Featuring Islands, the Highlands
and the Edinburgh Military Tattoo
On this delightful tour of Scotland we will feast on the history and beauty of its monuments, cathedrals, abbeys, castles and artistic treasures - all set in the awesome rugged landscape that this land is known for.
We begin in the capital city - Edinburgh, where we will stroll on Princes Street and attend the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo. Then we journey through the untamed Scottish Highlands and Islands. En route we visit tragic battlefields, picturesque harbour towns and fairytale castles, view the wild and rugged landscape of Caithness and the west coast, travel along the Great Glen, sail to the Orkney Islands to admire its picture book landscape and visit 2 of the largest Hebrides Islands - Skye and Mull. Along the way we learn about turbulent battles, the complex history of the Scottish Monarchy and the fascinating world of Scotland’s famous poets and writers. We will also enjoy some wonderful cultural events unique to Scotland. By the end of this tour you will have discovered why the Scots are so proud of their heritage, leaving you with cherished memories of the country and its people!
• Royal Yacht Brittania
• The mysterious Loch Ness
• Islands of Orkney, Skye, Mull and Iona
• Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo
• St. Andrew’s - Scotland’s world famous home of golf
• Culloden Battlefield
• Dunrobin Castle
• Eilean Donan Castle
• Stirling Castle and Culzean Castle
• Roberts Burns Cottage
* Those joining any of our tours to Europe must be able to walk fairly long distances and climb stairs easily.
Day 1: Depart
We depart for Glasgow (non-stop from Toronto).
Day 2: Edinburgh
We arrive and transfer to our hotel in central Edinburgh for time to relax before our Welcome Dinner.
Day 3: Edinburgh
Our welcoming city guide takes us through the ‘Old’ and ‘New” towns (combined they now have UNESCO World Heritage status). We will visit the Royal Yacht Britannia - home to the Queen and the Royal Family for over 40 years, (they sailed over 1,000,000 miles around the world on this yacht). This evening we attend the Edinburgh Tattoo.
Day 4: Inverness
Our first stop is St Andrews, home to the famous golf course and University. During our walking tour we see the ruins of St. Andrews cathedral, the castle and a glimpse into the campus grounds. You will have free time to enjoy the ancient town. This afternoon we travel into the hills of the highlands as we make our way to the city of Inverness. After dinner we enjoy a Highlander Storytelling performance.
Day 5: Wick
A day of breathtaking scenery as we make our way to the remote north. We stop at Culloden, where Bonnie Prince Charlie was defeated in 1745. We also visit Dunrobin Castle - perched on a high terrace above walled gardens, with fairytale spires and turrets, this castle rises above the North Sea like a picture from a storybook. We overnight near Wick.
Day 6: Orkney Islands / Wick
We drive to the northernmost tip of Scotland and board a ferry for the short crossing to South Ronaldsay, one of the Orkney Islands. Our local guide will show us the the Italian Chapel, the Ring of Brodgar (Orkney's Stonehenge) and Kirkwall - the island capital with a Viking flavour and red sandstone cathedral. We ferry back to the mainland. Tonight is an evening of Scottish entertainment.
Day 7: Ullapool
Few places in the world match the mountains, moors and beaches of Scotland’s northwest coast. We first visit Smoo Caves, Britain’s largest limestone cave, then continue to the picturesque fishing village of Ullapool.
Day 8: Isle of Skye
We continue along the coast, enjoying magnificent views of Lochs and mountains. At Inverewe Gardens we enjoy a guided walk of this historic oasis of exotic plants. After a visit of Eilean Donan - one of Scotland’s most photographed castles, we cross the bridge to the Isle of Skye.
Day 9: Isle of Skye / Fort William
Today we explore the Misty Isle of Skye, known for its natural beauty, history and wildlife. See the Cuillins Hills - a visual treat of shattered peaks and steep ridges. We enjoy some free time and a guided walk in the main town of Portree before heading back to the mainland. Later we arrive in Fort William for a 2-night stay.
Day 10: The Great Glen / Fort William
We follow along parts of Scotland’s longest glen - the Great Glen which skirts the banks of Loch Lochy and Loch Ness, and is recognized as one of Britains’s Most Scenic Drives. We visit Castle Urquhart, where we discover 1000 years of drama, experience a glimpse of medieval life and enjoy stunning views over Loch Ness from the ruins of the greatest castle in the Highlands. Before returning to our hotel we enjoy dinner at a local inn in the beautiful village of Drumnadrochit.
Day 11: Mull / Iona
A day steeped in history and dazzling landscapes. We ferry over to the Isle of Mull and drive across this magical isle which seems untouched by the passage of time. Then we take a 5-minute ferry to Iona, known as "Scotland’s Cradle of Christianity" as it has been a place of pilgrimage for centuries. lona Abbey is a celebrated burial place of early Scottish kings. We overnight on the Isle Of Mull.
Day 12: Glasgow
We sail back to the mainland and make our way to Glasgow. On our city tour we’ll see the stunning Kelvingrove Museum, Glasgow University, various unique neighbourhoods, the River Clyde (with its centuries old legacy of ship building) and Glasgow Green - one of Scotland’s oldest public parks which over many centuries provided a welcome escape from the crowded tenements of the old town. Later we arrive at our centrally located for our final 4 nights.
Day 13: Glasgow
A day at leisure. Glasgow is home to some of Scotland's best cultural attractions, and most of them are free! Explore the different neighbourhoods, or enjoy the amazing shopping, cafes and pubs. Tonight dinner is on your own, for an opportunity to explore the diverse culinary scene.
Day 14: Trossachs / Stirling
We drive through the Trossachs to Loch Katrine, where we board one of the magnificent ships for a sail around the Loch (as tourists have been doing for hundreds of years). Then we enjoy lunch in a cozy, family-run, country Inn before proceeding to Stirling Castle. Once a favoured residence of the Stewart kings and queens, the castle is one of Scotland's most historically important sites.
Day 15: Ayrshire / Glasgow
We follow the footsteps of Robert Burns, Scotland’s most famous poet, visiting his family cottage and the famous Brig-O-Doon, made famous by his tale Tam O’Shanter. Later we visit Culzean Castle, situated on a cliff top with spectacular views of the sea and countryside. We end this glorious day with our Farewell Dinner in a country house hotel in the heart of Ayrshire.
Day 16: Home
We fly non-stop to Toronto.
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