Scottish Clans and Castles - 10 day tour
Scottish Clans and Castles
10 day / 9 night
Discover Scotland’s colourful past on this enchanting tour. Visit no less than five of the country’s greatest castles - Brodie, Doune, Dunvegan, Eilean Donan and mighty Stirling and see the iconic battlefield site at Culloden Moor. Visit several locations used in the filming of the hit TV series Outlander including the real Castle Leoch and Cranesmuir. Explore the stunning beauty of the Isle of Skye and enjoy a scenic train trip on the famed West Highland Railway Line. All this is just a flavour of what awaits you on this marvellous tour.
Price range: £1,785 - £3,700
Doune Castle - explore this grand castle set amid lovely countryside that has starred in Outlander and Game of Thrones
Isle of Skye - enjoy a tour of the Winged Isle including Dunvegan Castle, Kilt Rock and the scenic Sleat Peninsula
Sheep-dog Demonstration - marvel at the teamwork between shepherd and their dogs at a working sheep farm
Culross - step back in time when you visit this delightful 17th Century village, the setting for Cranesmuir in Outlander
Edinburgh - tour the Georgian “New Town” and drive along the famous Royal Mile to visit stately Holyrood Palace
Movie locations - Harry Potter, Captain America: The First Avenger and The Angels’ Share
Hotel accommodation included
Full Tour Itinerary
Day 1 - Glasgow Arrival and City Tour
Your Scottish trip starts at 2:00 pm at your hotel. Meet your tour director and set out on a panoramic tour of central Glasgow. See the main attractions of Glasgow including red sandstone Victorian buildings, delightful parks, Glasgow Cathedral and the River Clyde, once famous for shipbuilding, especially during the 19th century when the city burgeoned. During the tour see several locations used in the filming of the popular TV series Outlander - Glasgow University, Kelvingrove Park and George Square. Return to your hotel and enjoy free time to rest and relax. Chat with your tour director and fellow travellers about your trip with a welcome drink before dining independently.
Overnight: Malmaison Hotel, Glasgow (or similar) (2 nights)
Day 2 - Stirling Castle & Doune Castle Excursion
Drive to Stirling to visit Stirling Castle. Discover the exquisite Royal Palace and the impressive Great Hall. During your guided tour learn of the many notable people connected with this mighty fortress including the real “Braveheart” Sir William Wallace and Mary, Queen of Scots. Enjoy free time for lunch before travelling to visit Doune Castle which dates from the 14th Century. Once the home of the Regent Albany and a Royal residence Doune has played a starring role in a number of movies and TV series most famously, perhaps, as Castle Leoch in Outlander.
End the day at delightful Glengoyne Malt Whisky Distillery where, after a tour to discover the traditional method of making whisky, there is a wee taste of the end product. Tonight dinner is served at your hotel.
Day 3 - Glasgow - Glen Coe - Kyle of Lochalsh
Today travel into the spectacular Scottish Highlands. Travel by the “bonnie, bonnie banks” of Loch Lomond then journey across mysterious Rannoch Moor. There is a photo-stop in the heart of Glen Coe, a spectacular glen made famous by the Campbells’ massacre of the Clan Macdonald in 1692. Stop at Spean Bridge Woollen Mill and drive alongside some the long, narrow lakes in the Great Glen. Continue your drive north to visit romantic Eilean Donan Castle. The first fortified castle was built in the 13th century, rebuilt several times and partially ruined in 1719. Check in to your charming family-owned hotel near Kyle of Lochalsh.
Overnight: Balmacara Hotel, Kyle of Lochalsh or similar (2 nights)
Day 4 - Isle of Skye & Portree Excursion
Today cross to the Isle of Skye by bridge to explore this lovely island sometimes called the “Misty Isle”. It has many strong associations with Bonnie Prince Charlie as he fled here after his defeat at Culloden Moor. Visit Dunvegan Castle, the seat of the Clan MacLeod for 800 years, to see fine paintings, antiques and Jacobite relics. Tour through the Trotternish Peninsula to view Kilt Rock, a sea cliff with huge, vertical basalt columns and cascading waterfall. Stop at Kilmuir to see the grave of Flora MacDonald before enjoying free time in Portree. Why not take a walk to admire brightly-painted houses that cluster around the attractive harbour? Return to your hotel for free time before dinner.
Day 5 - Kyle of Lochalsh - Scenic Train Ride - Inverness
Visit Armadale Castle, Gardens and Museum to discover the history of the MacDonalds, known as the Lords of the Isles and the most powerful clan of the Isle of Skye. Take a ferry to Mallaig on the mainland and transfer to a train for a fun ride through some of Scotland’s loveliest scenery. The West Highland Line is considered to be one of the finest in Europe and along the way you may view Loch Shiel and the Glenfinnan Monument, another reminder of Bonnie Prince Charlie. The train crosses the 21-arched Glenfinnan viaduct, which was featured in some of the Harry Potter movies. Reboard your coach at Fort William and drive to Inverness.
Overnight: Glen Mhor Hotel, Inverness (or similar) (3 nights)
Day 6 - Urquhart Castle & Culloden Battlefield Excursion
Cruise into Loch Ness to visit the picturesque ruins of Urquhart Castle, once Scotland’s largest castle which was destroyed in Jacobite wars. Stop at the Culloden Battlefield Visitor Centre to learn about the battle when British Government forces defeated the army of Bonnie Prince Charlie on 16th April 1746. The Visitor Centre shows the background to this bloody battle and you can walk around the moorland to see various monuments commemorating troops. Return to Inverness in time to relax and, after dinner, take a gentle walking tour with a local guide.
Day 7 - Whisky Tasting & Brodie Castle Excursion
Travel to Elgin to discover how cashmere items have been handcrafted at the specialist family-owned Johnstons factory for over 200 years. Enjoy time for lunch then visit Brodie Castle, a 16th century tower house that was the family home of the Bodies for over 700 years. Boasting fairytale towers and turrets the house contains fine furnishings, a collection of paintings and a library with over 6,000 volumes. There are extensive grounds and pleasant woodland walks to explore. Later tour back to Inverness and enjoy some free time for a stroll along the River Ness in front of your hotel.
Day 8 - Inverness - St Andrews - Edinburgh
Drive south through majestic Highland scenery to Leault Farm where dogs obey commands of the shepherd to round up sheep. Drive south through the high peaks of the Grampian Mountains and stop for a look around the town of Pitlochry and enjoy lunch. The delightful 16th Century town of Culross acts as the fictional village of Cranesmuir in the Outlander TV series. Enjoy free time to explore the cobbled streets, historic palace and gardens of this ancient royal burgh. Drive south to Edinburgh, Scotland’s capital, and your manor house hotel on the outskirts. Enjoy a Scottish Evening with dinner, lively singing and story-telling.
Overnight: Norton House Hotel, Ingliston, Edinburgh (or similar) (2 nights)
Day 9 - Edinburgh City Tour & Palace of Holyroodhouse
This morning explore Edinburgh on a sightseeing tour. First explore the magnificent Georgian architecture of the 200 year old “New Town” with its wide streets and elegant squares. Later cross to the medieval “Old Town” to take a drive along the Royal Mile. Learn about many prominent Scottish inventors, doctors and writers who lived along this ancient route. Tour the impressive Palace of Holyroodhouse, the official Scottish residence of The Queen, and walk through the majestically furnished chambers. The balance of the day is free.
On 30 July to 20 August departures attend a performance of the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo at the Castle esplanade.
Day 10 - Tour Ends
Your tour ends after breakfast. Airport transfers to Edinburgh International Airport are available - terms and conditions apply.
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.
What is the journey on the Jacobite Steam Train like?
Described as one of the great railway journeys of the world this 42 mile one-way trip takes you past a list of impressive extremes. Starting near the highest mountain in Britain, Ben Nevis, it visits Britain’s most westerly mainland railway station, Arisaig; passes close by the deepest freshwater loch in Britain, Loch Morar and the shortest river in Britain, River Morar, finally arriving next to the deepest seawater loch in Europe, Loch Nevis! The train will cross the 21-arched Glenfinnan viaduct (a location made famous in the Harry Potter films) which overlooks Loch Shiel and the Jacobite monument. The train may pause on the viaduct, time permitting, to allow you to take in the magnificent view. On some tours the route may be reversed.
How much luggage can I bring?
You can bring one suitcase and one carry-on bag per person. The maximum weight allowance and luggage dimensions varies by tour so you should check the tour documentation for the luggage policy that applies to your tour.
How much travelling time will there be between stops?
On a Premium Escorted Tour you’ll not be travelling for much more than two hours without a stop. There are washrooms/toilets at each stop and most coaches are equipped with on-board toilets, however for safety reasons their use is restricted whilst the coach is in motion.
- 9 nights hotel accommodation
- Location: Glasgow (2); Kyle of Lochalsh (2); Inverness (3) and Edinburgh (2)
- Scottish/Continental breakfast (9)
- Welcome drink with your Tour Director
- Table d’hôte dinners (5)
- Scottish Evening in Edinburgh
Visits, Admissions and Experiences
- Admission to Doune Castle, Stirling Castle, Eilean Donan Castle, Dunvegan Castle, Armadale Castle, Gardens and Museum, Culloden Battlefield Visitor Centre, Brodie Castle and the Palace of Holyroodhouse
- Visit to Johnstons of Elgin
- Scenic rail journey on the West Highland railway line
- Sheepdog trial demonstration on a working Highland farm
- Cruise on Loch Ness
- City tours of Glasgow and Edinburgh
- Walking tour of Inverness and Culross
- Tickets are included for the World-famous Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo on 30 July to 20 August, 2020 departures
- Touring by luxury air-conditioned coach with extra-legroom, reclining seats, on board washroom and Wifi
- Ferry from the Isle of Skye
- 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 Malmaison Hotel
278 West George Street
Glasgow G2 4LL
The tour will end in Edinburgh after breakfast on day 10
Check-in: 13:45 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.
Customer Reviews Overall Rating:
Rating:01 Oct 2019
This is a great tour if you want to hit all the highlights that Scotland has to offer. I highly recommend you go in august the weather is good, and the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo on the last night is amazing!Johanna from Edmonton , Canada