My Heart is in the Highlands
Romancing the Scottish Highlands with the Royal
Edinburgh Military Tattoo, Pubs, Tearooms and Castles.
August 16th -29th, 2018
royal edinburgh military tattoo, small group scotland tour
"This tour is almost the same itinerary we followed on the very first tour I offered to
Scotland all those many years ago. Before doing tours, I would holiday in different areas
of Scotland with my family taking advantage of lovely wee guest houses and hotels and
visiting my favourite castles and tearooms. I wanted everyone else to experience
Scotland in just this way and I was sure that if I took everyone to my favorite places
that they would become their favorites too! What resulted was a slow paced tour that
allows you to take in every essence of this wild, historic and romantic country. My goal
on every trip to Scotland, is for those we take with us to fall in love with Scotland and
love it as much as we do! Come fall in love" - Shannon McDonald Tate.
scottish highland tours, highlands of scotland Small intimate tour of Edinburgh, the Highlands and the breathtaking countryside. This
tour is designed to accommodate only 10-12 people for a more personal experience to
allow you to get the most of your holiday. Keeping the tour size small gives us the
opportunity to veer from the beaten track and to take advantage of accommodations,
restaurants and sightseeing venues that would not be available to larger groups. You may
find yourself staying in a delightful city guesthouse, a small country house hotel, a
comfortable farmhouse and an old coaching Inn all in the same visit. Our goal is to show
you the real Scots people and some of the wonderful sights to be seen all over this
beautiful country.
highlands tour, scotland tour
Highlights include - Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo at The Castle, The Trossachs and
Callander, Stirling and Stirling Castle, Doune Castle, Killin and Falls of Dochart, Glencoe,
Inverness and Loch Ness Cruise, Urquhart Castle, Clava Cairns, Highland Dancing and
the Beauly Firth and Glen Pipe Band, Culloden Battlefield, Elgin Cathedral, Lossiemouth
and Moray Forth, Dufftown and Glenfiddich Distillery, Royal Deeside, Braemar Castle
and Cairngorms, Pitlochry and the Pitlochry Festival Theatre, Highland Wildlife Safari,
Blair Atholl and Blair Castle, Castle Menzies, Perth and Scone Palace, St. Andrews
Cathedral and Old Course, Edinburgh Bus Tour and much more!
scottish highlands, highlands tour, heart in the highlands Tour includes all accommodation, full Scottish breakfast each morning. All lunches and
dinners as listed in itinerary. Porterage of one suitcase per person. Minibus travel
including tour guide. Knowledgeable guide for all tourist venues. All sightseeing as
indicated in itinerary including any entrance fees. All taxes and service charges. As with all
of our tours we try to offer as many different kinds of accommodations as can be found in
Scotland.

$5995US per person. $995US single supplement.
$500 per person deposit.  
Sold Out!
Day 1 - August 16th - Arrive into Edinburgh International Airport and our first stop will be Hopetoun House,
Scotland's finest stately house. The atmosphere of warmth and vitality within the house reflects its status as the home of the
Hope Family from its building in 1699 to this day. The magnificent interiors which have remained virtually unchanged for
three centuries reflect the elegance of the Georgian era and are decorated with the best period furniture, paintings, tapestries
and clocks, with beautifully crafted finishes of carving, gilding and plasterwork.
After Lunch at Hopetoun we visit
Blackness Castle.
Built in the 15th century by one of Scotland’s most powerful families, the Crichtons, Blackness was
never destined as a peaceful lordly residence; its enduring roles were those of garrison fortress and state prison. This evening
we have a
Welcoming Dinner followed by a performance at Edinburgh Castle of the Royal Edinburgh
Military Tattoo. Overnight near Edinburgh. (L,D)

Day 2 -
Today we make our way to Dunfermline and Dunfermline Abbey on our way to Stirling and Stirlingshire.
Dunfermline Abbey was founded about 1070 by Queen Margaret, wife of Malcolm Canmore. Margaret was made a
saint, and she and Malcolm were buried here.
Robert the Bruce's body (apart from his heart, which is at Melrose) is buried
here as well.
William Wallace's mother Margaret is said to be buried here as well under an old Thorn Tree. We will
stop in
Stirling for Lunch before continuing on to Alloa where we find Alloa Tower. We will take a whistle-stop tour
through 700 years of Scottish history at
Scotland’s Largest and Oldest Keep, the ancestral home of the influential
Erskine family, the Earls of Mar and Kellie. As you explore the tower’s four floors, you’ll hear tales of an abbot’s curse,
crib ghosts, fortunes and titles lost and regained, and the building’s ruin and restoration.
Dinner and Overnight in
Stirling. (B,L,D)

Day 3 -
Today our first stop will be Stirling and  Stirling Castle, one of the finest examples of Renaissance architecture
in Scotland.
Mary Queen of Scots was crowned here and the Great Hall and Chapel Royal are wonderful highlights.
Here you will be able to step back into the sumptuous world of
Stirling Castle’s Royal Court. An ongoing project has
returned the six ground floor apartments in the castle’s Renaissance palace to how they may have looked in the mid 16th
century
. This afternoon we enjoy a lovely Afternoon Tea before a visit to Doune and Doune Castle, a magnificent late
14th century courtyard castle and famous for the filming location of
Monty Python's The Holy Grail and more recently,
the
Outlander TV series as Castle Leoch. This is one of my most favorite places as it gives such a wonderful glimpse
into 14th century Scottish castle living. Before finding our accommodation, we will stop at the
Kilmahog Woolen Mills for
some shopping and also to visit
Hamish Dhu and Honey, the resident Highland Cows. Overnight Stirling. (B,L)

Day 4 -
Much of today will be about spectacular scenery as we make our way further north into the Trossachs on our way to
Fort William. We will stop in Killin and the Falls of Dochart. A bridge crosses over the Dochart River just as you
enter the village of Killin giving a fabulous view of the falls as they cascade down over the rocks and around the
Island of
Inchbuie
, which is the traditional burial place of the MacNab Clan. If not the most impressive falls in Scotland there are
easily the most accessible. Our journey then takes us through the striking mountains of
Glencoe on our way to the site of
the
Glencoe Massacre. The mountains are formed from some of the oldest sedimentary and volcanic strata in the world.
The southern region is an assemblage of peaks, ridges and valleys which rise up above the peat hags and scattered lochans of
Rannoch Moor. The waters which tumble from these high mountains give rise to a series of spectacular waterfalls that
gather initially at the
'Meeting of the Three Waters' to form the River Coe. We will stop at the Clachan Inn for
Lunch
before we visit the site of the massacre. Against a backdrop of craggy peaks and the tumbling River Coe, the Glen
offers some of Scotland's most spectacular scenery but has also seen one of the most violent acts in Scottish history when in
1692 the
Clan McDonald were massacred on this very spot! We then make our way to the lovely Highland village of Fort
William for some time to look around before settling into our accommodation just up the road.
Dinner and Overnight
near Fort William. (B,L,D)

Day 5 -
This morning we will take in the "Road to the Isles" with a stop at Glenfinnan which sits at the head of
mysterious and beautiful
Loch Shiel and is at the crossroads of four steep sided Glens. It was here that Prince Charles
Edward Stuart or 'Bonnie Prince Charlie'
as he came to be known, called for the local clansmen to assemble in August
1745 and raised the standard proclaiming the throne of Great Britain to rightfully belong to his family, the Stuarts. We will
make a few more stops along the way at the picturesque
Lochailort, Arisaig and Morar before ending up in Mallaig for
Lunch.
Mallaig is a busy fishing port and ferry terminal with services to Skye and the Small Isles.  Then you will board
the
Jacobite Steam Train(also known as the Hogwart's Express) for the journey back to Fort William. The train
crosses the 21-arched
Glenfinnan Viaduct (a location made famous in the Harry Potter films) which overlooks Loch
Shiel
and the Jacobite monument. Once back in Fort William you will have some tome to look around and then find some
dinner on your own.
Overnight near Fort William. (B,L)

Day 6 -
We make our way to Inverness, the Capitol of the Highlands today. Our journey will take us along Loch
Lochy, Loch Oich and the Caledonia Canal System
as we make our way to Fort Augustus at the south end of Loch
Ness
. The Caledonian Canal runs through the centre of Fort Augustus and it is constantly busy with boats of all types and
sizes. While in Fort Augustus we will take an hour long
Cruise on the Loch for a possible Nessie Sighting and then will take
some time in Fort Augustus for you to find some lunch before making our way further north to
Drumnadrochit. Know only
as 'Drum' to the locals, this is a delightful village where we will have a wee look around after a visit to
Urquhart Castle just
up the road. The magnificently situated castle, on the banks of Loch Ness, remains an impressive stronghold despite its
ruinous state. Once one of Scotland’s largest castles, Urquhart’s remains include a tower house that commands splendid
views of the famous loch and Great Glen. We will then visit
Corrimony Chambered Cairn before making our way to our
accommodation in Inverness. Corrimony is another Clava style passage grave that is unusually well preserved.
Dinner and
Overnight Near Inverness. (B,D)

Day 7 -
Our first stop this morning Culloden Battlefield, a desolate stretch of moorland that looks much as it did on 16th
April 1746, the date of the last battle to be fought on British soil. Here
Bonnie Prince Charlie made his last stand for the
Stewart cause. The battlefield is restored to as close as possible as it was when the two sides marched on that fateful day. We
will find out why this battle that lasted only one hour changed the way of life of the
Highlands forever. Then on to Cawdor
for Lunch at the Cawdor Tavern
before a visit to the 4000 year old Clava Cairns, one of Scotland’s most evocative
sacred prehistoric sites. The cairns are dominated by a line of three exceptionally well-preserved burial cairns, each enclosed
by stone circles. We know little about who the cairn builders were, for they left no written record. The actual remains of those
buried within the cairns no longer survive because of overzealous archaeological digging in the early 20th century. We then
return to Inverness where you will have some time to wander about before finding some dinner on your own.
Overnight
near Inverness. (B,L)

Day 8 -
Upon leaving Inverness behind we make our way to Nairn, an ancient fishing port and market town with award
winning beaches. From here we travel to
Forres where we stop to see the Sueno's Stone, a Pictish Stone that is the
most remarkable sculptured monument in Britain. It stands over 20 feet high and dates to the end of the first millennium
AD. We then make our way to
Elgin for a visit to Elgin Cathedral, the superb ruin of what was perhaps the most
beautiful cathedral in Scotland. Elgin Cathedral is Scotland's second largest cathedral behind St. Andrews and was known
as
'The Lantern of the North'. If suffered many mishaps and then was rebuilt only to see the Reformation in the 1500's.
Even in ruins, it is still one of the most beautiful cathedrals in Scotland. After
Lunch at the Ditsy Teacup we drive a bit
further up the road to
Lossiemouth on the Moray Firth. This is a lovely seaside village where we can find some great ice
cream before a stroll on the beach. We then make our way along the Moray Firth to our accommodation..
Dinner and
Overnight Morayshire. (B,L,D)

Day 9 -
This morning we take in Banffshire and the Dolphin Coast. The Banffshire Coastline is a place of
undisturbed natural beauty where
dolphins, gannets, porpoises, puffins, and the occasional whale, make their
home. We will explore the coastline taking in
Buckie, Findochty, Portknockie, Cullen, Portsoy, Banff and Macduff.
We will stop for lunch along the way and then board a
Puffin Cruises Wildlife Trip. On these trips you
often see
Bottlenose Dolphins, Seals and Harbour Porpoise and sometimes Minke Whale. The bottlenose
dolphins of the Moray Firth are the most northerly resident group of bottlenose dolphins in the world and a vital part of
Scotland’s natural heritage. On the 3 hour birdwatching trip we will sail to
Troup Head which is home to 4,000 plus
gannets and is the only gannet colony in mainland Scotland. In Summer, approximately 22,000 guillemots, 2,000 razorbills,
15,000 pairs of kittiwakes and 2,000 pairs of fulmars are present along with smaller numbers of puffins and shags as well as
seals. We will take time for
Afternoon Tea before returning to our accommodation. Overnight Morayshire. (B,L)

Day 10 -
Today as we head south we make our way to Huntly Castle in the village of Huntly. It is a magnificent ruin of
a castle, from the 12th century motte to the palace block erected in the 16th and 17th centuries by the Gordon family. The
architectural details and heraldic enrichments are particularly impressive. We will also stop at my favourite stone circle in
Scotland before we find some lunch. We then make our way along the
River Dee to Royal Deeside on our way to
Braemar and Braemar Castle. Seat of Clan Farquharson
and former home to its chief Captain Alwyne
Farquharson
, this is a delightful wee fairytale castle managed by the Community of Braemar. Come inside and take a peek
at the Victorian Kitchen, the "pit", once prison for 17 Cameron rebels, the elegant Dining Room with its 200 year old
grandfather clock and climb the stone turnpike stairs to the comfortable Drawing Room and Morning Room. See the
Laird’s Bedroom, with its handsome four poster bed and the secret corner that’s home to
Long John Silver and his creator
Robert Louis Stevenson who wrote "Treasure Island" right here in Braemar. We then make our way through the
Cairngorms
down through the Spittal of Glenshee to the lovely Highland Village of Pitlochry. You will have
evening free to enjoy all the lovely shops and many fine restaurants in Pitlochry.
Overnight Pitlochry. (B,L)

Day 11 -
After breakfast we will drive to The Queen's View named after Robert The Bruce's wife Isabel but made
popular by Queen Victoria. This is one of the most breathtaking sights in Scotland and will become a favorite of yours. Next
we visit
Castle Menzies, a fine 16th century mansion house visited by Bonny Prince Charlie on his way to Culloden in
1746.
This spectacular sixteenth century castle, restored by the Menzies Clan Society was the seat of the Chiefs of Clan
Menzies for over 400 years and importantly situated, it was involved in the turbulent history of the Highlands architecturally
fascinating, it is a splendid example of the transition between earlier rugged fortress and later mansion house. This afternoon
we
Lunch in a Local Tearoom before we visit Blair Atholl and Blair Castle. Bonnie Prince Charlie spent 2 days
here in this 700 year old rambling, turreted castle with over 32 rooms open to the public. This ancient seat of the
Dukes
and Earls of Atholl
enjoys one of Scotland’s finest settings in the heart of Highland Perthshire. This evening we will be out
to
Dinner and then a Performance at the Pitlochry Festival Theatre! Overnight Pitlochry. (B,L,D)

Day 12 -
This morning we leave the Highlands behind on the way to Perth and Scone Palace, the home of the Earls
of Mansfield
.  Once the crowning place of Scottish Kings, Scone Palace occupies a unique position in Scotland’s history.
A breathtakingly beautiful place of power and mystery and the rightful home of the celebrated
Stone of Scone, Scone
Palace is regarded as a national treasure and is revered as the historic jewel in Scotland’s crown. We then make our way to
St. Andrews, Scotland's Home of Golf. We will
Stop for Afternoon Tea along the way and once in St. Andrews, sightseeing
will include
St. Andrews Cathedral. The Cathedral dates from around 1160, and was consecrated in the presence of
Robert the Bruce in July 1318. We will also visit the Old Course and have some free time to investigate St. Andrews
before heading to
Edinburgh where you will be able to find dinner on your own and enjoy your evening in Scotland's
Capitol City. Overnight near Edinburgh. (B,L)

Day 13 -
Today will be mostly at your leisure in the city. To make the most of your visit you will have all day tickets for
Edinburgh's City Tour Hop Off and Off Bus which will take you to all of the major highlights of the city. On your way
about the city you will have opportunities to stop at
The Palace of the Holyrood House, The Royal Yacht Britannia,
St. Giles Cathedral, Greyfriars Bobby and Deacon Brodie's Pub.
The Old Town and New Town districts of
Edinburgh were listed as a
UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995 in recognition of the unique character of the Medieval
Old Town
and the planned Georgian New Town. It covers both the Old and New Towns together with the Dean Village
and the Calton Hill areas. There are over 4,500 listed buildings within the city. This evening we gather for a Farewell
Dinner. Dinner and Overnight near Edinburgh. (B,D)

Day 14 - August 29th -
We return to the Edinburgh International Airport for the journey home. (B)