Start Date: 28th August 2022
Duration: 6 nights
This tour is currently at capacity, however we may be able to accommodate you. Please enquire to learn more.
After pick-up we travel west for an exploration of the lochs and glens of Scotland’s first
National Park. On the way we pass through Stirlingshire villages and the charming conservation village of Luss. Walk on the shores of Loch Lomond, the largest inland
stretch of water in Great Britain by surface area, before we tour to Loch Fyne Oysters for lunch and refreshments.
After lunch, enjoy an afternoon visit to Inveraray Castle & Gardens – a fine example of a fairytale castle in a stunning landscape. Inveraray Castle is the ancestral seat of the
Dukes of Argyll, Chiefs of the Clan Campbell, who have resided in Inveraray since the early 15th century. The famous Armoury Hall contains some 1300 pieces including
Brown Bess muskets, Lochaber axes and 18th century Scottish broadswords. Also on display are preserved swords from the Battle of Culloden. The gardens are
spectacular and a welcome distraction.
We end the day with a scenic journey through enchanting Glencoe with imposing mountains matched with a bloody history. The mountains here were formed through violent volcanic eruptions, and then sculpted by massive glaciers. Fingal, the legendary Celtic hero, is said to have made his home among these towering mountains, while his poet son, Ossian, found inspiration in the landscape. Overnight
Glencoe House, Glencoe.
After breakfast, step aboard the Jacobite steam train dubbed “The greatest railway journey in the world”. Your First-Class seats will give you a tremendous view as you steam past the highest mountain in Britain, Ben Nevis, Britain’s most westerly mainland railway station, the deepest freshwater loch in Britain, and the shortest river in Britain, finally arriving next to the deepest seawater loch in Europe, Loch Nevis.
Arriving in Mallaig, enjoy a magical private 4-hour wilderness cruise (lunch onboard) that stays close to shore, exploring the surroundings and seascapes of the Knoydart Peninsula, “Britain’s Last Wilderness.” Aside from the crags and peaks, keep an eye out for the area’s sea life, which includes seabirds, otters, grey seals basking on rocks, dolphins, even minke whales on occasion. You may also be lucky enough to see Sea Eagles nesting nearby. Overnight Toravaig House Hotel, Skye.
Today is an exploration of the beautiful Isle of Skye and begins with a journey northward past the spectacular Cuillin mountain range. Spend some time enjoying the atmosphere of Dunvegan Castle & Gardens, home to Clan Macleod for the last 800 years. Learn of the
history of this famous clan and explore the formal gardens that are a stark contrast to the barren moorland and mountains that dominate Skye’s landscape.
We head for the island’s main town, Portree – a traditional fishing town set round its natural harbour and fringed by high ground and cliffs. In the 1700s, the town was a
popular point of departure for Scots sailing to America to escape poverty, an event that was to be repeated during the potato famine in the 1840s. Visit the interesting shops on offer here, view the colourful harbour, and enjoy lunch in the town before we head for the spectacular scenery to the north. (Option to have Lunch at the 3 Chimneys
restaurant or the Uig Hotel) This wild area is dominated by the ancient rock formations
such as the Old Man of Storr, Kilt Rock and the Quiraing.
Enjoy a private Sheepdog demonstration in the area by a local crofter who will explain the history of the croft, the importance of the working collies over the centuries, the
evolution of the working dog to what we have today, and how he uses the collies with a small flock of sheep. You will also have a chance to meet the dogs as well.
Overnight Toravaig Hose Hotel, Skye.
As we leave the Isle of Skye and head back to the mainland, we visit Eilean Donan Castle for a visit before embarking on a scenic tour through beautiful Glenshiel via the Five Sisters of Kintail. This high ridge range stands at around 3500 ft. with Loch Duich at their base. Eilean Donan is perhaps Scotland’s most photographed castle and is recognised as one of the most iconic images of Scotland all over the world. Enjoy around 1hr exploring.
The scenery gently changes as we travel east towards the Central Highlands of Scotland with heather-clad mountain ranges and large tracts of Caledonian Pine Forest where we
will enjoy lunch at Fort Augustus on Loch Ness. From here we venture north along the shores of Loch Ness enjoying the views and villages along the way. At its deepest point
Loch Ness is 755 feet and it contains more fresh water than all the lakes in England and Wales combined. Along the shores, we arrive at Urquhart Castle for a visit. (Option to have Afternoon Tea lunch at the Lovett hotel)
Discover 1,000 years of drama, experience a glimpse of medieval life, and enjoy stunning views over Loch Ness from the ruins of the greatest castle in the Highlands. This is where St Columba is said to have worked miracles in the 6th century, where acts of chivalry and defiance provided inspiration during the Wars of Independence and where the MacDonald Lords of the Isles struggled with the Crown for power. After a 1.5-hour tour, we end the day in Inverness “Capital of the Highlands”. Overnight Ness
After breakfast we tour east on the Malt Whisky Trail, the only one of its kind in the world. Visit Speyside’s smallest distillery, Benromach, where just two experienced distillers passionately handcraft the whisky using the finest Scottish barley and the purest spring water. On your visit, you’ll see the mash tun, the burnished copper stills, and witness the experienced distillers create the unique qualities of this special Speyside Single Malt.
❖ 10.30am ‘Contrast Tour’ lasts 1.5 hours.
We make our way east to Elgin Cathedral, also known as the ‘Lantern of the North’. This majestic, historic ruin is one of Scotland’s most beautiful medieval buildings, dating back to the 13th century. Discover its rich history and climb the tower to the open viewing platform and be rewarded with magnificent views of the town of Elgin. The ceiling of the chapter house is considered to be one of the country’s finest octagonal structures and those with a keen eye may still see traces of gold paint.
After lunch at The Dowans Hotel @ 1.30pm in Aberlour, we make our way to Cawdor Castle for the remainder of the afternoon. Cawdor Castle dates from the late 14th century, having been built as a private fortress by the Thanes of Cawdor, with the ancient medieval tower built around the legendary holly tree. This ancient castle set in beautiful grounds and formal gardens, is home to the Cawdor family to this day, has evolved over 600 years and has been lovingly filled with beautiful furniture, fine
portraits, and amazing tapestries. Overnight Ness Walk, Inverness
After breakfast we visit to Culloden Moor to learn about the Battle of Culloden, taking place on 16th April 1746. The battle pitted the Jacobite forces of Charles Edward Stuart or “Bonnie Prince Charlie” against an army commanded by the Duke of Cumberland, loyal to the British government. After a series of conflicts, the final battle took place at Culloden.
We now head south, travelling deep into the heart of Scotland and the Cairngorms National Park. The scenery quickly changes as we meander through the Central Highlands of Scotland, surrounded by the Monadhliath and Grampian Mountain ranges, the forests of the Cairngorms contain remnants of the original Caledonian pine forest and includes a rare kind of pinewood found only in Scotland and Norway. Heather moorland covers much of the National Park and it provides us with the opportunity to see a wide variety of wildlife from Golden Eagle or Osprey to Red Deer Stag and Pine Martin. (Looking into options for lunch)
On our way we will pass through Carrbridge, home to the oldest pack horse bridge in the highlands, and if desired, the House of Bruar for some 5-star highland retail therapy.
We end the day at the Victorian town of Pitlochry in the heart of the Highlands where you can spend the evening enjoying this charming highland settlement. The town
developed into a tourist resort after Queen Victoria and Prince Albert visited the area in 1842, later purchasing their own highland estate at Balmoral in 1852. Overnight
Knockendarroch Hotel, Pitlochry.
This morning we wake to the splendour of Highland Perthshire. Heading south we visit the pretty village of Dunkeld, "Fort of the Caledonians", on the banks of the River Tay. Dunkeld’s medieval Cathedral dominates this picturesque village and the brightly coloured 'little houses' built in the early 1700s are fascinating. Walk the river and visit the interesting shops before we tour south for Stirling Castle.
We visit one of the largest and most important castles, both historically and architecturally in Scotland, Stirling Castle, with its commanding position atop an intrusive crag. Knights, Nobles and Foreign Ambassadors once flocked to the Royal Court at Stirling Castle to revel in the castle's grandeur. Explore the Great Hall that was built in 1503 for James IV, the elegant chapel that was the last royal building to be erected at Stirling, and step into the richness of royal life in the 1500s at the Royal Palace.
When we are ready, we will head back to Edinburgh via South Queensferry to view the Forth Rail Bridge where we must sadly say farewell.
❖ Drop-off point confirmed as Edinburgh Airport.
❖ Approximate tour end time 15.00hrs with the above
stops or 16.00hrs if you include lunch at the Cromlix,
alternatively depart Pitlochry around 10.00hrs to visit
Dunkeld village and arrive at Edinburgh Airport at