Discover the wonders of Scotland as you step back in time to uncover moments of rich, patriotic history, regal castles fit for royalty and dramatic countryside beckoning exploration. Encounter the heritage of Sterling, bursting with medieval and Renaissance architecture and charm, and learn about the National Hero of Scotland, William Wallace. Take a haggis masterclass, sample the best Scotch whiskies, and become enveloped in the pride and passion of this breathtaking nation and its enthusiastic people. Visit Dunrobin Castle, plucked straight from a fairytale, and wander the elegant laneways of the cosmopolitan city of Edinburgh. Natural treasures will leave you in awe; hike trails flanked by stunning scenery, cruise the glistening waterways, take in the spectacular moors, and go in search of the Loch Ness Monster.
Trip Type: Cosmopolitan, Cultural
Day By Day
Day 1 – Arrive in Scotland, Stirling Guided Walking Tour and Stirling Castle
Upon arrival into Scotland, Edinburgh Airport, you will be met by your driver and assisted to the vehicle. Transfer from the airport to your Stirling hotel for check in. Transfer time is approximately 45-60 minutes.
Early in the 14th century William Wallace led the Scottish in their first War of Independence and he can now be considered the country’s greatest hero. One of the most famous battles of this war took place at Stirling Bridge in 1297, where the Scottish army defeated the English army. Enjoy a guided walking tour of the town followed by a visit to Stirling Castle.
Stirling is Scotland's heritage capital, where the Wars of Independence were fought and won, where for three centuries monarchs ruled in regal splendor and where merchants and craftsmen plied their trade below the castle rock. These days, the compact heritage mile that links Stirling’s Old Town with its bustling modern city center boasts the finest concentration of historic buildings in Scotland. Beautifully preserved medieval and Renaissance churches and mansions cluster around the Old Town, flanked by cobbled streets, period street furniture and Victorian styled iron work. Overlooking the scene of one of Scotland’s most famous battle sites, Stirling Bridge, is the 220 foot high National Wallace Monument.
Continue to one of Scotland’s grandest castles. Due to its imposing position and impressive architecture, Stirling Castle commands the countryside for many miles around. It towers over some of the most important battlefields of Scotland’s past including Stirling Bridge, the site of William Wallace’s victory over the English in 1297, and Bannockburn where Robert the Bruce defeated the same foe in the summer of 1314. Situated on a volcanic outcrop guarding the lowest crossing point of the River Forth, Stirling Castle is a great symbol of Scottish Independence and a source of enduring national pride. The castle’s long, turbulent history is associated with great figures from Scotland’s past, such as William Wallace, Robert the Bruce and Mary Queen of Scots. It has seen many royal dramas and witnessed the lives and deaths of almost every Scottish monarch up to the Union of the Crowns in 1603.Starting Accommodation:
Cromlix House Hotel
Day 2 – William Wallace Monument and Whisky Tour
Visit one of the most distinctive landmarks on the Stirling skyline, the National Wallace Monument. Commemorating the Scottish patriot and martyr who triumphed over King Edward's army at The Battle of Stirling Bridge, it was erected in memory of one of Scotland’s famous sons. See the Battle of Bannockburn site to the South of the city before experiencing some of the best Scotch whisky on offer at Deanston Distillery; a former cotton mill for over 180 years, it was transformed into a distillery in 1960.Starting Accommodation:
Cromlix House Hotel Meals:
Day 3 – Loch Katrine and the Falls of Leny
Travel to the nearby Trossachs National Park. Reach Loch Katrine where you will board the Lady of the Lake for a cruise on the loch itself. Your 45-minute sailing will glide past stunning Trossachs landmarks such as Ben A’an and Ben Venue and glimpse the mountains around the loch. The beauty of the Loch has long inspired some of Scotland’s most famous writers, such as Sir Walter Scott, whose works included the ‘Lady of the Lake’ poem set on Loch Katrine.
Take in some of the outstanding scenery on a guided walk on the Falls of Leny. Finish the day with a haggis masterclass as you learn how this national dish is made and sample some yourself.Starting Accommodation:
Cromlix House Hotel Meals:
Day 4 – Stirling to Glencoe via The Hill House
Charles Rennie Mackintosh is one of Scotland’s most celebrated architects and artists and his finest domestic creation can be found at Hill House, an arresting mix of arts and crafts, Art Nouveau and Scottish Baronial architecture and design. Mackintosh designed nearly everything inside the Hill House, from the decorative schemes and the furniture to the fittings and contents. The beautiful, formal gardens have also been restored in line with the early designs, using plants that would have been available at the time. Afterwards you will reach and stop at numerous viewpoints to see a landscape of majestic, somber beauty in Glencoe, one of Scotland’s most famous and scenic glens.Starting Accommodation:
Glencoe House Meals:
Day 5 – Hiking in The Glencoe Area
Meet with a local hiking guide for a private hike in the Glencoe area.
Glencoe really does merit the description ‘spectacular’. The road climbs over the bleak expanse of Rannoch Moor and drops down between the steep scree-strewn sides of Glencoe. Awesome mountains such as Buachaille Etive Mor and the Three Sisters loom on either side, with riverine scenery at the bottom of the glen. The name Glencoe means ‘Valley of Weeping’, and has a melancholy air thanks to it being the site of the Massacre of Glencoe in 1692. This was carried out by a regular regiment of the British army, under the command of Captain Robert Campbell of Glenlyon. The chief of the MacDonalds of Glencoe had been slow to swear allegiance to William of Orange and the massacre was part of a wider government policy designed to bring pro-Jacobite clans to heel.Starting Accommodation:
Glencoe House Meals:
Day 6 – Glencoe to Inverness, via Urquhart Castle
Travel northwards to Inverness. On the way you will drive alongside the famous Loch Ness, then stop off at Urquhart Castle which offers a taste of the Highlands at their most dramatic. Discover 1,000 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.
Try your hand at a bit of Nessie spotting. Loch Ness is the deepest freshwater loch in the Scottish Highlands, and is one of the most visited locations in Scotland. Loch Ness is about 24 miles long by one mile wide and at its deepest point, it goes down nearly 1,000 ft. Lying northeast of the Great Glen in the Highlands, Loch Ness is best known for alleged sightings of the crypto-zoological Loch Ness Monster, also known affectionately as 'Nessie'.
Continue up to Inverness where you will enjoy a short orientation of the city before finishing by a tour of Culloden Battlefield. Crowned by a pink crenelated castle and lavishly decorated with flowers, Inverness is a thriving city boasting historical buildings in the Old Town and peaceful areas close to the center. This thriving city offers a rich variety of things to do and see from culture to eating and drinking. Enjoy the fine circular walk from Inverness Castle, currently a courthouse, along the river past St Andrew’s Cathedral, which dominates the River Ness, and through the Ness Islands where you will find anglers casting long lines to leaping Atlantic salmon.Starting Accommodation:
Culloden House Hotel Meals:
Day 7 – Dunrobin Castle and Black Isle Distillery
Explore the Highland coastline and a castle one would be forgiven for thinking had been plucked straight out of a fairy tale. Dunrobin Castle, with its French chateau inspired design, conical spires and enchanting gardens will not disappoint. Dunrobin Castle is one of Britain’s oldest continuously inhabited houses dating back to the early 1300s and was used as a naval hospital during the First World War and as a boy’s boarding school from 1965 to 1972.
Scotland may be famous for whisky, but its natural resources lend itself to the making of delicious beer. At the Black Isle Brewery, Scotland’s only organic brewery, you will enjoy a tour of the brewery which is situated on the grounds of an organic farm. Nothing goes to waste here where the malt from the brewery mash is used to feed their lovely cows, who give fresh milk every day.Starting Accommodation:
Culloden House Hotel Meals:
Day 8 – Inverness to Edinburgh, via Blair Castle
Depart the Northern Highlands and travel to the Edinburgh area via Blair Atholl and Dunkeld. Visit the striking Blair Castle before continuing South. Beautifully situated beside the River Tay, Dunkeld Cathedral is Scotland’s most romantic cathedral. The nave and bell tower, dating from the 1400s, fell into ruin at the Protestant Reformation of 1560, but the 13th-century choir became the parish church, and has remained so to the present day. There are interesting early 16th-century wall paintings in the ground floor of the bell tower, and numerous fine memorials in the choir, including the effigy of Alexander Stewart, Earl of Buchan (c.1343–1405), the notorious 'Wolf of Badenoch'.Starting Accommodation:
Balmoral Hotel, Edinburgh Meals:
Day 9 – Depart Edinburgh
Ahead of your flight, you will be transferred from your Edinburgh accommodation to Edinburgh Airport to connect with your departing flight. Meals:
Package Level: Deluxe
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