Historic Cities, Highlands & Whisky

10 Days

Activity Level:

When To Go:
May, Sep

Countries Visited:

Arrive In / Depart From:
Edinburgh (EDI) / Glasgow (GLA)

Max Group Size:

Tour Style:

Price From:

Discover the country's true culture with the help of experienced local guides.

  • Small group sizes to help escape the beaten path.
  • Authentic local experiences with lots of inclusions.
Tour Overview
Tour Overview

Click the icons below for more info:
Countries Visited: 1 Activity Level: 1 Tour Style: Cultural

After a bit if a hiatus, bonny Scotland is back on our roster, with a wonderful new itinerary that features Scotland's history and heritage, and a muckle of that for which the country is best known--from whisky, castles, and gardens, to, of course, Nessie.



Dates & Prices
Dates & Prices


Prices below are per person, twin-sharing costs in US Dollars (USD). Pricing does not include airfare to/from the tour and any applicable taxes. For single supplement rates and taxes (if any), please refer to below Prices & Dates table. For general information on flights to/from the tour, click here.

Your Travel and Accomodations Arranged For You
(With English Speaking Guides and Staff.)

Driver, Dinner, and Local Guide Tips Included.

Authentic Local Experiences With Lots Of Inclusions.

Select a date below to reserve your spot:


Optional Single Supplement: $1070 USD (number of singles limited).



Full Itinerary
Full Itinerary

Download Itinerary

Day 1 Arrival in Edinburgh
Today we arrive in Edinburgh, where the buzz of Scotland's capital city sits in perfect contrast to the peaceful tranquility of the surrounding Lothians region. Edinburgh has one of the most beautiful cityscapes in the world, making it the ideal city break destination. With Scotland's most famous castle dominating the city skyline, there is plenty to see and do with the perfect balance between all things traditional and contemporary.

Overnight in Edinburgh.

Included Meal(s): Dinner

Day 2 Edinburgh: City Touring
Today we have a half-day guided tour of this most beautiful of cities.

We'll begin with a walk through Edinburgh’s Old Town with our local guide, ready to learn about the history of Edinburgh. We start at Holyrood Abbey, before passing by the Scottish Parliament building. We continue to St Giles’ Cathedral, Greyfriars Kirkyard, and the vibrant area of Grassmarket before exploring the National Museum of Scotland.

Our sojourn proceeds with a tour of one of Europe’s foremost attractions; the dramatic Edinburgh Castle. Standing aloof and massive on its hill, Edinburgh Castle both dominates and adds majesty to the historical ambiance of the city. Within the castle itself we view the Honours of Scotland Exhibition and display of Scottish crown jewels; visit St. Margaret’s Chapel, see the famous 500-year-old cannon “Mons Meg”, then stroll through the Great Hall.

The rest of the day is yours to explore Edinburgh independently (your Tour Leader can help you plan your afternoon). Museum lovers maight consider the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art and/or The National Museum of Scotland. Johnnie Walker Princes Street is spread across eight floors and offers an experience perfect for whisky lovers and novices alike, along with incredible views of the Edinburgh skyline from the 1820 rooftop bar.

Overnight in Edinburgh.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

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Day 3 Edinburgh - Falkirk Wheel - Stirling Castle - Stirling
Today we travel to Stirling via the Falkirk Wheel and Stirling Castle.

The Falkirk Wheel boat lift is an exceptional feat of modern engineering that connects the Forth & Clyde and Union Canals. This unique and elegant mechanical marvel lifts boats by a height of 35 metres to bridge the gap that was originally linked by a flight of 11 locks. At the end of the 20th century, it was decided to reconnect the 2 canals with the innovative wheel as an inspiring symbol for the new Millennium.

We'll enjoy the full experience of the Falkirk Wheel as we sail through the sky
to join the Union Canal 35m above. After moving smoothly through the
aqueduct and through the Roughcastle tunnel to the beginning of the
Union Canawe then descend to the start point returning to the
visitor centre.

We then head to the city of Stirling where we visit Stirling Castle, the largest in Scotland. The castle is well defended by cliffs on 3 sides, and became a military stronghold and seat of royalty and government. Stirling Castle rock has been used as a fortress for centuries, probably since Roman times. The earliest buildings upon it mentioned in surviving records are the castle and the chapel dedicated by Alexander I in 1120. From the 12th Century it became one of the principal royal strongholds in Scotland. Destroyed or rebuilt several times in the 13th and 14th centuries, it was close to great battles against the English during the Wars of Independence.

Overnight in Stirling.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 4 Stirling - St Andrews - Aberdeen
Today we leave Stirling and head for St Andrews, a quaint town located on the east coast of Fife. St Andrews is home to the oldest university in Scotland, University of St Andrews, one of the best universities in the United Kingdom. St Andrews is also known globally as the "home of golf" mainly due to it being home to the iconic The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews, dating back to the mid-18th century.

We enjoy a guided walking tour of St Andrews, seeing some of the town’s most iconic sights. We start with a visit to St Andrews Cathedral, Scotland’s largest and most magnificent medieval church. Here, we visit the museum and the visitor centre (please note that St Rule’s tower is currently closed). Next, we see the outside of St Andrews Castle, a ruined fort which sits overlooking Castle Sands Beach. There has been a castle of some type here since the 12th century.

Next we see The Old Course, home of the Open Championship golf tournament, before seeing University of St Andrews, where the future heir to the British throne, William Prince of Wales, first met Katherine, Princess of Wales. We end our visit at St Salvator's Chapel, a beautiful example of late gothic architecture dating back to the mid-15th century.

Later we travel to the city of Dundee, the City of Discovery, where we have free time for lunch and a walk along the beautiful waterfront before continuing our journey to Aberdeen.

Aberdeen's architecture is known for its principal use of granite during the Victorian era, which has led to its local nickname of the Granite City, or more romantically, the less commonly used "Silver City," since the quartz in the stone sparkles in the sun. The city's architecture is a reminder of its heritage and rich history, but Aberdeen also has a cosmopolitan buzz and is very much a city on the rise.

Overnight in Aberdeen.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 5 Aberdeen - Highland Cattle - Whisky Distillery - Grantown-on-Spey
Today in Aberdeenshire we meet a herd of Pedigree Highland Cattle up close and learn about the history of the native breed and how they are farmed. Following our tour we'll have an included lunch featuring traditional Scottish Highland beef stovies, oatcakes, and beetroot (vegetarian options available).

Later we'll have a private tour of Royal Lochnagar Distillery, located near Balmoral Castle in Royal Deeside dating back to 1845. The distillery holds a Royal Warrant after a visit from Prince Albert in 1848. Today, we will be led through the distillery to learn about the distilling process. The tour will end with a tasting of two drams of Royal Lochnagar whisky.

We end our day in Grantown-on-Spey, near to Aveimore in the heart of Scotland’s Highlands. The town's traditional Highland hospitality and ideal location as a gateway to exploring the stunning Scottish Highlands, make it an attractive base for two days of touring in the region.

Overnight in Grantown-on-Spey.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 6 Loch Ness Folklore & Nature
Today we have a full-day tour to discover the folklore, nature, and history surrounding the famous Loch Ness.

We head first to Loch Ness itself and enjoying a drive along the famous shoreline to visit Urquhart Castle, one of Scotland's most popular attractions. Situated on the north-western shore of Loch Ness, it offers visitors fascinating insights into its dramatic history and spectacular views over the world famous Loch.

Next we travel to Fort Augustus, a lovely village situated at the south end of Loch Ness and the start of the Caledonian Canal. We have free time here to explore and have lunch (at own expense).

In the afternoon we will travel to the Dundreggan Rewilding Centre, north of Loch Ness. The centre celebrates rewilding and the region’s rich Gaelic culture and offers a gateway for visitors to explore the 10,000-acre Dundreggan estate. Conservation charity, Trees for Life, has been rewilding Dundreggan since 2008 to restore the Caledonian forest and its wildlife. The estate is now home to more than 4,000 species of plants and animals, including many rare and protected species, and the charity’s tree nursery where around 90,000 trees are grown every year.

We explore Dundreggan with a knowledgeable member of staff and find out more about this fascinating place, and why and how Trees for Life are rewilding the estate. We return to our hotel via the lesser-travelled south shores of Loch Ness, stopping at the beautiful Falls of Foyers on the way.

Overnight in Grantown-on-Spey.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 7 Highland Safari
Today we'll embark on an exciting and scenic Land Rover "safari" experience! This exclusive, tailored safari with our very own safari ranger, will provide a personalised adventure in the Scottish Highlands.

Along the way we may be lucky enough to see majestic red deer, grouse, mountain hare, or the soaring golden eagle as we travel through forests, mountains, and moors on private hill tracks, exploring the magnificent natural wilderness.

Included in our excursion -- tea, coffee, local Kenmore shortbread, and a dram of Dewars Whisky (of course). This will be served to you in a traditional mountain bothy surrounded by the inspiring mountain views.

We return to our hotel with the balance of the day to enjoy some well-deserved down-time.

Overnight in Grantown-on-Spey (dinner on your own this evening).

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Lunch

Day 8 Grantown-on-Spey - Scone Palace - Loch Lomond - Glasgow
Today we head for Glasgow with a stop at Scone Palace, offering a captivating journey through Scottish history and set against the stunning backdrop of its picturesque grounds. Here we explore the regal rooms that once hosted Scottish kings and queens, immersing themselves in the opulence of the palace's architecture and décor. The surrounding gardens, with their vibrant flora and serene landscapes, provide a tranquil escape.

Next we’ll venture out beyond stately homes and the magnificent Ben Lomond, Scotland’s most southerly Munro, to Inchmurrin Island, the largest inland island in Great Britain and home to the ruins of the 12th century Lennox Castle.

Our final destination is Glasgow, a city famous for its contributions to architectural styles, with the Glasgow School of Art being the most notable example. The wealth of the city's merchants in the 18th century saw a shift towards neoclassical architecture with simple lines and grand imposing stately buildings. Glasgow's friendly residents, diverse culinary experiences, and abundance of green spaces, make it a welcoming and unforgettable destination for experiencing Scotland's unique charm.

Overnight in Glasgow.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 9 Discovering Glasgow
Glasgow is home to an array of remarkable museums, visitor attractions, and galleries, and today we'll have the chance to discover some of the best Glasgow has to offer.

We start the day at Glasgow Cathedral, a Medieval cathedral thought to have been built on the site of St Kentigern’s tomb, the birthplace of the city of Glasgow. One of Scotland's most magnificent medieval buildings, Glasgow Cathedral is the only one on the Scottish mainland to survive the Reformation of 1560 intact. After a tour of the interior we will step outside to visit the Glasgow Necropolis.

The Necropolis is a Victorian garden cemetery of of wonderful architecture, sculpture, and fascinating stories. Adjacent to Glasgow Cathedral, the Necropolis was modeled on Père-Lachaise in Paris; it is estimated that something in the order of 50,000 burials have taken place here, with around 3,500 tombs. Today we will be treated to a special guided tour of the cemetery by a friendly local volunteer whose passion for the cemetery shines through.

We will then enjoy a panoramic tour of the city, with a stop at St George's Square, the iconic central square of the city which showcases an important collection of statues and monuments, including those dedicated to famous Scots such as Robert Burns, James Watt, Sir Robert Peel, and Sir Walter Scott. We stop in the centre and enjoy some free time for lunch before continuing to explore the city.

Finally we cross the river to reach the world-renowned Burrell Collection. Here we have a VIP tour of the museum for a rare opportunity to go behind the scenes and see some of the thousands of objects not on display to the general public. Finally, take some time to explore the main galleries and visit the shop before our visit ends and we prepare for our farewell dinner.

Overnight in Glasgow.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 10 Departure
Departure from Glasgow.


Included Meal(s): Breakfast



Trip Info
Trip Info

Full-time Tour Leader with local guide support at various locations.

Breakfast, some lunches, and most dinners ( (see itinerary) daily.

All transport, accommodation, sightseeing and entrance fees for sites noted as 'visited' in the detailed itinerary.

Gratuities for local guides, drivers, restaurant staff, porters (if available)

Airport transfers for land & air customers and for early arriving/late departing land & air customers who book both their air and extra hotel nights through us.

International airfare to/from the tour.

Tour Leader gratuities, most lunches/some dinners (see itinerary), drinks, personal items (phone, laundry, etc), international air taxes (if applicable), excursions referenced as 'optional'.

Airport transfers for Land Only customers.

Optional trip cancellation insurance (for information please click on the "Resources" tab).

Seasonality and Weather
MAY is one of the best times to visit the UK's north if you want to visit before the summer crowds arrive. The weather at this latitude tends to be good, with average highs of 15°C/59°F and average lows of 9°C/48°F. Although May is still spring in Scotland, the days are nice and long with the sun rising at 05:00 and setting at 21:00 (mid-May). This makes it possible to maximize our itinerary with lots of daylight hours to play with.

Scotland in SEPTEMBER is also hard to beat. Average temperatures see highs of 13°C/55°F and average lows of 9°C/48°F. We also enjoy long days -- at the beginning of the month, the sun rises at 06:4 and it sets after 20: This means we’ve around 12.5 hours of daylight to explore! September means the school year has resumed and many of the tourists that will have visited during peak season will have flown home; the beauty of visiting just after summer is that you’ll still have good weather and places will be much quieter with peak-season behind us.

Transport and Travel Conditions
Land transport throughout by private air-conditioned motor coach, 24-36 seats depending on ultimate group size (see 'group size').

Our difficulty rating Level 1 refers to the comfortable, easy-going nature of this journey and the advanced state of development as it relates to tourist infrastructure, transportation, accommodation, and hospitality services. Our days are full but our travels from A to B are not arduous, with reasonable distances and plenty of stops of interest along the way. The sites we visit are many, but none are terribly large and all/most feature easy grades, handrails, and short distances. We will have walking tours of towns and cities, and some short walks to dinner. Please note that smaller hotels may not have porters, so you'll need to be independent with your luggage.

Am I suitable for this tour? Please refer to our self-assessment form.

Activity Level: 1
No particular physical activity is involved other than town/city walks and short walks to dinners and sites of interest, some of which are large.

To learn more about the Activity levels, please visit our tour styles page.

Well-located, mid-range hotels (3-4 star) throughout. Porters are sometimes available but you must be prepared to manage your own luggage. All hotels have elevators.

For more info, please click on the "Map & Hotels" tab

Staff and Support
Tour Leader, driver, local step-on guides in various locales.

Group Size
Maximum 18 plus Tour Leader

Tour Extensions
This tour is part of a series that can be upgraded to make for a longer trip. For more options, please refer to tour code/s:

Ireland & Scotland Explorer
Tour Overview



Map & Hotels
Map & Hotels

Regions visited: Western Europe
Countries visited: Scotland

*The red tour trail on the map does not represent the actual travel path.

The following is a list of sample hotels at some locations included on this tour. The hotels shown here are meant to provide a general sense of the standard of hotel we usually aim for; they are not necessarily confirmed for your chosen departure.

Malmaison Edinburgh
4 Star Accommodation 4 Star Accommodation 4 Star Accommodation 4 Star Accommodation
Location: Edinburgh
Country: Scotland
On a cobblestone street in the trendy waterfront district of Leith, this contemporary hotel is set in an 1883 building with maritime history.
Stirling Highland Hotel
4 Star Accommodation 4 Star Accommodation 4 Star Accommodation 4 Star Accommodation
Location: Stirling
Country: Scotland
A 9-minute walk from Stirling train station, this stately hotel in a restored Victorian-style school dating from 1854 is an 8-minute walk from the grand 12th-century Stirling Castle.
Sandman Aberdeen
Location: Aberdeen
Country: Scotland
In a former Robert Gordon University building, this informal hotel with modern touches is 10 minutes' walk from both the Aberdeen Maritime Museum and Aberdeen railway station.
Craiglynne Hotel
3 Star Accommodation 3 Star Accommodation 3 Star Accommodation
Location: Grantown-on-Spey
Country: Scotland
Set in the Cairngorms National Park, this imposing, granite Victorian hotel is a 10-minute walk from the centre of Grantown-on-Spey
Voco Grand Central
4 Star Accommodation 4 Star Accommodation 4 Star Accommodation 4 Star Accommodation
Location: Glasgow
Country: Scotland
Set in a landmark Victorian building just outside Glasgow Central Station and a 5-minute walk from the Gallery of Modern Art






Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions
01. What is the maximum number of participants on a trip?
Most of our tours carry a maximum of 18 participants; some tours (ie hiking tours) top out at 16. In the event that we do not achieve our minimum complement by our 90-day deadline, we may offer group members the option of paying a "small-group surcharge" as an alternative to cancellation. If all group members agree, we will confirm the trip at existing numbers; this surcharge is refundable in the event that we ultimately achieve our regular minimum. If the small group surcharge is not accepted, we will offer a refund of your deposit or a different trip of your choice.
02. Can I extend my tour either at the beginning or end? What about stopovers?
Yes, you can extend your tour either at the beginning or the end and we can book accommodation in our tour hotel. Stopovers are often permitted, depending on air routing. Stopovers usually carry a "stopover" fee levied by the airline.
03. How do I make a reservation? How and when do I pay?
The easiest way to make a reservation is via our website; during office hours, you are also more than welcome to contact us by telephone. A non-refundable deposit is payable at the time of booking; if a reservation is made within 90 days, full payment is required. Some trips require a larger deposit. If international airline bookings require a non-refundable payment in order to secure space or the lowest available fare, we will require an increase in deposit equal to the cost of the ticket(s). Early enrolment is always encouraged as group size is limited and some trips require greater preparation time. Once we have received your deposit, we will confirm your space and send you a confirmation package containing your trip itinerary, any visa/travel permit related documents, invoice, clothing and equipment recommendations, general information on your destination(s), and forms for you to complete, sign and return to us. Your air e-tickets (if applicable), final hotel list, final trip itinerary, and instructions on how to join your tour, will be sent approximately 2-3 weeks prior to departure.
04. What about cancellations, refunds, and transfers?
Please review our cancellation policy page for details.
05. I am a single who prefers my own room. What is a single supplement?
All of our tours have a single supplement for those who want to be guaranteed their own room at each location. This supplement is a reflection of the fact that most hotels around the world do not discount the regular twin-share rate for a room by 50% for only one person occupying a room. Most hotels will give a break on the price, but usually in the range of 25-30% of the twin-share rate. This difference, multiplied by each night, amounts to the single supplement. The conventional amount can also vary from country to country and some destinations are more expensive than others for single occupancy. In order to be "single friendly," the supplements we apply are not a profit centre for us and we do our best to keep them as reasonable as possible. On most tours we limit the number of singles available, not to be punitive, but rather because many hotels allow for only a limited number of singles; some smaller hotels at remote locations also have a limited number of single rooms available. Please note that most single rooms around the world are smaller than twin-share rooms and will likely have only one bed.
06. Do you have a shared accommodation program?
Yes! If you are single traveller and are willing to share, we will do our best to pair you with a same-gender roommate. On most of our tours, if we fail to pair you, we will absorb the single supplement fee and you will default to a single room at no extra charge. At some destinations, however, where single rooms are not significantly discounted, or not at all, we may apply a "mandatory" single in the event that we cannot find you a share partner. This is usually 50% of the usual supplement, but can be as much as 100%. If applicable, this proviso will be noted on each tour page on this website, on your invoice, and in our tour date/price book (available for download under "Resources").


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Countries Visited: 1

Activity Level: 1

No particular physical activity is involved other than town/city walks and short walks to dinners and sites of interest, some of which are large.

To learn more about the Activity levels, please visit our tour styles page.
Tour Style: Cultural

These three- and four-star hotel-based, "soft adventure" trips concentrate on the culture, history, and natural attributes of our destination. Though there are no strenuous activities built into these tours, you need to be prepared for some full days with some early starts, plenty of walking on uneven surfaces through villages, cities and archaeological sites, and not a lot of "down time." Independence, reasonable fitness, and an ability to be steady on one's feet are critical in order for you to get the most out of these programs.

To learn more about the Tour Styles, please visit our tour styles page.
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