Island Invasives Tour options

Wednesday 12th July 2017

The Island Invasives team have put together some delightful tours to get you out and about on your free day during the conference week. Go and explore the stunning scenic locations of Scotland. Please choose from the following four tour options. Coaches will leave promptly and cannot wait for latecomers. Those choosing the hearty Ben Vrackie Hiking Tour need to come with strong walking boots and lightweight wet weather gear in case of bad weather.

Please note the maximum number for each tour is 35. If the minimum numbers are not met then the tour may be cancelled. Pay close attention to the information given on each tour, so that you are fully prepared and can enjoy the excursions available

Please select from the tabs below to view each tour’s details:

Ben Vrackie
Dunkeld
Highland Pitlochry
St Andrews and Distillery Tour
Ben Vrackie

Ben Vrackie
Highland walking tour with stunning views of Pitlochry and surrounding areas.
Distance: 9.5km (6 miles) Time: 3-4 Hours Ascent: 720m

Cost: £34.50

Timings: Prompt departure at 8am from the Dalhousie Building (conference venue). Arrival back in Dundee for 5pm.

Lunch: Not Included

Other information: All day tour. Delegates must be fit, wear suitable clothing and hiking boots! The max number of people for this tour is 35. Note that the tour may be cancelled if minimum numbers are not reached. Guests should bring a packed lunch (these can be ordered in advance in the Dalhousie Building).

Tour details:
Your tour starts with a scenic drive through the Angus and Perthshire countryside towards Pitlochry. Once at Moulin your hiking guide will explain the walk and accompany you throughout the day. Ben Vrackie is indelibly associated with the town of Pitlochry at its foot, and for long has been an extremely popular ascent for those visiting the town. The summit is a great viewpoint and the ascent follows good paths through woodland, open moorland and past picturesque Loch a’ Choire.

Ben Vrackie is one of the best-known Corbetts, a familiar sight above Pitlochry. There is a good path for the ascent, and excellent views from the summit. The toughest part of this 3-4 hour round climb is the final ascent from the Lochan. However, the views are truly magnificent! Remember to take photos and eat your picnic lunch at the top enjoying the stunning views! Walk back down with your guide to the Moulin Inn and if there’s time, a swift half pint at the Moulin Brewery before heading back to Dundee.


Dunkeld

Dunkeld
Beautiful and historic, located on the River Tay and wildlife trust Loch of the Lowes.

Cost: £38

Timings: Prompt departure at 8.15am from the Dalhousie Building (conference venue). Arrival back in Dundee for 5pm.

Lunch: Not Included

Other information: All day tour, with entry fee for the cathedral tour included. The tour will last up to an hour then free time to wander round the town and enjoy the views.
Entry to the Loch and Lowes visitor centre is also included in the fee. The max. number of people for this tour is 35. Note that the tour may be cancelled if minimum numbers are not reached.

Tour details:
The tour will begin with a trip to Dunkeld through the Tayside region where you can see the farming and countryside of the area. The Dunkeld area, with its rich natural resources, has been a settlement since ancient times. Dunkeld’s position guarding one of the main passes from lowland into highland Scotland made it an attractive location from a strategic point of view and there is evidence of both the Romans and the Picts. Guided tour around the cathedral (your guide will give you a tour of the cathedral), time to explore the scenic town, and stand on the beautiful bridge and look at the mighty River Tay. Lunch at your own leisure (buy your own, bring a picnic).

The coach will drop those that want to walk to the Loch of the Lowes at the Cally car park. Walk through woodland, across the Dunkeld golf course along the Fungarth path from Dunkeld which brings you to the reserve and Visitor Centre. The walk is easy and approximately 2 miles.

The coach will take the remaining visitors directly to the Visitor Centre at Loch Lowes where everyone will spend the rest of the afternoon watching the wildlife and ospreys. Loch Lowes Centre and wildlife reserve covers 98 hectares near Dunkeld. From early April to late August, the star attraction is a pair of breeding ospreys, which nest just 150 meters from our observation hide.

Highland Pitlochry

Highland Pitlochry
The Queens View, Salmon Fish Ladder and lunch at the Moulin Inn.

Cost: £49.50

Timings: Prompt departure at 8am from the Dalhousie Building (conference venue). Arrival back in Dundee for 5pm.

Lunch: Included

Other information: All day tour. The max number of people for this tour is 35. Note that the tour may be cancelled if minimum numbers are not reached.

Tour details:
Your tour starts with a scenic drive through the Angus and Perthshire countryside. A short drive from Pitlochry, along a winding tree-lined road, hugging the river Tummel, lies the Queen’s view. This famous vantage point looks out over one of the most iconic panoramas in Scotland, directly to the west along Loch Tummel from where, on a clear day, you can sometimes see the mountains surrounding Glencoe by the west coast. A popular destination since Victorian times, it is often thought that the location was named after Queen Victoria who did, in fact, visit in 1866.The Queen’s View Visitor Centre lies at the eastern edge of Loch Tummel and is surrounded by part of the Tay forest park. This is a stunning view point overlooking the loch and beyond to the iconic Schiehallion (1081m/3547 feet).

You will then be taken by coach to the Pitlochry Fish Ladder and Dam. The dam was constructed between 1947 and 1951, damming up the river Tummel to form Loch Faskally, some 5km in length. This flooded the old Pitlochry Recreation Ground and Highland games field. With such a massive obstacle (the dam) across the River Tummel it was necessary to create a way for the 5,000+ salmon each year to pass upstream. The ladder as it is known is 310 metres in length and has 34 pools, 3 of which are resting pools. There are two viewing windows, side by side looking into 2 pools; these enable visitors to observe the salmon using the ladder. (If time permits) Pitlochry Fish Ladder Walk – There is a short walk (approx. 30 mins) from Pitlochry Fish Ladder that takes you over the River Tummel (via a pedestrian suspension bridge) through the ancient settlement of Port-na-craig, (located just below Pitlochry Festival Theatre and the Explorer’s Garden) the middle of Pitlochry. This walk is highly recommended.

After viewing the Fish Ladder and town of Pitlochry, the coach will take you for lunch at the atmospheric Moulin Inn (included in your tour). The Moulin Inn first opened its doors in 1695 – 50 years ‘afore the rebellion – That is Bonnie Prince Charles Jacobite rebellion of 1745.

The Village of Moulin dates back to Bronze Age times, with the traces of ancient Hut circles still evident on the hill just behind the present village. Archaeological investigation shows these huts as being used from around 3000 BC to as recently as 1250 AD.

The name Moulin is derived from the word Moahlinn – the ‘linn’ being quite common in Scotland, and meaning ‘smooth rocks or calm water’. The building was originally the coach house and stables for the Pitlochry to Kirkmichael coach service, the roof space being ‘lads’ accommodation. In more recent years it has been a cattle byre and then became a dump for old hotel furniture and fittings. The present owners had been successful pub brewers in England and with the thought of the Moulin Inn’s past history. Where did it get its drinks from in 1695? There must have been a local brew house in operation- it seemed fitting that we celebrate the pubs 300th anniversary by starting to Brew at home again.

St Andrews and Distillery Tour

St Andrews and Distillery Tour
St Andrews, home of golf and historic town and whisky tasting tour at Kingsbarns Distillery

Cost: £43.50 per person

Timings: Prompt departure at 8.30am from the Dalhousie Building (conference venue). Arrival back in Dundee for 5pm.

Lunch: Not Included

Other information: All day tour. The maximum number of people for this tour is 35. Note that the tour may be cancelled if minimum numbers are not reached. Guests can choose their own venue to buy lunch (or bring along a picnic – ideal to sit and enjoy on the beach).

Tour details:
The tour begins by driving across the Tay Bridge into Fife, through the countryside towards St Andrews, ancient seat of the bishop of St Andrews. Your guide will give you a walking tour of historic St Andrews, home of golf along with the famous Old Course club house and the stunning West Sands beach, used for training in the 1981 film Chariots of Fire.

St Andrews is vibrant and bustling, its history long and rich, its wildlife intriguing. There is a lot to find out about so no need to hurry. Usually the walking tour route will take in the coast, the heart of the old university, take an overview of the Old Course and explore back lanes and main streets, and of course the ruins of the cathedral.
Guests can then have free time to go and buy their lunch or bring out a picnic (ideal to sit and enjoy on the beach!). After lunch it’s time to drive on in the coach to the Kingsbarns for whisky tasting and tour of the distillery.

At Kingsbarns Distillery, Fife grown barley and water from an aquifer 100m below the distillery is taken and through the process of milling, mashing, fermentation and distilling fill just 33 casks a week of the fruity and floral spirit. The sprit must mature in an oak cask for at least 3 years and a day before it can be called Single Malt Whisky.