Day 1: Glasgow Arrival & Loch Katrine Cruise | D
Your Scottish trip starts at 3:00pm at your hotel in Drymen, 20 miles north of Glasgow Airport. Meet your tour director and drive a short distance to embark on a cruise aboard the historic steamboat “Sir Walter Scott” to view the natural beauty of Loch Katrine and get some fresh air after your journey. Return to your hotel where you’ll have free time to rest and relax. Chat with your tour director and fellow travelers about your trip with a welcome drink before sitting down to dinner in your hotel.
Day 2: Stirling Castle & Trossachs | B,D
Drive east to visit Stirling Castle, a mighty stronghold that dominates the surrounding plain. A guided tour will reveal the many chambers and halls. Learn about notable people such as “Braveheart” William Wallace and Mary, Queen of Scots. Stop for photos at Doune Castle, which has featured in various movies and TV shows including “Game of Thrones” and “Outlander”. Stop for a browse around the town of Callander and drive through the Trossachs region, often called “Scotland in Miniature” as all aspects of delightful Scottish scenery are found here. Return to your hotel in good time for dinner.
Day 3: Glen Coe & Eilean Donan Castle | B,D
Today head up into the majestic Highlands. Journey across mysterious Ranoch Moor and through Glen Coe, often considered one of Scotland’s most spectacular and beautiful places. Stop at a woolen mill and drive alongside some of the narrow lakes in the Great Glen. Continue your journey north to visit the romantic Eilean Donan Castle. The first fortified castle was built in the 13th century, rebuilt several times and partially ruined in 1719. Check in to your charming family-owned hotel near Kyle of Lochalsh.
Day 4: Isle of Skye & Dunyegan Castle | B,D
Today explore the Isle of Skye and its Bonnie Prince Charlie associations. Travel to Dunvegan Castle, stronghold of the Chiefs of MacLeod for nearly 800 years, making it the oldest continuously inhabited castle in Scotland. Stop in Portree for a look around and view Kilt Rock, a sea cliff with huge, vertical basalt columns. Return to your hotel for free time before dinner.
Day 5: Clan Donald Centre & Steam Train Ride | B,D
Visit the Clan Donald Centre at Armadale Castle to discover the history of the Lords of the Isles and the most powerful clan of the Isle of Skye. Take a ferry to Mallaig on the mainland and transfer to a train for a fun ride through some of Scotland’s picturesque scenery. The rails run alongside the “Road to the Isles” so you may view Loch Shiel and the Glenfinnan Monument, another reminder of Bonnie Prince Charlie. The train crosses the 21 arched Glenfinnan viaduct, which was featured in some of the Harry Potter movies. Re-board your coach at Fort William and drive to Inverness.
Day 6: Loch Ness & Urquhart Castle | B,D
Embark on a cruise into Loch Ness to view the scenery from the water and perhaps spot “Nessie”. End at the picturesque ruins of Urquhart Castle, once Scotland’s largest castle which was destroyed in Jacobite wares. Stop at the Culloden Battlefield Visitor Centre to learn about the battle when British Government forces defeated the army of Bonnie Prince Charlie on 16th April 1746. The Visitor Centre explains how events led to the conflict and was the end of the clan system in Scotland. Stop for photos at Clava Carins, a prehistoric burial place with a circle of standing stones that inspired the “outlander” books. Return to Inverness for dinner, followed by a gentle walking tour.
Day 7: Whisky Tasting & Brodie Castle | B,D
Drive through part of the speyside region, where many distilleries are based closed to sources of pure water from the River Spey. Visit a distillery to learn about the simple ingredients and many steps in whisky making. Tour the facilities and sample a “wee dram”. Explore 16th century Brodie Castle, set in spacious grounds with its fairytale towers and turrets. The house contains fine furnishings, a collection of paintings and a library with over 6,000 volumes. Return to Inverness and relax before dinner in your hotel.
Day 8: Sheepdogs & St Andrews | B, D
Drive south through majestic Highland scenery to Leaut Farm where dogs obey commands to round up sheep. Head through the high peaks of the Grampian Mountain and stop for a look around the town of Pitlochry before continuing to St Andrews, the “home of Golf” on the east coast. See the famous Royal and Ancient Clubhouse and the Old Course and enjoy free time to browse in golf specialty stores or through the medieval town with its ruined cathedral and castle. Drive south to your manor house close to Edinburgh. Enjoy a Scottish evening in your hotel where dinner is enhanced by lively music of a ceilidh band.
Day 9: Edinburgh Tour & Palace of Hollyroodhouse | B
This morning, take a sightseeing tour of Edinburgh and discover the old and new towns with Princes Street in between. See how the medieval townhouses along the Royal Mile in the heart of the Old Town are in stark contrast to the Georgian mansions of the 200-year old New Town. Learn about many prominent Scottish inventors, doctors and writers for whom Edinburgh is famous. Tour the impressive Palace of Holyroodhouse, the official Scottish residence of The Queen, and walk through the majestically furnished chambers. The balance of the day is free. On July 27 to August 17 departures enjoy the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo at the Castle esplanade.
Day 10: Tour Ends in Edinburgh | B
Your tour ends after breakfast.