Enjoy tranquil settings and spectacular scenery
The first day of the tour starts at 12 mid-day and travels north, crossing the famous Forth Bridge: one of the engineering wonders of the world. On the northern side we continue towards the city of Perth and stop at Pitlochry. This delightful country town is in Macbeth country, of one of Scotland’s most famous Kings. A country walk will be through some of the wonderful wooded trails in the area of Birnam Wood. "When Birnam Woods walks to Dunsinane, Macbeth's reign will end " so wrote William Shakespeare. Stay at Pitlochry.
Explore this area of Highland Perthshire with a visit to one of Scotland’s finest castles, Blair Castle, where many Kings and Queens have visited over the years. Home to the Dukes of Atholl, and the only private army in Britain. A walk through one of the Atholl glens will delight everyone. These rugged glens have some wonderful wild life, with many varieties of birds: Grouse, Capercaillie, Ptarmigan, Snow Bunting and not forgetting the majestic Red Deer and the occasional Haggis. Scotland’s smallest distillery is also here at Pitlochry and the tour of the facility and tasting should not be missed. Stay at Pitlochry.
Time to move north. Crossing the Monadhliath Mountains we enter the valley of the River Spey, which is particularly well know for Speyside Malt Whisky and salmon. We will stop for a morning walk around the Queen's Forest near Aviemore. These ancient trees are known as Caledonian Scots Pines, some of which are older than 500 years. After lunch we continue towards Inverness, capital of the highlands. There we will visit Culloden Moor, where the Jacobite troops under Bonnie Prince Charlie were defeated in the last battle on British soil by William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland and son of King George II. A brief visit to the ancient stones and burial cairns of Clava Moor, which have graced this spot for over 5,000 years will leave you in wonder. Stay at Inverness.
Glen Affric enjoys the reputation of being one of Scotland’s most beautiful glens, with tumbling waterfalls, attractive forests and soaring hills. This morning's walk will take in the ambience of the area before turning east to visit an old friend "The Loch Ness Monster". The village of Drumnadrochit may just have the cutest name in Scotland and certainly has the cutest monster in the world. A visit to castle Urquhart on the banks of Loch Ness has the finest views in the area. However, to insure the best chance to see Nessie we will take a short cruise on Loch Ness back to Inverness on the Jacobite Queen. Stay at Inverness.
Travelling down the east side of Loch Ness we make our way south to Fort William and Glencoe. The scenery en-route is unsurpassed and if the clouds are high we may see Ben Nevis: highest point on the British mainland. Glencoe is known for the massacre of 1692, when many of the Macdonald Clan perished at the hands of Government soldiers. However, we will pursue a different aim by taking a walk through this enchanting glen and visit where Lord Strathcona built a loch to please his wife: an Indian princess whom he married while building the Canadian Pacific railway. Stay in Glencoe.
A short drive to Port Appin will reveal the attractive Castle Stalker, hunting lodge of the Stewarts. We will take the ferry to the Island of Lismore and explore this interesting cultural centre of early Christian worship. We will also see some lighthouses built by the Stevenson family, including the father and grandfather of Robert Louis Stevenson. This is where he based his novel of the Appin murder, better known as Kidnapped. Stay in Glencoe area.
The day will commence with a short drive though Glencoe and the Rannoch Moor, to Queen Victoria’s Lodge for a short walk round the area of Loch Tulla and The Black Mount. We will finish the tour at Crianlarich where you can take the train back to either Glasgow or Edinburgh for your onward journey.
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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