2018 SCOTTISH CLANS & CASTLES 10 DAYS / 9 NIGHTS
Tour begins at 2:00 pm, Drymen hotel, 20 miles (30km) north of Glasgow Airport. Your first castle visit is to Doune Castle, which has been featured in “Game of Thrones” and “Outlander.” Enjoy free time in Callandar and a drive through the Trossachs region, often called “Scotland in Miniature” as all aspects of delightful Scottish scenery are found here. Enjoy a welcome drink with your group before dinner.
Today you’ll visit Stirling Castle, a mighty stronghold that dominates the surrounding plain. Tour the Battle of Bannockburn Visitor Center to learn about the medieval weapons and armor, walk the real battlefield where Scottish King Robert the Bruce defeated English troops, then enjoy a thrilling 3D battle show.
Head up into the majestic Highlands and journey across Rannoch Moor and through Glen Coe, often considered one of Scotland’s most spectacular and beautiful places. Treat yourself to Scottish goods at a woollen mill and continue your journey north to the romantic Eilean Donan Castle. The first fortified castle was built in the 13th century, rebuilt several times and partially ruined in 1719. Check in to your charming family-owned hotel near Kyle of Lochalsh.
Explore the Isle of Skye and its Bonnie Prince Charlie associations. Travel to Dunvegan Castle, the oldest continuously inhabited castle in Scotland. Admire the Trotternish Peninsula as you travel to visit Kilt Rock, a 200 foot (60m) high sea cliff with huge, vertical basalt columns. Visit Flora Macdonald’s grave in Kilmuir Graveyard and stop in Portree for free time.
Discover the history of the Lords of the Isles at the Clan Donald Center at Armadale Castle. Embark on a ferry ride to Mallaig and transfer to a steam train for a ride through some of Scotland’s picturesque scenery. The steam train crosses the 21-arched Glenfinnan viaduct, which was featured in some of the Harry Potter movies. Travel from Fort William to Inverness.
Keep your camera handy as you embark on a cruise of Loch Ness. Photo opportunities await as you approach the picturesque ruins of Urquhart Castle, once Scotland’s largest castle. Stop at the Culloden Battlefield Visitor Center to discover how British Government forces defeated the army of Bonnie Prince Charlie on 16th April 1746. This conflict was the end of the clan system in Scotland. Stop for photos at Clava Cairns, a prehistoric burial place with a circle of standing stones that inspired the “Outlander” books. Return to Inverness for dinner and a gentle walking tour.
See where many distilleries are based close to the pure water of the River Spey as you travel through part of the Speyside region. Visit a distillery to tour the facilities and sample a “wee dram.” Explore 16th century Brodie Castle, set in spacious grounds with its fairytale towers and turrets. The house contains fine furnishings, a collection of paintings and a library with over 6,000 volumes. Return to Inverness and relax before dinner in your hotel.
Immerse yourself in farm life and enjoy a sheepdog demonstration, where dogs obey commands to round up sheep. In Pitlochry, browse and have lunch independently. Continue to Culross for a walking tour around the charming 16th century town. Highlights include the 1626 Town House with its 1783 tower, Culross Palace and on the hillside are the remains of Culross Abbey. Enjoy free time in Culross before heading to Edinburgh where a festive Scottish Evening with dinner and entertainment awaits.
Discover the old and new towns of Edinburgh. See how the medieval townhouses along the Royal Mile in the heart of the Old Town are in stark contrast to the Georgian mansions of the 200-year old New Town. Tour the impressive Palace of Holyroodhouse, the official Scottish residence of The Queen, and walk through the majestically furnished chambers. The balance of the day is free. On July 26 to August 16 departures enjoy the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo at the Castle esplanade.
Your tour ends after breakfast.
B: Breakfast; L: Lunch; D: Dinner