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UK: Edinburgh and the Scottish Highlands 2 - Itinerary

August 26 - September 5, 2019
11 Days / 10 Nights
Tour starts in Edinburgh and ends in Glasgow

$4,380 per person/ double occupancy
$1,160 optional single supplement
$380 additional night (single or double), includes airport transfer
Includes all fees and taxes


Click on the image to enlarge the map


This tour starts at 4:00PM on Monday, August 26, 2019 in Edinburgh
Please assure that your flight arrives before 1:00PM

Day 1: Edinburgh  

Welcome to Bonnie Scotland! After a private transfer from the airport and checking into our upscale hotel on Edinburgh's Royal Mile, our Scottish adventure will start with an introductory tour of Edinburgh. The inspiring capital of Scotland is a historic and cosmopolitan city with a wonderfully striking setting: perched on a series of extinct volcanoes and rocky crags which rise from the flat landscape of the Lothians and sheltered by the Firth of Forth shoreline to the north. Along the historical sights, we'll also see a modern, dynamic capital where international festivals attract the world's leading performers, galleries display cutting-edge art, and upscale restaurants and clubs create a lively, cosmopolitan atmosphere with a distinctly Scottish twist. 'Edinburgh,' said writer Robert Louis Stevenson, 'is what Paris ought to be'. In the evening, we'll enjoy a leisurely welcome dinner where we'll have a chance to get to know other members of our group.
Meals: D
Accommodations: Radisson Blu Hotel, Edinburgh

Day 2: Edinburgh  

After a full Scottish breakfast, we'll set out to explore Edinburgh up close. We'll start with Edinburgh Castle, the most famous and complex of all Scottish castles. The oldest part, St Margaret's Chapel, dates from the 12th century; the Great Hall was erected by James IV in 1510; and the Half Moon Battery in the late 16th century. Afterwards, we'll take a guided walk down Edinburgh's Royal Mile, stopping to learn about the Witches' Well, the Camera Obscura, St. Gile's Cathedral, the Lothian Chambers, the Mercat Cross, Adam Smith, John Knox, the Canongate Kirk, and the Scottish Parliament. After a short break for lunch, we'll continue to the Palace of Holyroodhouse, where we'll tour the State Apartments and the evocative ruins of Holyrood Abbey. Best known as the home of Mary, Queen of Scots, today the State Apartments are used regularly by Her Majesty The Queen for State ceremonies and official entertaining. In the evening, we'll enjoy an elegant dinner at a local restaurant.
Meals: B, D
Accommodations: Radisson Blu Hotel, Edinburgh

Day 3: St. Andrews, Falkland Palace 

This morning, we'll venture out of Edinburgh, and after crossing the Firth of Forth, we'll journey into the Kingdom of Fife. Our first stop will be the town of St. Andrewsknown as the birthplace of golf, but also for its hauntingly beautiful ruins of the 13th century castle and for Scotland’s oldest university. Afterwards, we'll continue to the delightful village of Falkland to visit the Falkland Palace, the country residence of the Stuart Kings and Queens with the oldest Royal Tennis Court dating from 1539. We'll return to Edinburgh in the late afternoon, and the rest of the day will be free to pursue our individual interests in the city
Meals: B
Accommodations: Radisson Blu Hotel, Edinburgh

Day 4: Doune Castle, Blair Castle, Culloden Moor 

Today, we'll leave the city and travel north, crossing the iconic Scottish Highlands landscapes, dotted with castles and ancient keeps and the Cairngorm Mountains which rise 4,000 feet towards the sky and awe with their striking vistas and spectacular rugged peaks. Our first stop will be the Doune Castle, featured in Monty Python and in the Outlander miniseries. We will then continue through the heart of Highland Perthshire to the colorful Victorian town of Pitlochry, where we'll tour the unique, all-white Blair Castle, the seat of the Dukes of Atholl, the only clan allowed to have its private army, the Atholl Highlanders. After some free time to soak up the atmosphere of this picturesque place, we'll continue through the Drumochter Pass, following the main route through the Highlands since the pre-medieval times. Right before reaching Inverness, we'll stop at the notorious Culloden Moor. It was here in 1746 that Bonnie Prince Charlie's dream of capturing the Crown for the Stuart dynasty came to a bloody end, as his Jacobite army was defeated by the government troops in the battle that changed the Highlands forever. In the late afternoon, we'll arrive at Culloden House Hotel, our home for the next 3 nights, just in time for dinner.
Meals: B, D
Accommodations: Culloden House, Inverness

Day 5: The Orkney Islands  

After breakfast today, we'll drive the short distance to Inverness airport and board our flight to Kirkwall in the Orkney Islands. Nestled in near solitude at the northern tip of the UK, the Orkneys are brimming with tales of piracy, ancient spiritual sites and high drama on the High Seas. We'll enjoy a private tour of this fascinating island, traveling along the rugged extremes of Scotland’s northern coastline. The tour's highlights will include the Viking stronghold of Kirkwall, a magnificent, 5,000 year-old tomb of Maeshowe, the Ring of Brodgar stone circle of 60 megaliths, and the Standing Stones of Stenness. But the one site on the Orkneys' Archeological Treasure Trail that truly captures the imagination is Skara Brae. Older than ancient Greece, Stonehenge and even the Pyramids, and uncovered by a storm in 1850, it is one of the best preserved groups of Stone Age houses anywhere, revealing stone furniture, hearths and drains that present a remarkable picture of Neolithic life.
Meals: B, D
Accommodations: Culloden House, Inverness

Day 6: Urquhart Castle, Loch Ness 

Today, we'll journey into the Great Glen, which was formed millions of years ago, resulting in an impressive landscape of lochs and mountains. We'll travel along the shores of Loch Ness, keeping an eye out for its legendary monster until we reach Urquhart Castle which dominates a rocky promontory jutting into Loch Ness. Once one of Scotland's largest castles, connected with the history of powerful clans, today the imposing ruins command splendid views of the famous loch. After touring the castle, we'll enjoy a relaxing cruise on Loch Ness's dark, enigmatic waters. In the afternoon, we'll return to Culloden House and have some unstructured time to relax and enjoy the idyllic majesty of the impressive woodland and private walled gardens surrounding our ivy-clad hotel, before meeting in the evening for another exquisite dinner.
Meals: B, D
Accommodations: Culloden House, Inverness

Day 7: Isle of Skye, Jacobite Steam Train 

This morning, we'll leave Inverness and travel to the iconic Isle of Skye, famous for its dramatic mountain scenery, picturesque seascapes and its compelling prehistoric past. First, we'll journey past the Five Sisters mountain range until we reach the Eilean Donan Castle, one of Scotland's most magical sights. After a tour of the castle, we'll cross "over the sea to Skye” by way of the road bridge. As we traverse the island with its jugged Cuilin ridges dropping to the gentle white of soft beaches, and see how the inlets, bays and islands create a complex pattern with the sea, and we'll be able to appreciate the essence of Skye, a place where time means nothing and beneath every footstep lie millennia of history. On arrival in Armdale, we'll take a ferry to the picturesque fishing village of Mallaig. Here, we'll have some free time to explore or have lunch, before we board the Jacobite Steam Train to travel through the stunning scenery of the Western Highlands. The train ride will take us past some impressive extremes: Britain’s highest mountain, deepest loch and the shortest river on one of the great railway journeys of the world. We'll disembark in Fort William and continue to our hotel, located on the shores of the Loch Linnhe, and our home for the next 2 nights.
Meals: B, D
Accommodations: Hollytree Hotel, Kentallen

Day 8: Glencoe, Ben Nevis 
After a full Scottish breakfast, we'll set out for Glencoe, also known as the Weeping Glen, the most famous of all Scottish Glens. After a short drive, we will make the descent into the glen, where the mountain grandeur that surrounds it offers not only exciting scenery, but also an insight into its fascinating history. It is most known for the massacre of the resident MacDonald Clan by Campbell troops in 1692, and the story that led to this infamous act is truly captivating. After a short drive through the glen and several photo stops, we'll set out for an easy hike among the high mountain peaks, past placid lakes, rushing rivers and waterfalls that create a mystical feel of being free and one with nature. We'll then continue, following the Caledonian Canal to Fort William, in the shadow of Ben Nevis, Britain's highest mountain. To fully appreciate the grandeur of this imposing mountain range, we'll take a mountain gondola up to the summit for some spectacular, 180-degree views. We will return to the hotel in the afternoon and enjoy a relaxing evening at leisure.
Meals: B, D
Hollytree Hotel, Kentallen

Day 9: Oban, Inveraray Castle 

This morning, we'll leave the Western Highlands and travel back to Glasgow. After a short drive, we'll catch a glimpse of the Falls of Lora below, then pass Castle Stalker, the ancient seat of the Stewarts of Appin, which sits on its own little islet overlooking the Isle of Lismore. Soon, we'll make our descent into the fishing town of Oban, the gateway to the Hebrides. We'll explore this picturesque seaside town, overlooking an attractive horseshoe bay, tour the famous Oban Whisky Distillery and enjoy lunch at an elegant seafood restaurant. As we continue our journey southwards, we'll pause to admire the spectacular ruins of Kilchurn Castle, majestically situated on Loch Awe, and beautifully framed by mountains, before arriving in the town of Inveraray, with its white-washed Georgian houses and views across the shores of Loch Fyne. We'll visit Inveraray Castle, the ancestral home of the Duke of Argyll, featured in the British series Downton Abbey. In the afternoon, we'll travel along the banks of Loch Lomond, famous for the tranquil beauty of its wooded shores and islands until we reach Glasgow in the late afternoon.
Meals: B, L
Accommodations: Carlton George Square Hotel, Glasgow

Day 10: Glasgow 

Today we'll set out for a panoramic city tour of Glasgow, once a major center of the Scottish Enlightenment, growing from the eighteenth century as a main hub of transatlantic trade. Voted the "world's friendliest city", Glasgow is also Scotland's largest city, and features a diverse blend of stately Victorian buildings and modern industrial architecture, much of it designed by the beloved Glasgow architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh. We'll explore some of the most iconic sights including the medieval Glasgow Cathedral, the alleged church of the patron saint of Glasgow, Saint Mungo, as well as the Glasgow Green, a park first established in the 15th century that now hosts music festivals, sporting events, and features the famous sites of Nelson's Monument and the People's Palace. Our tour will end at the renowned Kelkingrove Art Gallery and Museum, where we'll be able to appreciate works by the Old Masters, French Impressionists, and Scottish Colourists, set against the stunning North Gothic architecture. The afternoon will be free to explore Glasgow at leisure, and in the evening we'll enjoy a farewell dinner to celebrate our time in Scotland.
Meals: B, D
Accommodations: Carlton George Square Hotel, Glasgow

Day 11: Glasgow - Departures  

After breakfast today, we'll say good-bye to Bonnie Scotland, as we leave to take our flights back home. We will arrange for your private airport transfer in accordance with your flight's departure. Depending on your flight departure time, you may have some free time in the morning before your private transfer to the airport.
Meals: B

The tour ends after breakfast on ThursdaySeptember 5, 2019 in Glasgow airport.

Itinerary specifics subject to change.

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Why travel with other women?
Many women do not have families or compatible friends who wish to travel. When going on a main-stream tour, women often find that most activities are geared towards couples and quite often they feel left out. Singles' tours are not always what women are looking for. If you do not have a traveling companion, there is also the issue of the expensive "single supplement", sometimes as much as 50 or even 100 percent of the tour cost. By going on women-only tours, women can easily avoid paying for the single supplement by sharing a room with another woman traveler.
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