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Scotland - Beyond Braveheart & Bagpipes

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Key Information:
Tour Duration: 10 day(s)
Group Size: 2 - 6 people
Destination(s): Scotland  
Specialty Categories: Sightseeing   Cultural Journey  
Season: January - December
Airfare Included: No
Tour Customizable: Yes
Minimum Per Person Price: 1995 US Dollar (USD)
Maximum Per Person Price: 5985 US Dollar (USD)

To many people Scotland means bagpipes, tartan and haggis. Fine though all of these are in moderation, on this small personalised tour, we would like to show you that there is more to Scotland than the general impression that most tourists have. So when you have seen enough shortbread and sporrans, and your eyes are dazed by a sea of tartan rugs, then that is the time to head away from the "picture postcard" image and see the real Scotland.

We would like you to get to know Scotland at close quarters. Stay in a Highland inn or in a splendid old castle, complete with resident ghost. Here you will meet people who are proud of their country and proud to welcome visitors, with a hospitality seldom found in this modern age. From Haggis to Clooty Dumplings and Cranachan, you will find some of the finest food in Europe on the tables of Scotland. You may also be tempted to try a wee dram of "Uisge Beatha" or the Water of Life at one of the many whisky distilleries. Whatever you choose to do in Scotland you will find that the landscape and the people will be with you forever , and the toast "Slàinte Mhath" will call you back to this special place.

Your Itinerary:

Day 1: Arrive in Scotland at either Glasgow or Edinburgh airport and head off to acclimatise and recover from your journey. We always leave Day 1 without any firm plans, so that we can make things up as we go along, according to consciousness levels after your flight.

Day 2: Edinburgh. The Capital City of Scotland and one of Europe's greatest cities. Dominated by the Castle and Arthur's Seat. With elegant Georgian streets and gardens contrasting with the intriguing alleyways and ancient buildings of the old town. Edinburgh has some of the finest museums in the country and a range of shops and restaurants as befits a cosmopolitan city such as this.

Day 3: A second day to explore Edinburgh. Your base here is a lovely old Victorian town house B&B, hosted by a delightful lady who will make sure that your stay in Edinburgh is a memorable one. It is also a convenient location to explore the city. We could also take the opportunity to drive just out of the city and visit Roslyn Chapel. One of the most enigmatic churches in Scotland, with connections to the Templars, the Knights of St. John and the Gypsies. This is one of the few churches to have survived the ravages of time, iconoclasts and changes in forms of worship. It abounds with extraordinary decoration, legends, myths and possibly the Holy Grail!

Day 4: Head out of Edinburgh and north through the Trossachs. The route takes you via Stirling with its impressively sited Castle and The Wallace monument standing high on the Abbey Craigs above the River Forth. The views from the top over what is now known as “Braveheart Country”are magnificent. However the climb should only be attempted by the very fit, the insane and mountain goats. Also possible on this day would be Doune castle. The castle was largely built at the beginning of the 14th century by Robert Stewart, 1st Duke of Albany, brother of King Robert III. Finally we cross the bleak expanses of Rannoch Moor to your overnight stay in an authentic country inn deep in the atmospheric setting of Glencoe. This is an “off the beaten track” sort of place favoured by mountaineers, walkers and local musicians who often treat the guests to a sample of real Celtic music.

Day 5: Along the scenic “Road to the Isles” before boarding a ferry to the Isle of Skye. Your base on Skye is a lovely harbour side hotel in the island’s “capital” Portree, with an excellent restaurant serving some fine examples of the local seafood.

Day 6: A day to explore this fascinating and geologically spectacular island. You may also like to call in at the Talisker distillery to sample is characteristically smoky single malt whisky.

Day 7: Over the Skye Bridge and back onto the mainland. This route takes you past Eilean Donan Castle. Reputedly the most photographed castle in Scotland and the compulsory location for every film ever based in this fair land! Then onto the Great Glen stopping off at Loch Ness for a bit of “Monster Spotting”. Our destination for today is a splendid Baronial castle, where we will arrive just in time for afternoon tea in the Drawing Room. This is a 17th century Scottish castle, complete with secret panels, hidden rooms and of course, a ghost! It is right by Culloden, and has many links with the Battle and the Jacobite/Stewart cause.

Day 8: South through the Grampians. You might like to take a little time to call in at the tranquil setting of the Clava Cairns before we head for the hills. These are three bronze age burial chambers, hidden away in an atmospheric birch grove to the south of Inverness. Your next base is a splendid country house hotel in and unspoiled and peaceful Scottish Glen.

Day 9: Exploring the Loch Tay area. You may just like to take a quite stroll along the Glen, or take a scenic drive around Loch Tay. If you have a liking for history and archaeology you might like to visit the Scottish Crannog Centre. This is where archaeologists have been excavating in the Loch, and based on their findings, have recreated a crannog. One of the ancient Celtic lake dwellings which used to be found all over northern Scotland and the Islands. This is an experiment archaeology centre, where they are trying to discover how the people lived and used the simple technology of the times. Your chance to make fire by rubbing sticks together!

Day 10: Heading back towards the airport, to be in place for your return flight on the following day. This is the final day and one on which we can see whatever we did not get chance to see on the outbound leg of the adventure.

Day 11: Back home to irritate friends and relations with “when we were in Scotland” stories.

As with all our tours this is merely a suggestion to give you an idea of what you can do whilst you are in Scotland. We can vary this tour to suit what ever needs you have and whatever price range you want to work in. On this tour we have used a variety of accommodation ranging from a nice old town house B&B in Edinburgh to the splendidly luxurious castle overlooking the Moray Firth. It is also convertible to a “Self-Drive” tour.

Please contact us with your thoughts and suggestions for variations to any of our tours. Our aim is to make a tour to fit you, not to make you fit into a tour!

Airfare is not included in the tour price.

Price Includes:
- All accommodation with private facilities, on a b/b basis, plus evening meal at the Castle
- Ferry tickets
- All transport during the escorted tour, with personal guide
- All admission charges as required
- A pre-supplied Information Travel Pack
- All arrangement and planning costs
- Pre arrival advice and recommendations.