I had the privilege of traveling with Scotus Tours in fall 2022 with a group from our church. It was an amazing experience and I would highly recommend this trip. Our host, Rev. Jim Wallace, was well-organized, knowledgeable, personable and a delight to be with. He took care of all the details so we could just enjoy being fully present. The tour was expertly balanced, allowing the group to see lots without becoming overwhelmed or exhausted. It afforded us the opportunity to learn about Scottish history, experience the beauty of the countryside, enjoy the unique culture of Scotland, and visit some of the sacred sites important to the church. I hope to have the opportunity to work with Scotus Tours again!
Rev. Seth Lovell
Olivet Presbyterian Church, Charlottesville, VA
Working with Scotus Tours was the best decision I could have made for planning my first international pilgrimage with a church group. Jim answered all of my questions in a timely manner and gave my group and I a lot of grace as we navigated the ever-changing world of covid and the anxiety that brings. Jim and his team made preparing for the pilgrimage easy and being on pilgrimage even easier. They handled all of the logistics. All I had to do was get my group to Scotland and they took us from there. If you want to see a lot of Scotland's beauty with minimal planning Scotus Tours is 100% worth it.
Rev. Megan Berry
First Presbyterian Church of Ann Arbor, MI
From Scotland's cities overflowing with history to the islands steeped with spirit, Jim Wallace created, organized and offered us such a meaningful and memorable learning journey. Scotus Tours exceeded our expectations, even our hopes!
Rev. Lawrence Bartel
Oxford Presbyterian Church, Oxford, OH
Our pilgrimage to Scotland with Jim Wallace and Scotus Tours was all that we had hoped it would be and more. Jim's credentials as a minister in the Church of Scotland, and having served as a pastor in the PCUSA, made him uniquely qualified to lead us as we walked in the footsteps of John Knox. We appreciated the foundation of faith on the tour - morning prayers, visiting various kirks, including Sunday morning worship, and mid-day prayers at St Giles' Cathedral. We learned much about Scottish history and our Presbyterian heritage. The local tour guides that Jim arranged were outstanding, as well.
I highly recommend Scotus Tours and Jim Wallace. I'm already plotting our return visit!
Rev. Paul Gilmore
Winnetka Presbyterian Church, IL
We used Scotus Tours for our pilgrimage trip in May 2022 and found Jim extremely helpful both in setting up our tour and then leading us each day. He was professional, knowledgeable and a great person to have on our trip. I would highly recommend using Scotus Tours for your next trip to Scotland.
Rev. Jack F. McNary
Northminster Presbyterian Church, Sacramento, CA
I highly recommend Scotus Tours to any group considering a tour of Scotland, particularly to church groups wanting to explore their church heritage. We took over 40 people from Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church and it was a pleasure to have Jim Wallace lead us from Edinburgh, through Glasgow to Iona, Inverness, Perth and St. Andrews. The tour was a perfect balance of time together and space to explore on our own. The fact that Jim is a Presbyterian pastor from Scotland who has served a church in the United States makes him a perfect guide for American Presbyterians. He offers a depth of knowledge about our Christian heritage, a thoughtful and easy manner as a guide, and a terrific sense of humor. Our group was united in praise of the content, rhythm, accommodations and great meals we shared. I hope we can go again in the future with Jim as our guide.
Rev. Dr. Agnes W. Norfleet
Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church, PA
Jim Wallace showed our group beautiful, spiritual and historic places in Scotland, quoting Robert Burns and sharing facts along the way. The tour was impeccably planned, with stops in lovely hotels in scenic towns all over the country. I hope to travel with Scotus Tours again!
Westminster Presbyterian Church, Knoxville, TN
Traveling with Scotus Tours is like traveling with extended family. Jim organizes tours in such a way that you can feel the history - really see God's work in one of the world's thin places. Jim's combination of pastoral leadership, attention to personal details, and joy in sharing Scotland make Scotus Tours the best company for our church to travel with.
Rev. Phil Brown
St. Luke's Presbyterian Church, Dunwoody, GA
In my experience, the choice of a tour company is the single most important decision a group leader will make in planning a trip. A mediocre tour company or an inattentive tour guide can ruin a group's experience, while a good one can make it a trip of a lifetime. Jim wallace and Scotus Tours made my group's experience a trip of a lifetime experience. I'll be going back with Jim and Scotus Tours soon, and a number of my group will go again. Thank you for exceeding my highest expectations!
Rev. Dr. Stuart Baskin
First Presbyterian Church, Tyler, TX
The entire tour, from the planning phase to the trip itself, was such an enjoyable experience. Jim is well organized and makes registration easy.
I really appreciated the following aspects -
I have heard from everyone in our group how wonderful the experience was and I can't wait to get back to Scotland! If anyone is planning a tour to Scotland with a church group, I could not more strongly recommend Scotus Tours.
Rev. Jon Frost
Westminster Presbyterian Church, West Chester, PA
Jim is a treasure. As a pastor, he not only greatly improved our experience traveling through Scotland and learning about its religious history, but was also aware of group dynamics and what is valuable to a community of faith traveling together. On my part, he made the trip far easier (and far more delicious!) than if we had arranged it ourselves. It's about the easiest trip we've ever taken with a group but I'm sure we'll be receiving its benefits of fellowship and bonding for years to come! If you get a chance to travel with Jim, take it!
Rev. Casey Thompson
Wayne Prebyterian Church, Wayne, PA
Scotus Tours helped make this a once-in-a-lifetime spiritual pilgrimage, bonding experience, and tour of Scotland's beautiful scenery. Every participant in our travel pilgrimage came away with a special affection for the country, a deeper appreciation of the faith and legacy of our forebears, and a deeper love for each other. Scotus Tours combined quality service, cuisine, and care of our group with affordability and efficiency. In short, we are ready to return!
Rev. Dr. Chris Currie
First Presbyterian Church, Shreveport, LA
If you're searching for a company to help guide you and your parishioners around Scotland, look no further than Scotus Tours. Led by Church of Scotland minister Jim Wallace, our church members from Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church in NYC had a wondeful time gallivanting around Scotland together in June of 2017. Everything was top notch, from the hotels to the food to the comfortable coach, and in the very knowledgeable and capable hands of Rev Wallace our understanding of the history of the country and our Presbyterian heritage came alive. Our church members raved about the great time they had and I'm sure yours will too!
Rev. Randy Weber, Associate Pastor Emeritus
Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church, New York
Thank you for providing everything that our choir needed for our journey through Scotland. Our singers performed at their best, partly because of the comfort they had with the selection of venues and the friendly people associated with each of them. The itinerary gave us a balance of musical experiences and immersion into the Scottish culture. The care you took in handling the smallest of details was evident throughout the trip. All the best!
Tom DiGiovanni, Organist, Co-Director of Music
Old Greenwich Presbyterian Church, Stewartsville, NJ
Dear Jim - We are all back safely and singing the praises of our pilgrimage to Iona. Your leadership in planning and guiding our trip was most professional, yet warm and personal. Over the course of the pilgrimage you became one of our group. I would just like to confirm again, your confidence that this could happen was a big factor in hanging on long enough to attract the pilgrims to make this a rich experience. I found you with a recommendation and I am excited to sing your praises to others.
With much appreciation,
Rev. Lloyd Griffith, Parish Associate
FPC New Bern, NC
Our experience with Scotus Tours was incredible. Jim was an incredible tour guide and his knowledge and experience with the entire country is top rate. Jim created the perfect tour for our group, not an easy task since we had a unique mixture of Millenials, Gen X'ers and Boomers. His hospitality allowed everyone to travel at a healthy pace, while his foresight gave us wonderful opportunities to visit cherished locations at ideal times. I ardently recommend traveling to Scotland using Scotus Tours. Trust the logistics to Jim and enjoy!
Rev. Jacob Bolton
Touring with Jim was a transformational experience for our church group. We reconnected with our spiritual heritage, forged new relationships and enjoyed many highlights of the rich feast that is Scotland's landscape and culture. Jim is professional, pastoral and tremendously kind, with a fine Scottish brogue and a witty sense of humor to boot! I highly recommend Jim and Scotus Tours. You won't be disappointed.
Rev. Jeff Lehn
First Presbyterian Church, Fort Wayne, IN
Rev. Wallace planned and led an absolutely wonderful trip for our group from First Presbyterian Church. Jim was gracious and enjoyable to work with, managed the details of the trip with ease, communicated frequently and helpfully before arriving, and led a very memorable tour once in Scotland. The trip was enjoyed by our entire group! Having led a number of trips to Scotland, I will only use Jim and Scotus Tours in the future!
Rev. Dr. Michael Waschevski,
Fort Worth, TX
We journeyed to Scotland to explore our Presbyterian roots as we celebrated our 150th anniversary as a church. We got so much more than just a history lesson! We learned about the spirituality of Iona. We stood in cathedrals where the preaching of the Scottish Reformers stirred deep passions. We journeyed to the highlands and even took in the snowy peak of Ben Nevis. We experienced the beauty of the lochs of Scotland where, try as we might, we could not spot Nessie. Our bus was met by friendly sheepdogs eager to heed the sharp whistles of their master and herd their charges - the sheep look much less excited! We followed the trails of martyrs and prayed on the windswept beach at St Andrews. We took pictures on the famous bridge at the Old Course. Our meals were wonderful. We slept in hotels with character. The shopping on the Royal Mile was delightful. The views from the castle at Edinburgh amazing. And, of course, we learned so much about our heritage as Presbyterians. We soon realized that 150 years makes us just a youngster of a church compared to our Scottish forebears.
Jim was an engaging host who was never at a loss for a story to bring our travels to life. And he taught us a fair share of some wonderful Scottish terms. We highly recommend a trip with Jim Wallace and Scotus Tours of Scotland.
Rev. David R. Smith, Pastor
First Presbyterian Church of Marietta, Ohio
Looking back on our recent trip to Scotland, I can't think of a way to adequately thank you for the superb job you did in planning, leading and looking after all of us on our pilgrimage. Every detail was carefully planned, and all of us got to gain a deeper knowledge of our Presbyterian and Reformation roots. As a Church of Scotland pastor, your unique understanding of the Scottish church as well as of the land that gave it birth was a blessing from which we all benefitted. Whether it be our visit to the Abbey at Iona or noon services in St Giles Cathedral, the climb up the Wallace Monument or the visit to the Scottish Parliament, we saw more than the casual visitor would see. Thank you too for providing Historic Scotland guides who gave us in depth understanding of particular sites of Reformation and Scottish history. From the service of welcome to times of reflection about the day, this was a different kind of experience, and everyone felt a part of it. I have returned to America with a renewed appreciation for the history of Scotland, the roots of Presbyterianism deep in the soil of the Scottish earth, and the warmth and hospitality of yourself and everyone whom we met. Thank you for all you did to make this a memorable experience in our historic Presbyterian homeland.
Rev. Dr. Jon Walton
First Presbyterian Church in the City of New York
Some Comments from our Groups
If you want a fantastic history and view of Scotland then go with Scotus Tours. We did and experienced a truly magnificent trip of a lifetime! Jim Wallace, our very organized, friendly and knowledgeable tour guide, went out of his way to make our trip wonderful.
Mike & Kathie,
…a wonderful introduction to Scotland and its sacred heritage…from engaging conversation over meals to opportunities for a variety of worship experiences. Jim and his team made everything from preparation to farewell back to The States thoughtfully convenient, deeply enjoyable, and suitably educational. Comments upon return from my group members included: “This is the best trip I have ever experienced!” to “Can we return year after next?”
Thanks again for everything!
Rev. Lenore Turner Scales,
Associate Pastor for Christian Education and Youth,
Hopewell Presbyterian Church, Huntersville, NC
The tour was perfectly paced, relaxed, and personal. You were organized, welcoming, and added a nice personal touch…….I look forward to organizing another group in the future.
Rev. Phil Brown,
St. Luke’s Presbyterian Church, Dunwoody, GA
…the wonderful people of Scotland were warm and welcoming to the 25 people who traveled with St. Luke’s on a pilgrimage exploring the roots of Presbyterianism. These adults engaged with some of the oldest churches from the protestant reformation, stood in the “thin place” of Iona Abbey, and wandered through castles of prominence and power.
After looking for Nessie at Loch Ness and seeing some amazing sheep dogs with their master, we headed to the land of Robert the Bruce and William Wallace. We ventured to the eastern coast, walked along the beaches at St. Andrews, and worshiped in one of the churches that started the Reformation in Scotland. Our last few days were spent around Edinburgh experiencing the deep history of Edinburgh Castle, St. Giles Cathedral, and the home of John Knox.
Each morning on the bus, as we headed for the day’s adventure, group members offered devotions that brought depth to the amazing places we visited. From the picturesque seaside cliffs of the Western Islands, to the towering snowcapped mountains of the highlands, to the sheep-scattered hills of the midlands, to the steeple-scattered city landscapes of the lowlands, God’s good creation was on display. …Scotland became a metaphor for us to remember that, though things change around us, our faith and the faith of the Saints who have come before us endures. We connected with the saints and with each other on our final night as we shared communion around one table in the heart of Edinburgh.
Our group developed close bonds with our history and each other. Our leader-pastor in Scotland, Rev. James Wallace - “Jim” - shared his country with open arms, a great sense of humor, and a clear understanding that were are all in the journey of faith together
Newsletter Article from St. Luke’s Presbyterian Church, Dunwoody, GA: