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Home > United Kingdom > United Kingdom Itineraries > Scotland A Destination Showcase

Scotland: A Destination Showcase

Departures

January through December

Duration

14 Days

Locations

Scottish Highlands - Skye - Loch Ness - Speyside - Deeside - Perthshire - Edinburgh

Overview

A land of castles and cashmere, breathtaking natural beauty, fascinating history, and fine whiskies, Scotland is renowned for its rugged landscapes and enduring traditions, effortlessly enchanting visitors from all over the world. This tailor-made tour is designed to showcase Scotland at its finest. Specially selected locations and private visits and experiences give you an exclusive insight into Scottish life. The journey commences in glorious Glencoe and travels across the sea to the famed misty Isle of Skye. It returns to the mainland and travels south to world-renowned Gleneagles Golf Club before concluding on the cobblestone streets of the capital city of Edinburgh.

Itinerary in Detail

    Day 1 – Loch Lomond, Fort William

    Upon your arrival at Glasgow Airport, you will be met by your touring chauffeur, who will provide you with a smooth and comfortable ride north along the shore of Loch Lomond, one of the country’s most famous stretches of water. It is steeped in legend, folklore and history, enough to inspire artists, poets and writers for centuries.

    Hotel: Inverlochy Castle Hotel, Fort William

    Inverlochy Castle Hotel, Fort William

    Day 2 – Glencoe

    A local ranger will take you on a walk in possibly Scotland’s most famous glen. It lies in the heart of an ancient volcano, the deep valley, and towering mountains carved out by glaciers and volcanic explosions centuries ago. Today, thundering waterfalls can be seen tumbling down the sides of mountains into the sparkling lochs below. Unsurprisingly, the glen has seduced many filmmakers, including those responsible for James Bond's Skyfall, several Harry Potter films, Mary Queen of Scots and Outlaw King. Scenery and geology aside, the glen has its place firmly in the history books as the location of a dark episode in Scotland’s history: It was the site of the massacre of Clan Macdonald of Glencoe by government troops in 1692.

    Hotel: Inverlochy Castle, The North West Highland

    Inverlochy Castle, The North West Highland

    Day 3 – Skye

    Travel along the aptly named Road to the Isles, experiencing some of Scotland’s most stunning seas and landscapes. Stop at Loch Shiel and the Glenfinnan Monument, a poignant reminder commemorating highlanders who supported Bonnie Prince Charlie during the Jacobite Rising. Travel under the towering arches of the Glenfinnan Viaduct and along a beautiful stretch of the Highland coast where the enchanting small isles of Muck, Eigg, and Rhum are visible on a clear day. You then board a ferry to the Isle of Skye, unquestionably the most popular isle of the Inner Hebrides. Voted by National Geographic as one of the world’s top five islands, it is rich in history and romance, and famed for its natural beauty, traditional charm, scenery, and wildlife. To get your Skye experience underway, a local guide will take you foraging on the shores of Loch Na Dal in search of wild treats like edible mushrooms, wild garlic and sorrel in the forest, and delicious seaweeds, mussels, and samphire along the shoreline.

    Hotel: Kinloch Lodge, The Isle of Skye

    Kinloch Lodge, The Isle of Skye

    Day 4 – Loch Ness

    Depart the Isle of Skye this morning and return to the mainland, heading through the heart of the Highlands to reach Scotland’s most famous waters. Loch Ness has been steeped in myth thanks to its most enigmatic occupant, the Loch Ness Monster, affectionately known as Nessie. Take a scenic cruise of the lake and surroundings, including Urquhart Castle, a 13th-century stronghold. Later, we carry on to the small city of Inverness, the capital of the Highlands.

    Hotel: Ness Walk Hotel, Inverness

    Ness Walk Hotel, Inverness

    Day 5 – Highlands

    The Highlands is a truly inspiring region. Heather-clad hills and ancient landscapes mix with castles, clans, and culture to embody the Scotland of your mind. You can make your way to Cawdor Castle, best known for its role in Shakespeare’s Macbeth. The castle’s most unique feature is the living hawthorn tree it was built around it. The beautiful grounds are also well worth exploring. Another highlight is Clava Cairns, a Neolithic burial site and standing stones said to be one of Scotland’s most sacred prehistoric sights, believed to be around 4,000 years old. Fans of the Outlander TV series may recognize the site as the inspiration for the “Craigh na Dun” stone circle through which Claire Randall travels back in time. You may also choose to visit the moving site of the infamous 1746 battle where the Jacobites lost to the British armies. Nearby is Fort George, once the mightiest artillery fortification in all of Britain.

    Hotel: Ness Walk Hotel, Inverness

    Ness Walk Hotel, Inverness - Room

    Day 6 – Speyside

    The famous Speyside region is home to more than half of Scotland’s working malt whisky distilleries, including some of the world’s best-sellers. Discover the copper mash tuns, great wooden washbacks, and stone-walled warehouses at Glenfiddich, its history laced with drama and intrigue. Afterward, you may wish to visit an award-winning farm at the forefront of environmental schemes and wildlife habitat preservation. Gaze out at flocks of sheep – Suffolk, Cheviot, Ryeland, Black-Faced, and Blue-Faced Leicester meander in the pastures. Take in a sheepdog demonstration or even watch the sheep being sheared in the summer.

    Hotel: The Fife Arms, Braemar

    The Fife Arms, Braemar

    Day 7 – Royal Deeside

    Royal Deeside is characterized by a blend of moody mountains, lofty crags, tumbling rivers, and moors and forests, an area that captivated Queen Victoria. The King’s Balmoral Estate covers an approximate area of 50,000 acres of grouse moors, forestry, and farmland. The current castle dates to around 1850 when it was a royal hunting lodge. You will enjoy a Land Rover tour of the full estate through manicured parkland and into the forest, a haven for deer and grouse. Later, you will arrive in Braemar and check into your accommodation, before meeting the property’s resident forager for a walk through the village and surrounding woodlands.

    Hotel: The Fife Arms, Braemar

    The Fife Arms, Braemar

    Day 8 – Perthshire

    From its serene glens and endless expanses of lush forest, rushing rivers, and tumbling waterfalls, it's easy to see why Perthshire was named “the fairest portion of the northern kingdom” by writer Sir Walter Scott. Meet a local ranger and enjoy a walk at a junction where the Highlands meet the Lowlands. It’s an area famous for its historical connections: The walk passes through one of Queen Victoria’s favorite areas and was once the site of a battle in 1689 when Jacobite Highlanders faced off against British troops. Today, with its breathtaking views, this tranquil spot remains a historical and heritage hotspot. Later, you will visit an organic farm to gain insight into the local food scene. The farm first received organic status in 2002 and produces a range of products – traditional Scottish beef, lamb, chicken, and pork, in addition to eggs and potatoes.

    Hotel: Gleneagles, Perthshire

    Gleneagles, Perthshire

    Day 9 – Perthshire

    Spend today on-site at Gleneagles, the “Riviera of the Highlands.” The property is renowned for offering some of the best leisure activities in Scotland, and there is something to suit every ability, preference, and interest. Perhaps play one of the three championship golf courses, take aim at the shooting school, retreat to the lake for some fishing, or enjoy the thrill of off-road driving in the Perthshire hills. Animal lovers can experience the falconry or put the estate’s Labradors through their paces at the Gundog School. The Equestrian School provides expert instruction for beginners, while experienced riders may wish to enjoy a trail ride in the surrounding countryside.

    Hotel: Gleneagles, Perthshire

    Gleneagles, Perthshire

    Day 10 – The Kingdom of Fife

    The Kingdom of Fife is famed for being the ancestral home of Scottish monarchs and as such has always been at the heart of the nation’s history. Your day gets underway with a tour of a royal residence that was adored by Mary, Queen of Scots, and was once the country home of the most famous Scottish dynasty, the House of Stuart. Enjoy an audience with Ninian Crichton-Stuart, the Hereditary Keeper of Falkland Palace, in the beautiful Keeper’s apartments. Always close to the public, these rooms are an experience in themselves. Another visit to a hereditary home will follow – the 300-year-old ancestral seat of the Earls of Elgin and the Fife home of the family of King Robert the Bruce. By special arrangement, you enjoy a tour conducted by Lord Bruce, the heir of the 11th Earl of Elgin, who will showcase this remarkable property and bring his extraordinary family history to life.

    Hotel: The Balmoral, Edinburgh

    The Balmoral, Edinburgh

    Day 11 – Edinburgh

    Today, you set off to spend time exploring Edinburgh’s Old Town. Your guide will bring the city’s rich history and heritage to life like no book can, providing you with a unique insider introduction. The Old Town is brimming with tightly packed buildings, narrow closes, and hidden courtyards, all steeped in history and astonishingly well-preserved. Take a stroll along the Royal Mile and through the heart of historic Edinburgh. Today, it is peppered with stores selling whisky, cashmere goods, and hand-crafted silver jewelry. Explore Edinburgh Castle this afternoon, stepping inside the ancient walls to learn about the royalty who lived and died there.

    Hotel: The Balmoral, Edinburgh

    The Balmoral, Edinburgh

    Day 12 – Edinburgh

    Spend today exploring Edinburgh at your leisure. Your guide from the previous day will ensure you set off in the right direction, with advice for visits that might interest you and helpful hints for off-the-beaten-track experiences. From a Baroque palace and famed art galleries to dramatic open spaces and hidden underground streets, there is much to be discovered.

    Hotel: The Balmoral, Edinburgh

    The Balmoral, Edinburgh

    Day 13 – St. Andrews

    Today, you travel to St. Andrews, the undisputed home of golf and a mecca for golfers from all over the world. Additionally, it is Scotland’s oldest university town, one-time ecclesiastical capital and the place where the Prince and Princess of Wales first met. The town’s main streets and numerous cobblestone alleys, dignified university buildings and medieval churches converge on the venerable ruins of the 12th-century cathedral. It is a charming place to explore.

    Hotel: The Balmoral, Edinburgh

    The Balmoral, Edinburgh

    Day 14 - Edinburgh

    We say good-bye today with a short drive to Edinburgh Airport in time for your return flight home.

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