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8 Days Unique Scottish Cultural & Cooking Vacation in Mid Argyll, Scotland

Cairnbaan, Argyll and Bute, PA31, Scotland, UK

Magical Cooking Holiday in Scotland

Experience the real Scotland by learning how to prepare and cook its traditional dishes and discovering its vibrant history. Scotland has a various available natural produce that can be found in its rich mountains, glens, wild rivers, and coastal area. By using its natural ingredients, you will discover and learn how to develop a range of traditional mouthwatering and delicious Scottish feasts, all these accompanied by Scotland's magical landscapes.

Meet the instructors

Jane
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Highlights

  • Scottish recipes cook book
  • 4 Scottish cooking sessions
  • Experience Scotland’s magical landscapes
  • Transport throughout the activities and itinerary
  • Local guided walks for the collection of wild foods
  • 7 breakfasts, 7 lunches, and 6 dinners
  • 7 nights accommodation

Styles


7 days with instruction
Group size: Maximum of 4 participants
Airport transfer included: Glasgow Airport
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Accommodation

Check-in Time:
15:00
Check-out Time:
10:00

You will stay in a private cottage which is typically a two-storey house with stairs. Solo traveler will stay in a private double room with shared bathroom. Two persons will share a double or twin room. Your actual accommodation base will be notified to you at the time of a confirmed booking and will be determined by the number of people in your group. Your accommodation will be conveniently located for access to the cooking school.

Program

Scotland has a wealth of natural produce from its rich mountains, glens, wild rivers, and coastal area. This has allowed Scotland to develop a culinary repertoire of exceptional quality and diversity: partridge, grouse, and the pheasant from its remote moorlands, succulent venison from the wild red deer roaming these mountains, salmon and trout from Highland rivers, rare and succulent beef and lamb from the famous Highland herds, and shellfish of all kinds. Using ingredients like these, you will discover and learn how to develop a range of mouth watering and delicious feasts.

The presentation and delivery of this Scottish cooking and cultural vacation will be very informal, friendly, and personal. The cooking sessions will be based in a traditional Scottish family style, fully equipped kitchen and each vacation and course will be limited to a maximum of four guests.

Participants can expect a fun week with wonderful culinary experiences and, most of all, they will experience the real Scotland combined with traditional Scottish culture, along with delicious Scottish food. On this vacation, you will be cooking and preparing a variety of meats, fish, shellfish, and vegetables.

Your culinary host for this vacation is cook Jane Chaplin. Jane is very passionate about Scotland, cooking, and loves sharing her ideas with cooking guests. During the week, you will be accompanied and hosted by other staff from Adventure Tourism Services who are also located in Mid Argyll.

Detailed holiday and course information

Depending on your chosen month of travel, experiences and excursions will vary. Scotland benefits from long summer days from around the beginning of May to late August when daylight is on until around 11:00 p.m. These seasonal variations will not affect the itinerary but may assist you in planning your trip to your own preferences. Scotland offers fantastic visitor experiences during most seasons.

This vacation is operated and provided on a Saturday arrival and departure basis. All itinerary items will be provided, but some alterations to the specific daily activities will be required. Depending on what month you choose to visit, daily itineraries will be seasonal and variable and actual day activities may change, but all inclusions will be covered.

Some of the dishes you will cook and enjoy during your stay

  • Braden rost (hot smoked Scottish salmon)
  • Cranachan (raspberry oatmeal, cream, oats, dessert)
  • Cullen skink (smoked fish soup)
  • Haggis, the famous Scottish delicacy
  • Oatcakes and shortbread
  • Traditional meat scotch pies and meat bridies

Daily itinerary

Day 1: Saturday

You will be met at your pre-arranged location by Adventure Tourism Services' representative who will accompany you by private car transfer to Mid Argyll, the base for your holiday. On arrival, you will be introduced to Jane Chaplin and any other guests or staff who will be involved in your vacation during the week.

This will be followed by the opportunity to relax and settle in for a couple of hours. Depending on the time of year, you may wish to go for a walk or to explore the local area or just relax. Dinner will be served around 7:00 p.m. when you will have an informal meeting to discuss further and plan the aspects of your stay and ask any questions that you may have.

Day 2: Sunday

After breakfast, you will be taken on an excursion to visit Kilmartin Museum. Lunch will be served when you return. In the afternoon, you may like to relax or explore the picturesque Crinan Canal or other local sites of interest. You will meet up again around 4:00 p.m. to start your first Scottish cooking session. Dinner will be served around 7:00 p.m.

Day 3: Monday

The morning is allocated to your chosen half day excursion. After lunch, around 3:00 p.m., you will participate in your second Scottish cooking lesson and dinner will be served around 7:00 p.m.

Day 4: Tuesday

After breakfast, you will participate in your third Scottish cooking session, followed by lunch. The afternoon is free from 2:00 p.m. and you will meet up for dinner which will be served around 7:00 p.m.

Day 5: Wednesday

Today you will participate in your chosen full day excursion then return to the cook school for dinner.

Day 6: Thursday

The morning is allocated to your second chosen half day excursion. Your afternoon is free. Dinner is not included on this evening and will be on your own at a local pub or restaurant.

Day 7: Friday

After breakfast, your morning is free. In the afternoon, you will begin your final Scottish cooking session. Dinner will be at the cooking school at 7:00 p.m.

Day 8: Saturday

After breakfast you will return to Glasgow either by train from Oban or bus from Lochgilphead (tickets included in price).

Note: The itinerary shown above is a sample and your actual daily itinerary will be determined by the excursions that you have chosen during your stay.

Included excursions

The excursions will be determined by the month you choose to book. After confirming a booking, guests will be provided with a detailed description which will assist them in choosing from the various options shown in the list below. Guests may choose one full day and two half day excursions. All excursions are guided by a staff member.

Full day guided excursions

  • Cycle trip along the Crinan Canal / Kilmartin Valley area (easy cycling nine miles on flat road)
  • Explore the Crinan Canal, guided walk Cairnbaan to Crinan return (eight miles, all flat)
  • Island of Luing / Atlantic Islands center / Easdale Island
  • Island of Mull and visit to Duart Castle (seat of the clan chief MacLean)
  • Island of Mull, Tobermory, and visit to Tobermory whisky distillery
  • Non-landing scenic cruise to the island of Colonsay with dinner on board
  • Non-landing scenic cruise to the island of Islay with lunch or dinner on board
  • Oban - visit to Oban whisky distillery and Dunstaffnage Castle or Dunollie castle estate
  • Town of Oban and a visit to Inverawe Estate and falcon display
  • Walk through the ancient Kingdom of Dál Riada and Kilmartin Valley (six miles)

Half day guided excursions

  • Castle Sween (oldest castle in Scotland) and Kilmory Chapel with ancient gravestones
  • Farm visit / meet and feed Scottish lambs (April and May only and subject to availability)
  • Forage for wild garlic, make your own wild garlic pesto to eat and take home (April / May)
  • Forage for wild mussels along the shore line
  • Forest walk to Barlusgan Nature Reserve - beavers have been reintroduced into Scotland
  • Guided walks through Kilmartin Valley, Templewood stone circle, Dunadd Fort
  • Guided walk to visit Cairnbaan and Achnabreac ancient rock carvings
  • Gulf of Corryvreckan whirlpool boat cruise passing by the islands of Scarba and Jura
  • Inveraray town and Inveraray Castle (seat of the clan chief Campbell)
  • Seaweed foraging, explore the shore to collect seaweed to incorporate into some recipes back at the cook school
  • Visit to Crinan - can include a small walk, followed by cream tea and scones at Crinan

Note: Please note that some excursions are in parts on rough terrain and may not be suitable for people who have mobility issues.

Instructors

Jane Chaplin

Location

The location for this unique Scottish cooking vacation experience is in Dál Riada, once the ancient kingdom of Scotland, which is located in the unspoiled coastal region now known as Mid Argyll. Your accommodation base will be near Dunadd Fort, the historical capital of Scotland, where in the past Scottish kings were crowned. Whilst staying in Dál Riada, not only will you learn fabulous Scottish recipes, you will also experience the wild and wonderful nature of rural Scottish life within this unique Scottish Highlands area.

Food

During your stay, you will be provided with seven breakfasts, seven lunches, and six dinners. On one evening, dinner is not included in the price. This will be an opportunity for you to visit a local pub or restaurant on your own to sample other local Scottish cuisine. Alcoholic beverages at the cook school are also included with dinners.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Drinks

The following drinks are included:

  • Alcoholic beverages

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

Things to do (optional)

During the week, you will have ample free time. The local area offers a wide variety for self guided activities and opportunities - walking, cycling, exploring, and visiting. Below are some of the areas that Adventure Tourism Services would recommend. They will be able to supply you with a detailed map and further guidance to explore these areas:

  • Ardishaig and Lochgilphead
  • Crinan Canal, short and long walks
  • Dál Riada heritage trail
  • Dunardry forest walk, near to nature trail
  • Visit to the local pub Cairnbaan Hotel (a five-minute walk from your accommodation)

What's included

  • 4 Scottish cooking sessions (three to four hours each session)
  • All transport throughout the activities and itinerary
  • Local guided walks for the collection of wild foods used in cooking sessions when available
  • Whisky tasting sessions
  • Engraved personalized Scottish whisky flask
  • Scottish cooking apron and recipes cook book
  • Free round trip transportation from Lochgilphead
  • 7 breakfasts, 7 lunches, and 6 dinners
  • 7 nights accommodation
  • Alcohol is included with dinners at the cook school

What's not included

  • One dinner
  • Travel insurance

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Please note the following.

(a) Outward transfer collection at Glasgow airport is between 10.30 am and 4pm - you will be met by a representative who will bring you by private car to Mid Argyll.

(b) Return transfer - This will be provided by public transport (tickets included) - you will have the choice of either.

1. Adventure Tourism Services will take you to Oban to take the train from Oban to Glasgow, direct train departs 9.00 am or 11.55 am arrives Glasgow 3 hours later.

2. Bus from Lochgilphead to Glasgow, bus departs 8.00 am or 10.00 am arrives Glasgow 2.hours and 40 minutes later.

The above train or bus tickets are included in the price. Please bear these times mind when booking flights.

Airport: Glasgow Airport Airport transfer included: Glasgow Airport No additional charges. You can request this in the next step.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 30% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 30 days before arrival.

Value for money
Accommodation & facilities
Food
Location
Quality of activity
8 days / 7 nights
from --
Availability

This vacation is available from April 4 to October 17, 2020 with arrival on Saturday.

Special discounts

For a booking of 3 or 4 persons, there may be additional discounts for certain weeks. Please send your inquiry to Adventure Tourism Services. 

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