Start Date: 9th October 2021
Duration: 5 nights
This tour is currently at capacity, however we may be able to accommodate you. Please enquire to learn more.
9th Oct we travel west for an exploration of the lochs and glens of Scotland’s first National Park. On the way we visit one of the prettiest villages on the shoes of Loch Lomond. Enjoy a walk around the conservation village of Luss with quaint cottages that date from the 18th and 19th centuries, having been built to house workers from nearby slate quarries.
We journey along the shores of Loch Lomond, the largest inland stretch of water in Great Britain by surface area, on our way out west. We make our way to the 18th century town of Inveraray for lunch and a 2-hour hike in the area. We spend the afternoon indulging in the sights of enchanting Glencoe with imposing mountains matched with a bloody history. If time permits, enjoy a short walk in this spectacular area. Overnight Glencoe House, dinner booked Glencoe House.
10th Oct takes us 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, Arisaig, the deepest freshwater loch in Britain, Loch Morar and the shortest river in Britain, River Morar, finally arriving next to the deepest seawater loch in Europe, Loch Nevis.
After a lovely lunch in Mallaig we take the ferry “Over the Sea to Skye” and relax amidst the surroundings of Armadale Castle and Gardens and discover the history of the Highlands and Islands through the story of Clan Donald, its most powerful clan, at the award-winning museum. Overnight Duisdale House, dinner booked at .
11th Oct is an exploration of the beautiful Isle of Skye and begins with a journey northward past the spectacular mountain range of the Cuillins to the island’s main town, Portree.
After a look around the town and traditional fishing harbour we head off to the spectacular scenery of the Trotternish Ridge to the north. This wild area is dominated by the weird and wonderful ancient rock formations such as the Old Man of Storr, Kilt Rock and the truly extraordinary pinnacles of the Quiraing. Take a spectacular hike (roughly 2 hour walk) in this awe-inspiring and fascinating landscape.
Lunch will be arranged on the island, and we spend the afternoon enjoying a tour and tasting at Talisker Distillery. The only distillery on the Isle of Skye, Talisker is set on the shores of Loch Harport with dramatic views of the Cuillins. This alluring, sweet, full-bodied single malt is so easy to enjoy, and like Skye itself, so hard to leave. Overnight at Duisdale House, dinner booked at.
12th Oct we leave the Isle of Skye and head back to the mainland, pausing at 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 and the views from the 18th century Old Military Road are truly inspiring.
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. We stop on the shores of Loch Ness for lunch and a look around. At its deepest point Loch Ness is 755 feet and it contains more fresh water than all the lakes in England and Wales combined. Heather moorland covers much of the National Park and it provides us with the opportunity to see a wide variety of wildlife including Golden Eagles and Red Deer. If time permits, we can enjoy a short hike at Creag Meagaidh National Nature Reserve (hike roughly 2 hours) with its unique combination of woodland and open moorland.
We end the day in the Victorian town of Pitlochry. Overnight Fonab Castle, dinner booked at the Brasserie.
13th Oct we wake to the splendour of Highland Perthshire and enjoy some time relaxing in the Victorian tourist town of Pitlochry. If desired, take a 1hr walk through the countryside to Edradour Distillery where you will be met by your driver/guide who will arrange an enjoyable tour and tasting at the distillery.
Moving on, we head for Kenmore village for lunch. This is an attractive little village and well worth a look around. The village you see today was built as a planned estate village by the Earl of Breadalbane in the years following 1755, standing on the site of an earlier village from medieval times.
Heading further 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. If time permits, enjoy a woodland walk amongst the Giant Douglas firs at ‘The Hermitage’ (roughly 1.15hrs) and take the path to the roaring Black Linn waterfall.
Overnight Fonab Castle, dinner booked at The Loft Restaurant / alternative Brasserie.
14th Oct we leave Perthshire and make our way south to the city of Perth for a 1.5hr walk through this fascinating river-side city. On-route we will see the old city mill; St John's Kirk, Perth's oldest building; the river Tay; and Perth Bridge. You may wish to enjoy some lunch or refreshments before we make our way to Stirling for a distillery visit at Deanston before making our way to Stirling in the heart of the city.
The castles' long and turbulent history is associated with great figures from Scotland's past, such as William Wallace, Robert the Bruce and Mary Queen of Scots. Here you can marvel at the Renaissance palace of James V. These Royal Apartments have been impressively returned to their 16th century glory. From the castle walls can be seen the site of the Battle of Stirling Bridge which took place in the year 1297 where Scotland's greatest national hero, Sir William Wallace, defeated the English. Wallace was later betrayed and captured by the English who had him hung, drawn and quartered in the streets of London in 1305. He has since become a symbol for Scotland and his quest for freedom lives on.
When we are ready, we will head to Edinburgh, where we must sadly say farewell.