Scottish Dream - 8 day tour
8 day / 7 night
Experience the best of Scotland on this Flagship tour! From the Victorian grandeur of Glasgow, commence your exploration of the Highlands. Tour along the banks of Loch Lomond and visit the pretty town of Inveraray. Travel along the famous Road to the Isles, then sail “Over the sea to Skye” to visit Scotland’s most romantic island. Spend a two-night stay in a manor house in the heart of Highland Perthshire, then visit stately Glamis Castle and St Andrews, the home of golf. End the tour with a thrilling visit to Edinburgh. If you are seeking the perfect introduction to Scotland, this is it!
Glasgow - explore the lively city of Glasgow and investigate the amazing Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum
Inveraray - visit Inveraray Castle, the impressive home of the Dukes of Argyll
Isle of Skye - learn the story of the Clan Donald and tour through the scenic Sleat Peninsula
Glamis Castle - discover the childhood home of HM Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother
Edinburgh - tour through the Georgian New Town and ancient Royal Mile to visit Edinburgh Castle
Movie locations - Downton Abbey, Local Hero and Sunshine on Leith
Hotel accommodation included
Full Tour Itinerary
Day 1 - Welcome to Scotland & Glasgow City Tour
Your trip starts in Glasgow Airport with a group transfer to your hotel, departing Glasgow Airport at 8:00 am, 10:00 am or 12:00 noon.
At 2:00 pm, take a coach tour to see the main attractions of Glasgow, including the impressive Victorian buildings of the city centre, sprawling parks, Glasgow Cathedral and the River Clyde, which is famed for its shipbuilding heritage.
Later see Glasgow University then visit the eclectic and diverse collections housed in the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, originally opened in 1901.
Relax with your tour director and fellow passengers with a welcome drink before dining independently.
Overnight: Sandman Signature Glasgow Hotel , Glasgow (or similar)
Day 2 - Glasgow - Loch Lomond - Ballachulish
Depart Glasgow and drive north along the banks of Loch Lomond with views of Ben Lomond and the towering Arrochar Alps.
At Tarbet, embark on a short Loch Lomond cruise to appreciate the beauty of this famous lake and admire panoramic views of the Highland scenery.
Travel across the mountains to reach the delightful town of Inveraray before visiting Inveraray Castle, which enjoyed a starring role in Downton Abbey. This imposing Campbell family home with four conical spires was built between 1746 and 1789.
A guided tour will reveal the history of the family and region as you view the magnificent Armoury Hall and many fine rooms with tapestries, porcelains and portraits.
Tour across extensive Rannoch Moor then enter Glen Coe, a spectacular glen made famous by the Campbells' massacre of the Clan Macdonald in 1692.
Spend tonight in Ballachulish by the banks of Loch Leven.
Overnight: Ballachulish Hotel, Ballachulish (or similar)
Day 3 - Ballachulish - Isle of Skye - Nairn
This morning head north via Fort William and take the “Road to the Isles” through some of Scotland’s loveliest scenery, stopping for photos at the Glenfinnan Monument.
At Mallaig, cross by ferry to the Isle of Skye, sometimes called the “Misty Isle” due to the showers sometimes brought by the Atlantic breezes.
Enjoy a scenic drive through Sleat, known as the “Garden of Skye”, then return to the mainland by the modern road bridge, stopping to visit picturesque Eilean Donan Castle.
Travel through Glen Shiel to reach the beautiful shores of Loch Ness, famous for its monster.
Continue to your hotel in Nairn, an impressive manor house property set in spacious grounds near the North Sea.
Overnight: The Newton Hotel, Nairn (or similar)
Day 4 - Nairn - Culloden Moor - Pitlochry
After breakfast, make the short drive to reach the haunting Culloden Battlefield Site.
Learn about the bloody battle that took place here on 16th April 1746 when British Government troops defeated the Jacobite army of Bonnie Prince Charlie in just one hour.
The award-winning Visitor Centre tells the background to this fierce battle. Later take a walk around the moorland to see various memorials to the fallen. The outcome of the battle changed the traditional Highland way of life amongst the clans forever.
Continue through majestic Highland scenery to Leault Farm for a demonstration of trained dogs herding sheep.
Drive south through the towering peaks of the Grampian Mountains to reach your grand manor-style hotel near Pitlochry.
Overnight: Atholl Palace Hotel, Pitlochry (or similar) (2 nights)
Day 5 - Excursion to Blair Castle and Blair Athol Distillery
A short drive will bring you to Blair Castle, home of the Dukes and Earls of Atholl.
Dating back to 1269, the castle has been transformed through the ages, from a strong medieval fortress to a Victorian castle in the baronial style. These influences can still be seen today across the 30 rooms on full display.
You will learn about Mary, Queen of Scots, Bonnie Prince Charlie and how a stay by Queen Victoria led to the formation of Europe’s only private army, the Atholl Highlanders.
Back in Pitlochry, visit Blair Athol Distillery to learn about the simple ingredients and many steps involved in whisky-making. Tour the facilities and sample a “wee dram” at the end of the tour.
The rest of the day is free for you to relax in Pitlochry. Alternatively, return to the hotel to visit the spa, tour the hotel museum or spend time discovering the extensive gardens.
Day 6 - Pitlochry - St Andrews - Edinburgh
Travel through Highland Perthshire to reach Glamis Castle, the fabled setting of “Macbeth” and the childhood home of the late Queen Mother. This impressive castle is packed with priceless heirlooms, antiques and furnishings.
On arrival in Edinburgh, Scotland’s capital, attend a traditional Scottish evening with dinner, including a taste of haggis, music and Highland dancing.
Tour departures between 29 July and 20 August 2023 will enjoy a free night to dine independently.
Norton House Hotel and Spa, Edinburgh (or similar) (2 nights)
Day 7 - Edinburgh City Tour and Edinburgh Castle
This morning explore Edinburgh on a sightseeing tour.
Explore the grand squares and graceful mansions of the Georgian 200-year-old "New Town” then cross into the medieval “Old Town” to drive along the famous Royal Mile with its intriguing lanes and ancient townhouses.
See Princes Street, the main shopping thoroughfare that separates the two areas, then learn about the many prominent Scottish inventors, doctors and writers that called this beautiful city home.
Finish your tour at impressive Edinburgh Castle, where you can see historic buildings, the fabulous Scottish Crown Jewels and enjoy amazing views of Edinburgh.
The balance of the day is free for independent exploring, shopping and dining.
Departures between 29 July to 20 August 2023 attend a performance of the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.
Day 8 - Tour Ends at Edinburgh Airport
Sadly our tour ends today.
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.
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.
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. Preserved swords from the Battle of Culloden are also on display.
The exquisite State Dining Room and Tapestry Drawing Room contain magnificent French tapestries, which were woven especially for the castle, as well as fabulous examples of Scottish, English and French furniture and countless other precious artworks.
The castle’s priceless collection of china, silver and family heirlooms is particularly noteworthy as it spans many generations.
Fans of Downton Abbey will recall that Inveraray had a starring role during a two-hour special episode. The Grantham family and staff travelled to Scotland to visit 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.
Who travels on an escorted tour?
These tours are immensely popular so expect to be travelling in the company of like-minded travellers from around the world. It’s a great way to make new friends!
Age-wise it’s really difficult for us to give an accurate figure for any given tour departure, but experience has taught us to expect the median age to be between 45 and 50.
- 7 nights hotel accommodation
- Location: Glasgow (1); Ballachulish (1); Nairn (1); Pitlochry (2) and Edinburgh (2)
- Scottish/Continental breakfast (7)
- Welcome drink with your Tour Director
- Table d’hôte dinners (4)
- Scottish Evening in Edinburgh (not Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo departures)
Visits, Admissions and Experiences
- Admission to Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum, Inveraray Castle, Clan Donald Centre, Culloden Battlefield Visitor Centre, Blair Castle, Glamis Castle and Edinburgh Castle
- Sheepdog demonstration on a working Highland farm
- Tour and tasting at Blair Athol Whisky Distillery
- Cruise on Loch Lomond
- City tours of Glasgow and Edinburgh
- Tickets are included for the World-famous Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo on 29 July to 20 August 2023 departures
- Touring by luxury air-conditioned coach with extra-legroom, reclining seats, on board washroom and Wifi
- Ferry to 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 8
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.