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United Kingdom
Edinburgh and the Scottish Highlands 3 - Itinerary
August 29 - September 8, 2024 

August 29 - September 8, 2024
11 Days / 10 Nights 

This tour starts in Edinburgh and ends in Glasgow

$6,400 per person/ double occupancy
$1,820 optional single supplement
$480 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 Thursday, August 29, 2024 in Edinburgh.
Please assure that your flight arrives before 1:00PM.

Day 1: Introductory Tour of Edinburgh

Welcome to Bonnie Scotland! After a private transfer from the airport and checking into our upscale hotel in Edinburgh's New Town, our Scottish adventure will start with a privately guided 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: Dinner
Accommodations: The George Intercontinental Hotel, Edinburgh

Day 2: Edinburgh Castle and Palace of Holyroodhouse

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: Breakfast, Dinner
Accommodations: The George Intercontinental Hotel, Edinburgh

Day 3: St. Andrews and Falkland Palace

This morning, we'll venture out of Edinburgh, and after crossing the Firth of Forth over the marvel of modern engineering, the Queensferry Crossing Bridge, we'll journey into the Kingdom of Fife. Our first stop will be the town of St. Andrews, known 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 lively city of Edinburgh.
Meals: Breakfast
Accommodations: The George Intercontinental Hotel, Edinburgh

Day 4: Edinburgh to Inverness with Blair Castle

Today, we'll leave the city and travel north, across 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. En route, we'll briefly stop at the evocative Kelpies sculpture, then 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 a private army, the Atholl Highlanders. After soaking up the atmosphere of this picturesque place, we'll continue through the Drumochter Pass, following the main route through the Highlands since pre-medieval times. We'll arrive at Culloden House Hotel, our home for the next 3 nights, in the early afternoon. You'll 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 an exquisite dinner at the hotel's restaurant.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Accommodations: Culloden House, Inverness

Day 5: Culloden Moor, Loch Ness, and Urquhart Castle

After breakfast, we'll take the short ride to 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. We'll enjoy a tour of the moor, as well as a weapons demonstration. Afterward, 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 on a relaxing cruise on Loch Ness's dark, enigmatic waters. During our cruise, we'll stop at 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 exploring the castle grounds, we'll finish our cruise and return to Culloden House Hotel. After some free time to relax and explore the grounds, we'll enjoy another dinner at the hotel's restaurant. 
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Accommodations: Culloden House, Inverness

Day 6: Clava Cairns and Cawdor Castle

After breakfast today, we'll drive the short distance to Clava Cairns, a 4,000-year-old stone cemetery above the River Nairn. Clava Cairns is one of the best preserved prehistoric sites in Scotland and is most notable as being the inspiration and filming sight for the Craigh Na Dun in the popular TV series, Outlander. Afterward, we'll travel to Cawdor Castle, a traditional Scottish Castle built for the Cawdor family who has lived here for over 600 years and made famous by Shakespeare's play "Macbeth". After all this excitement, we'll return to Culloden House to enjoy its atmospheric grounds and the walled secret garden, before an elegant dinner in the hotel's dining room.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Accommodations: Culloden House, Inverness

Day 7: Eilean Donan Castle, 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, where we'll 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: Breakfast, Dinner
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. We'll start with a short drive, stopping at several viewpoints, before making our 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. From the spectacular Three Sisters viewpoint, 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: Breakfast, Dinner
Accommodations: Hollytree Hotel, Kentallen

Day 9: Inveraray Castle, Clydeside Whisky Distillery

This morning, we'll leave the Highlands and travel to Glasgow. As we journey south, we'll catch a glimpse of the Falls of Lora, then pass by Castle Stalker, the ancient seat of the Stewarts of Appin, which sits on its own little islet overlooking the Isle of Lismore. As we continue our journey, 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. Here, we'll have a guided tour of the Inveraray Castle, the ancestral home of the Duke of Argyll. Then, our journey will take us along the banks of Loch Lomond, famous for the tranquil beauty of its wooded shores and islands. In the afternoon, we'll enjoy a wee drum of single malt whisky expertly paired with artisan chocolates at the historic Clydeside Whisky Distillery, before arriving in Glasgow and ending the day with dinner at an opulent city restaurant.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Accommodations: Kimpton Blythswood 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, then a major hub of transatlantic trade in the eighteenth century, today Glasgow is Scotland's largest city, voted the "the world's friendliest", 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 Glasgow's 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 Kelvingrove 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. For our farewell lunch, we'll enjoy an elegant afternoon tea at the Willow Tea Rooms, designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh, and the afternoon will be free to explore Glasgow at leisure or indulge in some last-minute shopping.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodations: Kimpton Blythswood Square Hotel, Glasgow

Day 11: Glasgow Airport - 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: Breakfast

The tour ends after breakfast on Sunday, September 8, 2024 in Glasgow.

Itinerary specifics subject to change.