Women’s Walking Retreat in The Hebrides – June 15-25 2018

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Walking Tour of the Hebrides

June 15-25 2018

Day By Day Itinerary:

June 15  – Arrival

After arriving at Glasgow Airport, the group will be brought to The Bonnie, Bonnie Banks of Loch Lomond to complete our journey to The Oak Tree Inn via Water Taxi.  On the way you will have time to explore the lovely conservation village of Luss before being dropped off at The Oak Tree Inn in Balmaha where your bags will be waiting for you.

June 16 – The Road to Oban

The town of Inverary and Kilchurn Castle will make for some interesting stops along the way to the Ferry from Oban to Castlebay on the Island of Barra. For our two nights in Barra, the group will be split between a small hotel and a B&B.

June 17 –

We will spend today exploring the small island of Barra, perhaps with a walk or sea kayaking as well as visiting the castle that Castlebay is named for.  Kisimul Castle is the seat of the chief of Clan Macneil, who settled in Barra in the 11th century. Kisimul is known as the ‘Castle in the Sea’ due to its location on a rock in the bay, and can be accessed by taking a five minute boat trip from Castle Bay.

June 18 –

In the morning we will board the short ferry to the Isle of Eriskay where we can take a morning hike just off the ferry from Barra. Watch for the famous Eriskay Ponies! Walk along the beach or take the optional hill route for a view with 330 ft ascent.  After lunch at the SS Politician pub of Whisky Galore! Fame, we will continue on to the Island of South Uist for another walk along a beach with an archaeological site to explore before we stop in for tea at the Kildronan Museum and Craft Centre.  Then it’s on to North Uist and the town of Lochmaddy, where we will check into our rooms at the lovely Harmersay House.

June 19 –

The main item on today’s agenda is a visit to The Birlinn Yarn Company on the Isle of Berneray to meet their seafaring sheep!  The group will rotate between a lovely guided walk on the machair amidst the wildflowers and a cruise through the local bay dotted with sheep covered islands with a marine biologist guide.  In the afternoon we will visit some local artisan studios on our way back to Lochmaddy.

June 20 –

The late morning ferry to Harris will get us in port just in time for fish and chips at the Harbor before we decide on our walk for the day.  After our walk, we will find refreshment at a nearby Art Gallery Café before continuing to the luxurious Kirklea Suites in Tarbert.

June 21 –

The nearby Isle of Scalpay offers a walk to a lighthouse as well as several artisans and a small café.  We will make a day of it today, and will likely use the local bus service’s convenient schedule today.

June 22 –

Over the rugged hills of Harris to Lewis we go today, arriving mid morning for a guided walk of the small island of Great Bernera and it’s nature reserve before heading to the famous Calanais Standing Stones which will transport you back in time!  Or so it will feel when we check into our final accommodations in the Outer Hebrides – the Blackhouse Village of Gearrannan.  Never fear, we will sleep on real mattresses in our ancient home, but it will be in bunkhouse accommodations perched on the edge of the seashore.

June 23 –

From our Blackhouse village, we will walk to the nearby town of Carloway for a tour of one of the mills that has been making Harris Tweed for generations.  Then our day is our own to walk as far along the shoreline path as we like with a picnic lunch to share.

June 24 –

From ancient housing to modern flight – we will return to Glasgow today by plane, with city center accommodation at The Carlton George Hotel for a little hustle and bustle to contrast with our serene tour of the Outer Hebs.

June 25 –Departure

Return Flights from Glasgow airport.

Hebrides Walking Tour Total Cost: $2300.00*

*Early Bird Discount of 3% when paid in full with check or bank transfer once departure is guaranteed.  Airfare sold separately. 

Single Supplement : $400 (limited quantities)
Optional Extensions Available:

Extensions are available for those wishing to arrive early or stay later to explore more of Iceland on their own.  Please note on the registration form if you are interested.

Included in the Package Price:
  • 1 night accommodation at The Oak Tree Inn on Loch Lomond
  • 2 nights accommodation at Craigard Hotel or Tigh Na Mara B&B on Barra
  • 2 nights accommodation at Hamersay House in Lochmaddy
  • 2 night accommodation in Kirklea Suites in Tarbert
  • 2 nights accommodation in Gearannan Black House Village – Bunkhouse accommodation
  • 1 night accommodation in Glasgow’s Carlton George Hotel
  • Birlinn Yarn’s Seafaring Sheep Experience, Tour of Carloway Milland all Entrance Fees
  • 8 Breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 dinners
  • Ferrys and flight from Stornoway to Glasgow
  • Water Taxi on Loch Lomond
  • Scotland Airport transfers and Private Mini Coach

Not included in Package Price:

  • Soda, Alcoholic drinks and personal items
  • Gratuities

 

The Small Print:

This group is limited to 12 participants to ensure a small group experience. Rowan Tree Travel has purchased a Group Protection Plan on behalf of all participants.*

*The Group Protection Plan does not apply to participants who are not US Citizens.  Please enquire for details.

Note: Small hotels in Scotland often do not have elevators – if you require a ground floor room, please note it on your registration and we will do our best to accommodate you.  Otherwise, please pack accordingly.

This trip needs at least 10 participants in order to proceed.  Please refer to the Group Protection Plan Document for cancellation coverage.  All cancellations should be communicated as soon as possible via email to heather@rowantreetravel.com.

Rowan Tree Travel (RTT) cannot be held responsible for the acts, defaults or delay of any hotel, coach, operator, airline, guide, restaurant or any other persons or companies, however caused. RTT is not responsible for losses in the event of force majour, such as natural catastrophes, strikes or other corresponding causes. We also reserve the right to alter routes due to road or weather conditions without prior notice. In the rare cases that there is a double booking or a good reason for moving the guest, we reserve the right to do so by providing similar accommodation or better in the same area.

 

To register, please contract Heather Radl via email to heather@rowantreetravel.com. 

 

 

Stories of Scotland Tour – Spring 2018

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Stories of Scotland

Spring  2018

Join us as we explore Scotland’s rich tradition of myths, legends and stories on two five night tours of Scotland! We will immerse ourselves in the dramatic and verdant landscape of Scotland in the Spring whilst hearing tales of Faeries and Kelpies; explore formidable (and sometimes haunted!) castles and houses with bloody histories, dark legends, and tales of secret trysts; and find pubs to settle down in with a wee dram of Uisge Beatha or a pint of craft beer at the end of the day with some toe-tapping music thrown in for good measure.

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This set of small group tours seeks to explore Scotland by combining highlights such as Edinburgh and Stirling Castles and Loch Ness with off the beaten path locations which serve as a backdrop for stories that convey its spirit. We aim to weave together history and legend in order to fully appreciate the complex fabric of Scotland today.

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Tour Includes:

  • Castles such as Stirling, Brodie, Cawdor, Edinburgh, Gilnockie and Urquhart
  • Lunch and Craft Beer Tasting at The Loch Ness Brewery
  • Tour and Tasting at a Distillery
  • An Evening of Storytelling
  • Traditional Music
  • Tour and Craft Beer Tasting at Traquair House
  • Dryburgh Abbey
  • Tour of Edinburgh’s infamous Vaults
  • Dumfries House
  • Sir Walter Scott’s Abbotsford House
  • Robert Burns Birthplace Center
  • Pictish Stones and Stone Circles

And more!

 

Wool & Wispy Northern Lights Tour – September 16-25, 2017

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Knitting in The Faroes

September 16-25, 2017

Registration Now Open!!!

Although one can never guarantee Northern Lights displays, I couldn’t resist including it in the title since I have done everything I could to arrange the itinerary for maximum opportunity!  We will be spending a few nights outside of Torshavn in northward facing accommodations (one with hot tubs) and the Aurora Borealis does start in September.   On this trip we will visit several islands in the Faroes, with scenery ranging from gentle hills to mountain passes and dramatic cliffs.  In addition to dramatic landscapes we will have a workshop with Katarina i Geil and learn about the Faroese colorwork patterns and how to make Skoleistar – Faroese slippers!   Along the way we will be visiting various yarn shops and local knitting groups.

Day by day Itinerary:

September 16 – Depart for Iceland (overnight flight)

 

Day 1 – Sunday, September 17   

After arriving in the morning at Keflavik airport in Iceland, you will be transported to Reykjavik for one night.  Reykjavik is a fascinating city to explore with lots of wonderful museums, shops, cafes and restaurants, not to mention a visit to The Handknitting Association!  Alternatively, just relax at Arnarhvol, where there is a spa for you to relax in after your overnight flight. 

Optional Extra – NorthernLights Cruise & Dinner ($130)

Day 2 – Monday, September 18

No rush to get up today unless you want to explore more of Reykjavik before our onward flight to The Faroe Islands.  Primarily a travel day, once we arrive in The Faroes, we will be transported to our hotel in the quaint capital, Torshavn.  Check in and get comfortable, and then we will head out for a guided walking tour of Torshavn so that we will have our bearings for the next few days and get a chance to hear about the history of this fascinating city.  Turf roofed buildings are not restricted to the historic old town, but are still used frequently today for their wonderful insulating properties. Dinner is on your own, but don’t forget to enjoy the café in Hotel Hafnia, where a basket of knitting sits beckoning on the bench!

Day 3 – Tuesday, September 19

Now that we have eased into the time zone, it’s time to get started with some real knitting!  After a morning visit to a local yarn store to stock up on some materials for our skoleister (slipper) workshop on Wednesday, we will meet Katarina í Geil, a local knitwear designer who will guide us through an exploration of Faroese colorwork patterns and how to design our own.   We will sketch and knit through lunch in a wonderful historic property, playing with color variations and knitting swatches.  After our workshop, Katarina will join us for dinner at one of Torshavn’s best restaurants.

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Day 4 – Wednesday, September 20

Today will be a bit flexible depending on interest and the weather.  We will be taking the ferry in the morning to the neighboring island of Nolsoy where Katarina í Geil will join us and teach us how to knit skoleister, the Faroese slippers.  Shortly before lunch, we will go for a guided walk and gather some wild greens for our salad and assist our hosts with our lunch preparations.  After lunch, local knitters will join us for a community knitting session, and we will return to Torshavn in time for dinner.  The flexible bit will be whether there enough interest in the group and good weather to take a sail over to Nolsoy’s cliffs on our way to or from Torshavn.   Warm and waterproof suits will be provided if we prove adventurous!

Day 5 – Thursday, September 21

Another day, another island!  Today we will meet our local driver guide who will take us to the island of Sandoy, where we will have our best chance at seeing the Northern Lights.  We will be staying in the Hotel Skalavik, in a combination of one large apartment and several separate rooms.  The apartment will give us a communal space to knit in the evenings, and we will stay here for two nights.  Of course, if we tire of knitting in our living room, we can always knit under the starry sky in the hot tubs! (Cue Aurora Borealis, please!)  Tonight we will dine in one or two of the hotel’s cozy grill huts, where we will cook our own meal on the grill in the center of the table.

Day 6 – Friday, September 22

Sandoy is one of the older islands, where the hills are worn and smaller than on the northern islands.  Our time on Sandoy will also be flexible, with time for walks along the shore, renting bikes from the hotel, and meeting with local knitters, some of whom have famously covered a large boulder with a sweater!  The sweater depicts a local legend about a witch, who is prominently displayed on the boulder!  Dinner will be on our own tonight at the hotel restaurant.

Day 7 – Saturday, September 23

From the relatively rolling hills of Sandoy, we will hop on the ferry again and head north to the dramatically mountainous island of Eysturoy.  High mountain passes, tunnels through mountains and under fjords, and sheep clinging precariously to steep hills that plunge into the sea will be familiar sights by the end of the day.  Our guide will regale us with local legends and some history for good measure, and we will make various stops along the way, including at a yarn store or two.  The charming village of Gjogv will be our destination.  There, a small gorge opens into the sea, and rainbows are a frequent occurrence due to the ever churning water.  Dinner will be together tonight at Gjaardargur Guesthouse.

Day 8 – Sunday, September 24

After just one night in the small holiday village of Gjogv, we will make our way over mountains and under fjords again, back to Torshavn.  Along the way, we will see remote farms and isolated churches, and stop in Vestmanna for a boat trip to see cliffs dotted with birds and grottos large enough to take the boat inside.  We will return to the Hotel Hafnia tonight for our final night in The Faroe Islands.  Dinner is on our own.

Day 9 – Monday, September 25

Homeward bound.  A day of airport transfers and flights.

Wool & Wispy Northern Lights 2017 Total Costs: $3500.00*

 * Discount of 3% when paid in full with check or bank transfer upon booking. 

Optional Extras Include: Single Supplements and Custom Airfare

Optional Extensions Available:

Extensions are available for those wishing to arrive early or stay later to explore more of Iceland on their own.  Please note on the registration form if you are interested.

Included in the Package Price:
  • Airfare from Boston or New York
  • 1 night accommodation at Arnarhvol in Reykjavik
  • 4 nights accommodation at Hotel Hafnia in Torshavn on Stremoy
  • 2 nights accommodation at Hotel Skalavik on Sandoy
  • 1 night accommodation at Gjaargardur in Gjogv on Eysturoy
  • 8 Breakfasts, 3 lunches, 3 dinners
  • 2 Knitting Workshops with local designer Katarina í Geil
  • Boat Tour
  • Visits with Local Knitters and to various yarn shops
  • Guided Walking Tour of Torshavn
  • Museum Entrance Fees
  • Transportation in private minbus
  • Local English speaking guide
 Not included in Package Price
  • Custom Airfare
  • Alcoholic drinks and personal items
  • Northern Lights – not guaranteed!
  • Yarn!

This group is limited to 16 participants to ensure a small group experience. Rowan Tree Travel has purchased a Group Protection Plan on behalf of all participants.*

*The Group Protection Plan may not apply to participants who are not US Citizens.  Please inquire for details.

This trip needs at least 12 participants in order to proceed.  Please refer to the Group Protection Plan Document for cancellation coverage.  All cancellations should be communicated as soon as possible via email to heather@rowantreetravel.com

Rowan Tree Travel cannot be held responsible for the acts, defaults or delay of any hotel, coach, operator, airline, guide, restaurant or any other persons or companies, however caused. RTT is not responsible for losses in the event of force majour, such as natural catastrophes, strikes or other corresponding causes. We also reserve the right to alter routes due to road or weather conditions without prior notice. In the rare cases that there is a double booking or a good reason for moving the guest, we reserve the right to do so by providing similar accommodation or better in the same area.

Sagas of Iceland Tour – March 3 -13, 2018

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 Sagas of Iceland

March 3-13, 2018

The early history of Iceland is as wondrous and mysterious as the land itself.  Legendary figures perform superhuman feats as they negotiate the magical landscape populated by witches, trolls, and elves. 

eiderfoss-in-husavik

These legends are recorded as the Icelandic Sagas and are fascinating amalgams of fact and fiction, much as the landscape itself is a jumble of fire, ice, and farmland. 

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Remarkably, as you pass the farms that dot the Icelandic landscape, the place names recorded in the sagas are still farmed today, the hard work spent to tame them not wasted, but handed down from generation to generation as a legacy of those who first settled this stark land.  Although this tour will have plenty of opportunities to experience Iceland’s dramatic waterfalls, lava fields and geothermal vents, as well as modern pleasures such as hot tubs and modern Icelandic cuisine, we will keep a fixed eye on the tales the landscape tells of the Saga Times.    16 people maximum, singles limited, some accommodations will have shared bathrooms.

Updated – Baronial Borders Retreat – June 9-14, 2018

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Knitting Retreat in the Scottish Borders

June 9-14, 2018

This retreat is designed for knitters who enjoy a more relaxed pace on their holidays, with plenty of time to get to know an area.  We will be traveling to the Scottish Borders where we will spend five nights at Sir Walter Scott’s Baronial Manor Home, Abbotsford.  From there, we will make short excursions into the surrounding countryside, visiting other stately homes, castles and romantic abbey ruins.

The Borders has always been a textile hub of Scotland with mills churning out everything from tartan and hosiery to, more recently, Alpaca yarn!  We will have a knitting workshop with a local designer or two, and enjoy a mini yarn festival on our doorstep!

There is no day by day itinerary for this retreat as it’s relaxed pace and optional excursions will enable us to play things by ear to maximize the weather and the interests of the group. Possible outings include the nearby town of Melrose and it’s beautiful abbey ruin, Floors Castle in Kelso, The Border Mill – producers of alpaca yarns for several local fiber artists, and Traquair House, an historic home with a fascinating story, a world famous needlepoint collection, an award winning brewery, and a hedge maze!  Walks along the River Tweed and over the Eildon Hills are also possibilities, and may be accompanied by alpacas!

 

Baronial Borders Retreat 2018 Costs: $1720*

*Early Bird Discount of 3% when paid in full with check or bank transfer upon booking. Airfare sold separately.

Single Supplement : $400 (limited quantities)
Optional Extensions Available:

Extensions are available for those wishing to arrive early or stay later to explore more of Scotland on their own.  Please note on the registration form if you are interested.

Included in the Package Price:
  • 5 nights luxury accommodation in Abbotsford’s Hope Scott Wing with some shared bathrooms
  • 5 Breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 dinners and 1 Afternoon Tea
  • Entrance fees
  • Knitting Workshop with local designer
  • Scotland Airport transfers and Private Mini Coach for excursions
Not included in Package Price:
  • International Airfare, Soda, Alcoholic drinks and personal items
  • Gratuities
  • Yarn!

 

The Small Print:

This group is limited to 14 participants to ensure a small group experience. Rowan Tree Travel has purchased a Group Protection Plan on behalf of all participants.*

*The Group Protection Plan does not apply to participants who are not US Citizens.  Please enquire for details.

Note: Small hotels in Scotland often do not have elevators – if you require a ground floor room, please note it on your registration and we will do our best to accommodate you.  Otherwise, please pack accordingly.

This trip needs at least 12 participants in order to proceed.  Please refer to the Group Protection Plan Document for cancellation coverage.  All cancellations should be communicated as soon as possible via email to heather@rowantreetravel.com.

Rowan Tree Travel (RTT) cannot be held responsible for the acts, defaults or delay of any hotel, coach, operator, airline, guide, restaurant or any other persons or companies, however caused. RTT is not responsible for losses in the event of force majour, such as natural catastrophes, strikes or other corresponding causes. We also reserve the right to alter routes due to road or weather conditions without prior notice. In the rare cases that there is a double booking or a good reason for moving the guest, we reserve the right to do so by providing similar accommodation or better in the same area.

To register, please contract Heather Radl via email to heather@rowantreetravel.com. 

 

Wool and Waterfalls 2017 – Registration Closed

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Knitting Festival in Iceland

 

Registration Closed

Join with us in traveling to the source of some of your favorite yarn to explore this land of sheep, sweaters, volcanoes, glaciers and, of course, Wool & Waterfalls!  In addition to the usual stunning scenery and wooly endeavors, we will have a workshop with Einrum Yarn and attend the Prjónagleði knitting festival.  Along the way, we will seek out hot springs at every opportunity, so keep your bathing suit handy!  Come and see the land of contrasts that inspire the Lopi sweater patterns we know and love while enjoying a local knitting festival in Iceland! 

Day By Day Itinerary:

June 3 – Depart for Iceland (Overnight Flight)

 

Day 1 – Sunday, June 4     

We will arrive at Keflavik Airport, have breakfast, and be transported to the Laugarvatn Fontana Nature Baths for a few hours of relaxation in the hot springs and saunas, lunch, and a visit to their Geothermal bakery.  (Have your bathing suits handy!) From there we will proceed to our apartments at the luxurious Grimsborgir Hotel.  Since we will be sharing 2-4 bedroom apartments, we will have our own private spaces and hot tubs where we can spend the rest of the afternoon relaxing, knitting, and getting to know each other.  Dinner will be on our own at the hotel restaurant.

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Day 2 – Monday, June 5

Today we will explore Southern Iceland, visiting waterfalls, Thingborg Wool Center, and The Saga Center.  At the Saga Center, you will have the opportunity to contribute some stitches to the Njall’s Saga Tapestry, which will be the longest tapestry in the world when it is completed.  We will have lunch in their great hall, and also visit the exhibition explaining the story of Njall’s Saga with wax figures.  When we return to Grimsborgir, we will have a knitting workshop with Einrum yarns designer Kristin Brynja to get us started on our own fairy crowns from their lovely yarn which combines lopi wool and thai silk.  We will all have dinner together following the workshop.

Day 3 – Tuesday, June 6

On our way north today, we will stop in Alafoss for a tour of the Istex factory – home of the Lopi yarn we know and love.  A few other surprise stops along the way to explore the landscape will bring us to the beautiful seaside town of Siglufjörður, where we will check into the Siglo Hotel.  Dinner will be on your own in Siglufjörður.

Day 4 – Wednesday, June 7

Today is the only day that breakfast is not included, but you may choose from a full breakfast at the hotel, or a trip down the street to a wonderful little bakery.  We will have a leisurely morning before embarking on our way to Akureyri, the capital of North Iceland.  This charming “city” feels very European and has pleasant pedestrian streets to explore in search of lunch and souvenirs.  Our next stop will be the powerful waterfall of Godafoss, then on to the harbor town of Husavik, where we will check into our guesthouse.  Like in Grimsborgir, the bathrooms will be shared, but we will have the whole house to ourselves.  While in Husavik, you will have the opportunity to go on a Whale and Puffin cruise!  Dinner is on your own in Husavik.

Day 5 – Thursday, June 8

This area of North Iceland is famous for its geothermal activity and strange volcanic landscapes.  Myvatn will be our focus for the day, from crater lakes and bubbling pools of sulfurous water to strange lava formations.  Lunch will be at Vogafjos Cowshed Café, where you can either gaze out the window at the wonders of Lake Myvatn and its astonishing bird life or watch the cows being milked before you enjoy the homemade ice cream for dessert!  Of course, we will stop for a couple of hours to enjoy the Myvatn Nature Baths with beautiful views over the valley.  When we return to Husavik, dinner will be on your own.  After dinner, feel free to join in a knit night with local knitters.

Day 6 – Friday, June 9

As we travel around Iceland, you will see sheep and horses everywhere, but this morning you will have the opportunity to meet some Icelandic horses up close and personal. 

After horsing around (did I really just write that?) we will head back west toward Blonduous where we will check into our hotel and have some time to enjoy the local pool before we attend the opening event of the Prjónagleði knitting festival.  Pools are extremely important to Icelandic society and for many a visit to the pool is a daily ritual since they are geothermally heated year round.  Dinner will be together at the Festival Opening Event.

Day 7 –  Saturday, June 10

The morning will be spent enjoying the knitting festival, and if there is an afternoon workshop that you just can’t miss, you may stay for the whole day.  This is a small local festival, however, and just in case it does not have enough to capture your attention for the whole day, there will be an excursion to drive around a nearby peninsula to see some stunning scenery, visit a seal colony, and have dinner in a nearby restaurant.

Alafoss Yarn

Day 8 – Sunday, June 11

Today will be a bit flexible since we will wait to finalize plans until the knitting festival schedule is posted.  Ultimately, however, we will be making our way south towards Reykjavik today.  Along the way we will stop at Hespa Yarns, where Gudrun Bjarnasdottir will give us a yarn dying demonstration in her studio.  We will be staying just outside Reykjavik at Hilð, a collection of replica fisherman’s cottages by the sea.  Dinner will be together.

Day 9 – Monday, June 12

Reykjavik here we come!  After a relaxing morning by the sea, we will have some free time in Reykjavik, coming together to visit Helene Magnussen’s studio, visit the Handknitting Association, and have a farewell dinner before returning to Hilð.

Day 10 – Tuesday, June 13

Alas, we have reached the end, and will return this morning to Keflavik airport for our flights home.

Optional Extensions Available:

Extensions are available for those wishing to arrive early or stay later to explore more of Iceland on their own.  Please note on the registration form if you are interested.

Wool and Waterfalls Total Cost: $4600.00*

*Discount of 3% when paid in full with check or bank transfer upon booking.

Optional Extras Include: Single Supplements and Custom Airfare

Optional Extensions Available:

Extensions are available for those wishing to arrive early or stay later to explore more of Iceland on their own.  Please note on the registration form if you are interested.

Included in Package Price

  • International Airfare from Boston or New York
  • 2 nights accommodation in Grimsborgir Hotel Aparments
  • 1 night accommodation at Sligo Hotel in Siglufordur
  • 2 nights accommodation at Arbol Guesthouse in Husavik
  • 2 nights accommodation at Blonda Hotel in Blonduos
  • 2 nights accommodation at Hilð, just outside of Reykjavik
  • 8 Breakfasts, 4 lunches, 5 dinners
  • Einrum Knitting Workshop
  • Prjónagleði knitting festival
  • Entrance fees to The Saga Center, The Settlement Center, Glaumbaer Open Air Museum, Textile Museum and Laugarvatn Fontana Baths and Myvatn Nature Baths, including towel rental
  • All Transportation with local English speaking guide

 Not included in Package Price

  • Custom Airfare
  • Optional Activities
  • Alcoholic drinks and personal items
  • Yarn!

This group is limited to 14-16 participants to ensure a small group experience. Rowan Tree Travel has purchased a Group Protection Plan on behalf of all participants.*

*The Group Protection Plan may not apply to participants who are not US Citizens.  Please enquire for details.

To register, please contract Heather Radl via email to heather@rowantreetravel.com. 

This trip needs at least 14 participants in order to proceed.  Please refer to the Group Protection Plan Document for cancellation coverage.  All cancellations should be communicated as soon as possible via email to heather@rowantreetravel.com

Rowan Tree Travel cannot be held responsible for the acts, defaults or delay of any hotel, coach, operator, airline, guide, restaurant or any other persons or companies, however caused. RTT is not responsible for losses in the event of force majour, such as natural catastrophes, strikes or other corresponding causes. We also reserve the right to alter routes due to road or weather conditions without prior notice. In the rare cases that there is a double booking or a good reason for moving the guest, we reserve the right to do so by providing similar accommodation or better in the same area.

 

Wool and Whisky – September 7-14 2017

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Wool & Whisky

Rescheduled for September 7-14

Updated Itinerary!!!

Thursday, September 7 – Welcome to Scotland! 

The group will gather at the airport and then head over for lunch at The Mill at New Lanark, followed by a tour of this amazing UNESCO World Heritage Site with a fascinating social history.  There will also be plenty of time to let loose in their amazing gift shop to purchase the yarn they spin there today.  When we are done, we will make our way to The Oak Tree Inn in Balmaha on the Bonnie, Bonnie Banks of Loch Lomond! 

Friday, September 8 – North to Inverness

Plenty of time this morning to shake the cobwebs loose after your overnight flight the day before.  Take a walk on the path along the Loch, or just sleep in!  Rather than hopping right on the bus, we will take the Water Taxi across the Loch to explore the lovely conservation village of Luss.  Luss was historically a slate mining village, and all of the little cottages there still have slate roofs.  There is a nice café to grab something to eat before we hop on the bus for our trip North to Inverness.  Along the way we will stop at Glen Coe for some gorgeous photo opportunities and then at Urquhart Castle on the banks of Loch Ness for some Nessie spotting opportunities!  When we arrive at The Glen Mhor Hotel in Inverness, you will have an opportunity to take a stroll along the River Ness before we meet for dinner.  After dinner, there are plenty of pubs offering live music if you have the energy!

Saturday, September 9 – Wool and Whisky, as promised!

Today we will head into Speyside to visit Knockando Woolen Mill – an historic local mill weaving tartan cloth as well as spinning their own line of wool for handknitting.  We will have lunch on our own in the café there before heading to Cardhu Distillery for a tour and tasting.  Cardhu just happens to be the only distillery started by a woman and it produces some very nice whisky indeed!  From Cardhu, it will be on to the comfiest castle I know – Cawdor Castle.  After seeing the lovely and eclectic rooms, you will want to just curl up by the fireside, but hopefully the beautiful gardens, maze and woodland walks will tempt you outside.  Finally, we will end our evening at The Highland Military Tattoo at Fort George with lots of food tents to tempt you before the main event of Pipe Bands, Highland Dancing and Military displays begins.

Sunday, September 10 – The Perth Festival of Yarn!

We have a long drive ahead of us this morning in order to get to the Perth Festival of Yarn, but the vendor list is full of tempting woolly offerings from small local producers.  There will be workshops available to sign up for and a keynote talk by Di Gilpin, a truly inspiring designer!  The workshops on offer are:

 – Advanced Spinning with Exotic Fibres with Janet Renouf-Miller

 – Design your own top-down shawl with John Glen

 – Introduction To Shawl Knitting with Maddie Harvey

 – Demystifying Double-Knitting with Nathan Taylor

 – Learn how to make a 30cm traditional Waldorf doll with knitted body with Sarah Berry

In the evening we will back track a bit to the lovely town of Pitlochry for a stay at The Pine Trees Hotel – a wonderful old Country House.

Monday, September 11 – St Andrews Bound

This morning we will have a tour of Glamis Castle, and if Cawdor Castle is the comfiest, I think Glamis is the most beautiful (and the spookiest!).  After lunch in the tea room, we will make our way to St Andrews.  Famous as the home of golf as well as for its ancient university, St Andrews has a lot to explore.  Not only are there lots of shops and cafes in this small seaside city, but the castle ruins have tunnels to scamper through and if you are up for a climb, there are few views that can rival the one from the top of St. Rule’s Tower at the Cathedral.  We will stay at The Ardgowan Hotel in the city centre.

Tuesday, September 12 – Edinburgh at last!

This morning we will head to Edinburgh and jump right into our Yarn Crawl of Edinburgh’s Independent Yarn Stores specializing in British Yarns.  Then on to Afternoon Tea at the Tower Restaurant with beautiful views of Edinburgh Castle before having an amazing Fiber Tour of the National Museum of Scotland.  Once we check in at The Parliament House Hotel, you have the rest of the afternoon to explore the many things Edinburgh has to offer.

Wednesday, September 13

 Largely a free day, we will meet mid-morning on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile for a walking tour that will focus on Edinburgh’s Royal History.  The tour will take in the lower half of The Royal Mile and end at Holyrood Palace, still used by the Royal Family when they visit Scotland.  You will have the opportunity to tour it if you wish.  More free time in the afternoon, and then we will gather together for a Farewell Dinner near our hotel.

Optional Extensions Available:

Extensions are available for those wishing to arrive early or stay later to explore more of Iceland on their own.  Please note on the registration form if you are interested.

W&W Total Cost: $2600.00* (airfare not included)

*Discount of 3% when paid in full with check or bank transfer upon booking.

Optional Extras Include: Single Supplements

This group is limited to 12 participants to ensure a small group experience. Rowan Tree Travel has purchased a Group Protection Plan on behalf of all participants.*

*The Group Protection Plan may not apply to participants who are not US Citizens.  Please enquire for details.

To register, please contract Heather Radl via email to heather@rowantreetravel.com. 

This trip needs at least 6 participants in order to proceed.  Please refer to the Group Protection Plan Document for cancellation coverage.  All cancellations should be communicated as soon as possible via email to heather@rowantreetravel.com.

Rowan Tree Travel cannot be held responsible for the acts, defaults or delay of any hotel, coach, operator, airline, guide, restaurant or any other persons or companies, however caused. RTT is not responsible for losses in the event of force majour, such as natural catastrophes, strikes or other corresponding causes. We also reserve the right to alter routes due to road or weather conditions without prior notice. In the rare cases that there is a double booking or a good reason for moving the guest, we reserve the right to do so by providing similar accommodation or better in the same area.

Knitworking in Denmark September 21 – 28 , 2016

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Knitting in Denmark

September 21-28, 2016

A 6 night Trip to Denmark for the Knitwork Festival in Copenhagen, visits to Castles and Cliffs, and a private workshop with designer Vivian Hoxbro.

Highlights:

The Knitwork Festival will feature workshops such as brioche knitting with Nancy Marchant, Openwork with Cornelia Tuttle Hamilton, and a top-down shawl with Marc Smollin.

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Vivian Hoxbro will lead us in a workshop on vibrant color combinations.  In addition to Rosenborg Castle in the center of Copenhagen, we will visit UNESCO World Heritage Sites such as the stunning cliffs of Mons Klimt, and Hamlet’s Kronborg Castle.

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Dates:        September 21-28
Cost Per Person:        $2,900
Single Supplement:        $500
Deposit to secure spot:     $500

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Price includes airfare, accommodation in boutique hotels, and a chauferred minibus.  Additional Costs: Canal Dinner Cruise in Copenhagen, Knitwork Festival Registration. Cost is based on shared rooms.  6 breakfasts & 2 dinners are included.  Tour requires 10 to operate.  Deposit is non-refundable unless the trip is cancelled.  Trip Insurance is available.

2016 Cotswolds Walking Tour

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Costwolds Holiday: Walk 6, Knit 2* 

May 18th to May 26th 2016

A tour designed for women knitters who want to actively explore England’s picturesque Cotswold region with a group of like-minded companions while taking time to smell the roses (or the daffodils!). We will be walking 5-7 miles per day over varied terrain from village to village, so a certain level of fitness is required, but we will be able to walk at a leisurely pace and have time to enjoy the local attractions and villages each day. There will also be plenty of time to gather together in local pubs and tearooms and knit along the way!

DAY BY DAY ITINERARY:

Thursday, May 19th

We will be collected from the airport and driven to Chipping Campden, where we will spend our first two nights in various Inns and B&Bs. We will have plenty of time to explore this beautiful, historic market town in the afternoon on our own. In addition to the lovely buildings from the medieval period on, The Court Barn Museum features work from the Arts and Crafts Movement, and there is a collection of local art, ceramics, and silver galleries at the former Silk Mill.

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Friday, May 20th

In the interest of adapting to the local time zone before starting any serious walking, we will head to Stratford-Upon-Avon today to explore Shakespeare’s Birthplace. There are several historic buildings available to visit in the center of town, and Anne Hathaway’s Cottage is a pleasant 2 mile walk from town. In the interest of flexibility and the environment, transportation will be via local bus, which has frequent service between the towns.

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Saturday, May 21st

Our first day of walking, we will walk 6 miles from Chipping Campden to the quintessential English village of Broadway. Along the way, we will pass Broadway Tower, the highest castle in the Cotwolds with expansive views from its base, let alone its turrets! Perhaps we will have lunch at the café there before heading down into Broadway with its antique shops, art galleries and tearooms and deep connections to the Arts and Crafts Movement.

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Sunday, May 22nd

Our second day of walking will be our longest, with 12 miles between Broadway and the town of Winchcombe. However, there is an historic steam railway 7 miles into our walk that can take us the last 5 miles! Along the trail we will pass the remains of an Iron Age hill fort as well as more outstanding views and many, many sheep!

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Monday, May 23rd

Our final day of walking will take us from Winchcombe to Cleeve Hill, an outstanding journey of 5.6 miles that will take us past several points of interest. Just outside of Winchcombe the path heads through the grounds of Sudeley Castle, which was once a favorite retreat for the Tudor and Stuart monarchs, and we can stop to tour. Further on along one of the most scenic stretches of the path is a 5,000 year old burial chamber, called Belas Knap.

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Tuesday, May 24th

After three days of walking, we will be ready for a bit more leisure, so today we will have a private minibus collect us from the Inn and take us to Blenheim Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and once home to Winston Churchill. We will have plenty of time to explore the Palace and grounds before heading to our final stop, and another UNESCO World Heritage Site, the City of Bath. After checking into our guesthouse, we will have the option to follow thousands of years of tradition dating back to the Roman occupation, if not earlier, of relaxing in a thermal spa.

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Wednesday, May 25th

A full day to enjoy all that Bath has to offer, including The Roman Baths, The Fashion Museum, and two local yarn shops. When an entire city has been named a World Heritage Site, there is no shortage of things to see! Our trip will culminate with an evening of knitting in a pub with a local group.

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Thursday, May 26th

Airport Transfer and return trip to Boston.

Important : We will endeavor to keep all participants within the same town at each stop. However, due to the limited availability of twin and/or single rooms in the Cotswolds, there may be some locations which require a few people to be located outside of town. In this case, transportation to your B&B will be provided.
Please be sure that you are physically able to walk for 5-7 miles per day before signing up for this holiday. In the event that you twist an ankle or become too tired along the way, however, there is a public bus that runs through the towns we will be staying in.

  • Details:

    Cost Per Person:  $2,650†
    Single Supplement: $300†
    Deposit to secure spot: $500
    Full Payment due: February 1, 2016

†This price is based on the current exchange rate and may vary at the time of payment.

  • Optional Extras

    • Trip Insurance: $172 per person (due March 1)
    • Single Supplement: A limited number of singles are available for an additional Single Supplement Cost of $300 February 1
    • Thermal Spa Evening and/or Treatments: Please Enquire
  • Included in Each Package Price

    • 7 nights of accommodation in B&Bs and Small Inns
    • Luggage Transfer
    • Breakfast
    • Private Minibus Day Tour
    • Airport transfers within England
  • Not included in Package Price

    • Soda, Alcoholic drinks and personal items
    • Lunch and Dinner
    • Admission costs
    • Spa Treatments
    • Gratuities
    • Trip Insurance
Limited Availability – contact Heather at Rowan Tree Travel for More information

Phone: (603) 731 5599
Email: heather@rowantreetravel.com

Stories of Scotland Tour September 6 – 16, 2016

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Stories of Scotland

September 6-16, 2016

Join us as we explore Scotland’s rich tradition of myths, legends and stories on two five night tours of Scotland! We will immerse ourselves in the dramatic and verdant landscape of Scotland in the Spring whilst hearing tales of Faeries and Kelpies; explore formidable (and sometimes haunted!) castles and houses with bloody histories, dark legends, and tales of secret trysts; and find pubs to settle down in with a wee dram of Uisge Beatha or a pint of craft beer at the end of the day with some toe-tapping music thrown in for good measure.

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This set of small group tours seeks to explore Scotland by combining highlights such as Edinburgh and Stirling Castles and Loch Ness with off the beaten path locations which serve as a backdrop for stories that convey its spirit. We aim to weave together history and legend in order to fully appreciate the complex fabric of Scotland today.

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Tour Itinerary Includes:

  • Castles such as Stirling, Brodie, Cawdor, Edinburgh, Gilnockie and Urquhart
  • Lunch and Craft Beer Tasting at The Loch Ness Brewery
  • Tour and Tasting at a Distillery
  • An Evening of Storytelling
  • Traditional Music
  • Tour and Craft Beer Tasting at Traquair House
  • Dryburgh Abbey
  • Tour of Edinburgh’s infamous Vaults
  • Dumfries House
  • Sir Walter Scott’s Abbotsford House
  • Robert Burns Birthplace Center
  • Pictish Stones and Stone Circles

And more!


Included in each tour:

  • 9 nights in 3 or 4 star Hotels
  • 9 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches and 2 Dinners
  • All entrance fees and tours
  • Chauffeured minibus in Scotland
  • Day tours with Local Guides
  • Storytelling Evening
  • Airfare  From Boston Logan International Airport

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Optional:

  • Pre or Post Tour Extension in Edinburgh or Glasgow
  • Travel Insurance

Details:
Cost Per Person:    $3,200
Deposit: $500
Single Supplement: $500
Full Payment due:  July 1, 2015

 

Small Group Cultural and Craft Tours of Northern Europe and Beyond

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