Eilean Donan Castle
Eilean Donan Castle

Scenic Scottish Tours

A Grand Tour of Scotland

This tour is designed for anyone with the desire to travel the length and breadth of Scotland, and who wants to get a real taste of all the beauty and diversity that fair Caledonia has to offer. From Edinburgh we head north along the ‘backbone’ of Scotland to Speyside; north and west to Ullapool on the wild yet wonderful west coast; south to Fort William and Oban for more West Highland magic, and back through the historic heartlands of Stirlingshire to the capital.

 

Among the highlights are an exclusive whisky tasting at the home of The Glenlivet in Speyside: boat trips to the remote Summer Isles and on romantic Loch Lomond; a highly scenic journey by steam train over the Glenfinnan Viaduct to Mallaig; and a classic excursion from Oban that takes in the islands of Mull, Staffa and Iona. We also enjoy visits to historic castles including Stirling, Cawdor, Eilean Donan and Blair, along with Mary Queen of Scots’ childhood home of Falkland Palace. There are further royal connections on our optional excursion, which includes visits to the Palace of Holyroodhouse, Her Majesty The Queen’s official residence in Scotland, and mighty Edinburgh Castle, home to the Scottish Crown Jewels.

What's included?

  •  Train travel
  •  Meals - as per the itinerary
  •  Comfortable coach travel throughout
  •  Services of a professional tour manager
  •  Accommodation

Today's Price
£2,295

Deposit: £100 Single supplement: £480

Tour highlights:

  • An exclusive whisky tasting and dining experience in Edinburgh, with a further whisky tasting at the home of The Glenlivet in Speyside
  • Boat trips to the remote Summer Isles and on romantic Loch Lomond
  • A highly scenic journey by steam train over the Glenfinnan Viaduct to Mallaig
  • A highly scenic journey by steam train over the Glenfinnan Viaduct to Mallaig; and a classic excursion from Oban that takes in the islands of Mull, Staffa and Iona
  • Visits to historic castles including Stirling, Cawdor, Eilean Donan and Blair, along with Mary Queen of Scots’ childhood home of Falkland Palace

Tour details

Dates 22 August 2020 - 1 September 2020
Duration 11 days
Cost
Today's Price
£2,295
Deposit: £100 Single supplement: £480 Balance due by 30 May 2020
Activity Level
Tour code BWGTS20B

Book Now or call 01334 657155 if you have any questions

22 August 2020: Itinerary

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, home to the Scottish Crown Jewels, and the Palace of Holyroodhouse, once frequented by Mary, Queen of Scots and now HM The Queen’s official residence in Scotland.

This evening we gather together for a welcome dinner in the hotel.

Meals include: Dinner

Today we have the rare experience of following in the footsteps of Churchill, Nelson Mandela and Gandhi aboard a guided tour of the Royal Yacht Britannia. The all-access tour with audio guides takes you from the bridge through the State Apartments, crews’ quarters to the Engine Room.

In the afternoon 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.

Meals include: Breakfast, Dinner

Today, after breakfast, 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. Fans of ‘Outlander’ will recognise the square outside the Palace as the location for ‘Inverness’ in the opening episode.

We then travel north, stopping at the House of Bruar with an opportunity for lunch (not included) and some shopping at this premium retail outlet.

In the afternoon we continue to nearby 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.

We continue north to our hotel in the Inverness area, where dinner is served in the evening.

Meals include: Breakfast, Dinner

Following breakfast we embark on a circular tour of Speyside, starting at 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.

We then visit Johnsons of Elgin, another purveyor of top quality Scottish produce, with an opportunity for lunch (not included).

We conclude today with a visit to the home one of the great names of Speyside whisky, The Glenlivet, at its remote location in Strath Avon. We will learn how the founder, George Smith, established the first licensed distillery in the parish of Glenlivet and defended it from smugglers, see the unique lantern stills that help shape the spirit’s flavour and taste the single malt straight from the cask.

We return to our hotel where dinner is served in the evening.

Meals include: Breakfast, Dinner

Today, we depart for Ullapool stopping at the Corrieshalloch Gorge and Falls of Measach. The breath-taking mile-long gorge where the River Droma plunges 150ft over the falls is quite spectacular. There are two footpaths, one which takes a gradual climb down to the suspension bridge and over to the viewing platform. The other is a circular walk along the top of the reserve offering stunning views along Strath Broom towards Ullapool and then descends to join Lady Fowler’s Fern Walk towards the suspension bridge. Don’t forget your camera!

Following our visit we continue to our comfortable hotel in Ullapool. Dinner will be served in the evening.

Meals include: Breakfast, Dinner

After breakfast this morning we transfer the short distance to Ullapool Pier where we will board the MV Summer Queen for our Summer Isles Cruise. As we head out of Ullapool sailing down the centre of Loch Broom, keep a look out for Mussel Bay where you can often see a colony of Atlantic Seals basking on the rocks. Sailing to the Summer Isles themselves, we will visit Cathedral Cave where we can see the shags and cormorants nesting inside.

Sailing to the Summer Isles themselves, we will visit Cathedral Cave where we can see the shags and cormorants nesting inside and sail past Tanera Mhor, the only inhabited island within the group, which is currently closed to visitors while undergoing extensive renovations. We will enjoy the views towards the Outer Hebrides (weather permitting) then weave our way back to Ullapool, where we will re-join our coach.

The rest of the afternoon will be free to explore Ullapool before dinner is served in the hotel this evening.

Meals include: Breakfast, Dinner

Today we enjoy a long but rewarding day as we drive south to Fort William, breaking our journey at the dramatic and much-photographed Eilean Donan Castle, in an 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 our hotel in Fort William, where dinner is served in the evening.

Meals include: Breakfast, Dinner

Today, following breakfast, we will journey back in time on the Jacobite steam train and experience one of the most memorable and spectacular railway journeys in the world - the famous Fort William to Mallaig line following The Road to the Isles.  "The Jacobite" combines the romance of the steam era with the opportunity to drink in the stunning views of this wild and historic part of Scotland. From the slopes of Ben Nevis the line runs through rugged mountains, past sea and inland lochs and onto the shores of the Atlantic at Mallaig. The route also takes us over the massive Glenfinnan viaduct overlooking Loch Sheil, where Bonnie Prince Charlie raised his standard in 1745. There is time to enjoy lunch (not included) in Mallaig, whether you choose fish and chips, crab sandwiches or freshly landed lobster, before we re-join the train and settle down for the return journey to Fort William.

From Fort William we drive down the coast to Oban, which has mesmerising views across the bay, and check into our hotel. Dinner is served in the evening.

Meals include: Breakfast, Dinner

We depart today on the classic Three Isles Excursion, which departs from the Ferry Terminal in Oban on Caledonian MacBrayne’s service to Craignure.  As we leave Oban on the ferry we see Dunollie Castle perched high on a hillside north of Oban, cross the Firth of Lorn and sail past the 800 year old Duart Castle before landing at Craignure on Mull.

We continue by coach on an hour-long scenic route through the southern part of Mull, via Glen More to Fionnphort, keeping an eye out for sea eagles circling overhead! At Fionnphort we board the ferry for the 45-minute boat ride to the Isle of Staffa. On the water keep an eye out for sightings of whales, dolphins, basking sharks and sea eagles. After landing on Staffa we can walk along the shoreline over the hexagonal basalt columns that make up the island to visit Fingal’s Cave. There's a short flight of steps close to the mooring we can use to climb up to the island and look for photo opportunities with the puffins. (Those who do not wish to land can stay aboard the boat).

Finally we sail south to the Isle of Iona, where we have time to explore on foot. Look out for the ruined, flower-covered Benedictine nunnery and the Reilig Oran burial ground on the route to Iona Abbey, which is a short walk from the pier (admission not included).

We return by ferry to Mull and by coach to Craignure in time for the ferry back to Oban at the end of a long but most rewarding day. Dinner is served in the evening.

Meals include: Breakfast, Dinner

After a hearty breakfast we travel to Tarbet where we embark on a two-hour Rob Roy cruise on Loch Lomond. We sail past the hidden caves and secret prison where he sat in hiding and are treated to a whisky coffee aboard the boat in true Scottish style.

We return to dry land where our adventure continues with a visit to Stirling Castle. We return to our hotel in Edinburgh this evening for a farewell dinner.

Meals include: Breakfast, Dinner

This morning our Grand Tour has come to an end and after breakfast we check out of the hotel and the group disperses. One transfer to Edinburgh Airport is provided for those who wish to make use of it.

Meals include: Breakfast

22 August 2020: Additional Info

22 August 2020: Accommodation

22 August 2020: Enquiries

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