Tour Companies for Scotland

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<p>Hi,</p><p>I am taking a small group (12 total) to NE England next May for a home stay visit.&nbsp; We would like to add something to our trip - probably Scotland or maybe more of England.&nbsp; It is much easier to get around with a tour company - and I don&#39;t want to pick out all the places to stay, eat and see and find tickets and transportation - so a tour company it will be.&nbsp; 12 is not quite enough to be cost effective, so it is likely we will join an established company.</p><p>I am looking at Gate One, Rick Steves and Odysseys Unlimited.&nbsp; Has anyone traveled with these companies?&nbsp; Can you compare them in terms of value for the money, comfort level, guides, not too much time on the bus, etc.?</p><p>Any input would be welcome as well as what things not to miss.</p><p>Thanks!</p>

 CIE tours.has great bus trips for UK and Ireland ...reasonable prices, great lodging food, etc. very enjoyable. I went to England /Wales last year and Ireland ,previously .  

I did the Rick Steves tour of Scotland in the spring of 2014 and it was excellent. It has at most 28 participants. They are not all seniors. We had a high school student and her mother. Everyone is friendly and used to walking. We stayed in smaller hotels, which is the usual with RS tours. The tour guide is actually a Rick Steves employee who lives in the country being toured. This guide was a former university professor. She was fun and knew her history. You tend to stop in areas not always on the tour schedule, as well as those that are. You travel in a large bus with many open seats since there are only 28 of you.  

I highly recommend Rabbies Tours ( for wonderful tours to all corners of Scotland.  They have everything from day tours to a week or more.  You can easily combine some of their multi day tours as I did a couple of years ago seeing Orkney, north Scotland and the Hebrides.