Posts Tagged ‘Scotland’


Travel to Scotland for Easter 2011

February 1, 2011

The Easter Bunny won't bring you a view like this.

I just saw that Haggis Adventures is offering two special trips over Easter break. You can start in Edinburgh (the 3 day tour) or go from London (the 5 day tour) if you’d like to spend a day or two there first.

While on your wild & sexy tour, you’ll visit Loch Ness and hunt for Nessie, checkout the majestic Eilean Donan Castle and historic Glencoe and spend the night on the stunning Isle of Skye.

Sound like more fun than picking rotten eggs out of the bushes? I think so, too.

Chat with your local Travel CUTS agent to get hooked up with a student airfare and anything else you need.


Get Up-Helly-Aa and Get Your Viking On

January 11, 2011
up helly aa

Awesome photo by the BBC

“Oh boy, sleep! That’s where I’m a Viking!” – Ralph Wiggum

Unlike Ralph, I’ve never been able to dream myself into Vikinghood, but I’ve often thought it would be cool to experience the raw, primal Viking lifestyle.

Not for weeks, of course, but maybe for a few hours. After that I would probably want a hot shower, a comfy mattress and electricity.

Well, if you make your way to Scotland you can get a look at Viking life through one of their fire festivals. It might be too late to plan for this year, but Up-Helly-Aa, Britain’s biggest fire festival, is held in Lerwick on the last Tuesday of every January to mark the end of the pagan Yule season, so you can start planning now for next year.

And just what is a fire festival? According to it’s “a 1000-strong torchlit procession of ‘guizers’ followed by the spectacular burning of a viking longship or galley. The squads of guizers then perform acts and dances in various halls into the early hours.”

Fire! Dances! People dressed like Vikings! I love it!

Lerwick’s Up-Helly-Aa isn’t the only fire festival though. Celebrations continue throughout January, February and March:

Scalloway Fire Festival                    
Nesting Up-Helly-Aa                      
Uyeasound Up-Helly-Aa                  
Northmavine Up-Helly-Aa                
Bressay Up-Helly-Aa                        
Cullivoe Up-Helly-Aa                         
Norwick Up-Helly-Aa                         
South Mainland Up-Helly-Aa           
Brae Up-Helly-Aa                               
Friday, January 14
Friday, February 4
Friday, February 11
Friday, February 18
Friday, February 25
Friday, February 25
Saturday, February 26
Friday, March 11
Friday, March 18

I can’t believe I’m missing this, but it’s going on my travel to-do list for next year. See you there?



Spend New Year’s Celebrating Hogmanay in Scotland!

November 29, 2010

If John Travolta had made a movie called "Wild Hogmanay", it probably would have been much more successful.

New Year’s Eve is going to be cold no matter where you are in the Northern Hemisphere, so if you can’t get south, how about getting to Scotland?

Celebrate big with Haggis Adventures as they share the best of Hogmanay with you on 4-, 5- or 7-day tours that include New Year’s in Edinburgh.

And just what is Hogmanay? It’s a massive 4-day art and music and culture event that ends with a gigantic street party with fireworks and live music and all kinds of craziness.

So talk to a student travel expert about getting a student airfare across the Atlantic, and they can also help you book your Haggis tour. Or Eurail Pass. Or hostel stays. Or whatever else is on your holiday travel wish list.




Scare Up Some Christmas Fun in a Haunted Castle

October 21, 2010

Not everyone can get away with ditching their family for the holidays, but if you can, then how about spending Christmas partying in a castle?

Haggis Adventures offers budget tours of Scotland year round, but if  you go at Christmas you’ll get some extra special treats, including spending Christmas Eve and Christmas night in a haunted Highland castle surrounded by what I’m sure is a very creepy, but lovely, forest.

Haggis claims this experience is world famous, and who am I to doubt them? If you’re interested, check out their site, or talk to your local Travel CUTS student travel expert. They can hook you up with a student airfare and help you find great hostels if you want to add on a few nights in London or Cardiff. (I hear they have aliens there.)

If you go, tell me all about it. I’ll be home with the family, listening once again to the story of how Grandma once won a Sexy Legs contest during the War and took home a whole bag of groceries as her prize.



Be a Castle Stormer in Scotland!

May 21, 2010

If you go to Scotland, what are a few things you have to see?

1. The haunted Carbisdale Castle

2. Loch Ness, with or without monsters

3. Glencoe (where they had the infamous massacre)

Lucky for you, Haggis Adventures now has a two-day tour that will take you to all three sights. The Castle Stormer can be done by itself, if you already have a Scottish holiday planned, or you can combine it with another Haggis tour to see more of what Scotland has to offer.

The great thing with the hop-on hop-off style of tour that Haggis does is that it can make travelling a lot easier for you (no worrying about rental cars, maps, driving or booking rooms and activities), but it doesn’t force you to do a bunch of things you don’t want to. They put a framework together and you can fill it in however you’d like.

If you arrive in a city and fall instantly in love with it, or with the bartender at the local pub, you can hang out as long as you want and hop on the next bus through town when the thrill is gone.

A tour also provides a great opportunity to meet people. Even if you’re with friends, being thrown in a bus with a bunch of strangers can be helpful for those days when you love your BFF, but don’t want to have to listen to her talk about her jet lag for another single second. (It’s five hours later here. You’re tired. We get it.)

Check out all Haggis Adventures has to offer, and have a look at the Shamrocker Irish Adventures as well. When you’re ready to book, talk to a student travel expert at Travel CUTS and they can hook you up with a special student airfare and also help you sort out an ISIC (International Student Identity Card) for discounts.


Stay in a Castle, or a Jail

July 6, 2009

Carbisdale CastleAs long as you’re traveling, meeting new people and jumping into new experiences, you should make the most out of every night by staying somewhere that will offer you more than just a place to sleep and a warm-ish bathing opportunity.

Even on a student traveler budget, you can stay in some very swanky places. The castle in this photo right here is just one of them, but not a bad one to start with. Carbisdale Castle in Scotland has the usual bunk beds and dining area, but it also has a collection of fine art, a statue gallery, and some rooms that may be a wee bit haunted. If that interests you, ask to stay in The Spook Room.

Also in Scotland is Loch Lomond Castle in the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park and Rua Reidh Lighthouse (which is a lighthouse and not a castle, but still very cool and only £10 for a hostel bed).

Stahleck hostelIf you’re sticking to the continent, no problem. Germany, Italy, and Switzerland have castle hostels as well, all affordable prices. Jugendherberge Burg Stahleck in Germany (pictured here) is located above the wine-grower’s town of Bacharach in the Loreley Valley and beds start at £17.40 a night. For more German castles, visit this page and do a search using the handy “Castles” checkbox option.

For castle hostels in the Netherlands, start with Kasteel Westhove. And if you’re more of a chalet person, then the Chalet Martin in the Swiss Alps is for you. Beds start at £12 a night and you can’t beat the view.

jail hostelThe only downside to castle living is that after staying at one, you’re going to want to leave your usual dorm-style accommodation to the commoners. If that’s the case, how about a couple of nights in a jail? After that, even a thin, plastic mattress will seem pretty good. The Ottawa Jail Hostel in Canada was a working prison for more than 100 years before being taken over by travelers. It does offer wi-fi, and you probably won’t have to eat any gruel, but you can pretend that you’re a hardened criminal and stalk the corridors looking shifty.


Sexy Scots: Excellent Reasons to Visit Scotland

September 3, 2008
David Tennant

David Tennant

What inspires you to pick a travel destination? A well written book set in an exotic location? A stunning photograph of a far away place? A movie, a friend’s recommendation or a dart thrown at a map?

For me, it’s David Tennant. He’s Scottish, he’s sexy, and I love to listen to him talk. Ever since he took over as Doctor Who, I’ve wanted to visit Scotland to see if there are more like him. Then, this past weekend, I watched “Becoming Jane” with James McAvoy. Also Scottish, also sexy, also fun to listen to.

James McAvoy

James McAvoy

I think it’s clear that sometime soon I need to get to Scotland and see the sights. One of the best ways to do this is with Haggis Adventures. I can hop on the bus and let them do the driving while I stare out the windows and take in the local flavor. I can stay in a castle, visit Loch Ness and the Isle of Skye, and bookend my visit with my own itinerary of pub crawls, shopping, and making new friends with fun accents.

If all things Scottish sound good to you, have a look at what Travel CUTS and Haggis Adventures has to offer.