The Lake District, Edinburgh & the Speyside Whisky Trail
8 day tour

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Soak up the spirit of Speyside whisky, indulge in the views of the Lake District, and spend a few nights in incredible Edinburgh.

Tour map

Highlights

Film Locations
Mountains
Lakes
UNESCO Heritage Sites
Waterfalls
Distilleries

Places you explore


Ullswater - The second largest lake in the English Lake District is famous for its sublime, tranquil beauty.

Aira Force Waterfall - A lovely stone bridge crosses the fabulously flowing waterfalls.

Lake Windermere - You can choose to wander the shores or put on your sailing hat and go for a cruise.

Edinburgh – So much to see and do in Scotland’s capital city, probably the most dramatic cityscape in the world.

Cairngorms National Park - Gaze in awe at Scotland’s most beautifully rounded peaks.

The River Spey - One of Scotland’s most important rivers for salmon farming and whisky distilling.

Elgin - Visit this town and explore the best little whisky shop in the world.

Four Whisky Distilleries - Compare and contrast the whiskies of four distinctly delectable distillers.

Royal Deeside - Throughout history, the Royal Family have loved exploring this gorgeous region of Scotland.

Your journey

The best things in life take time.

Think about whisky. The oak trees grow for over 70 years before being made into casks. The drink needs to distil for at least three years. And to enjoy it, you must sip it slowly.

And then there’s the Lake District. The beautiful sheep pastures have evolved since Roman times, travellers have etched in the paths for hundreds of years, and you can’t get anywhere in a hurry on the little lanes.

So, on this tour, you take the slow lane and enjoy these two emblems of Britain.

You take the train to the Lake District, stay in Edinburgh, venture through the Highlands, and visit a few of the Speyside Whisky Trail’s finest distilleries.

So, join this tour and enjoy the finer things in life.


Detalles del Tour

Salida
08.00 - Train from Manchester Airport Train Station, M90 3RR
Regreso
18.30 approx - Edinburgh Bus Station, St Andrew Square, Edinburgh, EH1 3DQ
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, and one carry-on bag per person
Tour inclusions
  • Transportation by a 16 seat Mercedes mini-coach
  • Air conditioning as standard
  • The stories and services of an English-speaking driver-guide
Tour exclusions
  • Entry fees to visitor attractions
  • Tour accommodation

Itinerario

Day 1

  • Take as many photographs as you can at ‘England’s most beautiful lake’, Ullswater
  • Relax in the market town of Keswick

You collect your train ticket at the station and head north from Manchester to the historic Cumbrian market town of Penrith. The town’s uniquely coloured castle played a key role in defending the border from its invading Scottish neighbours.

After arriving in Penrith and meeting your Rabbie’s Guide, you enter the Lake District National Park and travel along the northern shores of Ullswater. This lake is often described as England’s most beautiful lake, and it’s here we give you the chance to take a forest walk and see the mighty Aira Force waterfall.

You then travel towards Keswick, stopping outside the town to visit the mysterious Castlerigg standing stones, thought to have been built over 5,000 years ago and a hub of ancient pagan rituals.

You have a short journey into the lively market town of Keswick where you’re dropped off at your accommodation and free to explore the charming town. (**During July/early August this tour stays in Windermere).

Day 2

  • Stare in wonder at the views on an optional boat trip, Lake Windermere
  • Wander around the cosy village of Hawkshead

After breakfast, you take in views of Ullswater as we head along country roads to its southern shores.

You continue further south and travel over the narrow and winding Kirkstone Pass towards the wonderful Windermere. Here you have the option to take a leisurely cruise on the Lake or eat lunch while enjoying sublime views of the surrounding scenery.

After lunch you travel around the southern tip of Windermere and on towards Coniston Water. Your next stop is the picturesque conservation village of Hawkshead, where the poet William Wordsworth attended Grammar School.

After exploring the cosy village, you take the narrow country lanes north towards Grasmere, which Wordsworth described as “the loveliest spot that man hath found”.

There’s free time to enjoy the peace and tranquillity of the Wordsworth Daffodil Garden by the River Rothy. In the late afternoon, you return to Keswick.

Day 3

  • Set your sights on sweeping views from atop the Whinlatter Pass
  • Learn about the slate mines at the Honister Mountain Pass

We pick you up from your accommodation and head for the Whinlatter Forest Park and over the Whinlatter Pass into the most dramatic landscapes the Lake District has to offer.

You journey along winding lanes, past the shores of Crummock Water and Buttermere, and towards the Honister Mountain Pass.

Stopping amongst the mountains you have the opportunity to enjoy the views of the old slate workings, where a small number of Cumbrians continue to make their living.

After refreshments, you continue through the forests of Borrowdale, passing Derwent Water, where there’s free time for lunch and shopping.

Once you’ve eaten lunch, you begin your return journey, heading towards Penrith and north towards the border. After crossing into Scotland, you take a stop in the town of Biggar, a royal burgh since 1415. From here, it’s a leisurely drive through the rolling border hills to Edinburgh.

Day 4

  • Wander over cobbled lanes past medieval window panes and under Gothic spires in Scotland’s stunning capital city, Edinburgh
  • Join our city tour and get to know a few of Edinburgh’s local legends

Today is a free day to explore Edinburgh.

We think you should start with our included Edinburgh City Tour to familiarise yourself with the history, geography, and laugh-out-loud tales of the city.

And after that, what you do is up to you; You can venture deep under the city on ghost tours, hike to the lofty heights of Arthur’s Seat, or even just relax in the many beautiful gardens.

Just ensure you relax and prepare for your next part of your adventure.

Day 5

  • Travel through the inspirational landscapes of the Cairngorms National Park
  • Sample your first delicious whisky of the tour

Back on the road again and you head north to the historic village of Dunkeld for a short walk through the forest to some dramatic waterfalls.

After lunch in Pitlochry, you can sample the delights of Scotland's highest distillery at Dalwhinnie, near the source of the River Spey. Once you’ve warmed with a little dram of whisky, you continue through the Cairngorms National Park before reaching Grantown-on-Spey, your base for two nights.

Day 6

  • Be amazed by the whisky selection in Gordon & MacPhail, Elgin
  • Understand the craftsmanship of the whisky cask at the Speyside Cooperage

A whole day exploring Scotland’s most famous whisky region. After a scenic drive towards the coast, your first stop of the day is at the family-owned Benromach Distillery, where you can go on a personalised tour.

From here it’s a short distance to Elgin. Here you can visit Gordon and MacPhail, one of the world’s leading specialist whisky bottlers and suppliers.

You travel back up the Spey to Craigellachie for a visit to the Speyside Cooperage, where you see another aspect of the whisky-making process (Wednesday departures only).

After lunch here or in nearby Aberlour, you visit Cardhu Distillery. Cardhu is the most important whisky in Johnnie Walker Black Label. From here you travel back to Grantown-on-Spey.

Day 7

  • Admire the peaks of the famous Cairngorms National Park
  • Walk in the footsteps of the Royal Family in the beautiful Royal Deeside region.

You travel through the beautiful Cairngorm Mountains en route back to Edinburgh. In the morning you visit Glenlivet, which is both a distillery and a beautiful glen with serene walks and wonderful wildlife.

You then enjoy the majesty of Royal Deeside. You pass by Balmoral Castle, and stop in the village of Braemar in the heart of the National Park. From here the route south passes over Scotland’s highest mountain pass, through Perthshire, and back to Edinburgh.

Itinerary and distillery visits are subject to change.

Day 8

You decide what’s next on your travels. You’re welcome to join another one of our tours from Edinburgh. Or if you want to move on, Edinburgh is well connected by coach, rail, and air to the rest of the UK, Europe and the world.

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Alojamiento


Where does this tour stay overnight?

You stay two nights in Keswick*, three nights in Edinburgh, two nights in Grantown-on-Spey. (*During July/early August this tour stays in Windermere).


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.


What if I cancel my tour at short notice?

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.


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. The prices below are for guidance only.


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. The cost is £35 - £40 per person per night. A single standard room is £40 - £60 per night.

B&B En suite

The showering and toilet facilities are private, and breakfast is included in the price. The cost is £45 - £55 per person per night. A single en suite is £60 - £80 per night.

Hotels

Hotels have a bar or restaurant and provide evening meals. Breakfast is included in the price. The cost is £70 - £85 per person per night. A single is £85 - £130 per night.

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. The cost based on dorm beds is £19 - £25 per person per night.

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.

Preguntas Frecuentes

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.

How do you cater for people with accessibility needs?

We aim to accommodate everyone. To read more information on how we do this, click here to go to our accessibility guide.

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.

What is ABTOT?

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.

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

Our small group travel style lets you head off the beaten track

Guaranteed experience
or your money back

Guaranteed departures

Award winning customer service



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