|My Heart is in the Highlands - The
Summer of My Scottish Romance!
With Castles, Palaces, Stately Homes, Pubs, Tearooms,
Afternoon Tea and the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo
August 17th - 29th, 2019
||"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.
|Join us on a 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.
||Highlights include -Hopetoun House Stately House, Linlithgow Palace, Edinburgh,
Edinburgh City Tour, Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, Sir Walter Scott's Abbotsford,
Traquair House, the Trossachs, Stirling and Stirling Castle, Doune Castle, Falkirk and
the Kelpies, Alloa Tower, Killin and the Falls of Dochart, Glencoe and the Glencoe
Massacre Site, Fort William, Spean Bridge Woollen Mill, Ben Nevis Viewpoint, Perth
and Scone Palace, Pitlochry, Blair Atholl and Blair Castle, Queens View, Culloden
Battlefield, Clava Cairns, Pitlochry Festival Theatre, Highland Safari, Braemar Castle
and the Cairngorms, Royal Deeside and Ballater, Dunnottar Castle, Glamis Castle, St.
Andrews and so 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. 1 Single Available! Only 4 Spots Left!
$500 per person deposit. Please read our terms and conditions.
Day 1 - August 17th - Arrive into Edinburgh International Airport and then our first stop this morning will be just
outside the city at 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 the Tearoom 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. We then get checked into our accommodation in Edinburgh before a Welcoming
Dinner and Overnight Edinburgh. (L,D)
Day 2 - Today will be spent 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 hopping off and on as you go about the city. 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. We will meet up for dinner and then go to a Performance at Edinburgh Castle of the Royal Edinburgh
Military Tattoo. Pub Dinner and Overnight Edinburgh. (B,D)
Day 3 - After our evening at the Tattoo we get a late start this morning before visiting Edinburgh's Georgian House, a
magnificently restored Edinburgh New Townhouse with fine collections of paintings, costumes and period furnishings.
The Georgian era produced some of Scotland’s most distinctive architecture. In the late 1700s, this grand townhouse was at
the heart of Edinburgh’s New Town development. The house was designed by acclaimed architect Robert Adam and was a
true statement of luxury in an era of enlightenment, for those who could afford it. We then take Afternoon Tea at the
Georgian Tea Room in the Dome. A splendid selection of loose leaf teas is served from the Gainsborough Sheffield
Silver Tea Service into the renowned Chardonnay Pattern Dudson Fine Bone China. The rest of the afternoon and
evening is free to take in more of Edinburgh's delights and to find some dinner on your own in the city or near to our
accommodation. Overnight Edinburgh. (B,L)
Day 4 - This morning we leave Edinburgh behind and make our way to Linlithgow Palace, birthplace of Mary, Queen of
Scots. This magnificent ruins was built and added to over two centuries by the Stewart Kings, resulting in a superb
Renaissance Residence. This impressive retreat where high towers look out over lush greenery and a loch brimming with
wildfowl was an ideal place for royals to break the journey between Edinburgh Castle and Stirling Castle. We then stop at
Kincardine for Pub 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 Stirling.
Dinner and Overnight Stirling. (B,L,D)
Day 5 - Today our first stop this morning is 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.
Following our visit to Stirling Castle we'll have Afternoon Tea in Stirling before we make to near Falkirk to see the
Scottish Kelpies, the world's largest equine sculptures. We will have a Guided Walking Tour that takes you through
the vision of artist Andy Scott and how history and industry impacted on his designing of these breath-taking sculptures.
The pinnacle of the tour is that you get to experience a Kelpie from the inside, and see for yourself the breathtaking
engineering and design of the Kelpies. Then back to Stirling where you can find some dinner on your own. Overnight
Day 6 - This morning we visit 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. We then
make our way north into the Trossachs on our way to Glencoe. We will stop in Killin to see Falls of Dochart which if
not the most impressive falls in Scotland there are easily the most accessible. Then our journey then takes us further through
the Trossachs and striking mountains of Glencoe where 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. Along the river Coe we find the Clachaig Inn Pub where you can get some lunch before we visit the site of the
Glencoe 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! Dinner and Overnight near Fort William. (B,D)
Day 7 - This morning we explore Fort William before we make our way to Pitlochry. Fort William is known as the
outdoor capitol of the UK. Fort William is also known for being at the base of the Tallest Peak in the UK, Ben Nevis. We
will wander through town and visit all the shops and then stop in Spean Bridge to visit the Spean Bridge Woollen Mill.
After some time to shop, we make our way to Laggan and the Eagle Bar Inn for Pub Lunch. The Eagle Bar is converted
Dutch Barge restaurant and pub that floats in the Caledonian Canal. We then make our way to Blair Atholl to visit
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. Blair Castle is set in extensive parklands, including the recently restored Hercules Garden
and Diana's Grove, and is an absolute delight to explore! Dinner and Overnight Pitlochry. (B,L,D)
Day 8 - This morning we make our way far north to 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 we 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. Afternoon Tea at Bunchrew House near Inverness
before we make the long trek back home. You will be our to dinner on your own in Pitlochry this evening. There are so many
wonderful eateries that you will be spoilt for choice! Overnight Pitlochry. (B,L)
Day 9 - This morning we will have a Highland Safari as we head into the hills to experience this Majestic Wilderness
and search for elusive the White Hare, Ptarmigan and Red Deer while on our Safari! The safari includes Hot
Chocolate, Coffee or Tea and a Dram of Dewars Whisky with Shortbread in a Mountain Bothy. This an
experience that will take you higher into the Perthshire Highlands than you ever imagined being! After our Safari we
make our way to Tummel Bridge and the along Loch Tummel to the Queen's View named after King Robert The
Bruce's wife Isabel but made popular by Queen Victoria. Commanding spectacular views of Loch Tummel, this is one
of the most breathtaking sights in Scotland and will become a favorite of yours! We then make our way back home to
Pitlochry where you can find some lunch and then explore the many wonderful shops before dinner. After dinner we take in
a Theatrical Performance at the Pitlochry Festival Theatre. Overnight Pitlochry. (B,D)
Day 10 - This morning we make our way north from Pitlochry and to the Spittal of Glenshee at the entrance to the
Cairngorms National Park. We will drive through the spectacular Cairngorms on our way to the village of Braemar
and the Lovely Wee 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 Elegant Dining Room, 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 will take Afternoon Tea
in Braemar before making our way along the River Dee and to our home in Banchory. We will make a stop in the
delightful town of Ballater on the way. Dinner and Overnight Banchory. (B,L,D)
Day 11 - This morning we make our way to my favourite Stone Circle anywhere in Scotland! It is situated on a farm just
outside of Echt in Aberdeenshire. The stone circle remains today just as it looked over 4,000 years ago and has not been
manicured or changed in any way! We then make our way into Aberdeen, a port city built where the Dee and Don Rivers
meet the North Sea. You can have a wee wander around the Granite City and find some lunch. We then make our way
south to Dunnottar Castle, a spectacularly situated coastal castle with breathtaking views. This dramatic and evocative
ruined cliff top fortress was the home of the Earls Marischal, once one of the most powerful families in Scotland. Steeped in
history, this romantic and haunting ruin is a photographer’s paradise, a history lover’s dream and an iconic tourist destination
for visitors the world over. Oliver Cromwell's Army laid siege to the castle in 1652, but The Honours of Scotland were
smuggled out of the castle and taken to Kinneff Church, where they remained until the restoration of the monarchy in
1660. Dinner on your own in Banchory. Overnight Banchory. (B,L)
Day 12 - This morning we start our journey south back to Edinburgh. Along the way we stop in the village of Glamis where
we find Glamis Castle. The castle has been witness to a thousand years of history. Home to the Earls of Strathmore
and Kinghorne, setting for Shakespeare's Macbeth and beloved childhood home of the Queen Mother and birthplace
of Princess Margaret. On a tour of the castle you will follow in the footsteps of Mary, Queen of Scots, James V,
Bonnie Dundee, the Old Jacobite Pretender to the throne James VIII, the ill-fated Janet Douglas and of
course tell the story of the bitter-sweet life of Mary Eleanor Bowes. We then make our way to Scone Palace just outside
of Perth. Scone is home to the Earls of Mansfield and as at one time the crowning place of Scottish Kings, the 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 get settled into our accommodation near Edinburgh before a Farewell Dinner. Overnight
near Edinburgh Airport. (B,L,D)
Day 13- August 29th - Return to Edinburgh International Airport for the journey home.