Land of the mountain and the flood
(From £90 per person per day.)
Our most ambitious tour of Scotland. Comprehensive, breathtaking, majestic – Home.
There is so much more to Scotland than you can possibly cram into a short visit. Don’t be fooled by the size of this nation; it rewards the traveller far more than the tourist. In this grand tour we pick up on the most iconic scenery, landmarks and wildlife in Scotland: St Andrews, Balmoral, Isle of Skye, Loch Ness, Glencoe and Rosslyn Chapel.
DAY 1. EDINBURGH – ST ANDREWS – DUNDEE – CARNOUSTIE – ARBROATH ABBEY
Leaving Scotland’s romantic capital, view the awesome Forth Bridge before discovering the East Neuk (corner) of Fife and the best fish and chips in the UK at Anstruther. St Andrews is far more than the Mecca of golfers. As Scotland’s ecclesiastic capital, it is also the seat of our oldest University, where “Wills met Kate”. Your private tour of Dundee, city of Jam, Jute and Journalism will lead you through delightful Carnoustie en route to Arbroath Abbey, where Scotland’s Declaration of Independence was signed in 1320. Overnight in Angus
DAY 2. GLAMIS CASTLE – BLAIRGOWRIE – BALMORAL ESTATE – ROYAL LOCHNAGAR DISTILLERY
Visit shortbread tin Glamis, birthplace of our dear-departed Queen Mother, amongst the most haunted inhabitations in Britain, before dropping by Blairgowrie – a gateway town, and a wondrous place to shop for quirky souvenirs. Our Royals spend upwards of two months in each year at their own family estates at Balmoral. Should a visit to the estate itself prove impossible during your visit, there is still a great deal worthy of your attention in Ballater, and not least of all the only Scottish Distillery with the Royal Seal of Approval, Royal Lochnagar. Overnight in Aberdeen
DAY 3. HUNTLY CASTLE – DUFF HOUSE – BUCKIE COAST – ELGIN CATHEDRAL – CULLODEN
Delight in beautiful Aberdeenshire as we pass between stark Huntly Castle and stately Duff House where you will receive an exclusive tour of the National Galleries’ Northern Collection. After a lunch of Cullen Skink, a traditional smoked haddock chowder, we visit the Lantern of the North at Elgin Cathedral, before turning for Culloden where you’ll be guided across the ground where the Jacobite dream faded forever in 1746. Overnight in Inverness
DAY 4. INVERNESS – ULLAPOOL – STORNAWAY – CALLANISH – HARRIS TWEED – SKYE
Today, we’re on the road to the isles as we head for the Hebrides on an awe-inspiring lochside drive to Ullapool. As we cross the Minch, if we’re lucky we may see seal, dolphins, porpoises, even pods of whales. Ashore on Lewis we’ll visit the Callanish standing stones, evocative neolithic monuments older than the pyramids and have the opportunity to purchase Harris Tweed at source. This is no factory outlet: tweed is still literally a cottage industry. If the sailings are kind, we’ll see in the evening in Portree. If not, Harris is still more hospitable. Overnight on Harris or Skye
DAY 5. SKYE – KYLE OF LOCHALSH – EILIEAN DONAN – LOCH NESS CRUISE – SPEAN BRIDGE
After a breathtaking tour of Skye, which in itself feels almost like a tour of Scotland in miniature, we’ll cross back over onto the mainland to take in perhaps the most unmistakable castle you’ve never heard of at Eiliean Donan, before embarking on a wonderful cruise on Loch Ness: laid-back or full-throttle – you choose. At the foot of Loch Lochy, we’ll pay our respects at the Commando Monument where a remarkable band of brothers trained ahead of supreme sacrifice. Overnight in Oban.
DAY 6. OBAN – CRAIGNURE – IONA – TOBERMORY
Relax on an exclusive tour of Mull. After crossing the Firth of Lorn, we skirt past Bunessan to enjoy the context that serene Iona lends to your expanding knowledge of Scotland’s stirring history. The rest of the day we are on island time and certainly in no rush. Perhaps we’ll take the tiny passenger ferry across to Ulva to enjoy a pint of fresh prawns; perhaps we’ll take a dip at beautiful Calgary Bay; perhaps we’ll take route one to Tobermory, the island’s principal town, where we’ll kick back in one of the best pubs in Scotland. Overnight in Tobermory.
DAY 7. ARDNAMURCHAN POINT – GLENFINNAN – THE JACOBITE STEAM TRAIN – FORT WILLIAM
On the untamed Ardnamurchan peninsula we head for Glenfinnan where the standard was raised in the name of the Old Pretender. The memorial at Glenfinnan is a heartbreaking reminder of a forgotten Highland way of life, but it’s also home to the viaduct where a certain boy wizard attempted to catch up with the Hogwarts Express in a flying Ford Anglia. You’ll be speeding across it on the Steam Train we call The Jacobite. Whilst you might not be able to buy every flavour beans aboard, you’re assured to feel an exhilarating rush of excitement. Overnight in Fort William.
DAY 8. GLENCOE – LOCH AWE – INVERARY JAIL & CASTLE – LOCH LOMOND – THE HILL HOUSE
Glencoe is beautiful in sunshine but still more evocative when clouds gather overhead. At Tyndrum, we turn toward Loch Awe, with views of Ben Cruachan and Kilchurn Castle, before skirting the Loch and weaving through the mountain pass to Inveraray. Then the Old Military Road through Hell’s Glen (nowhere near as bad as it sounds) sees us atop the Rest and Be Thankful, before appreciating the beauty of Loch Lomond. Across Glen Fruin we’re in Helensburgh for Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s stunning Hill House. Overnight on Loch Lomondside.
DAY 9. DUKE’S PASS – THE WALLACE MONUMENT – FALKIRK WHEEL & KELPIES – NEW LANARK
Through the tremendous beauty of the Trossachs, we thread along the banks of Loch Achray and Loch Venachar toward Kilmahog, where you may meet Hamish, Scotland’s largest and best loved Highland cow. After a brief stop in Calendar we visit the Wallace monument and on to the amazing Falkirk Wheel and the 30m high chromium steel Kelpies, remarkable equine sculptures. The day closes at New Lanark, a testimonial to industrial ingenuity and the strength of the worker. Overnight at New Lanark.
DAY 10. MOFFAT – BOWHILL HOUSE – THE MOORFOOT HILLS – ROSSLYN CHAPEL – EDINBURGH
Your chauffeur guide will whisk you through some jaw-droppingly gorgeous vistas with evocative names such as The Devil’s Beef Tub and The Grey Mare’s Tail en route to the Duke of Buccleuch seat at Bowhill near Selkirk. The Moorfoot Hills offer a gentler experience than some of the Highland passes, but no less secluded and gorgeous and absolutely perfect for a picnic stop, perhaps, at the Meldins. After an intimate tour of the gloriously enigmatic Rosslyn Chapel you’ll be transferred back to the Capital. Tour ends in Edinburgh.
Firstly, you are paying for the undivided attention of your guide: their expertise, wit and knowledge and their accommodation. The cost is spread among however many are in your party. If there are five in your party or only two, the cost is the same. In addition, all travel within Scotland (with the exception of boat trips, Railway excursions etc.). Also included is public indemnity and a cast-iron guarantee that you will enjoy the time spent alongside your guide. Costs do not include entrance to attractions, dining, gratuities or your accommodation. It is culturally anticipated that guides would join clients for lunch but never insisted upon.
In most cases you will be eligible to receive a full or partial refund depending upon:
– your cancellation reason;
– how much notice we receive of your changing plans;
– the effort and resources already expended in creating a bespoke experience for you;
– any unrecoverable charges made by third-party suppliers.
EdinburghTourGuide.com is not responsible for incidental expenses incurred by you as a result of the purchase of your tour such as visas, vaccinations, non-refundable flights or loss of enjoyment through ill-health, etc.
You can find our full cancellation policy here.
In general, Scotland doesn’t get super hot or super cold and seldom does it get super wet but rain can be stubbornly persistent. Beyond stout shoes that keep out the water and layered clothing with a good, breathable outer layer, there’s nothing specific you need, but if you’re susceptible to the cold, you might feel the benefit of gloves and/or a scarf. Such are available for purchase year round, though, if you need to pack light.