Arrival in Edinburgh & Royal Yacht Britannia
Your Scottish trip starts at 2:00 pm when you meet your tour director at your Edinburgh hotel and drive to Leith for a tour around the Royal Yacht Britannia, the floating home of The Queen on many of her travels around the world. See the various parts of the ship, including staterooms and public spaces, together with photos of important visits. Return to your hotel for a welcome drink and you are free for independent dining this evening.
Overnight: Dalmahoy Hotel and Country Club, Edinburgh (or similar) (2 nights)
This morning tour Edinburgh to compare and contrast the wide streets and elegant mansions of the Georgian 200-year-old "New Town
Ē and Princes Street with the medieval Royal Mile. Walk along part of the Royal Mile to view narrow lanes and townhouses, some of which are 11 stories tall. Visit Edinburgh Castle
, which contains the Scottish Crown Jewels and the Stone of Scone. The balance of the day is free. Dine at a Scottish Evening and enjoy a lively show with songs, stories and traditional dancing.
On 5 to 21 August departures attend the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo at Edinburgh Castle in which case the Scottish Evening will take place the previous night.
Edinburgh - Blair Castle - Inverness/Nairn
Travel north into Highland Perthshire. Enjoy free time in Pitlochry before making for nearby Blair Castle, the home of the Dukes of Atholl. There's a chance to view the castle's many rooms containing fine collections of furniture, portraits, lace, china and Jacobite relics. Continue through majestic Highland scenery to your hotel in Inverness, the principal City of the Highlands, (Sunday departures) or Nairn
, a popular Victorian seaside resort (Tuesday departures).
Overnight: Columba Hotel, Inverness/The Newton Hotel, Nairn (or similar)
Inverness/Nairn - Isle of Skye Ė Ballachulish
Drive alongside Loch Ness and enjoy views of this deep lake, famous for tales of the monster. Continue through wild Highland scenery, pausing for photos at picturesque Eilean Donan Castle
, then cross to the Isle of Skye by bridge. Drive through part of the island known as Sleat, then visit the Clan Donald Centre at Armadale Castle to discover the history of the powerful Lords of the Isles. Return to the mainland by ferry and take the "Road to the IslesĒ through some of Scotlandís most popular scenery, stopping for photos at the Glenfinnan Monument
Overnight: Ballachulish Hotel/Isles of Glencoe Hotel, Ballachulish (or similar)
Ballachulish - Robert Burns Country - Belfast
This morning enjoy final views of the magnificent Highlands as you drive south through the awesome peaks of Glen Coe and alongside the lovely shores of Loch Lomond. Stop briefly in Alloway to visit the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum
. He is widely regarded as the national poet of Scotland and is celebrated worldwide as a pioneer of the Romantic movement. He is famed as the author of "Auld Lang SyneĒ which is sung throughout the World at New Year. Travel along the coast to Cairnryan for a short ferry ride to Belfast
. Check in to your hotel where dinner is served.
Overnight: Europa Hotel, Belfast (or similar) (2 nights)
Titanic Belfast & Ulster Folk Park Excursion
Take a gentle walk with a Belfast guide to see the imposing City Hall in Donegall Square and Victorian buildings, including the Opera House and the Crown Liquor Saloon
. Visit Titanic Belfast to learn about this famous liner through state-of-the-art displays. Browse around the city on your own in the afternoon and in the evening visit the Ulster Folk Park
for a fun country-style dinner and traditional music.
Belfast - Giantís Causeway Ė Letterkenny
Drive along the scenic route of the Nine Glens of Antrim
, for views of mountains, valleys and coastline. Stop at the Giantís Causeway
, enormous hexagonal columns which have spawned legends about the mythical giant, Finn McCool. Pause for photos at ruined Dunluce Castle. In Derry
join a local guide for a short walking tour around the defensive walls before driving to Letterkenny.
Overnight: Station House Hotel, Letterkenny (or similar)
Letterkenny - Donegal - Galway
Travel to Glenveagh National Park
where Captain Adair built Glenveagh Castle in 1870. Learn about the history of the mansion on a guided tour and walk around the extensive gardens filled with exotic plants. Stop in Donegal town and visit the beautiful Cistercian ruins of Boyle Abbey
before continuing to Kilronan Castle.
Overnight: Kilronan Castle Hotel, Ballyfarnon (or similar) (2 nights)
Arigna Mining Experience and Carrick-on-Shannon Excursion
Visit the Arigna Mining Experience to discover how life was lived for a coal miner in the Arigna Valley. Explore the exhibition which cronicles over 400 years of history. Later relax in the pleasant surroundings of Carrick-on-Shannon before returning to your lovely castle hotel.
Galway - Cliffs of Moher - Ennis
Head to Galway
city for a walking tour with a local guide to see Lynchís Castle and Eyre Square. View the Cliffs of Moher, a dramatic wall of rock that plunges to the Atlantic Ocean. In the early evening head to 15th century Bunratty or Knappogue Castle
for a fun medieval-style banquet and check in to your hotel in Ennis afterwards.
Overnight: Temple Gate Hotel, Ennis (or similar)
Tour Ends Shannon
Your tour ends after breakfast. Airport transfers are available.