England Scotland and Wales - August 3

Hi. I'm interested in making dinner reservations at Sotto Sotto in Bath and thought it would be great if a group of us were involved. Are there others on the Aug 3 trip who are also interested? Still trying to figure out a way to visit St Andrews Golf Course from Edinburgh. I'll be in town the day before the tour starts. Any ideas? If several of us wanted to go, we could arrange private transportation on Sun. The tours get back too late. Will check back later. Don't know why the posting won't accept the name of the golf course. CWH


  • Here is the contact information for a car and driver we hired to take us to St. Andrews. You will have him for the day and although he isn't a "guide" he knows the area well. We actually had a retired police officer from Edinburgh and he did a great job. I don't remember the price but it was reasonable, but there were only two of us and we were in a very comfortable Mercedes S class. They will take more people (I think they charge the same total price and it makes it cheaper since you can divide it up). With just two of us, it was great to do what we wanted to do and not have a committee meeting on the choices for shopping, stopping, and eating.

    Frank Butler
    Butler's Chauffeur Drive Ltd
    UK & Worldwide
    +44 (0) 131 335 0111
    +44 (0) 77 650 44 085
    [email protected]

    In addition to being able to walk around the course, he will stop on the way at some small towns and fishing villages. He stopped at the village he was born and raised in and we had a great lunch. You will have him from whatever time you want him (we chose 0730-1700, since we had a dinner in the evening for Tauck). We had arrived a day before and this helped get through the next day. I wish I had made a tee time to be able to play the course.

    If you don't play, you can walk from the 18th green to the Swilcan Bridge and then follow the Road Hole and walk around the course it you wish.

    Best wishes. Please tell Frank a former customer recommended him and that we send our best.

    Oh yea, take ear plugs to the dinner--the bag pipes are LOUD!!!

  • Oh, the bagpipes weren't that bad, the haggis was a different story :)

    CWH if you search back in the forum archives there was a discussion about things to do in Edinburgh last year. In addition to visiting St An drews and towns like Fife along the way, you can take a tour via bus or car and driver to a distillery (forgot the name).

    In town you can tour the (retired) Royal Yacht Britannia, Craigmillar Castle (well preserved ruin) featured on the TV show "Amazing Race," and Rosslyn Chapel made famous in the Davinci Code (book and movie), now totally restored with scaffolds removed. We visited the royal yacht, Craigmillar, and Rosslyn Chapel (which I consider a "must see") before our E,S,W tour last summer. We used the local "Lothian" buses which were quick, easy, and inexpensive- the routes and schedules are online so I had it all planned before we left the US. Other places like Hopetoun House (grand, historical estate) and Linlithgow Palace (another historical and well preserved ruin) to the west, can be easily reached by train. We didn't have enough time to see those two and discovered later we missed seeing a jousting tournament at Linlithgow that day.

    Google is your friend, as is the Concierge at the Sheraton.

    FYI, before leaving the US last summer we upgraded our room at the Sheraton to a "castle view" (coordinated by the concierge). In addition to having a fantastic view of Edinburgh Castle, we were able to watch Andy Murray win Wimbledon to the raucous cheers of the large Scottish crowd watching the jumbotron in the plaza directly in front of the Sheraton and our room. What a thrill!

    We had a truly fantastic time. I don't know who you will get, but I know Ra chel and R o n are fantastic Tauck guides!
  • I loved the bagpipes, but they can't control the volume and it does get quite loud.

    Haggis? It was ok. Not something I would normally order, but it was nice to try it and it wasn't as bad as some folks expected.

    Enjoy the trip...it is a good one. We had Co ri as our tour director and she was fantastic. I really don't think Tauck has any tour directors that are bad. At least not on my experience.
  • My thanks to both ndvb and AlanS. I'll make a note of Frank Butler's info. I want to go to the golf course to get a souvenir for my brother, Frank, who's always enjoyed playing, plus he's been a big help to me. My younger "older" brother (he's two years younger). If I'm up to it, I'll try and go to the yacht Sat depending when I get in and how I feel. I know we have other down time while in town. I've been in Edinburgh before and enjoyed time at the castle, but didn't see the Tattoo. Thanks for the tip about the ear plugs. I used to have a pair from a tour in Edinburgh or London but may have to invest in a new pair. Although I've been in both cities, I'm looking forward to the whole tour, especially the parts in between which I haven't visited. I could probably visit several things on Sun if I didn't want to go to the golf course.
  • edited March 2014
    ndvb, I am sure you are correct about the quality of Tauck's Tour Directors. We have done six tours and been very impressed indeed with the top quality of the Directors, except in one case last year - not the UK tour. In that case we were very dissatisfied and felt that we should point out the shortcomings because the individual was so far away from the usual high standard we have come to expect. Tauck, as we expected, took the matter in hand and assured us that extra training would be given and I have every confidence that they will make that happen. One never likes complaining, but I feel that suppliers would rather be told if there is a problem so they can investigate/correct it than have grumbling customers passing on bad views.
  • edited March 2014
    No company is perfect. In my experience we have had excellent tour guides and been pleased with how they kept things going, even under duress. If they ran into a problem, they were great at altering the schedule and making things work. If I had an issue I would tell them and they resolved it.

    I had an issue with a hotel and the hotel wouldn't do anything. After three conversations with an assistant manager, I told them my next conversation would be with Peter Tauck. (I couldn't get in touch with the tour director, or I am sure that would have been the end of it.) Before I could get out of the lobby, the manager came running up to me and asked me to go on my morning tour and that she'd have the issue resolved by the time I came back and if she didn't then I could come into her office and we'd both call Tauck. It was taken care of when I returned. Tauck's vendors know that the focus of the company is on the customer and they also know if a problem gets so bad that a traveler calls the front office that they may lose Tauck's business. Most of the time, just letting the tour director know of a problem is all you have to do and the problem will be solved.

    I hope they took care of your problem.
  • CWH we're on the same tour on the 10th August and we too will be trying Sotto Sotto in Bath as we hear it's a very good restaurant. Sorry we can't join you but maybe someone on our trip will join us for an evening of fine food and wine.

  • OzJohnno wrote:
    CWH we're on the same tour on the 10th August and we too will be trying Sotto Sotto in Bath as we hear it's a very good restaurant. Sorry we can't join you but maybe someone on our trip will join us for an evening of fine food and wine.

    Hi, Sorry we won't be together. I'm a week ahead of you. Will have to compare notes in Sept. CWH

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