The Christian Tour
Visit Scotland and see the historical landmarks that have shaped the Christian Faith from the 4th Century to the present day.
Your tour guide will be renowned Scottish soprano Joann Gilmartin, who has performed many of the major classical religious works in these historic Cathedrals and will be singing in them again for you during your tour.
This tour will not only be interesting, educational and unique but also beneficial to your Church’s fund raising efforts. Your Church will receive $50 donation for each member that attends the tour.
St Andrews was one of the most important centers of religion in Medieval Europe and remains today as a place of pilgrimage for many thousands every year. According to legend, an angel appeared to the Greek monk St Rule and warned him to remove the bones of St Andrew to “the ends of the earth” for safe-keeping. He duly removed a tooth, arm bone, kneecap and some finger bones from the tomb in Constantinople and brought them to Scotland. Coming ashore on the east coast of Fife, it is believed that a large white cross appeared in the blue sky, symbolic of the shape of the cross Andrew was crucified on. This was adapted as Scotland’s national flag and St Andrew subsequently recognized as the Patron Saint of Scotland. St Rule built a chapel to house the relics, the tower of which remains intact today. The Cathedral itself dates from around 1160 and was consecrated in the presence of Robert the Bruce in 1318.
Glasgow Cathedral, the only mainland Cathedral to have survived the Reformation stands on a site which has been held sacred for 1500 years. St Ninian planted a cross and blessed the ground here for Christian burial in 397. St Kentigern, whose mother came from a pagan family and married a Christian trained for the priesthood in a Celtic monastery then traveled to Glasgow, stopped at the cemetery consecrated by St Ninian and founded his Church there, dedicating it to the Holy Trinity. After the Reformation, it became the Parish Church of Glasgow.
Edinburgh Castle. is visited by a million people every year. Amongst its many attractions, you can stand in the tiny room in which Mary Queen of Scots gave birth to King James VI who is responsible for the “King James version” of the Bible used throughout the world today and pray in St Margaret’s 900 year old Chapel.
St Giles Cathedral. The oldest part of the building dates from 1120 and by the middle of the 16th Century there were about 50 altars. It takes its name from St Giles, the 9th Century Patron Saint of lepers and cripples whose feast day is September 1st. He is also the Patron Saint of the Scotland’s Capital City of Edinburgh.
John Knox’s House. Built in 1490 this was the house Knox lived in while he was minister of St Giles. Ordained as a Catholic priest at age 25, Knox later converted to Protestantism. He became Minister of Edinburgh in 1559 and his preaching is credited with largely influencing Parliament’s passing of an Act abolishing Papal jurisdiction. That same year he participated in the preparation of two other documents –“The First Book of Discipline” in which he covered the reform of the Church, advocated compulsory education through university level and proposed how the Church should help the poor, and the “Book of Common Order” which became the worship book for the Church of Scotland.
The Ancient Kingdom of Dalriada. Dating back to the 6th Century, this ultimately developed into the Kingdom of Scotland and became the center from which the Christian faith spread throughout the western parts of the country. You can climb to the top of the mound and place your foot in the groove worn in the stone by the feet of many ancients, including the Royalty of Scotland as it was here that they were crowned.
Dunblane Cathedral was originally built upon a Christian site first established by St Blane around 600 and is one of the few surviving medieval Churches in Scotland.
During the tour award-winning soprano Joann Gilmartin will be performing some of your favorite Christian songs and arias in these beautiful and historic settings on this 8 day trip.
The Platinum Tour
Do you want to trace your ancestor's steps in Scotland? Is there a special anniversary you'd like to celebrate in a Scottish Castle? Personal, Guided Scotland Tours with Joann can be tailored to suit your desires! Contact Joann and together you can plan your dream tour to Scotland!
See the real Scotland with a real Scot! Personal guided tours around Joann’s homeland. Choose the one that’s right for you or have Joann plan one especially for your group!
There are many organizations offering tours to Scotland. What sets this one apart from the rest?
Alternate tours may fly you to London then transport you by coach to Scotland – this means two of your valuable vacation days are spent on traveling. Glasgow Girl Tours flies you into Glasgow or Edinburgh International airport.
Alternate tours may not include airfare. Glasgow Girl Tours is fully inclusive of ALL transportation costs.
Alternate tours may offer a continental breakfast and limited dinners. Glasgow Girl Tours provide a full Scottish breakfast and gourmet dinners EVERY DAY!
Alternate tours may limit the actual time you have a guided tour by giving lots of “free time to explore”. Glasgow Girl Tours give you Joann every day, all day! And she is not just a tour guide. The Flower of Scotland is a performer who will be bringing the history of Scotland to life in song as part of your tour.
Alternate tours may require you to pay for entry into attractions. Glasgow Girl Tours are fully inclusive of all fees. Joann's family and friends will accompany us on various activities - you'll feel like you're part of her kith an' kin while you visit her homeland!
From the moment you board the plane at your local airport until you arrive back home, every minute of your trip has been carefully and personally planned by Joann. We think you’ll appreciate the difference! (read some testimonials below and scroll to bottom of page for slideshow).
You will stay in a hotel specially selected by Joann for its excellent service and cuisine and experience Scottish hospitality at its best!
See what others say about Joann's tours.....
“Dear Joann, Thank you for showing me YOUR bonnie Scotland. With a country so rich in history, it would be hard to decide which things to see. You chose a wide variety of places. I felt like I got to see a bit of everything. I enjoyed the majestic City Chambers. I found the Police Museum most interesting, especially the collection of badges and patches from all over the world. My favorite day was the Burns Cottage & Burns Supper. I can see why he is Scotland’s hero. Seeing Scotland through the eyes of someone who loves her (you) makes each day of your tour very special."
-- Sincerely, Dr Patty Boge, Los Angeles, CA
“Dear Joann, You being a native Scot from Glasgow gave our tour an advantage of many intimate and special views of Scotland. Ian MacPherson, in his kilt, spewing Robert Burns Poetry and celebrating the haggis (we couldn’t believe how delicious). The Stirling and Edinburgh Castles, the Museums, the history we’d so long ago forgotten, brought back to mind. The beautiful countryside and the happy, happy Scots. The Herty-Perty with joyful singing, jokes and laughing, culminated a week of memories made. Aye, Lass, we’d like to, again, enjoy a wee dram more of Scotland!"
-- Gloria & Tony Ferrara, New York. (PIctures in slide-show below courtesy of the Ferrara Family)
“Dear Joann…I can still see the rugged snow capped peaks, the beautiful valleys, the majestic castles. I can still feel the warmth of the fire and the warmth of friendship as our group sat around after the evening meals sharing a wee dram of Scotch. I miss the warmth of all the Scottish people we met…the wonderful friendly staff and the comfortable home-like atmosphere of the hotel…your incredible family and friends we met…the people of Glasgow. And let’s not forget about the food! Something I did not expect was the excellent quality, variety and presentation of the meals in Scotland. Who would have thought haggis and Cullen Skink could have tasted so good? I miss it all – you have an incredible country and heritage to be proud of – your tours do what no other can – make me feel like Scotland is home! Thanks for the trip of a life-time.”
-- Monica Iversen, Phoenix, AZ
Choose the itinerary that suits you best! All tours are for 8 days/7 nights and are fully inclusive of air fares, ground transportation in Scotland, accommodation, daily breakfasts & dinners plus all entertainment/entry fees!
The Real MacCoy Tour
Itinerary includes: visiting the historic Castles of Stirling & Edinburgh, Wallace’s Monument (Braveheart Country!), the spectacular Glasgow Cathedral where Joann sang as a child, the Museum of Transport (which tells the story of transport by land & sea and has an outstanding collection of rare vehicles including horse-drawn, fire engines, motorcycles, the oldest surviving pedal cycle, Scottish built cars – even toy cars and strollers. And of course Glasgow’s proud ship-building history and the locomotive industry are well represented with full size actual trains that you can climb aboard. There’s also a fine collection of the famous “Glesca” tram cars, a reconstructed subway station and Kelvin Street where you can walk down the cobbles and recapture the atmosphere of the old city) , the Police Museum (which traces the dramatic and compelling history of the UK’s oldest police force founded in 1779), the People’s Palace (this social history museum tells Glasgow’s people’s story from 1750 to the present day) , the awesome City Chambers where you’ll see such treasures as 1.5 million hand laid mosaic tiles, marble staircases & original Wedgewood ceilings, the oldest house in Glasgow (built in 1471), whisky distillery (where you can sample the produce and see it being made!), spending the day in Ayr visiting Burns’ Cottage (seeing Burns’ original hand-written poems and hearing Joann sing some of his songs right where they were penned) and then experiencing a real Burns Supper and so much more!
The Scottish Country Dancing Tour
Joann brings the history of Scotland alive in words and music when she performs your favorite Burns songs in the cottage where the poet was actually born and sings “Scots Wha Hae” at the top of the Wallace (Braveheart) Monument looking out over the very battleground where he defeated the enemy foes.
She will take you to Edinburgh & Stirling Castles, St Giles Cathedral, the Wallace Monument, Burns Cottage & Museum in Ayr, Glasgow Cathedral, the People’s Palace, the oldest house in Glasgow (built in 1471), Glasgow Police Museum, Glasgow City Chambers, and a distillery tour where you can see the whisky being made (and sample it!), a real Burns Supper and so much more!
Plus 4 nights of Scottish Country Dancing with the locals where you’ll get the opportunity to make new dancing friends!
The Golf Tour
Award winning recording artist, Joann Gilmartin personally escorts tour groups around her homeland. Her guests stay in quality accommodations and feast on daily full Scottish breakfasts and gourmet dinners. Transportation is provided in a private luxury coach and Joann’s family & friends also participate in the tour activities. Joann brings the history of Scotland alive in words and music. Non golfers can accompany their player travel companions so that everyone can enjoy Scotland's many attractions!
Golfers will delight to play on:
Haggs Castle where the course provides a challenging but fair test with woodland coming into play on many holes and a number of strategically placed bunkers making for some interesting course management decisions.
Buchanan Castle which lies within a forested estate. To the East & North West, beyond the banks of Loch Lomond are the beginnings of the Highlands and the mountains of Ben Lomond. This scenic course features many fairways framed by two tall trees at around 200 yards.
Western Gailes was played by US Open Champion Gene Sarazen in 1923. This seaside course provides a challenge compounded by the westerly winds coming off the Firth of Clyde and the undulating terrain and finely contoured greens cleverly located and set in the folds of the surrounding sand dunes.
Established in 1851, Lanark is the 25th oldest club in the world! With its sandy links and moorland turf, it’s never an easy course. However Sam Torrance of Ryder Cup fame, carded a 64 here.
Non golfers enjoy Joann’s guided tours of Glasgow, Lanark, New Lanark and Burns’ Ayr while their travel partners are on the greens! Everyone participates in a real Burns Supper, visits Edinburgh Castle and a distillery where you’ll see whisky being made (and sample it!)