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SAR Trip to Scotland

26 Nov

SAR Trip to Scotland

Author: Michael Scroggins

SAR Trip to Scotland

Set for May 2019

President General Warren M. Alter and First Lady Nancy Alter are leading a delegation of SAR and friends to Scotland in May 2019 to honor the service of Scottish patriots of the American Revolution, specifically Founding Fathers James Wilson, a signer of the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution; and Rev. John Witherspoon, a signer of the Declaration of Independence and the Article of Confederation and Perpetual Union.

The planned itinerary for this exciting trip is as follows: participants will arrive at the Edinburgh Airport on Tuesday, May 14, where they will be met by the MAGIC travel staff holding SAR welcome signs.  If participants are planning to arrive in Europe prior to the start of the SAR Trip, they may make arrangements to meet the group at the Edinburgh Airport or Hotel.  Once everyone has arrived, the bus will depart the airport and take us to the Radisson Blu Edinburgh, located in the heart of the historic Royal Mile in Edinburgh.  In the afternoon, there will be a choice of visiting the Scottish Genealogy Society for personal research, or a guided walking tour of Edinburgh’s Old Town to familiarize participants with the many key attractions near the hotel.  In the evening, there will be an SAR Welcome Reception at the hotel to kick off the adventure in Scotland’s magnificent capital city, and possibly meet local officials.  

On Wednesday, May 15, we will explore Edinburgh at the time of the American Revolution.  We will visit Edinburgh Castle, the Medical Museum (honoring Benjamin Rush, who studied medicine in Edinburgh), the National Museum, and we will have guides at the National Library of Scotland tie in the Jacobite Rebellion of 1745 and Scottish Enlightenment with our Founding Fathers of Scottish origin.  We will visit the John Knox House, St. Giles Cathedral, and the Thistle Chapel.  After a bistro lunch, we will have time in the afternoon and evening to explore historic Edinburgh.

On Thursday, May 16, we will set out for Fife, and visit the Ceres Parish Church – the closest location to the birthplace of Founding Father James Wilson – where we will lay an SAR wreath to commemorate the birth of James Wilson in 1742.  We will journey through Cupar, where James Wilson had an apprenticeship, en route to Charlton House, built in 1759, and the residence of St. Clair Knut Harald Jöns Bonde, Baron of Charlton.  Because his ancestor was attainted in 1715 during the Jacobite Rebellion, he was deprived of being the 21 Lord St. Clair.  His ancestor, William St. Clair, built Rosslyn Chapel in 1446, which was popularized by Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code.  After a three-course lunch with Baron Bonde, we will continue to historic St. Andrews.  We will visit the ruins of St. Andrews Cathedral and St. Andrews Castle, and the University of Edinburgh, which James Wilson attended.  After returning to Edinburgh, there will be time for shopping, dining, and further genealogical discoveries.

On Friday, May 17, we will set out for East Lothian, and visit the town of Gifford, the birthplace of Presbyterian Minister John Witherspoon in 1722.  In addition to signing the Declaration and the Articles of Confederation, Rev. Witherspoon was president of the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University), and the convening moderator of the First General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in the United States.  After returning to Edinburgh, we will have time for lunch, shopping, sightseeing, and genealogical research.  In the evening, we will have our Farewell to Edinburgh Reception and Dinner at Gosford House, ancestral home of James Charteris, the 13th Earl of Wemyss, which was built around 1790.  Gosford House has an incredible private art colletion, including a marble eagle bust, thought to have been the inspiration for the US Seal.  We will have a guided tour of the house, followed by cocktails and dinner.

On Saturday, May 18, we will have our final breakfast at the Radisson Blu before leaving Edinburgh.  We will drive to Glasgow, the historic hub of tran-Atlantic trade and immigration.  We will have lunch in a fabulous bistro before checking in to the Grand Central Hotel, located in the Glasgow city center, which was originally built in the late 19th century as a British railway hotel.  There will be time in the afternoon to have lunch in the trendy restaurants, and explore the fashionable city.  In the evening, there will be an SAR Welcome Reception at the hotel, and we will invite local officials to greet the SAR participants.  

On Sunday, May 19, we will have a full Scottish breakfast at the Grand Central Restaurant.  We will then set out for Ayrshire, visiting Culzean Castle, the 18th century former ancestral home of Clan Kennedy, which is now owned by the National Trust for Scotland. The upper apartment is named after four-time visitor, Dwight David Eisenhower.  We will travel to Kilwinning to see the ancient Mother Lodge of Scotland, and the ruins of Kilwinning Abbey.  After lunch, we will visit the ruins of Kerelaw Castle, once owned by the grandfather of Alexander Hamilton.  After returning to Glasgow, we will have time to explore the city and find a wonderful restaurant for dinner.

On Monday, May 20, we will have breakfast at the Grand Central Restaurant, and will set out for our Scottish Patriot Day.  We will have an SAR ceremony at the Stow Brae Kirk, and then have an SAR wreath laying ceremony at the statue of Rev. John Witherspoon on the grounds of Paisley University.  We will visit the university’s art center, which was formerly a church in which Rev. Witherspoon preached.  After returning to Glasgow, we will have the afternoon free to visit St. Mungo’s Cathedral and the Glasgow Necropolis, go shopping, or visit the Mitchell Library to work on personal genealogy.  In the evening, we will have the Farewell to Glasgow Dinner at the House For An Art Lover, designed by Glaswegian Charles Rennie Mackintosh.  We will have cocktails, and a fabulous dinner to round off our Scottish Patriots Adventure.

On Tuesday, May 21, we will have our final breakfast at the Grand Central Restaurant.  Participants will then be taken to the airport for their flights home, or they may choose to continue on with the optional Post-Trip to London, England.

The SAR Trip to Scotland is priced at $2,998.00 per person (with two people sharing double accomodations), with a $685.00 single supplement (for people traveling solo).  Airfare is extra, and varies by departure city.  If you are interested in attending the SAR Trip to Scotland in May 2019, please contact MAGIC Meetings & Global Incentives at (703) 379-8071 or SAR@magicglobal.com.  The online registration can be found at:

President General Warren Alter and First Lady Nancy hope to see you in Scotland in 2019!

Dear SAR Compatriots,

You are invited to spend this upcoming spring in the beauty of the Scottish Highlands.

Many of you have already registered – THANK YOU – please review the post program to London, if you have not already registered for it.  For those who have not yet joined the cause for 2019, please read and on and review the materials.  We are delighted to welcome you!

As referenced in the initial invitation in the Summer issue of the SAR Magazine, President General Warren M. Alter and First Lady Nancy Alter are leading a delegation of SAR compatriots and friends to Scotland in May 2019 to honor the service of Scottish patriots of the American Revolution, specifically Founding Fathers James Wilson, a signer of the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution; and Rev. John Witherspoon, a signer of the Declaration of Independence and the Article of Confederation and Perpetual Union.  Also attached, please find the optional NSSAR Post-SAR Program Visiting London.

This trip will feature several very special, private SAR events and commemorations.  We will meet local, regional, and other US and Scottish government officials.  Of course, in addition to private events and ceremonies there is also time allotted for participants to enjoy the stunning beauty of Edinburgh and Glasgow, Scotland.  

This trip is open to all SAR members and their families and by private invitation of President General Alter.   

Please review the brochures (attached) and consider joining the adventure!  In the brochure you will find registration instructions.  Feel free to share this with other SAR members in your local area who you think may be interested in joining us: the more, the merrier.

Your National Sons of the American Revolution registration site is open for immediate registration at   REGISTER FOR NSSAR HONORING SCOTLAND.

Simply log in with your last name and the password: “Scotland19SAR” (omitting quotation marks and observing case).  

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us as we are here to help.

SAR-MAGIC Team Scotland
T:  888.279.1343
E: SAR@MAGICglobal.com

2019 Program Honoring Scotland 

2019 Post Scotland Visiting London



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