Start Date: 20th September 2024
Duration: 7 nights
The West Coast of Scotland is a treasure trove of delights for visitors, with its sweeping landscapes, big skies, dramatic seascapes, romantic castles, spectacular wildlife, superb food and drink, and friendly locals. This 8 day tour of Scotland combines the essential scenic routes along the west coast to the dramatic scenery of the Isle of Skye, returning through the UK's largest National Park.
This morning we tour west to visit Bannockburn Battlefield where Robert the Bruce defeated a larger English army. We head for the National Wallace Monument to climb to the top for superb views over Stirling and the site of the 1297 battle and visit nearby Old Stirling Bridge. In the afternoon, enjoy a leisurely 2-hour visit to Stirling Castle for a full tour to take in the castle's long and turbulent history. Overnight Stirling.
After breakfast, we head west for a fabulous introduction to the west coast landscape, exploring Scotland’s first National Park & beautiful Loch Lomond. Relax and enjoy an afternoon at the wonderful lochside town of Inveraray with a visit to the Castle and Gardens. We tour west to the bustling seaside town of Oban "Gateway to the Isles" for some free time to explore the town. Overnight Oban.
Explore the ruins of Dunollie Castle and visit the small museum here that gives views over towards the island of Kerrera and a view of the town, harbour, and outlying isles. Later, enjoy a tour and tasting at Oban Distillery, one of Scotland’s oldest licensed distilleries, to get an insight into the whisky making process while enjoying a dram of single malt in the Mill room. When ready, we tour north to Fort William. Overnight Fort William.
After breakfast, step aboard the Jacobite Steam Train made famous by the Harry Potter films. Travelling west to Mallaig on the “Hogwarts Express” you’ll will pass over the Glenfinnan Viaduct situated at the head of Loch Shiel. After lunch in the charming fishing village of Mallaig, we board the ferry to take us “Over the Sea to Skye” where we visit the ruins of Dunscaith Castle. Overnight nr Skye.
Today is a full tour of the Isle of Skye, passing through Broadford to view the Cuillin Mountains on our way to visit the oldest continuously inhabited castle in Scotland. Dunvegan Castle & Gardens has been the ancestral home of the Chiefs of clan MacLeod for 800 years. We visit Portree with colourful houses and traditional harbour before we head north to admire the scenery and views at the Old Man of Storr and Kilt Rock Falls. Overnight nr Skye
This morning we make a visit to iconic Eilean Donan – Scotland’s most photographed castle. Later, we travel to the village of Fort Augustus on the shores of Loch Ness. Enjoy some time at this quaint village to have lunch and look around the canal here before we head north for the whisky distillery. You’ll enjoy a complete tour of the distillery, a guided tasting, and learn how to make a delicious Singleton based cocktail. Overnight nr Inverness
Today we tour out to explore Culloden Battlefield to learn of the last battle to be fought on British soil which will provide a lasting image of heroic Bonnie Prince Charlie and his Jacobite Army. Later, we travel south through the Cairngorms National Park with large tracts of Caledonian Pine Forest where we visit Carrbridge and the Highland Folk Museum. We arrive at the Victorian town of Pitlochry for the evening. Overnight Pitlochry
This morning you’ll have time to walk the town of Pitlochry with independent shops, cafes and riverside paths. When ready, we admire the fine Perthshire scenery at the “Queen’s View” and head south for Loch Tay. After lunch at Kenmore village, we follow Loch Tay into the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park for a drive around “The Duke’s Pass” – a picturesque loop through beautiful highland scenery. When we are ready, we head east back to Edinburgh.