The haunting “skirl of the bagpipes” during a private evening in Inverness… treasured family tartans… wee drams of single malt whiskies on a private distillery tour… a cocktail cruise on fabled Loch Lomond… the strong traditions of the Clans… fascinating history at Stirling, Edinburgh, Cawdor (the legendary home of Macbeth) and Blair castles… incredible scenery in the Highlands and Loch Ness… Palace of Holyroodhouse (the Queen’s residence) and the Royal Mile of pubs, shops, and historical sites… a uniquely vibrant culture lovingly preserved in the capital of Edinburgh… experience all this and more!
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Day 1 – Arrive Glasgow
Airport transfer to Cameron House, your Scottish baronial manor house hotel set on 100 acres of green lawns and wooded glades along the famous bonnie banks of Loch Lomond, where you’ll enjoy a lake-view room during your two-night stay.
Day 2 – Stirling Castle
Visit Stirling Castle, an example of Scottish Renaissance architecture and a town that developed around the castle. At Glenturret Distillery a tour takes you behind-the-scenes in the Highland’s oldest single malt distillery; witness the art of whisky making and enjoy a tasting. Journey into the wilderness of the Trossachs, or Rob Roy country, before returning to a falconry presentation and dinner à la carte at your hotel.
Day 3 – Great Glen and Inverness
Across moor and mountain on a scenic journey through the Highlands along The Great Glen, from Fort William to the shores of brooding Loch Ness. Stop at Fort Augustus to view the dramatic lochs along the Caledonian Canal, then continue to Inverness, capital of the Highlands. Tonight, learn about the history of clan tartans and Scottish kilts during a festive Scottish evening complete with bagpipers and Highland dancers.
Day 4 – Culloden & Cawdor Castle
Explore many centuries of Scottish history today on visits to the famous fields where the Battle of Culloden was fought, dividing families and clans; the ancient burial site at Clava Cairns; and medieval, slate-roofed Cawdor Castle, with its magnificent gardens, Big Wood and connections to Shakespeare’s tragedy of Scottish kings, Macbeth. Return to your hotel in Inverness for an à la carte dinner tonight..
Day 5 – Blair Castle to Edinburgh
Your tour continues through the Grampian Highlands and Cairngorm Mountains to Blair Atholl, the site of majestic Blair Castle. History comes alive on your visit, as you imagine the life of the noble class in 16th-century Scotland; some 30 rooms contain relics of that age. After lunch on your own, head south to Edinburgh, arriving late afternoon; your luxury hotel is set on Princes Street in the heart of the city.
Day 6 – Edinburgh Castle & Holyroodhouse
Discover Scotland’s lively capital city on a privately guided tour with a local expert, including visits to stately Edinburgh Castle, at the top of the Royal Mile, and Holyroodhouse, the Queen’s official home when she visits Edinburgh. If you tour July 27 – August 17, you’ll have the unforgettable thrill of attending the world-famous Edinburgh Military Tattoo, performed by Scottish military units against the magical backdrop of Edinburgh Castle.
Day 7 – Edinburgh & St Andrews
You have a choice today of remaining in Edinburgh for a day spent exploring more of the city’s treasure trove of historic sites, museums, galleries and gardens on your own. Or take a trip to lovely St. Andrews; for passionate golfers, this beautiful city by the sea is an almost-holy place – but it will come as no surprise that this historic town has much more than just golfing history to offer.
Day 8 – Homeward Bound
Your trip ends today with a flight from Edinburgh Airport. Or you can extend your vacation.