Scotland’s Gaelic West Coast
11 day / 10 night
The idyllic Western Isles lie off the West Coast of Scotland and feature dazzlingly white beaches, loch-dotted landscapes, pre-historic sites and an amazing array of wildlife. While the Hebridean isles are the focus of this tour you’ll also have time to discover Edinburgh, Glasgow and Inverness; visit stately castles; explore battlefield sites and enjoy a ride on the famous Jacobite Steam Train. This tour really has something for everyone!
Price range: £2,644 - £3,677
Inveraray - visit fairy tale Inveraray Castle, the ancestral home of Clan Campbell
Jacobite Steam Train - all aboard one of the World’s great rail journeys
Isle of Barra - admire the white sandy beaches and enjoy free-time in the charming village of Castlebay
Isle of Lewis - experience a full day tour visiting the pre-historic sites of Dun Carloway Broch and the Callanish Standing Stones
Edinburgh - discover the elegant Georgian “New Town” and travel along the Royal Mile to visit Edinburgh Castle
Movie locations - Harry Potter, Whisky Galore and Downton Abbey
Hotel accommodation included
Full Tour Itinerary
Day 1 - Welcome to Scotland & Glasgow City Tour
Our tour begins 2:00 p.m. at your Glasgow hotel. Tour the highlights of Glasgow and discover its unique history with a visit to the oldest house in the city, Provands Lordship. In the evening join your group for a welcome drink before dinner.
Overnight: Westerwood Hotel, Glasgow (Cumbernauld) (or similar)
Day 2 - Glasgow - Inveraray - Oban
Enter the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park to tour along the famous "bonnie, bonnie banks", renowned for its unsurpassed beauty. Visit Inveraray Castle, home of the 12th Duke of Argyll. Tour the elaborately decorated castle containing an armory, many historic relics, and its portrait collection. In the seaside town of Oban, visit Oban Distillery, one of the few distilleries to be built before the town itself. Learn about whisky production and savour a sample of the finished product.
Overnight: Perle Oban Hotel, Oban (or similar)
Day 3 - Oban - Jacobite Steam Train - Isle of Benbecula
Drive along the scenic shores of Loch Linnhe to Fort William, the largest town in the Western Highlands. Board the Jacobite Steam Train and enjoy a spectacular railway journey across the Glenfinnan Viaduct, as featured in the Harry Potter movies, to the fishing port of Mallaig. Spend some free time exploring on your own, then embark on a scenic ferry ride to Lochboisdale on South Uist. Travel to your hotel on the Isle of Benbecula. Enjoy dinner in the hotel restaurant.
Overnight: Dark Island Hotel, Isle of Benbecula (2 nights) (or similar)
Day 4 - Isle Of Barra Excursion
Travel through scenic South Uist and board the ferry to Ardmhàr on Barra to admire the beautiful white sand beaches. Stop in Castlebay, the main town of the isle. Take in the view of Kisimul Castle standing proundly in the bay and browse independently before continuing to Vatersay, an island just south of Castlebay. After a drive around, take the return ferry to Eriskay. Enjoy a drink with your group at The Politician Bar before returning to your hotel.
Day 5 - Isle of Benbecula - Harris - Stornoway (Isle of Lewis)
Explore the island of North Uist, a stunning landscape of miles of sandy beaches with fresh and saltwater lochs. Visit the Hebridean Smokehouse to see the island's largest industry from smoking to packing and shipping, and enjoy a taste. Stop for tea at the Claddach Kirkibost Centre, a key community facility and favorite spot for visitors to the island, before heading to see work of local artists at Taigh Chearsabhagh Museum of Arts. Continue north to Berneray and board the ferry to Leverburgh on Harris. Travel on to tour Stornoway, the largest town in the Outer Hebrides.
Overnight: Caberfeidh Hotel, Stornoway, Isle of Lewis (3 nights) (or similar)
Day 6 - Exploring the Isle of Harris
Enjoy a scenic tour of Harris, which boasts a wide range of landscapes. Visit Horgabost and Luskentyre beaches, then head to Tarbert. Go behind the scenes at the Isle of Harris Distillery to witness the distilling operation and enjoy a sample. See a Harris Tweed weaving demonstration, and take a tour of Stornoway. Dinner is at your hotel in Stornoway.
Day 7 - Exploring the Isle of Lewis
Sightsee around the Isle of Lewis, a relatively flat island with many picturesque sandy beaches and rugged coastline. At Bosta Beach see the Iron Age House, a reconstructed Iron-Age dwelling. Located above Loch an Duin, visit Dun Carloway Broch, which dates back over 2000 years. Continue exploring with a stop to marvel at the ancient Callanish Standing Stones, which date from 2000 BC. Experience history and heritage at Gearannan Blackhouse Village, a former community converted to a museum and visitor center. Return to Stornoway for a free evening to dine and explore on your own.
Day 8 - Stornoway - Ullapool - Inverness
Take a panoramic drive and short walking tour around Stornoway, then enjoy some free time to explore independently. You may choose to visit An Lanntair, an arts and exhibition centre, or Lews Castle, which boasts an interactive museum including the 900-year-old Lewis Chess Pieces. Or, visit the Lewis Loom Centre with demonstrations of spinning wheels, the hand loom, and a craft gift shop. In the afternoon board the ferry to Ullapool on the mainland. Travel to Inverness for dinner then join a local guide for a walking tour around the city.
Overnight: Glen Mhor Hotel, Inverness (or similar)
Day 9 - Inverness - Scone Palace - Edinburgh
Head to Culloden Battlefield to tour the Visitor Centre, where, on April 16, 1746, British Government forces defeated the army of Prince Charles Edward Stuart (Bonnie Prince Charlie). Visit Scone Palace and see the fine collections of antiques before heading to Edinburgh. Enjoy an evening of dinner and traditional Scottish song and dance. On the 3 August 3 departure enjoy the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo at the Castle esplanade.
Overnight: The Principal Edinburgh Hotel, Edinburgh (2 nights) (or similar)
Day 10 - Edinburgh City tour and Edinburgh Castle
Enjoy a guided sightseeing tour of Edinburgh, comparing the wide streets and elegant mansions of the Georgian 200-year-old "New Town" with the narrow lanes and medieval townhouses along The Royal Mile, the oldest part of the city. Tour Edinburgh Castle to see the historic buildings and enjoy the splendid views of Edinburgh. The rest of the day is free to explore, shop, and dine on your own.
Day 11 - Tour Ends
Your tour ends after breakfast. Airport transfers are available
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 type of room should I choose?
There are different bedrooms types to choose from, here is what you can expect: Single room - one person sleeping in a single bed. Twin room - two people sleeping in two separate beds. Double room - two people sharing one large bed. Family room - three people sharing a room sleeping in one large bed (2 people) and one single bed (1 person). Please note that a family room can be a standard double room with either a sofa bed or a rollaway bed.
Will I hear Gaelic being spoken?
The Outer Hebrides is the heartland of Gaelic culture and the majority of islanders will speak the Gaelic language, as well as English. Of course there is no need to learn Gaelic to enjoy your time in the Outer Hebrides but if you would like to learn a few words why not try:Hello. Halò. Goodbye. Mar sin leibh. My name is... Is mise...How are you? Ciamar a tha sibh? I’m fine thank you. Tha gu math tapadh leibh. Excuse me... Gabh mo leisgeul... Cheers! Slàinte!
Tell me more about Inveraray Castle?
Romantic Inveraray Castle Gardens sits on the shores of Loch Fyne and is one of Scotland’s finest stately homes. The ruggedness of the highland scenery serves as a spectacular backdrop for the sheltered tidal Loch, beside which nestles the present Castle built between 1745 and 1790.The ancestral seat of the Dukes of Argyll, Chiefs of the Clan Campbell whose family have resided in Inveraray since the early 15th century. Visitors enter the famous Armoury Hall containing some 1300 pieces including Brown Bess muskets, Lochaber axes and 18th century Scottish broadswords. They can also view preserved swords from the Battle of Culloden. The fine State Dining Room and Tapestry Drawing Room contain magnificent French tapestries which were woven especially for the Castle, fabulous examples of Scottish, English and French furniture and countless other precious artworks. The castle’s priceless collection of china, silver and family heirlooms spans generations which are illustrated by the fascinating genealogical display in the Clan Room. Fans of Downton Abbey will recall that Inveraray had a starring role during a two-hour special where the Grantham family and staff travelled north to the home of their cousins, the Marquess and Marchioness of Flintshire in their mythical Scottish home, ‘Duneagle Castle’. Inveraray Castle is open to the public between April and October.
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.
- 10 nights hotel accommodation
- Location: Glasgow (1); Oban (1); Benbecula (2); Stornoway, Isle of Lewis (3); Inverness (1) and Edinburgh (2)
- Cooked/Continental breakfast (10)
- Welcome drink with your Tour Director
- Table d’hote dinners with wine (7)
- Scottish Evening in Edinburgh
Visits, Admissions and Experiences
- Admission to Provands Lordship, Inveraray Castle, Hebridean Smokehouse, Taigh Chearsabagh Museum of the Arts, Isle of Harris Distillery, Dun Carolway Broch, Gearannan Blackhouse village, Culloden Moor Visitor Centre, Scone Palace and Edinburgh Castle
- Tour and tasting at Oban Malt Whisky Distillery
- Harris Tweed weaving demonstration
- Single journey from Fort William to Mallaig on the Jacobite Steam Train
- City tours of Glasgow and Edinburgh
- Walking tours of Inverness and Stornoway
- Tickets are included for the World-famous Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo on 26 July to 16 August departures
- Touring by luxury air-conditioned coach with extra-legroom, reclining seats, on board washroom and Wifi
- All ferry fares and reservations
- 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 documention for the commencement time of the tour
From the The Westerwood Hotel
1 Saint Andrews Drive
Nr Glasgow G68 0EW
Please note that this hotel is located 24 miles from Glasgow Airport.
The tour will end in Edinburgh after breakfast on day 11
Check-in: 13:30 hrs
Tour Departs: 14:00 hrs
Tour Returns: 09:00 hrs
Child discount applies to children aged 8 to 18 years inclusive on the basis that they share a room with an adult.
We’re sorry but children aged under 8 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.