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This 10-day escorted tour of Scotland’s highlands starts with two nights and sightseeing in Edinburgh before crossing Forth Road Bridge to St. Andrews—the home of golf. Then it’s off to the highlands through the grand Grampian Mountains to Culloden, where Scottish clans met their fate in the famous battle there. Spend the night in the Highland capital, Inverness, and take a guided tour of a whiskey distillery before heading on to the majestic Dunrobin Castle. Board a ferry from John o’Groats at Britain’s mainland most northerly tip for an excursion to the Orkney Islands. Cross the historic Churchill Barriers at Scapa Flow, then taste the local ale at the famed Orkney Brewery. Visit Skara Brae’s 5,000-year-old ruins of a Neolithic village, and the mystical stone circle of the Ring of Brodgar, regarded as the Orkneys’ “Stonehenge”. Travel along the rugged scenery of the North Coast 500 route, and pass through Durness and Scourie to enjoy traditional fish & chips in the old fishing port of Ullapool. Explore the beautiful Isle of Skye, then ferry across the Sound of Sleat back to the mainland. See the Jacobite monument in Glenfinnan and the viaduct made famous in the Harry Potter films. Travel through Fort William beneath Ben Nevis (the highest mountain in British Isles), and beautiful Glen Coe. Stay the night in Oban—gateway to Scotland’s Hebridean Islands, including the isles of Mull and Iona on today’s excursion. Travel through the Trossachs’ stunning landscapes, and stop at Loch Lomond en route to Glasgow to conclude your spectacular guided vacation in Scotland.
Please note: 2021 itinerary is based on 2020 and is subject to change, but by booking today you will lock in your price. Full details will be confirmed in September 2020.
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Inside visits and special features are shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description, including admission charges where applicable.
Total meals included:
Welcome to Edinburgh! Check into your hotel with the rest of the day to discover the Scottish capital at your own pace. At 6 pm, meet your Tour Director and traveling companions for a welcome dinner at your hotel.
Morning city sightseeing with a Local Guide introduces you to the 200-year-old “New Town” and the famous scientists, inventors, and novelists who lived there. In the “Old Town,” visit EDINBURGH CASTLE to admire Scotland’s Crown Jewels. The afternoon is free. Tonight, don’t miss our optional Scottish evening with Highland dancers, bagpipers, and the Ceremony of the Haggis. For departure numbers August 6 through August 27, tickets are included for tonight’s performance of the world-renowned MILITARY TATTOO, a vast spectacle of massed Scottish pipe bands that takes place in an arena on the esplanade of Edinburgh Castle.
Travel over the elegant Forth Road Bridge and through Fife to St. Andrews, home of golf and famous university town. Cross the Firth of Tay and from Dundee, head into the Highlands for a visit of the Victorian mountain resort of Pitlochry. Drive through the Grampian Mountains and Cairngorms National Park to CULLODEN VISITOR CENTRE, that reveals the story of the crushing Hanoverian victory over Bonnie Prince Charlie’s Scottish clans. Spend the next night in Inverness, the Highland capital.
Today’s Distance: 201 mi / 323 km
Continue an unforgettable journey with a guided tour of a LF WHISKY DISTILLERY. Then, follow the coast road to majestic DUNROBIN CASTLE, perched on a high terrace above walled gardens and for centuries the seat of the Dukes and Earls of Sutherland. Overnight in Thurso, the most northerly town on Britain’s mainland. Before dinner, you may choose to join an optional excursion to a local pub.
Today’s Distance: 110 mi / 177 km
A fascinating day full of adventure. At John o’Groats, board a FERRY for the 45-minute crossing to South Ronaldsay, one of the Orkney Islands, where a local coach and driver-guide await you. Cross the four Churchill Barriers and overlook Scapa Flow, where the German fleet scuttled itself in World War I. After a light LUNCH at the Tasting Hall café, take a guided tour of the award-winning LF ORKNEY BREWERY and sample the local ale. Then, head for SKARA BRAE, where you’ll see the fascinating remains of a 5,000-year-old Neolithic village and visit SKAILL HOUSE. Yet more highlights: the Ring of Brodgar, the Orkneys’ Stonehenge, and Kirkwall, the small and picturesque island capital. Return to the mainland by FERRY in the late afternoon.
Today’s Distance: 90 mi / 145 km
A day to sit back and enjoy The North Coast 500 route. Admire the breathtakingly wild and unspoiled scenery: rugged beaches, convoluted passes, and ghostly ruins. Drive via Durness and Scourie to Ullapool. Visit this pretty fishing port and enjoy a traditional LF FISH & CHIPS lunch at a local restaurant. Overnight in Gairloch in the North-West Highlands.
Today’s Distance: 194 mi / 312 km
Striking landscapes, unusual rock formations, and dramatic waterfalls will capture your attention on the beautiful Isle of Skye. Return to the mainland by FERRY across the Sound of Sleat to Mallaig. Pause at Glenfinnan to see the monument to fallen Jacobite clansmen and the famous viaduct well known to Harry Potter fans before reaching Fort William beneath Ben Nevis. Travel through intensely dramatic and scenic Glen Coe, before arriving at Oban, a lively port town on the western coast and gateway to Scotland’s Hebridean islands.
Today’s Distance: 234 / 376 km
Take the ferry to the Isle of Mull. Land at Craignure and enjoy the scenic drive to the departure point of the passenger ferry across to the beautiful and fascinating Isle of Iona. This is the burial place of many Scottish kings and chiefs, including Macbeth. And it is here that in 563 A.D. St. Columba established one of the first Christian monasteries in the British Isles. Time to visit the cathedral and explore the religious settlement before returning to Oban.
Today’s Distance: 94 mi / 151 km
After time in Oban, travel through The Trossachs with its serene glens, lush forests, and rushing rivers. Admire the stunning scenery of Scotland’s first national park. Enjoy the breathtaking views at the “Bonnie Banks” of Loch Lomond on your way to Glasgow for an orientation drive to see the fine 12th-century cathedral, imposing university buildings, and elegant Georgian squares built by wealthy tobacco barons. Enjoy free time this afternoon before a farewell dinner at a local restaurant.
Today’s Distance: 91 mi / 147 km
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning.
It may occasionally be necessary to use alternative hotels of a similar standard to those shown.
The George Hotel is the pinnacle of luxury hotels in Edinburgh and proud winner of the Best Hotel in Edinburgh at the Scottish Hotel Awards 2011.
Enjoy warm Highland hospitality in Old Town Inverness at Mercure Inverness Hotel. Rebuilt on the site of the original Caledonian Hotel, the modern hotel is just 200 meters from Inverness train station and a caber toss from the city's numerous pubs and restaurants.
Unpack and relax in your room. All 34 rooms are freshly decorated and have the essential direct dial telephone, television with Freeview, hairdryer, hospitality tray and en suite shower rooms with complimentary toiletries.
Nestled beside Gairloch Bay, the Gairloch hotel overlooks several quiet, secluded beaches with views of the world famous Isle of Skye. With 70 guestrooms, as well as a restaurant and lounge bar, guests can enjoy a calendar of live entertainment on site. All guestrooms are complete with en suite facilities as well as a television, hairdryer, telephone, and tea and coffee making facilities.
On the edge of Oban's picturesque esplanade in the heart of Argyll, Oban Bay Hotel is an ideal base for exploring Scotland's west coast and the Highlands. Following a multi-million pound investment the hotel and its restaurant have a fresh modern look. The remodelled spa area features a sauna, steam room, hydropool and treatments from organic Scottish skincare brand ishga. All rooms are en-suite and include a hospitality tray, Scottish toiletries and hairdryer, with front-facing rooms and the hotel's spacious sun lounge offering panoramic views of incredible sunsets over the bay.
The historic hotel is located right in the heart of Glasgow city center, adjoining Central Station at the junction of Hope Street and Gordon Street. All 230 bedrooms over 7 floors offer complimentary Wi-Fi and facilities like TV, coffee maker, hairdryer, and iron/ironing. There are also Champagne Bar, Tempus Restaurant, and a deli.
Our expert Tour Directors help you get the most out of every place you visit - and have a 96% customer satisfaction rating.
We’re delighted to have achieved the Good Housekeeping Reader Recommended endorsement for customer experience.
We are a member of ABTA and our flight-inclusive holidays are protected by ATOL. If your holiday is cancelled for any reason, you’ll receive a full refund.