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Highlands & Whisky

Price: From $1,609 Per Person 10 Nights

Embark on a wonderful 10-night tour of Scotland. Stay in Pitlochry and enjoy a visit to Dewar's famous distillery. Travel on to Inverness, the Capital of the Highlands, and in close proximity to Speyside - 'The Whisky Triangle'. Visit the Isle of Skye, known by the ancient Norse as Cloud Island - a 50-mile-dream of velvet moors, jagged mountains, shimmering lochs and towering sea cliffs. Next stop is Fort William. Revel in the surrounding magnificent highland scenery.  End your Scottish fantasy in Edinburgh. This Grand Lady is about culture, history and cutting-edge arts.

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

Tour Highlights

ACCOMMODATION

  • 10 Nights ranging from 4-star City Hotels to Cozy and Authentic B&Bs

TRANSPORTATION

  • Rental Car including our Exclusive Reduced Excess Insurance Package

DINING OPTIONS

  • 10 Full Scottish Breakfasts

UNIQUE EXPERIENCES

  • Ghosts & Ghouls Walking Tour of Edinburgh
  • Edinburgh's Scotch Whisky Experience Tour & Tasting
  • Dewar's Distillery - Connoisseur's Tour & Tasting

POINTS OF INTEREST

  • Mysterious Loch Ness & Urquhart Castle
  • Isle of Skye
  • Scenery at Glencoe
  • Rob Roy's Grave & Stirling Castle
  • Edinburgh Castle, The Royal Mile & much more!
  • Inverness - Capital of the Highlands

Pitlochry, 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

Craigatin House - More Info - Pitlochry, Scotland

Guesthouse
Room Type: Deluxe Double

Check in policies:

Check-in time is after 3.00pm on your day of arrival. Check-out is before 10.30am. If you arrive earlier you are more than welcome to leave you car in the car-park.  Check out is by 10:30.  If you knwo in advance of a late arrival you will need to call ahead to your proprietor on 01796 472 478. Arrivals after 7pm are by prior arrangement only. 


Overnight Location

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.


Must-See Sites

Blair Castle, Scotland

On The Map: Blair Castle is located in Perthshire in the centre of Scotland, just north of Pitlochry Town. The castle is accessed via the main A9 road that connects the towns of Inverness (to the north), and Pitlochry & Perth (to the south).

The only man in Europe still allowed to have a private army is the Duke of Atholl, who resides at Blair Castle! The sight of his magnificent, white castle on the main road north will stop you in your tracks. The oldest part of the castle was built in 1269.  During the Jacobite campaigns, it was designed anew, and the turrets were added.  A brilliant stroke of genius. The ancient seat of the Dukes and Earls of Atholl and home to the Atholl Highlanders, Blair Castle stands proudly against the magnificent backdrop of Highland Perthshire. With collections that fill over 30 rooms, there are few historic homes in Britain that can claim to have more comprehensive family treasures than Blair Castle, which portrays Scottish life over 700 years. After a tour of the castle you can enjoy the variety and tranquility of the grounds and gardens which form part of one of Scotland's great estates.


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.


Pitlochry, Scotland

Accommodation

Craigatin House - More Info - Pitlochry, Scotland

Guesthouse
Room Type: Deluxe Double

Check in policies:

Check-in time is after 3.00pm on your day of arrival. Check-out is before 10.30am. If you arrive earlier you are more than welcome to leave you car in the car-park.  Check out is by 10:30.  If you knwo in advance of a late arrival you will need to call ahead to your proprietor on 01796 472 478. Arrivals after 7pm are by prior arrangement only. 


Included Experiences

Dewar's Connoisseurs Tour

Aberfeldy, Scotland

Come to Aberfeldy Village, where John Alexander founded the Dewar's Distillery, and view first-hand the magic still in operation today! Walk through reconstructions of Tommy Dewar's plush London office, as well as Dewar's first Blending Room. Your tour also includes a short film on the Origins of Scotch Whisky, an Heritage Exhibition & Distillery Tour. You will then be treated to special whisky tastings of: Dewar's 12 Year Old, Dewar's 18 Year Old, Aberfeldy 12 Year Old & Aberfeldy 21 Year Old. Your experience is completed by Cask Tasting in the Warehouse & a complimentary 'nosing glass'. You will also receive a tasting tray of 5 x 15ml drams. Dewar's Distillery is open Monday to Saturday, closed Sundays. Last admission for tours, one hour prior to closing.

Please allow 2 hours approximately for your tour.
 


Must-See Sites

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.


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.


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.


Inverness, Scotland

Accommodation

Lynver Guesthouse - More Info - 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

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.


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.


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.


Inverness, Scotland

Accommodation

Lynver Guesthouse - More Info - 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.


Must-See Sites

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?


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.


Skye, Isle of, Scotland

Accommodation

Auch an Doune - More Info - Skye, Isle of, Scotland

Guesthouse
Room Type: Double Room

Check in policies:

Normal check-in time is between 2.00pm & 6.00pm on your day of arrival. If you expect to arrive outside these hours, please contact the owner in advance on 01478 611 734.


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

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

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

Skye, Isle of, 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.


Skye, Isle of, Scotland

Accommodation

Auch an Doune - More Info - Skye, Isle of, Scotland

Guesthouse
Room Type: Double Room

Check in policies:

Normal check-in time is between 2.00pm & 6.00pm on your day of arrival. If you expect to arrive outside these hours, please contact the owner in advance on 01478 611 734.


Must-See Sites

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 - More Info - 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

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. 


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.


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.


Fort William, Scotland

Accommodation

Buccleuch Guesthouse - More Info - 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.


Must-See Sites

Oban, Scotland

On The Map: Oban is located on the west coast of Scotland. It's protected from the Atlantic by the famous islands of Mull & Iona, which lie just off the coast. Given the amount of ferry traffic from Oban to the various surrounding islands, it's often referred to as 'The Gateway to The Isles'.

Your first view of Oban is one you are unlikely to forget. From the north, you glimpse this bustling port from the top of the 'Bealach-an-Righ'. As you sweep down the hill towards the expanse of the bay, the view opens up before you and one begins to appreciate why Oban has developed into Scotland's most popular west-coast holiday town. Oban 'The Seafood Capital of Scotland was a late starter, existing only as a small fishing and trading village until the steamers of the early Victorian era started arriving in the early 1800s. The town lies in a crescent that occupies the hills surrounding Oban Bay, which is protected from all but the most severe of weather by the northern tail of the island of Kerrera. Oban's most outstanding feature is McCaig's Tower, more usually and descriptively called McCaig's Folly. This is the Colosseum lookalike that stands above the town and features in many of the postcards you will find for sale in the shops on George Street. Other notable attractions include the Waterfront Centre, the Cathedral of St Columba, the Oban Distillery & Dunollie Castle.


Oban Distillery, Scotland

On The Map: The Oban Distillery is situated right in the heart of Oban town centre - on Stafford Street opposite the North Pier.

Nestling beneath the steep cliff that overlooks Oban, one of Scotland's oldest sources of single malt scotch whisky is but a stone's throw from the sea. Established in 1794, the distillery has only two pot stills, making it one of the smallest in Scotland. It produces a whisky described as having a West Highland flavour that falls between the dry, smoky style of the Scottish islands and the lighter, sweeter malts of the Highlands. On the distillery's 1 hour Sensory & Flavour tour, you will be shown around the distillery by one the knowledgeable guides, and explore each part of the whisky making process. There are numerous experiences throughout the tour to stimulate your senses, including a sample of Oban malt direct from the cask. Your tour will finish with a sample of the famous Oban 14 year old single malt with some crystalised ginger – a taste sensation! To round off, you will be presented with a small momento of your visit to the distillery.


McCaig's Tower, Scotland

On The Map: McCaig's Tower sits atop Battery Hill in the heart of Oban town.

Undoubtably Oban's most outstanding feature, McCaig's Tower was built in 1897 by local banker John Stuart McCaig. McCaig's aim was to provide work for local stonemasons, and a lasting monument to the McCaig family. The original intention was to complete it with a large tower in the middle, but this, like the intended statues of McCaig's family, never materialised. This has resulted in the Coliseum lookalike often being referred to as McCaig's Folly. The steep climb from the town centre to McCaig's Tower is well worth the effort when faced with the spectacular views across Oban Bay to the Atlantic Islands. Cue photo opportunities! The interior comprises a grassy hilltop & gardens, which are well maintained - a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of town life.


Edinburgh, Scotland

Accommodation

Channings Hotel - More Info - Edinburgh, Scotland

4 Star
Room Type: Double/Twin

Check in policies:

Check-in time is after 3:00pm on your day of arrival. Check-out before 12:00 noon.


Included Experiences

Ghostly Underground Walking Tour

Edinburgh, Scotland

This is a light-hearted & entertaining walking tour, focussing on Edinburgh's ghoulish past....and ghostly present! The best way to enjoy the city's grim, grisly and ghostly past, is to hear it directly from Edinburgh's ghoulish ancestors… The infamous ‘Edinburgh Mob’ loved the ‘entertainment’ of blood, guts and gore. And there was plenty provided, especially at the Mercat Cross. Your hosts will trouble you with true tales of gruesome punishment & unsettled spirits. They relish imparting tales of life & death, in Old Edinburgh...some a little too close for comfort. You’ll visit the shadowy closes where the ghosts still cling to the ancient sites. You'll also descend into the famously haunted Blair Street Vaults, where the ghosts of Edinburgh's past still haunt her present.


Enroute Sightseeing

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.


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

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

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

Channings Hotel - More Info - Edinburgh, Scotland

4 Star
Room Type: Double/Twin

Check in policies:

Check-in time is after 3:00pm on your day of arrival. Check-out before 12:00 noon.


Included Experiences

Scotch Whisky Experience

Edinburgh, Scotland

Beside Edinburgh Castle and at the top of the historic Royal Mile, Edinburgh’s five-star Scotch Whisky Experience is one of Scotland’s most prestigious visitor attractions. The Centre has been purpose-built around the Whisky Tour, devoted to telling the story of Scotland’s most famous product - Scotch Whisky. Led by the resident ‘Distillery Ghost, the Centre features a unique, state-of-the-art ride, driving visitors through the replica distillery!

This family-friendly tour includes:
• Whisky barrel ride through the production of Scotch Whisky
• Introduction to the aromas in Whisky
• A dram of Scotch Malt Whisky (Irn Bru for under 18s)
• World's largest collection of Scotch Whisky (almost 3,500 bottles!)
• Whisky tasting glass to take away
• Discount voucher for the Distillery Shop


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.


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!


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!


Ireland Vacation Pricing Low Season Mid Season High Season
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Your Price Includes

ACCOMMODATION

  • 10 Nights ranging from 4-star City Hotels to Cozy and Authentic B&Bs

TRANSPORTATION

  • Rental Car including our Exclusive Reduced Excess Insurance Package

DINING OPTIONS

  • 10 Full Scottish Breakfasts

UNIQUE EXPERIENCES

  • Ghosts & Ghouls Walking Tour of Edinburgh
  • Edinburgh's Scotch Whisky Experience Tour & Tasting
  • Dewar's Distillery - Connoisseur's Tour & Tasting

Prices Based On

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  • All Taxes & Fees Included
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  • Traveling alone? No problem. Just ask us for a single supplement price.
Dec 5, 2016 by Donald Barratt. Your Hometown: Lombard

Our Vacation was outstanding. The hotel (City stay St. Augustine) in Dublin was centrally located to everything we wanted to visit. The staff there was courteous, and helpful.Our visit to Roscommon was grand, and our stay at Gleeson's B & B was also nice with great food.Authentic Ireland did a great job setting everything up, and making our vacation worry free.A million thanks to Lonna a job well done.

“5 days in Ireland”

Dec 5, 2016 by Dan Karns. Your Hometown: Dillsburg, PA

Authentic Ireland was referred to me by a customer/friend of mine....and... i am so glad he did. We worked with Shannon, one of the representatives, and i couldn't be more happy with the experience and expertise that she had regarding details of our trip. I told her when we were arriving and leaving Ireland, what were the "must do" things during our stay, and what kind of accommodations we wanted to stay in. within a day or two, she had a full trip package, with other recommended things to do while there, sent to my email. the price was very reasonable, and after going on the trip, i appreciated the fact we used Authentic Ireland to get everything set up. kudos to the site and staff, especially Shannon. anytime i had a question, she had an answer. regarding car rental, electricity usage, what kind of money to keep on hand, anything... she was so much help. thank you so much!, you made our 20 year anniversary "holiday" that much better! the only thing i can even think about regretting, was that we didn't spend enough time there we spent the previous week in London, and think we should have cut that shorter and spent more time in Ireland... but.... that can be fixed by another visit! thanks again! your friends in Pennsylvania!

“Ireland Adventure”

Dec 4, 2016 by Jesse. Your Hometown: Charlotte, NC

Had a great experience working with the Authentic Ireland associate! I probably asked 9 million questions (this being my first international trip I'd planned), and patience and courteousness definitely describes the person that personally handled my account.The trip was great as well, including an itinerary that was well chosen, then tweaked for us. Rental car was indeed perfect for our crew that was traveling, as well as the accommodations arranged for us. I'm more of a researcher, but the website definitely put me leaps ahead with suggested places to visit at our lodging locations, as well as places to stop along the way.One of the only things I would have done differently was the transportation for our time in Dublin. I was so glad that we did not rent a vehicle for Dublin, but the sightseeing bus tour passes were not the most convenient for our purposes, in retrospect. We would have been better served with normal city bus passes. I also would have passed on the castle stay in our trip, but perhaps we just caught them at a bad time, as everything was great there, except the smell of cat urine just on the outside of the side door near our room.Authentic Ireland definitely impressed both myself and the members of my family that joined us on this trip! Definitely recommend them! Really great trip and a good price!

“Wonderful First Trip to Ireland”

Dec 4, 2016 by Alyssa Sommers. Your Hometown: Mahwah, NJ

This was our first trip to Ireland. You guys did a wonderful job of taking care of all of the details in regards to hotels, sites to visit with passes and car rentals. Each hotel and bed and breakfast was wonderful. All establishments offered breakfast in the morning. They all had WIFI. After spending 2 days in Dublin we left for the west coast in the car we rented. We spent the next 6 days traveling around the west/southwest part of Ireland. Maggie was the person that we dealt with at Authentic Ireland and she was great- she noticed that our hotel on the last night was over 2 hours away from Shannon airport so she moved us to a closer location... and what a location a 5-star castle!! There are no other words then amazing!! When we come back which we plan to do... we will be staying there.

“Outstanding Vacation”

Nov 5, 2016 by Anthony M. Kolankiewicz. Your Hometown: Jerusalem

The company did an outstanding job of arranging our circumnavigational tour of Ireland and Northern Ireland over a period of 17 days. We did the driving ourselves with an upgraded rental car, which offered the utmost flexibility in sightseeing destinations and route options. Our accommodations were in a combination of country homes, B&Bs, hotels, and a couple of castles.. Even the weather generally cooperated over such an extended period of time; only one day and one evening of steady rain that interfered with our plans. Overall, it was a delightful vacation that encouraged us to return for catch the attractions we didn't have time to see. There were only two quibbles we would mention. First, some of the driving directions left a lot of details out, especially in trying to get through larger towns and cities, such as Galway. More details would have saved us lots of time. Second, we very much enjoyed every place we stayed with the exception of the Lissyclearig Thatched Cottage in Kenmare. Unlike all the other places we stayed, our hosts' main concern was saving money and doing everything on the cheap. No heat in the rooms despite a chilly, rainy night and two cloudy days -- very uncomfortable! No WiFi connection (the only place not to offer it during our entire stay in the country). Even the breakfast was second-rate. Few choices on the buffet table and canned fruit instead of the fresh fruit we received in every other location. Might be time to drop this inn from the inventory! Otherwise, a great trip that we would do again through Authentic Ireland.

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