4-Night Edinburgh Experience
Price: From $758 Per Person.
Your Scotland travel itinerary revolves around the historic,medieval streets of Edinburgh. Your Edinburgh lodging is a 4-star boutique hotel - the epitome of city chic. It’s a great base to explore this dynamic area. Breathe and take in the wonders around you - Edinburgh Castle was sitting there during the Bronze Age! Medieval cobbled streets, fine gardens, Georgian architecture, and broad squares all let you know that Edinburgh is the perfect city in which to get lost in time. Your tour includes 2 fascinating daytrips from Edinburgh, a ghoulish walking tour, and unique Scotch Whisky tasting experience.
Check out some of our other Self-Drive Scotland Tours.
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- 4 nights Accommodation – At 4-Star Central Edinburgh Hotel
- 4 Breakfasts - Sumptuous Full Scottish Breakfasts Each Morning
- Scottish Heroes Daytour from Edinburgh
- Holy Grail & Knights Templar Daytour from Edinburgh
- Scotch Whisky Tasting Experience
- Ghost & Ghouls Walking Tour of Edinburgh
POINTS OF INTEREST
- Explore the Royal Mile & Edinburgh Castle
- Visit the Royal Yacht Brittania and Glimerton Cove
- Check-out Stirling Castle, Stunning Loch Lomond & much more!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Scotch Whisky Experience
Beside Edinburgh Castle and at the top of the historic Royal Mile, Edinburgh’s five-star Scotch Whisky Experience is one of Scotland’s most prestigious visitor attractions. The Centre has been purpose-built around the Whisky Tour, devoted to telling the story of Scotland’s most famous product - Scotch Whisky. Led by the resident ‘Distillery Ghost, the Centre features a unique, state-of-the-art ride, driving visitors through the replica distillery!
This family-friendly tour includes:
• Whisky barrel ride through the production of Scotch Whisky
• Introduction to the aromas in Whisky
• A dram of Scotch Malt Whisky (Irn Bru for under 18s)
• World's largest collection of Scotch Whisky (almost 3,500 bottles!)
• Whisky tasting glass to take away
• Discount voucher for the Distillery Shop
Ghostly Underground Walking Tour
This is a light-hearted & entertaining walking tour, focussing on Edinburgh's ghoulish past....and ghostly present! The best way to enjoy the city's grim, grisly and ghostly past, is to hear it directly from Edinburgh's ghoulish ancestors… The infamous ‘Edinburgh Mob’ loved the ‘entertainment’ of blood, guts and gore. And there was plenty provided, especially at the Mercat Cross. Your hosts will trouble you with true tales of gruesome punishment & unsettled spirits. They relish imparting tales of life & death, in Old Edinburgh...some a little too close for comfort. You’ll visit the shadowy closes where the ghosts still cling to the ancient sites. You'll also descend into the famously haunted Blair Street Vaults, where the ghosts of Edinburgh's past still haunt her present.
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.
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.**
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.
Loch Lomond & Stirling Castle Day Tour
A day spent in the land of Scottish heroes Rob Roy, Robert the Bruce and William Wallace, this award-winning small group tour departs Edinburgh at 9.15am and heads for Stirling Castle (pictured). The magnificent castle, perched dramatically on volcanic rock was for centuries known as the 'Key to Scotland', and as you view the surrounding countryside from the battlements, you'll understand why. This was the scene of William 'Braveheart' Wallace’s greatest triumph, the battle of Stirling Bridge, where he defeated the English army in 1297. Thereafter the tour continues into the beautiful forested hills of the Trossachs - Scotland's first National Park, and stop for lunch in Aberfoyle. Replete with shimmering lochs, rugged mountain tops and forest-filled glens, it’s easy to forget that the Trossachs was once a dangerous frontier, fiercely contested by the territorial Highland clans. The tour next takes you along the eastern shoresheads, along the remote and spectacular road to Inversnaid, on the 'bonny, bonny banks' of spectacular Loch Lomond. Here you can enjoy the view of the loch from the Inversnaid Hotel. Alternately, you can walk along part of the West Highland Way, in the famous outlaw footsteps of Rob Roy McGregor, to enjoy spectacular views of Loch Lomond. From here, the tour returns to Edinburgh, arriving at approx. 6.15pm, after a fantastic & varied Scottish experience.
*Full-day touring on a Mercedes 16 seater mini-bus - perfectly sized to go where larger tour buses cannot.
*A professional and experienced Driver/Guide. The uniquely small group size ensures a friendly & personal service.
*Lunch & Refreshments
*Entrance to Stirling Castle (although admission is reduced with use of discount card)
Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park, Scotland
On The Map: Loch Lomond is located in Central Scotland, approx. 20 miles northwest of Glasgow. The main A82 road runs along the west shore of the lake en route to Fort William and beyond to Inverness.
Encompassing approx 720 square miles, Loch Lomond and the Trossachs became Scotland’s first National Park in 2002. Originally made famous by the novels of Sir Walter Scott in the early 1800s, The Trossachs has been enjoyed as the ‘Highlands in Miniature’ by tourists ever since. For two centuries, people have come here to walk, climb, cycle and sail, to breathe fresh clean air and drink in the spectacular views. The landscapes covered by the Park range from the uplands of Breadalbane to the sea lochs of Argyll, and included within its area is the whole of Scotland's largest loch, Loch Lomond. The northern end of the loch is deep and narrow, with mountains on either side, including the iconic Ben Lomond. The southern half of the loch is much more pastoral and is home to many islands. The surrounding mountainous areas include 21 ‘Munros’ (individual mountains over 3000ft); 20 ‘Corbetts’ (individual mountains over 2,500ft); and two forest parks. To appreciate the very best of the Trossachs, we recommend the route of the Duke’s Pass from Aberfoyle to Loch Katrine.
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.
Rosslyn Chapel & Scottish Borders Day Tour
This award-winning small group tour first takes you south of Edinburgh to the world famous Scott’s View, which offers a stunning panorama over the Tweed Valley and the Eildon Hills. The group will also get the opportunity to visit the original Wallace Monument. From here you travel to Melrose, to explore its great Border Abbey, founded by the Cistercians in the 12th Century. Melrose Abbey is also the burial place of Robert the Bruce’s heart, which was brought back from the crusades in Moorish Spain. Following a lunch stop in Melrose, the tour makes its way to the stunning 15th century Rosslyn Chapel, recently immortalised in Dan Brown’s “Da Vinci Code” book and movie. Here you will learn all about the fascinating myths and legends surrounding the whereabouts of the 'Holy Grail', as well as the alleged involvement of the mysterious Knights Templar. Thereafter, the tour returns to Edinburgh, arriving at approx. 4.15pm, after a truly enlightening day out.
*Full-day touring on a Mercedes 16 seater mini-bus - perfectly sized to go where larger tour buses cannot.
*A professional and experienced Driver/Guide. The uniquely small group size ensures a friendly & personal service.
*Lunch & Refreshments
*Entrance to Rosslyn Chapel (although admission is reduced with use of discount card)
Melrose Abbey, Scotland
On The Map: Melrose Abbey is located in Melrose Town, in the southeast of Scotland. Melrose is just one hour south of Edinburgh off the main A68 road, which then continues further south towards the town of Newcastle in England.
There has been a monastery at Melrose since about 650AD. The current Gothic-style abbey was founded in 1136 by Cistercian monks, on the request of King David I of Scotland. It was headed by the Abbot or Commendator of Melrose. Today the abbey is maintained by Historic Scotland and is open to the public year-round. Constructed in the shape of a St. John's Cross, Melrose is widely considered among the most beautiful of religious houses in Britain. Much of the abbey is now in ruins, although a structure dating from 1590 houses the Abbey Museum and boasts a rich collection of medieval objects found in the abbey cloister. Other highlights include the Abbey's many carved decorative details, including likenesses of saints, dragons, gargoyles and plants. One such depicts the famous bag-pipe playing Melrose Pig! The embalmed heart of Robert the Bruce is said to rest in the Chapter House of the Abbey, while the rest of his body is buried in Dunfermline Abbey.
Rosslyn Chapel, Edinburgh
On The Map: Rosslyn Chapel is located just 7 miles south of Edinburgh, in the village of Roslin. Lothian Bus 15A and First Bus 62 operate hourly services from Edinburgh City Centre to Roslin.
Rosslyn Chapel was founded in 1446 by Sir William St Clair, the last St Clair Prince of Orkney. Sir William St Clair’s plan was to build a grand cross-shaped cathedral, but work stopped shortly after he died. Although Sir William’s ambitions for a larger cathedral were never realised, the Chapel that was built is quite extraordinary. Every master mason of the time took an artistic turn while building the chapel, such is the variety of styles and subjects. The chapel features intricate carvings and 32 different forms of arch - practically every surface of Rosslyn Chapel is covered with carvings of individual figures and scenes! Most interesting of all are the carvings of New World plants that predate Columbus’s voyage by almost 100 years...no one is quite sure just how that is possible! People travel from all over the world to see the carvings, and there are many different interpretations of their meanings. Myths, legends and Hollywood fiction have all contributed to Rosslyn's unique sense of mystery and wonder. The chapel has most recently gained notoriety from the movie, 'The Da Vinci Code'. The movie links Rosslyn to the Knights Templar, and claims it to be the resting place of the Holy Grail. There is actually quite a bit of historic evidence to support this theory!
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!
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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.
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.
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!
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!
Just wanted to share with all who are interested in booking with Authentic Vacations what a truly wonderful experience we had with our Destination Expert, Michael Erickson... He gave us a wonderful itinerary , with great ideas ,and was quick to email us back when we had questions and last minute revisions ..He was knowledgeable,kind,and made arranging our holiday to Ireland & Scotland a pleasure.. So thank you Michael Erickson & thank you Authentic Vacations.....
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