Start Date: 27th August 2024
Duration: 8 nights
This 9 day journey departs for the west coast, taking in the rugged Isle of Skye over two days before boarding the ferry for the Outer Hebrides - islands on the edge. See and explore beautiful islands, coastal landscapes, the majestic Highlands and magical castles. This tour includes carefully selected, quality accommodation.
Today we start with one of Scotland’s main highlights as we head for Stirling Castle, the favoured residence of Scotland’s Kings and Queens for a full tour to take in the castles' long and turbulent history. We journey through the fabulous landscape of Scotland’s first National Park, stopping at Loch Lomond, and then north for a tour across Rannoch Moor before arriving at the dramatic scenery of Glencoe that is steeped in bloody history. Overnight nr Glencoe.
This morning we tour west on the ‘Road to the Isles’, providing wonderful views to the Small Isles of Eigg and Rhum. Our journey follows the West Highland Railway, built to help open up this remote part of the Scottish coast. Arriving in the fishing port of Mallaig we take the ferry “Over the Sea to Skye” and enjoy lunch on South Skye. We end the day with a visit to the 13th century fortress of Eilean Donan Castle with fine views to the Isle of Skye. Overnight Kyle area.
Today we begin our tour of the Isle of Skye. We take the little-known scenic route to the island using a small, historic ferry that will most definitely be a highlight of the day. We pass the Cuillin mountains and on to the main settlement on the Island, Portree, with its colourful harbour front and interesting shops. After lunch we head north through the rugged Trotternish Peninsula and take in the views at the Old Man of Storr, Kilt Rock Falls and visit the Museum of Island Life. Overnight Skye.
After breakfast we head out off the beaten track to explore more of the island. We tour west for a light walk out to Coral Beach and visit Dunvegan Castle & Gardens with ample time to take the boat trip here (45min) to view the resident seal colony. After lunch, we tour to scenic Neist Point for the afternoon light over the Atlantic. End the day with a fun and informative tour and tasting at the original whisky distillery on the Isle of Skye – Talisker. Overnight Skye.
This morning we travel by ferry from Skye to the Outer Hebrides and we will spend the day exploring the dramatic beauty of the Isle of Harris. Arriving on the shores of Harris by late morning, we tour out to walk the beautiful beach at Luskentyre before enjoying lunch on the scenic west coast of the island. The journey continues down to Rodel where we visit the burial place of the Chiefs of MacLeod at St. Clements Church and return via the winding Golden Road. Overnight Harris.
Today we explore the rich history of Lewis which has been inhabited by man for around 5000 years or more. We tour past the Harris Hills into Lewis for our first stop of the day, an interesting weaving demonstration to see how the famous Harris Tweed is made. Next, we visit the ancient Calanais Standing Stones and the ancient Carloway Broch before we end the day with a visit to a blackhouse village; step back in time to discover how life was in a traditional crofting township. Overnight Lewis.
This morning allows some time to explore the town of Stornoway before we leave the Outer Hebrides and head back to the mainland. Enjoy a morning of small independent shops and a walk up to Lews Castle to visit the museum. Our ferry crossing takes us across the Minch and past the Summer Isles to Ullapool harbour. We tour south through this very old landscape towards Inverness, Capital of the Highlands. Overnight nr Inverness.
After breakfast, we head out for a scenic trip through the Cairngorms National Park. On the way, we visit Carrbridge village and Grantown-on-Spey, before touring into the heart of the Malt Whisky region. We spend the afternoon in majestic Royal Deeside, home to Royal family when they are in the Highlands. We stop in the picturesque Victorian village of Ballater on the River Dee. Enjoy lunch and shopping here surrounded by glorious countryside Overnight Pitlochry.
This morning we tour south towards Edinburgh. We stop at the Highland village of Dunkeld to look around the shops and Cathedral before touring south to the cobbled streets of South Queensferry to view the Forth Rail Bridge. Our journey continues to Roslin where we end the tour with a leisurely visit to 15th century Rosslyn Chapel, made famous by Dan Brown's book The Da Vinci Code. End of tour.