Luxury Tailor Made Journeys depart on the dates that work for you and feature expert local guides throughout your journey. The itinerary below can be customized to your interests.
ARRIVE EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND
Arrive in Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland, where you are met by your Guardian Angel and privately transferred to your hotel.
EDINBURGH | Crown Jewels & the Queen’s Palace
Unravel the history of Edinburgh, starting at Edinburgh Castle, a royal fortress that symbolizes the Scottish nation. It is home to the Honours of Scotland, the oldest set of Crown Jewels in Europe. Take in stunning views of the city from the castle’s impressive military installations. Proceed along the Royal Mile, through the Old Town of Edinburgh, to view St. Giles Cathedral. Next, visit Holyrood Palace, the Queen's official residence in Scotland. Explore the staterooms and visit the historic apartments in which Mary, Queen of Scots resided (provided no member of today’s royal family is present). Also view the nearby Scottish Parliament Building to see how its striking contemporary design contrasts with the classical style of the palace. Afterward, enjoy an evening at leisure.
EDINBURGH | The Scenic Scottish Borders
Head out into the Scottish Borders, a picturesque stretch of rolling hills and farmland lying between Edinburgh and the boundary between Scotland and England. View the salmon-rich River Tweed as it gently winds its way through this bucolic landscape. Visit Floors Castle at Kelso, home to the Duke of Roxburgh. Marvel at its fabulous furniture and paintings, stroll its splendid gardens, and learn of the Duke’s passion for racehorses. Next, stop in the charming town of Melrose, which hosts dramatic ruins, including Melrose Abbey, the burial place of both Alexander II of Scotland and Robert the Bruce. Return to Edinburgh.
Inverness | Whisky Tasting in the Highlands
Head north into the Highlands of Scotland, crossing the Forth estuary by new Queensferry Crossing, a remarkable construction that runs parallel to the legendary Victorian railway bridge. The three iconic Forth bridges showcase Scotland’s continued talent for being at the forefront of engineering. Continue north past Perth, and then follow the River Tay upstream to the quaint town of Dunkeld, and into the heart of the Grampian Mountains. Tour the secluded Edradour Distillery, the smallest of its kind in Scotland, to see how craftsmen turn barley into the “water of life,” and enjoy a whisky sampling. Proceed to the nearby town of Pitlochry and the Killiecrankie Pass, where Jacobite forces were victorious over troops loyal to King William in a battle fought in 1689. Continue to the other side of the pass to romantic, white-turreted Blair Castle, the home of the Duke of Athol, and receive a guided tour of its lavish rooms. Drive to your splendid accommodations in Inverness, passing through some spectacular countryside, including the peaks of the Cairngorms, Scotland's premier ski area, along the way.
Inverness | Across Stark, Scenic Countryside
Today, explore the stark beauty of the Northwest Highlands, mountains that cover the most remote part of the British mainland. Start with a jaunt around Wester Ross, one of the most spectacular regions in Scotland. Follow the route of the rail line that cuts a track though the dramatic countryside, and then veer away to the west coast, where the mountains of Torridon dominate the landscape, part of which belongs to the Beinn Eighe Nature Reserve. As you continue, the expansive waters of island-studded Loch Maree are revealed. The River Ewe connects this loch to the sea at Poolewe. Overlooking the bay, view the Inverewe Gardens, a remarkable woodland paradise made possible by the temperate influence of the Gulf Stream. Return to Inverness by a northerly route, passing Corrieshalloch Gorge, where the River Measach tumbles over a rocky precipice into a ravine.
Inverlochy | MOORS, MONSTERS & RUINS
Start your day with a visit to Culloden Moor, where Bonnie Prince Charlie was defeated in 1746 by government troops, thereby ending his attempt to regain the throne for the Stuart family. Then, follow the long straight valley called the Great Glen to Fort Augustus, a town at the southern end of Loch Ness, keeping watch for fabled Nessie along the way. Walk the ruins of Urquhart Castle, which dominate the central part of the loch, before continuing the journey from Loch Ness through the wooded hillsides of the glen to Fort William, set at the foot of Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in Great Britain.
Inverlochy | Ferry to the Isle of Skye
Set out to explore some of the most iconic places and best-loved landscapes of the Scottish Highlands, beginning with a drive along the spectacular Road to the Isles, which leads to the west coast port of Mallaig. En route, enjoy a photo stop at Glenfinnan Monument, where Bonnie Prince Charlie famously raised his standard in 1745. Then, cross by ferry to the Isle of Skye, where you still see road signs in the Gaelic language. Take in the idyllic views of the Cuillin Hills before returning to the mainland by bridge. Continue to Loch Duich, where you visit the romantic Eilean Donan Castle, before returning to your hotel.
Isle of Eriska | Views of Mighty Ben Nevis
Enjoy optional local sightseeing this morning, perhaps boarding the gondola-style chairlift high into the Highland scenery close to Ben Nevis, good for magnificent views on a clear day. Alternatively, explore Neptune’s Staircase, a unique collection of locks. Drive to the Isle of Eriska along the shores of Loch Linnhe and, on arrival, check in to enjoy an afternoon at your leisure. You may also wish to fit in a quick visit to the nearby town of Oban, with its bustling harbor.
Isle of Eriska | Highlights of the Hebridean Islands
Step aboard a ferry for a pleasing excursion to the Isle of Mull in the Hebridean Islands. Disembark at the town of Craignure for a drive to Iona, passing through unspoiled countryside, where the locals live in crofts and livestock roam freely across the moorland. Arrive at Fionnphort at the far southwest of Mull, where you board the small ferry on foot to Iona. Once there, discover the Abbey, the monastery originally founded by Saint Columba in the sixth century, and much restored in recent decades. Considered the cradle of Scottish Christianity, this site was also reputed to be the burial ground of the medieval Scottish Kings. Gaze out at the white-sand beaches as you explore, taking in scenery that helped inspire the painters of the Scottish Colourist movement in the early 20th century. Return to Oban.
Glasgow | Inveraray Castle & City Sights
Journey to Glasgow, visiting Inveraray Castle, home to the Duke of Argyll, the chief of the Campbells, en route. Enjoy the castle’s impressive interiors, considered the most richly decorated in Scotland. View the “bonnie banks” of Loch Lomond as you continue to Glasgow for a city tour. Marvel at the largest medieval cathedral in Scotland and discover the university district with its wealth of fine buildings. At the House for an Art Lover, see the building that Art Nouveau architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh designed in 1901. Alternatively, visit the impressive Riverside Museum, to admire its superb collection of vehicles, including the second-oldest Rolls-Royce in the world. Continue to your hotel nestled in the countryside outside the city.
After breakfast, transfer to the Glasgow airport for your departing flight.
Enhance Your Journey
Elevate your experience with a host of options available for an additional cost.
Discover the Legacies of Braveheart & Rob Roy
Journey to the county of Stirlingshire, a region where Scotland's destiny was forged centuries ago. See where the armies of William Wallace (Braveheart) defeated invading forces from England in 1297, and discover majestic Stirling Castle, site of the crowning of Mary, Queen of Scots. Continue west to explore the Trossachs, a scenic landscape of mountains, forests and lochs often called Rob Roy country, for the outlaw and folk hero Rob Roy McGregor. Bask in the serenity of Loch Katrine, one of the most picturesque lochs in Scotland, cruising its placid waters aboard the historic ‘Sir Walter Scott.’
Visit St. Andrews, the Home of Golf
Venture to the Kingdom of Fife and St. Andrews, known as the home of golf. Stop outside the iconic Royal and Ancient Clubhouse to see the first tee and 18th green of the world-famous Old Course. See the evocative ruins of the largest cathedral ever built in Scotland as well as the oldest university in Scotland, where Prince William first met his wife, Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge. Next, explore the coastal East Neuk of Fife, with its traditional fishing villages.
Whisky Distillery Tours & Tastings
Head out to the Speyside region, east of Inverness, where the pure water of the streams and the superior quality of the mountain peat help create ideal single malt whiskies. Follow the fabled Whisky Trail that runs past many of the best-known distilleries. Stop at the Glenlivet distillery for a tour and visit the Glenfiddich distillery to see its on-site bottling plant. Alternatively, visit the homes of other well-known brands such as Macallan and Strathisla, the latter producing much of the Chivas Regal blend. If you prefer to visit another Speyside whisky distillery, ask about its availability at your time of booking.
Explore the Hills of Argyll
Wander through the picturesque hills and forests of Argyll, amid the grandeur of the Scottish Highlands. Drive through the Pass of Brander to Loch Awe, an area once dominated by the Campbell clan. Cross over to Loch Fyne, a long inlet of the sea. Take a circular route over Knapdale to reach the west coast, passing the impressive Arduaine Gardens en route. Proceed to Seil Island, and visit the Anglican and Roman Catholic Cathedrals of Argyll and neighboring isles.