Day 1: Arrive in Edinburgh, Scotland
Welcome to Edinburgh! Having cleared customs, you will be greeted by your driver, holding a sign displaying your name, at the information desk in the Arrivals Halls. You will be escorted to your chauffeur-driven car, and your luggage taken care of and loaded into the vehicle. Then you will be driven safely and in comfort to centrally based accommodation. On arrival your driver will unload your luggage. Today, you will enjoy a city tour on board the Edinburgh City Hop on Hop off Sight- seeing Bus. The bus will help you compare Edinburgh’s Old Town to the elegant Georgian New Town, with its 3 main streets and square at either end. Learn about the hangings that took place in the Grassmarket as you marvel at the impenetrable Castle Rock above you, and hear about historic attempts to capture Edinburgh Castle. Drive along the Royal Mile, which joins Edinburgh Castle to the Palace of Holyroodhouse. Today you will visit Edinburgh Castle. See the Crown Jewels and learn about the battles and sieges fought at the castle. Also you will learn about the royals who lived and died within its walls. From the Castle you will see the panoramic views over Edinburgh City. Explore Edinburgh City at your leisure this evening or retire to your centrally based accommodation to rest.
Accommodation: Overnight: Edinburgh – 1 Night
Day 2: The Cairngorms & Inverness
After a good nights’ rest, take delivery of your Avis Car Rental at 24 East London Street, Edinburgh EH7 4BQ and travel north towards Inverness. On route, you will travel to the fair city of Perth which was once the capital of medieval Scotland. Follow in the footsteps of countless kings and explore the unique collection of porcelain, ivories and French furniture with a visit to Scone Palace. Scone Palace was the crowning place of Scottish kings where Macbeth, Robert the Bruce and Charles II were once crowned. Continue onto the bustling town of Pitlochry where you will visit Blair Athol Distillery, home to Bell’s Whiskey, for a fine whiskey tasting. Time permitting you may consider a visit to Blair Castle, the ancient seat of the Dukes and Earls of Atholl and home to Europe’s last remaining private army, the Atholl Highlanders. Make your way through the Cairngorm’s this morning passing villages such as Dalwhinnie, Newtonmore, Kincraig before entering the pretty town of Grantown on Spey. Spend some time exploring the ancient woodlands which surround the area or perhaps you could explore some of Speyside’s finest distilleries on Scotland’s Malt Whiskey Trail. Continue on to Inverness on the banks of the River Ness for an evening at your leisure. You will see Inverness Castle, now used as a court house, which sits picturesquely over the city. Explore some of the historic buildings in the Old Town, browse some of the city shops or enjoy a great selection of cafes and restaurants this evening.
Accommodation: Overnight: Inverness – 1 Night
Day 3: Loch Ness & Oban
Take this morning to continue your exploration of Inverness. Today you will visit Culloden Battlefield where you will learn about the battle which took place on 16th April 1746. The battle marked the end of 1745 Jacobite Rebellion and is still a moving place to visit. Uncover the background to this ferocious and brutal battle as you walk around the moorland and see the various monuments commemorating troops. You may consider a visit to the romantic 14th century Cawdor Castle before departing. Depart Inverness and travel along the shores of the famous Loch. Here, there will be the chance to take a boat across the loch for great views of Urquhart Castle, or you can stay on shore to explore the impressive castle ruins. Continue to the charming village of Fort Augustus on the southern shore of Loch Ness and watch the boats sail on the Caledonian Canal. Continue south and make a brief stop at Fort William which lies in the shadow of Ben Nevis. Travel through Glencoe and experience the dramatic beauty and breathtaking serenity of this vast sweeping pass. Arrive in Oban, the Seaford Capital of Scotland. The town is situated in a crescent occupying the hills surrounding Oban Bay. See McCaig’s Tower, the Colosseum lookalike which stands dramatically over the town and perhaps if you like you could even climb from the town as the 10 minute walk is well worth the effort as you can witness the peaceful gardens inside the tower and the spectacular views over the town and nearby islands. Enjoy a wide selection of cafes and award winning restaurants this evening.
Accommodation: Overnight: Oban – 1 Night
Day 4: The Trossachs & Sterling
Today you will visit the historic Oban Distillery which is both one of the oldest distilleries in Scotland and one of the smallest with just two pot stills. Pre-dating the town of Oban, it was originally established in 1794 by brothers John and Hugh Stevenson. It underwent a refurbishment in the 1890s and there has been little change to the present buildings since then. The distillery’s tours offer visitors the chance to witness the traditional craftsmanship of whisky production first-hand before enjoying complimentary drams of the Oban 14 year old West Highland Malt. Today you will travel along Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park. Loch Lomond is the largest freshwater expanse in mainland Britain. Mountains loom to the north, while a scattering of islands can be found at the south end of the loch. Continue to Stirling to visit the iconic Sterling Castle, one of Scotland’s most historically important sites. It was once a favoured residence of the Stewart kings and queens who held grand celebrations at the castle. Return to Edinburgh this evening in preparation for your departure flight the following day.
Accommodation: Overnight: Edinburgh – 1 Night
Day 5: Depart
Make your way to Edinburgh Airport this morning in plenty of time to return your car rental and check in for your departure flight.
Slan Go Foill (Goodbye For Now!)