Scottish Castle Experience
4 day tour

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Explore the power and majesty of Scotland’s castles on this tour from Edinburgh to the Highlands.

Tour map

Highlights

Castles
Mountains
Lochs
National Parks

Places you'll explore


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 - 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 moor is the resting place of those lost in the final land battle to have taken place in Great Britain .

Dalwhinnie Distillery - The distillery that pairs delicious whisky with chocolate.

Loch Leven & Castle - Loch Leven Castle is the famous prison fort to Mary Queen of Scots.


Your journey


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 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.


Tour Details

Departs
09.00 - Gate J and Gate K, Edinburgh Bus Station, St Andrew Square, Edinburgh, EH1 3DQ
Returns
18.30 approx
Discounts

Students, seniors over 60, and children between 5 and 15 (unfortunately, we don't carry children under 5 years old)

Important information
  • Pack your waterproof clothing and walking shoes
  • One 15 kilogram bag per person
Tour inclusions
  • Transport in a 16 seat Mercedes mini-coach
  • Air conditioning as standard
  • The stories and services of a Rabbie's driver-guide
  • Tour Accomodation
  • One night's dinner
  • Entrances to Falkland Palace, the House of Dun, Castle Fraser, Crathes Castle, Fyvie Castle, Culloden Visitor Centre, Dalwhinnie Distillery, and Loch Leven Castle
Tour exclusions
  • All other meals

Itinerary

Day 1

  • Go on a private guided tour of the majestic Falkland Palace
  • Walk the cobbled streets of the ‘home of golf’, St Andrews

You depart from the city of Edinburgh and travel north, crossing the Forth Road Bridge into the ancient Kingdom of Fife. Your first visit of the day is Falkland Palace, and on a private, guided tour you can discover more of this beautiful Royal Palace.

You continue to St Andrews where you have a chance to get lunch.

Your afternoon visit is at the House of Dun near Montrose. This beautiful Georgian house was built in 1730. On route to Aberdeen you make a photo stop at Dunnottar Castle, a dramatic ruined cliff top fortress.

Day 2

  • Wander through the beautiful gardens of Castle Fraser
  • Relive the mysterious tales of Crathes Castle

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. The tour continues to Banchory where you might be able to see salmon jumping at the Falls of Feugh.

Lunch 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 are just a few of the features of this historic castle.

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 back to Aberdeen another overnight.

Day 3

  • Admire the ancient tapestries at Fyvie Castle
  • Learn about Britain’s last land fought battle at Culloden

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 and on to Nairn, where lunch will be taken at nearby Brodie Castle. You have time to explore this imposing castle’s unusual plasterwork and art collection.

In the afternoon, you can 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.

After the visit, you continue to Forres for your overnight stay.

Day 4

  • Sample whisky in the area it’s casked at the Dalwhinnie Distillery
  • Travel by boat to visit the imposing Loch Leven Castle

You travel south 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 have the chance to taste the ‘Water of Life’.

After a lunch stop in Pitlochry, you head to Loch Leven. 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.

You enjoy a short boat ride over to the castle, following in the footsteps of Mary Queen of Scots. You can explore the island and tower house at your own leisure, before returning back to Edinburgh.

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Accommodation

Where does this tour stay?

Your tour stays two nights in Aberdeen and one night in Forres. Only B&B en suite and 3 star hotels are available.

How does the accommodation work?

Your tour excludes accommodation; but when you book, you can ask us to reserve local accommodation for you, or you can choose to reserve your own accommodation in the overnight locations.

I want Rabbie’s to book my accommodation, what happens now?

Once you've booked your tour, we'll reserve all your accommodation, and your driver will drop you off with your hosts. You’ll pay your accommodation directly. Most don’t accept credit cards, so be prepared to pay cash.

What if I want to change my accommodation booking with Rabbie’s?

Changes to accommodation cannot be guaranteed and are subject to availability. An amendment charge will apply.

I booked my own accommodation is there anything I need to do?

You’ll need to contact us with your accommodation details. Please only reserve accommodation within the overnight towns that your tour stops in. Your driver will drop you off at your chosen accommodation as long as it’s relatively central. You can find a selection of hotels at hotels.rabbies.com.

What if I cancel my tour at short notice?

If you cancel less than three days before departure, you may be liable for the cost of your first nights’ accommodation. And occasionally you may be liable for all your accommodation costs.

What are the accommodation types?

We try to reserve accommodation that’s no more than a 20-minute walk from the town centre. We regularly check our accommodation suppliers to ensure they reach a certain standard.

B&B (Bed and Breakfast) Standard

The toilet and showering facilities are shared with at least one other room in the house, and the price includes breakfast.

B&B En/suite

The showering and toilet facilities are private, and breakfast is included in the price.

Hotels

Hotels have a bar or restaurant and provide evening meals. Breakfast is included in the price.

Hostels

A hostel consists of dormitory rooms with 4 to 16 bunk beds. The bathroom facilities are a short distance from the dorm room. Kitchen facilities are equipped so you can make your own meals.

Please note that SYHA hostels only offer same gender dorms. Some independent hostels will offer mixed rooms (males and females together).

I have more questions, who can help me?

If you have any more questions, you can read our FAQs, call us on +44(0)131 226 3133, or email rooms@rabbies.com.

FAQs

Do you offer hotel pickups in the departure cities?

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.

Is there parking close to the departure point?

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.

When should I get to the departure point?

Arrive 15 minutes before your departure time. Due to waiting restrictions, we can't wait for you if you're late.

What happens if I'm late or miss the tour?

If you're late for your tour, our cancellation policy applies.

What are your cancellation policies?

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.

What is a guaranteed departure?

It's simple: you book, you go. This means we'll never cancel your tour because of a minimum numbers policy.

Can I pre-book a specific seat?

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.

Are there toilets on the bus?

Unfortunately, we have no on-board toilet facilities, but you'll have regular comfort breaks.

Do you take children on your tours?

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.

How much time do I get off the bus?

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.

Why do you exclude visitor attractions?

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.

Do we need to bring our own lunch?

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.

Should I tip the driver-guide?

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.

What about travel insurance?

We advise you take out travel insurance. You can click here for excellent rates.

I have more questions, who can help me?

If you have any more questions, call us on +44(0)131 226 3133, email tours@rabbies.com, or check out our full FAQs.

4 reasons to choose Rabbie's

Travel the local way on small group tours of 16 people or less

You'll have a guaranteed experience, or your money back

Guaranteed departures: you book, you go

Internationally recognised for our award winning experiences

Meet our guides

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Scottish Tourist Board 5 Stars Scottish Thistle Awards Winner 2015/2016 Green Tourism Award

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