Scotland the Brave – July 17th – August 12th, 2024

           Will ye no come back again? – Robbie Burns

The details :

We fly into Edinburgh where we meet our superlative Tour Director/Guide, Phil. This highly qualified and most personable guide will add much to your experience of fascinating Scotland as he unveils its colourful, many layered history and culture, its breathtaking landscapes and so much more. We have past clients who booked this tour as soon as they heard Phil would be with us! (below is the route we will take)

Our first base is the Capital, Edinburgh, where we take several days to explore as well as time to unwind after our journey. A visit to the spectacular castle on the hill is a must (some will return here later in our tour, for the Military Tattoo ). Arthur’s seat, The Royal Mile, Holyroodhouse (the Queen’s official residence in Scotland,) and much more await. We’ll attend a fun night of traditional Scottish entertainment and hopefully catch a show or concert. (schedules pending). We take a tour of our late Queen’s favourite vessel, the Brittania and see what life must have been like on board. There will also be a day trip to visit Abbotsford, Sir Walter Scott’s ‘perfect house,’ now also a marvellous museum.

We’ll then head North to Perthshire and enjoy the spectacular countryside, its ‘chocolate box’ scenery and delightful small towns. En route we stop at Bannockburn, site of Robert the Bruce’s legendary victory over the English. We also visit the magnificent Stirling castle. In Pitclochry, we stay just on the edge of the charming town, settling into the magnificent Atholl Palace where we will live like Barons, enjoying our marvellous palace and grounds and exploring Pitlochry and beyond!

Leaving the lap of country luxury, we’re off to Inverness, the ‘capital of the Highlands’ and officially Scotland’s ‘happiest city!’ We simply must stop at Queen Victoria’s beloved Balmoral Castle en route, to explore the grounds & history. We’re not allowed a good ‘poke around’ however as the King and Queen may perhaps be in residence!

Whilst based in Inverness we visit its tiny 18th c Cathedral, nestled by the banks of the River Ness, the covered Victorian Market, the Museum and more. We hope to see a performance at the lively Eden Court theatre too. Beyond Inverness town, we’ll explore the rural wonders of the Highlands. The Battlefields of Culloden are an essential visit and the site has an excellent information centre and onsite guides. We follow this visit with Fort George, the largest in the UK and home of the King’s own Highlanders.We’ll also visit Glamis Castle, home of the Queen Mother’s family and where Princess Margaret was born. It was also the settling for Shakespeare’s Macbeth.

From Inverness, it’s off to the Isle of Skye where we stay three nights in the darling little harbour town (and Capital), Portree. There is much to occupy us on Skye, including many natural wonders to explore on this beautiful island. The famous hill, the Quiraing, is one of them which some may choose to walk up ! En route to Skye, we skirt along the shores of famous Loch Ness and see two significant castles, Urquart and Eilean Donan. (no promises regarding sightings of ‘Nessie’ )

After our time on Skye we take the ferry from Armidale Port back to Mallaig on the mainland (a la Bonnie Prince Charlie…but in reverse!!) It’s then time for Fort William, centre of the Cameron Clan. We’ll see historic Achnacarry House, museum and grounds and there is reportedly a ‘Cameron Gathering’ planned for the dates we are in the area. This will be lots of fun!  Another highpoint is the way we travel to Fort William. In Mallaig, we will despatch our coach and board the Jacobite Steam train (made famous as Harry Potter’s transport to Hogwarts!) Onboard we follow the Road to the Isles….crossing the famous Glenfinnen Viaduct…. but hopefully not flying off the rails and ending up in a land of magic!!

Whilst in Fort William we visit the West Highland and Glencoe museums, the Memorial of the Glencoe massacre and of course we see the towering presence of Ben Nevis.

From Glencoe, we head south to Argyll and Bute and a lovely hotel right on the shores of Loch Melfort. There is time here to unwind a bit and enjoy some relaxation and recharging before the final leg of our tour. This picturesque place offers walks along the Loch or in the countryside and leisurely time spent gazing over the water with a drink in hand.

Next we head back up to Oban from where we take the ferry across to the Isle of Mull. This will be a day excursion, most of which will be spend in picturesque Tobermory. It’s interesting shops and museum, it’s whisky distillery and its quaint harbour and brightly painted houses make for a pleasurable day out. Later that day, we take the ferry back, from Craignure to Oban. we spend just one night in Oban, where there is a very good Ceilidh which we’ll attend. A spot of folk song and dance will be just the ticket!

The next morning, we head off in the direction of Glasgow but on the way, spend time on legendary Loch Lomond! We will a cruise on the loch together and there will be time for lunch at leisure, either in the little local village with its fairytale church, or at a very nice lodge hotel on the shore.

Our tour concludes with four fabulous nights in Glasgow,  a dynamic city which will doubtless release its charms for you. We’ll enjoy its appealing pedestrian mall and shopping complex and surely catch a performance at one of its various music venues. We tour the Glenlee, a refurbished Clyde-built Tall Ship.

Whilst in Glasgow, we’ll take a day out to visit Dumfries House, the birthplace of the Prince’s Trust. With a lunch break at the Brig-o-Doon Inn, we’ll then tour the cottage birthplace (and museum) of legendary poet and favourite son, Robbie Burns. The beautiful gardens, the Burns monument, the Old Kirk, 15thC Brig-o-Doon bridge and a poet’s walk will enable us to see and understand the inspirations of the young poet. We’ll then head back to Glasgow, driving past Culzean Castle.

Throughout our magical 3-weeks together, there will be many opportunities for walkers (of all abilities) to stride out into the countryside and embrace the spectacular scenery and outdoors life for which Scotland is famous…..Rocky crags, sweeping valleys, vast lochs, rugged seaside and tranquil woodlands offer a plethora of natural wonders. If the outdoors doesn’t appeal, our charming, centrally-located hotels will all offer delightful places to relax, enjoy a drink, a meal or a leisurely stroll in the grounds. Little towns and villages will lure some out to poke about looking at small museums and shops and seeking little treasures to bring home!

The fresh food of Scotland is wonderful and a highpoint will be a couple of special long lunches in the countryside with gorgeous views to enjoy whilst chomping on local produce such as grouse, the famous salmon, lobster and snapping fresh veges!

The truly wonderful thing about this tour, aside from the Itinerary, will be the knowledge, care and assistance of our consummate British tour-director and guide, Phil Coates. ( last seen on our England & Wales tour in 2018 ). Dedicated, efficient and an all-round great fellow, we know everyone will love him and treasure his insights. Jennifer and Stewart will be with you throughout also, ever at the ready to offer assistance. Our sensational ‘Scottish Fling’ will be a fabulous first visit for some and an exciting fresh adventure for those revisiting.

Music will be enjoyed throughout. We plan to attend a concert or special folk performance in one of the major cities, we have the Military Tattoo and of course, we will go to a number of Ceilidhs ( nights of traditional Scottish music and dance….! ) Be prepared to learn the steps and join in! In both Pitlochry and Inverness there are vibrant local theatres presenting both plays and music and we’re sure to catch something there. We just have to wait on the theatre schedules to see what is on offer. There are Highland Games in many areas at this time of year too…’a show in themselves and of course, there will be pipes and drums somewhere, where we least expect them!!

Scotland is the ancestral homeland of both Stewart and Jennifer and we will be looking forward to this tour as much as you!

Come on and join us!


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Highlands & Islands + Scottish music, history and many unique experiences hosted by Stewart & Jennifer and managed by our amazing Tour Director, Phil.  

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