Your tour begins in Edinburgh Airport with a transfer to your hotel (for arrivals prior to 11am). At 1pm, meet at Hotel reception and begin your sightseeing with a panoramic tour of Edinburgh City and a visit to one of Edinburgh’s oldest knitting shops, McAree Brothers.
Visit Edinburgh Castle which stands majestically upon the basalt core of an extinct volcano. Return to your hotel for an introductory talk on Scottish Textiles with Scottish Textiles Expert Kitty Bruce-Gardyne, followed by your welcome dinner. Overnight in Edinburgh, Dinner, Bed & Breakfast Included
After breakfast we meet Emily from Tin Can Knits for a knitting workshop following Tin Can Knits 'Anthology' pattern. The class will feature stranded colourwork, yarn sizing and each participant will get started knitting a swatch. After your class we travel to New Lanark Mill, a unique 18th century mill and UNESCO heritage site. Overnight in New Lanark, Dinner, Bed & Breakfast included.
After your class we travel to New Lanark Mill, a unique 18th century mill and UNESCO heritage site. The mill was founded in 1786 and taken over in 1800 by Robert Owen, an influential social reformer. In Owen's time over 2,500 people lived and worked at New Lanark, many from the poorhouses of Glasgow and Edinburgh. Owen improved the lives of these workers by introducing previously unheard of social welfare programmes and a school for the children.
Day 3: New Lanark World Heritage Site & Sanquhar Knitting Demonstration
After breakfast you will have more time to explore New Lanark, learning more about its history.. Today, visitors can see recreated millworkers’ homes, historic functioning machinery and the adjacent ‘Falls of Clyde’ waterfalls.
After time to explore the site, we travel to the small village of Sanquhar which is famous for a traditional geometric-style pattern named after its founding village. We will visit the A’ The Airts Centre for a presentation on the traditional Sanquhar pattern. You will enjoy a demonstration of hand-knitting of Sanquhar Gloves and see how the pattern is made on their knitting machines. After your visit continue to Glasgow where the remainder of your evening will be free for personal sightseeing or shopping. Overnight in Glasgow, Bed & Breakfast included.
Today we will spend a leisurely morning sightseeing around Glasgow. We will start by visiting the Riverside Museum of Transport and Travel, an award winning museum which displays more than 300 objects that tell a story of Glasgow’s past, from vintage cars to prams and even powerful locomotives! One of the highlights of the museum is to walk down an old cobbled Glasgow street with recreated shops dating from 1895 to the 1980s.
We will see George’s Square with its ornate city chambers and pay a visit to Provand’s Lordship, Glasgow’s oldest buildings which dates from 1471. The afternoon is free for personal sightseeing or shopping or you can simply return to your hotel and relax if you wish. The names and addresses of Glasgow’s main knitting shops will be featured in your itinerary so that you can visit if you feel like it. Alternatively, you can take an optional tour to Paisley which is famous the Paisley Shawl which was produced here in droves up until the 19th century, where you can step back in time with a visit to Sma’ Shot Cottages. Overnight in Glasgow, Bed & Breakfast included.
Day 5: Waulking with Wool at Auchindrain & Loch Lomond
Today we make our way to Auchindrain along the shores of Loch Lomond, stopping along the way to admire the views and take some photographs of the stunning scenery. Enjoy some free time in the village of Inveraray which has an 18th Century Castle and the interesting Inveraray Jail Museum. On arrival in Auchindrain we will visit the Auchindrain Township which gives a taste historic rural life in the Scottish Highlands. Discover the byres, stables and fields to understand how groups of families would have once worked the common lands.
At Auchindrain we will also meet the group locally known as ‘Sgioba Luaidh Inbhirchluaidh’ which translates to the ‘Inverclyde Waulking Group. Waulking is a method of finishing newly woven tweed by soaking and thumping it steadily to shrink and soften it. The group sings Waulking Songs as they work! Continue to Oban and check into your hotel for the night.
Day 6: The Highland Folk Museum & Dalwhinnie Distillery
Today we make our way to Elgin from Oban, stopping along the way at the Highland Folk Museum and one of Speyside’s famous distilleries. The Highland Folk Museum gives visitors a sense of how Highland people lived and worked from the 1700s up until the 1960s. Your tour will pay special attention to traditional crafts like spinning, knitting and weaving and you will enjoy a special textile talk from the museum’s curator.
Following your visit travel onward to a Distillery tour and Whisky Tasting. The tour offers you a sensory introduction to the entire process of whisky-making in a historic distillery and enjoy a whisky tasting before you leave! Continue to Elgin and check into your hotel. Overnight in Elgin, Dinner, Bed & Breakfast Included.
Day 7: Knitting Workshop with ERIBÉ & Johnstons of Elgin Mill Tour
We start the day by meeting with ERIBÉ for a half day workshop on the topic of the Art of Scottish Knitting. Working with a range of yarns and colours, learn how to develop your own colour story and explore how knitwear can make you look and feel younger. Using colour as our focus, we can inspire with images of nature, paintings, mood-boards and knitted fabrics. Learn how the ERIBÉ designers colour their collections.
In the afternoon we will take a tour of Johnston’s Mill. Johnston’s of Elgin have proudly been making the finest cashmere clothing, accessories and fabric in Scotland since 1797. They are now the last operating vertical mill in Scotland which means all processes are done on site. Watch for yourself as the cashmere is dyed, teased, carded, spun and hand finished by the latest generation of Elgin craftsmen. For those not interested in the mill tour or the knitting workshop there is lots to see in the town of Elgin including the ruins of Elgin cathedral and Britain’s oldest museum, the Elgin Museum. Overnight in Elgin, Dinner, Bed & Breakfast Included.
Today we make our way from Elgin to Dundee, stopping in the beautiful coastal town of Stonehaven. Enjoy a visit to Baa! The venue of designer and tutor Janice Anderson and a hub of inspirational hand-selected wool and luxury yarns from Scotland and beyond. This afternoon before checking into your hotel we will pay a visit to Verdant Works in Dundee. Verdant Works is a world class visitor attraction which tells the story of Dundee’s industrial textile heritage in the impressive setting of a beautifully restored Mill building.
Listen to the stories of the mill workers, see how they lived and worked in an industry which enveloped Dundee. Continue onto the V&A Design Gallery. The V&A Dundee is Scotland’s first dedicated design museum and the Design Gallery features more than 300 exhibits from all over Scotland. After your visit, continue to your hotel and check in. Overnight in Dundee, Dinner, Bed & Breakfast Included.
Day 9: Knitting Workshop with Di Gilpin & Kinaldy Farm
Start the day with Di Gilpin and a knitting workshop. Di will start the programme with a short presentation on the History of Gansey Knitting in Scotland. This will be supported with samples of both traditional pieces and the more contemporary designs from their studio. Next follows a workshop exploring different gansey patterns in either Blanket Squares or a long sampler.
In the afternoon we visit Kinaldy Farm in St. Andrew’s and explore farm life, walking the Alpacas, seeing the cattle, sheep and sheep dogs in action! Continue to Edinburgh and check into your hotel and relax before this evening’s final farewell dinner in your hotel. Overnight in Edinburgh, Dinner, Bed & Breakfast