In Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, we learn that “It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.” We welcome students to live their dreams in Scotland on adventures to castles, misty mountains and Harry Potter settings. Tour the marvelous castles of Scotland, seeing the crown jewels at Edinburgh Castle, the cliffside ruins of Tantallon Castle and witness history brought to life at Stirling Castle. Explore the beautiful landscapes, from Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park to Seacliff Beach. Discover the scary stories still haunting the streets of Edinburgh. Go on a Harry Potter Adventure, traveling to Alnwick Castle for Broomstick Training, finding the inspiration for the stories on a Victoria Street scavenger hunt, picking up souvenirs at Diagon House and reading the tombstones at Greyfriars Kirkyard.
Welcome to the magical world of Scotland! On this tour, we invite students to step into the storybooks: exploring castles, journeying through the misty mountains and lovely lochs, hunting down ghosts and discovering the bewitching world of Harry Potter.
Our adventure begins in Edinburgh, strolling the cobble-stoned streets and up the winding stairs all the way to the top of an extinct volcano. Settled here is Edinburgh Castle, where generations of Scottish monarchs have held the fortress with cannons and force of arms. Now a museum, we get to tour where royalty once sat, seeing the country’s crown jewels, the Stone of Destiny and the many relics secured within these stone walls. Walking the streets of Edinburgh, see the city’s spooky side through the tales of mysterious murders, grave robbing and go up to where witches were burnt on Calton Hill as well as for the best views of Edinburgh.
Beyond the city, we venture into the wondrous countryside, up to the cliffs, along the beaches and into preserved structures that hold Scottish history. At Scotland’s first national park, Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park, we get a chance to cruise the glittering waters. Explore the Trossachs, known as “the Highlands in miniature,” a landscape of enchanting, forested hills alongside a series of lakes. From here, we travel on to the cliffside ruins of Tantallon Castle, followed by some time for respite on the almost-secret Seacliff Beach. Later, we visit Rosslyn Chapel, which has inspired writers for centuries, contributing to the success of The DaVinci Code. There are also stops at Dunfermline Abbey, where seven Scottish kings are buried, and Stirling Castle, where costumed characters bring the history of the Stewart kings and queens to life.
Pursuing the adventures of Harry Potter, we highlight some truly magical locations in Scotland. Choose a favorite owl among the world-wide collection at the Scottish Owl Centre. Take to the skies in Broomstick Training, on the same grounds where Harry Potter learned to fly at Alnwick Castle. The castle itself has gone through many changes over 700 years and is full of fantastic moments, medieval crafts to try and ornate inner rooms. Wander along the ways where J.K. Rowling drew inspiration, discovering what school Hogwarts was based on and where the character’s names were sourced. Find some of the names from the Harry Potter books on the tombstones in Greyfriars Kirkyard. Go on a scavenger hunt on colorful Victoria Street, possibly what Diagon Alley was based on. This street is now home to Diagon House, where students can pick out a wand, chocolate frogs, Hogwarts House scarves or other Harry Potter memorabilia.
Travel to Edinburgh to begin the adventure.
On arrival in Edinburgh, go on a guided walking tour to see the 18th-century Georgian “New Town” and the medieval “Old Town” sides of the city. Walk up the Royal Mile to explore Edinburgh Castle, housing crown jewels and the 15th-century cannon, Mons Meg. Check into the hotel after dinner.
Take a day trip to Scotland’s first national park, Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park. Explore the park on foot and cruise across Loch Lomond, the setting for Sir Walter Scott’s most popular poem, “The Lady of the Lake.” In the afternoon, go on a walking tour of Glasgow to enjoy the fascinating architectural styles there. Return to Edinburgh for dinner.
Transfer to Tantallon Castle for a guided tour of exemplary 14th-century architecture. Relax on Seacliff Beach with packed lunches and have some free time to explore the area. Visit Rosslyn Chapel, featured in The DaVinci Code novel and film. After a full day, have dinner as a group back in Edinburgh.
In the morning, visit Dunfermline Abbey, followed by an afternoon visit to Stirling Castle. On the way back to Edinburgh, meet the owls at the Scottish Owl Centre and experience a flying demonstration, if there’s availability. Enjoy a pizza dinner.
Travel to Northumberland to visit the mighty fortress of Alnwick Castle, the setting of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry from the Harry Potter movies. Learn to fly and capture a photo to prove it in Broomstick Training, where Harry Potter learned. Spend some free time in Edinburgh for the rest of the afternoon. After dinner, head out into the night for the Edinburgh Dark Side Walking Tour.
This morning, go on a guided tour of Edinburgh that’s Harry Potter themed. Discover how Victoria Street may have inspired Diagon Alley on a scavenger hunt. After lunch, have leisure time to explore the places that inspired J.K. Rowling, including Victoria Street, Royal Mile, Grassmarket and Greyfriars Kirkyard. Perhaps pick up some Harry Potter memorabilia at Diagon House. Gather together in the evening for a farewell traditional Scottish feast.
Leave Edinburgh and return home with magical stories to share.
During our eight days on this magical Scotland adventure, we introduce students to centuries of preserved history and the inspirations that sparked the creativity of countless artists and writers. A scavenger hunt of Victoria Street teaches students to work collaboratively and use critical thinking skills. Broomstick Training at Alnwick Castle invites students to engage their imaginations. Among the many wondrous site visits, writers have found inspiration and we encourage students to exercise their own creative muscles.
Quality, safe hotels with twin or triple occupancy corresponding to the destination.
All transportation is provided throughout the program.
Airfare covers round-trip flights from major airports.
Two meals are provided daily, breakfast and dinner, featuring local cuisine.
Interactive learning experiences designed to expand educational and career goals.
Customized experiences developed by travel experts to promote learning and engagement.
Scheduled activities, experiences and guided tours are all included.
Full-time Tour Directors are on site for the duration of the trip, for an all-inclusive experience.
Tips for bus drivers, guides, Tour Directors and meals.
Advanced student security software that integrates geofencing, logistics, communication and more optimized safety features.
Dedicated 24/7 staff availability, supporting students every step of the way.
International travel insurance is provided for protection in case of accidents, illness, flight interruptions or baggage loss.
Experience understands there is a growing concern over the COVID-19 outbreak and travel. We are attentively monitoring the situation and following updates from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the U.S. Department of State.
Public health authorities are focusing on prevention efforts and actively testing anyone whose symptoms are compatible with COVID-19. It is important to note that for travel and community settings, the CDC reports a low risk of exposure for those who are in the same environment for a prolonged period of time and without close contact as someone with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19. Learn more about the CDC Exposure Risk Categories.
To alleviate any uncertainty, Experience is implementing an Upcoming and Future Travel Policy for 2020. This policy allows our programs to adjust their travel dates and plans to provide more flexibility for travelers and relieve any immediate concerns. As the situation evolves, we will remain in contact with group leaders to keep them informed and adjust any travel plans as needed. We want to assure all group leaders, parents and travelers that we will not send programs to destinations that are deemed unsafe by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO) or the U.S. Department of State. The health and safety of our travelers is of the utmost importance and always a main concern on our educational tours. We will continue to stay informed and safely navigate the situation.