Login

Forgot password

Please enter a valid email
authentic vacations

Thank You! We have just emailed you instructions to reset your password

11-Night North Coast 500 Tour

Price: From $1,448 Per Person.
11 Nights

The North Coast 500 is billed as Scotland's Route 66. Does it live up to the hype? Absolutely! The North Coast 500 (NC 500) covers 500 miles of the most remote, unique and scenically mind-blowing region of Northern Scotland. It's a spectacular coastal route on winding, often narrow, but very well maintained roads, populated by courteous drivers. Because the NC 500 is somewhat out of the way, it takes a little effort to get there. But those that do make that effort are very greatly rewarded. The NC 500 offers a little bit of everything that makes Scotland such a wonderful place to visit. Dramatic Highland peaks sweep majestically to loch and sea. Wildlife is abundant and outdoor pursuits a given. You'll encounter ancient castles, huge sea caves and renowned bridges. You'll have glorious white sand, pristine beaches virtually to yourself, and find unexpected yet wonderful surprises around almost every corner. This tour allows 6 nights to get to and from the NC 500 from Edinburgh and 5 nights on the route itself. The itinerary can be shortened or lengthened to suit your individual needs and trip logisitics....we're standing by to help you make it happen!

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

Tour Highlights

ACCOMMODATION

  • 10 nights Accommodation – From Boutique City Hotel to Luxurious Guesthouse!
  • 1 night in an Authentic Scottish Castle

TRANSPORTATION

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

DINING OPTIONS

  • 11 Breakfasts - Sumptuous Full Scottish Breakfasts Each Morning

POINTS OF INTEREST

  • Spend Two Nights in Captivating Edinburgh
  • Visit Stunning Blair Castle
  • Discover the Natural Beauty of Cairngorms National Park
  • Stay in Inverness - The Capital of the Highlands
  • Enjoy the Unspoiled Locale of the North Coast 500:
  • Glen Ord Distillery & Rogie Falls
  • Bealach na mBa & Inverewe Exotic Gardens
  • Kylescu Bridge & Balnakeil Beach
  • Smoo Cave & The Castle of Mey
  • The Whaligoe Steps & Grey Cairns of Camster
  • Travel the Length of Mysterious Loch Ness
  • Reve in the History and Scenic Splendor of Glencoe & Glenfinnan
  • Explore Several Famous Scottish Castles to Explore!
  • Discover the Unique History and Sites of Stirling

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.


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

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!


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.


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.


Must-See Sites

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.


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.


Gilmerton Cove, Scotland

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

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


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.**


Inverness, Scotland

Accommodation

Strathness House - Inverness, Scotland

Guesthouse
Room Type: Double/Twin

Check in policies:

Check-in time is between 2:00pm & 6:00pm on your day of arrival. If you expect to arrive outside these hours, please call the Guesthouse in advance on 01463 232 765.


Enroute Sightseeing

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.


Enroute Sightseeing

Pitlochry, Scotland

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

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


Enroute Sightseeing

Cairngorms National Park, Scotland

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

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


Overnight Location

Inverness, Scotland

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

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


Inverness, Scotland

Accommodation

Strathness House - Inverness, Scotland

Guesthouse
Room Type: Double/Twin

Check in policies:

Check-in time is between 2:00pm & 6:00pm on your day of arrival. If you expect to arrive outside these hours, please call the Guesthouse in advance on 01463 232 765.


Must-See Sites

Culloden Battlefield, Scotland

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

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


Cawdor Castle, Scotland

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

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


Speyside, The Whisky Triangle, Elgin, Scotland

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

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


Applecross, Scotland

Accommodation

Applecross Inn - Applecross, Scotland

Guesthouse
Room Type: Double/Twin

Check in policies:

Check in after 2.00pm on the day of arrival and check out is 11.00am on the day of departure. 


Enroute Sightseeing

Rogie Falls, Scotland

Rogie Falls is located along the North Coast 500 Route - approximately 23 miles west of Inverness, just off the A835 Road. Rogie Falls boasts a series of lovely walks on the Black Water which you can follow to see the waterfall itself. A recently constructed suspension bridge allows visitors to get a birds eye view of the falls and truly feel the power of the rushing river below. The bridge supports a maximum of five persons at one time, and although it offers a great photo opportunity, an early or late visit is recommended to avoid crowds. In August and September, the Falls are renowned as offering a great chance to see wild salmon leaping upstream. The Falls are at their most impressive after heavy rain or snow, when torrents of water cascade from the slopes of Ben Wyvis.


Enroute Sightseeing

Bealach na Ba, Scotland

The Applecross Peninsula is extremely isolated, and was only accessible by boat until as recently as the early 20th century. For many years thereafter, the only road access was over one of Scotland's most notoriously treacherous mountain passes. The pass is known as Bealach na Ba ('Pass of the Cattle'), which traverses the peninsula and reaches a maximum height of 2,053 feet, insuring its position as one of the highest mountain roads in all the United Kingdom. In more recent times, a second road was constructed, which winds its way around the coast of the peninsula. Though also a beautiful drive, nothing compares to the scenic splendor of Bealach na Ba, which is undoubtedly one of the most well-known and exhilerating stretches of road in Scotland. As you travel you will be rewarded with fantastic views across Wester Ross, the whole of the Isle of Skye, as well as the Islands of Rum and the Outer Hebrides. There is a parking area at the top of the pass, allowing drivers to pull in, relax and fully enjoy the panorama.


Enroute Sightseeing

Glen Ord Distillery, Scotland

Founded in 1838, Glen Ord Distillery is one of the oldest in Scotland. Located just west of Inverness and Loch Ness, Glen Ord is a delight to visit. If you choose to take a tour, you'll have the oportunity to observe distillers creating a magical malt whisky which is sweet, fruity and subtly spicy on the palate. Notably, the Singleton of Glen Ord whisky is only produced for selected Asian markets. Singleton is not available in the UK or Europe - only at the Distillery Visitor Centre and Whisky Shop. Visitors are also welcome to browse the distillery shop and exhibition. The shop is well stocked with a wide variety of single malt whiskies, books, glassware and other quality items. Please note that in the busy summer months advance booking is recommended for all tours.


Overnight Location

Applecross, Scotland

On The Map: Applecross is located on a peninsula in the Wester Ross region of western Scotland

Famous for idyllic scenery and the spectacular 'Bealach na Ba' drive, Applecross is both a small village and remote peninsula in Wester Ross. The name of Applecross is at least 1,300 years old and is used by locals to name the entire peninsula. The row of houses which is often referred to as Applecross Village, and is thusly marked on most maps, is actually called 'Shore Street' and is referred to locally simply as 'The Street'! The Applecross area is one of the earliest parts of Scotland to be settled by humans, and the nearby settlement of Sand is the location of a major archaeological site. The Applecross Heritage Centre is located 1 mile north of 'The Street'. The Centre is the focal point for operations of the Applecross Historical Society and houses an interesting collection of artefacts, archives and genealogical records. Sampling the culinary delights of the Applecross Inn (pictured), or purchasing locally smoked fish from the Applecross Smokehouse are highly recommended visitor diversions.


Ullapool, Scotland

Accommodation

Eilean Donan - Ullapool, Scotland

Guesthouse
Room Type: Double/Twin

Check in policies:

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 Guesthouse owners in advance on 01854 612 524.


Enroute Sightseeing

Torridon, Scotland

Torridon is a small village in the western Highlands of Scotland, located along the spectacular North Coast 500 Route, and just north of the Applecross Peninsula. The Torridon name is also used to describe the area surrounding the village, including the Torridon Hills, Torridon Mountains, Glen Torridon and Loch Torridon. The Torridon region is widely acknowledged as boasting some of the most dramatic mountain scenery in the whole of the Britain, and is a designated area of outstanding natural beauty. Driving through the area, you'll be delighted by a variety of natural wonders - mountains, cliffs, gorges and green wooded slopes abound. The area is well known to hikers, photographers and climbers, as well as wildlife enthusiasts eager to spot indigenous eagles, red deer, otters and breaching whales. The Torridon, a multi award-winning hotel (including Scottish Hotel of The Year 2011) is a great spot for a bite to eat or drink.


Enroute Sightseeing

Gairloch, Scotland

Situated on the shore of Loch Gairloch along the North Coast 500 Route, amidst the awe-inspiring scenery of Wester Ross, Gairloch offers much to visitors. Spectacular scenery awaits, as well as a great variety of outdoor activities with a wide-ranging appeal. Gairloch Town is somewhat spread-out and comprised of three main clusters of shops, eateries and homes. At the GALE Centre in Gairloch, visitors can pick up free leaflets and guides on the area. Sea-Angling and Whale-Watching boat tours are available and depart from Gairloch Harbour. There are several wonderful sandy beaches nearby, with Big Sand, located northwest of town, being the most popular. From Big Sand you can drive the coastal road north to Rua Reidh lighthouse at the tip of the peninsula. This is a very narrow road and may not be for everyone. However, those brave enough to embark upon it will be rewarded with fabulous views towards the Isles of Skye, Harris & Lewis.


Enroute Sightseeing

Inverewe Gardens, Scotland

Inverewe Garden is an oasis of exotic plants, bursting with vibrant colour, located near the town of Poolewe on Scotland's west coast. The gadens were originally created atop bare rock by Osgood Mackenzie in 1862. Highlights include the most northerly planting of rare Wollemi pines, Himalayan blue poppies, olearia from New Zealand, Tasmanian eucalypts, and rhododendrons from China, Nepal and the Indian subcontinent. Owing to the warm currents of the North Atlantic Drift, and the genius of Mackenzie in planting a woodland barrier to shelter the gardens, the exotic plants flourish in the most unlikely of locales. The gardens are surrounded by an extensive 2,000 acre conservation estate and are home to many species of mammals and birds. Footpaths and marked trails provide visitors with access to the many wonders and delights of the estate.


Overnight Location

Ullapool, Scotland

On The Map: Ullapool is located on Scotland's northwest cooast. The town is approximately 1.5 hours northwest of Inverness on the A835 road.

Upon arrival in town, you are immediately struck by Ullapool's whiteness and by its regularity of design and layout. This is a legacy of the town's origins, being designed and built in 1788 by Thomas Telford and the British Fisheries Society. The aim was to exploit a boom in herring fishing at the time. This peaked and then, in an early example of overfishing, declined from the 1830s. Fishing has remained at the heart of the town's economy, but in recent times, tourism has also been a big player. Surrounded on all sides by majestic mountain peaks, Ullapool is a scenic feast for the eyes. It also makes a great base for exploring the northwest of Scotland, particularly those parts that are a little too remote to reach from Inverness, the traditional 'Gateway to the Highlands'. In warmer months, boat trips run to the Summer Isles and around Loch Broom, where you will see an abundance of wildlife including seals & dolphins. Ullapool is also the access point for the ferry to Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis. Ullapool boasts some very nice pubs, and a good range of shops.
 


Durness, Scotland

Accommodation

Glengolly - Durness, Scotland

Guesthouse
Room Type: Double / Twin

Check in policies:

Check-in time: 3 PM

Check-out time: 12 PM


Enroute Sightseeing

Lochinver, Scotland

On The Map: Lochinver is located on Scotland's beautiful northwest mainland coast. Lochinver is located 36 miles north of Ullapool along the A835 & A837 Roads.

The small fishing port and resort of Lochinver on the west coast of Scotland occupies a sheltered bay north of Ullapool in the wilds of the far north west. The town has spectacular views of the impressive and distinctive sandstone peak of Suilven Mountain. The town is split into three parts: the Harbour, the Village, and Baddidarrach, along the shore of Loch Inver. Due to its abundance of small lochs, Lochinver is frequented by angler fishing enthusiasts and is considered the second largest port in Scotland. Other tourist attractions include the Assynt Visitor Centre and Highland Stoneware, one of the Highlands' most successful and distinctive potteries. Inland, near Elphin, visitors can pet animals at the Highland and Rare Breeds Farm. Just west of Lochinver along the scenic Drumbeg Loop is Achmelvich Beach, a coastal oasis that’s regarded as one of the most beautiful beaches in Britain with its white sand, rocky landscape, hidden coves and remote cliffs. The village area is popular among foodies due to its abundance of restaurants with varying cuisines.  The world-famous Lochinver Pie Shop is renowned for its sumptuous array of pies and is a must-experience for tourists. 


Enroute Sightseeing

Old Man of Stoer, Scotland

The Old Man of Stoer is 200-foot-high sandstone sea stack that is immensely popular among rock climbers and hiking enthusiasts. Located in the far north west of Scotland along the Sutherland region, this massive rock formation sits just off the rocky coast. It's a fairly good trek from the Stoer Lighthouse which is the general starting point for most hikers. The walk can be a bit muddy and in some places pathless, but is rich with abundant wildlife and dramatic views of the rugged coast. The brave will descend the steep grass to reach the sea below, and the truly courageous will climb to the very top.   The Old Man of Stoer was first climbed in 1966 by legendary Scottish mountaineer Tom Patey and is ascended approximately 20 times each year.  


Enroute Sightseeing

Kylesku, Scotland

The village of Kylesku is scenically located in the beautiful Sutherland region of northwest Scotland. Kylesku is a veritable haven for wildlife enthusiasts, outdoor adventurers and those who enjoy magnificent, unspoiled scenery. The attractive Kylesku Hotel offers fantastic food and accommodation to visitors. From the early 1800s, a free rowboat ferry service was put into operation to transport passengers north across the Loch a' Chàirn Bhàin. A series of small car ferries ultimately took over from the row boat service. The Maid of Kylesku is notable for being beached on the north side of the bay (still visible today) when the vessel was replaced in 1967. In 1984 Kylesku Bridge opened and the ferry service became obsolete. Although not very long or high, the bridge was received global acclaim for its striking curve and picturesque surrounds. The bridge can be viewed from two vantage points at its north and south ends. The nearby 650 foot Eas-Coun-Aulin waterfall is the highest in Britain and more than four times taller than Niagara Falls. Boat trips to view the falls are available from Kylesku Village during summer months.


Overnight Location

Durness, Scotland

On The Map: Durness is located along the North Coast 500 Route in the North West corner of Scotland.

Durness is idylically situated in one of the most spectacular areas of Scotland and is the most northwesterly Village on Mainland Scotland. Durness Village is comprised of a number of spread-out hamlets. The area has been inhabited since stone age times and there are many places of historic interest. At the end of World War II, 30 German submarines surrendered their craft in Durness. In more recent times, fishing, small farm 'crofting' and tourism have propelled the local economy. The Durness region boasts amazing scenery, with a rocky coastline, turquoise waters lapping pristine beaches, a wide array of wildlife and vast open spaces. The rugged scenery around Durness and Cape Wrath reputedly inspired Tolkien in creating the world of Middle Earth in Lord of the Rings. The Cocoa Mountain Cafe and Chocolaterie, located just west of Durness has developed a fantastic reputation for chocolate excellence, and is a must-visit for those with a sweet tooth!


Must-See Sites

Balnakeil Beach, Scotland

Balnakeil Beach is a wide, white sand beach with large dunes and turqioise waters, situated near Cape Wrath in the extreme northwest of Scotland. The beach is easily accessible just 1.2 miles northwest of Durness. The beach is noted for its large, impressive sand dunes, as well as being a fantastic spot to catch an Atlantic Scottish sunset. To the north of the beach lies Faraid Head, home to a military installation. The 5-mile roundtrip walk from the beach to Faraid Head is a most rewarding and invigorating undertaking. History buffs will be interested in Balnakeil House dating from 1744 and the ruins of Balnakeil Church, which date from 1619. Both sites are in close proximity to the beach parking lot. There are no visitor facilities on the beach, but this only adds to its unspoilt beauty and allure.


Thurso, Scotland

Accommodation

Murray House - Thurso, Scotland

Guesthouse
Room Type: Double / Twin

Check in policies:

Check-in time is from 4-7 pm. Check out is by 10 am.


Enroute Sightseeing

Smoo Cave, Scotland

Smoo Cave is a fascinating natural wonder located just outside the town of Durness in the Northern Highlands region of Scotland. While the cave was shaped by sea erosion, the series of internal chambers inland from the sea are actually freshwater passages that were formed by rainwater. There are a total of three inner chambers, one that is only accessible by boat and one that features a dramatic waterfall which cascades from an overhead sinkhole. Smoo Cave is set in limestone cliffs and possesses the largest opening of any sea cave in Britain, at an enormous 50 feet high and over 130 feet wide.  Visitors can freely explore the cave by boat and by foot and there are numerous paths to venture along beyond the main chamber. A guided tour of Smoo Cave is also available, which educates visitors on its ancient history and magical formation. 


Enroute Sightseeing

Tongue, Scotland

Located in the Northern Highlands region of Scotland, the coastal village of Tongue is rich with spectacular scenery. The town gets its name from a Nordic term which references a piece of land that possesses the shape of a tongue. The village is situated on the eastern shore of the Kyle of Tongue, a shallow sea loch that possesses turquoise waters, grass dunes and a rocky coastline. The ancient ruins of Castle Varrich are a must-see for anyone visiting Tongue. The view from the hill where the castle stands boasts amazing views of Tongue, the Kyle of Tongue and the Rabbit Islands.


Overnight Location

Thurso, Scotland

On The Map: Thurso is located on the northern tip of mainland Scotland. The town is most easily reached via the A9 road from Inverness, some 110 miles / 2 hours to the south.

Thurso is the most northerly town on mainland Scotland, and gateway to the Orkney Islands. Thurso's origins date from as early as the 900s, at which point Vikings settlements were well established, using the river mouth as a port and fishing base. In modern times, the often turbulent seas off Scotland's northern coast have become a massive draw for surfers from all over the world, but Thurso is most often used as starting point for exploring the amazing scenery of the region. The 140 mile northwestern route via Durness to Ullapool, is often heralded as Scotland's most spectacular scenic drive. Back in town, Shore Street is very picturesque and the seafront is well worth a stroll. Also of note is Caithness Horizons, a modern museum housed in the old Town Hall and Carnegie Library.


Must-See Sites

The Castle & Gardens of Mey, Scotland

The Castle & Gardens of Mey is situated on the north coast of Scotland, fifteen miles east of Thurso and six miles west of John O'Groats. It stands on elevated ground about 400 yards from the seashore. The castle was constructed between 1566 and 1572 in a z-plan style, creating a unique, multi-turreted aspect. The structure was known as Barrogil Castle in 1952 when the Queen Mother, while mourning the loss of her husband King George VI, first visited. Upon hearing it was to be abandoned, she decided to save it, and initiated a major renovation project, as well as creating the current wonderful gardens. For the next 50 years, the Queen Mother spent many summers at the castle. Nowadays, visitors can view the rooms used by Her Majesty, including her bedroom, and consistently remark upon how homely and comfortable the castle feels. Outside, the walled garden is protected from the often harsh Atlantic weather by the 12-foot tall Great Wall of Mey. Visitors may wander the grounds, gardens and animal centre, browse the gift shop, and enjoy a delicious snack in the tearoom.


John O'Groats, Scotland

John O' Groats is a village in the Highland council area of Scotland. It is often called "The start of Great Britain" as John O'Groats is on the northeastern tip of Scotland. Part of the historical county of Caithness, John O' Groats is popular with tourists because it is the northern end of the longest distance between two inhabited points on the island of Great Britain. Land's End in Cornwall is its opposite number, 876 miles to the southwest. It is not quite the most northerly point on the island of Great Britain - nearby Dunnet Head is just a little further north. It is highly recommended that visitors to John O'Groats travel just a few miles further long the single-track road to Dunscansby Head & Lighthouse. Amazingly, very few visitors do, and miss out on wonderful views over Orkney and west to Dunnet Head. From the carpark, if you follow the walking trail south (behind the lighthouse), you will be rewarded with even more spectacular views of the Geo of Sclaites, Thirle Door and the impressive Stacks of Duncansby.


Dingwall, Scotland

Accommodation

Tulloch Castle - Dingwall, Scotland

Castle
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.


Enroute Sightseeing

Wick, Scotland

Located in the far north of Scotland along the picturesque North Coast 500, lies the historical town of Wick. The name was derived from the Norse word 'vik' which means bay'. The town is situated on the estuary of the River Wick, where Vikings harbored their vessels during the era of Norwegian rule. Wick was officially declared a royal burgh in 1858. Today this charming little town is rich with activity and eye candy, featuring three harbours, enchanting ruins and lush wildlife. There is a whiskey distillery, museum, golf course and plenty of varied scenery to admire. The ruins of the Castle of Old Wick (pictured) sit atop the edge of a massive cliff and command dramatic views out to sea. The coast is a magical place for a walk, given the impressive scenery and variety of seabird species. Wick holds a place in the Guinness Book of World Records for boasting the world’s shortest street - Ebenezer Place - which measures a paltry 7 feet and contains only one door! While experiencing Scotland’s North Coast 500, make sure to include a stop in Wick on your itinerary. Its unique history, storybook scenery and diverse culture insure that this hidden coastal gem is worthy of a little exploration!


Enroute Sightseeing

Grey Cairns of Camster, Scotland

The Grey Cairns of Camster are a must-visit experience for anyone fascinated with ancient and historical archeological monuments. Located on the northern edge of the Highlands in Caithness, 15 miles southwest and inland from Wick, these two unique Neolithic tombs are about 5,000 years old and among the oldest stone structures in all of Scotland. The older of the two is the round cairn which stands about 12 feet high and measures 60 feet in diameter. The younger, long cairn (pictured) is linear and extends over 200 feet. Visitors can descend into the burial chambers of each cairn to explore the space where burnt bones, pottery and flint tools were once discovered. 


Enroute Sightseeing

Dunrobin Castle, Scotland

Dunrobin Castle is located approximately 50 miles north of Inverness on a prominent bluff on the Northern edge of the Highlands. The castle is a fascinating and majestic structure, and one of Britain’s oldest continually-inhabited stately homes. The castle was constructed in the early 1300s and has been passed-down through generations of Earls and Dukes, undergoing many expansions and transformations that shaped its current incarnation.  Today, it represents a Scottish Baronial-style sanctuary, with distinct French influences evident in its fairytale architecture, dramatic canonical spires and Versailles-inspired gardens. The Dunrobin Estate is quite simply, magnificent. It is comprised of 1,379 acres that include falconry displays, a lush and extravagant garden, a museum, gift shop, cafe and the castle itself. The interior of the castle features a grand staircase and 189 spacious rooms sumptuously decorated with elegant furniture, china and portraits. Tours of Dunrobin Castle are available between March and October. 


Enroute Sightseeing

Dornoch, Scotland

The Royal Burgh of Dornoch is an historic small town on the edge of the Dornoch Firth, a designated National Scenic Area in the Highlands of Scotland. Its tranquil location, scenery and climate have attracted visitors for decades. Some come to test their golfing skills on Royal Dornoch's championship course, or to walk and view wildlife in the National Nature Reserve at nearby Loch Fleet. Others simply want to relax and enjoy the unhurried way of life. Its fine buildings include the 13th Century cathedral, a bishop's palace (now a hotel), courthouse and old town jail. Sandstone cottages and town houses line its peaceful streets and lanes. Dornoch might feel off the beaten track, but it's only an hour from Invernes.


Enroute Sightseeing

Whaligoe Steps, Scotland

Whaligoe is a small natural haven cushioned between two seacliffs on Scotland’s Northern coast, located around 7 miles south of the historical Viking town of Wick. To descend to the harbour, you must walk down hundreds of man-made stones known as the Whaligoe Steps. The steps consist of 330 flagstones that make for a very steep downward descent, so extreme caution is always advised. The Whaligoe Steps are a challenge to find, as there is no obvious signage to direct you from the main road. The road leading to Whaligoe is directly across from the Cairn of Get signpost. The road ends at the Whaligoe Café and you'll find the steps descending to the haven directly behind the restaurant.


Overnight Location

Dingwall, Scotland

On The Map: Dingwall is located just 15 miles northwest of Inverness along the A9 & A835 Roads.

Dingwall is a town with a long and rich history dating back to and beyond the times when it was a Norse settlement.  Sitting at the head of the Cromarty Firth, Dingwall was made a Royal Burgh in 1226 and the town and surrounding area is steeped in history, offering visitors the opportunity to enjoy many rich experiences when spending time in this outstanding part of the Scottish Highlands. Dingwall has the benefit of free, ample parking within easy reach of the High Street. The majority of the High Street is pedestrianised making the area an ideal place to enjoy a wide variety of shops. Dingwall provides a great base from which to explore many interesting and varied attractions including world class golf courses, local distilleries and breathtaking mountain scenery. Dingwall in the Norse language means “meeting place”, a name which even hundreds of years later is still very much apt to the spirit of the town.

 


Stirling, Scotland

Accommodation

Craigquarter Farm - Stirling, Scotland

Guesthouse
Room Type: Double/Twin

Check in policies:

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 B&B owners in advance on 01786 812 668 .


Enroute Sightseeing

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.


Enroute Sightseeing

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.


Enroute Sightseeing

Loch Ness, Scotland

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

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


Overnight Location

Stirling, Scotland

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

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


Stirling, Scotland

Accommodation

Craigquarter Farm - Stirling, Scotland

Guesthouse
Room Type: Double/Twin

Check in policies:

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 B&B owners in advance on 01786 812 668 .


Must-See Sites

Doune Castle, Scotland

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

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


Wallace Monument, Scotland

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

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


Battle of Bannockburn, Scotland

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

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


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.


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
From $1,448
From $1,598
From $1,728

Your Price Includes

ACCOMMODATION

  • 10 nights Accommodation – From Boutique City Hotel to Luxurious Guesthouse!
  • 1 night in an Authentic Scottish Castle

TRANSPORTATION

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

DINING OPTIONS

  • 11 Breakfasts - Sumptuous Full Scottish Breakfasts Each Morning

POINTS OF INTEREST

  • Spend Two Nights in Captivating Edinburgh
  • Visit Stunning Blair Castle
  • Discover the Natural Beauty of Cairngorms National Park
  • Stay in Inverness - The Capital of the Highlands
  • Enjoy the Unspoiled Locale of the North Coast 500:
  • Glen Ord Distillery & Rogie Falls
  • Bealach na mBa & Inverewe Exotic Gardens
  • Kylescu Bridge & Balnakeil Beach
  • Smoo Cave & The Castle of Mey
  • The Whaligoe Steps & Grey Cairns of Camster
  • Travel the Length of Mysterious Loch Ness
  • Reve in the History and Scenic Splendor of Glencoe & Glenfinnan
  • Explore Several Famous Scottish Castles to Explore!
  • Discover the Unique History and Sites of Stirling

Prices Based On

  • Prices are per person based on 2 people sharing 1 room.
  • All Taxes & Fees Included
  • Risk-Free Cancellation Policy
  • Custom Priced Quote (Want to Add/Subtract Days? Let Us Know!)
  • Self-guided vacation package. Choose any date to begin your travels.
  • Traveling alone? No problem. Just ask us for a single supplement price.

Great Vacation. Fabulous Vacation Planner

Your Hometown: Palo Alto, CA

I cannot speak highly enough about the vacation planning services we received from Amanda. With only 8 days lead time before we were to get on a plane, Amanda arranged a 9 day vacation that will long be remembered. She was patient, kind and had a wonderful sense of humor that remained in place even as I constantly changed parameters on her. I would not hesitate to use Amanda or Authentic Ireland Vacations. I will certainly do so in the future.

Beautiful Ireland

byGwendolyn A GodfreyAuthentic Ireland Travel
Your Hometown: Zephyrhills

We worked with Lauren who arranged a fabulous Ireland trip for us and every detail was taken care of from start to finish. The hotels were wonderful and the Irish people are the very best. Don't hesitate to contact Lauren to plan your Irish vacation, you'll more more than satisfied.

Your Hometown: Dayton

Amazing!! Every single detail was taken care of for us! Heather did a great job! It was so nice to not have to worry about logistics and we could just enjoy Ireland. I would highly recommend if you are renting a car to get an automatic. I drive a standard in the states, but it would have been way to much to think about and would have prevented me from enjoying the county side.

Honeymoon

byElizabeth TravisAuthentic Ireland Travel
Your Hometown: Blacksburg

My husband and I went to Ireland for our honeymoon and it was AMAZING! Heather helped us and honestly, we had such a fun time. We didn't do a lot of the mentioned or planned items because we tend to just like to explore places but the set up to be able to do that if we wanted to or not was amazing!

Ireland

Your Hometown: Knoxville, TN

I am a travel agent and I had the opportunity to work with Tim LeGris which was a wonderful experience . The trip was for a 10 day chauffeured trip for an older couple who wanted to see and stay at castles and manors in Ireland. Tim put together the perfect trip. I had lunch with the couple when they returned. They said it was the best trip ever. Tim, thank you for your expertise and the amazing job you did on such a short notice trip to Ireland!

Page 1 of 211:
«
 
 
1
2
3
 
»
 

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

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

2. Online Account & Quote Created

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

3. Make Changes / Ask Questions 

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

4. Reserve & Pay Online

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

5. Print Your Travel Documents & Go!

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

At Authentic Vacations, each of our self-drive and chauffeur tours are tailor made to your specific requirements. We work with all budgets and group sizes to deliver a personalized experience that remains true to the authentic brand. When you book with Authentic Vacations, you can always expect a package rich with cultural experiences, secret spots and insider knowledge, unique and boutique accommodations and more.

We have been known to customize some pretty exceptional experiences: from jousting exhibitions to fly fishing to romantic serenades, there is nothing outside of the scope of what we will plan for our clients.

Let us customize the perfect Authentic Vacation for you.

Start by giving us some details related to your travel plans. Don‛t hold anything back. The more we know about your ideal vacation, the better we can deliver an experience that far exceeds your expectations

GET STARTED

Send Me Your Latest Travel Specials!

Tell us about your favorite destinations!