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Embrace the allure of 'Auld Reekie' and explore its labyrinthine lanes, before joining your fellow travellers and Travel Director for a Welcome Reception to kick-start your turas through an unimaginably beautiful part of the world.
Let your Local Specialist take you on an informative sightseeing tour of Edinburgh. See the regal Palace of Holyroodhouse, the new Scottish Parliament Building and the Royal Mile, delving into the heart of the city, before visiting Edinburgh Castle, perched atop Castle Rock. Stroll through the grand New Town with its Gothic façades enjoying the rest of the day at leisure. Tickets to see the Edinburgh Tattoo are included on departures that coincide with performance dates.
A scenic day's excursion brings us to the ruins of the 12th-century Augustinian Jedburgh Abbey, which we will have an opportunity to view. Continue to nearby Melrose Abbey, said to be the final resting place of the embalmed heart of Robert the Bruce. We take the scenic route back to Edinburgh this afternoon, following the lush green landscapes along the Tweed River.
This morning, we cross the Firth of Forth to the celebrated home of golf - St. Andrews, to view its ancient university and famous golf course. Shakespeare's Macbeth takes centre stage as we visit Glamis Castle, once the home of the beloved Queen Mother and birthplace of Princess Margaret. Enjoy a guided tour of the castle and explore its beautiful gardens, before we travel to the waterfront city of Dundee, distinguished for its status as the first UNESCO City of Design, and the original home of marmalade.
HotelApex City Quay
Dive Into Culture and learn about the local whisky industry at a famous distillery, including a tasting of Scotland's much-loved golden nectar. Hearts and hands warmed, we wind our way to the tragic battlefield and Visitor Centre at Culloden, past rugged landscapes and the imposing Cairngorms Mountains. Visit the site where Bonnie Prince Charlie's Jacobite army was defeated. Our final stop for the night is in the heart of the Scottish Highlands and gateway to Loch Ness.
HighlightsPitlochry, Carrbridge, Inverness
The mystical haunt of Nessie is our first stop today before passing through Inverness en route to Dunrobin Castle. This stately home and its magnificent gardens, inspired by the Palace of Versailles, comes straight from the pages of a fairy tale. Spend your afternoon exploring its château-like structure and surrounds, once home to the Clan Sutherland. Arriving in Thurso, our home for the next two nights, we enjoy dinner at our hotel.
We board a ferry to South Ronaldsay in the Orkney Islands, viewing the stretch of WWII causeways known as the Churchill Barriers. Visit the ornate Italian Chapel, built by Italian prisoners of war. See the prehistoric free-standing stones of the Ring of Brodgar before visiting Skara Brae and delving into the stories of the Neolithic village. We stop at beautiful Kirkwall Cathedral for a photo opportunity before returning to our hotel for dinner.
HighlightsCaithness, St Margaret's Hope, Orkney, Lambholm, Gills Bay, Skara Brae
Dramatic landscapes accompany our scenic drive along the rugged north-west coastline of the Scottish Highlands to remote Ullapool on the shores of Loch Broom. We journey to the 13th-century Eilean Donan Castle, perched on a tiny island where three sea lochs meet, then continue to the Isle of Skye where we'll stay overnight and enjoy a delicious dinner in our hotel.
We return to the mainland following a beautiful route that takes us past the Glenfinnan Viaduct, along which Harry Potter's Hogwarts Express once crossed to his beloved school of magic. We pass Fort William on the shores of Loch Linnhe, renowned as the gateway to Ben Nevis, before continuing to Oban, our Highland home for the next two nights.
HighlightsArmadale, Mallaig, Oban
Set sail from Oban to the Isle of Mull, disembarking at Craignure. Cross the pretty island countryside to catch a ferry from Fionnphort to the island of Iona, which was once the home of a Gaelic monastic community in Iona Abbey. Before our journey back to Oban, we'll have the chance to view Rèilig Odhrain, the final resting place of many Scottish kings.
HighlightsRoss of Mull, Lochaline, Fionnphort, Iona, Oban, Craignure, Fishnish
A solemn reminder of the MacDonald clansmen, who were massacred at the 'Glen of Weeping', marks our morning journey south to Glasgow. We follow the banks of Loch Lomond, then enjoy an orientation tour visiting St. Mungo's Cathedral and viewing George Square with its statues of Britain's famous sons and daughters.
HotelHoliday Inn Theatreland
Venture to Bannockburn, where King Robert Bruce of Scotland defeated Edward II of England during the First War of Scottish Independence. Mary, Queen of Scots and several Scottish kings and queens have made Stirling Castle their home over the centuries. Enjoy a visit to its grounds and delve into the history of this royal residence and fortress, besieged by Bonnie Prince Charlie in the 18th century. We'll visit the splendidly decorated Royal Palace of King James V and view the renowned Stirling Heads. Later, we Connect With Locals, joining the Wood family this afternoon for a memorable Be My Guest experience at their 15th-century farm on the shores of Loch Ard, amidst tales of Rob Roy. This evening, we return to Glasgow for time at leisure to enjoy true Scottish hospitality.
MealsBreakfast, Be My Guest
Our epic journey across Scotland's highlands, islands and cities has come to an end. It's time to say a fond farewell to our travel companions and Travel Director as our memorable holiday comes to an end. Find out more about your free airport transfer at trafalgar.com/freetransfers.
- 12 breakfasts
- 1 lunch (Be My Guest)
- 5 dinners
- Audio Headsets for flexible sightseeing
- Daily breakfast and up to half your evening meals
- Luxury air-conditioned coach with Wi-Fi in most countries or alternative transportation (such as rail journeys)
- Ferry to the Orkney Isles and return
- Ferry to the Isle of Mull and Iona
- Ferry from the Isle of Skye to Mallaig
- Cherry-picked hotels, all tried and trusted
- Optional Experiences and free time
- All porterage and restaurant gratuities
- Must-see sightseeing and surprise extras
- An expert Travel Director and professional Driver
- Tickets are included for the world-famous Tattoo during the Edinburgh Festival
- All hotel tips, charges and local taxes
- Handcrafted Highlights
- Explore in Edinburgh with a Local Specialist
- Discover Dundee, Orkney Islands, Stirling and Glasgow
- Visit Edinburgh Castle, Glamis Castle, Blair Athol Whisky Distillery, the battlefield and Visitor Centre of Culloden, Dunrobin Castle, John O'Groats, The Italian Chapel in Orkney Islands, Skara Brae, Ullapool, Isle of Skye, Isle of Mull, Isle of Iona, St. Mungo's Cathedral in Glasgow and Stirling Castle
- View Jedburgh Abbey, the 18th green at St. Andrews, Inverness Castle, Eilean Donan Castle and Glencoe
- See Loch Ness, Loch Lomond and the Battlefield at Bannockburn
- Connect with Locals Join the Wood family at their 15th-century farm on the shores of Loch Ard for a home-cooked Scottish Be My Guest lunch, tales of Rob Roy and a few foot-tapping ceilidh tunes. (Day 12)
- Dive into Culture Visit Blair Athol Whisky Distillery in the foothills of the Grampian Mountains for a tour and tasting of their single malt whisky. (Day 5)
Brendan Vacations's Airport Transfers 2021-22
Apex City Quay
Holiday Inn Theatreland
*Price is per person, land only and based on double occupancy. Subject to availability; varies by inclusions and travel dates. CST#2084503-20