Every second year Geek Nation Tours takes a journey to the United Kingdom. Each time we go we explore another section of the county and for 2014 we are very excited to announce that we will be headed to Scotland. That is right! Home of haggis, kilts, Nessie and of course Scotch Whiskey…
We will see the natural beauty that Scotland is famous for, head to Islay to take in some whiskey distilleries and travel the coastline north to the Highlands…. We will see battlefields and castles and dive into Scottish history… If you ever wanted to take in the real “Braveheart” battlefields, see loads of castles (including one from Highlander and Monty Pythons Holy Grail), or just have a look into how they make scotch taste so good, now is your chance.
Of course this is a gamers AND a whiskey tour and every miniature wargaming Geek’s dream is to visit one of the birth places of wargaming. If you are a fan of 40K or Fantasy and want to see many of the wargaming sites in the UK while being surrounded by people of like mind – this is the tour for you. You will meet people that are just as enthusiastic about 40K or Fantasy as you are. Our tour participants agree that while not only do you see super cool places and things while on tour – but you also make friends with great people from around the world.
While this tour is only 3 days longer than 2012’s we really have packed in the sites… Join us as we visit not only historical sites and museums like – Castle Stalker, Eilean Donan Castle, The battlefields of Culloden, Stirling and Bannockburn, Edinburgh Castle, the National War Museum of Scotland and the Imperial War Museum North – and natural wonders like Glen Coe, Loc Lomond and of course Loc Ness – but Games Day UK and Warhammer World also. We may even have a drink and a meal at a local pub in Nottingham and maybe even meet a wargame celebrity or two.
Geek Nation Tours will is also looking into providing opportunities for guided Hiking Trips to see the more natural aspects of Scotland’s country-side. More on that as we get closer to our departure.
We would like also announce that we will have several of the crew from the Screaming Heretic Podcast aboard and they will be recording thoughout the tour! Check our friends out at Screaming Heretic!
Day 1 September 20th (Saturday)
Today we will arrive from all around the world. Wherever you originate whether it is Singapore or South Africa, Boston or Buenos Aires you will spend this day as a free day. Our Geek Nation Tour representative will meet you at the hotel but will provide you with advice and direction on how to get there even before you leave for Scotland.
Today we will be free to explore Glasgow whether that means exploring Buchanan Street, Glasgow’s West End or the Glasgow Cathedral…If we arrive and there is a game on we intend to see a Football game (Soccer of course for those of us in North America).
Don’t be too late getting in or back to the hotel however…. We will be having our “Welcome Dinner” tonight. This is a great time to get to know each other and plan what discuss in detail what we will be doing over the next days. We are even talking to several interesting Wargaming celebrities and might have a Guest of Honor or two at the meal…
We will be staying the night at the Hilton Garden Inn Glasgow City Centre
Day 2 – September 21st (Sunday)
Today we will depart Glasgow to travel to some of the very best Whiskey Distilleries in Scotland. We will pass by the “Bonnie Banks” of Loc Lomond as we pass through the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park. We will see the stellar beauty of Scotland in all it splendor as we make our way through the gateway to the Highlands and the Islands – Inveraray. Passing through here we will continue south to the ferry at Port Kennacraig that will take us to the island of Islay.
After taking the ferry we will be ready to try a “nip” of scotch at one of the world’s prestigious distilleries – Lagavulin. After a tour and a sampling we will head to our hotel and be able to discover Islay on your own. We will however gather for dinner at a local restaurant to discover the cuisine of the area or you can set out on your own. As a matter of fact past tour participants agree that our meet-ups are an important part of the tour experience – a time where you can get to know other Geeks and maybe hear a great suggestion or two on what to do the following day, exchange “war stories” and have loads of fun. You can join us every night or you can do your own thing. Geek Nation Tours wants you to have the most freedom to “Geek Out” as much as possible so our meetings will be completely optional and you can come and go as you please.
We will be staying the night at the White Hart Hotel – Note that this is a very traditional hotel. Geek Nation Tours has secured 9 rooms with ensuite bathrooms and 9 with shared bathrooms (down the hall). The ensuites will be award on a first come first served basis.
Day 3 – September 22nd (Monday) –
Today we will continue with our discovery of Scotch Whiskey. After breakfast we will visit the Laphroaig Distillery and then the Caol Ila Distillery. After touring both we will again depart for the ferry and the mainland.
Travelling along the coastline we will start our exploration of the Scottish Highlands and again see the natural beauty of Scotland. Nestled in the coast hills and forests Oban Bay is a beautiful town that offers picturesque sites and it is also known for its seafood.
When we arrive at our hotel we will freshen up and then dine right at the hotel itself. Dinner will be followed by an exploration of the local pubs.
We will be staying the night at the Caledonian Hotel
Day 4 – September 23rd (Tuesday)
Before we leave Oban to head further north we will stop at one last distillery. Right after breakfast we will visit the Oban Distillery which is famous worldwide. From here we will head north and stop for lunch at the “Castle Stalker View Café” in Appin… We will dine here and reminisce about Monty Pythons search for the Holy Grail movie. Who knows we might even be able to find some coconuts so we ride our “horses” while we enjoy the view (for the uninitiated here is a clip).
After lunch we will continue north with a quick stop at Glen Coe. Glen Coe is famous worldwide for not only its natural splendor but also for the many film clips of the area used in the movie “Braveheart”. Glen Coe was also the site of the Glen Coe Massacre that took place in 1692. Although we will only make a quick stop the area demands that we make the slight detour to see it.
From here we will again head north and have a photo op at the famous Eilean Donan Castle. The castle is famous worldwide for its beautiful setting and was filmed extensively for the movie “Highlander” (again another clip for the uninitiated)…
No trip to Scotland would be complete without a stop at Loch Ness. From Eilean Donan we will be headed north again in the hopes we can see “Nessie”. We will dine near Loch Ness and have some time to take in the beautiful lake area in the evening.
We will be staying the night at the Drumnadrochit Hotel
Day 5 – September 24th (Wednesday)
Today we will depart the hotel to explore the battle of Culloden which took place in 1746 and was the final confrontation of the Jacobite Uprising. We will explore the Culloden Visitors Centre and have a private guide talk to us about what happened on this battlefield.
After our visit we will be off to explore a bit more scotch as we stop at the Glenlivet Distillery. From here we should have a cheery coach ride south to the town of Pitlochry where we will dine at the hotel and explore the neighborhood pubs.
We will be staying the night at the Fishers Hotel
Day 6 – September 25th (Thursday)
Today we will continue our exploration of Scottish military history today by visiting Stirling Castle, the Bannockburn Battlefield and Wallace Monument. Again we will have the pleasure of being guided by a local professional guide that will give us in depth information about the Battle of Stirling Bridge and the First War of Scottish Independence (Battle of Bannockburn)…
After our tour of Stirling we will head off to Edinburgh to have as a group on Geek Nation Tours dime… Don’t worry though – we are sure there will be another pub or two taken in tonight in addition to the meal.
We will be staying the night at the Holiday Inn Edinburgh
Day 7 – September 26th (Friday)
Today we will explore Edinburgh as we head out for the day to the Royal Mile and Edinburgh Castle. The Royal Palace, St. Margaret’s Chapel and the National War Museum of Scotland are all housed within the castle walls – so we will be busy well into the day. You will be on your own after our visit to stroll down the Royal Mile and visit is shop and pubs.
Some of us however will be itching to get a game in and we have been invited to stop and roll some dice at the Edinburgh Games Hub. This is a great place for us to stop as it is a community based club and store that has an extensive library of board, card, RPG and tabletop games.
Dinner will be on your own but be sure to meet us back at the Royal Mile for a special evening… Tonight we will discover what is below the streets of the Royal Mile as we are taken on a tour of the hidden warrens. But beware – the professional guides at The Real Mary King’s Close may opt to lose you in caves below….
We will be staying the night at the Holiday Inn Edinburgh
Day 8 – September 27th (Saturday)
Today is a free day… Catch up on some sleep or get up early and explore the city of Edinburgh on your own. Many may want to take in the Scotch Whiskey Experience. Whatever your choice we will meet for our final dinner in Edinburgh at 5:00pm. From here we will head out to the airport for our air transfer to Birmingham.
We will hang at the hotel bar and perhaps talk to fellow Games Day enthusiasts as they gather to prepare for the next day’s convention.
We will be staying the night at the Novotel Birmingham Airport
Day 9 – September 28th (Sunday)
Today we will get to take in Games Day UK! As we will be staying in The Novotel Birmingham all we have to do is roll out of bed, eat breakfast and take a 90 second train ride to the NEC for today’s event. The hotel is “next door to the NEC” so you can easily haul all your loot back to your room. NOTE: GNT currently is aware that Games Workshop will be holding Games Day UK 2013 at the NIA. As we get closer to the date we examine the benefits of switching our hotel to one closer to the NIA if Games Day UK is held there in 2014.
The Geek Nation Tours representative will be in the crowd at Games Day too… Making sure you know where to go and what to do. It really is an awesome event and all this Games Workshop will be celebrated….
We will be staying the night at the Novotel Birmingham Airport
Day 10 – September 29th (Monday)
We will leave Birmingham today and venture off to Nottingham… Once there we will check in, freshen up and the head off to see some local Wargame Companies. You will be welcome to stay behind to get a bit of relaxing in however for those interested we will visit Warlord Games and Mantic Games for a quick look at their production areas. Both John and Ronnie always are hugely entertaining and our visits with them are not only very interesting but highly enjoyable…
For those of you wanting to retire to the hotel – you could go for a quick stroll to Nottingham Castle and a tour of the castle ruins, museums and the warrens beneath the castle itself…Here is where Richard the Lionhearted reclaimed the castle from Prince John – and where the legendary Robin Hood let the odd arrow fly.
Today is also the day for our traditional outing to “Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem” pub. We will then return to the “Trip” this year too for few beers and a tour of the pub’s secret warren of caves – alot of hidey holes in Nottingham….We will dine at the “Trip” and settle in for a night at the pub. Not only that, GNT will be inviting tonnes of guests to our dinner. Have a beer with Wargaming celebrities and join in our pub quiz and other pub fun. John from Warlord Games and Ronnie from Mantic Games have both already said they will join us for a “pint” or two again this year. (Overnight at Jury’s Inn Nottingham).
We will be staying the night at the Jury’s Inn Nottingham
Day 11 – September 30th (Tuesday) – Visit Warhammer World. All tour members will have the opportunity to play two (or more) friendly 40K or Fantasy games – during this time there will be organized trips to the Miniatures Hall to view all those beautifully ‘Eavy Metal painted miniatures. You will also have plenty of time to wonder into the Warhammer World Store. The games will be 1500 points and tables and opponents will be decided at random. Lunch will be included as well as the “Wrap-up” Roast Beef Dinner and a visit to Bugman’s Bar (Transfers to Warhammer world will be included).
We will be staying the night at the Jury’s Inn Nottingham
Day 12 – October 1st (Wednesday)
Today is our last full day in the UK and we will travel from Nottingham to Manchester. No Geek Nation Tours UK trip is complete without a visit to an Imperial War Museum – so we will take in the one in Manchester. After that it will be off to the hotel for one final meal together and a search for a final pub or two.
We will be staying the night at the Crowne Plaza Manchester City
Day 13 – October 2nd (Thursday)
We will be headed off individually to the Manchester Airport today but don’t worry – our Geek Nation Tours representative will be happy to direct you and make sure you find your way.
All good things must end, unfortunately, and today we return to the airport and depart for home. The photos, memories and friendships you made, are yours to keep forever!
While this excludes the airfare Geek Nation Tours would be happy to arrange air transport from anywhere in the world…Email anytime for more information. Note however that the land only price does not include transfers to or from the airport.
Don’t have a friend to get the double occupancy rate? That is what Geek Nation Tours does. Book as a double occupancy and we will match you up a roommate… This way you get the best of both worlds – some one to BS about the con with – and more cash to spend!
Deposit: $500.00 – due upon booking and securing your spot. Book by soon to take full advantage of our traditional Titanic promotion (see below)
Final: Due May 20th 2014
Single Supplement: $620.00 If you would like a room on your own
What is included: All accommodations, all transfers and Ferry costs, tour costs for all Distilleries, all breakfasts, “Welcome Dinner” and many others as per above for instance (dinner in Islay, dinner in Oban, Lunch at Castle Stalker View Café, dinner at Loch Ness, dinner in Pitlochry, Welcome to Edinburgh dinner, dinner at the “Trip” pub, Lunch and Dinner at Warhammer World), Culloden Visitors Centre entrance fee and private tour, Entrance fee to Stirling Castle, Bannockburn Battlefield and Wallace Monument plus private tour guide, Entrance fee to Edinburgh castle, The Real Mary King’s Close tour, Air from Edinburgh to Birmingham, Minibus tour of Wargame companies in Nottingham, Entrance fee to Imperial War Museum North, all taxes.
What the tour does not include: Tickets to Games Day UK – we will be organizing a group purchase as we have done in the past. Some small transfers and entrance fees will need to be paid for locally. International air.
Remember that the “Geeking Out with Miniatures in the UK” Tour will have a maximum guest space of 35 passengers, so space is VERY limited. Book now to secure your spot.
Important Note on Games Day UK: In the past Games Workshop has scheduled Games Day UK for the last Sunday in September. We expect that this trend is going to continue and we are very confident that it will be included in the tour…. However, they cannot release the dates until all agreements are signed and the date and location are secured. This confirmation can then not be released until a few months prior to the event … This being the case Geek Nation Tours cannot confirm this part of the tour until that time. With that said if Games Workshop was to change the historical date and place of Games Day or if the event is canceled for some reason we have plans to visit local gaming stores or extend our visit to Warhammer World by a further day. The above tour dates are set in stone. As we get closer to the date we will release more details on Games Day UK. Email me anytime for more information at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Note: because of the above GNT may need to add some additional charges if we need to change the exact date of the tour OR if we need to move a hotel to a closer location to the venue.
Gaming while on tour – there will be many chances for spontaneous gaming throughout the tour. In the past the hotels have supplied us with tables and gaming areas and we were happy to be able to game to our hearts content after returning to our hotel in the evening
As is tradition, we will have our “Titanic Surprise Draw” again this year. During one of our many pub visits we will have a Dice Off! For each month you book prior to the departure you will be given one six sided dice. All tour participants will roll off to see if they will become the winner of our 2014 promotion.
We can’t tell you exactly what it is but it comes from the UK, has two really big guns, has to do with war, is themed after a hound, and is Titanic! Fantasy player? No worries! You are included too…With magic we can “zap” that Titan into your favorite alternative miniture….
That’s right! Let Geek Nation Tours do your resin crack shopping for you…. Book early to secure your “dice” and increase your odds on bringing something home on us.
Additional Options: Want a few extra days in the UK to chill out or want to go to other places in Europe after the tour? Geek Nation Tours will be more than happy to arrange it for you. Simply email us at email@example.com or put a quick note in the “Special Requests” box when you book.
The “Geeking Out with Miniatures in the UK” Tour has two days that passengers can add loads of additional tours into. Geek Nation Tours can help you find a tour that is right for you. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for suggestions to enhance your tour now.
Non-Geek Spousal Argument: “But think of the historical sites…”
Departs from: All Around the world
Want to see some photos of our last trip?
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