02 March 2019

Scotland's architecture, whiskey distilleries and kosher tours

Eddie's Kosher Travel is offering a tour that combines my great loves – early modern architecture, British history, synagogues and Scottish whisky (not necessarily in that order). There will be two options for the tour, from 16th Jun-20th Jun 2019 or from 23rd Jun-27th Jun 2019

Sunday Head to The Loch Katrine National Park. It is a place of contrasts from rolling lowland landscapes in the south to high mountains in the north, with lochs and rivers, forests and wood­lands. It is also a living, working and recreational landscape. Hire a bike and explore the many cycle routes, from wide forest tracks through the area’s stunning forests.
7:30PM Dinner at L’Chaim Restaurant

8.45am Travel by bus to Edinburgh, one of the world's most classically beautiful capital cities . Edinburgh’s compact nat­ure allows a wide range of special att­ract­ions, culture hot spots and great shopping. Visit Scott Monument, Salisbury Crags, Carlton Hill and Arthurs Seat. Tour the Scottish Parliament building where guides share the history and pro­cedures of Scotland’s Parliament and about its award-winning modern architecture.


Then the Palace of Holyroodhouse. Holyrood's role today is as Queen Elizabeth's official residence in Scotland. See the West Drawing Room, used by members of the Royal Family as a private sitting room during Royal Week; it not normally open to the public. This beautiful room boasts a fine C17th plaster-work ceilings. Then tour through the State and Historic Apartments.

Edinburgh Castle

Lunch at The Princes Street Gardens will be below the magnificent Edinburgh Castle. The afternoon will provide free time for retail therapy along The Royal Mile and Princess Street, from the high-end fashion retailers to the weekly stalls of the large, award-winning Edinburgh Farmers’ Market. Enjoy the best loved Edinburgh attractions including The Castle and Queen Mary’s Bath House by using the Hop On/Hop Off Bus.
5.30PM Tour the synagogue belonging to the Edinburgh Hebrew Congregation.
7:30PM Dinner at a restaurant

6:00am The bus departs for a 3+ hour drive to the Highlands up north to visit three world famous distilleries, in the very heart of Speyside, halfway between Inverness and Aberdeen. Enjoy the drive through spectacular scenery.

On Glenfiddich Distillery Explorers Tour, discover tall copper tuns, great wooden washbacks and stone-walled warehouses filled with earthy, aged aromas. Glenfiddich Distillery is one of the last independent distilleries in Scotland, with the freedom to maintain its tradition of innovation with a pioneering spirit.

On Macallan’s Distillery Six Pillars Tour, the guide will explain how they create The Macallan's rich spirit in a working still house and introduce the Six Pillars. Learn how the company’s investment in the finest casks contributes to the natural colours, aromas and flavours that set The Macallan apart. Then experience a nosing and tasting of four The Macallan whiskies.

Glenlivet Distillery is nestled deep in the dramatic scenery of Speyside, the heart of Scotland’s whisky-making country. Explore the turbulent history of the whisky smugglers, delve into the enigmatic world of distilling and sample its special single malt. Enjoy the Visitors' Exhibition Museum of Whisky.
8:00PM Dinner at a restaurant

Garnethill Synagogue, Glasgow
Photo credit: Wiki

8:45am A bus tour visits Glengoyne Whisky Distillery for the A Taste of 4 Award Winners Tour. Dating to 1833, Glengoyne is one of Scotland's oldest distilleries. Be welcomed with a dram of the Glengoyne 12 Year Old, overlooking the water fall and the secret glen where it all began. Follow the journey the spirit makes, through mashtun and washbacks to the swan-necks of our copper stills.

Stirling Castle is a great symbol of Scottish independence and a source of national pride. A place of power, beauty and history, the Castle's long, turbulent history is associated with great figures from Scotland’s past eg Scotland's Kings, William Wallace & Mary Queen of Scots. Knights, nobles and foreign ambassadors once flocked to the Royal Court to revel in the castle's grandeur.

National Wallace Monument

Then there is a steep 10min walk up to The National Wallace Monument. In 1861 Victorian craftsmen embarked on a special assignment to build a monument to commemorate a Scottish Hero Sir William Wallace. Follow the story of a patriot, martyr and guardian of Scotland, a landmark that has fascinated visitors with its exhibits and displays for over 140 years.

Explore Glasgow on the bus tour offering the best sights, with time for shopping and strolling. Complete the day with a tour of the Garnethill Grand Synagogue that opened in 1879. It was the first purpose-built synagogue in Scot­land and the finest example of high Victorian synagogue architecture. 
7:30PM The farewell dinner with bag pipe performers

9:00am Departure for The Kelpies. See the world's largest equine sculp­tur­es up close and from inside, to marvel at the engineering that created these fantastic pieces of art. A walking tour goes through the vision of Andy Scott, the story of the real life working horses of the area, the local history and the history of the canals.

Visit the site of The Falkirk Wheel on the Scottish canals which was opened by the Queen in May 2002. It is a unique rotating boat lift that connects the Forth and Clyde Canal with the Union Canal.

 Macallan Distillery

Then onto the Auchentoshan Distillery Tour 4 Dram Experience, the only Triple Distilled Single Malt in Scotland. Auchentoshan’s new spirit is the highest distillate of any Scot­tish single malt distillery. Strong notes of fruit and citrus show that they have distilled away all the impurities in the liquid, making Auchen­toshan the smooth­est, most delicate tasting single malt whisky since 1823. 

The Scotland Tour ends as guests head to the airport for flights home.


Deb said...

Garnethill is amazing. Totally unlike any synagogue I have ever seen in Australia.

Parnassus said...

Hello Hels, Scotland has an amazing history, and such beautiful scenery and architecture. Also a great musical heritage, which I can appreciate on my old 78rpm records, especially when performed by singers such as Melba, who of course had Scottish ancestry. The whiskey part, however, does not entice me--if I go you can have my share of the potables.
p.s. I wonder how the Kosher haggis tastes?

Parnassus said...

Hi again, I must be turning into Bazza, providing musical accompaniment for various posts. However, thinking of Melba and Scottish songs, I had to include the following links. There is a story that Melba's early recorded Scottish songs were initially intended as private records for her father, but later released to the public. Note at the beginning of the Auld Lang Syne record, the mauve record label which was Melba's special trademark, and which was sold at a higher price (the red Banks and Braes record is a later pressing).

Auld Lang Syne:
Ye Banks and Braes:


Andrew said...

We will see some of what you mention later this year. I said to my partner, I have seen Newcastle in the north of England. Surely it is similar to Edinburgh. Not so he said, and I must see Edinburgh as it is rather special, and it is part of our tour. I am wondering how I can get Jim's share of whiskey. Lol at his remark about Kosher haggis but the world is full of strange things.

bazza said...

Our local Chabad Rabbis sometimes organise a coach holiday based on Scottish distilleries. I think they take their own food with them.
I spent a week at Stirling University while doing my Open University degree and I have an abiding memory of a lone piper playing during the August dusk with the Wallace Memorial in the background.
CLICK HERE for Bazza’s enormously exultant
Blog ‘To Discover Ice’

Hels said...


Garnethill reminded me more of a high Victorian cathedral, gorgeous to examine but nothing like the buildings we are used to in Australia. Did the architect John McLeod think he was designing a church? If so, he was wise getting architect Nathan Solomon Joseph of the United Synagogue as a partner.

I will try to add a photo of the 1880 interior.

Hels said...


agreed. So I wonder why people are thinking of England as representing all of the UK, and not including Scotland etc. Scotland had not only its own fascinating history, but its own literature, architecture, music, universities, shipping and agriculture.

By the way, I include myself in this biased view of the UK. In the 2 years we lived there, and in the 14 trips back since, I think we spent a fortnight north of the English border *sigh*.

Hels said...


Auld Lang Syne is very evocative for British countries because we sing it every new years eve, at midnight. And I found the Melba tape quite emotional. But I had forgotten that this was a Scots-language poem written by Robert Burns in the late 18th century.

Re haggis, I would rather have my molars removed with a nail file :( Eating chicken kishkes (heart, liver and lungs) minced with onion, oatmeal and suet would give me heart pain.

Hels said...


he is right... Edinburgh is stunning. Allow yourself plenty of time a] to read the city's history before you leave home and b] to tour the city in person once you arrive.

I was offered bourbon in the USA once, and thought I would never ever drink whiskey again. But then Scottish whiskey was soooo smooth, I quickly changed my mind :) And have never looked back since.

Hels said...


No wonder you have an abiding memory of a lone piper playing at dusk near the Wallace Memorial. Sounds and sights like that are haunting!

I remember when Joe and I visited his mum's and aunt's restaurant in Prague. We walked in the same kitchen and sat in the same chairs as the two women had done before the war. It was haunting!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Hels - can't stand whisky .. but I'd love to do the tours ... Glasgow I've seen in recent years - Edinburgh is a place I need to visit, as too more of Scotland.

Thanks re your thumbs up for the Kimbell 'Cardsharps' of 1594 ... Cheers Hilary

Hels said...


the first time travelled overseas was 1966 when I was a snotty, hippy teenager who laughed at middle aged people travelling in organised tours. Now I think professionally organised tours are an excellent idea, as long as they leave enough time to pursue my personal pleasures. The professional tour guides know the cities we are going to, while we the travellers largely do not.

Holyroodhouse Edinburgh said...

The RUSSIA, ROYALTY & ROMANOVS exhibition told the story of the familial, political, diplomatic and artistic associations between Britain and Russia and their royal families from the late 17th century on. The unique relationship between the two countries was explored through portraits, sculpture, photographs and archival documents. Many of the works of art were commissioned as diplomatic gifts or as intimate personal mementos.

Hels said...

I would love to have seen the exhibition. Both my parents were born into socialist Russian families, but even more importantly, I often lectured on the royal families' associations between Britain and Russia, as well as the two countries' political and artistic links. Hopefully the TAFE library will be able to buy a copy of the exhibition catalogue.