The Wonders of Western Scotland
Discover historic castles, awe-inspiring natural landscapes and the waters of Scottish lochs
Personalised journeys from start to finish
Save an acre of rainforest each time you travel
Every detail taken care of
- Luxury accommodation throughout
- Private transfers
- Private tours focused around the immense history and nature of Western Scotland
- Full support from your travel designer and concierge before, during and after your trip
- Our help with restaurant recommendations and reservations
- Expert guides in each destination
At a glance
Western Scotland and its surrounding Highlands boast some of the most spectacular scenery in Europe. From glistening lochs and snow-capped mountains to verdant forests and dramatic coastline, this region of Scotland is a playground for lovers of the great outdoors and nature. In addition to this, these pristine landscapes are dotted with striking castles, gorgeous gardens and famous whisky distilleries, adding a significant dose of heritage and culture to any adventure here.
This 12-day itinerary is designed to provide a taste of all of these rewarding elements, beginning in Torridon, a haven for hikers and climbers. After walking amid its beautiful hills, you’ll head south-west to the Applecross Peninsula, a coastal area of dramatic scenery which peers across to the Isle of Rona and the Isle of Raasay, before a visit to the iconic Eilean Donan Castle. A few days exploring the Isle of Skye follow, with experiences including a whisky distillery tour and a boat tour exploring the Isles of Rona and Raasay.
Your next stop takes you to the gateway to Ben Nevis, Fort William. Begin your time here by riding a section of the West Highland Line, one of the most scenic railway journeys in the world. After exploring the beauty and heritage of Glencoe and paying a visit to the 13th-century Blair Castle, you’ll get the chance to absorb the immense surroundings of the Cairngorms National Park, encounter Glamis Castle and wander charming Arbroath. Your Western Scotland adventure ends in the Scottish Lowlands and the majestic Loch Lomond, where you’ll enjoy a private cruise within one of the UK’s most memorable national parks.
Example Trip Itinerary
Airside assistance at Inverness airport
Private transfer to your hotel in Torridon
Accommodation in Torridon
- 18 rooms
- Whisky bar
Set within 58 acres of parkland at the foot a sea loch, Torridon Hotel enjoys a truly idyllic location that lets guests really appreciate the rugged beauty of the Highlands. 18 bedrooms feature bold prints and quirky accessories, many coming with freestanding bathtubs and views out across the loch and towards the Torridon Mountains. The 1887 Restaurant offers a daily changing three, four or seven-course menu using ingredients sourced from the kitchen garden. Apples, blackberries and raspberries help make the sweetest of pudding, and vegetables and herbs make their way onto the plate within hours of being picked. Highland cattle, chickens and Tamworth pigs are also reared on the estate. For a pre or post-dinner tipple, make your way to the whisky bar – with over 350 labels you’re certainly not going to go thirsty. With such a formidable landscape on your doorstep, you’ll want to check out the range of activities offered by the hotel. The adventurous may with to go mountaineering, gorge scrambling or coasteering; take to the loch in a kayak or canoe; or try your hand at archery or clay pigeon shooting. Of course, curling up in front of the fire or enjoying afternoon tea while looking out across the ever-changing landscape is as fine a way to spend your times as any.
Join your guide for a day's hiking in the wilds of the West Coast.
Applecross is widely considered to be one of the most picturesque locations on the West Coast. Located on a peninsula looking out towards the Isle of Raasay and Isle of Skye, the Applecross Peninsula is home to just a couple of hundred people. A place of peace and tranquility, but also of drama and power in the huge landscapes and variable weather, this is one of Scotland’s most evocative places.
Attadale Gardens sit tucked along the side of a wooded valley, overlooking a picturesque inlet. The gardens are an extraordinary series of rooms, reflecting the creative talents of its succession of owners. The gardens now belong to a local branch of the Macpherson clan from nearby Skye. Explore the gardens on a private tour and discover how the varied planting scheme thrives in the climate of Scotland’s West Coast.
Visit the evocative Eilean Donan Castle, perched on a small tidal island at the convergence of three sea lochs. Eilean Donan possesses all the qualities of a romantic castle and is one of the Highland's greatest beauties.
Private transfer to your hotel in Skye
Accommodation in Skye
- Treatment room
Kinloch is a luxury family-run hotel in the beautiful surrounds of the rugged Isle of Sky in what once was a 17th-century hunting lodge. Found at the foot of a indomitable mountain and at the head of the tranquil waters of Loch na Da, this is truly the ideal place to escape the noise and stresses of modern life. Here you will find guest rooms that are individually decorated in a calming, earthy palette and textures chosen to invoke Skye’s distinctive landscape. Each room is decorated with unique antiques, prints and paintings, and the large Edwardian windows ensure plenty of natural light. Some of the rooms also have exquisite views across Loch na Dal or towards Kinloch Hill. Steeped in heritage – with several old portraits of the original lodge owner’s family hung in the dining room – the lodge exemplifies all the traditions of highland hospitality and your welcome here will be warmer than the many log fires lighting up every hearth. When you have soaked up the serenity of the atmosphere and find yourself seeking some exhilaration, there are plenty of activities to choose from to satisfy such desires. Fly fishing will take you on a thrilling quest for the elusive wild Scottish salmon while stalking will connect you to the roots of the property’s history as a hunting lodge. Wild walks take you further into the rugged landscapes beyond the estate, which call out to be explored, while a range of cookery classes provide entertainment and insight into local cuisine, all from the warmth of the lodges interior. After working up an appetite after any number of these activities, you’ll delight in the culinary treasures found here. Simply cooked local produce is generously served by award winning chef Marcello Tully, who won and maintained a Michelin star for seven years running.
Skye’s rugged landscapes and dramatic mountain scenery are unrivalled among the islands of the West Coast. There are a only few roads crossing the island and its isolated position has ensured it retains a strong and proud Gaelic identity. There is a thriving arts and crafts tradition on the island and photographers from far and wide are attracted not only for the peaks and valleys but for the extraordinary abundance of wildlife, both on dry land and in the sea, that Skye is famous for.
Talisker is the oldest working distillery on the Isle of Skye, set on the shores of Loch Harport in the village of Carbost. Tour of the distillery, seeing its five copper pot stills and the traditional worm tubs that make our Talisker so unique, then take a look at the casks in the warehouse where the Angel’s Share is lost to evaporation during maturation. End with a taste of the-award winning, alluring, sweet, full-bodied single malt.
This morning you will enjoy a leisurely cruise to the stunning Rona Harbour (Acarsaid Mhor), taking in views of the iconic Storr and Cuillins along the way. Wildlife spotting opportunities are abundant throughout this trip, from seabirds to marine life. In particular, Rona has a resident seal colony, so make sure you pick up a pair of binoculars to view them basking on the rocks.
Guests go ashore and have up to two hours during which they can explore the natural beauty of this remote island. The views looking back toward Skye are magnificent. The historical site of An Teampull, a small 14th-century chapel, can be accessed on foot. Take a hike to the ruins of a settlement that dates back to the Scottish Clearances. Alternatively walk to the dramatic Church Cave, which was used for Sunday worship until 1912.
Your next destination is the Isle of Raasay where you will stop for a fresh, locally caught, seafood lunch. Head ashore and enjoy the many activities on offer. We recommend a visit to the newly built Raasay Distillery for a tour with the friendly staff and a taste of their whisky. Booking in advance for this tour is advisable. Alternatively Raasay House offers kayak hire, bicycle hire (manual and electric), and archery for the more adventurous. Raasay House also offers minibus tours up to the historical sites of Brochel Castle, Calum’s Road and Rainey’s Wall. Or simply walk one of the many trails and appreciate the spectacular views.
Return to the Seaflower for the journey back to Portree,
Ferry from Armadale to Mallaig
From the coast to the mountains, the landscapes here are a paradise for lovers of the great outdoors. Mind, the weather can be very unpredictable and variable, even in the height of summer and the planned route may change at the last minute. But that's part of the adventure and every glen has something new to reveal.
Private transfer to your hotel in Fort William
Accommodation in Fort William
- 17 rooms
- Fine dining restaurant
- Extensive whisky library
- Full-sized snooker table
- Extensive landscaped gardens and private loch
Backed Britain’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis, and reflected in its own loch, the setting of Inverlochy Castle is more than matched by the great house’s grandeur. Built 1863, a visiting Queen Victoria commented, ‘I never saw a lovelier or more romantic spot’, and it is certainly as impressive today. Arrive to an aristocratic welcome, perhaps after pulling up in the hotel’s Rolls Royce, and step into the aptly named Grand Hall. This is a place that has unashamedly stuck to its guns décor-wise, an eclectic mix of opulent 19th century styles, and it is all the better for it. Combined with the surroundings and impeccable service, it simply feels ‘right’. There are 17 unique rooms in the main house, all spacious and thoroughly comfortable with unobtrusive modern features and delightful bathrooms. Dining is a full country house experience, starting with a drink by the fire, followed by a multi-course dinner courtesy of Albert and Michel Roux Jr celebrating modern British cuisine with French influences, perhaps ending sampling some of the extensive whisky collection. Spend your days here walking in the surrounding hills, fishing on the loch or enjoying afternoon tea. The array of outdoor activities in the Fort William area are within also all easy reach such as pony trekking, golf, mountain biking, climbing and white-water rafting.
The West Highland Line is one of the most scenic rail journeys in the world, linking Glasgow with the West Coast of Scotland. It's part of the national network and is a little glimpse into Highland life. The stretch over Rannoch Moor is a particularly splendid part of the line. The Moor is inaccessible by road and its wild beauty gives a strong sense of the remoteness of the place. What makes it special for rail fans, however, are the construction techniques of the Victoria navvies, who "floated" the line over a bed of earth and wood to stop the metal rails from sinking into the bog. Your guide will drop you off at the station and pick you up at the other end so you will enjoy this scenic journey in the company of other passengers.
Glencoe is undoubtedly one of the most awe-inspiring sights in the whole of Scotland. Site of the 1692 Massacre of Glencoe, today it is a hauntingly beautiful Highland glen which evokes the spirit of the clans who ruled this land for centuries.
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.
Private transfer to your hotel in the Cairngorms National Park
Cairngorms National Park
Accommodation in Cairngorms National Park
- 46 rooms and suites
- Two bars
This lovingly restored and refurbished hotel within the Cairngorms National Park in Braemar has been designed to feel like a welcoming country house, while retaining the property’s sense of grandeur and history. Each of the 46 rooms and suites has been individually decorated and furnished. There are six room types to choose from, with each fitting a meticulously researched theme or dedicated to a local person, place or event. The Royal Suites, with views out over the surrounding landscape, have been inspired by some of the noble visitors who visited Braemar in the past. Furnishings are rich, with carefully-chosen antiques, artworks and even some items that once belonged to some of the historic figures themselves. Reflecting the hotel’s history as a 19th-century coaching inn, the Victoriana Suites boast period wallpaper and have views over Braemar. In turn, the Scottish Culture Rooms have been inspired by some of Scotland’s leading figures in literature, astronomy, engineering and exploration. In the Nature and Poetry Rooms, natural materials like heather, wood and tweed feature in the decor along with beautiful headboards engraved with the words of poet Alec Finlay. When it comes to dining, expect menus which make full use of the finest Scottish seasonal produce. From fresh seafood and game to local whiskies and spirits, many of the ingredients used in the kitchens and bars will be sourced from local suppliers, gamekeepers and farmers. Enjoy a selection of ales and whiskies at The Flying Stag, take a table in The Clunie Dining Room and allow executive chef Robert Cameron to impress with Scottish cuisine, and enjoy a nightcap at the beautiful art deco cocktail bar Elsa’s.
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.
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.
Glamis Castle is the ancestral home of the Earls of Strathmore and Kinghorne and is perhaps best known as being the childhood home of the Queen Mother and as the setting for William Shakespeare’s Macbeth. A fascinating collection of furniture, paintings and objects testify to its history and the castle retains a lived in feel.
Visit the coastal town of Arbroath, perched on the east coast of Scotland. Arbroath has given its name to the Arbroath Smokie, a smoke-cured haddock considered one of Scotland's most emblematic dishes. Many old smokehouses are still in operation around the harbour and you'll have the chance to meet the owner of one and witness the process of filleting and smoking. This is an untouched corner of Scotland and retains a strong feeling of local life. Walk around the town with your guide and visit Arbroath Abbey before popping back to the smokehouse to taste a freshly-smoked smokie.
Private transfer to your hotel in Perthshire
Accommodation in Perthshire
- 232 rooms
- Three championship golf courses
- Six restaurants and bars
- Equestrian school
- Swimming pool
Set on 850 acres, this Scottish countryside estate boasts three championship golf courses, fine-dining restaurants and a variety of outdoor activities. With a choice between traditional opulence and contemporary luxury, many of the 232 rooms offer views over the grounds. Soft fabrics and modern touches make even the more compact rooms into intimate and comfortable havens. Take a table at the Michelin starred Andrew Fairlie restaurant, or dine at The Strathearn, The Dormy Clubhouse or enjoy lighter meals and drinks at one of the hotel’s bars. Gleneagles is perfectly suited to guests of all ages, and there are outdoor activities to keep the whole family entertained. From it’s world famous golf to off-road driving, mountain biking, falconry, fishing, archery and horse-riding, you will be able to make the most of Scotland’s fresh air and beautiful scenery. You can also indulge in a selection of traditional therapies and alternative treatments at The Spa at Gleneagles by ESPA.
Loch Lomond is one of Scotland’s most evocative sites. Its location in the Trossachs National Park make it both a physical and symbolic border of the Highlands and Lowlands. It's a popular location for many visitors to Scotland, and to avoid the crowds, this excursion will take you out on a private motor boat to discover the loch up close. The southern half of the loch is dotted with many tiny islands, one of which has a colony of very elusive wallabies! If you're feeling adventurous, you can use the boat's inflatable landing boat to reach one of the island's beaches. The northern half of the loch is an altogether different landscape and resembles a Norwegian fjord with the magnificent Trossachs mountain in the background.
Private transfer to Edinburgh airport
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The Wonders of Western Scotland
How We Work
We create fully personalised trips from start to finish, working with you to pick locations, accommodation and guides that suit you.
Each time you travel with us, you preserve an acre of precious rainforest through our partnerships.
From in-depth private tours to restaurant reservations, we take care of every detail so you can make the most of your journey.