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Scotland's Top 10 Tour : Our 'Bucket List'
SCOTLAND TOP 10 MUST SEE PLACES:
SUMMARY: A 12 day tour of our Top 10 locations in Scotland. If you only have 7 days to visit Scotland these are our ‘Must See’ locations. Scotland is a must for any ‘bucket list’ and we will take you to the very best that Scotland has to offer in terms of historic, culture, scenery and more. Sit back, relax and soak up the atmosphere of Scotland’s dramatic landscapes whilst hearing the stories of Scotland’s complex history, our most famous Scots and even enjoy the delights of some of Scotland’s finest local cuisine.
This is a flexible tour and can be readily modified to meet our clients’ needs and interests but we feel it covers the ‘must see’ locations in Scotland .
The starting point can also be changed to accommodate client requirements and can include Aberdeen, Glasgow or Edinburgh.
DURATION: Twelve Days but can be extended for clients wishing to spend more time in certain areas or split into several shorter trips.
HIGHLIGHTS & KEY LOCATIONS: Scotland’s Top 10 will include our most famous sights, sites, tastes and more. Towns and Cities such as Edinburgh, Glasgow, St Andrews and Stirling, our Stunning Landscapes such as The Borders, The Trossachs, Glencoe, Skye and Loch Ness and our Cultural Heritage such as Eilean Donan Castle, Culloden, Iona and Orkney.
Day One: Edinburgh A full day to explore the delights of Edinburgh, Scotland’s capital city. A walking tour around the castle and Old Town in the morning will be followed by an afternoon tour of Edinburgh’s Georgian New Town which celebrates it’s 250th anniversary in 2017. at leisure for those wishing to meander through this delightful city at their own pace. For those looking to continue their exploration of the local food and drink, visits can be arranged to one of the new breed of gin distilleries or microbreweries that are flourishing across Scotland.
Day Two: The Borders We will head south from Edinburgh to the beautiful rolling hills of the Scottish Borders and the Tweed Valley where we will spend the day exploring the area. This area is steeped in history, the Border Reivers, stunning hilltop Castles, historic Abbeys, the River Tweed and of course Abbotsford House, home of Sir Walter Scott. We return to Edinburgh where we spend the night.
Day Three: Glasgow and Stirling Today we leave Scotland’s capital behind and head west to her largest city, Glasgow. Our route will take us via Stirling Castle and Bannockburn, where the Scots led by William Wallace and Robert the Bruce triumphed over the English Army and made famous in the movie ‘Braveheart’. On arriving in Glasgow, a panoramic tour will allow us to chart Glasgow’s change from a medieval religious centre to a flourishing centre of trade and commerce in the 1700s and subsequent growth into the industrial powerhouse known as ‘Second City of The Empire’. We will also have time to view some of the buildings associated with Glasgow’s most recent reinvention, as a conference and exhibition hub and enjoy time in a traditional Glasgow pub.
Day Four: Loch Lomond & The Trossachs and Glencoe Today we quickly leave Scotland’s largest city behind us and follow the Bonnie Banks o’ Loch Lomond into the Highlands via The Dukes Pass and The Trossachs crossing the desolation of Rannoch Moor before stopping in the rugged and majestic Glencoe to hear of the infamous massacre of 1692. We will have lunch at the Loch Leven Seafood café, a family run enterprise comprising everything from fishing boat to restaurant and international distribution centre. From there we will head to Oban where we will visit Oban Distillery and stay overnight.
Day Five: Isle of Iona Today we will make the journey to the mystical Isle of Iona, where St Columba brought Christianity to Scotland in 563. Travelling by ferry to cross Mull and then by smaller ferry to Iona. We will visit Iona Abbey and possibly the Isle of Staffa made famous by Mendelsohn Hebridean Overture. We will return to Oban to stay overnight.
Day Six: Glenfinnan and Skye We travel north through Fort William for photo opportunities of Ben Nevis and the Caledonian Canal, before following the Road to the Isles to catch our ferry to the Isle of Skye. En route we will stop in Glenfinnan to hear how, in 1645, Bonnie Prince Charlie started the last of the Jacobite Uprisings on the shores of Loch Shiel; we will also have time to see the Glenfinnan Viaduct, a feat of Victorian engineering, now most famous as the ‘Harry Potter Bridge’. We will overnight on Skye.
Day Seven: Isle of Skye A full day exploring Skye. We will travel through the Cullin mountains, some of Scotland’s most iconic scenery, for a morning visit to Dunvegan Castle; home to the Chief of the Clan Mcleod and the oldest continuously inhabited castle in Scotland.
Skye is a centre of the artisan food industry and plethora of lunch options are available; we can make our choice between Michelin starred restaurants and open air oyster shacks, and everything in between!
Following lunch, we will spend the afternoon visiting the Talisker Distillery, currently Skye’s only distillery. Our second distillery tour of the trip will allow us to appreciate the subtle differences in the processes used by different distillers, while the tasting will allow us to try a range of spirits from one year old (too young to be called whisky!) through to the most recent taste ‘expressions’. We will visit the iconic Eilean Donan Castle, a fully restored 13th-century stronghold, before turning north towards the mountains of Applecross
Day Eight: The 'NC 500'Today we will leave Skye, and follow the new North Cost tourist route, ‘NC500’ around the most Northerly coast of Scotland to arrive in Thurso where we will spend the night.
Days Nine and Ten: Orkney We will take the short ferry crossing to Orkney where we will spend 2 days exploring this amazing island, a UNESCO World Heritage site and home to the amazing Neolithic site at Ring of Brodgar and Skara Brae. We will also take time to visit St Magnus Cathedral and the Italian Chapel
Day Eleven: Loch Ness and Culloden We return to the Scottish mainland and continue soth on the NC500 to Inverness, passing through the wonderful Black Isle. No trip to Scotland is complete without a visit to Loch Ness and we will take a cruise on the famous loch, hearing stories of its myths and monsters before heading east around the city of Inverness to Culloden Battlefield. Here there is an award-winning visitor centre which provides a poignant reminder of the final confrontation in the Jacobite Risings and the last battle fought on British soil. We will overnight in Inverness.
Day Twelve: St Andrews We continue heading south through the beautiful county of Perthshire following the route of the mighty River Tay, Scotlands longest river, passed Dundee home to famous exploration ship, ‘The Discovery’ to arrive in St Andrews in time for lunch. After lunch we will visit the Mecca of Golf, ‘The Old Course’ and enjoy a walking tour of the town. While St Andrews is internationally famous for its golf courses and university, it also provides a fascinating introduction to Scotland’s history; the ancient cathedral once housed the bones of St Andrew, the disciple of Christ, and was one of the most prestigious religious centres in Europe; Our coastal drive will be completed by a tour round the ‘East Neuk’ of Fife, stopping for a traditional High Tea at the famous Anstruther Fish Bar, before heading across the River Forth to our hotel in Edinburgh.
OVERNIGHT STOPS & ACCOMMODATION: 4* accommodation is available at all overnight locations on this tour, but we are happy to advise on a range of alternatives from family run B&Bs to restaurants with rooms.