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 - The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo at Edinburgh Castle, The
Trossachs and Callander, Stirling and Stirling Castle, Doune Castle, Killin and Falls of
Dochart, Glencoe, Fort Augustus, Loch Ness and a Loch Ness Cruise, the Clava Cairns,
Culloden Battlefield, Elgin Cathedral, Lossiemouth and the Moray Forth, Huntly Castle,
Braemar Castle, 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!
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 Edinburgh. (L,D)

Day 2 -
Today we make our way to Dunfermline and Dunfermline Abbey on our way to Stirling and
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 then stop at
Kincardine for Lunch before we visit Alloa Tower in Alloa. At 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. We then make our
way to our hoe in Stirling for the next 2 nights.
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
. This afternoon we enjoy a Lovely Afternoon Tea in Stirling 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
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
, 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
Glencoe Massacre.  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
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 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
Mallaig is a busy fishing port and ferry terminal with services to Skye and the Small Isles.  Then you will board
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
and the Jacobite monument. Once back in Fort William you will have some tome to look around and find some dinner
before returning to our accommodation.
Overnight Fort William. (B,L)

Day 6 -
We our way north to the Moray Firth. 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 along the much less traveled but farm more spectacular east
side of Loch Ness. We will make our way through
Foyers, Inverfarigaig and then stop alongside the loch in Dores for an
up close look at this magical loch. We then make our way to
Forres where we stop to see the Sueno's Stone, a Pictish
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.
Dinner and Overnight Forres (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. On the
way home we will stop in
Nairn, an ancient fishing port with beautiful beaches. Once back in Forres you can find some
dinner on your own.
Overnight Forres. (B,L,)

Day 8 -
First thing this morning we visit 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
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. We then visit the
Johnstons of Elgin, with a 220 year-old
story of Scottish innovation and luxury, celebrating the skills of our Scottish Craftspeople and generations of herding
communities from
Mongolia, Afghanistan and Peru, and of natural fibres reaching their full potential. After our visit we
Afternoon Tea at the Ditsy Teacup in Elgin before we drive a bit further up the road to Lossiemouth on
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 to
Huntly to get settled in before dinner. Dinner and Overnight Huntly. (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 then
make our way to back to Huntly where you can find some dinner.
Overnight Huntly. (B,L)

Day 10 -
This morning we visit Huntly Castle, 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
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, Morning Room and 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
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
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
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
and Earls of Atholl
enjoys one of Scotland’s finest settings in the heart of Highland Perthshire. This evening we will be out
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 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
Farewell Dinner. Dinner and Overnight Edinburgh. (B,D)

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