From Royals to Ruins? Peer beyond Scotland’s castle walls and chase the stories that still echo in their courtyards as you dive deep into the Highlands.
Falkland Palace - The palace was the countryside home for many of the Stuart royalty who would come here to hunt.
Royal Deeside - Once you’ve seen these moody mountains, tumbling rivers, and sweeping moors; you’ll understand why this land stole Queen Victoria’s heart and was a peaceful retreat for Queen Elizabeth II.
Dunnottar Castle - This is the archetypical Scottish castle. Mysterious, ruined, and beautiful.
Blair Castle -Gardens, antlers, and gory battles: delve into Scottish history at this famous castle.
Cardhu Distillery* - The first distillery pioneered by a woman, Helen Cumming.
Culloden - A sad place to visit. It’s the location of a tragic Outlander scene, and a catastrophic battle between Jacobites and Government troops.
Feel like a lord or lady as you wander through castles and manor houses. Stride ancient battlefields like a sword-wielding Highlander. And relive Scotland’s history defining moments of conceit and treachery as you listen to your driver-guide’s epic tales.
On this tour, you’ll join the ranks of esteemed history lovers while you travel through glens and mountain passes. You visit Scotland’s most impressive castles, tower forts, and palaces. And you even get a chance to visit a distillery that was started by one of the pioneering women in the whisky industry.
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 Edinburgh, travel north, and cross the Queensferry Crossing into the ancient Kingdom of Fife. Your first visit of the day is Falkland Palace. It started as a hunting lodge for the Scottish kings and was later transformed into a more lavish place. When Mary Queen of Scots stayed here, she would…. play tennis on the world's oldest tennis court, which you can still see in the palace gardens. Follow in the footsteps of this tragic heroine and explore the medieval village of Falkland, which also features in the television show, Outlander.
You continue to St Andrews where you have a chance to get lunch and explore the cobbled lanes and ancient university buildings.
In the afternoon, you keep travelling north and you visit Dunnottar Castle. This ruined cliff-top fortress is one of Scotland’s megastars and adorns the front covers of travel magazines everywhere. So, it’s a great spot to take in the view and test your photo skills.
You spend your night in Aberdeen.
Today is spent in the Royal Deeside area, famous for its many castles.
Your first visit is Castle Fraser, one of the grandest of the Scottish baronial tower houses. You can round the visit off with a walk through the beautiful 18th-century walled garden. Later, you travel to Ballater for lunch, a charming village with close associations with the British royal family.
Crathes Castle provides the highlight for your afternoon. With its pinkish façade, turrets, and a colourful garden, it looks like a fairytale castle, but it’s also haunted by the Green Lady.
You’re free to explore the house and stunning gardens at your own pace. Wandering through the outstanding, world-renowned June Borders, beautiful vistas of the castle can be seen through the fusion of colourful flowers.
You return to Aberdeen for another overnight.
Your tour heads further north and starts the day with a visit to Fyvie Castle. Fyvie Castle dates back to the 13th century and has a fine collection of arms and armour as well as 17th-century tapestries.
You continue, travelling through beautiful scenery to Elgin, where you have lunch. If you are a history lover, make sure to marvel at the intricated carvings of a weathered Pictish stone, standing on the grounds of the ruined Elgin Cathedral.
In the afternoon, we continue to Culloden Battlefield, where the final Jacobite Rising came to a harrowing end, bringing on the persecution of the Highland way of life. Walk around this eerie, flat, and tragic landscape and pay tribute to those who lost their lives at the last battle fought on British soil.
After the visit, you continue to Nairn for your overnight stay.
You travel south through some of the most stunning scenery Scotland has to offer.
First, you can sample the rich and slightly fruity whisky at Cardhu**, which is the first distillery pioneered by a woman, Helen Cumming.
You pass Kingussie, where you may have an opportunity for a quick photo stop at the Ruthven Barracks. From here, you continue south to Blair Castle. As you explore this historic site, learn about Mary Queen of Scots, discover a ballroom adorned with 175 antlers, roam the 9-acre Georgian garden, and have lunch.
Then, you continue your journey through the lush landscapes of Perthshire, home to some of the most remarkable woodlands, and have a break in one of the picturesque towns.
You return over the Firth of Forth to Edinburgh in the evening.
*Itinerary and distillery visits are subject to change.
**Please note that if your tour departs on 3rd May 2024, we will be unable to visit Cardhu Distillery on day 4 (6th May) due to a whiskey festival. Your driver-guide will add an additional stop to compensate. We apologise for the inconvenience.
You are able to pre-purchase entrance tickets to the following attractions at the time of booking:
Other attractions may be booked and paid locally during the tour.
Your tour stays two nights in Aberdeen and one night in Nairn.
Accommodation is not included in the price of your tour. To book accommodation, there are two options: either Rabbie’s Tours can book it for you, or you can book your own. For information on how to do this, please see the ‘Accommodation’ tab on FAQ page HERE.
Alternatively, please email us your questions at email@example.com or call us on +44(0)131 226 3133.
Information you can find on the FAQ page, under the ‘Accommodation’ tab: types of accommodation, room types, the booking process, getting to and from your accommodation, and cancellation terms.
We book accommodation with third-party providers on your behalf and each property sets their own rates. Rates vary considerably depending on the accommodation standard, facilities, location, and local demand. We therefore can’t tell you exactly how much your accommodation will cost until your request has been allocated to a specific property.
As a guide, you can expect to pay the following prices, per person per night:
Approximate prices, per person per night
(1 person per room)
(2+ people per room)
£80 - £120
£60 - £80
UK & Northern Ireland
€80 - €120
€60 - €80
£100 - £145
£55 - £95
UK & Northern Ireland
€100 - €145
€55 - €100
£110 - £190
£75 - £145
UK & Northern Ireland
€130 - €235
€75 - €150
NOTE: Prices quoted are for guidance only and may be higher on some occasions, especially for last-minute bookings and when demand is high (E.g. peak season, weekends, holidays, special events etc)
Breakfast will be included unless otherwise noted. The type of breakfast provided will vary from place to place so you may receive either a full cooked breakfast, a continental style breakfast (E.g., toast, fruit, cereal), or a packed breakfast bag or tray (E.g., porridge pot, fruit, granola bar).
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. 100% charges are applicable, and you will not be entitled to a refund or alternative.
We have a cancellation period of 48 hours for our one day tours, 15 days for two to nine day tours, and 21 days for 10+ day 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.
Your tour will always follow the itinerary as closely as possible. Your driver-guide will keep you up to date on the road, and we'll try to get in touch about any large changes prior to your departure.
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 aim to accommodate everyone. To read more information on how we do this, click here to go to our accessibility guide.
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're protected by ABTOT when you chose to let us reserve your accommodation on a multi-day tour. This means you can claim back anything you've paid us if we become bankrupt. Read our terms and conditions for more information.