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7-Night Heart of Scotland Tour

Price: From $1,148 Per Person 7 Nights

Romance your loved one with our 7-Night Heart of Scotland tour. With overnight stays at manor-style properties - and even one night in a castle - this Scotland vacation is sure to leave you both head-over-heels in love with the northern reaches of the UK. Your tour begins with two nights at Norton House hotel - just a short drive outside Edinburgh. During your time here, you and your sweetheart will be treated to a small group tour focusing on the history of Edinburgh. You will also have time to see Linlithgow Palace, Holyrood Palace and Blackness Castle - each with their own breathtaking architecture. 

Leave the Edinburgh area behind and journey north to your next overnight destination - Inverness. Along the way, we suggest stopping at Pitlochry and Cairngorms National Park  - pack a picnic and enjoy your stunning surroundings. During your stay in Inverness, you and your partner will have plenty of time to see Culloden Battlefield and Cawdor Castle - both rich in Scottish history. 

From Inverness, head south towards Loch Ness (your next overnight destination). While you are here, you will be treated to an Inspirational Loch Ness Cruise - keep an eye out for the Loch Ness Monster! You will also have time to see Urquhart Castle and the enchanting Glenfinnan Viaduct (a Harry Potter lover’s dream). Your last night will be spent at Culcreach Castle, where you will have access to Loch Lomand & Trossachs National Park. During your stay in this area, you and your loved one will be treated to a tour of the grand Stirling Castle. With breathtaking scenery and romantic locations, this Scotland vacation is sure to bring you and your sweetheart lifelong memories. 

Tour Highlights

ACCOMMODATION

  • 7 nights Accommodation – From Boutique City Hotel to Ancient Castle
  • Spend a Night at Beautiful Culcreuch Castle

TRANSPORTATION

  • Compact Rental Car with Automatic Transmission

DINING OPTIONS

  • 7 Breakfasts - Authentic Scottish Breakfast Included Every Morning!

INCLUDED UNIQUE EXPERIENCES

  • Historic Small Group Tour of Edinburgh City
  • Loch Ness Cruise
  • Entrance to Stirling Castle

POINTS OF INTEREST

  • Explore the Stunning White Walls of Blair Atholl Castle
  • Discover the Natural Beauty of Cairngorms National Park
  • Stay in Inverness - The Capital of the Highlands
  • Travel the Length of Mysterious Loch Ness
  • Visit the Famous & Historic Culloden Battlefield
  • Stroll Through The Romantic Gardens of Cawdor Castle
  • Enjoy a Gentle Hike around Picturesque Glen Nevis
  • 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

Norton House Hotel - Edinburgh, Scotland

4 Star
Room Type: Double/ Twin

Check in policies:

Check in is after 3.00pm on the day of your arrival and Check out is 11.00am. 


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

Linlithgow Palace, Scotland

The ruins of Linlithgow Palace are situated in the town of Linlithgow, West Lothian, Scotland, 15 miles (24 km) west of Edinburgh. The palace was one of the principal residences of the monarchs of Scotland in the 15th and 16th centuries. Although maintained after Scotland's monarchs left for England in 1603, the palace was little used, and was burned out in 1746.


Blackness Castle, Scotland

On The Map: Blackness Castle is located 4 miles northeast of Linlithgow on the Firth of Forth, off the A904 Road. GPS: 56.005881, -3.516271.

Blackness Castle was constructed in the 15th century for the Crichtons - one of Scotland's most powerful families. The impressive fortress has often been nicknamed the 'ship that never sailed' as a result of it's striking ship-like appearance, when viewed from above. The forbidding structure was undoubtedly built with one purpose in mind: War. Even so, its impressive artillery installations could not stop it falling to Oliver Cromwell in 1650. The castle was subsequently repaired and has since seen use as a royal residence and prison.


The Kelpies, Scotland

On The Map: The Kelpies are located at The Helix, a green area just northeast of Falkirk Town, and less than one hour west of Edinburgh City, via the M9 Motorway.

The Kelpies are 30-metre (100 feet) high horse head sculptures, located in The Helix - a land tranformation & regeneration project in Falkirk. The Kelpies form a gateway at the eastern entrance to the Forth and Clyde canal, and are the brainchild of sculptor Andy Scott. The project was many years in the making, as the stainless steel used took several years to fabricate. Actual construction began in June 2013 and was completed in October 2013. The Kelpies opened to the public in April 2014 and have been a resounding success - since attracting more than 1 million visitors. The Kelpies name pays homage to the mythological transforming creatures, that reputedly possessed the strength of 10 horses. These traits closely mirror the adaptability and longevity of Scotland's inland waterways, as well as recognizing the importance of the 'heavy horse' in shaping Scottish history. The Kelpies have received much critical praise and many awards for their structural ingenuity and uniqueness of design.


Edinburgh, Scotland

Accommodation

Norton House Hotel - Edinburgh, Scotland

4 Star
Room Type: Double/ Twin

Check in policies:

Check in is after 3.00pm on the day of your arrival and Check out is 11.00am. 


Included Experiences

Historic Edinburgh Small Group Tour

Edinburgh, Scotland
Learn about Edinburgh’s rich and varied history, as you enjoy the services of a knowledgeable private guide, on this small group The History of Edinburgh tour. From Edinburgh Castle to the Queen’s official residence (the Palace of Holyrood House), this tour has something for everyone. From the moment you settle into your minibus, your driver/guide will be there to explain the history of the city and its landmarks. See the exterior of Edinburgh Castle, visit the site of public executions, hear the chilling stories of the Burke and Hare murderers and the heartwarming tale of the faithful dog Greyfriars Bobby The Grand Old Duke of York, learn how the Royal Mile got its name, and hear the tragic tale of Mary Queen of Scots. 

Must-See Sites

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.


Princes Street, Scotland

On the map: Princes Street is one of the major thoroughfares in central Edinburgh, Scotland, and the main shopping street in the capital.

Princes Street was part of the "New Town" of Edinburgh, which was built in the latter half of the 18th century during the reign of the Hanoverian King George III. Princes Street was named after King George's sons - but only after the King had objected to its original name - St Giles Street, the patron saint of the city. 

Princes Street is a unique shopping thoroughfare, with shops lining only one side of the street, the opposite side a beautiful garden space boasting breathtaking uninterrupted views of the Old Town cityscape and Edinburgh Castle.


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.


Inverness, Scotland

Accommodation

Kingsmills Hotel - Inverness, Scotland

4 Star
Room Type: Double

Check in policies:

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


Enroute Sightseeing

Highland Folk Museum, Scotland

On The Map: The Highland Folk Museum is located in the village of Newtownmore in the heart of the Scottish Highlands, and 45 miles south of Inverness along the A9 Road. GPS Coordinates: 57.069993, -4.103645.

The Highland Folk Museum brings to life the domestic and working conditions of earlier Highland peoples. Visitors to this living history Museum can learn how our Scottish Highland ancestors lived, how they built their homes, how they tilled the soil and how they dressed, in a friendly and welcoming environment. An award winning visitor attraction, the Museum not only encapsulates human endeavour and development in Highland life from the 1700s to the present day, but offers an opportunity to explore a beautiful natural setting, home to red squirrels and tree creepers. The Museum provided the perfect backdrop for many period scenes in the wildly popular Outlander series, including when Claire and Dougal go on a somewhat awkward rent collecting mission in Season 1. The museum is open from April to October each year, and admission is free!


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.


Enroute Sightseeing

Blair Athol Distillery, Scotland

On The Map: Blair Athol Single Malt Distillery stands at the gateway to the Scottish Highlands in the picturesque town of Pitlochry. Pitlochry is located in the very heart of Scotland. Cairngorms National Park is very close by to the north, and Edinburgh less than 1.5 hours to the south via the A9 road.

The first documented evidence of a distillery on the present site dates from 1798 when John Stewart and Robert Robertson founded a distillery which they named "Aldour" - after the Allt Dour - the 'burn of the otter'. Blair Athol is one of the oldest working distilleries in Scotland. The distillery produces a 12 Year Old Single Malt Whisky, with a mellow deep-toned aroma, a strong fruity flavour and a smooth finish. Blair Athol wins hearts through its contribution to the Bell's Blend, the most popular blended whisky in the U.K. A guided tour of the distillery includes a dram of Blair Athol single malt. The adult admission charge of £5.00 includes a discount voucher, redeemable in the well stocked distillery shop towards the purchase of a 70cl bottle of malt whisky. Children under 8 years are welcome but are not admitted to the production areas.


Enroute Sightseeing

Pitlochry, Scotland

On The Map: Pitlochry is located in the very heart of Scotland. Cairngorms National Park is very close by to the north, and Edinburgh less than 1.5 hours to the south via the A9 road.

When Queen Victoria fell in love with the Highlands of Scotland, Pitlochry was a quiet village surrounded by the pine-covered hills of the Central Highlands. It became famous when she named it one of the finest resorts in Europe, and visitors began arriving to discover the magic of the Highlands. This vibrant town in the wooded valley of the River Tummel runs along a main street that’s lined with shops and eating places. It bustles with visitors, but relax and go with the flow. Look behind the busy-ness, and you’ll see the charming, Highland Victorian town that is still Pitlochry. Pitlochry is farther from the sea than any other place in Scotland, and it makes a good base for exploring the surrounding scenery, which is spectacular.


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

Kingsmills Hotel - Inverness, Scotland

4 Star
Room Type: Double

Check in policies:

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


Must-See Sites

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.


Fort Augustus, Scotland

Accommodation

The Lovat Hotel - Fort Augustus, Scotland

4 Star
Room Type: Double

Check in policies:

Check in is from 3pm to 6pm, please call if you wish to arrive outside of these hours.


Included Experiences

Inspiration Loch Ness Cruise

Loch Ness, Scotland

Nothing beats being on the water and the best way to do it is by boat. Jacobite’s impressive fleet gets you onto Loch Ness to cruise in comfort. You’ll find their staff friendly and helpful, while the audio commentary guides you through the landscape as you sail. This is a 1 hour Loch Ness cruise with magnificent views of Urquhart Castle. The cruise goes as far as Urquhart Castle near Drumnadrochit, which is approximately halfway down Loch Ness. You'll sail through the deepest part of this famously deep Loch, so if you happen to spot Nessie, be sure to remain very quiet, and of course take pictures!
The boat trip leave directly from the Clansman Harbour at the Clansman Hotel - 9 miles south of Inverness. Your boat has toilets on board and a range of light snacks plus soft drinks, wines, spirits and lagers are also available as you cruise.


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.


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.


Overnight Location

Fort Augustus, Scotland

On The Map: Fort Augustus is located at the southern end of Loch Ness in the Scottish Highlands. The main A82 road connecting Fort William (to the southwest) and Inverness (to the northwest), passes right through town.

Fort Augustus takes its name from the fort built in this location, after the defeat of the 1715 Jacobite uprising. It named after King George II's younger son, Prince William Augustus, who later became the Duke of Cumberland. The infamous "Butcher Cumberland" was responsible for repressing the Highlands and destroying the ancient clan system after the final defeat of the 1745 Jacobite uprising at Culloden. Today, almost nothing remains of the original fort, although parts thereof were incorporated into the Benedictine Abbey (pictured) when it was built in 1876. Fort Augustus’ main attraction (aside from the natural beauty of its surrounds) is the Caledonian Canal, which bisects the town. The canal connects Corpach near Fort William with Clachnaharry in Inverness, was completed in 1822, and at 60 miles long can be regarded as one of Scotland's greatest engineering feats.  To the north the canal enters Loch Ness, and within the village itself is a series of stacked locks that provide a relaxing and entertaining spectacle. Immediately next to the locks is the Caledonian Canal Heritage Centre - an excellent place in which to gain an insight into the history and operation of the Canal. This area is part of a very attractive village centre, built along either side of the locks. The Clansmen Centre is another interesting diversion, where appropriately attired guides demonstrate 17th century clan weaponry, and provide insights into what clan life was really like.


Fort Augustus, Scotland

Accommodation

The Lovat Hotel - Fort Augustus, Scotland

4 Star
Room Type: Double

Check in policies:

Check in is from 3pm to 6pm, please call if you wish to arrive outside of these hours.


Must-See Sites

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.


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.


Ben Nevis, Scotland

On The Map: Ben Nevis is just a 10 minute drive southeast of the town of Fort William in the west of Scotland. The major A82 road runs through town connecting it with Glasgow to the south & Inverness to the northeast.

At 4,406 feet, Ben Nevis is not only Scotland’s, but Britain's highest, and most rugged, mountain. Just a 10-minute drive from the town of Fort William, it is set in the Highlands' most impressive glen - a classic glacial valley hemmed in by steep slopes and swathes of blue-green stones.  Herds of shaggy Highland cattle graze the valley floor where a sparkling river gushes through glades of trees.  With Ben Nevis, huge and imposing to the north, it’s not surprising that this valley was the location for film scenes from many movies including Rob Roy and Braveheart. The five-mile climb to the top of Ben Nevis, along a well-beaten path, is doable for most people who are reasonably fit. The summit is reached by way of Glen Nevis, often called Scotland’s most beautiful glen. The rewards of making the climb are huge. From the top you can see the Cairngorms, the Cuillin range on Skye, and the peaks of Argyllshire. On a very clear day, you may even get a glimpse of Northern Ireland. Spell-binding. Want to really get high? Take the UK’s only mountain gondola on one of the nearby peaks. Halfway up there’s a restaurant and bar, and in the winter it’s a great ski area. 


Stirling, Scotland

Accommodation

Culcreuch Castle Hotel - Stirling, Scotland

Castle
Room Type: Historic Double/Twin

Check in policies:

Check-in time is between 3:00pm & 9:00pm on your day of arrival. If you expect to arrive outside these hours, please call the castle in advance on 01360 860 555. Check-out time is before 12:00 noon.


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.


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.


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.


Must-See Sites

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.


Depart From

Depart from Edinburgh Airport, Scotland

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

Edinburgh is a small airport, but offers a surprisingly large array of shops and restaurants. If you have some time on your hands after check-in and security, you won't be bored!


LOW SEASON
Jan - Mar | Nov - Dec
From $1,148
MID SEASON
Apr - May, Oct
From $1,298
HIGH SEASON
June - Sept
From $1,448

Your Price Includes

ACCOMMODATION

  • 7 nights Accommodation – From Boutique City Hotel to Ancient Castle
  • Spend a Night at Beautiful Culcreuch Castle

TRANSPORTATION

  • Compact Rental Car with Automatic Transmission

DINING OPTIONS

  • 7 Breakfasts - Authentic Scottish Breakfast Included Every Morning!

INCLUDED UNIQUE EXPERIENCES

  • Historic Small Group Tour of Edinburgh City
  • Loch Ness Cruise
  • Entrance to Stirling Castle

POINTS OF INTEREST

  • Explore the Stunning White Walls of Blair Atholl Castle
  • Discover the Natural Beauty of Cairngorms National Park
  • Stay in Inverness - The Capital of the Highlands
  • Travel the Length of Mysterious Loch Ness
  • Visit the Famous & Historic Culloden Battlefield
  • Stroll Through The Romantic Gardens of Cawdor Castle
  • Enjoy a Gentle Hike around Picturesque Glen Nevis
  • 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.
May 14, 2019 by Joe.

The planning, hotel booking and suggested site seeing itinerary were so well organized and perfect. I would suggest informing first time travelers to Ireland who are driving for the first time, that there can be quite a bit of mountain side driving with very narrow, winding roads. That wasn't something that was addressed beforehand with Authentic Ireland, caused a little bit of distress while in Ireland. I would also mention that communication while booking the trip with my agent wasn't the greatest. There were many business days that would go by without hearing any responses to email questions, which when looking to book a trip, a 1 business day turnaround is typically expected. Though once i discussed items with my agent, she was very professional and well informed. Just improve on communication timing, if out of the office an out of office message would assist in letting passanger know they should contact someone else within the office.

“Enchanting family quality time!”

May 14, 2019 by Gustavo Segura. Your Hometown: San José, Costa Rica

I live in Costa Rica. A colleague from the local tourism industry recommended Authentic Vacations... I contacted AV with a little bit of hesitation. But the moment Jocoya Fox-Jones established communication, things started flowing! The planning went smoothly; she made sure to ask the right questions about our needs and desires. The itinerary sounded perfect... and turned out to be perfect in the end! My 7 year-old loved the castles and the hotels, my wife and I enjoyed the gastro experiences and we all found several opportunities for a great family bonding time. The beauty of Scotland and Ireland plus the right planning made it all a 5-star experience! Thanks Jocoya, thanks Authentic Vacations!

May 14, 2019 by adam schneider. Your Hometown: georgetown de united states

Wonderful experience will travel with Authentic again. Anastasia was great to deal with and she is my go to woman for the next vacation.

“Magical Trip to Scotland & Ireland!”

May 14, 2019 by Lisa. Your Hometown: NYC

Jocoya from Authentic Ireland was an amazing travel specialist! It was my first solo trip to Scotland & Ireland and working with her made my holiday so much better. She was very flexible and accommodating when I wanted to tailor my itinerary to include more historical sights. Jocoya is very responsive and she helped me sort out some hotel snafu in Scotland. Loved my trip and will be going back to Ireland in the future and using Authentic Vacations again. I strongly recommend using Authentic Vacations if you're planning a trip to Ireland, Scotland or England!

May 14, 2019 by Kim Ehlenbeck. Your Hometown: Aurora

I feel that I have to give 2 reviews. The first review would definitely be 5-star for our 8 days in Ireland. The Applecroft House B&B in Killarney was amazing and our stays at the Davenport Hotel in Dublin and the Ballyseede Castle in Tralee were outstanding! We went on to London for 3 days after Ireland and Authentic Vacations (AV) booked our hotel in London - the Park Grand London Paddington. AV was new to booking in London and I have to say that they should never recommend this hotel again. The quality of the hotel was sub-par, especially after what we experienced in Ireland. The rooms and beds were small, the decor was shabby and tacky. There were no rooms that were being renovated either. AV tried to make it right by asking the hotel to show us other rooms we could upgrade to, but they were all pretty bad. I only want to mention all this so that AV knows not to steer any future clients here. Thanks to Lonna for planning a custom itinerary for us in Ireland that exceeded our expectations. Would definitely recommend Authentic Vacations to anyone considering a trip to Ireland.

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1. Click on the Green “Get Started” Button to the Right 

Submit your travel dates, number of people and type of transportation. We can adjust the length of our vacation packages to suit your needs.

2. Online Account & Quote Created

Our experts will create a custom quote & itinerary based on your requirements, and all details are posted to your Authentic Ireland online account (login info will be emailed to you!).

3. Make Changes / Ask Questions 

Your quote will have been created by your own personal Expert, who will be available to you at any stage of planning your vacation & even while you are in Ireland or Scotland. Call or email your dedicated Expert to discuss options, make changes or ask questions.

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Reserve your vacation package securely via your online account. We only require a 20% deposit to secure your vacation, and our Risk-Free Cancellation Policy provides you with complete peace of mind.

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Once your vacation has been paid in full, you will be able to print your travel documents directly from your online account. You’re ready to go!

Questions?

With offices in both Ireland & the U.S., we can offer you unrivaled support while you are in Ireland or Scotland. We truly believe all our clients deserve an extraordinary experience!

Call us toll-free, 1-888-443-5259 (US) or +353 01 293.3088 (international), and we will be delighted to answer all questions!

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