plans for this unique trip.

Friday, 05 July:

Your morning is free. In the afternoon we’ll go to nearby Kilbarchan, where 800 handlooms once operated in cottages in the village. The only remaining example is the Weaver’s Cottage, now restored by the National Trust. This 200-year old cottage gives us an appreciation of what life was like in Scotland before the Industrial Revolution.

On our next visit is to the nearby Paisley Museum to see their extensive collection of Paisley shawls and to hear more about the textile history of the area.

Saturday, 06 July:

shetland islandsYour free day in Glasgow. Your tour escort will give you a number of suggestions to visit in Glasgow—interesting museums, galleries, the designs of Charles Rennie Macintosh and the outstanding Glasgow Botanic Gardens with their glasshouses.

Another suggestion is to go to Edinburgh, just one hour away by train. In the late afternoon, at our hotel, Kate Davies will meet us and has promised a presentation and talk. She will join us for evening dinner. 

Sunday, 07 July:

After breakfast at the hotel, our coach will take us to the airport for our Loganair flight to Shetland. Loganair is the national airline of Scotland and in 2012 celebrated its 50th anniversary.

We’ll be met at Sumburgh, Shetland’s main airport, by our private coach. Before going to our hotel in Lerwick, we’ll visit Sumburgh Head to see the lighthouse and the view to the sea below. The variety of seabirds in the area is extensive and on past tours, we’ve been able to see puffins nesting in the niches in the cliffs.

We’ll also visit the studio of knitwear designer, Doreen Brown. Doreen specializes in machine knits and is always very welcoming. She will be pleased to have you see her designs and samples.

shetland ponyBefore leaving this area, we’ll stop at Old Scatness Broch, believed to have been an Iron Age village. We’ll have a guided tour by one of the university students who is working on the archaeological dig there. The research has been very interesting and productive, and a number of items have been excavated. The experts believe the site was in use during the Bronze Age and was later settled by the Picts and the Vikings.

Dinner is at our hotel, the Kveldsro, for the next seven nights. The hotel has a number of places where our group can gather after dinner for relaxed knitting.

Monday, 08 July:

After breakfast your tour escort will take you for a walking tour of Lerwick. There are many interesting shops and a well-supplied book store with an excellent collection of knitting books. The architecture in the town is little changed from historical photos. Take some time to see the comings and goings of the many vessels in the busy harbour.

After lunch we’ll go to Jamieson & Smith. Arrangements have been made to meet with Oliver Henry, known as the “Wool Man”. Oliver is a recognized expert on Shetland sheep and their fleece. There will be time to visit the shop at J. & S. and meet the helpful staff who will help you choose yarn for your projects from their wide selection .

Tuesday, 09 July:

offshore rock with moonThis morning after breakfast, two talented members of the Shetland Guild of Spinners, Weavers & Dyers will meet with us for a workshop on the intricacies of Fair Isle designs.

Our coach will meet us to travel to the village of Scalloway. We’ll have lunch at the Scalloway Hotel and then will visit the new Scalloway Museum, just opened by the Prime Minister of Norway in May 2012. The museum is dedicated to the participants of the Shetland Bus operation during World War II.

Before returning to Lerwick and dinner at the hotel, we’ll visit the Burland Croft at nearby Trondra. Mary and Tommy Isbister are devoted to looking after the native Shetland breeds. This is a special place.

puffinWe’ll also see the workshop of Wilma Malcolmson, justifiably acknowledged as one of the best sources of knitting garments on Shetland. Wilma was commissioned to design and knit the sweaters worn by the staff at the Shetland Museum, and she’ll explain the significance of the colours she chose.

We’ll also visit the home of Mary and Jimmy Work. Mary is a talented knitter and hopefully will have some scarves and gloves for us to purchase. Jimmy’s handmade baskets are in high demand, and he has promised to have a supply of baskets on hand.

Wednesday, 10 July:

Morning workshop, with another two members of the Shetland Guild who are recognized as experts in lace knitting.

weavers at spnning wheelA lunch suggestion is at Hay’s Dock, the restaurant in the Shetland Museum.

After lunch, we’ll meet with Dr. Carol Christiansen, curator of the textile collection at the museum. Carol will talk to us about the Shetland knitting and weaving, and will show us some special items which are not on open display.

Thursday, 11 July:

After breakfast we’ll go to the Bőd of Gremista, new home of the Shetland Guild of Spinners, Weavers and Dyers. The bőd was originally the home of Arthur Anderson, one of the founders of the P. & O. Shipping line.

Your afternoon is free. You might want to take a ‘Seals & Seabirds Cruise’ to the island of Noss.

Friday: 12 July:

This is our full-day tour to the islands of Unst and Yell, the most northerly islands in the U.K. We’ll travel by coach and small ferries. There is much to see on these islands:

  • Yell was traditionally known as the island where the finest Shetland lace knitters lived;
  • We’ll have morning coffee at the Old Haa of Burravoe, now a community centre but originally a former merchant’s house, built in 1692;
  • Wind Dog Cafe;
  • The Unst Boat Haven;
  • Belmont House on Unst, a restored mansion which was built in 1795;
  • Unst Bus Shelter – the most famous bus stop in the world! Each year the shelter is decorated with a different theme;
  • Unst Heritage Centre and their display of fine lace knitting;
  • Saxa Vord, former RAF base;
  • Muckle Flugga Lighthouse.

Saturday, 13 July:

Your morning is free. After lunch will go to the workshop of Shetland Jewellery.

This afternoon’s event has always been a highlight of past tours. We’ll meet with the talented members of the Shetland Guild of Spinners, Weavers & Dyers. This is a special time when Shetlanders and North Americans have a relaxed visit and come away with many warm memories and friendships. Another tour highlight!

Sunday, 14 July:

St. Magnus CathedralAfter breakfast we’ll take our leave from the Kveldsro and return to Sumburgh for our short flight to Orkney.

On landing at Kirkwall, Orkney’s capital, we’ll go to the Ayre Hotel, our home for the next three nights. There will be time before dinner to explore Kirkwall. The most stunning sight is the magnificent St. Magnus Cathedral, founded in 1137 and reputed to be one of the finest medieval cathedrals in Scotland.

Monday, 15 July:

Your morning is free and the shops will be open.

In the afternoon our coach will meet us for an exploration of mainland Orkney. Two of the places we’ll visit are Skara Brae, a Stone Age village dating from 3,000 B.C., and Maeshow, reputed to be the finest chambered tomb in Western Europe and built before 2700 B.C.

We’ll also go to the islands south of the mainland, Burray and South Ronaldsay. These islands are now linked by the Churchill Barriers. Before returning to the hotel, we’ll stop in the tiny village of St. Margaret’s Hope (known by Orcadians as ‘the Hope’) to visit the craft shop called The Workshop.

Tuesday, 16 July:

There are two options for today.

Group A: For those who are staying on the mainland, we’ll visit more sites on Orkney.

Group B: Depending on availability a same-day return visit to the outlying island of North Ronaldsay is planned. It’s a chance to see the primitive breed of sheep of the same name. A visit is arranged to mill called ‘Yarn from North Ronaldsay’. The planes are very small and there are a limited number of seats on these flights.

After dinner at the hotel, if your tastes run to single malt scotch, try one of the hotel’s selections from nearby Highland Park, the most northerly distillery in the U.K.

Wednesday, 17 July:

After breakfast, our coach will be waiting to take us to the Outer Hebrides, also known as the Western Isles, and the main islands of Lewis and Harris.

CEUD MILLE FÁILTE – A Hundred Thousand Welcomes to the Outer Hebrides

The Borve is our hotel for the next four nights. Joan Morrison, our popular Blue Badge Guide from previous tours will accompany us and enrich our travels.

Thursday, 18 July:

Our day to explore Lewis:

  • Calanais Standing Stones. A Neolithic prehistoric site of lunar significance;
  • Borgh Pottery;
  • Morven Gallery;

  • Butt of Lewis—the most northerly point in the Hebrides;
  • Gearrannan Village. A restored village of traditional thatched blackhouses;
  • Breanish Tweed. A weaving shed and collection of fine tweeds.

standing stones

We are fortunate that the Hebridean Celtic Festival coincides with our stay. Their website is: http://www.choosefest.com/festival/hebridean-celtic-festival-2013

Friday, 19 July:

weaver on loomAfter breakfast, we’ll leave for our day on Harris, not a separate island but connected by a narrow peninsula with Lewis. Visits today:

  • Harris Tweed Shop in Tarbert;
  • Bill Lawson’s genealogical visitor centre. This is such an interesting place that we have our lunch here so that people are able to hear Bill and to ask questions. www.billlawson.com;
  • St. Clement’s Church. The building was first constructed in the 1500’s;
  • • Weaving shed of Donald John MacKay, designer of the Isle of Skye tartan. Donald John was recognized for his services to the Harris tweed industry and received an M.B.E. in the 2012 Honours List. He is always happy to demonstrate on his loom and to answer your questions.

Stornoway, Scotland

Saturday, 20 July:

A free day in Stornoway. Visit the art gallery at An Lanntair (Gaelic for The Lantern) and the Museum nan Eilean. There will be impromptu music performed on the streets by the visiting festival groups.

Tonight is our special dinner to relive our Scottish tour.

Sunday, 21 July:

After breakfast, our coach will take us to the airport and our flight back to Glasgow. NOTE: Due to international flight times, an overnight stay in Glasgow may be necessary. Hotel rooms have been reserved at the Holiday Inn Glasgow Airport, within a short walk to the terminal (included in tour price).

Monday, 22 July:

Flights back to your home cities.

Tour price: $6585.00 CAD/USD

Tour price: $6585.00 CAD/USD. Deposit: $1500.00 CAD/USD per person. (Non refundable)
Due as early as possible as space is limited. Balance: $5085.00 CAD/USD due May 6, 2013 (Non refundable). Single supplement: $1300.00 CAD/USD.

How to Register:

1) Read and understand what is included in the price.

2) Download, Print and Fill Out the Registration Form
Click to Get the form in PDF Format.

3) Fax or mail your registration and payment details to my accredited travel agency partner:
Highlight Travel & Cruises
Highlight Travel & Cruises

Payment can be made by either cheque or credit card.
If paying by Credit Card include your details in the registration form and FAX the completed registration form to: Highlight Travel & Cruises, FAX 613.691.1132 (or send by post to the mailing address below.)

If paying by cheque, please mail the registration form and cheque to:
Highlight Travel & Cruises, 6577 Marina Drive; Manotick, ON, K4M 1B3, Canada.

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Email Joyce James Tours directly for additional Information:knitting@joycejamestours.com

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Featured 2013 Tours

Wales Tour:
April 26-May 8, 2013
History, Heritage & Handicrafts

Details here

Scottish Skeins & Skerries,
July 4-22, 2013

A eighteen day tour to Scotland. Back by popular demand.

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Joyce James Tours
Email: knitting@joycejamestours.com
Tel:   613-695-0889
Cell:  613-864-0889
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