Start Date: 27th August 2018
Duration: 6 nights
An exciting 7 Day special exploring some of the most dramatic island scenery Scotland has to offer. Get a taste for the distinct characters of Mull and Skye as you island hop up the Scottish west coast before heading east to experience the most famous and best highland games in the world - The Braemar Gathering. Queen Victoria first attended Braemar in 1848 and since then it has been regularly visited by the reigning monarch and other members of the royal family. Exclusively, the Canadian Massed Bands will be attending for 2018. Visit and experience the fabulous scenery of the rugged Isle of Mull and the enchanting Isle of Skye, explore charming traditional communities such as Luss on Loch Lomond, Portree, Pitlochry and Fort Augustus on Loch Ness.
Day 1 is a fabulous introduction to the Scottish landscape, exploring the “bonnie banks” of Loch Lomond and the picturesque village of Luss. We travel through the rugged scenery of Argyll past the dark waters of Loch Awe to the bustling coastal town of Oban; “Gateway to the Isles”. Our afternoon ferry journey takes us across the Firth of Lorne to the rugged Isle of Mull. Overnight Mull.
Day 2 we wake to the rugged beauty of the Isle of Mull with its stunning mountain scenery and seascapes coupled with fascinating clan history. We visit the Isle of Mull Weavers for a tour of the weaving mill to learn how the weaving process works using the rich black wool of the Hebridean sheep. We also visit the town of Tobermory with its frontage of painted houses and interesting shops. Overnight Mull.
Day 3 begins with a short ferry to the mainland to explore the Ardnamurchan Peninsula where the relics of ancient volcanic activity are conspicuous features. We explore by way of single-track roads and this is an area ideal for wildlife watching opportunities as we travel up the coast via the “Road to the Isles”. We enjoy an afternoon ferry “Over the Sea to Skye”. Overnight Skye area.
Day 4 is a tour of the Island of Skye, passing through Broadford and on to the Island capital, Portree, with its colourful harbour frontage. Heading north we take in the fabulous scenery and seascapes from Kilt Rock Falls and if desired, time for a walk amongst the Cuillin Mountains and the beautifully crystal clear blue pools on the River Brittle known as the “Fairy Pools”. Overnight Skye area.
Day 5 we venture east through Glenshiel to Fort Augustus on Loch Ness before heading south into the Cairngorms National Park with towering mountain ranges and large tracts of the original Caledonian Pine Forest. After lunch we visit Leault Farm, Kincraig, for an interesting and fun Highland Sheepdog demonstration. We end the day in the charming Victorian town of Pitlochry. Overnight Pitlochry.
Day 6 we tour the iconic glens and straths of the Cairngorms on our way to the biggest event in the Highland Games calendar. There have been Gatherings of one sort or another at Braemar since the days of King Malcolm Canmore, nine hundred years ago. This year, the varying colours of numerous tartans will again be in abundance along with The Canadian Massed Bands exclusively for 2018. Overnight Pitlochry.
Day 7 allows for a relaxing pace as we take in Highland Perthshire and visit one of the most complete 18th-century country towns in Scotland with its medieval Cathedral on the banks of the river Tay. We leave the highland village of Dunkeld and tour south to Stirling Castle for a full tour to take in the castle's long and turbulent history. Later we view the famous Forth Bridge on our way to Edinburgh.