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.
Welcome dinner; guided sightseeing, visit Edinburgh Castle
Visit the home of golf
Visit the Victorian mountain resort
Visit the battle site’s visitor center
Visit the Highland capital
[LF] Guided tour of the whisky distillery
Visit the castle and gardens
Take the ferry to and from the Orkney Islands
Board a local coach for a driver-guide commentary and visits to the Churchill Barriers, Skara Brae and Skaill House, and Kirkwall; visit the [LF] Orkney Brewery and enjoy lunch at the Tasting Hall café
[LF] Fish & chips lunch
ISLE OF SKYE
Drive across the Inner Hebridean island
Cross the Sound of Sleat by ferry
Take pictures of the monument and the Harry Potter viaduct
visit the port town in the West Highlands
Take the return ferry to the Isle of Mull
ISLES OF MULL AND IONA
Take photographs of this stunning spot
Orientation drive, farewell dinner
Dominated by the ramparts of Edinburgh Castle, this picturesque city offers shopping on Princes Street, the grandeur of the Royal Mile, St. Giles Cathedral and historic Palace of Holyrood House, where Queen Mary lived and many Scottish kings were wed. Or venture across the moors to marvel at the scenic Highlands.
Inverness is an excellent tourism destination. With its suspension bridges across the River Ness and old stone buildings, it is a pretty place well-known for its floral displays. Walk along the river banks and to the Ness Islands for an escape from the hustle and bustle of the shops. Cross the river on little bridges and visit Bught Park. The Floral Hall has a sub-tropical horticultural extravaganza with a small waterfall, fish and all sorts of plants and trees. Walk up the river in the other direction and see Ben Wyvis on the skyline. Inverness has an excellent museum and art gallery. Local history talks take place here. Eden Court Theater, situated near the cathedral, has events listings and incorporates part of the old Bishop's Palace and is said to be haunted by the 'Green Lady' ghost of a wife of one of the bishops who hanged herself there. Also check out art.tm which is an art gallery and studio. The Spectrum Centre has a cafe and is the meeting place for local clubs and education classes. Look out for Scottish Showtime music and dance performances during the summer.
Thurso is mainland Scotland's most northerly town, and home to the country's most northerly railway station. Located on the north coast of Caithness, its seaward views are dominated by the distant cliffs of Dunnet Head to the north east, and those of the island of Hoy to the north. In more recent times the arrival of the Kylesku Bridge and many stretches of road wide enough to boast white lines down the middle have made the far north west much more accessible. But recent developments have done nothing to diminish the utterly superb scenery the area has to offer; and there remain some stretches of single track road to add interest to the trip. Also of interest, the sometimes turbulent seas of the Pentland Firth have led to Thurso becoming an unlikely center for surfing.
Tucked into a bay at the top of the Argyll Peninsula on the central west coast of Scotland, Oban is a ferry port for the islands and a center for Gaelic history and culture. McCaig's Tower, a replica of the Colosseum of Rome, was built in 1900 by a local banker. Argyll, home of the Clan Campbell, was once the ancient Scottish Kingdom of Dalriada. In mist-shrouded Kilmartin Glen, one of the most beautiful in Scotland, are the ruins of Dunadd Castle, where a weathered rock inscribed with a boar head marks where Scottish kings were crowned until the 11th century. Nearby, stone circles attest to a civilization dating back 5,000 years. Loch Fyne is where the present head of the Campbells, the Duke of Argyll, makes his home at Inverary Castle. The 19th century castle was admired by Sir Walter Scott as a fine example of the Scottish baronial style.
Glasgow Destination Guide