Scottish Lochs and Castles - 8 day tour
Scottish Lochs and Castles
8 day/7 night
Packed full of exciting features this tour will appeal to family members of all ages. Discover the great cities of Glasgow and Edinburgh then venture into the scenic Scottish Highlands where you’ll get the chance to “compete” in a mini Highland Games; feed Red Deer and discover how to fire a cannonball. Take to the water to spot “Nessie” and enjoy up-close views of the impressive Forth Bridges. Enjoy all the scenery that Scotland is famous for including Glen Coe, the Cairngorms National Park and Highland Perthshire.
Price range: £1,395 - £2,560
Glasgow - on your city tour visit the Riverside Museum to visit the restored sailing ship, Glenlee then step inside to see the collection of cars, trams and buses.
Stirling Castle - join costumed guides to get castle-storming tips and play medieval instruments.
Loch Ness Cruise - take a cruise across the deep and mysterious waters where “Nessie”, the Loch Ness Monster, is said to call home.
Cairngorms National Park - spend a night in the heart of this picturesque National Park
Edinburgh - discover the stories behind the many colourful characters who have lived in this historic city.
Movie locations - Harry Potter, Fast and Furious and Brave
Hotel accommodation included
Full Tour Itinerary
Day 1 - Welcome to Scotland
Join your tour guide and fellow travellers for a city tour of Glasgow commencing at 2 pm. Discover the impressive Victorian architecture of the city centre and the many extensive parklands that have given the city its nickname of “The Dear Green Place”. Later drive along the banks of the River Clyde to learn more of the city’s maritime and shipbuilding history before visiting the fascinating Riverside Museum where you can visit The Glenlee, a historic tall ship that has circumnavigated four times in her long and eventful career.
Back at your hotel, enjoy a welcome drink with your fellow passengers followed by dinner at your hotel.
Overnight: Novotel Glasgow Centre, Glasgow (or similar)
Day 2 - Glasgow - Stirling - Fort William
Leave Glasgow behind and make the short drive to the ancient city of Stirling to visit its magnificent castle which sits standing guard over the surrounding countryside. This historic castle was once the favoured residence of the Scottish Kings and Queens. During your tour visit the spectacular Royal Palace, Great Hall and the Chapel Royal. Meet costumed characters that will bring the castles’ colourful history to life then admire the spectacular views from the castle ramparts. The battlefield site of Bannockburn is a short drive away. Visit the award-winning Heritage Centre to learn about the famous battle in 1314 and see the iconic statue of the victorious King Robert the Bruce.
Later enjoy a scenic tour through the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park then drive over desolate Rannoch Moor to reach spectacular Glen Coe, where there is a stop so you can soak up the beauty and atmosphere of this special place. It’s a short drive to Fort William, our home for tonight.
Overnight: Moorings Hotel, Fort William (or similar)
Day 3 - Fort William - Loch Ness - Aviemore
From Fort William pass the bulk of Ben Nevis, Britain’s tallest mountain. There’s a stop at the Commando Memorial viewpoint so you can capture the scene before our tour enters the majestic beauty of the Great Glen. Follow the banks of the Caledonian Canal which links the Atlantic Ocean with the North Sea. The design of the canal ingeniously uses several lochs along the way including Loch Ness where you’ll board a cruiser to enjoy a “monster-spotting” cruise. Later have fun competing in a mini-Highland Games before entering the scenic Cairngorms National Park to reach our hotel in Aviemore.
Overnight: Macdonald Highlands Hotel, Aviemore (or similar)
Day 4 - Aviemore - Blair Castle - Pitlochry
The journey continues through the picturesque National Park where we’ll see the towering Cairngorm Mountains. Stop at a local farm to marvel at the teamwork between a shepherd and their sheepdogs as they go about their work herding sheep. Next travel through the Grampian Mountains to reach Highland Perthshire where there is a visit to whitewashed Blair Castle. During your tour see the magnificent 18th Century interior and extensive art collection.
The delightful Victorian resort of Pitlochry will be our home for the next two nights.
Overnight: Atholl Palace Hotel, Pitlochry (or similar) (2 nights)
Day 5 - Highland Safari Excursion
A fun day today as you interact with local nature and wildlife. First, come face to face with Britain’s largest mammal at the Red Deer Centre. Get the opportunity to photograph and learn all about these magnificent creatures from a local expert. The tame herd of Red Deer love being fed and petted! Later join a ranger on a four-wheel-drive safari to explore the ancient Caledonian Pine Forest to discover more about the local habitat and hopefully spot some wildlife such as red squirrels, roe deer and red deer.
The afternoon is at leisure in Pitlochry. Why not continue wildlife spotting by taking a stroll to view the Fish Ladder on the River Tummel.
Day 6 - Pitlochry - St Andrews - Edinburgh
Bid farewell to Pitlochry and enjoy a scenic drive through Perthshire. At Dundee cross the River Tay and make for St Andrews. There is an extended stop here so you can explore the “home of golf” on your own. During your time in this historic town see the famed Old Course; make a visit to ancient St Andrews Castle; enjoy the views from St Rule’s tower at St Andrews Cathedral or enjoy a stroll around the attractive shops.
Later this afternoon board a cruise-boat for a short sail on the Firth of Forth to see the trio of magnificent Forth Bridges that span the estuary and get attractive views of the Edinburgh city skyline. It’s a short drive into Edinburgh and your hotel in the heart of the city.
Tonight enjoy a traditional Scottish evening with a “taste of Scotland” dinner, music, dancing and entertainment.
Overnight: Hotel Indigo Edinburgh York Place, Edinburgh (or similar) (2 nights)
Day 7 - Exploring Edinburgh
Join a local expert guide for an orientation tour of Edinburgh. First, explore the sweeping crescents and grand terraces of the Georgian “New Town”. Later take a drive along the ancient “Royal Mile” with its narrow lanes, cobbled streets and medieval buildings.
Enjoy a visit to magnificent Edinburgh Castle to see the Scottish Crown Jewels, known as the "Honours of Scotland" and the Stone of Scone. Don’t miss the spectacular views from the castle ramparts; they will take your breath away. This afternoon enjoy a walking tour to get a closer look at some of Edinburgh’s most historic areas.
This evening is free for independent dining. The 14 August 2020 departure includes tickets to the famous Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo which takes place of the Castle Esplanade.
Day 8 - Homeward Bound
Sadly the tour ends after breakfast. Transfers to Edinburgh 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 Tour Documentation.
What type of room should I choose?
Selecting the right sleeping arrangements can be a little bit confusing, so here is a description of what you can expect from the hotel accommodation offered as part of your tour:
Single room - this is a room for one person sleeping in a single bed.
Twin room - this is a room for two people sleeping in two separate beds.
Double room - this is a room for two people sharing one large bed.
Family room - this is a room for three people sleeping in one large bed (2 people) and one single bed (1 person).
Please note that a family room is normally a standard double or twin room with either a sofa bed or a rollaway bed.
All room types, other than twin rooms, are subject to availability.
What meals are included?
One of the great things about travelling on an Escorted/ Premium Escorted Tour is the generous number of meals included as standard.
Start the day with a freshly cooked breakfast or, if you prefer, there’s always a lighter continental option available too. You’ll find a number of evening dinners included which will give you the opportunity of sampling some local delicacies.
Check the “What’s Included' list on the relevant tour page for the exact number of meals that are featured on your tour.
How many people will be on the tour?
The number of people travelling on an Escorted Tour will not normally be more than 50 passengers. On a Premium Escorted Tour you will travel with around 38 fellow passengers.
- 7 nights hotel accommodation
- Location: Glasgow (2); Fort William (1); Aviemore (1); Pitlochry (2) and Edinburgh (2)
- Scottish/Continental breakfast (7)
- Welcome drink with your Tour Director
- Lunch (1)
- Table d’hôte dinners (5)
- Scottish Evening in Edinburgh
Visits, Admissions and Experiences
- Admission to Riverside Museum, Stirling Castle, Bannockburn Heritage Centre, Blair Castle and Edinburgh Castle
- Sheepdog demonstration on a working Highland farm
- Red Deer and Barn Owl encounter at Highland Safaris
- Cruise on Loch Ness and Firth of Forth
- City tours of Glasgow and Edinburgh
- Touring by luxury air-conditioned coach with extra-legroom, reclining seats, on board washroom and Wifi
- 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 Novotel Glasgow Centre
181 Pitt Street
Glasgow G2 4DT
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.