Agricultural & Sightseeing Tour of Scotland
B = Breakfast L = Lunch D= Dinner
Tuesday, June 16th 2015:
Depart YYC 11:15am
Day 1: Wednesday, June 17th 2015 (B, D)
Arrive Edinburgh 0645
Drop bags off at the hotel and rest of the day is at leisure to relax and recover from your flights.
Welcome Dinner – Ultimate Scottish Experience
Day 2: Thursday, June 18th 2015 (B)
Introduction to Agriculture/Beef & Sheep research farm visit with Scotland Rural College – Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) is a higher education institution that combines education, consulting and research in Scotland, focusing on agriculture.
Edinburgh city tour & castle visit: Edinburgh Castle dominates Scotland’s capital city from its great rock. Its story has helped shape the nation’s story. Battles and sieges were fought over it, royalty lived and died within its walls, and countless generations have been inspired by it.
Day 3: Friday, June 19th, 2015 (B)
Highland Show – FULL DAY – Many thousands of international visitors schedule their trip to UK around the Royal Highland Show. The Show has a worldwide reputation for showcasing the very best of Scottish food, farming and culture.
- Get up close to the finest farmyard animals including sheep, cattle, horses and ponies
- Taste the finest food and drink Scotland has to offer from over a hundred producers
- Watch Scotland’s best chefs create exquisite menus from locally produced food
- Hear the thunder of hooves as Scotland’s best international show jumpers compete in equestrian events
- Revisit the skills handed down from generation to generation in forestry, hunting, fishing & shooting
- See the latest innovations in machinery and equipment from the major suppliers
Day 4: Saturday, June 20th, 2015 (B)
Morning visit to Farmers Market : If you want food as fresh as it can be, visit the award-winning Edinburgh Farmers’ Market. The market takes place at Castle Terrace under the imposing backdrop of Edinburgh Castle. Over 55 specialist producers currently attend the market.
Afternoon & evening at leisure to enjoy Edinburgh on your own.
Day 5: Sunday June 21st, 2015 (B, D)
Visit Yester Farm Dairies
Yester Farm Dairies operates alongside the family farm so as soon as milking is finished the milk can be piped straight from the milking parlour to our modern pasteurization plant on-site.
This means that the products are pasteurised, packed, refrigerated and ready for delivery as quickly as possi-ble – avoiding long tanker journeys and ensuring the freshest possible product for customers. This keeps food miles low and offers full traceability. The animals graze on lush pasture in summer and are housed in specially designed sheds in the harsher winter weather where they enjoy a nutritionally balanced diet together with silage (grass mowed and stored from our own fields during the summer) and wheat also harvested from our farm in the Autumn.
Overnight : Dunbar
Day 6: Monday, June 22nd, 2015 (B, D)
Whitmuir – The Organic Place: Whitmuir Farm is owned by Heather Anderson and Pete Ritchie, who moved here in 2000. Like most farms, the farm has been farmed organically for most of it’s 300 year history, return-ing to certified organic production in 2000. The farm is run as a trading partnership with Heather and Pete as the Partners.
Angus cross beef cattle. Cattle are butchered at about two and a half years old and the meat is hung in our on-farm butchery for 3 weeks to tenderise the steaks. Finishing cattle on grass improves the taste and texture of the meat, and leads to much higher levels of Omega-3 beneficial fatty acids. We also work with a number of neighbouring organic meat producers to supplement our homegrown produce.
Tamworth Sows, Middle White Sows and lots of piglets. Sows farrow all through the year. Each pregnancy lasts 3 months, 3 weeks and 3 days. The pigs spend the summers outside in fields and woods, and the winter in a strawed barn with a verandah and outdoor run. Weaned at 8 weeks, reared in family groups, fed on si-lage and reject fruit and veg as well as best organic pig food, these pigs get to be pigs before they get to be pork.
Overnight : Dunbar
Day 7: Tuesday, June 23rd, 2015 (B, L)
Afternoon farm visit & BBQ at Upper Nisbet Farm
The Neill family took on the tenancy of Upper Nisbet in May 2000. They run 300 Limousin-cross cows on 438ha. They farm 242ha of cereals, and all progeny from the suckler herd are finished on home-grown fodder and sold live throughout the year mostly to local butchers.
The 2013 Future Farming Award was jointly awarded to Robert Neill, Upper Nisbet Farm and John Scott of Fearn Farm, Tain. www.uppernisbet.co.uk
Day 8: Wednesday, June 24th, 2015 (B)
Depart from hotel to Stirling.
Stop at the Netherton Aberdeen Angus Farm – a long Established well known World-wide Aberdeen Angus herd, building up to 500 cows in a new partnership with Mohmar Angus
The Netherton herd of pedigree Aberdeen-Angus was founded in 1924 by the grandfather and great grandfather of the present owners at Drumhead, located some 2 miles from Netherton. Right from the herd’s conception, the aim has always been to breed good commercial bulls. To this day we strongly believe in the saying “don’t try and breed stock bulls – breed what the commercial producer wants and the stock bulls will breed themselves.”
Netherton began weight recording in 1959 and has been fully recorded ever since, making Netherton the oldest recorded herd of any breed in the UK. We have been scanning since the technology first became available in the 1980s, so we now have a herd that combines true breed character and performance to match.
Visit the Stirling Agricultural centre/Auction and then on to the William Wallace Memorial; standing tall and proud outside the city of Stirling, and overlooking the scene of Scotland’s victory at The Battle of Stirling Bridge.
This is a place where history is something you can touch and feel, as you follow the story of Sir William Wallace, patriot, martyr, and Guardian of Scotland.
Day 9: Thursday, June 25th, 2015 (B, L, D)
Stop off at Inveraray Castle Estate – Inveraray Castle is the ancestral home of the Duke of Argyll, Chief of the Clan Campbell and the iconic, must-see visitor attraction on the West Coast of Scotland.
Then travel onto Oban for lunch on the waterfront and have free time exploring the town. Oban (Scottish Gaelic meaning The Little Bay) occupies a beautiful setting in the Firth of Lorn. The bay is a near perfect horseshoe, pro-tected by the island of Kerrera, and beyond Kerrera the Isle of Mull.
In the afternoon travel to Fort William.
Overnight: Ben Nevis Hotel & Leisure Club Fort William
Day 10: Friday, June 26th, 2015 (B, D)
Ben Nevis Distillery is one of the oldest licensed distilleries in Scotland. The distillery is nestled at the foot of Britain’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis, which has a summit elevation of 4’406 feet above sea level. This imposing mountain provides an impressive background to a traditional Scottish craft. Enjoy an executive, in depth tour, followed by several tastings.
Group Dinner with both groups at the Ben Nevis Hotel…enjoy great food and Scottish hospitality in the Ben Nevis Hotel. Relax in the traditionally styled yet light and airy restaurant, with views of Ben Nevis that are second to none. Feast on the finest local produce with dishes to suit all tastes, including a varied and exciting menu.
Overnight Ben Nevis Hotel & Leisure Club Fort William
Day 11: Saturday, June 27th, 2015 (B, D)
Loch Ness visit & cruise …why not sip on a beverage from the onboard bar, while factual commentary takes you through the local and natural history of the area and Loch folklore? 1 hour cruise on the Loch Ness with a 1 hour visit to Urquhart Castle.
Day 12: Sunday, June 28th, 2015 (B, D)
Attend a Sheepdog demonstration before moving on to the site of the Battle of Culloden.
Working Sheepdogs is based on Leault Farm—During a 45-minute demonstration amidst some of the most beauti-ful scenery in Scotland, you will see up to eight dogs working as a team manoeuvring sheep and ducks through vari-ous obstacles. Every dog has its own set of commands enabling visitors to see just how each of them responds to their individual whistles and each move by the dogs is explained by their handler, Neil Ross.
Meet the collie pups, bottle-feed the orphan lambs and take part in shearing a sheep. You’ll have excellent oppor-tunities to capture some unforgettable memories – so don’t forget your camera!
The Battle of Culloden was the bloodiest of all the Jacobite battles. It was also the last battle fought on British soil. On 16 April 1746, on Drummossie Moor overlooking Inverness, a well-supplied Hanoverian army led by the Duke of Cumberland (son of King George II) annihilated the much smaller army of Lord John Murray and the leader he mis-trusted, Prince Charles Edward Stuart.
Day 13: Monday, June 29th, 2015 (B, D)
Visit to Fearn Farm: The Scott family has been at the Fearn Farm, a low lying farm situated at the base of the Tarbat Peninsula, Easter Ross for four generations, with each generation taking care to improve the farm for the next. Ranging from light soils through to heavy clay the farm has always been a mixed unit. The farm currently grows malting barley alongside commercial and pedigree sheep and cattle, with ground also let on an annual basis for potato production. Free afternoon to enjoy Inverness on your own
Day 14: Tuesday, June 30th, 2015 (B)
Balmoral Castle: Set amongst the magnificent scenery of Royal Deeside, in the shadows of Lochnagar is the Balmoral Estate. In her journals Queen Victoria described Balmoral as “my dear paradise in the Highlands”
Ballindalloch Castle & Estate: The pedigree herd was started by Sir George Macpherson-Grant of Ballindal-loch, in 1860. It is now the oldest herd in existence. Black cattle have grazed peacefully in the ‘Coo Haugh’ beside the Castle for centuries.This beautiful race of cattle is descended from the native cattle found in the North East of Scotland and derives its origins from the old ‘Doddies’ of Angus and the ‘Hummlies’ from Buchan.
Day 15: Wednesday, July 1st, 2015 (B)
The James Hutton Institute/Glensaugh Farm Visit
Glensaugh was leased as a research station in 1943 and has since passed through the hands of HFRO, The Macaulay Institute and from 2011 The James Hutton Institute. Straddling the Highland Boundary Fault it is geologically and morphologically diverse with a broad range of soil types
Recent decades have seen a decline in livestock systems research as the focus of government policy has moved from production to environmental goods. In farming terms we have been “left to get on with it”, but this might soon change as new environmental and economic challenges appear
Our staff of four divide their time between the needs of the research programme, sheep work, deer, suckler cows and estate management and there is good co-operation within the team
Glensaugh’s productive strength comes from its extensive grazing and the ability of the Blackface ewes and red deer hinds to subsist in this marginal environment. Inputs are low and carefully targeted. Overall stock carry is determined by the ability to grow and conserve high quality winter feed to support production over a 7 month winter feeding period. While Glensaugh is not a natural finishing unit the ability to finish a Texel X lamb from grass/clover aftermaths is a strength.
Production is focussed on sheep because ewes make the best use of Glensaugh’s grazing environment. The suckler herd is kept to maintain enterprise diversity and manage the rough grazing. While the red deer herd is kept mainly as a research resource, it also fits well with the management ethos
The livestock operation is kept simple to free up staff time for estate work, the recent focus of which has been on re-planting areas of woodland which were lost to wartime felling (supported by SRDP). This is a good fit with JHI’s environmental credentials and will help to secure a supply of fuel for our biomass heating systems
James Hutton Institute www.hutton.ac.uk
Day 16: Thursday, July 2nd, 2015 (B, D)
Spend the morning at Highland Games in Aberdeen before heading to an afternoon farm visit at Baldinnie Poll Herefords
Baldinnie Poll Herefords
John Cameron is a Hereford Breeder and runs a commercial cross cow enterprise. He is hugely well-known and influential figure, president of the National Farmers Union Scotland, for 5 years. John Cameron is a past Chairman of Scottish Beef Cattle Association. He also spent an 8 year stint as chairman of the Europe-an Sheep meat Advisory Committee and chairing for British Rails Scottish Regional Board.
At one time farming 37,000 acres, Mr. Cameron is an excellent character and host, running immaculate units to finish off your tour.
Onto Dundee for your farewell dinner.
Day 17: Friday July 3rd, 2015 (B)
Travel day: leave Scotland to Canada
Morning transfer to Edinburgh airport