Frequently asked questions:

 

  1. What types of Scottish tours do you offer?
  2. Where are you picking up from on your private & special small group tours and for your A-Z private hire journeys?
  3. Will we have meal stops or should we bring our own food?
  4. What is included and excluded in the price of the tour?
  5. On multi-day tours will you make time for grocery shopping, for example for our breakfast?
  6. How can I book and pay?
  7. Will you send us all the vital tour information, pick up details, route, what to bring, weather forecast, etc. before the tour?
  8. The weather forecast is really bad, what is going to happen?
  9. Are you flexible on your tours to accommodate the group’s tour preferences and cater for special hobbies and interests?
  10. At what time will we be back?

 

  1. What types of Scottish tours do you offer?

What types of Scottish tours does Unicorn Travel & Tours offer?

We offer 4 different types of tour options – see below A, B, C & D:

1/ A – Scheduled, many daily tours:

We offer daily scheduled 16 seater+ guided tours

scheduled tours from Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen & Inverness

updated links for these almost daily 16 seater+ tours

where you pay a price per person/per seat, so perfect for individuals, or couples travelling along or just for 3 or 4 friends travelling together. These fixed itinerary tours start in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen or Inverness

Prices for these tours vary subject to the season and if you are an adult, student or senior.

If you scroll down on the Unicorn Tours homepage on the right further down, you will have the option to arrow down to the the scheduled, many daily Unicorn Travel Scottish tours calendar, which does show green/available on almost all days, as some of the most popular tours such as

Loch Ness, Glencoe & the Highlands 1 day tour

Loch Lomond & the Trossachs nationalpark 1 day tour

West Highlands, Lochs & castle 1 day tour

Loch Ness, Inverness & the Highlands 2 day tour

& the 3 day Isle of Skye tour among others are running almost daily all year round.

If it is a multi-day tour, you are being offered various accommodation options (hostels, B&B or hotel) or you can book your own.


1/B – Private, personalised small group tours:

Your own tailormade, personalised, flexible private small group (maximum 8) tour anywhere in Scotland on any of the still available Unicorn Tours dates on our own calendar and the price you pay is per day/driver/guide subject to travel season. You will be best to book as a group of friends of 8,7, 6 or 5 to share the fixed daily costs and the more you are the cheaper the per person tour price.

There are over 50 route suggestions and you find more information on our website, such as tours’ itineraries 3 days+ tours2 day tours1 day tours 

short day tours

Prices for the 8 passenger seater mini-bus with driver/guide vary depending on the time of year.

Check our online calendar for our 2019 private, small group tour date availability

for your own personalised, flexible, tailor-made Scottish tour which would suit a group of up to 8 friends.

You will get the best per person price, if you have  a group of 8,7, 6 or 5 friends booking and travelling together

to share the cost of our daily mini-bus/driver/guide rate.

Those green/still available days would suit a group, who have a specific destination/ tour route/itinerary and stops in mind for a private tailor-made small group tour and  you can visit the places, you wish to visit and chose your own route, pick ups/stops/itinerary/drop offs.

This is your own tour and we visit the places, you wish to see and stop for as short or as long as you tell us do.

If you click on the Highlands & Islands tours calendar & tour enquiry form 

you will find the green/still available days for private/small group tours.

If it is a multi-day tour, you are being offered various accommodation options (hostels, B&B or hotel) or you can book your own.


1/C – small group “Special tours”, which you can also join as an individual & the tour price is per person:

You have the advantage of a scheduled itinerary as per “A”, but still allowing you for some freedom and flexibility as per “B” and as per “B” we guarantee many pick ups and drop offs, that you might not always get on the scheduled “A” tours.

During the low season, which also happens to coincide with the autumn and spring semester at the Scottish Universities,  we are less busy and have better availability for our small group (maximum 8 passengers) mini-bus and driver/guide and it is then, especially on weekend dates or during holiday/mid-semester periods, when students are off, that we offer further discounted off-peak special tours, where we offer a price per person/per seat based on a minimum number to guarantee the tour departure. For those tours, we also guarantee pre-booked accommodation, but offer you the choice to opt out of it on our multi-day tours. While these tours will always pick up in the Stirling area, we will pick up throughout Scotland.

 If you click on the Highlands & Islands tours calendar & tour enquiry form 

you will find the blue dates, which show you the days, when we run “Special tours” for which there are still spaces for any individuals, couples or small group available to join us.

If a special tour is a multi-day tour we will have pre-booked hostel accommodation for you, which is generally £12 – £25 per person per night extra, but we also give you the option to opt out and chose and book yourself into any other accommodation, which you may prefer.


1/D – pre-booked journeys anywhere and airport transfers:

A to B journeys anywhere,

you just wish to travel to a specific location, which could be Inverness, Oban, Edinburgh or Glasgow airport or other pre-bookable  A to B journeys anywhere & airport transfers private hire journeys anywhere – private hire destinations – this will be best value for money for you if you are travelling in a group of up to 8, as you can share the cost and the per person cost will then be low. So this would be less of a tour, but just the transport, but interesting stops and places along the way/nearby could be added for a semi-tour like experience on request. On the topic of semi-tour and flexibility we have for example offered a group of 14 pasengers a 2 two day Highland tour to Loch Ness, Glencoe and Inverness tour on our 8 seater, what we did was that on day 1, 7 took the train to Inverness and had free time and we took the other 7 on a tour ending in Inverness. On day 2, the group who travelled up on the train, we took on a tour back to Stirling, whereas the other 7 who came up on the tour on day 1, then had free time in Inverness and took the train back to Stirling.

A green day on the availability calendar

will show you, when there are still available spaces for private hire journeys.

There are 100s of options and possibilities and we can take you anywhere.

 If you are unsure about anything, please email contact@unicorntravel.co.uk, phone or text us 07429251980 or check online Unicorn Tours

Unicorn Travel


 

(2)

Where are you picking up from on your private & special small group tours and for your A-Z private hire journeys?

Unicorn Tours pick up locations

Our base is just outside Stirling/University – 45 minutes driving distance from Edinburgh and Glasgow and just over an hour from Dundee and St. Andrews – and we offer:

*Guaranteed pick ups & drop offs from any location

  • If you book your own private small group tour with us
  • If the special Highlands & Islands tour route passes through or near to your location

 

*Guaranteed pick up from/drop off Edinburgh/Glasgow/Dundee/St. Andrews/Perth & all locations within 1.5 hours driving of Stirling  on our special Highlands & Islands tours:

  • On our 2 days & longer multi-day tours, if you book 2 or more passengers
  • On 1 day tours, if you book as a group of 4 or more

 

*Guaranteed pick up from/drop off at locations more than 1.5 hours driving distance away from Stirling on our special Highlands & Islands tours:

  • On request, if you book 3 or more passengers on our 2 days & longer multi-day tours

 

*Guaranteed pick ups & drop offs from the Stirling area:

  • Always, on any tour
  • Ideally, if at all possible, we like to limit the pick ups to just one convenient time-saving compromise location in central Stirling and a second one at Stirling University, which suits all. We will discuss and confirm once we have received the preferences/addresses of all tour participants.
  • The exact departure times and order of pick ups, who we pick up 1st, 2nd, 3rd and when will then be confirmed as well.

(3)

Will we have meal stops or should we bring our own food?

  • In addition to our sightseeing stops to visit places and our photostops we will also have coffee/snack/WC stops along the way and always a longer stop for lunch. As we are in a small group and this is your tour, you have the option to eat out in a restaurant or fast food place or just to buy some food from a supermarket or to bring your own. During our lunch break we always offer any of the options to suit everyone as every individual and group is different. The advantage of bringing your own would be that you don’t have to go and queue buying food, but you can make the most of your time by visiting places during our lunch stop. You may also bring in drinks onto the mini-bus as long as they are sealed with a lid and food, so long as it is not hot and greasy food and you dispose of in the rubbish bins we provide.

(4)

What is included and excluded in the price of the tour?

The tour price includes:

  • Fully guided tour with the agreed stops, itinerary and route with your driver/guide and your tour mini-bus.
  • If a ferry journey is involved, Unicorn Tours pays for the ferry fare of the mini-bus and driver/guide.

The tour price excludes:

  • Accommodation for your overnight stay on multi-day tours. On the special tours, we pre-book and guarantee accommodation for you, but you can opt out of this and chose your own. On the private tours we assist and give advice, but you decide how and which accommodation you book.
  • Entrance fees for castle, museums, attractions, sights, etc. you chose to visit during our tour.
  • Food and drinks.
  • Your personal expenses.
  • If a ferry journey is involved, you pay for the passenger ferry fare yourself (sample Calmac & Northlink 2019 rates are:  Corran ferry = free / Feb: Stornoway to Ullapool = £19 return / March: Isle of Bute = £6.30 return or cheaper, if we return via the Cowal peninsula / April: Oban to Craignure/Mull = £7.40 return + Mull to Iona = £3.50 return / April: Scrabster to Stromness/Orkney = £16.61 discounted or £18.45 standard oneway  +  Kirkwall/Orkney to Lerwick/Shetland = £15.12 discounted or £16.80 standard oneway  + Lerwick/Shetland to Aberdeen = £25.20 discounted or £28 standard oneway / Shetland internal island ferries, winter rates £5.50 oneway per footpassenger). A couple of years ago the Scottish government introduced the RET/road equivalent tariffs which helps to keep our island hopping journeys affordable.

(5)

On multi-day tours will you make time for grocery shopping, for example for our breakfast?

  • We usually offer a supermarket stop around lunch time, but also in the evening before we check in at your accommodation, so that anyone who wishes to buy food for dinner, breakfast or to have some food on the tour for the next day, may do so.
  • You are free to opt to stay at a B&B or hotel, when self-catering shopping obviously does not apply or you are free to do something else, while the others in the group are going shopping.

 

(6)

How can I book and pay?

  • As we offer lots of different types of tours throughout all seasons with 8 different discount options, we are flexible, personalise to offer something for everyone, we don’t currently offer any option, where you can just go online, select, book and pay.
  • You can email us contact@unicorntravel.co.uk or phone  07429251980 with your enquiry about what type of tour you wish to book, we give you all the options, prices, answer all your questions, if in the end you are happy and wish to proceed, we then send you an invoice, which has an online payment option by PayPal, allows for bank transfers or in the winter you can usually meet us once a week at Stirling University, where you can pay us in cash.

(7)

Will you send us all the vital tour information, pick up details, route, what to bring, weather forecast, etc. before the tour?

  • We will send you a tour confirmation after we receive your payment.
  • A few days before departure, generally 2—3 days before we send you the final joining instructions, with the latest weather forecast for the day, so you are prepared to maybe bring your rain gear and some layers of woollen warm clothes, etc.

(8)

The weather forecast is really bad, what is going to happen?

  • Before every tour, but especially in the winter we check the weather & road forecast and in the event of amber travel warnings we reserve to
  • (a) reverse the route (for example swap day 1 with day 2, day 1 for example being on the more sheltered Eastcoast and day 2 being on the more exposed Westcoast or the morning with the afternoon route, for example during the winter chose the low lying route in the morning and the higher route in the afternoon route, etc.)
  • (b) to alter the route, i.e. instead of a possible more scenic off-the beaten track high mountain route, we might during wintry weather, even though we have the winter tyres and equipment,  have to just stick to the normal low lying main route or the A9 motorway.
  • © If in the event of an amber or red travel warning, we are unable to offer any suitable and acceptable safe alternative, we reserve the right to fully cancel and refund the tour.

(9)

Are you flexible on your tours to accommodate the group’s tour preferences and cater for special hobbies and interests?

Some days, like on the very long Loch Ness one day tours, especially in the shorter winter daylight hours, there might be less room for flexibility than on shorter distance tours or throughout the summer, when you have longer evenings and more time to play with. Having said this, if the group decides to skip or add a stop, stay shorter or longer at a place and accommodate any special interests, as far as the timings, our schedule and the route permits and if all your fellow passengers are all happy or if not are given an alternative for them to do something else during that stop, then we are very happy to accommodate any request for special interests during any of our stops including:

Architecture – beaches – castles – children-friendly places and activities, when families are travelling with us on a private tour – cities – coast & cliffs – farm visits – geology  golf courses – Harry Potter – history & ancient monuments (stone circles, brochs, crannogs, castles & battlefields) – islands – languages, Scots, Gaelic & Norn – literature – mythology – museums – music & ceildhs – outlander – politics – religion – scenery, nature & wilderness – Scotland standard round tours with a bit of/an insight into everything – snow – steamtrains – walking, incl. walking tours or oneway walks dropping you off on the one side and meeting you half way to pick you up on the other side of any walk – whisky distilleries – wildlife & a lot more….


(10)

At what time will we be back?

For each tour we do give you an approximate return time. We aim to return back on time. We would however generally ask you to add up to / possibly give yourself an extra couple of hours later and not to make any plans until after that time, as regularly we find that groups are having great fun, enjoying themselves, wishing to stay longer at places or add in an extra stop or on some routes our last stop was in Pitlochry and people got hungry and went for an evening meal together as they really bonded very well. If you do have something on during the evening and you need to be back by a certain time please tell us, but if you have to be back really early, consider if the tour is right for you, as you are impacting on everyone else, who has paid for and might want to see something really special, but we would have to return early and cut things short for the sake of your early return.

 

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