A Grand Tour of Scotland 2018
Whether you’ve lived in Scotland all your life or you’re yet to have the pleasure of visiting, there’s always more to explore, with secrets to surprise even the most seasoned visitor — and this is just the tour to reveal them. Join us for our Grand Tour of Scotland and discover it all for yourself. Fàilte gu Alba!
Go on the trail of folk heroes, film sets, holy grails and mythical monsters on this awe-inspiring, all-encompassing, Grand Tour of Scotland, perhaps our biggest and best Grand Tour yet.
Designed with the first-time traveller in mind, this gateway getaway is everything you’d expect to find in Scotland — and a whole lot of things that you wouldn’t. World-famous wonders are represented in full force: the Royal Yacht Britannia, the legendary Loch Ness, the iconic Edinburgh Castle, and the esteemed Kelvingrove Museum.
Meanwhile, there are plenty of opportunities for surprise and delight: our scenic two-hour cruise on the scenic Loch Lomond, in the heart of the beautiful National Park, on the trail of infamous outlaw Rob Roy; our trip to the Dallas Dhu Distillery, a frozen-in-time testament to centuries-old methods of whisky-making; and our carefully-curated, locally-sourced Taste of Scotland dinner at the Amber Restaurant.
And the best way to see it all? By steam train through breathtaking mountain scenery; by coach to chocolate-box Highland villages; by ferry, gliding over waters clearer and more blue than you’d think you’d find in the British Isles — on this grandest of Grand Tours, we’ve got it all covered.
We make our own way to the hotel and check-in in the afternoon. There is an optional excursion for a panoramic introductory tour of Edinburgh, including visits to Edinburgh Castle and Holyroodhouse.
This evening we gather together for a welcome dinner as a group in the hotel.
Today we have the rare experience follow in the footsteps of Churchill, Nelson Mandela and Gandhi aboard a guided tour of the Royal Yacht Britannia. The all-access tour takes you from the bridge through the State Apartments, crews’ quarters to the Engine Room. Following lunch we continue Rosslyn Chapel, which some of you may recognise from the Da Vinci Code. Late afternoon we have a Scotch Whisky Experience, where we’re privileged to receive a platinum tasting tour followed by a ‘Taste of Scotland’ dinner in the Amber restaurant.
Today we depart Edinburgh and visit Falkland Palace, a renaissance gem adored by Mary Queen of Scots. The lavish castle, was the former Pleasure Palace of Edward IV and James V and, still today, there are many pleasures to be found both out and inside the castle walls. The physic garden makes an unusual place to fix any of the bury heads from the whisky experience yesterday, with a collection of renaissance-era herbal remedies. Following lunch, we have a free afternoon, so head back to the hotel and on the way visit Scone Palace.
This morning we travel to Blair Castle, home to Scotland’s only private army. The rooms allow you to walk back through 700 years of Scottish History. Peacocks roam the gardens, with an impressive walled garden, quaint wooden foot bridges over streams and wooden groves. Later we take a nostalgic journey on the Strathspey Railway through the stunning scenery of the Cairngorms National Park. This evening we check into our hotel, Palace Inverness, and enjoy dinner here.
Today we start at the haunting moor of the Culloden Battlefield. We can experience the battle in the immersion cinema and have a look at the artefacts, weapons and clothing of the Jacobites. After lunch we travel onto Cawdor Castle, the setting which inspired the story of the mad Scottish king, Macbeth. The castle, is in fact, the much-loved family home of the Cawdor family, with over 600 years of history if the form of art, furniture and intriguing objects which adorn the walls.
Today, we travel to Skye, stopping briefly at Loch Ness for refreshments and have a rare glimpse of the monster itself at the Drumnadrochit Monster exhibition. We continue on with our journey to the dramatic Eilean Donan Castle, the awe-inspiring setting, where three lochs meet and the castle is built on a remote island with only a single lane bridge for access. We continue to the hotel in Portree and have the afternoon at our leisure to explore.
This morning is spent exploring the Armadale Castle Museum set on the spectacular sleat peninsula of South Skye. We continue our journey and board a ferry to Mallaig where we pause for lunch then climb on the Jacobite steam train to Fort William on the shores of Loch Linnhe. The rest of the day is spent traveling to Oban, where we check into our hotel which has mesmerising views across the bay.
We depart for a tour of Mull. The multi-hued buildings that line the waterfront will be familiar from a hundred calendars, and it’s a wonderful place to spend a couple of hours. We continue to Oskamull and depart on a cruise to the little island of Staffa. Sailing out of Loch na Keal beneath the towering bulk of Ben More, keep an eye open for otters, seals, porpoises, dolphins and basking sharks – these waters are rich in wildlife. We also visit the ‘sacred isle’ of Iona today. Like an emerald teardrop off Mull's western shore, enchanting, idyllic Iona, holy island and burial ground of kings, is a magical place that lives up to its lofty reputation. Here you have the opportunity to visit the Abbey and wander over the island, taking in the atmosphere of calm and contemplation which attracts visitors from all over the world. We enjoy dinner at a local seafood restaurant this evening.
After a hearty breakfast we travel to Tarbet where we embark on a two-hour Rob Roy cruise to Loch Lomond. We sail past the hidden caves and secret prison where he sat in hiding working on his poems. To keep off the chilly breeze we’re treated to a whisky coffee aboard the boat in true Scottish style. We return to dry land where our adventure continues to Glasgow, where we are whisked on a guided city tour followed by a visit to Kelvingrove Museum. We return to the hotel this evening for a farewell dinner.
This morning our Grand Tour has come to an end and after breakfast we check out of the hotel and head back to our departure points.
- Nine nights’ dinners (with wine), bed and breakfast: two nights at the 4* Radisson Blu, one night at the Dunkeld House, two nights at Palace Inverness, one night at the Portree, two nights at the Oban Bay Hotel and one night at a 4* hotel in Glasgow
- Seven lunches
- All coach transfers
- Visits to Royal Yacht Britannia, Edinburgh Castle, Strathspey Railway and Eilean Donan Castle
- Services of a professional tour manager
- Porterage at the hotels
- Gratuities (driver and tour manager)
- Bottle of mineral water each day
Supplements per person
Single room: £355
Travel and overnight accommodation before or after the tour available on request
2018 Insurance Prices
As part of our booking conditions, our travellers must have adequate insurance protection for any holidays overseas but we strongly recommend that you are covered for any of our tours. Our travellers are welcome to take out their own insurance policy, providing that we have the details of this before departure. Alternatively, we can provide our own recommended single-trip travel insurance for all holidays, please see the most upto date prices below:
Under 65, from £18.00 | 65-74, from £35.00 | 75 and over, from £52.00
Under 65, from £32.00 | 65-74, from £64.00 | 75 and over, from £96.00
Prices on application