2017 Scottish Dream with London 11 Days / 10 Nights
Your Scottish trip starts at 2:30 pm when you meet your tour director at your Glasgow hotel and set out on an introductory tour of central Glasgow. See the main attractions of Glasgow including red sandstone Victorian buildings, delightful parks, Glasgow Cathedral and the River Clyde, once famous for shipbuilding, especially during the 19th century when the city burgeoned. Visit extensive and varied art collections in Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, originally opened in 1901. Chat with your tour director and your fellow travelers about your trip with a welcome drink before dinner in your hotel.
Depart Glasgow and drive north along the banks of Loch Lomond with views of Ben Lomond and other Highland peaks. At Tarbet embark on a short cruise to appreciate the beauty of this famous loch and admire panoramic views of the Highlands. Browse around the town of Inveraray before visiting Inveraray Castle, which featured in Downton Abbey’s Season IV production. This imposing Campbell family home with four conical spires was built between 1746 and 1789. A guided tour will reveal the history of the family and region as you view the magnificent Armory Hall and many fine rooms with tapestries, porcelains and portraits. Journey across mysterious Rannoch Moor and through Glen Coe, often considered one of Scotland’s most spectacular and beautiful places. Continue to Ballachulish on the coast.
This morning head north via Fort William and take the “Road to the Isles” through some of Scotland’s loveliest scenery, stopping for photos at the Glenfinnan Monument. At Mallaig board a ferry to the Isle of Skye, sometimes called the “Misty Isle” due to the hazy weather brought by the Atlantic breezes. Visit the Clan Donald Centre at Armadale Castle to discover the history of the Lords of the Isles and the most powerful clan of the Isle of Skye. Discover some of the island by coach before crossing the bridge to return to the mainland, stopping for photos at the picturesque Eilean Donan Castle. Then drive along the beautiful shores of Loch Ness, famous for its monster. Continue to your hotel in Nairn, a manor house property set in spacious grounds near the North Sea.
A short distance from Nairn is the Culloden Battlefield Visitor Centre. Learn about the battle where British Government forces defeated the army of Prince Charles Edward Stuart, popularly named Bonnie Prince Charlie. See monuments commemorating troops as you walk around the moorland while the Visitor Centre explains how events led to the conflict and was the end of the clan system in Scotland. Continue through majestic Highland scenery to Leault Farm for a demonstration of trained dogs herding sheep. Drive south through the high peaks of the Grampian Mountains to your gracious manor-style hotel near Pitlochry.
A short drive will bring you to Blair Castle, home of the Dukes and Earls of Atholl. Dating back to 1269, the castle has been transformed through the ages, from a strong medieval fortress to a Victorian castle in the baronial style. These influences can still be seen today across the 30 rooms on full display. You will learn about Mary, Queen of Scots, Bonnie Prince Charlie and how Queen Victoria's famous stay led to the creation of Europe's only private army, the Atholl Highlanders. Visit Blair Athol Distillery to learn about the simple ingredients and many steps involved in whisky making. Tour the facilities and sample a “wee dram” at the end of the tour. Spend the afternoon at leisure exploring the gardens, hotel museum and other facilities or browse around the town of Pitlochry, within easy walking distance.
Travel through lush countryside to visit Glamis Castle, the legendary setting of “Macbeth” and childhood home of the late Queen Mother. This is a majestic building filled with contrasting priceless artifacts and homely furnishings. Drive across the modern Tay Bridge to St Andrews, the “Home of Golf.” See the famous Royal and Ancient Clubhouse and the Old Course on a panoramic tour and enjoy free time to browse in golf specialty stores or through the medieval town. This is the location of Scotland’s oldest university. Drive south into Edinburgh, Scotland’s capital, and enjoy a Scottish Evening with dinner, haggis, bagpipes, kilts and Highland dancing.
This morning explore Edinburgh on a sightseeing tour. Compare and contrast the wide streets and elegant mansions of the Georgian 200-year-old “New Town” with the narrow lanes and medieval townhouses along the Royal Mile, the oldest part of the city. See Princes Street, the main shopping thoroughfare that separates the two areas. Learn about many prominent Scottish inventors, doctors and writers. Tour the imposing Edinburgh Castle where you can see historic buildings and enjoy splendid views of Edinburgh. The rest of the day is free for independent exploring, shopping and dining. On July 30 to August 20 departures enjoy the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo at the Castle esplanade.
Transfer to the train station in central Edinburgh and enjoy a comfortable ride to London, a journey of about 5 hours. As you travel south, admire panoramic views of the Scottish and English scenery and towns. On arrival in London, transfer to your hotel. The evening is free for dining on your own and there is no shortage of great restaurants.
Today explore London at your own pace on an open-top bus tour to see the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, Trafalgar Square and more. You may also take a walking tour and a cruise on the River Thames. Visit the Tower of London to view the magnificent Crown Jewels, guarded by Beefeaters in distinctive Tudor uniforms and visit some of the historic towers where important historic events have taken place. You may prefer to visit Kensington Palace, home of Princess Diana.
Spend a full day for exploring this great city further. You may use your voucher for the Tower of London or Kensington Palace today. Be adventurous and take an excursion outside the city to some of the many famous places within easy reach.
Your tour ends after breakfast so transfer to Heathrow Airport for your flight home.
B: Breakfast; L: Lunch; D: Dinner