"Mendelssohn in Scotland" Holiday

October 2024

If you are intrigued by what you read about Mendelssohn’s Scottish journey and would like follow in his footsteps 195 years later, or if you love Mendelssohn’s music and particularly his Hebrides Overture or Scottish Symphony and want to learn more about what inspired him, or if you have a fascination with Scottish history including the life of Mary Queen of Scots in the 16th century or the Jacobite up-risings of the late 17th and early 18th centuries, or if you simply want to enjoy some of the UK’s most beautiful sights and scenery, then join the “Heart of Scotland” holiday in October 2024.

About the Holiday

The "Heart of Scotland" holiday will take place from 7 to 15 October 2024. It will be led jointly by Stephen Carpenter and Kayleen Asbo. Stephen has had a career in managing orchestras in Scotland and England since the 1980s. He has undertaken a close study of Mendelssohn, in particular the sketches and letters that throw such a vivid light on the composer's Scottish journey in 1829, and which form the inspiration for this holiday which will start and end in Edinburgh, and visit Abbotsford (the home of Sir Walter Scott), Melrose Abbey, Dunkeld, the Pass of Killiecrankie. To express interest in joining the holidays, contact Stephen Carpenter. Kayleen is a passionate scholar: a cultural historian, musician, writer and teacher who weaves myth, music, psychology, history and art with experiential learning.

A summary of the holiday is given below and further details can be found here

Heart of Scotland

Monday 7 October 2024 – Edinburgh. Independent arrival and check-in at the Edinburgh Holyrood Hotel from 3.00pm. Welcome dinner at the Hotel at 7.00pm

Tuesday 8 October – 10.00am departure from the Hotel for the short walk to St Cecilia's Hall in Edinburgh where we will have a private guided tour of the instrument collection followed by a recital by Kayleen and musical guests. In the afternoon, we will visit the National Museum of Scotland and National Gallery of Scotland. Buffet dinner at the hotel.

Wednesday 9 October – a visit to Abbotsford (the home of Sir Walter Scott) and Melrose. Dinner under your own arrangements back in Edinburgh.

Thursday 10 October – Mansfield Traquair, Edinburgh's Royal Botanic Gardens, and dinner with Scottish Music at the Patrick Geddes Centre in Edinburgh.

Friday 11 October – Bruar Falls, Blair Castle and check-in at the Dunkeld House Hotel where we have dinner together, and a concert by the Resol String Quartet.

Saturday 12 October – the Falls of Braan at the Hermitage, the Rumbling Bridge, Corbenic Poetry Path and dinner together at the hotel.

Sunday 13 October – Free day to enjoy the hotel and its grounds beside the River Tay, optional evening service at Dunkeld Cathedral and dinner together at the hotel.

Monday 14 October – Queen's View at Loch Tummel, Aberfeldy, Croft Moraig Stone Circle, Kenmore and Loch Tay, ending wtih dinner together at the hotel.

Tuesday 15 October – Independent departure home OR optional extension for three more days: travel to Oban via Loch Tay and Glencoe. Check in at the Oban Bay Hotel.

Wednesday 16 October – up early to take the ferry from Oban across to the Isle of Mull. Journey across Mull to Fionnphort from where, weather permitting, we will take the boat trip to the Isle of Staffa and Fingal's Cave which so inspired Mendelssohn in 1829. After a few hours on the magical island of Iona and a chance to explore Iona Abbey, we return across Mull and by ferry to Oban

Thursday 17 October – depart Oban via Inveraray (where we stop for lunch in the same hostelry that Mendelssohn visited in 1829!) for Loch Lomond where we check into the Cameron House Hotel for our final night.

Friday 18 October – depart Cameron House for Edinburgh with a drop-off at Edinburgh Airport at 12.30pm and at Edinburgh Waverley (train) Station at 13.30. 

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