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7-Night Medieval Heroes & Castles

This inspirational itinerary can be tailor-made just for you. To get started planning your trip, please provide us with some personal specifications.

Your accommodations on this tour are complete with friendly hosts and the finest in amenities - your lodgings range from city-chic to secluded, country comfort. Visit Fort William, where you'll discover the ruins of sacred sites more than 4,000 years old.  The rugged Highlands, and the picturesque glen of Glencoe, are truly spectacular. All roads still lead north to Inverness, the true capital of the Scottish Highlands.  Explore Loch Ness & Urquhart Castle, one of the largest in Scotland. Visit the famous battlefield at Culloden, The Black Isle, Cawdor Castle, The Speyside 'Whisky Triangle' and much more. Round your tour off with a wonderful stay at a 700 year old castle, near the impressive City of Stirling.

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

Tour Highlights


  • 7 Nights in Scotland's most Scenic & Historic Locales
  • Spend a Night at an Historic 700 Year-Old Castle


  • Rental Car including Insurance, Unlimited Mileage & All Taxes


  • 7 Hearty Scottish Breakfasts


  • Visit the final resting place of Rob Roy MacGregor


  • Stay in Inverness - Capital of the Highlands
  • Investigate Mysterious Loch Ness & Urquhart Castle
  • Enjoy Stunning Scenery at Glencoe
  • Explore Cairngorms National Park & Balmoral Castle
  • See Stirling Castle, The Wallace Monument & much more!

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.


Craigatin House - Pitlochry, Scotland

Room Type: Double/Twin

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 know 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


Craigatin House - Pitlochry, Scotland

Room Type: Double/Twin

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 know 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. 

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


Lynver Guesthouse - Inverness, Scotland

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


Lynver Guesthouse - Inverness, Scotland

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

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.

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.

Fort William, Scotland


Buccleuch Guesthouse - Fort William, Scotland

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.

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.

Enroute Sightseeing

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.

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.

Fort William, Scotland


Buccleuch Guesthouse - Fort William, Scotland

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

Glencoe, Scotland

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

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

Glenfinnan, Scotland

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

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

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


Culcreuch Castle Hotel - Stirling, Scotland

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.

Enroute Sightseeing

Rob Roy's Grave, Scotland

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

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

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.

Battle of Bannockburn, Scotland

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

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

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!

“Last Minute Trip”

Jul 17, 2019 by Dylan. Your Hometown: Nashville

I had a last-minute work trip that I added a vacation too. Authentic Vacations were quick and found me exactly what I needed. They worked within my budget and it was seamless when I got to Ireland!

“Summer vacation with wife and 14 yr old daughter”

Jul 17, 2019 by C.J. Driggers. Your Hometown: GILBERT, SC

We had an awesome trip to the wonderful island of Ireland. Everything went smooth for us and our agent Lonna set us up with great accommodations. It seemed each hotel/b&b got better as the trip went along! We went for 8 days with 2 in Dublin, 1 in Kinittey, 2 in Killarney, 1 in Dingle, 1 in Doolin, and 1 in Trim before departing for home. My wife and daughter liked Dingle the best, while I thought Killarney offered the best of all worlds. I will say as an American, driving over there is an adventure. Major roadways are not a problem, but I've been on golf cart paths wider than some of the rural 2-lane roads found in the countryside. The only piece of advice I could offer is that when in Dublin, take the hop-on/off tour bus 1st thing around the entire city. Then get off the bus and explore the parts of the city that seem interesting to you. If you stay at the Ashling Hotel, walk across the bridge in front of the hotel and go around the corner of the train station to your right to get on the convertible bus. Knowing this would have saved us several hours as we wasted half a day trying to figure this out on our own.

Jul 17, 2019 by Nancy Foldesi. Your Hometown: Simi Valley

This was our second trip with Authentic Ireland and we loved it even more than our first trip. Aran Islands was a great spot. Rugged and beautiful! Our driver for the 3-day portion was great. Very helpful with great ideas. Our stay in Sheen Falls was magical. The cottage and villa were stocked with everything we needed to make a fantastic breakfast!! Also wine and candy 😎 Michelle was so helpful and gave me wonderful advice. She booked our perfect meal at The Lime Tree!! Perfect family vacation!!

“Ireland Trip 2019”

Jul 17, 2019 by Meghan Fahey. Your Hometown: Vermont

We booked a 10 day stay in Ireland. My boyfriend and I made our first international trip together. We had a great time! I had been to Ireland before, but the itinerary AV made was outstanding. The pace was great for a cross-country road trip and Michael was excellent at listening to our expectations and our wishlist. The Mystical Rose and Mena House were our very favorite B&Bs! Ring of Kerry was spectacular! We never had a bad meal! IT was outstanding to have all the planning stream-lined in one document. We just got back July 1st, and are already talking about Scotland! I had never been to Galway-what an addition to the trip. We saw everything we planned and had enough time to try other experiences. Ireland is getting more touristy by the second, so I would highly recommend planning and booking in advance for as much as possible. There were 2 B&Bs that we were not overwhelmingly enthused by, but they got the job done. We could not have had better weather-only one day of rain! The Blarney Castle was fantastic and driving ourselves was not even that bad. All in all, a great experience!

“40th Anniversary Trip”

Jul 10, 2019 by Kenneth Elder. Your Hometown: Katy, TX

My wife and I spent 16 days traveling all over Scotland. We had an amazing trip! We had read many of Con's blogs and planned many of our activities based on his blog.

Con and his team set up the hotel/B&B stops for us along the way and my wife and I drove the rental car over 1500 miles touring the countryside, castles, distilleries, and sites around Scotland, as we pleased.

Most of the accommodations were very nice, but, like most anywhere you travel in Europe, many of the showers in the bathrooms are more like a phone booth. Very cramped.

Except for being a little warmer than we anticipated, the weather was perfect. Out of 16 days, we had two days of rain.

Driving on the wrong side of the road, from the wrong side of the car, on some of the narrow, single lanes, winding coastal roads, with your wife navigating and yelling at you to slow down, was an adventure all by itself. I wish we had taken a "GoPro" camera to put on the dash to record some of the roads we drove on! Make sure you have an international phone plan or a GPS! Google Maps worked great for us.

As someone else mentioned in their review, the "Spirit of Scotland" dinner show was underwhelming, as was the food, but it was already included in our package. Probably could have spent those 2-3 hours doing something more interesting.

Con was very helpful in helping arrange our trip and gave some very useful tips and insight.

One suggestion I would make to Authentic Vacations for those who are renting a vehicle and driving in Scotland is that they provide some explanation of road signs and some details about highway speed limits. Such as, unless posted differently, the speed limit on Scotland highways is 60 MPH.

AND, in Scotland, the speed limit is in MPH, not Kilometers. Speed cameras are used extensively in Scotland, so mind your speed.

Thanks, Con and Authentic Vacations. We had a wonderful vacation!

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