We want to thank you sincerely for all you did to make our trip to Scotland as members of your "Lords of the Isles" Tour July 28 - August 7, 2011, a truly memorable experience for us. In all our travels with tour groups over the years, this trip was by far the very best! We have never before received such personal service in all aspects of the tour, from the booking of our airline reservations to your expert arranging of all the logistics that made our trip exciting, informative, and trouble-free. Our excellent tour guide and coach driver, and all the professional site guides you arranged, were outstanding and contributed significantly to our enjoyment of the trip.
We appreciated the special interest you showed in our travel preferences and personal Scottish ancestry from our very first inquiry about tours offered by Celtic Journeys. With so many of the points of interest we indicated on your "Guest Preferences" sheet covered during the tour, we felt as though the itinerary was arranged just for us! It was apparent that our travel companions felt exactly the same about how well the trip was tailored to their interests.
We especially enjoyed the unhurried pace of the tour that resulted from all the thought and planning you had given to preparing our itinerary and time schedules. Our days were filled to the brim with interesting visits to cultural and historic sites, yet we never felt rushed. In our daily travels, we enjoyed the frequent stops along the road which gave us a chance to just pause along the way and soak in the beauty of our surroundings! While all our overnight accommodations were extraordinary, we want to especially mention how much we enjoyed the Western Isles Hotel, Viewfield House, and Culloden House. We felt as though we were honored guests as we relaxed and enjoyed the charm of these wonderful and historic houses that complimented so well the them and ambiance of this special tour! Thank you again , Judy, for providing such a wonderful experience for us. When we make plans for another trip to Scotland, we will start with the very best and contact you first. In fact, we had such a great time traveling with you on the Lords of the Isles tour, we may even repeat the same trip again sometime in the near future!
-- Bill and Frances Marley - North Carolina (Lords of the Isles 2011)
Fabulous journey Judy! It is one of the most informative, interesting and pleasurable tours that I have ever taken. Your friendly professionalism and attention to detail is unparalleled. The first day of our tour literally began with fireworks at The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo. What a performance! And we watched from the front row seats you selected! The next day began our wonderful odyssey into the world of Viking Treasure throughout Shetland, Orkney and Scotland.
The standing stones sites were amazing as were places like Maeshowe, Mousa Broch, and the new dig at Ness of Brodgar. What a climb up to the top of Mousa Broch! Pictures are good but being there is the best. And seeing the wildlife, such as seals, birds, and the "Highland Coos", was a delight. The tour of Culloden Battlefield was especially sobering and informative. Our special "Highlander" performance before dinner at the Culloden House was unique. And I can't forget all the castles and cathedrals with their lovely gardens and riveting history. Of course, coming back each evening to the special hotels you selected provided me with a pleasurable hot bath after a busy day out. I so much enjoyed all the people we met and the regional foods. The Kirkwall evening fireside storytelling, accompanied by violin, imparted fascinating lore about Selkies and Finns.
There is so much more that could be said; however, in essence, those that choose your Viking Treasure Tour will realize their very own special memories and find treasure of their own. Best of luck to you. Thank You!
-- Sharron Gebhardt - Arizona (Viking Treasure Tour 2011)
"If you haven't reserved your spot for Judy's 2011 Hogmanay Tour, DO IT NOW! If you're of Scottish ancestry, or a lover of Scottish culture, you must celebrate the New Year in Scotland in proper Highland style.
We joined Judy for her Hogmanay 2010 tour and had an absolutely wonderful time. While it's obviously not prime tourist time, and with some sites and venues closed for the season, Judy nonetheless gave us a full schedule of sightseeing and daytrips, including castles, picturesque towns and villages, shops and historic sites. I especially enjoyed the Clava Cairns and the Culloden battlefield, where the presence of the ancestors is almost palpable.
The highlight of the trip was of course the Hogmanay Gala. The Culloden House is a gem, from the building itself (almost a time machine) to its rooms and staff and food. The New Year's Eve dinner, the music and dancing, and the camaraderie as the new year was piped in and the old was bid adieu with Auld Lang Syne were the stuff of magic. There's one imperative for the men- take your kilt outfit, or rent one, for the gala. You'll be glad you did.
And I really can't say enough about dear Judy, whose professionalism and personality made the tour such a pleasure. Traveling with her was like traveling with a beloved relative in her own neighborhood. Our tour guide, Alison, and our driver, Ian, were consummate professionals as well and their services and friendliness added immeasurably to our enjoyment of the tour. You still have some time, so make your reservations now. You will not be sorry."
-- Alfie Roberts - New Jersey (Hogmanay Tour, 2010)
"I have never enjoyed a trip as much as I did the Outlander Tour of Scotland offered by Celtic Journeys. My fellow travelers and I had the perfect amount of tour bus time, photo-opportunity time and downtime. Our host, Judy Lowstuter, facilitated our wonderful experience by promptly responding to every request and ensuring that even the smallest detail was covered. Each day was a well-planned balance of touring, shopping, and relaxation, ending with a gourmet dinner in some of Scotland's most beautiful inns. I have been highly recommending this five-star experience to all of my friends. Celtic Journeys and Judy Lowstuter have created an amazing travel package; this is a remarkable tour and an experience I will treasure forever!"
-- Janice Matera, Evanston, IL (Outlander Tour®, September 2010)
"Taking the July, 2010 Outlander tour was a wonderful experience and just about the best way of seeing historical Scotland as a single traveler. Not having read any of Diana Gabaldon's Outlander books didn't matter but meeting the author in person at our gala dinner was certainly an impetus to join the many fans of her literary magic. Judy and Alison, both wonderful guides, worked diligently to ensure that the planned itinerary never lagged and that a single traveler was never socially alone. The 5-star hotel accommodations throughout the trip brought each day to a luxurious end and those bounteous Scottish breakfasts got things going again next morning. I'll be back!"
-- John Watson, Newtown, CT (Outlander Tour®, July 2010)
"I must tell you that after experiencing the Lords of the Isles tour, it was easy to see why you have so many repeat customers, Judy! The tour was wonderful and you were awesome! I had an absolutely fabulous time - so very, very glad I was able to go. I hope to travel with you again sometime, I just regret that it won't be this December."
-- Jane McDonald, Saugus, MA (Lords of the Isles Tour 2010)
"Judy, the trip you helped us plan was simply perfect in every way. I had wanted this trip to be a special not just to see Ireland for the first time but propose to my girlfriend. The personal time, patience, and attention you shared with me was simply fantastic. I was confident before we even arrived in Ireland that this trip was going to be just the way we had dreamed. Your knowledge of Ireland's sights and lodging allowed us to customize the trip to our desires. Each place we stayed was another welcomed treat along the way. The trip was planned with plenty of suggestions of sights to see yet leaving comfortable time for detours if we so decided too. Our final night was in a castle which was the perfect ending to such a magical trip. We will definitely look to use you again in the future. Thanks again!"
-- Michael Sergent, Shoreline, WA (Private tour, 2010)
"This was my third trip to Scotland, but Judy made it the best trip of all! The lodgings she chose were excellent! The best I've had in Scotland! The itinerary was fun and informative at the same time. I particularly liked the exciting additions she added to the trip, like the scavenger hunt based on Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series. What fun we had, mixing with the locals and scouring Inverness for those items! Thank you Judy, for making this my most memorable tour of Scotland ever! "
-- Jan Sterling, Hiram, ME (Outlander Tour®, 2009)
"Judy, thank you so much for the most enjoyable trip of our life! You got to know us before the trip and put everything together just the way we would have wanted to if we possessed your expertise. You were even nice enough to help us last minute when we decided to renew our vows in Kirkwall. That was a fantastic memory all by itself. Then you kept in touch with us in Scotland making it feel like you were with us from the day we first contacted you till we arrived home. You're a rarity these days--- a person who does her job and does it well, and perhaps more importantly, a person who genuinely cares about her clients! Thanks again!"
-- Debbie and Waynne Wirwicz, Silver Spring,MD
"Judy, thanks to you we had a fantastic two weeks in Scotland and were able to see everything we planned, with plenty of time to be spontaneous as well. We so appreciate that you were able to link the places we wanted to go (and suggest other stops like Kilmartin Glen that you knew we would enjoy) into an itinerary paced in such a way that we never had days with too much driving. Covering so much ground in the Highlands meant finding a different hotel almost every night, and this is where your expertise was invaluable. I'm sure the fact that you'd been to most of these inns, lodges and hotels resulted in us having night after night of beautiful rooms with great views, and often being greeted by friendly proprietors saying 'oh, Judy sent you!' Your local knowledge really helped us make the most of our time in Scotland, and we look forward to planning another trip with you soon.""Well done Celtic Journeys! We want to pass along our sincere thank you for making our 50th wedding anniversary travel to Scotland such a wonderful and rewarding experience. Your timely arrangements, recommendations, suggestions, as well as sound advice made our once-in-a-lifetime "great adventure" one that was worry-free, leaving it only necessary for us to fully enjoy the sights and sounds of a beautiful and spectacular country. The ease of our travels makes one ready and anxious to begin our next adventure. Thanks again, Celtic Journeys, for a job well done."
--Emmett and Gwen Holt, Hamilton, MA (Private tour, 2009)
-- Patricia and John Lyall, Fairfax, Virginia (Private tour, 2007)
"Both Marilyn and I thank you for all of your extra efforts to make our trip on your "Lords of the Isles" tour a wonderful experience! Special thanks for all your research of my ancestors and making all the arrangements for the introductions to my Scotland family."
-- Jack and Marilyn Duncan, Adrian, Michigan (Lords of the Isles Tour, 2008)
"What can I say about an absolutely perfect vacation and introduction to an unknown country and its history? There are really inadequate words to express my appreciation to you for an experience of a lifetime."
-- Carolyn Vallone, Tampa, Florida (Outlander TourTM September 2008)
"We have been on many tours over the years, but cannot remember a tour guide who took such a special interest in all the people in the group as you did. Thanks for a wonderful vacation!"
-- Charles and Fran Ciraolo, El Cajon, California (Outlander TourTM May 2008)
“Judy has been absolutely indispensible to me in my recent trips to Ireland, Scotland, and England. She considers my tastes in lodging and finds the best matches. Most importantly, however, she finds me great destinations off the beaten path for research and relaxation. I couldn’t be more satisfied than I already am, and I’ve highly recommended her to my friends and associates."
--Melissa Marr, New York Times bestselling author of Wicked Lovely and Ink Exchange” (Private tours, 2007 and 2008)
"When my brother and I began planning our trip to Scotland we found Judy's information on the VisitScotland website. Looking for a professional to handle our travels, we were happy to learn that she was a ScotsMaster destination specialist. As we began working with her we realized what a benefit it was to have an expert making our arrangements. All of the trip details were arranged and prepaid: airfare, hand-picked accommodations, car rental, even entry passes, which reduced our waiting time at special sites. She wrote a complete itinerary for us, with drive times (can be tricky in Scotland!), directions, travel details on money, weather, clothing, all of which facilitated our travels.
-- Debbie Giesey, Springfield, Virginia (Private tour 2005, History and Mystery Tour 2007)
"The trip to Scotland was absolute perfection thanks to your marvelous planning. Everything was in order each step of the way and you even deserve plaudits for the weather management - out of fourteen days I only had one day of rain! Lots of sunny blue skies and perfect temperatures. Your hotel choices were delightful and everyone was cordial, helpful, and friendly."
-- Deborah Troemner, Lumberton, New Jersey (Private tour 2006)