** Please note. Dewars World of Whisky at Aberfeldy Distillery is currently closed for refurbishment so this tour will visit either Blair Athol or Glenturrett Distillery instead and the itinerary will be slightly different from the description below.
Depart Edinburgh at 09.00 and travel north over the Forth Road Bridge, passing one of Scotland's great engineering wonders - the Forth Rail Bridge. Continuing north into the Kingdom of Fife you pass Loch Leven castle where Mary Queen of Scots was imprisoned in 1567 and forced to abdicate from the throne.
Further on you will also pass Perth, the medieval capital of Scotland, before crossing the Highland Boundary Fault line, and the point where the scenery changes from the rolling farmland of the Lowlands to the forested hills and mountains of the Scottish Highlands. Surrounded by this beautiful scenery and on the banks of the River Tay is the Cathedral town of Dunkeld, your first stop of the day. Dunkeld was for many centuries the capital of the Christian Celtic Church, and its 13th century Cathedral reflects the once great importance of this quaint Highland village. From Dunkeld it's a short drive to the Hermitage, a fantastic woodland walk leading up to the Black Linn Falls where the River Braan cascades into a narrow gorge. Surrounded by some of Scotland's tallest trees and changing spectacularly in appearance throughout the seasons it's a great place at any time of year. You may even have the chance to see the spectacular sight of Salmon attempting to leap up the falls and on towards their spawning grounds.
Leaving the Hermitage you follow the wide valley of the River Tay towards the Victorian resort town of Pitlochry. You will spend around 1 hour here and you can visit the many great shops and restaurants or maybe even take a walk down towards Loch Faskally.
After lunch you take a scenic drive through the mountains of Highland Perthshire, first crossing over the Pass of Killiecrankie before a short stop at the Queen's View overlooking Loch Tummel. On a clear day the view here is stunning, looking over to the unmistakable peak of Schiehallion and beyond to the mountains of Glencoe. Continuing alongside Loch Tummel you then head over the hills and past the spectacular sixteenth century Castle Menzies towards the town of Aberfeldy and Dewars Whisky distillery**, where you can discover the secret of how Scotland's national drink is made. No visit to Scotland is complete without sampling a 'wee dram' and you will get the chance to taste some of the finished product. Known in the Gaelic as Uisge Beatha (or 'water of life') whisky has been produced for centuries in Scotland and the art is now close to perfection. Later you travel West into the ancient lands of Breadalbane, or the ‘High Country’ surrounding Loch Tay and make your way along the loch towards Killin. The small town is situated on the edge of the River Dochart and has the fantastic Falls of Dochart at its heart, flowing under the old bridge and past the ancient burial ground of the Clan MacNab who once dominated the area. After Killin you take a drive over the Braes of Balquhidder, the resting place of Highland outlaw Rob Roy MacGregor before passing Stirling Castle and Linlithgow Palace on your return journey to Edinburgh.
Return time - approx. 19.15
Photography Credits: Visit Britain, Visit Scotland, Britainonview, Mike Hasted, Luke Sheppard, Ingrid Rasmussen, Pawel Libera, Tony Pleavin, Craig Easton, David Angel, Martin Brent, Bob Berry, Paul Watts