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Explore Scotland's historic castles and majestic scenery along with a dram or two of whisky

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At a glance

Explore Scotland’s historic castles and beautiful landscapes on this nine-day trip that takes in the Highlands, Perthshire and Edinburgh.

Your adventure begins bear Nairn, from where you will explore Cawdor Castle, the ancestral home of the Campbell clan. You’ll also head out to Culloden battlefield and Clava Cairns, a well-preserved Bronze Age cemetery. This is also where some of Scotland’s best whisky is produced, and you’ll go behind the scenes at a whisky distillery to see how the country’s beloved spirit is made.

The next two nights will be spend in the Cairngorms National Park, going on off road adventures and exploring Blair Castle and the village of Dunkeld. There’s more castles in store as you travel south, including Stirling Castle, home to a long succession of Stuart kings and queens.

Your Scottish adventure finishes in the beautiful city of Edinburgh, where you’ll visit the Palace of Holyroodhouse and enjoy soaking up the energy and splendour of Scotland’s capital.

Example Trip Itinerary

Days 1-3

Nairn

Flights & Transfers

Transfer

Airside assistance at Inverness airport

Transfer

Private transfer to your hotel

Accommodation in Nairn

Cawdor Castle tour Cawdor Castle tour

Cawdor Castle sits in the heart of Speyside and is the ancestral home of the Campbell family. The beautiful gardens are one of the highlights and complement this archetypal Highland castle with its grey stone walls and turrets.

Culloden battlefield and Clava Cairns Culloden battlefield and Clava Cairns

Culloden was a short but bloody battle - the last to be fought on British soil. The battlefield has been restored to as close as possible to that seen by the forces on that fateful day in April 1746. During your visit you'll learn about the events leading up to, during and after the battle.

Clava Cairns are a well-preserved Bronze Age cemetery complex of passage graves, ring cairns, kerb cairns and standing stones. It is a fantastic example of the distant history of the Scottish Highlands, dating back about 4,000 years.

speyside-whisky-distillery-scotland
Speyside Cooperage Speyside Cooperage

The Speyside Cooperage stands as one of the last remaining cooperages in Scotland. Still made by hand using traditional methods, the casks are an essential part of the whisky-making process and making them is a skill passed down through generations. An experienced former cooper will guide you through the cooperage and take you down to the workshop floor. The atmosphere here is loud, frantic and full of energy. The coopers are paid for each cask they make and repair, so they're working against the clock. Mind where you step, as this is still a working environment. You'll have the chance to see the vast yard at the back of the cooperage, where casks are piled to the sky, row upon row. It's an awesome sight and sets some context for the scale of Scotland's whisky industry. As well as being a key visit for understanding Scotland's whisky tradition, this is also a fascinating insight into local crafts and how they're kept alive today.

Whisky Tour of Speyside Whisky Tour of Speyside

Whisky is one of Scotland’s most successful exports and with good reason: this famous beverage evokes the spirit of Scotland and nowhere is more intrinsically linked to it than the region of Speyside. Barley is distilled in fresh Highland water, and the region in which it is grown gives a different taste to the final product. In Speyside the whiskies have either a light and grassy or rich and sweet palette and the region has no shortage of producers with largest concentration of distilleries in Scotland based here. Join your guide to learn more about one of Scotland’s finest products.

Flights & Transfers

Transfer

Private transfer to your hotel

Days 3-5

Cairngorms National Park

Accommodation in Cairngorms National Park

loch-morlich-cairngorms
Visit the Cairngorms National Park Visit the Cairngorms National Park

The Cairngorms are blessed with some of Scotland’s best scenery. Over 55 Munros (mountains over 3,000 feet), incredible wildlife and native woodland, such as the Abernethy Forest with its original Caledonian pines, are just some of the reasons it is widely considered one of the UK’s best national parks.

Offroad tour in the Cairngorms National Park Offroad tour in the Cairngorms National Park

Go on an offroad tour on private hill roads into the heart of the Cairngorms National Park. On the tour, you will have a good chance of seeing red deer, golden eagles, red and black grouse, red squirrels and mountain hares. You will discover a landscape steeped in history and folklore, learn about land management and the diversity of flora and fauna, absorb our breathtaking views. The tour is done at a leisurely pace to give you plenty of opportunity to enjoy the remote and dramatic landscape.

Blair Castle Blair Castle

Blair Castle is unlike any other castle in Scotland. Its baronial architecture and beautiful setting in wooded grounds with mountainous backdrop are typical enough, but a couple of accidents of history have set Blair Castle apart. In 1844 Queen Victoria spent three weeks at Blair and during her stay granted the Duke a private army, the Atholl Highlanders, today the only private army in Europe. In more recent times, the castle passed to a branch of the family currently residing in South Africa.

dunkeld-village-perthshire-scotland
Dunkeld village Dunkeld village

The lovely village of Dunkeld sits on the banks of the River Tay. The majestic Dunkeld Cathedral dominates this picturesque Perthshire village and features the tomb of the notorious Wolf of Badenoch. Nearby, walk along Atholl Street's variety of specialist shops or take a walk down by the river, which provides excellent views of Thomas Telford's Dunkeld Bridge. You can't miss the brightly coloured houses of Dunkeld which were built in the early 1700s. Restored to provide homes for local people, they are now in the care of the National Trust For Scotland. Another NTS property is the Ell Shop featuring the original 'ell' measure, just over a metre long, used for measuring cloth in days gone by.

Flights & Transfers

Transfer

Private transfer to your hotel

Days 5-7

The Lowlands

Accommodation in The Lowlands

stirling-castle
Stirling Castle Stirling Castle

Stirling Castle is one of Scotland’s premier castles and has an impressive history. Home to a succession of Stuart kings and queens, this historic edifice sits atop a rocky outcrop and rivals Edinburgh Castle in both history and visual impact.

Culross Culross

The village of Culross is a place that time forgot. Nestled along the banks of the River Forth, the Royal Burgh of Culross dates largely from the 16th century and its ancient cottages and the striking mustard-yellow Palace are little changed. Discover a slice of Scottish history on a guided walk around this exceptional place.

blackness-castle
Outlander tour: River Forth Outlander tour: River Forth

Discover some of Outlander's evocative film locations found between Edinburgh and Stirling. Lallybroch Castle, the real life Midhope Castle, is the family home of Jamie Fraser. Nearby Blackness Castle was also used in filming and to complete your day, you will visit Stirling Castle, which has played a central role in Scottish history and visit a local distillery for a whisky tasting.

Flights & Transfers

Transfer

Private transfer to your hotel

Days 7-9

Edinburgh

Accommodation in Edinburgh

calton-hill-edinburgh-dawn
Edinburgh tour Edinburgh tour

Edinburgh is Scotland’s capital city and nicknamed the Athens of the North for its grand Georgian architecture. It’s the New Town that earned the city this sobriquet: its elegant neoclassical terraces were inspired by the buildings of Ancient Greece and though it’s called the New Town, this neighbourhood is already nearly 300 years old.

Edinburgh’s Old Town dominates the city from atop a volcanic outcrop and Edinburgh Castle balances perilously on the edge. The Royal Mile runs down to the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the official residence of Her Majesty the Queen in Scotland. The Windsor connections can be seen at a hidden location in the district of Leith, where the Queen’s Royal Yacht Britannia is now docked. Explore Edinburgh’s highlights with your expert guide and discover what makes this city perennially popular.

holyrood-house-exterior
Palace of Holyroodhouse Palace of Holyroodhouse

The Queen's official residence in Edinburgh and the home of Scottish royal history, the Palace of Holyroodhouse stands at the end of Edinburgh's Royal Mile. Explore the Palace's close associations with some of Scotland’s most well-known historic figures such as Mary, Queen of Scots and Bonnie Prince Charlie, and learn how today it is used by The Queen when carrying out official engagements in Scotland.

Flights & Transfers

Transfer

Private transfer to your hotel

Transfer

Departure airside meet and greet service

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