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 who would come here 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.
Dunnottar Castle - This is the archetypical Scottish castle. Mysterious, ruined, and beautiful.
Dalwhinnie Distillery - The distillery that pairs delicious whisky with chocolate.
Blair Castle - Gardens, antlers, and gory battles: delve into Scottish history at this famous castle.
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 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 Edinburgh, travel north, and cross the Queensferry Crossing into the ancient Kingdom of Fife. Your first visit of the day is Falkland Palace. This palace was built in the 16th century and is set in the medieval village of Falkland, which 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.
Travelling north towards Aberdeen, you have a chance to admire the House of Dun, a beautiful Georgian mansion located within a woodland estate.
In the afternoon, 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.
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 on, you can have an opportunity to visit 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 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 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.
You travel south through some of the most stunning scenery Scotland has to offer.
You pass Kingussie where you may have an opportunity for a quick photo stop at the Ruthven Barracks. From here, you continue to Dalwhinnie Distillery where you have the chance to taste the ‘Water of Life’. Dalwhinnie is the highest distillery in Scotland and takes its waters right from the source of the River Spey.
Next, you head south to Blair Castle. Here, you can learn about Mary Queen of Scots, discover a ballroom adorned with 175 antlers, and roam the 9-acre Georgian garden.
After a quick drive, you have your lunch in Pitlochry, a little town that was one of Queen Victoria’s favourite holiday spots.
You return over the Firth of Forth to Edinburgh in the evening.
*Itinerary and distillery visits are subject to change.
Your tour stays two nights in Aberdeen and one night in Forres. Only hotel accommodation is available in Forres.
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.
Once you've booked your tour, we'll reserve all your accommodation, and your driver will drop you off with your hosts.
We'll reserve your room(s) with one of our preferred accommodation suppliers and you'll pay them directly when you check-in. Most accommodation hosts don’t accept credit cards, so be prepared to pay cash.
You won't be able to choose which Hotel/B&B you stay in, but we will confirm the named property and exact prices on your first day of tour. If it's important for you to know where you're going to be staying in advance, or if you want to stay in a specific Hotel/B&B, we recommend that you select the option to book your own accommodation.
Plans can change, so we let you alter your accommodation choices for free within the first 48 hours of booking. After this time, amendments aren't guaranteed and carry a surcharge. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
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 may be liable for the cost of your first nights’ accommodation for each separate accommodation booked. If you cancel less than three days before departure, you may be liable for all your accommodation costs.
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. The prices below are for guidance only.
B&B (Bed and Breakfast) Standard
Please note, we're unable to book B&B standard rooms for this tour in 2021. The availability of this option will be reviewed for 2022 depending on government guidance. You may still be able to book B&B standard rooms yourself if you choose to find your own accommodation for you tour.
The toilet and showering facilities are shared with at least one other room in the house, and the price includes breakfast. The cost is £35 - £50 per person per night based on shared accommodation. A single standard room is £40 - £70 per night.
B&B En suite
The showering and toilet facilities are private, and breakfast is included in the price. The cost is £45 - £65 per person per night based on shared accommodation. A single en suite is £75 - £90 per night.
Hotels have a bar or restaurant and provide evening meals. Breakfast is included in the price. The cost is £75 - £90 per person per night based on shared accommodation. A single is £90 - £150 per night.
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 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. While there are ongoing coronavirus restrictions throughout the UK and Ireland, itineraries are more likely to change than usual as opening hours and capacities at many visitor attractions are reduced and subject to change. Your driver-guide will keep you up to up to date on the road, and we'll try to get in touch about any large changes prior to your departure.
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 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.
Travel the local way on small group tours of 16 people or fewer
You'll have a guaranteed experience, or your money back
Guaranteed departures: you book, you go
Our eco-friendly tours support local communities