Country Roads of Scotland
9 day / 8 night
On this easy-paced premium tour explore the great cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow. Visit St Andrews, the home of golf and iconic Eilean Donan Castle. Explore the un-rivalled scenery of the Isle of Skye and the ancient treasures of the Orkney Islands. Enjoy a tour along the famous North Coast 500 route, one of the most spectacular drives in Europe. Could this be the ultimate Scottish experience?
Price range: £2,075-£2,965
Edinburgh - join a local expert for a guided tour of Edinburgh Castle
St Andrews - see the famed Old Course and the historic castle
Orkney Islands - visit 5,000 year old Skara Brae and the ancient Ring of Brodgar
Highland Gathering - enjoy a celebration dinner with music and dancing
Loch Lomond - take a scenic drive along the “bonnie, bonnie banks”
Movie locations - Loch Ness, Highlander and Braveheart
Hotel accommodation included
Full Tour Itinerary
Day 1 - Arrive in Edinburgh
Welcome to Scotland - land of legends and romance, from the great cultural cities in the south, to the dramatic mountains and misty lochs of the Highlands. On arrival at Edinburgh Airport, transfers depart for your hotel at 09:00, 11:00 & 13:00. Then the rest of the day is yours to relax before joining your Tour Director for a Welcome Reception, a pleasant evening of dinner and wine. On August 4 to 25 departures enjoy a visit to the spectacular Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo at Edinburgh Castle.
Overnight: Malmaison Hotel, Edinburgh (2 nights)
Day 2 - Edinburgh City Tour and Edinburgh Castle
Join a Local Expert to see the highlights of the city. Drive along Princes Street to the ornate Scott Memorial, then tour the 18th century New Town with its classical Adam façades. Over in the Old Town, visit Edinburgh Castle, home of Mons Meg, the Stone of Destiny and Scotland's crown jewels. Enjoy a guided tour along part of the Royal Mile where, at the bottom stands the Scottish Parliament and the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the official Scottish residence of the Queen. The rest of the day is at leisure. Perhaps research your family tartan in the Tartan Centre or visit the art treasures in the Scottish National Gallery.
Day 3 - Edinburgh - St. Andrews - Inverness
See the Forth Bridges that span the Firth of Forth as we travel into Fife and make our way to St. Andrews, where golf was born on the Old Course in the 15th century. After some time to explore this university town, cross the Tay and drive to the charming Victorian resort town of Pitlochry, famous for its salmon leap. Continue via Blair Atholl and over the Grampian Mountains to the sparkling Spey Valley. We'll visit Ballindalloch Castle, which has been the home of the McPherson-Grant family since 1546. After a tour of the castle we'll enjoy tea and freshly baked scones served by our hosts in the traditional way. Continue to stately Inverness, where your luxury signature hotel is set within four acres of manicured grounds, offering the very best in Highland hospitality.
Overnight: Kingsmills Hotel, Inverness (or similar)
Day 4 - Inverness - Loch Ness - Thurso
See Culloden Moor in the morning, where Bonnie Prince Charlie's Jacobite army was finally crushed in 1746. Visit the Culloden Visitor Centre before continuing along the shores of Loch Ness and past historic Urquhart Castle. Keep your eyes peeled for the monster! Next, follow the rugged coast north to the fishing port of Wick. Pause at the Old Pulteney Distillery to taste a wee dram of whisky and learn about the production of the national drink. Stay in the town of Thurso, which looks out over the Pentland Firth towards the ‘Old Man of Hoy'.
Overnight: Pentland Hotel, Thurso (or similar) (2 nights)
Day 5 - Orkney Islands Excursion
Start the day by driving to the most northerly town on the British mainland, John O'Groats. Board the ferry to the beautiful Orkney Islands - where the hardy locals live ‘below the wind and above the water'. Sightseeing with a Local Expert includes visits to the 5,000-year-old village of Skara Brae, the mysterious Ring of Brodgar, Kirkwall and the small chapel built by Italian prisoners of war during WWII. Return to your Thurso hotel for dinner.
Day 6 - Thurso - Ullapool - Isle of Skye
We join the famous North Coast 500 route to travel through stunning and pristine landscapes along the northern coast with its white sandy beaches. Later further inland to misty valleys and glens, lochs and rushing waters. Then it's ‘Over the Sea to Skye' the largest and most beautiful island of the Inner Hebrides. See the dramatic Cuillin Hills and on the way to Broadford, hear romantic tales of how young Flora MacDonald helped rescue Charles Edward Stuart, more famously known as "Bonnie Prince Charlie".
Overnight: Dunollie Hotel, Broadford (or similar)
Day 7 - Isle of Skye - Glen Coe - Ballachulish
A chance to explore this wild and beautiful island, before crossing to the Kyle of Lochalsh. Stop for a photo at remote Eilean Donan Castle, which, under a clear sky, offers a perfect reflection in its loch. Move on to the WWII Commando Memorial where there is a fine view of Ben Nevis, Britain's highest mountain. We enjoy more spectacular scenery en route to the Valley of Glencoe, its dramatic peaks still echoing with the ghastly cries of massacred clansmen. At night, get together with your friends at a sumptuous grand-finalé Celebration meal. Don't be surprised if, by the end of the evening, you're 'Toasting to the Lassies' or singing 'Auld Lang Syne'.
Overnight: Ballachulish Hotel/Isles of Glencoe Hotel, Ballachulish (or similar)
Day 8 - Ballachulish - Loch Lomond - Glasgow
Enter the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park and spend time by the peaceful "bonnie, bonnie banks". Perhaps experience the beauty and tranquillity of Loch Lomond, ‘Queen of Scottish Lochs' and the largest in Great Britain, with an optional cruise before continuing to Glasgow. An orientation drive shows you the city's grand public buildings, including George Square and Glasgow Cathedral. Then the rest of the afternoon is at your leisure.
Overnight: Holiday Inn Theatreland/Hallmark Hotel, Glasgow (or similar)
Day 9 - Depart Glasgow
Your tour comes to an end after breakfast. Departure transfers arrive at Glasgow Airport at 07:00 hrs & 09:00 hrs.
Frequently Asked Questions
What can I expect on this Premium Escorted Tour?
If you enjoy the art of travelling in comfort and style then a Premium Escorted Tour is for you. You’ll travel in a group that is restricted to around 40 fellow travellers. Travel is aboard a state of the art motorcoach with air-conditioning, on-board WiFi, reclining seats and oversized windows. For your comfort there is an emergency washroom on-board too. An experienced tour manager will lead the tour and your coach will be expertly driven by a professional driver. In certain cities you’ll be joined by a local guide who will provide local insight and show you the highlights. These tours are fully inclusive of first class/superior class accommodation, transportation, admission fees and most meals. Savvy travellers appreciate that these tours have no hidden extras – all the ingredients needed for a great tour are included in the tour price. There are no optional extras for you to budget for during your holiday.
What kind of accommodation do you use?
The group will stay together in first class or superior tourist class hotels. Each has been carefully selected for comfort, quality and ambiance located in the best locations close to the shopping areas and the key sights. You will discover a pleasant balance of familiar brand hotels such as Hilton, Marriott and Accor together with locally owned family-run hotels. In rural locations your accommodation will be in the best available hotels. A full hotel list will be provided as part of your EDocumentation.
How do I arrange my airport transfer?
Complimentary airport transfers are included on the first and last day of your tour. If you wish to avail of this facility please provide your flight details (flight number, arrival/departure time and originating/destination airport) as soon as you have this information. We regret that if you are planning pre or post tour accommodation you will need to make your own transfer arrangements. You will meet your driver or guide in the arrivals hall once you have completed the immigration and customs formalities. Full information is included in your tour documentation.
Can I reserve specific seats on the coach?
Seats cannot be pre-booked however your tour director will implement a seat rotation system which will allow all passengers the opportunity of experiencing spectacular views from different seats on the motorcoach.
Tell me what the visit to a whisky distillery will be like?
A visit to a traditional whisky distillery is a feast for all the senses. After a warm welcome you’ll normally have a short audio/visual presentation on the the history of the distillery and the traditional methods used in the distilling process. Next is a tour of the distillery where you you will experience all stages of the whisky making process from mashing and fermenting to distilling and maturation. Your tour will end with a tutored tasting of a malt whisky and the opportunity to buy a souvenir of your visit in the distillery shop.
- 8 nights hotel accommodation
- Location: Edinburgh (2); Inverness (1); Thurso (2); Skye (1); Ballachulish (1) and Glasgow (1)
- Cooked/Continental breakfast (8)
- Welcome drink and dinner with your Tour Director
- Table d’hôte dinners (4)
- Celebration dinner in Ballachulish
Visits, Admissions and Experiences
- Admission to Edinburgh Castle, Culloden Moor, Skara Brae, Italian Chapel and Ring of Brodgar
- Visit to Ballindalloch Castle with afternoon tea
- City tour of Edinburgh
- Tour and tasting at Old Pulteney Whisky Distillery
- Tickets are included for the World-famous Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo on 3 to 24 August departures
- Touring by luxury air-conditioned coach with reclining seats, on board washroom and Wifi
- Ferry to the Orkney Islands
- All baggage handling and hotel tips are included
- Services throughout the tour of a professional Tour Director
- Service charges and taxes
Please check your tour documentation for the commencement time of the tour
From Malmaison Hotel
1 Tower Place
Edinburgh EH6 7BZ
The tour will end in Glasgow after breakfast on day 9
Check-in: 14:15 hrs
Tour Departs: 14:30 hrs
Tour Returns: 09:00 hrs
Child discount applies to children aged 5 to 17 years inclusive on the basis that they share a room with an adult.
We’re sorry but children aged under 5 years cannot travel on this tour.
Photo-ID may be requested to confirm discount entitlement.
The price of this tour includes hotel accommodation with en-suite bathroom.
Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo
Selected departures include a visit to this famous celebration of music, dancing and culture performed against the backdrop of Edinburgh Castle.
Please see the FAQ section for more information on this tour.