Edinburgh, Stirling, Loch Lomond, Glencoe, Fort William, Cairngorms National Park
Outdoor & Adventure, History & Culture, Off the Beaten, Nature & Wildlife
This journey in Scotland is designed so that the best elements of highlands are included, with days where guests are able to personalize the itinerary to match their interests and choose how they would like to spend their time. It’s an opportunity to get out into nature and meeting real Scots, rather than just observing the scenery as it passes by.
From regal Edinburgh, kickstart your wilderness experience around Stirling and the majestic Loch Lomond. You then pass the dramatic landscapes of Glencoe and onto Fort Williams. Stay in a castle, ride on a steam train, among other outdoor experiences, before ending the trip in the highlands at UK’s largest national park, Cairngorms. It’s a nature paradise with wild open spaces, adventure sports to get the adrenaline pumping, mixing in some local cultural experience and wildlife spotting.
Upon arrival in Edinburgh, meet your driver and transfer to your hotel.
Edinburgh Private Walking Tour (2hrs)
You are met by a local city guide for a walking tour of Edinburgh’s historic Old Town, explore the cobbled streets and hidden alleyways and walk the Royal Mile spanning from the modern Scottish Parliament Building at one end to the imposing Edinburgh Castle at the other.
Edinburgh at leisure
The day is free to visit some of Edinburgh’s popular sites with recommendations from your city guide based on your interests.
One of the highlights is the National Museum of Scotland, one of the most visited museums and galleries in the world, housing a spectacular array of over 20,000 fascinating artefacts with a section taking you through the history of Scotland.
If time permits, head on to Royal Yacht Britannia, home to The Queen and the Royal Family for over 40 years, sailing over 1,000,000 miles around the world.
Your private guide will collect you this morning as you head north towards the Highlands. Our first hotel is only a short drive from Edinburgh, but we’ll break the journey with a stop at either the impressive Doune Castle, or a local whisky distillery, including a dram.
From here, it’s a short transfer to the hotel, which is owned by Wimbledon Champion Andy Murray, who hails from this region. Tennis lessons are available on the Wimbledon-themed courts for anyone wishing to give it a go.
Loch Lomond Boat Ride and Hike
In the morning, a short transfer takes us into Loch Lomond National Park, where we’ll enjoy a boat ride on the tranquil waters of a stunningly scenic loch. In the afternoon, enjoy a private hike with your expert guide – this can be tailored to a gentle stroll to your first Highland summit. Alternatively, you can follow in the footsteps of Robert the Bruce and William Wallace as you visit key historic sites and learn about this crucial era in Scotland’s fight for independence, or join a connoisseur’s tour and tasting at a local whisky distillery.
Heading north, we stop at the grave of the infamous outlaw Rob Roy MacGregor to learn a little about his life which has been adapted into books and films, and then enjoy a short hike to an ancient clan rallying point which offers superb views of the national park. Later, arrive in dramatic Glencoe, with its iconic mountain views and dark history. A short walk offers impressive views and a chance to appreciate the towering mountains and hear spellbinding myths and legends (and maybe a skirl of bagpipes) from a local storyteller as you relax with a drink in a traditional mountain inn.
Arriving at your castle hotel, where you can feel the history in its classical rooms. Opt for a fine dining experience in the Albert and Michel Roux Jr dining room, or head out to enjoy a simple meal in a favourite local inn.
Jacobite Steam Train Experience
The day begins with a steam train ride whose carriages was featured as the Hogwarts Express in the popular Harry Potter films. This is considered as one of the greatest rail journeys in the world, passing mountain scenery and shimmering lochs following the route of the ‘Road To The Isles.’ Arriving at the coast, enjoy lunch (own expense) and then meet your guide for the drive back to Fort William, with stops along various historical sites in the region.
Fort William Experiences (Choose One)
This afternoon, you have the option to embark on a sea-kayaking expedition along the Scottish coastline, led by an expert local guide. Alternatively, take a gondola ride up the mountain to easily enjoy superb views of Ben Nevis, the tallest mountain in the UK, and the surrounding rugged landscape.
Cairngorms National Park Experiences (Choose 2)
Today you bid farewell to the west and head to the Cairngorms National Park in the heart of the Highlands (approx. 90km, 1.5hrs). The short transfer means there is plenty of time to explore along the way, with a plethora of activities available. You may choose two of the activities we recommend:
Cairngorms National Park Insider Experiences (Choose 2)
Today you have the whole day to make the most of this magnificent outdoor playground. Would you dare join your guide for a (quick!) wild swim in the river to awaken the senses? Then immerse yourself in the landscape of Cairngorms National Park on foot. For something more special, a gourmet picnic can be arranged among the hidden nooks of the national park carried by one of the estate’s working ponies (additional costs may apply). Later, enjoy a private tour of a closed whisky distillery, with a tasting in the old mill room.
In the evening, enjoy a private performance by local folk musicians at the farmhouse and then savour a relaxed farm-to-table meal. Alternatively, you could take an early dinner and then head out to a local wildlife hide to see if you can spot nocturnal wildlife such as badgers, roe deer and pine martens.
After a leisurely breakfast, transfer to Edinburgh (approx. 200km, 2.5hrs) for your onward journey.
Low Season: October – April
High Season: May – September
The Balmoral Edinburgh • Cromlix • Inverlochy Castle Hotel • Killiehuntly Farm House
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