Scottish culture and heritage.
The Grand Tour starts from your Edinburgh hotel. Overnight accommodation can be arranged in a city hotel. Throughout the main tour small hotels or superior bed and breakfast establishments have been chosen for atmosphere and comfort.
Depart and travel to Loch Lomond, one of Scotland's most beautiful lochs. Visit the village of Luss on the banks of the loch. This Brigadoon type village is a favourite with all visitors. Travel further to Tarbet for a cruise on the loch. Continue north leaving Loch Lomond and into the Highlands with its wonderful mountain scenery. Glencoe is reached after crossing the Rannoch Moor: a desolate wilderness as far as the eye can see. Weather permitting we will have a walk in the Glencoe hills and savour the atmosphere and history. It was here in 1692 that the clan Macdonald suffered cruelly at the hands of Government soldiers. A short detour takes us to view Castle Stalker in the district of Appin. The castle is situated on a small island and the view can be breathtaking. Return to the Glencoe area and book into your accommodation for the evening.
Leave the Glencoe area and travel north to Fort William. Ben Nevis, Scotland's highest mountain at 4,406 feet above sea lavel, is here. Weather permitting, we can take a mountain gondola ride to 3,000 feet and take in the views and a welcome cup of coffee. Continue through the Great Glen and Caledonian Canal to Fort Augustus and Loch Ness. Travel along Loch Ness, keeping the camera at the ready for a view of the monster. Stop at Urquhart Castle for a short visit and see the monster exhibition at Drumnadrochit. We continue now for Inverness the capital of the highlands, which is well worth a visit. The last battle on British soil took place here at Culloden Moor in 1746 between the Jacobite forces under Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Hanovarian Government troops under the Duke of Cumberland. Visit the 5,000 year old Clava Cairns. Return to your accommodation for the night.
Start the day with a visit to Cawder Castle, famed for its loose association with Shakespeare’s Macbeth. This wonderful old castle has lots to see inside and out, however watch out witches and the occasional ghost. We now travel south through the scenic Grampian mountains and Perthshire. There is a variety of Castles en-route, including Blair Castle at the village of Blair Atholl. Home to the Dukes of Atholl, it has a fine collection of arms, furniture, paintings and memorabilia of the clan Murray. It's best not step out of line in here. The Duke has the only private army in the British Isles. Continue to the town of Pitlochry and visit the smallest Malt Whisky Distillery in Scotland. This pretty village deserves some free time for shopping. Check into your accommodation for the night.
Leave Pitlochry and head for Glamis Castle, which incidentally is the most haunted in Scotland. The castle is the home of the Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne. It was here that the Queen Mother was brought up and where Princess Margaret was born. Continue now towards the City of Dundee where you can see the ship Discovery which took Scott and Shackleton to the Antarctic on their expedition of polar exploration. Cross the Firth of Tay and visit St Andrews, the home of golf. The town of St Andrews is full of character, with medieval buildings, particularly those of the oldest University in Scotland, and its history of the Scottish Reformation in the 16th century. The castle has an unusual bottle dungeon, . Don't forget to view the most famous golf course in the world. We now travel south, crossing the Firth of Forth and see the Forth Rail Bridge, one of the engineering wonders of the world, before coming into Edinburgh: the capital of Scotland. Check into your guest house for the night.
Complete your vacation with a full tour of Edinburgh. Visit the Castle with Scotland’s Crown Jewels and Stone of Destiny. Walk the Royal Mile, visiting St.Giles Cathedral, Parliament Hall, John Knox House and the Royal Palace of Holyrood with the Mary Queen of Scots rooms: the Queen's official residence in Edinburgh.
Prices do not include entrance fees. Castles and most attractions are around £10.00 per person. Many museums and galleries in Scotland are free of charge.
Accommodation and restaurant recommendations can be organised on request.
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