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Grand Tour of Scotland

Grand Tour of Scotland

Introduction

Time: 10 Nights / 11 Days

Accommodation: First Class Hotels

Start Date: All Year - Any Day Start

Group Size: Any Group Size

Starting in the capital, Edinburgh, this tour travels throughout this great and beautiful country discovering the history and hidden places that make it so endearing. Interspersed between the dramatic scenery we will unearth first class hotels, mouth watering local food and dramatic history.

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Starting in the capital, Edinburgh, this tour travels throughout this great and beautiful country discovering the history and hidden places that make it so endearing. Interspersed between the unparalelled scenery we will unearth first class hotels, mouth watering local food and dramatic history.

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Why not create your own tour? As with all our tours the attractions you see will take account of your interests and can be adapted to what you want to see. So, if you want to see places not on the list below, just let us know. Complete our enquiry form to find out more »


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Itinerary

Day 1: Edinburgh introduction Tour

Day 1: Edinburgh introduction Tour

From the airport, your guide will collect you and introduce you to the history and sites of EDINBURGH. The heart of the city is a World Heritage Site and one of the most beautiful cityscapes anywhere. Edinburgh Castle dominates the skyline and you can relax whilst we drive through the city streets. Staring at the OLD TOWN, a medieval city with the complicated street pattern and bustling cultural scene we will pass Arthur’s Seat and the Scottish Parliament. One of the best views of the city can be had from Carlton Park before passing Princes Street to the Georgian NEW TOWN and its award winning architecture.

Day 2: Castle - Royal Mile - Holyroodhouse

Day 2: Castle - Royal Mile - Holyroodhouse

Today, we will take a stroll down the ROYAL MILE. At the top is Edinburgh CASTLE. This most famous of Scottish castles dates from the C12th. You will see the CROWN JEWELS of Scotland and the Stone of Destiny. Walking down the Royal Mile we will explore its numerous alleys and legends. Half way is ST GILES Cathedral. Often referred to as the “Cradle of Presbyterianism” it was John Knox’s church in the reformation. At the bottom, the Palace of HOLYROODHOUSE is the Queen’s official residence in Scotland. Known as the home of Mary Queen of Scots it was the setting for the most dramatic parts of her reign.

Day 3: Linithgow - Stirling Castle & City

Day 3: Linithgow - Stirling Castle & City

To the west is the ancient burgh of LINLITHGOW. Linlithgow Palace is the birthplace of Mary Queen of Scots. Built in the C15th, the palace is perfectly positioned besides the loch. STIRLING was named a city in 2002 and the CASTLE was once the residence of the Scottish Kings. Here, some of the country’s most famous warriors lived and fought including William Wallace and Robert the Bruce. The exquisite architecture and cobbled streets of the Old Town are testament to Scotland’s past. Within the old town is ARGYLL'S LODGING – the most complete surviving example of a C17th town house in Scotland.

Day 4: Scone - Dunkeld - Blair Castle

Day 4: Scone - Dunkeld - Blair Castle

Once the crowning palace of the kings of the Scots, SCONE PALACE occupies a unique position in the country’s history. A breathtakingly beautiful place of power and mystery it is the rightful home of the Stone of Scone – the Stone of Destiny. DUNKELD is a little town and the original seat of the kingdom of the Picts. Scotland’s first king, Kenneth McAlpin, built a stone church here. This later became the centre of Christianity. Lastly, we will visit BLAIR CASTLE, a classic castle and a major stately home. The seat of the Murray family, the castle has vast collections of weapons, paintings and furniture.

Day 5: Cairngorms - Distilliery - Cawdor Castle

Day 5: Cairngorms - Distilliery - Cawdor Castle

You are now in the Scottish Highland and this morning we will travel through the CAIRNGORMS. These mountains are the largest area of arctic landscape in the UK and home to 25% of Britain’s flora and fauna. Close-by is World’s highest concentration of WHISKY DISTILLERIES including famous names like Macallan, Glenlivet and Glenfiddich. Discovering the process is very interesting and we can take a whisky distillery tour. CAWDOR Castle is magical place. Made famous by Shakespeare as Macbeth's home, it is a fairly tale castle over 600 years old. Today, it is a family home with three gardens.

Day 6: Culloden - Loch Ness - Eilean Donan

Day 6: Culloden - Loch Ness - Eilean Donan

The Battle of Culloden is arguably the most important battle in Scotland’s history. In 1745, Jacobites – mainly highland Scots rose up against the government in support of Bonnie Prince Charlie’s claim to the throne. After a series of conflicts the final battle took place at Culloden where the Jacobites were defeated. Taking the road to INVERNESS then down the west side of Loch Ness. From one of the many viewpoints, there are many boats to seek out the monster. On the road to Skye Bridge is probably the most scenic in Britain. On the way is EILEAN DONAN – the most photographed castle on the planet and an icon of Scotland.

Day 7: Isle of Skye

Day 7: Isle of Skye

From PORTREE, the capital of the Isle of Skye, we will explore this most breathtaking of the Scottish Islands. The jagged ridge of the Cuillin Hills, dominate the western part of the island but there are many tiny villages, bays and inlets to explore on the lush lower ground in the east. Among the attractions are DUNVEGAN Castle, the home to the Clan MacLeod for 800 years, the MUSEUM OF ISLAND LIFE tells the story of how crofters lived 100 years ago. Weather permitting, an excursion on a boat to see the Sea Eagles and seals in the surrounding waters. Skye is a haven for crafts with many specialist artisans.

Day 8: Skye Boat - Steam Train

Day 8: Skye Boat - Steam Train

Travelling around the CUILLINS we will reach the FERRY to the mainland. This inspired the Skye Boat Song recalling Bonnie Prince Charlie’s escape from Culloden - this short ride takes us to Mallaig. During the summer months, the JACOBITE Steam Railway runs from here to the base of Britain’s highest mountain Ben Nevis and the capital of the highlands, Fort William. This is one of the great railway journeys of the world and has come to prominence as the Hogwarts Express in the Harry Potter. On the way you will see GLENFINNAN Viaduct an impressive structure with 21 arches perched above a beautiful loch.

Day 9: Glen Coe - Inveraray - Loch Lomond

Day 9: Glen Coe - Inveraray - Loch Lomond

Driving south through the spectacular mountain pass of GLEN COEyou will hear the stories behind the conflict between the Campbells and the MacDonalds. The scenery is some of the best in Scotland as we reach the port town of INVERARAY. The castle is the home of the Campbells and houses fine furniture, artwork, tapestries and armour. This is close to Loch Fyne which is famous for oysters. A small restaurant on the banks of the loch is an ideal lunch stop. LOCH LOMOND is Scotland’s most famous water way and at the southern end is LUSS, a lovely C18th village used as a movie and tv set.

Day 10: Glasgow - School of Art - Cathedral

Day 10: Glasgow - School of Art - Cathedral

GLASGOW is Scotland’s largest city and has many elegant streets and oustanding architecture. As the second city of the British Empire it was home to many wealthy merchants. The city has many famous sons including Charles Rennie Mackintosh, an architect who influenced European design and who founded the Glasgow SCHOOL OF ART. At the east end of the new city is the CATHEDRAL – a wonderful example of gothic architecture. Built in the C13th, the church has a shrine to St Mungo – the patron saint of Glasgow. Overlooking the Cathedral is Glasgow Necropolis - a graveyard to the rich of Victorian Scotland.

Day 11: Burns - Culzean - Burrell Collection

Day 11: Burns - Culzean - Burrell Collection

South of Glasgow is the area where Scotland’s favourite poet and writer, Robert Burns lived. In some lovely rolling countryside, the BURNS NATIONAL HERITAGE PARK includes the cottage where Burns was born and some of the places featured in Tam O’ Shanter. A few miles away is CULZEAN Castle. Set on the cliffs tops a simple tower house was transformed by the architect, Robert Adam into one of the country’s greatest houses. An apartment in the castle was given to Eisenhower as thanks for his service in WWII. On the way back, the BURRELL COLLECTION has over 8000 art exhibits.


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Gardens

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Sports Tours

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Central Scotland

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Highlands and North of Scotland Tours

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Islands

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Southern Scotland Tours

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Sightseeing Tours

Clan Tours

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