Retired couple's fury after sightseeing tour of scenic Scotland takes in Doncaster and Huddersfield

Much of the couple's holiday was captured through rain splattered coach windows, (Photo: SWNS).
Much of the couple's holiday was captured through rain splattered coach windows, (Photo: SWNS).

A retired couple who went on a sight-seeing tour of Scotland were left fuming when they were forced to sit on a coach - for more than sixty hours over five days on a trip that took in Doncaster and Huddersfield.

Derek and Julia Limbert paid £699 for the five-day trip which promised to take in 'some of Britain's most stunning natural scenery.'

Derek and Julia Limbert. (Photo: SWNS).

Derek and Julia Limbert. (Photo: SWNS).

But instead of enjoying the famous landmarks, they were forced to endure a staggering 10 hours per day on the coach while it crawled around the Scottish Highlands - and even stopped off in Doncaster, Huddersfield and Durham on their journey.

The couple have told the Daily Mail of their misery during the holiday which promised the chance to explore Oban, Mull and Skye but which the pair said involved "a tour of the inside of a coach" and "visits to the toilets of service stations."

Tour firm Diamond Holidays claimed tourists would explore some of Scotland's most scenic spots - but when the pensioners finally arrived at their destinations, they had either missed their ferries to the islands or it was too late to see anything and they were forced to turn back, the newspaper said.

Retired secondary school teacher Mr Limbert, 74, stormed: 'It was a disaster from start to finish.

'We had paid for a tour of Scotland but what we got was a tour of the inside of a coach our only visits were to go to the toilet in service stations.

"I would have seen more of the Scottish Highlands if I'd stayed at home and looked the places up on the internet."

Mr Limbert and his wife, Julia, 73, set off on the trip on July 15 when they were collected from their home in Sutton Coldfield in the West Midlands, at 6.20am.

He said: 'When we made the booking we didn't realise it would involve a tour of the Midlands, Yorkshire and Tyne and Wear as well. We were picked up and had to visit Lichfield, Burton-upon-Trent, Doncaster, Huddersfield, Durham and Newcastle picking up other passengers en route to our overnight stop.

'We didn't get to Gretna until late that night. We were then told we'd have to change coaches which took two-and-half hours to sort out. It was chaos."

'Even the itinerary did not show this nor that the time of travel to our overnight stop would be over 15 hours.'

After finally arriving at their hotel in Stirling at 9pm, they had a quick sleep before setting off for Oban early the next morning.

Mr Limbert added: 'The second day of our tour involved a journey from our hotel on the outskirts of Stirling to our hotel in Oban.

'The 80-mile journey took so long that we were not able to visit any of the sights of the town nor did we visit Lismore, which the itinerary suggested we visited.

'In fact, it took about nine-and-a-half hours. We arrived just in time to get a wash before rushing down to our evening meal.

'If that wasn't bad enough on the third day we were supposed to make an early start for a full-day tour around the isles of Mull and Iona, where we would visit the picturesque capital of Tobermory.

'The 'early start' was 11.45am - so late that on our arrival to Mull our driver told us that we would not have time to visit Tobermory.'

Their holiday went from bad to worse when a misunderstanding of the departure times for the ferry meant the coach party missed their visit to the isle of Iona.

Mr Limbert said: 'We were told by a driver that the ferry to Iona was every ten minutes.

'We nipped to the toilet but when we got back on the coach we missed it and were then told the ferries were in fact every hour, which meant it was too late for us to visit the island.

'On the fourth day we actually did make it to the Isle of Skye but it took five hours winding through the narrow roads and negotiating road works so by the time we got there we had about an hour before we had to set off back again.

'We were all hungry so the group went into the nearest cafe for fish and chips and then got back on the coach for another five hour journey back to the hotel.

'Everyone understood it would be a coach tour but this was ridiculous. We barely got to see the outside of the coach at all the entire trip."

The couple finally returned home after a 16-and-a-half hour journey while the coach dropped off the other pensioners around the north of England.

The couple have since sent a letter to Diamond Holidays and said they felt their experience was 'a breach of the Trades Description Act'

Diamond Holidays has apologised to the couple for their experience in a letter, giving the couple two £20 vouchers, which Mr Limbert described as 'insulting'

"We will never again travel with Diamond Holidays in what was a frustrating time on an ill-thought-out mystery tour," he said.

The Daily Mail reported that Diamond Holidays were approached for comment but they said their position remains the same as in previous letters to the couple.