Edinburgh, Loch Lomond & Whisky
History and beauty unite in this proud city, affectionately called "The Athens of the North”. Edinburgh is a tale of two cities where a dramatic balance exists between the high, dark buildings of the medieval Old Town and the classical architecture of the Georgian New Town. This tour combines a relaxed stay in Scotland’s Capital City with the opportunity to explore another of Scotland’s great cities – Stirling, the picturesque Trossachs region, bonnie Loch Lomond and, possibly, Scotland’s most attractive malt whisky distillery.
London to Edinburgh (2 nights)
All aboard! Join your express train for the swift journey to Scotland. Along the way the train will travel through the historic communities of York and Durham; Newcastle and Gateshead which straddle the famous River Tyne and Berwick-upon-Tweed, where we cross the Border and enter Scotland. There are wonderful sea views to enjoy as we make our way along the cliff tops towards Edinburgh. On arrival in Edinburgh it is a short walk to your hotel for the next two nights.
This afternoon walk in the footsteps of famous Edinburgh residents such as Sir Walter Scott, Robert Burns, Burke and Hare as you stroll the historic Royal Mile. Edinburgh Castle was home to Scottish Kings and Queens from centuries past and it dominates the city skyline. The Scottish Crown Jewels together with the ancient Stone of Destiny are on display in the castle and are a "must visit”. The views over Edinburgh are just stunning, so don’t forget your camera. The remainder of the day is free for sightseeing or shopping.
Overnight: Jury’s Inn (or similar)
Stirling Castle and Loch Lomond Excursion
Our journey commences with a drive past Linlithgow Palace which sits overlooking a lovely loch. It was here that Mary, Queen of Scots was born.
You’ll have a chance to visit imposing Stirling Castle. It stands on a sheer crag looking down towards Bannockburn, the battlefield where in 1314 Robert the Bruce defeated the English. James V turned the castle into one of Scotland’s most sumptuous palaces, it becoming the home of the Scottish court.
The Trossachs is a wonderful area of lochs and wild mountain vistas. We travel by Loch Venachar then climb the dramatic Dukes Pass to reach the pretty village of Aberfoyle. Next is a stop by the "bonnie, bonnie banks” of Loch Lomond where there is time for you to discover Britain’s largest lake for yourself.
The last stop of the day is at pretty Glengoyne Malt Whisky Distillery. Here you can go behind the scenes to learn how whisky is made and taste the end product!
After breakfast discover more of Edinburgh as you board an open-top bus for a hop-on, hop-off tour of Edinburgh. On this fascinating tour you’ll see the iconic Scottish Parliament building and it’s grand neighbour, the Palace of Holyroodhouse, HM The Queen’s official residence in Scotland.
The splendour of the New Town is bound to impress. Built between 1767 and 1840 the New Town is a product of the Scottish Enlightenment. Broad streets, grand squares and sweeping crescents all combine to create one of the finest examples of Georgian architecture in Europe.
As we travel into the historic Old Town you’ll hear stories of murder and mystery. The buildings in this medieval part of Edinburgh have witnessed many of the events that have shaped Scotland’s history as we will discover.
Take time out for some retail therapy or a visit to one of Edinburgh’s pubs before making your way to the railway station.
The train for London will depart from Waverley railway station around 4.30 pm. All too soon you will have crossed the Border and speeding towards journey’s end in London.
The train journeys are unescorted.