Clan Hannay Tour of Scotland and Northern Ireland
Hopscotch Tour of Scotland

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The Clan Hannay Tour 2018

A wee bit of Hannay history…

The Hannays have a long, fascinating, history in Scotland. It is traditionally held that the Hannay clan can trace its ancestry back to southwest Scotland, where a Gilbert de Hannethe is recorded on the Ragman Roll, a collection of legal documents subscribing allegiance to John Balliol in 1296. Gilbert de Hannethe  acquired extensive lands around Sorbie, Galloway, and the Hannay clan grew in numbers and influence.

The Hannay Clan prospered and in approximately 1550 built Sorbie Tower, the seat of the Clan. Notable members of the Hannay Clan include John of Hanna, who was Shipmaster for King James I in 1424, James Ahannay, the King’s Master Culveriner (Master Gunner) in 1529, and John Ahannay, who was Baker to Mary, Queen of Scots, in 1529. Patrick Hannay had a distinguished military career in the early 1600s, and was patronized by Queen Elizabeth of Bohemia, daughter of James VI.  James Hannay was the Dean of St. Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh, and had the famous stool of Jenny Geddes thrown at him, beginning a riot in the city.  From the Sorbie beginnings of the Clan, the Hannays spread to Grennan, Knock, Garrie, and Kingsmuir, in Fife.

Unfortunately, Clans in Scotland had disputes with each other even more often than Scotland warred with England. Clan Hannay was no different. Many years of feuding with the neighbouring Kennedys and Dunbars weakened the Hannay Clan. Eventually, a long dispute with the Murrays of Broughton led to the outlawing of the Hannay Clan after 1600.  Sorbie Tower and the surrounding Clan lands were lost around 1640.

The clan today is truly worldwide. After 1640, many Hannays emigrated, many to Ireland (today’s Northern Ireland counties of Antrim, Down, and Armagh), but also the United States, Canada, and Australia, which are only a few of the countries where Clan members live today. In 1965, Sorbie Tower was given to the Hannay Clan, and efforts for it’s maintenance and restoration have continued to this day, led by the Clan Hannay Society, which formed in 1960. In 1983, a Grant of Arms was given by the Lord Lyon King of Arms, to the Hannay Clan.


10 Day Hannay Tour Brief

Open to anyone interested Hannay family history, our 10-day Hannay Tour takes us on a journey through many of the most beautiful areas of Scotland and Northern Ireland. We start in the dramatic city of Edinburgh, Scotland, and travel by ferry to Northern Ireland, home to many members of the Hannay Clan. Here the modern city of Belfast, the medieval city of Derry, and the seaside hamlet of Portballintrae, await to greet us.  Along the way we visit the stunning Antrim Coast, complete with castles, Old Bushmills Distillery, and the world famous Giant’s Causeway. Following our days in Northern Ireland, we return to Scotland to visit the ancestral lands of the Clan Hannay, centered in Dumfries and Galloway, in the southwest of Scotland.  A visit to Robert Burns country will entail a close look at the sights important to the memory of Scotland’s greatest poet.  These locations in Alloway, fully complement the Hannay sights that will be explored in Galloway. Here we explore Hannay heritage locally, culminating in the highlight of visiting the evocative Sorbie Castle. Finally, we head back north to Glasgow, and our final night is celebrated in the Royal City of Edinburgh.

NOTE: In order to be part of the Clan Hannay gathering, you MUST register as a clan member and purchase your ticket at the clan’s official website. Following Hannay Clan rules, we cannot do this for you. You can either join for one year (annual membership) for £25, or become a lifetime member for £150. Here’s a link to the Clan Hannay website where you can purchase your membership.


Clan Hannay

Some testimonials from Scotland Tour Director James Johnson’s recent travellers:

“You made my first trip oversea so nice and unforgettable. You have a nice sense of humour, and you are so generous in your explanations. I love Scotland thanks to you.” – Johanne, St. George de Champlain, Quebec, Canada

“Thank you so much for offering this wonderful opportunity. I truly enjoyed this wonderful trip. Your good planning, your easygoing ways, your sense of humour, and your interest in our well-being made this long time dream a success. Thank you!” – Cindy, Trois-Rivieres, Quebec, Canada

“This was the best trip I have ever taken. It was better than I dreamed it would be. A Great Adventure of a Lifetime. Thank you, James.” – Kenneth, Denver, Colorado, USA

May 20 – 29, 2018




Per Person + Air Based on Double Occupancy
All prices in US dollars.  Payment in other currencies possible – contact us.


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Day 1: Edinburgh Royal City



Day 1:  Edinburgh Royal City

For some of our guests, the trip will begin with flying from North America on May 19th.  After a long day of travel for these folks, our tour begins as guests meet their local tour guide in Scotland’s beautiful capital city of Edinburgh.  After dropping off our bags at the hotel, the group immediately visits the impressive Edinburgh Castle, which keeps a watchful eye over the old city.  Here we have a guided tour, taking in the Regimental museums, St. Margaret’s Chapel, the Crown Jewels known as the “Honours of Scotland”, the Stone of Destiny, and the dark dungeons of the castle.  After the tour, the group will embark upon a walking exploration of the Royal Mile, and Old Town Edinburgh, and make a visit to the faithful Greyfriar’s Bobby. The evening is open for the tour guests to enjoy as they wish, making their way back to the hotel at their leisure.


Day 2: Capital City, Then and Now

Day 2:  Capital City, Then and Now

After a refreshing sleep, we wake up to our first “full-Scottish” breakfast.  Mmm!  Love that black pudding in the morning!  Today we explore the bastions of Scottish political power, then and now, with a morning visit to the Supreme Court on Parliament Square.  Here it will seem like we have been transported back 150 years as we marvel at the architecture, and the use of the traditional mace to open every court proceeding. Indeed, it is captivating just to watch the wig-wearing robed attorneys pacing the great hall deeply in conversation with their modern clients. We continue down the Royal Mile to the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the official residence in Scotland of Her Majesty The Queen. Guests will enjoy a fascinating self-guided tour of the Palace, taking in the events and great collection of items from the turbulent reign of Mary, Queen of Scots, along with the beautiful grounds, and the ruins of Holyrood Abbey.  Our final group visit of the day will be to simply cross the street from the Palace to visit the uniquely designed Scottish Parliament building, home of the modern Scottish government.  The afternoon is open for free exploration and shopping in Edinburgh.  For any guests interested, there will be an option of an afternoon “hike” up Arthur’s Seat, the dormant volcano in Holyrood Park, that rises to 822 feet above sea level, giving a fantastic panoramic view of Edinburgh.


Day 3: Hello Northern Ireland!


Day 3:  Hello Northern Ireland!

This is the day that we embark on our road trip!  In the morning, we meet our coach driver, load our luggage and leave the land of kilts and bagpipes, taking a ferry from Cairnryan, Scotland to Belfast, Northern Ireland.  Once we have arrived, we drive to the city of Belfast, capital of Northern Ireland, which is of course, still part of the United Kingdom.  Once settled into our hotel, we drive to Titanic Belfast, the city’s unparalleled harbour attraction, dedicated to the Titanic, which was built here.  Guests will enjoy The White Star Premium Pass, with admission to the Titanic Experience museums, a guided Discovery tour of the shipyard, and a visit on the SS Nomadic, the Titanic’s contemporary little sister. When we return to the City Centre, we will have free time in the late afternoon and evening to explore Belfast’s lively Golden Mile.

Day 4: The Beautiful Antrim Coast



Day 4: The Beautiful Antrim Coast

 This busy day begins with a beautiful drive through the Glens of Antrim to the northern coast.  Here we will visit the geometric stone formations of the amazing Giant’s Causeway. This will be followed by a tour and lunch at the world’s oldest licensed distillery, the Old Bushmills Distillery. After lunch, we will continue our day with a visit to the famous rope suspension bridge traditionally used by fishermen at Carrick-a-Rede. Finally, we head to our hotel in the seaside village of Portrush.



Day 5: Enjoying the Derry Air



Day 5: Enjoying the Derry Air

We leave Portballintrae in the morning and arrive in Derry (also known as Londonderry). This city, calm and visitor-friendly today, has seen its share of conflict.  From a 1688 siege, when the old city was held again King James II, to the 1972 tragedy known as Bloody Sunday, Derry has seen it all.  We begin with a walking tour of the Old City walls and continue on to the famous murals of Bogside, which memorialize the events of the ill-fated protest in the now-peaceful Catholic neighborhood.  Lunch will be together in Derry, after which we will travel back to the northern coast, for a visit to the cliffside castle ruins of Dunluce. We return for a second evening at our hotel in Portrush.


Day 6: A Man’s a Man for a’ That



Day 6: A Man’s a Man for a’ That

We take our leave of Northern Ireland, and once again board the ferry to Troon, Scotland.  Arriving in Troon, we drive the short distance to Alloway, the nearby hometown of Scotland’s most famous poet, Robert Burns.  Alloway is a small village in Ayrshire, with several intriguing historical sights.  At the top of the list of course is the Burns Cottage & Museum, which was the birthplace and early home of Rabbie Burns.  While in Alloway, we will also visit the Brig O’ Doon, the Burns Monument, and the eerie Auld Kirk of Alloway, which not only has the graves of Robert Burn’s father and sister, but was the setting in Tam O’ Shanter where Tam saw the witches dance before they began to chase him. After lunch in a local historical pub, we drive eastwards in southern Scotland, to the town of Dumfries, where the group will visit the ruins of Sweetheart Abbey, which has an intriguing history of its own, and stay the night in a local hotel.


Day 7: Sorbie Tower and the Hannay Gathering



Day 7: Sorbie Tower and the Hannay Gathering

Today our group will celebrate and learn all about Hannay history. The highlight is the gathering at Sorbie Tower, the ancient seat of the Hannay Clan. A tour of the tower, and events on sight will comprise the majority of the day. In the evening the group will head to Newton Stewart for the Clan Gathering dinner and dance. Our guests will stay in a nearby hotel in Newton Stewart.


Day 8: Wigtown to Glasgow



Day 8:  Wigtown to Glasgow

We leave Newton Stewart and return to Sorbie Tower. The morning will be spent on our coach touring sights significant to the Hannys through the centuries.  After lunch, we say goodbye to Wigtownshire, and head north to busy, visitor-friendly Glasgow.  Guests will have the late afternoon and evening to walk the pedestrian-only Buchanan street, find a quaint dining spot, and enjoy the lively nightlife that this city has to offer.  We also say goodbye to our coach driver, who departs from the group after dropping us off at our hotel.


Day 9: A Tale of Two Cities


Day 9: A Tale of Two Cities

Today we awake to a leisurely morning in Glasgow.  Guests are free to shop, sightsee, or to make a morning visit to Britain’s most-visited museum outside of London, The Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum.  After lunch, guests will transfer to the Queen Street Train Station to take an early afternoon train to Edinburgh.  Arriving back in Edinburgh, luggage will be deposited once again at our hotel, and guests will have the rest of the day to enjoy Auld Reekie.  We will meet in the evening at the Edinburgh hotel, and go to our final traditional Scottish dinner together, reminiscing the wonderful times spent on the Hannay tour.


Day 10: Our Fond Farewells


Day 10: Our Fond Farewells

We awake to our final breakfast together, and say our goodbyes as some guests make their way to the Edinburgh Airport, and home.  This concludes our 10-day, Clan Hannay Tour of 2018.  Goodbye for now, friends!



The Fine Print – What You Get:

Not so much fine print: 
We believe in up front pricing, not a hard-to-read long list of extra costs.
Group Size: We run small group tours, less than half the size of a normal big bus tour. Our average group size is 14-18 travellers.
Transportation: Most transportation is in a private chartered coach. Lots of free space on the bus to stretch out and relax! Transportation to and from airport is your responsibility. Edinburgh is well served by train connections and has a major airport.
Activity level:  This tour is suitable to people with a basic fitness level. You will need to carry your own bags, climb hotel stairs, and keep a leisurely to moderate pace on city walking tours. This trip is suitable for adults. It is not suitable for young children.
Accommodations: We choose generally smaller, family-run hotels, in the 3-4 star category, that are close to the action, rather than large impersonal hotels in some industrial park outside of town. All rooms have private ensuite bathrooms with shower or bathtub. Most rooms are doubles.

  • Solo travelers: You may choose to pay extra for one of the limited number of single private rooms, or you can room with another solo traveler in the group of the same gender and skip the extra fee.  See the registration form for specific prices.
  • Couples: Couples will usually share a room with one double or queen bed (large King beds are not common in Europe).
  • Two friends traveling together: Two friends or siblings traveling together will be roomed together with two beds in a twin room. Note: some European twin beds share one headboard but they will always have separate sheets.
  • Triple room: A typical triple room will be one double bed and one single bed.

Sightseeing tours and attractions: This is the main reason you are in Scotland, and we understand this!  Entrance fees to all attractions are included. Most tour companies sell many of their attractions as expensive “optional excursions” which add up really quickly. Not us.

Meals: Breakfasts are always included. Note that because we stay in characteristic Scottish hotels, breakfasts will reflect local preferences . Many lunches/dinners are on us – the rest are up to you. See itinerary for breakdown.


Book Your Clan Hannay Tour Now!