Scottish Clans and Castles - 10 day tour
Scottish Clans and Castles
10 day / 9 night
Discover Scotland’s colourful past on this fascinating tour. Visit no less than six of the country’s greatest castles - Brodie, Dunvegan, Edinburgh, Eilean Donan, Urquhart and mighty Stirling. See the iconic battlefield site at Culloden Moor and visit locations used to film the hit TV series Outlander including the real Cranesmuir. Explore the stunning beauty of the Isle of Skye and enjoy a scenic cruise on the mysterious waters of Loch Ness. All this is just a flavour of what awaits you on this marvellous tour.
Stirling Castle - explore this grand castle dramatically perched atop an extinct volcano
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 the stately Palace of Holyroodhouse and Edinburgh Castle
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 2:30 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.
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: Sandman Signature Glasgow Hotel, Glasgow (or similar) (2 nights)
Day 2 - Stirling Castle and Glengoyne Whisky Distillery 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 actual “Braveheart” Sir William Wallace and Mary, Queen of Scots.
Later, head to delightful Glengoyne Malt Whisky Distillery. Here, join a whisky expert for a tour to discover the traditional method of making whisky, followed by a wee taste of the end product.
Return to Glasgow for free time and the opportunity to dine as you wish.
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 of the long, narrow lochs 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 massive, 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 - Strathpeffer – Inverness
The day starts with a scenic drive through Glen Carron, stopping to view the vista over Loch Carron and the Applecross Mountains beyond. There will be time to explore the picturesque lochside village of Lochcarron, with its pretty whitewashed cottages.
Strathpeffer is a leafy Victorian resort that once attracted visitors from all over Europe. They came here to enjoy the waters that were said to cure all forms of ailments. During our free time here, you can visit the Pavillion and Pump Rooms to sample the sulphur waters.
Later, travel across the Black Isle, admiring the views of the Cromarty Firth. Our destination is the wonderfully preserved fishing village of Cromarty, where we visit the birthplace of Hugh Miller. Miller was a geologist, writer, stonemason and newspaper editor. Although he had no formal qualifications, Miller grew to become one of Scotland’s most notable scientists.
From Cromarty, travel over Moray Firth to reach Inverness, where dinner will be served in our hotel located by the banks of the River Ness.
Overnight: Glen Mhor Hotel, Inverness (or similar) (3 nights)
Day 6 - Urquhart Castle & Loch Ness Cruise
Return to Inverness to join a local expert for a walking tour of the “Highland Capital”. Discover how the city has developed into today’s thriving community from its humble beginnings as a meeting place for cattle drovers.
Learn the history of Inverness Castle and see the River Ness, the oldest house in the city and many hidden gems.
Tonight, dine with your fellow passengers at your hotel.
Day 7 - Culloden Battlefield and Brodie Castle Excursion
We start the day with a short drive to 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.
Later, head to Elgin, an attractive town home to a mighty cathedral that once rivalled St Andrews in importance to the country’s religious life. There will be time to visit family-owned Johnstons, who have been producing cashmere items in their factory here for over 200 years.
Our last visit today is to Brodie Castle, home to the Brodie Clan for over 400 years. The Brodie family were one of Scotland’s most influential families. The original castle dates from the 16th Century, but it has been extended considerably.
During our tour, you’ll see the extensive art collection boasting works by Dutch Masters and Scottish Artists. A highlight is a remarkable library, which boasts over 6,000 volumes. There are extensive grounds and pleasant woodland walks to explore.
Tonight you are free to dine as you wish in Inverness.
Day 8 - Inverness - St Andrews - Edinburgh
Drive south through majestic Highland scenery to Leault Farm, where there is a demonstration of the teamwork between a shepherd and their dogs as they 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. Tonight enjoy a free evening to dine locally.
Overnight: Doubletree by Hilton Edinburgh - Queensferry Crossing, Near 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 King, and walk through the majestically furnished chambers.
Next, drive along parts of the historic Royal Mile to reach Edinburgh Castle, for a guided tour to see the Scottish Crown Jewels and admire the views over the city.
The balance of the day is free for you to enjoy Edinburgh on your own. Tonight, enjoy a traditional Scottish Evening with dinner and entertainment.
Tours departing between 27 July to 17 August will attend a performance of the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo at the Castle esplanade, instead.
Day 10 - Tour Ends
Your tour ends after breakfast.
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 Tour Documentation.
What is a typical tour schedule?
Usually the tour will depart the hotel between 08:00 hrs and 08:30 hrs in the morning. During the course of the day you’ll normally be travelling for no more than 2 hours at a time before making a stop to enjoy a visit to an attraction or for a comfort break/meal stop.
Usually the coach will arrive at the overnight stop between 16:30 and 17:00 hrs each day.
In some cases, due to ferry or other travel connections, the tour may depart earlier or arrive later – your tour director will advise you if this will be happening on your tour.
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 an Escorted/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 North Queensferry (Edinburgh) (2)
- Scottish/Continental breakfast (9)
- Welcome drink with your Tour Director
- Table d’hôte dinners (5)
- Scottish Evening in Edinburgh (not Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo departures)
Visits, Admissions and Experiences
- Admission to Stirling Castle, Eilean Donan Castle, Dunvegan Castle, Hugh Miller's Birthplace, Urquhart Castle, Culloden Battlefield Visitor Centre, Brodie Castle, Palace of Holyroodhouse and Edinburgh Castle
- Tour and tutored tasting at Glengoyne Malt Whisky Distillery
- 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 27 July to 17 August 2023 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 documentation for the commencement time of the tour
From the Sandman Signature Hotel
27 Washington Street
Glasgow G3 8AZ
The tour will end in Edinburgh after breakfast on day 10
Check-in: 14:00 hrs
Tour Departs: 14:30 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.
Blogs and Guides - discover insider tips and ideas
Customer Reviews Overall Rating:
Rating:(4 /5) 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