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You only have to look around to see why Scotland is praised for its natural landscapes and historic buildings. Rolling hills, rocky cliffs and undulating valleys speckled in myriad colours, pristine lochs shimmering even on the coldest of days, and castles dotted throughout the countryside as if you've transported back in time. With a 10-day exploration of Scotland's highlands, lochs and villages, you'll experience the finest of nature with the warmest of hospitality. Discover the untouched Isle of Skye, the charming Pitlochry, and hit both Scottish hubs of Glasgow and Edinburgh on your way through. With the right amount of small-group adventure, local knowledge and stunning scenery, let the Scottish Highlands enchant you.
GlasgowGlasgow is a city full of character, history and flair; a great start to a Scottish highlights tour. Meet with your group leader and fellow travellers at an important welcome meeting at 6 pm. If you do happen to arrive early, why not check out the Riverside Museum and get your hands on their interactive displays – these exhibitions highlight Glasgow’s transport history as being a major port city in the 18th and 19th centuries. Otherwise, have a stroll along the banks of the river Clyde and hang out at the Glasgow Green. After your important meeting, you could get your group together and become acquainted over dinner – Merchant City is a pretty cool area to check out at night, if you ask us.
GlasgowTake a leader-led orientation walk around Glasgow with your group to get your bearings, and afterwards, you’ve got the day to do as you please. There are plenty of free things around the city to take a look at, including the Riverside Museum, as well as the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum and the Gallery of Modern Art. Otherwise, head out to the grand University of Glasgow – founded in 1451, it is the fourth-oldest university in the English-speaking world (behind Oxford, Cambridge and St Andrews) and has some spectacular buildings to suit. Spend the night in Glasgow, before beginning your countryside travels tomorrow morning.
Loch Lomond & Trossachs National Park / GlencoeHead away from Glasgow and into the Scottish countryside, travelling by private transport to Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park. The views out here are stunning – rolling green hills falling into the dark waters of the loch. Depending on the time of year you choose to travel, you’ll see the hills stained with hues of green, orange and brown, and the clouds gathering over Conic Hill and the Trossachs, sitting perfectly for a panoramic shot. You'll visit a variety of sights today, such as Balloch Country Park on Loch Lomond, the pretty village of Luss and the dramatic viewing platform at An Ceann Mor. The exact itinerary will be determined on the day, depending on time of year, weather conditions and general timing. Spend the night in Glencoe, a small village on the shores of Loch Leven.
Glenfinnan / Isle of SkyeThis morning, travel to Mallaig by private transport, and on the way, stop at the famous Glenfinnan viaduct. This viaduct is the one most well-known in Scotland, due to it being part of the train route that Harry Potter’s Hogwarts Express takes. Stick around to see when the Jacobite steam train crosses the same bridge (depending on train schedule). Afterwards, head on a ferry to the Isle of Skye. Skye is the largest island in the Inner Hebrides archipelago, and this evening, you’ll be staying in Portree, the capital of Skye, which sits on the loch of the same name.
Isle of SkyeThis morning, it’s time to get exploring around the Isle of Skye. Included for today is a visit to Neist Point Lighthouse via Milovaig (one of the best places to see otters on the island) and to the mystical Fairy Pools. Skye is perfect for those who are searching for rugged mountainous landscapes and some unique wildlife. This afternoon, feel free to discover the countryside at your own pace, perhaps heading to the striking Old Man of Storr rock formation. Wherever you go, expect to feel like you’re heading into medieval battle – it’s got that feel about it.
Loch Ness / PitlochryThis morning, travel from Portree to the famous Loch Ness, passing by Eilean Donan Castle for a quick photo stop along the way. This castle, first inhabited in the 6th century, is perched on an island where the three great sea lochs meet and is an iconic image of Scotland. You’ll also have time to stop in Fort Augustus on the shores of Loch Ness to check out the fantastic valley, and head on an optional boat cruise, if you’d like. Head on to Pitlochry, deep in the heart of the Scottish Highlands. Pitlochry is full of Victorian history and provides an ideal base for the night.
Highlands / PitlochryGet your walking shoes on, because it’s time for a hike! Today, you and your group will embark on a walk to Ben Vrackie: a mountain nearby Pitlochry town. The ascent will take you through woodlands, open moorlands, and past the beautiful Loch a’Choire. Once on the summit you’ll get sweeping views of the surrounding highlands, all the way down to Pitlochry. In the afternoon, visit the Blair Athol distillery, where you’ll learn about the whisky process, and how Blair Athol’s source of water – the Allt Dour – passes through the Ben Vrackie slopes, and contributes to the mellow quality and smooth finish of their malts. After your hike and dram, head back into town and relax into the evening.
EdinburghToday, you’ll board a local train to head from Pitlochry to the Scottish capital, Edinburgh. The journey will take around 2 hours. Edinburgh is a compact hilly city full of charm and character, with the imposing Castle guarding from above. The afternoon is at your leisure, so perhaps stroll around the Old Town, get acquainted with the fairy-tale Dean Village neighbourhood, or head out to portside Leith for eclectic shopping and some great restaurants.
EdinburghThe morning is free for you to explore Edinburgh, and with a history of over 10,000 years, there’s so much to see and do. If you want more recommendations, be sure to ask your group leader. This afternoon, set off on an Urban Adventures tour with an Edinburgh local, who’ll take you around some of the top sights, including the Scottish Parliament buildings, the Royal Mile and Canongate Cemetery. Wind up in a local community café for a cup of tea and a scone – how British of you. In the evening, why not get your group together for some dinner and spend the night sharing stories and memories of your adventures. Edinburgh knows how to have a good time, and a fun thing to do is begin in the Old Town, then cross North Bridge to party in the New Town.
EdinburghWith no activities planned for today, you are free to leave any time after breakfast. If you wish to spend more time in enigmatic Edinburgh, we don’t blame you! We’ll be happy to organise additional accommodation for you (subject to availability).
- Loch Lomond & Trossachs National Park - Sightseeing Walk
- Glenfinnan - Viaduct Viewpoint
- Isle of Skye - Neist Point Lighthouse & Fairy Pools
- Pitlochry - Blair Athol Distillery Visit & Whisky Tasting
- Pitlochry - Hike to Ben Vrackie
- Edinburgh - Sightseeing & Scones with a Local Urban Adventure
9 Breakfast(s) Included
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