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14-Night Ultimate Scotland Tour

Price: From $2,198 Per Person
14 Nights

This is indeed the ultimate Scotland tour! With 14 nights to play with, you'll leave no stone unturned as you embark on an in-depth Scottish journey. Arrive in Edinburgh, and spend two nights in Scotland's bustling & vibrant Capital. From Edinburgh Castle and Holyrood Palace, to the two-tiered Victoria Street, charming and picturesque Edinburgh quite literally has it all! You will go on to complete a counter-clockwise loop of the country, before concluding your tour in Glasgow - Scotland's second city. In between, overnight in the unique 'Granite City of Aberdeen, the Capital of the Highlands - Inverness, the stunning Isle of Skye, rugged Fort William, and the historic City of Stirling.

                            **Use tabs above to view Itinerary, Prices & How to Book.**

Tour Highlights

ACCOMMODATION

  • 14 nights Accommodation – From Boutique City Hotel to Luxurious Guesthouse!
  • Spend Two Nights in Captivating Edinburgh

TRANSPORTATION

  • Automatic Rental Car - Includes Insurance, Unlimited Mileage & All Taxes

DINING OPTIONS

  • 14 Breakfasts - Sumptuous Full Scottish Breakfasts Each Morning

INCLUDED UNIQUE EXPERIENCES

  • Edinburgh Secrets of the Mile Walking Tour
  • History Tour of Edinburgh Castle
  • Entrance to the Culloden Battlefield
  • Talisker Whisky Distillery Tour and Tasting
  • Loch Ness Cruise
  • Entrance to Stirling Castle

POINTS OF INTEREST

  • Explore the Distinctive Silver-Grey Architecture of Aberdeen
  • Discover the Natural Beauty of Cairngorms National Park
  • Visit Balmoral Castle - the Queen's Official Scottish Residence
  • Stay in Inverness - The Capital of the Highlands
  • Travel the Length of Mysterious Loch Ness
  • Visit the Famous & Historic Culloden & Bannockburn Battlefields
  • Spend Two Nights on the Breathtaking Isle of Skye, known as 'Cloud Island'
  • Choose from more than 10 Famous Scottish Castles to Explore!
  • Enjoy a Gentle Hike to Picturesque Steall Waterfall
  • Get Lost in Stunning Loch Lomond & Trossachs National Park
  • Marvel at Stirling Castle & The Wallace Monument

Edinburgh, Scotland

Arrive at

Arrive at Edinburgh Airport, Scotland

Arrive at Edinburgh Airport. If arriving from the U.S., please note that your flight is overnight.

Edinburgh is a small airport, ensuring that your experience there is a pleasant one. The airport is located 8 miles west of downtown Ediunburgh, and it takes approximately 30 minutes to make the journey by car or bus.


Accommodation

Bonham Hotel - Edinburgh, Scotland

4 Star
Room Type: Double

Check in policies:

Check-in is after 3.00pm on your day of arrival. Check-out before 12.00 noon.


Included Experiences

Secrets of the Royal Mile & Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh, Scotland

The Secrets of the Royal Mile tour is the perfect introduction to Scotland’s capital. The first secret you’ll learn? That you have made an excellent decision in including an Edinburgh Castle visit, thereby skipping the usually long entrance queues! On your walking tour, you'll discover an Edinburgh beyond the reach of tour buses and books. Your expert guide will take you to the places where history was made – the wynds, closes, courtyards and homes of Edinburgh’s Old Town. You’ll be hanging on your guide’s every word, as the true stories of our capital’s past unfold. After spending 1.5 hours walking the city's enthralling streets in the company of characters such as Mary Queen of Scots, David Hume, Adam Smith and Robert Burns, you'll head for Edinburgh Castle. The castle dominates Scotland’s capital city from its great rock. Battles and sieges were fought over it, royalty lived and died within its walls, and countless generations have been inspired by it. When you visit the Castle with your Mercat guide, you’ll walk straight over the drawbridge, and straight past the ticket line – to continue your tour with a guided visit. Your castle tour lasts approximately 45 minutes.


Overnight Location

Edinburgh, Scotland

On The Map: Edinburgh is located in the southeast of Scotland. Edinburgh is well served by a good network of roads and motorways, including the M8 from Glasgow to the west, and A68 from Newcastle, England to the southeast.

Edinburgh knows how to welcome travelers with grace and charm. She also knows how to kick up her heels and enjoy a nice shot of Scotch Whisky after a festival. The hill that Edinburgh Castle stands upon has been Scotland’s remarkable silent witness since the Bronze Age. Today her streets are filled with cutting-edge galleries and museums, tributes to the love of literature and music, fine cuisine, quirky shops, theater, and an extravagance of festivals. Four ancient streets, called the Royal Mile, are the main thoroughfare.  Running through medieval Edinburgh with her 66 alleys, tumbling shops, cobblestones, and tight homes the Royal Mile takes you to New Town.  Here you’ll stroll through fine gardens, perfect Georgian architecture and broad squares. The mix of time, while lost in time, is a heady brew. There may be no finer city than Edinburgh Scotland, to participate in the gifts of the past with an eye to a brilliant future. 


Must-See Sites

Edinburgh, Scotland

On The Map: Edinburgh is located in the southeast of Scotland. Edinburgh is well served by a good network of roads and motorways, including the M8 from Glasgow to the west, and A68 from Newcastle, England to the southeast.

Edinburgh knows how to welcome travelers with grace and charm. She also knows how to kick up her heels and enjoy a nice shot of Scotch Whisky after a festival. The hill that Edinburgh Castle stands upon has been Scotland’s remarkable silent witness since the Bronze Age. Today her streets are filled with cutting-edge galleries and museums, tributes to the love of literature and music, fine cuisine, quirky shops, theater, and an extravagance of festivals. Four ancient streets, called the Royal Mile, are the main thoroughfare.  Running through medieval Edinburgh with her 66 alleys, tumbling shops, cobblestones, and tight homes the Royal Mile takes you to New Town.  Here you’ll stroll through fine gardens, perfect Georgian architecture and broad squares. The mix of time, while lost in time, is a heady brew. There may be no finer city than Edinburgh Scotland, to participate in the gifts of the past with an eye to a brilliant future. 


National Museum of Scotland, Scotland

On The Map: The National Museum of Scotland is located on Chambers Street, in the heart of oldtown Edinburgh. A mere few minutes walk from the Royal Mile, Chembers Street links George IV Bridge & South Bridge

The National Museum’s forte is artifacts from around the world. The recently opened more modern Museum of Scotland is a small miracle and dedicated to the story of Scotland and its people. They have separate identities, while sitting right next to each other. Very handy. Together, they are considered one of the finest collections in the world. The rarest antiquities in Scotland create a treasure trove for the senses and imagination. Some highlights include: Ivory chessmen made by invading Vikings in the 12th century; Holy relics, one linked to St. Columba and Iona and the other to Robert the Bruce; A staff carried by St. Fillian in the 8th century, one of the finest examples of artistry present 1,200 years ago; The Maiden, a 16th century guillotine; Bonnie Prince Charlie’s Canteen—all the stuff he needed to travel and dine in style!; Egyptian mummy cases, decorated with Egyptian symbols of death and resurrection; a 3,500-year-old Egyptian toy mouse with string that would have been pulled by a child. When it walks the tail wags!


The Royal Mile, Scotland

On The Map: The Royal Mile is located in Old Town Edinburgh, and runs between Edinburgh Castle & Holyrood Palace.

The Royal Mile is the main thoroughfare of Old Town Edinburgh, and boasts a number of famous historical sites and buildings, as well as an impressive array of shops, eateries and pubs. The Royal Mile is actually more than a mile by 107 yards. It starts at the entrance to Edinburgh Castle & ends at the gates of Holyrood Palace. There are several independently named streets which connect to make up the Royal Mile: Castlehill, Lawnmarket, High Street, Cannongate, and Abbey Strand. The major attractions on the Royal Mile are: Edinburgh Castle, Holyrood Palace, The National Museum of Scotland & Camera Obscura - Scotland's oldest purpose-built attraction.


Edinburgh Castle, Scotland

On The Map: Edinburgh Castle is located at the top of the Royal Mile, at the west end of Edinburgh's Old Town. From its lofty position on Castle Rock, the castle dominates the Edinburgh skyline, and is impossible to miss!

Edinburgh castle sits on a high, rocky hill with a narrow ridge running east above the Old Town of Edinburgh. There has been a fortification of some kind here for thousands of years. The castle has existed through layers of time and history, and it is indeed magnificent. Edinburgh Castle has highlighted the city’s skyline for 800 years, is a national symbol, and it is Scotland’s most popular site to visit. The castle was a vital possession in Scotland’s historic struggles. The castle houses the Honours (Crown Jewels) of Scotland, the Stone of Destiny, the famous 15th century gun Mons Meg, the One O' Clock Gun and the National War Museum of Scotland. In addition to guided tours provided by the castle stewards, there is an audio guide tour available in eight languages. The audio tour takes the visitor on a tour around the castle, explains its architecture, and tells its dramatic history.


Edinburgh, Scotland

Accommodation

Bonham Hotel - Edinburgh, Scotland

4 Star
Room Type: Double

Check in policies:

Check-in is after 3.00pm on your day of arrival. Check-out before 12.00 noon.


Must-See Sites

Royal Yacht Britannia, Scotland

On The Map: The Britannia is berthed at Ocean Terminal, Leith - just 2 miles north of the heart of Edinburgh. Majestic Tour Buses depart regularly from Waverley Bridge in the centre of town, and stop at the Royal Botanic Gardens en route.

Discover the floating palace that served the British Royal Family for over forty years from 1954. This magnificent ship has played host to some of the most famous people in the world. But, above all, she was home to Her Majesty The Queen and the Royal Family. The Queen played a large role in the design of the ship, personally approving plans and choosing the furniture and decor. She was once quoted as naming the yacht as the one place she could truly relax. Now in Edinburgh you are welcome on board to discover the heart and soul of this most special of royal residences. Experience what life was like on board The Royal Yacht Britannia with a fascinating audio tour of five decks. Highlights of the tour include the elegant State Apartments, the Crew’s Quarters, the Engine Room and the stunning Royal Deck Tea Room. Complimentary audio guide in 22 languages. Open year round with free parking at Ocean Terminal. **Authentic Ireland clients receive a 10% discount on admission - on arrival, show any official Authentic Ireland voucher / document, to avail of the discount.**


Holyrood Palace, Scotland

On The Map: The Palace of Holyrood House is located in the heart of the City of Edinburgh. The famous Royal Mile connects Edinburgh Castle at its western end and Holyrood to the east.

The official residence in Scotland of Her Majesty The Queen, this beautiful palace sits at the bottom of Edinburgh’s Royal Mile, sheltered by Arthur’s Seat. Holyrood has many strong ties in Scottish history, and is well-known for being the home of Mary Queen of Scots. Visitors can view the stunning Royal Apartments, which show the different tastes of each monarch with fine plasterwork ceilings and decadent furnishings. On a tour round the palace you can see the Great Gallery, hung with portraits by Jacob de Wet, of the real and legendary kings of the country, and see the display on the Order of the Thistle, the highest honour in Scotland. Visitors can also take a guided tour of the historic Holyrood Abbey ruins, and learn of the building’s fascinating history through the centuries from its beginnings in 1128.


Camera Obscura, Scotland

On The Map: Camera Obscura is located in the heart of Edinburgh. Right on the Royal Mile and only 100 metres from the entrance to Edinburgh Castle.

Camera Obscura is Scotland’s oldest purpose-built attraction, originally established in 1835. There's certainly something for everyone in this unusual and highly entertaining venue. Enjoy unique views of Edinburgh from the fascinating Camera Obscura and rooftop terrace. In World of Illusions, experience five floors of interactive hands-on fun, including The Vortex Tunnel, Mirror Maze and Shrinking Room. At Light Fantastic, be dazzled by the spectacular collection of 3D holograms. In The Magic Gallery, interact with incredible things like floating sweets, Victorian bendy mirrors & fish that swim on the floor! Get involved, play with & touch everything. Money back guarantee if not fully satisfied, and voted ‘Best family attraction in Britain’, in The Telegraph newspaper in 2010.


Gilmerton Cove, Scotland

On The Map: Gilmerton Cove is located in the Gilmerton suburb of southeast Edinburgh. It's not walkable from downtown, but is served by the 3, 3a & 29 buses.

Gilmerton Cove is a series of strange, hand carved passageways and chambers that lie 10 feet below ground to the south of Gilmerton crossroads. After five years of work by Gilmerton Heritage Trust and The City of Edinburgh Council to restore and preserve it for future generations, it opened in August 2003, providing visitors of all ages with an educational and fun experience. The entrance to Gilmerton Cove is through a visitor centre adapted from a traditional mining cottage. This cottage now houses imaginative audio and visual displays that depict the various theories behind the origins of Gilmerton Cove which, after extensive archaeological and historical research, still remain a mystery. Just how old the caves are is unknown, but records go as far back as the 18th century and the system appears to be very much older. Who constructed them? When? Why? And what have they been used for over the years? Tomb of ancient kings? Meeting place for one or more persecuted religious groups? Masonic Lodge Room? Witches Coven? Illicit Whisky Still & Drinking Den? Knights Templar Retreat? Some theories even suggest that the Templars buried the Holy Grail here. Whatever the real answers, everyone can agree that it is truly a fascinating and mysterious site to visit. Daily tours are available by prior appointment - call 07914 829177. Please note that Gilmerton Cove is not located in the heart of Edinburgh. It's a 30-minute bus ride - use Bus No. 3 or 29 from Princes Street.


Aberdeen, Scotland

Accommodation

Palm Court hotel - Aberdeen, Scotland

4 Star
Room Type: Double

Check in policies:

Check in between 2pm and 6pm, check out at 11am.


Enroute Sightseeing

St Andrews, Scotland

On The Map: St Andrews is located on Scotland's east coast. Dundee is less than 30 minutes to the north, while Edinburgh 1.5 hours to the south.

Poised and well-groomed, St. Andrews is the pilgrimage site for golfers around the world. It is also Scotland’s oldest university town, founded in 1410. The town of St. Andrews is small---only three main streets and an open, airy feel with long stretches of sandy beach on either side of town. There are acres-plus of golf links in every direction. The locals are proud of their town and it has a refined, old-fashioned ambience. Many original buildings have survived, and the castle and cathedral have been rebuilt to preserve their remains. The main streets and cobbled alleys are lined with crooked houses. Medieval churches line up and meet at the ruin of the 12th century cathedral. St. Andrews is a light, seaside resort that feels busier and larger than it is.  More importantly, it is one of the most notable and historic towns in Scotland.
 


Enroute Sightseeing

Dundee, Scotland

On The Map: Dundee is located on the east coast of Scotland. The town is most easily accessed via the A90 road connecting Perth to the southwest, and Aberdeen to the northeast.

Dundee is a complete change of scene.  This city in Central Scotland has a buzzing-new, artsy style and a cultural quarter that’s thriving. The two bridges over the River Tay are an exceptionally fine way to enter the city, and you’ll soon see an ancient fort rising from the heart of the city, the summit of Dundee Law.  Scotland’s fourth largest city, Dundee is not beautiful nor is she elegant.  But she is lively and smart and her position is exquisite.  Set between the Sidlaw Hill and the broad River Tay, the southern exposure creates a buttery light. Dundee has been called, “Scotland’s City of Discovery.”  You might bump into Desperate Dan, circle a dragon, become a polar explorer, shop to your heart’s content, test your senses, visit the theatre, go ice-skating, swimming, have a game of golf, visit several glorious castles, and hit a few cultural hot spots. Dundee has plenty to offer any traveler who is on the lookout for some authentic experiences in Scotland!


Enroute Sightseeing

Glamis Castle, Scotland

On The Map: Glamis Castle is located in the eastern Angus region of Scotland. It's less than 30 minutes north of Dundee, and from the town is accessed via the A90 & A928 roads.

This 17th century castle looks as if it’s straight out of a magic spell. Duncan’s Hall was the setting for the King’s murder in Macbeth. It has a secret chamber and was the childhood home of the late Queen Mother. Today, the rooms are a tale of time, containing fine collections of armor, furnishings, and tapestries from different ages.  Keep your eyes peeled--there is said to be a ghost prowling around!  The gardens were laid out by one of the greatest 18th-century landscape architects. With the Cairngorm Mountains providing a spectacular backdrop to the magnificent building and beautifully landscaped grounds, Glamis is a true treasure.


Overnight Location

Aberdeen, Scotland

On The Map: Aberdeen is located on Scotland's northeast coast. The A90 is the main road servicing Aberdeen from Dundee to the south.

Aberdeen, with its miles of sandy beaches, was once one of Scotland’s largest seaside resorts, and the harbor is the heart of the city. Founded in the early 12th century, Aberdeen quickly grew into a major port because of its access to the Continent. Aberdeen is a fine place to have a kilt hand-made in the time-honored tradition. You can also see foreign films at the top-rated Belmont Theatre. For shows, plays, musicals, dance, opera, and mimes, head to His Majesty’s Theatre. If you’re looking for a large classical concert, the Music Hall is for you. Aberdeen has some of the most beautiful gardens in Britain.  As a matter of fact, the city was once banned from entering floral competitions because it won too often!  Due to the granite hills surrounding Aberdeen, much of the building material is granite and various shades of gray. It makes a striking cityscape, although somewhat foreboding, but it is softened by year-long floral displays.
 


Aberdeen, Scotland

Accommodation

Palm Court hotel - Aberdeen, Scotland

4 Star
Room Type: Double

Check in policies:

Check in between 2pm and 6pm, check out at 11am.


Must-See Sites

Stonehaven, Scotland

On The Map: Stonehaven is situated on Scotland's northeast coast, just 15 miles south of Aberdeen on the A90 road.

Originally a fishing village built around the High Street, and formerly known as Stonehive, the town has grown to a population of around 11,000 in modern times. The sense of history, with the impressive ruined fortress of Dunnottar Castle nearby, the awe inspiring views of the sea and harbour, the friendliness of the local people, combine to make Stonehaven special. In August 2010, Stonehaven was voted the best seaside town in Scotland in a survey carried out by the Bank of Scotland. The survey looked at the quality of life in coastal towns throughout the country, looking at factors such as crime rates, weather, property prices and earnings.


Dunnottar Castle, Scotland

On The Map: Dunnottar Caslte is located in the picturesque village of Stonehaven on Scotland's eastern coast. The castle is a mere 15 miles south of the city of Aberdeen on the A90 road.

The impressive ruins of Dunnottar Castle are dramatically perched on a cliff top overlooking the North Sea. William Wallace, Mary Queen of Scots, the Marquis of Montrose and the future King Charles II, all graced the Castle with their presence. Most famously though, it was at Dunnottar Castle that a small garrison held out against the might of Cromwell’s army for eight months in 1650 and saved the Scottish Crown Jewels, the ‘Honours of Scotland’, from destruction. Crown, sceptre and sword now take pride of place in Edinburgh Castle. A darker chapter in the history of Dunnottar is that of the ‘Whig’s Vault’. The gruesome story of the imprisonment in 1685 of a group of Covenanters who refused to acknowledge the King’s supremacy in spiritual matters. As you wander around the extensive buildings - from the keep through the barracks, lodgings, stables and storehouses to the less-ruinous chapel and drawing room - you will discover the importance of Dunnottar, an impregnable Castle that holds many rich secrets of Scotland’s colourful past. Access to the fortress is via a steep cliff-side walkway - not suitable for visitors with limited mobility.


Craigievar Castle, Scotland

On The Map: Craigievar Castle is located in the northeast of Scotland, just south of the town of Alford. From Aberdeen, head west on the A944 road, before turning south just after Alford.

For sheer elegance and poise, Craigievar is the castle to visit.  Its cluster of towers rising above the slender tower house is a masterpiece. This fairytale castle almost seems to have grown naturally out of the rolling hills. It is now open to visitors again after a major conservation project, and is an example of the best of Scottish Baronial architecture. The Great Tower stands just as it was when completed by Master William Forbes Danzig Willie in 1626. The simplicity of the castle's lower towers contrast perfectly with the turrets, the cupolas and corbelling that embellish the roofline. Within its walls the collection includes an excellent show of family portraits and 17th & 18th century furniture. This perfect Scottish castle remains as unspoiled as it was when occupied by the Forbes-Sempill family. Also said to be the inspiration for Walt Disney's Cinderella Castle. 
 


Fyvie Castle, Scotland

On The Map: Fyvie Castle is located in Aberdeenshire, in the northeast of Scotland. From the city of Aberdeen, Fyvie is approx. 25 miles to the northwest on the A947 road.

Fyvie Castle is an outstanding example of Scottish baronial architecture. Originally constructed in the 13th century, the castle received major updates & additions, as it passed through the hands of five powerful families. Legend claims that the families each built one of Fyvie's five towers. An air of mystery is created by the ghosts and myths associated with the castle. Inside, the magnificent sweeping staircase is the most dramatic feature while many treasures are on display. Contemporary panelling and plaster ceilings survive in the 17th-century Morning Room and the opulence of the Edwardian era is reflected in the interiors created by the first Lord Leith of Fyvie. A rich portrait collection includes works by Batoni, Raeburn, Romney, Gainsborough, Opie and Hoppner, and there is a fine collection of arms and armour, as well as 17th-century tapestries. The 18th-century walled garden, has been redeveloped as a celebration of Scottish fruits and vegetables. The grounds and loch were designed in the early 19th century. Visitors can also enjoy the restored racquets court, ice house, bird hide, restored earth closet and beautiful lochside walks.


Inverness, Scotland

Accommodation

Lynver Guesthouse - Inverness, Scotland

Guesthouse
Room Type: Double/Twin

Check in policies:

Check-in time is between 3.00pm & 6.00pm on your day of arrival. If you expect to arrive outside these hours, please contact the owner in advance on 01463 242 906.


Enroute Sightseeing

Ballater, Scotland

On The Map: Ballater is located in the northeast of Scotland, on the eastern side of Cairngorms National Park. From the major eastern coastal city of Aberdeen, Ballater is only 40 miles to the east on the A93 road.

Ballater is a delightful Victorian town, founded at the start of the 19th century to accommodate visitors to the nearby Pannanich Wells spa. It subsequently became the site for the railway station that serviced nearby Balmoral Castle (purchased by Queen Victoria in 1852) and Upper Deeside. For about 100 years this station was used by the Royal Family and their guests. The Old Royal Station is now a popular visitor centre - a small museum, but well worth a visit. Much of the royalty of nineteenth century Europe passed through Ballater railway station at one time or another, including the Czar of Russia in 1896. You can step inside a refurbished carriage of Queen Victoria's royal train, go inside her waiting room at the station, and read about the history of Queen Victoria's family and the Aberdeen-Ballater railway line. It is a good place for children of all ages - the younger ones can dress up, and the older ones can listen to the narrations from life-like wax characters. (All children will be interested to see a 19th century loo as well!)  After visiting the exhibits, you can watch a video about Queen Victoria's explorations of the area. The town grew steadily during the Victorian era and contains many fine stone-built buildings within its conservation area.


Enroute Sightseeing

Balmoral Castle, Scotland

On The Map: Balmoral Castle is located in the Cairngorm Mountain region just east of central Scotland. The castle is just 50 miles west of the city of Aberdeen on the A93 road.

Set amongst the magnificent scenery of Royal Deeside, in the shadows of Lochnagar, lies Balmoral Estate. Balmoral has been the Scottish home of the Royal Family since it was purchased for Queen Victoria by Prince Albert in 1852, having been first leased in 1848. The original castle was considered too small for the needs of the Royal Family and under the supervision of Prince Albert a new building was designed. The new castle was built from granite from the neighbouring quarries of Glen Gelder, which produced a near white stone, and once finished the original castle was quickly demolished. The Estate covers just over 50,000  acres of heather clad hills & ancient Caledonian woodland. The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh and The Prince of Wales take a close personal interest in running and improving the Estates, and over the past 150 years, The Royal Family has preserved the wildlife, scenery and architecture which is available for all to enjoy.
Please note that the grounds, gardens and exhibitions at Balmoral are closed to the Public during August, September and early October, at which time the Royal Family are in residence.


Enroute Sightseeing

Cairngorms National Park, Scotland

On The Map: The Cairngorms National Park, (Scotland's biggest), occupies a large region in the northeast of the country. The nearest major town is Aberdeen to the east, but Cairngorms NP is quite central to all Scotland's large cities.

Scotland’s pristine National Park, the Cairngorms, have the highest, rugged mountain range in Britain rising to 4,296 feet. This country is heaven for walkers, skiers, rock climbers & nature lovers. A number of species of rare birds are attracted to the thriving, unusual alpine flora. Rock-climbers and skiers particularly love the challenge of the Cairngorms. Its craggy sides attract climbers from around the world—they practice at the Cairngorms before trips to the Himalayas! During the summer a funicular railway climbs Cairngorm. The views over the Spey Valley are spectacular. There’s also a steam railway, dating from 1863, that runs from Aviemore and Broomhila.  This is a great way to get up-close to nature if you’re not into the thrills-and-chills of mountain sports!  Also, many estates in the valley supplement their income by introducing visitors to the Highlands. See Britain’s only herd of reindeer and walk among them - the Cairngorm Reindeer Center is happy to take you to these lovely animals. With mixed woodlands at the base, and the summit forming a sub-polar plateau, the Cairngorms present a huge variety of flora.  Ancient Caledonian pines, once common in the area, still survive in Abernathy Forest.  Fragile and flourishing, Arctic flowers thrive in the heights.


Overnight Location

Inverness, Scotland

On The Map: Inverness is located on Scotland's central northern coast. The town is accessed via the A9 road from the southeast (Cairngorms National Park), A82 from the southwest (Loch Ness) , and A96 from the northeast (Speyside, Whisky Country)

Inverness is the true capital of the Highlands, and with 50,000 people, it is one of Scotland’s fastest growing cities. It is also one of the Highland’s oldest settlements. All roads still lead to the Highland’s center, Inverness. It feels like a compact town, but it has the bustle and air of a lovely city. Let your imagination run wild, and take a ghost tour led by an 18th century ghost, complete with period costume. Expect to hear tales of the city’s blood-chilling past, including ghosts, witches, murders, and spells! Stroll along the River Ness, or cruise on the Moray Firth, searching out bottlenose dolphins. It is very peaceful, especially if you’ve just been ghost-hunting... The River Ness flows through Inverness, and salmon fishermen come during the summer, even where the river runs right through the city’s center. High above the city is Inverness Castle, a unique Victorian built of red sandstone. Just below the castle is the museum and Art Gallery which runs exhibitions and workshops for kids. The main shopping area fans out from there in three directions, and includes a lively gathering place where pipers and other musicians get together and make music.


Inverness, Scotland

Accommodation

Lynver Guesthouse - Inverness, Scotland

Guesthouse
Room Type: Double/Twin

Check in policies:

Check-in time is between 3.00pm & 6.00pm on your day of arrival. If you expect to arrive outside these hours, please contact the owner in advance on 01463 242 906.


Included Experiences

Culloden Battlefield Admission

Inverness, Scotland

 Stand on the windswept moor where the Jacobites made their final stand. Experience the Battle of Culloden in the visitor centre’s immersion cinema. Travel back in time to the day of the battle by taking part in one of our regular Living History presentations. Admire Jacobite artefacts, including weapons, clothing, miniatures and coins.


Must-See Sites

The Black Isle, Scotland

On The Map: The Black Isle is located just north of Inverness in the Highlands of Northern Scotland. Construction of the Kessock Bridge (completed in 1982 and part of the A9 road) has greatly aided to access to the peninsula.

Despite its name, the Black Isle is not an island, but a peninsula, surrounded on three sides by water. The description ‘Black’ is just as misleading as Isle, and no one knows where the name originated. There are however a number of theories, the most colourful relating to the practice of black arts and witchcraft in mediaeval times. About 23 miles long by 9 miles wide at its broadest point, a drive around the peninsula, particularly if spending a few nights in Inverness, is well worth the effort. One of the Isle’s highlights is the village of Cromarty, poised on the tip of the peninsula. Probably the Highlands' best preserved historic town, Cromarty offers a wealth of attractions: sandy beaches, unusual architecture, Bottlenose Dolphins, pleasant eateries, and even a multi-award winning museum. Much of the village is original 18th century design, with little influence by modern-day architecture. The small fishing villages of Fortrose, Rosemarkie and Avoch are also highlights, located on the east coast of the Black Isle. Just across the water is the massive and imposing Fort George, built after the 1745 Jacobite Rebellion, in the hope of deterring any further unrest among the Highland Clans.


Culloden Battlefield, Scotland

On The Map: Culloden Battlefiled is located just 15 minutes from Inverness in the north of Scotland. From Inverness, travel approx. 7 miles east on the B9006, Culloden Road. A daily bus service also runs from Inverness to the battle site.

Since the 1630s Britain had suffered political and religious upheaval. Civil war was a constant fear as Scotland, Ireland and England struggled to find a way to live and prosper together. The 1745 Jacobite Rebellion against the British Government, led by the exiled Prince Charles Edward Stuart ('Bonnie Prince Charlie') had had some success. However at 1.00pm on 16 April 1746, the Culloden Battle began. Hardly an hour had passed between the first shots and the final flight of the Prince's army. Although a short battle by European standards, it was an exceptionally bloody one, and would change the course of history in Britain. The exciting new Culloden Battlefield visitor centre and exhibition opened in December 2007. Through recent archaeological and historical research the National Trust for Scotland discovered that the previous centre was sited on the third Government line of the battlefield. With the Trust's resolve to return the battlefield to as original a condition as possible, the centre was moved. The new centre and exhibition allows the whole Culloden story to be told in an innovative and interactive way, which appeals to all the family.


Cawdor Castle, Scotland

On The Map: Cawdor Castle is located in the north of Scotland. The castle is accessed via the B9090 road whichintersects with the main A96, northeast of Inverness Town.

Cawdor Castle has been the home of the Thanes of Cawdor since its construction in 1370. Originally consisting only of its central tower, the current structure is a result of significant additions in the 15th, 17th & 19th centuries. Well known for its fictional association with Shakespeare's Macbeth, Cawdor is also famed for its magnificent gardens, portions of which are over 300 years old. After you step inside, this other-worldly castle makes historical facts pale. Cawdor Castle fulfills all Shakespearean thoughts of love and tragedy. With its original keep, built in 1454, a drawbridge, ancient yew tree and enough weapons to start an uprising, this castle is the stuff of legend. The garden and estate, complete with maze, are equally remarkable. Who could ask for anything more? Cawdor Castle is open to the public between May & September each year.


Speyside, The Whisky Triangle, Elgin, Scotland

On The Map: Speyside is a name that is associated with the area between the towns of Elgin, Keith and Grantown, in the northeast of Scotland. The area is just about one hour drive east of the city of Inverness.

Speyside is a gentle area that feels more dreamlike than parts of everyday life. Signposts often read like a well-stocked bar! Whisky, a word derived from the Gaelic ‘uisce beatha’, means “water of life”. It has been distilled here, legally and otherwise, for more than 600 years. (The first record of making whisky in Scotland was in 1494.) Whether the Scots took it to Ireland, or the Irish brought it with them to Scotland in the 6th or 7th century, isn’t clear. There are eight distilleries, mostly founded in the early 18th century, linked by the signposted Malt Whisky Trail. Glen Grant, Cardhu, Strathisia, Glenlivet, Benromach, Dallas Dhu, Glen Moray, and Glenfiddich. Each offers guided tours and whisky tastings, and opening times and admission fees vary. But come to Speyside even if whisky is not on your agenda. This area is romantic and the River Spey is gorgeous.


Isle of Skye, Scotland

Accommodation

Larchside - Isle of Skye, Scotland

Guesthouse
Room Type: Double/Twin

Check in policies:

Check-in is after 4:00pm. If you intend to arrive before this time, please let us know in advance, so we can ensure we are at home to welcome you upon your arrival. Please also note that check-out is by 10:00am on the day of your departure.


Enroute Sightseeing

Loch Ness, Scotland

On The Map: Loch Ness is a long stretch of freshwater, extending for approx. 23 miles southwest of the northern city of Inverness.

Loch Ness holds more water than all the lakes and reservoirs in the U.K. put together. Is it any wonder that a monster would choose to live there? During the Ice Age, glaciers tore and deepened a trench halfway through Scotland, creating a long glen of steep, forested mountains and mysterious lochs. Castles and forts abound, bearing witness to the Great Glen’s strategic importance. There is, of course, the elusive Loch Ness monster. She still attracts scientific interest, so keep your camera ready! Loch Ness is almost 1,000 feet deep and, on most days, has unusually black water, owing to the high peat content of the surrounding soil. This is an immensely atmospheric loch that is surrounded by everything you could hope for: mountains, castles, abbey ruins, and several enchanting villages. Loch Ness is worth every ounce of its fame.


Enroute Sightseeing

Eilean Donan Castle, Scotland

On The Map: Eilean Donan Castle is located on the west coast of Scotland. At the meeting point of three sea lochs, the castle is situated by the picturesque village of Dornie on A87 road -  the main tourist route to the Isle of Skye.

Could there be a finer setting for a castle?  Possibly not. Eilean Donan is one of Scotland’s, and indeed the worlds, most photographed castles.  Snuggled on an island off the hilly shores of Loch Duich, this castle was built in the 13th century.  Ruined during one of the Jacobite risings in the early 18th century, it was restored to all its glory some two centuries later when Colonel John MacRae-Gilstrap bought the island in 1911. He proceeded to restore the castle to its former glory. After 20 years of toil and labour the castle was re-opened in 1932, and it is now the headquarters of the Clan McRae. Today, you can explore nearly every part of the castle, and enjoy a journey through the history of the area. The Castle now has its own visitor centre, which includes the Ticket Office, Coffee Shop, Gift Shop and toilets.


Enroute Sightseeing

Urquhart Castle, Scotland

On The Map: Urquhart Castle is located on the western shore of Loch Ness in the northern Highlands of Scotland. The castle is approx. 16 miles southeast of Inverness on the main A82 road, in close proximity to the village of Drumnadrochit.

Wild natural beauty and 1,000 years of history - Urquhart Castle offers a taste of the Highlands at their most dramatic. Magnificently sited, overlooking Loch Ness, Urquhart is one of the largest castles in Scotland, and remains an impressive stronghold despite its ruinous state. Urquhart witnessed considerable conflict throughout its 500 years as a medieval fortress and its history from the 13th to 17th centuries was particularly bloody. Following Edward I’s invasion, it fell into English hands and was then reclaimed and lost again. In the 14th century, it figured prominently in the Scots’ struggle for independence and came under the control of Robert the Bruce after he became King of Scots. In the 15th and 16th centuries, the castle and glen were frequently raided from the west by the ambitious MacDonald Lords of the Isles, before ultimately falling into decay in 1689. The castle’s history and that of its noble families – Durward, MacDonald and Grant - is told in the exhibition and audio-visual display in the new visitor centre. The centre features an outstanding array of medieval artefacts found at the castle. The visitor centre contains retail, interpretation area, audio-visual presentation and tearoom and toilets on one level. The centre's veranda offers stunning views of the loch.


Overnight Location

Isle of Skye, Scotland

On The Map: The Isle of Skye is a large island located off the west coast of Scotland. Skye is accessed via a landbridge (A87 road) from Kyle of Lochalsh on the mainland, or by ferry from Mallaig, reached via the A830 road from Fort William.

“Cloud Island” is the name Norse settlers gave to the Isle of Skye. It is fitting. A 50-mile-long banquet of velvet moors, jagged mountains, shimmering lochs and towering sea cliffs produce stunning scenery. If the weather turns, there are plenty of castles, crafting museums, and cozy pubs and restaurants to please anyone. Along with Edinburgh and Loch Ness, Skye is one of the places in Scotland that people enjoy visiting the most. A wild geological past has produced some of Britain’s most dramatic scenery. From rugged Northern Skye to the ice-sculpted peaks of the Cuillins, the island is riveted with many lochs. The traveler is never more than five miles from the ocean. Skye is everything we think of the Highlands to be:  Wild, fierce, and mesmerizing. Overnight stays on Skye are at the island's main town - Portree. The location of Bonnie Prince Charlie's final days in Scotland in 1746, Portree today is a bustling port and Skye's cultural hub.


Isle of Skye, Scotland

Accommodation

Larchside - Isle of Skye, Scotland

Guesthouse
Room Type: Double/Twin

Check in policies:

Check-in is after 4:00pm. If you intend to arrive before this time, please let us know in advance, so we can ensure we are at home to welcome you upon your arrival. Please also note that check-out is by 10:00am on the day of your departure.


Included Experiences

Talisker Classic Distillery Tour

Isle of Skye, Scotland

Talisker is the only distillery on the Isle of Skye, and it occupies a wonderful location on the shores of Loch Harport, with dramatic views of the Cuillins. The distillery was originally founded by Hugh McAskillin 1830, and very quickly gained a reputation for excellence. The single malt scotch whiskies produced here are characterised by a powerful and peppery taste. They are also described as moderately peaty, with 'more than a hint of the sea'. A number of Talisker vintages are available, but the 'standard' 10 year-old Scotch bottled at 45.8% alcohol, is consistently regarded by experts as one of the very best single malt whiskies in the world. Nowadays, the Talisker Distillery strikes a great balance between traditional and modern methods of scotch creation. Your Classic Distillery guided tour lasts approx. 45 minutes, and includes a discount voucher towards the purchase of a 70cl bottle of malt whisky, as well as the opportunity to taste of the award-winning Talisker Single Malt Scotch Whisky.


Must-See Sites

Talisker Distillery, Scotland

On The Map: The Talisker Distillery is located in the village of Carbost in the west of the Isle of Skye. From Portree, head south on the A863 until it intersects with the A863. Head west on the A863 and subsequently B8009 to reach Carbost.

Talisker is the only distillery on the Isle of Skye, and it occupies a wonderful location on the shores of Loch Harport, with dramatic views of the Cuillins. The distillery was originally founded by Hugh McAskillin 1830, and very quickly gained a reputation for excellence. The single malt scotch whiskies produced here are characterised by a powerful and peppery taste. They are also described as moderately peaty, with 'more than a hint of the sea'. A number of Talisker vintages are available, but the 'standard' 10 year-old Scotch bottled at 45.8% alcohol, is consistently regarded by experts as one of the very best single malt whiskies in the world. Nowadays, the Talisker Distillery strikes a great balance between traditional and modern methods of scotch creation. Distillery tours cost GB£6.00 per person, includes a dram of the famous 10 year-old and lasts approx. 50 minutes.


Dunvegan Castle, Scotland

On The Map: Dunvegan Castle is located on the west coast of the Isle of Skye, off the west coast of Scotland. From Portree, take the A87 road north and then the A850 west to Dunvegan.

Any visit to the Isle of Skye is incom­plete without savouring the wealth of history and clan legend on offer at Dunvegan Castle & Gardens. Built on a rock in an idyllic loch-side setting, Dunvegan is the oldest continuously inhabited castle in Scot­land and has been the ancestral home of the Chiefs of Clan MacLeod for 800 years. On display are many fine oil paintings and clan treasures, the most famous of which is the Fairy Flag. Legend has it that this sacred Banner has miraculous powers and when unfurled in battle, the clan MacLeod would invariably defeat their enemies. Visitors can enjoy tours of this extraordinary castle and Highland estate, delight in the beauty of its formal gardens, or take a boat trip onto Loch Dun­vegan to see the seal colony. Visitors can also enjoy an appetising meal at the MacLeods Table Cafe or browse in one of its four shops.


The Skye Museum of Island Life, Scotland

On The Map: The Skye Museum of Island life is located in Kilmuir, on the northern coast of the island's Trotternish Peninsula. From Portree (20 miles / 35 minutes away), head north on the A87, then smaller A855 roads until you reach the village of Kilmuir

This Skye museum is a wonderful depiction of what island life was like for crofters (Highland farmers) at the turn of century circa 1900. The museum consists of seven thatched roof cottages, each of which illustrates a different aspect of island life. The central cottage is home to the reception and gift shop, and the four closest to it are crofter cottages with recreated interiors; The Old Crofhouse, The Weaver's House, The Old Smithy & The Old Barn. The other two structures are the Ceilidh House and The Byre, which together boast a superb collection of historical material about Skye. The museum first opened in 1965, making use of a thatched cottage (now The Old Croft House) that had been built at the beginning of the 1800s, and which had been in use as a family home until 1957.


Trotternish Peninsula, Scotland

On The Map: Trotternish is the most northerly of the Isle of Skye's peninsulas. Protruding 20 miles north from Portree, it's possible to loop around the peninsula on the A855 & A87 roads.

The Trotternish peninsula boasts some of Skye’s most bizarre & spectacular scenery. Heading north on the eastern side of the peninsula from Portree, you are immediately treated to an abundance of sheer cliffs, and rocky mountain vistas. Just 6 miles along the road, the 719 metre high The Storr dominates your view, with the distinctive 50 metre column of rock, The Old Man of Storr standing eerily in its shadow. 5 miles further along the road, Kilt Rock's 200 foot high cliffs have a tartan-like pattern, and Lealt Falls tumble sheer to the pebbled shore below. Further north still and fossilized dinosaur footprints were discovered in 1996 at Gaelic-speaking Staffin, famed for its 'spotty houses'. From here, half way across the peninsula, is the awesome forest of mighty pinnacles and savage rock formations of the Quiraing. At the tip of the Trotternish peninsula are the spectacular sea stacks of Rubha Hunish - the most northerly point on Skye, and you'll soon spot the ruins of Duntulm Castle as you travel. On the west side of the peninsula, the Skye Museum of Island Life is a very worthwhile diversion in the village of Kilmuir.


Fort William, Scotland

Accommodation

Buccleuch Guesthouse - Fort William, Scotland

Guesthouse
Room Type: Double/Twin

Check in policies:

Check-in time is between 3.00pm & 6.00pm on your day of arrival. If you expect to arrive outside these hours, please contact the owner in advance on 01397 701 276.


Overnight Location

Fort William, Scotland

On The Map: Fort William sits at the head of Loch Linnhe, and the foot of the Great Glen and snow-peaked Ben Nevis. The major A82 road runs through town connecting it with Glasgow to the south & Inverness to the northeast.

Fort William got its name from the original fort built here in 1650 to keep the Highland clans in order. It's a convenient touring base for the Northwest of Scotland, and a popular hub for walkers, mountaineers, and scenery lovers of every type. Its appeal is not that of a destination town, but rather its location to some of the most stunning natural beauty in Scotland. Ben Nevis, Scotland’s highest, and most rugged is the most obvious draw, but it's certainly not all. The West Highland Museum on Cameron Square exhibits the 18th century “Secret Portrait of Prince Charles.” This was done when all paintings of Stuarts were completed in obscure swirls so the viewer didn’t get into trouble for having any connection, at all, to the Stuart side of the Royal family. Just northeast of town is the acclaimed “Treasures of the Earth,” one of Europe’s finest collections of crystals and gemstones. The “Underwater Center,” on the banks of Loch Linnhe, is the world’s leading diving instruction and training center. Also north of town are the impressive ruins of Inverlochy Castle.


Must-See Sites

Glencoe, Scotland

On The Map: Glencoe runs east-west along the route of the main A82 road. Fort William is a mere 16 miles to the north, while Glasgow is 90 miles to the south

'Glen Coe' is probably Scotland’s most famous and scenic Highland glen – and deservedly so - it really does merit the description 'spectacular'. The best approach is from the south on the A82, one of the major routes through the Highlands. The road climbs over the bleak expanse of Rannoch Moor and drops down between the steep scree-strewn sides of Glencoe. Awesome mountains such as Buachaille Etive Mor and the Three Sisters loom on either side, with riverine scenery at the bottom of the glen. The area is a paradise for walkers and climbers in all seasons, and skiers and snowboarders in the winter. The name Glencoe means 'Valley of Weeping', and has a haunting atmosphere as a result of the Massacre of Glencoe in 1692. This was carried out by the British army, when the chief of the MacDonalds of Glencoe had been slow to swear allegiance to William of Orange. The picturesque village of Glencoe lies at the northwest end of the glen. In the TV series Outlander, Glencoe features in the show's opening credits. It has also starred on the big screen, in Harry Potter movies, Highlander and Rob Roy.


Glenfinnan, Scotland

On The Map: Glenfinnan Village is located in the western highlands of Scotland, 10 or so miles from the coast. The Village is most easily accessed via the A830 road, 17 miles west of the town of Fort William.

This small, beautiful village has sat comfortably among the hills of Glen Finnan for centuries. The village is located within a lovely u-shaped valley that follows a north-east to south-west route with Loch Shiel in the center of the glen. Of major interest is the Glenfinnan Monument (pictured). The column, erected in 1815 is a tribute to the Jacobite clansmen who fought and died in the cause of Prince Charles Edward Stuart (Bonnie Prince Charlie). The raising of the Prince's Standard took place at the head of the loch on 19 August, 1745, in a last attempt to reinstate the exiled Stuarts on the throne of Great Britain and Ireland, Unfortunately for the Prince and his followers, their campaign came to a grim conclusion in 1746 on the battlefield at Culloden. The nearby Glenfinnan Viaduct is also well worth a visit. This wonderful piece of late Victorian construction was completed in 1901, and the viaduct was the first structure in the world to use at that time the new building material 'Mass Concrete'. Over 100 feet in height and made up of 21 arches, this viaduct is a beautiful piece of engineering and is a glorious sight. The viaduct has recently gained notoriety from its use in the Harry Potter films, as the Hogwarts Express winds its way to Hogwarts Castle.


Steall Waterfall, Scotland

On The Map: Steall Falls is located in Glen Nevis, just 15 minutes drive southeast of Fort William.

Steall Waterfall takes its name from the gaelic 'An Steall Bàn', which means The White Spout. And quite a spectacular spout it is at almost 400 feet tall - the second highest in Scotland. It is a relatively short hike to the falls from the Lower Falls carpark - between 30 & 45 minutes each way. Serious walkers wishing to indulge in a longer hike can instead leave their cars at the Braveheart carpark. The path through Nevis Gorge is well-maintained and straight-forward, but of course good footwear is essential. The gorge is the epitome of Highland beauty, as you find yourself surrounded by superb views, wild flowers, cascading streams and most likely some grazing Highland cattle! Soon the gorge opens-up to reveal a hanging valley, into which Steall Waterfall makes its impressive drop. Walk on for another 15 minutes or so, and you'll arrive at the wire rope bridge, where one can test their nerve in pursuit of a close-up waterfall view!  If you are a Harry Potter fan, Steall Falls is featured in a few scenes such as the famous battle between Harry and the Horntail dragon in the Goblet of Fire.


Fort William, Scotland

Accommodation

Buccleuch Guesthouse - Fort William, Scotland

Guesthouse
Room Type: Double/Twin

Check in policies:

Check-in time is between 3.00pm & 6.00pm on your day of arrival. If you expect to arrive outside these hours, please contact the owner in advance on 01397 701 276.


Included Experiences

Loch Ness Cruise

Fort Augustus, Scotland

Your one hour cruise on Loch Ness is a relaxing and fun trip, sure to appeal to the whole family! Departing from Fort Augustus at the southern end of Loch Ness, you’ll soon be treated to the breath-taking vista of Loch Ness in all its natural wonder. Your touring vessel is custom-built for Loch Ness sightseeing and is therefore the perfect way to experience the sights, wildlife and history of the famous loch. Sit back with a drink, as you cruise past Cherry Island, the loch’s only island, and be spoiled you with a loch-side view of striking Fort Augustus Abbey. For those who are inevitably curious about what may lie beneath the deep waters of Loch Ness, your touring craft's sonar equipment beams live images for passengers to view. The best tour guides on the loch will explain it all, in detail - the only way they know how!


Must-See Sites

Urquhart Castle, Scotland

On The Map: Urquhart Castle is located on the western shore of Loch Ness in the northern Highlands of Scotland. The castle is approx. 16 miles southeast of Inverness on the main A82 road, in close proximity to the village of Drumnadrochit.

Wild natural beauty and 1,000 years of history - Urquhart Castle offers a taste of the Highlands at their most dramatic. Magnificently sited, overlooking Loch Ness, Urquhart is one of the largest castles in Scotland, and remains an impressive stronghold despite its ruinous state. Urquhart witnessed considerable conflict throughout its 500 years as a medieval fortress and its history from the 13th to 17th centuries was particularly bloody. Following Edward I’s invasion, it fell into English hands and was then reclaimed and lost again. In the 14th century, it figured prominently in the Scots’ struggle for independence and came under the control of Robert the Bruce after he became King of Scots. In the 15th and 16th centuries, the castle and glen were frequently raided from the west by the ambitious MacDonald Lords of the Isles, before ultimately falling into decay in 1689. The castle’s history and that of its noble families – Durward, MacDonald and Grant - is told in the exhibition and audio-visual display in the new visitor centre. The centre features an outstanding array of medieval artefacts found at the castle. The visitor centre contains retail, interpretation area, audio-visual presentation and tearoom and toilets on one level. The centre's veranda offers stunning views of the loch.


Loch Ness, Scotland

On The Map: Loch Ness is a long stretch of freshwater, extending for approx. 23 miles southwest of the northern city of Inverness.

Loch Ness holds more water than all the lakes and reservoirs in the U.K. put together. Is it any wonder that a monster would choose to live there? During the Ice Age, glaciers tore and deepened a trench halfway through Scotland, creating a long glen of steep, forested mountains and mysterious lochs. Castles and forts abound, bearing witness to the Great Glen’s strategic importance. There is, of course, the elusive Loch Ness monster. She still attracts scientific interest, so keep your camera ready! Loch Ness is almost 1,000 feet deep and, on most days, has unusually black water, owing to the high peat content of the surrounding soil. This is an immensely atmospheric loch that is surrounded by everything you could hope for: mountains, castles, abbey ruins, and several enchanting villages. Loch Ness is worth every ounce of its fame.


Stirling, Scotland

Accommodation

West Plean House - Stirling, Scotland

Guesthouse
Room Type: Double/Twin

Check in policies:

Check-in time is between 4:00pm & 10:00pm on your day of arrival, If you expect to arrive outside these hours, please call the B&B owners in advance on 01786 812 208.


Enroute Sightseeing

Rob Roy's Grave, Scotland

On The Map: The final resting place of Rob Roy MacGregor is in the little village of Balquhidder, just 13 miles north of Callander town on the A84 road. As you enter the village from the east, a small right-hand turn leads to the village kirkyard.

Balquhidder Kirkyard (Cemetery) is situated on the lower slopes of the north side of Balquhidder Glen. Worship is evident here for more than 4000 years, and the Celts believed it to be a ‘thin place’, where the divide between the spiritual and earthly worlds is slight. In 1734 the famous outlaw, Rob Roy MacGregor, was buried a little to the east of the Old Church. Here he still lays, with his wife and two of their sons alongside. The rail at the graves was a later addition, and wrongly reports his age at death as 70, instead of 63. The plaque mentioning his title ‘MacGregor Despite Them’ was added in 1981, and refers to the name of the Clan MacGregor being outlawed since 1603. At the time, it was a capital offence to even carry the name MacGregor, and with good reason – Rob Roy’s ancestors had twice fought and slaughtered rival clans in the glen. Rob Roy’s full fascinating story is told at The Rob Roy & Trossachs Visitor Centre, located in the heart of Callander town.


Enroute Sightseeing

Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park, Scotland

On The Map: Loch Lomond is located in Central Scotland, approx. 20 miles northwest of Glasgow. The main A82 road runs along the west shore of the lake en route to Fort William and beyond to Inverness.

Encompassing approx 720 square miles, Loch Lomond and the Trossachs became Scotland’s first National Park in 2002. Originally made famous by the novels of Sir Walter Scott in the early 1800s, The Trossachs has been enjoyed as the ‘Highlands in Miniature’ by tourists ever since. For two centuries, people have come here to walk, climb, cycle and sail, to breathe fresh clean air and drink in the spectacular views. The landscapes covered by the Park range from the uplands of Breadalbane to the sea lochs of Argyll, and included within its area is the whole of Scotland's largest loch, Loch Lomond. The northern end of the loch is deep and narrow, with mountains on either side, including the iconic Ben Lomond. The southern half of the loch is much more pastoral and is home to many islands. The surrounding mountainous areas include 21 ‘Munros’ (individual mountains over 3000ft); 20 ‘Corbetts’ (individual mountains over 2,500ft); and two forest parks. To appreciate the very best of the Trossachs, we recommend the route of the Duke’s Pass from Aberfoyle to Loch Katrine.


Enroute Sightseeing

Callander, Scotland

On The Map: Callander is located in central Scotland, barely an hour north of Edinburgh and Glasgow, and only 15 miles northwest of Stirling on the A84 road.

Callander is a bustling town at the gateway to Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park, and indeed the Highlands. It’s a popular base for exploring the National Park, often referred to as ‘Scotland in Miniature’ and of course, 'Rob Roy Country'. Set dramatically beneath high, wooded crags, the colourful, characterful town offers a variety of teashops, souvenir, gift and woollen stores. Of particular note is the Rob Roy & Trossachs Visitor Centre - hard to miss as it’s located in a converted church, right on the town square. Here, you can learn all about the Highland Rogue’s colourful history and daring escapades. The ‘Scottish Robin Hood’s’ final resting place is in Balquhidder Kirkyard, in the village of Balquhidder, just 13 miles north of town. Another interesting diversion is the Hamilton Toy Collection & Museum. Located in the heart of town, this warren-like store proudly displays all kinds of toys from the last 100 years. Admission is £2.00 per person - be prepared for a nostalgic walk down memory lane!


Overnight Location

Stirling, Scotland

On The Map: Stirling is located in Central Scotland, less than 45 minutes on the M80/A80 from Glasgow to the southwest & 1 hour on the M9 motorway from Edinburgh to the southeast.

Stirling is a taste of both the Lowlands and the Highlands. It is packed with castles and tales of people who are larger than life, and it is blessed with awe-inspiring, natural beauty. “Hold Stirling and you control the entire country…” This simple strategy has ensured that a castle, or some sort of fortification, has existed here in Scotland since prehistoric times. Stirling is associated with King Arthur and some believe it was the locale for Camelot. In recorded history, we know that Alexander I dedicated a chapel here. Below the very impressive Stirling Castle, Old Town Stirling is protected by the 16th century walls built to keep Mary, Queen of Scots, safe from Henry VIII. And, it was here, that the infant James VI was crowned in 1567. This area was also the home of Rob Roy, whose exploits still echo through the Highlands. There is something about Stirling that feels like a fairy tale. Its sense of time is similar to Edinburgh, but the hustle and bustle is turned down. The atmosphere is easy to absorb.  With its winding cobblestone streets, and the old town clinging to the slopes beneath the castle, you can feel the layers of time and heroism. Take a quiet walk in the moonlight on Stirling’s magic streets.  It’s an experience to be savored.


Stirling, Scotland

Accommodation

West Plean House - Stirling, Scotland

Guesthouse
Room Type: Double/Twin

Check in policies:

Check-in time is between 4:00pm & 10:00pm on your day of arrival, If you expect to arrive outside these hours, please call the B&B owners in advance on 01786 812 208.


Included Experiences

Stirling Castle

Stirling, Scotland

Perched ominously on a rocky crag above the town, today you will visit imposing Stirling Castle. It is a truly magnificent structure, and one of the finest examples of Renaissance architecture in Scotland. Stirling occupied a key position in Scotland’s battle for independence. Seven battlefields can be seen from the castle, and the 220-foot Wallace Monument at Abbey Craig recalls William Wallace’s (the Scottish Hero on which the movie 'Braveheart' is based) defeat of the British in 1297 at Stirling Bridge. For generations Scotland’s royalty gathered at Stirling Castle to revel in its impressive buildings, superb sculptures, fine craftsmanship and beautiful gardens. Today you will have the opportunity to do likewise! Highlights include The Great Hall, Chapel Royal, Regimental Museum of the Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders, The Great Kitchens and Tapestry Studio. Free guided tours are available on a first-come, first-served basis, and bring the castle's rich and colorful past to life in vivid detail. Tours last approximately 30 minutes and run on the hour throughout the day. To join a guided tour, simply ask a member of staff at the castle to direct you to the next available tour. Tour availability may vary depending on staffing and weather conditions.


Must-See Sites

Doune Castle, Scotland

On The Map: Doune Castle is located in the town of Doune in Central Scotland. Doune is located approx. 8 miles northwest of Stirling along the A84 road to Callander. Callander is a further 16 miles northwest of the Castle.

Doune Castle has a rich and varied history, dating from the late 1300s. It's a fascinating place and visitors get a real sense of what life was like in a living, working castle. A labryrinthine collection of rooms, passageways and staircases are available to explore, and The Lord's Hall is particularly well-preserved. Many people however, visit the castle for reasons other than a history lesson! If it looks familiar, that's not surprising, as Doune regularly appears in TV shows and movies. Currently, Doune stars as Castle Leoch, the seat of Clan MacKenzie, in the acclaimed 'Outlander' TV series. The Castle is used for exterior scenes of the fictional Castle Leoch, but production designers also used molds of the architecture at Doune to build sets at the studio, for interior castle shots! Doune is also the castle used in most 'castle scenes' of the cult 1975 movie 'Monty Python & The Holy Grail'. Doune is a big draw for the many fans of the Monty Python movies. More recently, Doune Castle has once again gained fame - this time on TV, for its use in the opening episode of the excellent mini-series, 'Game of Thrones'. CGI technology played a large part in transforming Doune into Winterfell, home of the Starks in George R.R. Martin's HBO series. The interior was later used for the great feast scene, when King Robert Baratheon comes to call on the Starks.


Stirling Castle, Scotland

On The Map: Stirling is located in the town of Stirling in Central Scotland. Stirling is less than 45 minutes on the M80/A80 from Glasgow to the southwest & 1 hour on the M9 motorway from Edinburgh to the southeast.

Stirling Castle sits high on a rocky crag above the town. It is a magnificent castle and is one of the finest examples of Renaissance architecture in Scotland. Stirling occupied a key position in Scotland’s battle for independence. Seven battlefields can be seen from the castle, and the 220-foot Wallace Monument at Abbey Craig recalls William Wallace’s (the Scottish Hero on which the movie 'Braveheart' was based) defeat of the British in 1297 at Stirling Bridge. For generations Scotland’s royalty gathered at Stirling Castle to revel in its impressive buildings, superb sculptures, fine craftsmanship and beautiful gardens. Today Visitors can do the same. Highlights include The Great Hall, Chapel Royal, Regimental Museum of the Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders, The Great Kitchens and Tapestry Studio. Guided tours of the castle help bring its rich and colourful past to life in vivid detail.


Wallace Monument, Scotland

On The Map: The Wallace Monument is located just north of Stirling City. It is signposted from both the town centre and the main A91 road.

William Wallace (1270 – 1305) was a powerful man with bright eyes. Standing more than six and a half feet tall, he was a veritable giant in a time when most men were five-feet-tall! Wallace spent his childhood near Stirling under the supervision of his uncle, a priest. Wallace probably led a comfortable and peaceful life as a child, and must have trained in the martial arts of the time, including horsemanship and swordsmanship. When King Edward I, known as Edward "Longshanks,” came to the throne of England in 1272, a reign of tyranny and terror began to subdue the Scots and cement English rule. Life had changed, and when Wallace came of age, he fought. The 220-ft National Wallace Monument commemorates the great man and his valiant fight for Scotland’s independence. Visitors will learn about Wallace’s dramatic tale in detail, as well as other national heroes like Robert the Bruce and Rabbie Burns. . Most electrifying is the “talking head’, which presents Wallace’s defense before his brutal execution in 1305. When you climb to the top, you’ll see Wallace’s amazing and massive two-handed broadsword, and the 360 degree view is extraordinary.


Battle of Bannockburn, Scotland

On The Map: The site of the Battle of Bannockburn is located just 2 miles south of the city of Stirling in central Scotland. To access the site from the M9/M80 motorways, take Junction 9 onto the A872 road.

Stirling Castle was central to the defence of the main route into northern Scotland, and between 1296 and 1314 it changed hands five times! In 1314, the castle was held by a garrison of King Edward II’s troops, and besieged by the Scots. Edward II marched rapidly northwards to relieve the garrison and Robert the Bruce chose a site at the crossing of the Bannock Burn to stop the advance of Edward’s army. The Battle of Bannockburn was a turning point for the beleaguered Scots.  Facing a thorough onslaught by the English in 1314, Robert the Bruce led the Scots to an astonishing victory. The Scots won their independence, their nation, and their pride. In 1329, in large part due to this battle, Scottish independence was ratified by the Pope. The sense of history here is tangible and Bannockburn is still a focus for Scottish pride today. You can find out what inspired this great Scottish victory at the Bannockburn Heritage Centre. Don't miss the gripping new film depicting the dramatic events of June 1314, as well as walking the battlefield under the gaze of Robert the Bruce himself, immortalised in a statue by Pilkington Jackson (pictured).


Glasgow, Scotland

Accommodation

Jurys Inn Glasgow - Glasgow, Scotland

4 Star
Room Type: Double

Check in policies:

Check-in time is after 2:00pm on your day of arrival. Check-out before 12:00 noon.


Enroute Sightseeing

Falkirk, Scotland

On The Map: Falkirk is located in Scotland's Central Belt. Edinburgh is 25 miles to the east on the M9 Motorway. Glasgow is 25 miles to the southwest on the M80 Motorway.

Falkirk is most famous for its engineering masterpiece, the giant Falkirk Wheel - the world's first rotating boat lift (pictured). The wheel transports boats115 feet up/down between the different levels of the Union, Forth and Clyde canals. You can ride on the wheel, and learn all about it at the Visitor Centre. Falkirk is alive with history. The Antonine Wall, dating from the 2nd century, marked the northern frontier of the Roman Empire. You can experience Victorian life at the impressive mansion of Callendar House, which stands in the attractive Callendar Park. The 15th century fortress Blackness Castle made the perfect setting for the film version of Hamlet. The Kelpies in The Helix Park contains the world's largest equine sculptures. Falkirk's charming Town Centre boasts first class shopping, with its traditional, pedestrianized high street offering a fine selection of local independent stores, boutiques and gift shops.


Overnight Location

Glasgow, Scotland

On The Map: Glasgow is located in the southwest of Scotland. The city is well served by a good network of roads and motorways, including the M8 from Edinburgh to the east, and M74 from Carlisle, England to the south.

Glasgow, Scotland’s largest city, is vibrant and downright sassy. It bubbles with sensational cuisine and raucous nightlife.  Along the revitalized River Clyde, you’ll discover Glasgow’s seagoing heritage as you wander the riverfront walkways.  Museums, galleries and trendy street-cafes abound. The extraordinary Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum is a marvel.  Listen to the music pouring out of pubs—it’s among the best home-grown sounds in Britain.  Step inside and nurse a pint of local brew in one of the city’s perfect watering holes. Scotland’s largest city is a cultural dynamo--no false pretences in Glasgow.  Its urban mayhem and offbeat style lets you know that this city is all about fun, friends, and the joy of life.  Glasgow is a metropolis that is 100% gregarious and down-to-earth.


Must-See Sites

Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum, Scotland

On The Map: Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum is located in the west end of Glasgow. From the city centre, the 9, 16, 23, 42 and 62 buses all stop directly outside the museum

Originally opened in May 1901, Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Mu​seum is Scotland's most visited free attraction. ​With 22 themed, state-of-the-art galleries displaying an astonishing 8000 objects, the collections are extensive, wide-ranging and internationally-significant. They include: Natural History, Arms and Armour & Art from many art movements and periods of history. Kelvingrove welcomes families with children, and its displays have been designed with children in mind. There are lots of interactives throughout the museum that will appeal to younger audiences. There's even a real Spitfire aircraft on display! The RBS Exhibition Gallery and the Community Exhibition space both have a running programme of temporary exhibitions and displays. Please note that some temporary exhibitions are subject to an entry fee. When visiting Kelvingrove you can also enjoy its wonderful cafés and shops.


City Chambers Glasgow, Scotland

On The Map: The City Chambers Building is located on George Square in the very centre of Glasgow City.

In the very heart of Glasgow stands one of the city’s most important and prestigious buildings – the City Chambers. A grand and imposing edifice overlooking George Square, the City Chambers is an impressive symbol of Glasgow’s political strength and historical wealth. Completed in 1888, the City Chambers has been the headquarters of successive councils serving the City of Glasgow for over a hundred years. The building is even more impressive on the inside, and anyone interested in architecture will be amazed by the Wedgewood Plaster ceiling. Perhaps the building's most well known and unique feature is the grand marble staricase. The stairs are made of and are surrounded by white Carrera marble, which is white with grey veins. The floors at first and second floor level are also marble, though the third floor is made up of Venetian mosaic tiles showing a wide variety of colours and designs. This is reputed to be the biggest marble staircase in the world and has been featured in many films. Free guided tours are conducted twice per day at 10.30am and 2.30pm and accommodate anyone walking in from the street to join the tour.


Glasgow, Scotland

Accommodation

Jurys Inn Glasgow - Glasgow, Scotland

4 Star
Room Type: Double

Check in policies:

Check-in time is after 2:00pm on your day of arrival. Check-out before 12:00 noon.


Must-See Sites

Glasgow Science Centre, Scotland

On The Map: The Glasgow Science Centre is located on North Quay, approx. 2 miles west of George Square in the very heart of Glasgow.

This project for the 21st century has something to delight, edify, and amaze anyone. The heart of the Centre is called the Science Mall (pictured). The Mall is a glass-and-silver half moon that is three stories high. Every inch is packed with hands-on exhibits, interactive amazements, live demonstrations and special-effects theaters. Next to the center is the world’s only revolving tower and an IMAX theater. You’ll see plenty of amazing things, including:  The Glasgow Tower--all 300 feet, and three stories, revolves. When you get to the top, you’ll see renderings of futuristic cities, and amazing views of Glasgow; state-of-the-art planetarium; Funny banter, flying objects, strange gases, eerie magical effects are produced—and explained—at the Science Show Theater; Make your own global decisions at Science Mall Three;  Interactive biotechnology at every level at Science Mall Two. WOW! There’s a lot more, and plenty of theaters, and it’s all a fitting tribute to the Scottish scientists who have been saving our collective backs for centuries. A great time in Glasgow for all.


Scottish Football Museum, Scotland

On The Map: The Scottish Football Museum is located at Hampden Park, Scotland's national football stadium. Hampden Park is located in south Glasgow - the following First Glasgow bus routes run from the city centre to the stadium on a regular basis: 5, 7, 12, 31, 37, 44 & 75.

The Scottish Football Museum exists to promote the unique football (soccer!) heritage of Scotland, and to build and maintain a national football collection. The Scottish Football Museum is an ideal day out for families, avid football fans and novices eager to gain knowledge of Scottish football. With over 2500 objects on display, the museum is home to the world’s most impressive national collection of football related objects, memorabilia and ephemera. The fourteen galleries take you through the development of the modern game in Scotland, from the nineteenth century to the present day. Visitors get the chance to see some of football’s most exciting and unique objects, including the world’s oldest national trophy, the Scottish Cup. On the stadium tour you will experience Hampden Park like the players do on a match day - visit the underground roadway, team changing rooms, and get the chance to strike a ball in the Hampden Hotshots gallery and have the speed of your shot electronically measured! Walk down the tunnel, hear the famous "Hampden Roar" and then follow the footsteps of legends by climbing the stairs to the cup presentation area.


Glasgow Necropolis, Scotland

On The Map: The Necropolis stands on a hill to the east of Glasgow Cathedral, just a short walk across the Bridge of Sighs. From George Square in the heart of Glasgow, the cemetery is a 15 - 20 minute walk to the east.

Built in the Classical Revival Architectural fashion, the Necropolis was established by the Merchants' House of Glasgow in 1831. Located atop the second tallest hill in Glasgow, the site is regularly described in terms of peace, serenity and calm. The cemetery, like several in Edinburgh, was modeled on Père-Lachaise in Paris. It has been estimated that in the order of 50,000 burials have taken place here, with around 3500 tombs. The monument to John Knox, which was erected in 1825, dominates the hill. Because the hill is solid rock, many of the graves had to be blasted from the rock-face. Walking tours are run by well informed, volunteer tour guides, and should be pre-booked. Self-guided tours are also possible, and an easy to follow pocket guide to 60 of the most famous monuments is available on-site.


Depart From

Depart from Glasgow Airport, Scotland

Return to Glasgow Airport 2 hours prior to your flight's scheduled departure. This will allow ample time to check in for your flight home.


Low Season

Available Tour Dates

Jan - Mar | Nov - Dec

From $2,198 per person

Mid Season

Available Tour Dates

Apr - May | Sep - Oct

From $2,398 per person

High Season

Available Tour Dates

June - August

From $2,598 per person

Your Price Includes

ACCOMMODATION

  • 14 nights Accommodation – From Boutique City Hotel to Luxurious Guesthouse!
  • Spend Two Nights in Captivating Edinburgh

TRANSPORTATION

  • Automatic Rental Car - Includes Insurance, Unlimited Mileage & All Taxes

DINING OPTIONS

  • 14 Breakfasts - Sumptuous Full Scottish Breakfasts Each Morning

POINTS OF INTEREST

  • Explore the Distinctive Silver-Grey Architecture of Aberdeen
  • Discover the Natural Beauty of Cairngorms National Park
  • Visit Balmoral Castle - the Queen's Official Scottish Residence
  • Stay in Inverness - The Capital of the Highlands
  • Travel the Length of Mysterious Loch Ness
  • Visit the Famous & Historic Culloden & Bannockburn Battlefields
  • Spend Two Nights on the Breathtaking Isle of Skye, known as 'Cloud Island'
  • Choose from more than 10 Famous Scottish Castles to Explore!
  • Enjoy a Gentle Hike to Picturesque Steall Waterfall
  • Get Lost in Stunning Loch Lomond & Trossachs National Park
  • Marvel at Stirling Castle & The Wallace Monument
Prices Based On
  • All Taxes & Fees Included
  • Prices are Per Person based on 2 people traveling together and sharing a room.
  • Traveling Alone? No Problem. Just Ask Us for a Single Supplement Price.

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