Explore the power and majesty of Scotland’s castles on this tour from Edinburgh to the Highlands.
Falkland Palace - The palace was the countryside home for many of the Stuart royalty. They would make use of the woodland areas in the vicinity to hunt.
Royal Deeside - Is the Royal family’s beloved stunning hill land area of the north east.
Brodie Castle & Culloden - A 16th century mansion that belonged to the Brodie Clan until 1980. And Culloden is the resting place of the final proper battle that ocurred in Britain.
Dalwhinnie Distillery - The distillery that pairs delicious whisky with chocolate.
Loch Leven and Castle - The famous prison fort to Mary Queen of Scots from the late 14th / early 15th century.
Sleep like a lord or lady as you stay in a castle and a manor house. Stride ancient battlefields like a sword-wielding Highlander. And relive Scotland’s history defining moments of conceit and treachery, as you listen to your guide’s epic tales.
On this tour you’ll join the ranks of esteemed history lovers while you travel over sea, loch, and glen. You visit Scotland’s most impressive castles, tower forts, and palaces. And you even get a chance to take a boat trip and visit Scotland’s highest whisky distillery.
This tour is your ticket into Scotland’s medieval past and royal history.
Students, seniors over 60, and children between 5 and 15 (unfortunately, we don't carry children under 5 years old)
You depart from the World Heritage City of Edinburgh and travel north, crossing the Forth Road Bridge into the ancient Kingdom of Fife. Your first visit of the day will be Falkland Palace, where during a private, guided tour you will be able to discover more of this pretty Royal Palace. Built between 1502 and 1541, it is set in the heart of the unique medieval village of Falkland and has been residence and hunting lodge of eight Stuart monarchs. Highlight of the visit will be to see the Real Tennis court, built in 1539! You continue to St Andrews and during a town walk your guide will tell you more about its past and more recent history. Its connection to the patron Saint of Scotland, birthplace of Golf, ancient University town and matchmaker to a Royal couple – there is a lot to see!
Your afternoon visit will be at the House of Dun near Montrose. This beautiful Georgian house, overlooking Montrose Basin, was built in 1730. It features superb plasterwork and now houses the Hutchison collection of Scottish colourists and the Stirling collection of furniture, ranging from the 18th century to the 1960s. On route to Aberdeen you will make a photo stop at Dunnottar Castle, a dramatic and evocative ruined cliff top fortress in a truly stunning setting. Dunnottar is where they filmed Skaespeare’s Macbeth and provided inspiration for Disney Pixar’s movie “Brave”. From here you continue to Thainstone House Hotel, a lovely 18th century mansion house, where you will stay for two nights.
Today will be spent in the Royal Deeside area, famous for its many castles.
Your first visit will be Castle Fraser, one of the grandest of the Scottish baronial tower houses. Begun in 1575, the present castle contains an evocative Great Hall, fine furniture and many Fraser family portraits. You can round the visit off with a walk through the beautiful 18th century walled garden. The tour continues to Banchory where you might be able to see salmon jumping at the Falls of Feugh. Maybe take short nature walk in Glen Tanar or the Burn o’ Vat.
Lunch stop is at Ballater before continuing with your afternoon programme. Crathes Castle provides the highlight for the afternoon. Turrets, gargoyles and the ancient Horn of Leys given in 1323 by Robert the Bruce are just a few of the features of this historic castle. You will be free to explore the house and the stunning gardens at your own pace. The gardens stay green irrespective of the time of year, as with the ancient yew hedges that frame the upper parts of the gardens, particularly the fountain and rose gardens. Wandering through the outstanding, world-renowned June Borders, beautiful vistas of the castle can be seen through the fusion of colourful flowers.
You return back to Thainstone House Hotel later for another overnight.
Your tour heads further north today and starts the day with a visit to Fyvie Castle near Turriff, which will open its doors especially for our party at 9.30. Fyvie Castle dates back to the 13th century and has a fine collection of arms and armour as well as 17th century tapestries and opulent Edwardian interiors.You then continue, travelling through beautiful scenery and on to Nairn, where lunch will be taken at nearby Brodie Castle. Then you have time to explore the castle further. Dating from the 16th century, this imposing castle stands in rich Morayshire parkland. It has very unusual plasterwork and a major art collection and tells the fascinating story of the Brodie family.
In the afternoon you will be able to take the Clan Walk at the Culloden Visitor Centre. The Clan Stone Walkway is designed to commemorate the Scottish Clans and their clansmen who fought at the battle of Culloden with a special Insignia Stone. The Clans are represented with their individual Crest and personal inscription.
After the visit you continue to Knockomie House Hotel. A dinner for our group will be held tonight in one of the private rooms.
Today sees you travelling south again through some of the most stunning scenery Scotland has to offer.
You pass Inverness and travel to Kingussie for a photo stop at the Ruthven Barracks. From here you continue to Dalwhinnie Distillery. Dalwhinnie is the highest Distillery in Scotland and takes its waters right from the source of the River Spey. A tour of the distillery is included and you will also have the chance to taste the ‘Water of Life’.
After a lunch stop in Pitlochry you head to Loch Leven by Kinross. In the middle of the Loch you find Loch Leven Castle, a late 14th century tower, which was the setting for the most traumatic year in the life of Mary Queen of Scots. It was in 1567 that she was imprisoned and forced to abdicate her throne before her dramatic escape a year later.
You will enjoy a short boat ride over to the castle, following in the footsteps of Mary Queen of Scots. Then explore at your leisure the island and tower house, before returning back to Edinburgh.
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Accommodation in Castle and Country House Style Hotels is included with this tour. Overnight has been reserved for two nights at 4* Thainstone House on Bed & Breakfast basis. The third overnight of the tour is at 4* Knockomie House and includes dinner and breakfast.
On 9th June and 22nd September departures, tours will stay at Thainstone House for one night and Knockomie Hotel for two nights
The UK and Ireland's historic city centres are full of narrow streets and winding roads. So, to speed up your departure, we only pick up from our central meeting points. What's more is leaving the city using the most direct route also reduces the carbon footprint of our tours.
We don't recommend bringing your car into the centre of our departure cities. It can be hard to find parking, and there are excellent public transportation services.
Arrive 15 minutes before your departure time. Due to waiting restrictions, we can't wait for you if you're late.
If you're late for your tour, our cancellation policy applies.
We have a cancellation period of three days for our one day tours, and 21 days for longer tours. If cancelled outside this period, we'll give you a full refund minus a 10% admin charge. If you cancel inside this period, refunds are at our discretion. Click here to view full terms and conditions.
It's simple: you book, you go. This means we'll never cancel your tour because of a minimum numbers policy.
Due to logistical reasons, we're unable to let you pre-book a seat on the bus. But our comfortable 16-seat mini-coaches have huge windows. So, you'll always get a good view.
Unfortunately, we have no on-board toilet facilities, but you'll have regular comfort breaks.
We regret we don't carry children under the age of five on our scheduled tours.
You can ask us about the tours we recommend for younger children. And if your child is less than 1.35m tall, you should let us know, so we can provide them with a suitable booster seat.
We want you to enjoy Britain and Ireland. And we believe the best way to do this is to get you off the mini-coach and out exploring. So, we give you plenty of time to take photos, go walking, and explore ancient ruins.
We exclude visitor attractions in your tour price because it lets you travel your way. It means you can pamper yourself with a luxury lunch or skip an attraction whenever you feel like it.
You don't need to. We stop in small towns, villages, and rural eateries where you can choose whatever meal pleases both your taste buds and your budget.
Let's be honest, our driver-guides would never refuse a cheeky bonus. But it's up to you, and the amount is entirely at your discretion.
We advise you take out travel insurance. You can click here for excellent rates.
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Highlights: literature, mountains, film locations, prehistoric sites, castles, lochs
Highlights: mountains, lochs, national parks, film locations, ferry, walks
Highlights: film locations, nessie, lochs, mountains, national parks, walks