Highlights: Walking to the Fairy Pools, Neist Point Lighthouse and the Fairy Glen on Skye, Glencoe, Ferry to Skye, Eilean Donan Castle, Loch Ness, Inverness, Culloden Battlefield, Cairngorm National park, Glenfinnan Monument, 4000 year old stone circles and Highland life museum. This tour also includes the option of visiting a whisky distillery.
Leaving Edinburgh we pass Stirling Castle, the National Wallace Monument and stop at Doune Castle for some photos. Time for coffee and a wee scone from traditional scottish bakery in the Trossachs.
As we continue north the mountains and lochs provide a dramatic backdrop for our journey to Glencoe, perhaps the most famous dramatic of all Scotland’s glens. This narrow valley is where the bloody massacre of the Macdonalds took place in 1692. On a lighter note you may recognise this part of the Highlands which was used in the movie Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.
After lunch the Harry Potter theme continues as we visit the most famous bridge in Scotland. The Glenfinnan Viaduct features in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets as the Hogwarts Express train crossed the bridge. It also stars in two subsequent Harry Potter films, The Prisoner of Azkaban and The Goblet of Fire. We continue along the famous Road to the Isles to Mallaig. We then take the ferry over the sea to Skye, (£10 per person supplement). Please note on certain tours we may not be able to take this route as it is a seasonal ferry and subject to timetable variations at other times. We then drive through Sleat to Portree, the island capital, our base for two nights.
A whole day touring the Isle of Skye. The route will vary from tour to tour but will include a scenic drive alongside the dramatic Trotternish Ridge which includes stops at Old Man of Storr and Kilt Rock. After a walk at the Quiraing amongst the unique and unusual rock architecture we drive to explore the magic of the Fairy Glen, a delightful miniature Highland landscape and legendary home of the 'wee people'!
After lunch we drive to the most westerly point on Skye and walk to Neist Point lighthouse (spectacular views to the Western Isles) and see some of the most dramatic sea cliffs in Scotland, sea birds and maybe even marine wildlife. And, of course we visit and walk to the Fairy Pools with spectacular views of the Cuillin Mountains. We return to Portree in the early evening.
This is our most flexible day. Crossing the Skye Bridge and returning to the mainland we begin a spectacular journey towards Inverness. Our first stop is Eilean Donan Castle, perhaps the most iconic image of Highland Scotland and used as the backdrop for countless famous movies. It is perfectly situated on a tiny island, surrounded by water and incredible scenery. There may be an option beforehand to take to the water and meet a local seafood fisherman. (Aditional charge).
We drive past the Five Sisters of Kintail - a high mountain ridge rising steeply from Glen Shiel to a maximum height of over 3500 feet. The five distinctly pointed summits are a well known landmark.
Next stop is famous Loch Ness - Scotland’s legendary lake - best known for the alleged sightings of a monster. We stop for photos in Fort Augustus at the southerly tip of Loch Ness and see the canal and lock system, built by Thomas Telford in the early 1800s.
Plenty of Nessie spotting as we explore the less crowed eastern shore of Loch Ness. Photo stop at Dores, which is home to a real Loch Ness living legend Steve Feltham. He has dedicated the last 25 years to Nessie. On to Inverness for a quiet night in or late night out. You will be staying close to the city centre; many of the pubs and restaurants offer live traditional music and great value meals. Our favourites include Hootananny and Gellions.
After being collected from your accommodation we visit 4000 year old stone circles and burial mounds. It's then onto Culloden Moor where the Jacobites were finally defeated by government soldiers in 1746. We then drive south into the Cairngorm National Park. One of Scotland's greatest wild landscapes.
Lunch is at the museum of Highland Life (free entry). There is plenty of time to explore this amazing outdoor museum after lunch. We then visit Pitlochry, a lively Highland town with an elegant main street packed with shops and resturants. There will be an option to visit a distillery, please let us know when you are booking if this is of interest.
Our final stop is a gentle walk through Big Tree Country to the famous waterfall and salmon leap at The Hermitage. As we return to Edinburgh we cross the River Forth and you'll have a photo opportunity of the Forth Rail Bridge. It amazed the world when it was completed in 1890 and has become an enduring symbol of Scotland’s engineering heritage.
When booking please select the accommodation type that you require. Choose from Hostel or Bed & Breakfast (guest house). Full information on booking page. We will reserve your accommodation for you, which you pay for on arrival. If you wish to book you accommodation you must check with us first. We always book the best value rooms that are available at time of booking. B&B's close to town centre are in high demand and fill up early.