Art & History
3 months ago
Leaving Edinburgh, you will travel west where your first stop is the Wallace Monument* in Stirling; a towering stone testimonial to the Scottish legend William Wallace. Inside you will find fascinating exhibits leading you through the life of the real Braveheart, and most impressive of all, Wallace’s legendary 5ft 6in (1.7m) tall broadsword. You will then travel north to Gleneagles Hotel Estate* – one of Scotland’s world class golf courses and site of the 2014 Ryder Cup. Enjoy a photo opportunity here and see where the international legends of golf play. Continue your journey through the pretty countryside of Perthshire to our next stop in Crieff, where we visit The Famous Grouse Experience* at Glenturret Distillery. Learn about the traditional whisky-making process, see how you measure up to the world’s largest bottle of whisky and sample some of ‘The Water of Life’ itself at the fantastic Taste Experience bar. Enjoy a range of tasty lunch options in the Glenturret Café or take a stroll in the distillery grounds. After lunch, travel through the picturesque scenery of the “Sma’Glen” until you reach the beautiful Hermitage for a short woodland walk (time permitting). Afterwards, continue on to the town of Dunkeld, where you will break for refreshments and a visit to ancient Dunkeld Cathedral. Then, leave Perthshire and journey to the charming town of South Queensferry, where you will make a brief stop to admire magnificent views of the Forth Bridges before returning to Edinburgh. *Optional Extra
From Edinburgh, travel west, passing the historic and imposing Stirling Castle, high on its volcanic rock, and on to a visit at the magnificent Doune Castle (which featured in the TV series Outlander and the cult movie ‘Monty Python and the Holy Grail’). From there, drive into the Highlands, past the lovely Loch Lubnaig and up through impressive Glen Ogle, stopping nearby for lunch and beautiful views of the surrounding scenery. After lunch, drive further into the Highlands, passing one of the most photographed castles in Scotland, Kilchurn Castle, jutting into beautiful Loch Awe and stunningly framed by the surrounding mountains. Then it’s on to Inveraray, a quaint small town built in the mid-18C, on the shore of Loch Fyne. Explore the town and pick up some Highland souvenirs, or pay an optional visit to Inveraray Castle (April to October only), the historic home of the Duke of Argyll, chief of the Clan Campbell, which is set in large beautiful gardens overlooking Loch Fyne. Afterwards, start your homeward journey, driving over the Arrochar Alps, an attractive range of mountains, with a brief pause near the top of the Rest and Be Thankful Pass. A little later, reach enchanting Loch Lomond, where you will stop at the pretty lochside village of Luss before returning to Edinburgh. *Optional Extra
From your starting point by Edinburgh Castle, head out of the city to the village of Roslin, making your first stop at Rosslyn Chapel. Described as the "Library in Stone", the inside walls of Rosslyn Chapel are covered in thousands of ancient carvings, each with a story of its own. You can also learn of the myths and legends surrounding the chapel, including tales of the Knights Templar. Rosslyn Chapel's worldwide fame increased thanks to "The Da Vinci Code", Dan Brown's blockbusting novel. Leaving Rosslyn, continue into the heart of the Scottish Borders, an area rich in hills, valleys, rivers and moorland, as well as being the traditional home to Scottish rugby. Travel to the historic town of Melrose, birthplace of the game of Rugby Sevens and location of Melrose Abbey, founded in 660 and said to be the burial place of the casket containing the heart of Robert the Bruce. Here you will stop for lunch and have free time to explore Melrose and its Abbey. On your return journey, you will travel via St. Boswells and pause for a photo stop at Scott's View, where you can enjoy glorious scenic views. Your journey north will take you to Pencaitland, where you will visit the charming Glenkinchie Distillery, one of few Lowland distilleries in Scotland, for a whisky tour. Here you can enjoy "a tour and a taste", learn more about "the water of life" and sample some of Glenkinchie's finest malts. Then you will return to Edinburgh.
Departing Edinburgh, you will travel westwards for your first stop of the day at the bonnie banks of Loch Lomond; one of the prettiest and largest lochs in the whole of Scotland. Here you can enjoy an hour long cruise* taking in spectacular views of the loch's many islands and surrounding mountains. Alternatively, take a stroll through the picturesque loch side village of Luss; with its quaint houses, cafes and stunning views across Loch Lomond's western shoreline. Continue through the Trossachs National Park, also known as 'the Highlands in Miniature' for it's abundance of lochs, mountains and forests. It is also famous for the legendary outlaw, Rob Roy MacGregor. You will spend time exploring the area before stopping for lunch in a small village immersed in its beautiful surroundings. After lunch, make your way through the town of Callander, past the medieval Doune Castle before you make your final stop of the day at Stirling Castle*. The site is one of Scotland's most historically significant fortresses, sitting high on volcanic rock and offering wonderful views of the surrounding landscape. You will have time to visit the castle and learn of the exploits of key historical figures including William Wallace, Robert the Bruce and Mary Queen of Scots. With lots of interesting things to see and do here, the Stirling Castle experience is a must for any visitor to Scotland. *Optional Extra
Departing from Edinburgh our Loch Ness tour travels northwest, passing the imposing Stirling Castle, before making your first stop at Kilmahog. You will stop for some light refreshments and the chance to see some Highland cattle up close. Travel on through Rob Roy Country of Clans MacGregor and Campbell then over the dramatic landscape of Rannoch Moor and the Black Mount to Glencoe, one of Scotland’s most famous glens, site of the 1692 massacre of the Clan MacDonald. Pause for a photo stop, and to soak up the atmosphere in this haunting glen. Continuing via Loch Linnhe, your Loch Ness tour will stop in the Fort William area for lunch then continue into the natural beauty of the Great Glen as you pass beneath Britain’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis. Travelling on, admire the Caledonian Canal and the pretty village of Fort Augustus, enjoying spectacular views of Loch Ness, as you drive along the shoreline to Urquhart Castle. Loch Ness, 24 miles long and over 700 feet deep, is most famous for its sightings of the Loch Ness monster, affectionately known as “Nessie”. Spend approximately 2 hours at Loch Ness, where you can choose to take a wonderful 5 star 'Loch Ness by Jacobite' cruise and explore the ruins of Urquhart Castle, and learn of its history inside the modern visitor centre. Passing through Inverness, Capital of the Highlands, the Loch Ness tour will start its return for home, crossing the Grampian Mountains and the woodland scenery of Perthshire, including the Forest of Atholl, with an evening refreshment stop at the Victorian resort town of Pitlochry, en route back to Edinburgh, where the Loch Ness tour ends. *Optional Extra