Scotland and the Edinburgh Tattoo – 14 Days
August 10, 2018 – Guaranteed Departure! Double: $6,595, Single: $8,095 If booking your own airfare reduce price by $600. TOUR DIRECTOR: STEWART BENNETT Green Highlands skirting above stone cities, deep lochs and legends, ancient cairns and Fairy Pools, battlefields and castles. Scotland’s rich history delves…
August 10, 2018 – Guaranteed Departure!
Double: $6,595, Single: $8,095
If booking your own airfare reduce price by $600.
TOUR DIRECTOR: STEWART BENNETT
Green Highlands skirting above stone cities, deep lochs and legends, ancient cairns and Fairy Pools, battlefields and castles. Scotland’s rich history delves as deep as its towering rocks soar high. Every stone speaks a story of fierce pride and bravery, from the heather on the hillsides to the keystones in ancient archways. Feel Scotland’s spirit in its moors and monuments, in its isles and spires, and in its friendly people and powerful music.
From Troon, you’ll explore the Isle of Bute, visit the Falkirk Wheel, Kelpies, and the Bannockburn Visitor Centre on the way to Crieff. Learn about Robert Bruce, Warrior King, and the battle that changed Scotland’s future. Doune Castle, strategically situated en route between the lowlands and highlands, is Scotland’s best-preserved medieval fortress (and a movie set for Outlander!).
Travel through Glencoe, Scotland’s most scenic Glen, for a guided tour of Glencoe Forest. Glencoe was once the stronghold of the MacDonald clan who fought for King Robert at Bannockburn in 1314 and for the Jacobite army at Culloden 400 years later. Visit Culloden Moor, Clava Cairns (ancient circular burial chambers), and the iconic Urquhart Castle ruins on legendary Loch Ness.
Ride the Jacobite Steam Train over the Glenfinnan viaduct arches (made famous by Harry Potter) to Mallaig, and then ferry to the gorgeous Isle of Skye for a day tour: Old Man Storr, Kilt Rock, Quaraing, and the bold blue Fairy Pools.
Old Edinburgh, a city grown into the hillside above the sea, ends on a high note at the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo!
Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo
In the heart of Scotland’s capital, on the black crags of Castle Rock, the ancient walls of Edinburgh Castle are lit against a darkening summer sky. Centuries of clan history hang in the air as the Massed Pipes and Drums march out of the archway between statues of Robert the Bruce and William Wallace. The drums pound and the bagpipes reach a battlefield pitch.
When the Massed Military Band emerges from the castle gates playing the battle tunes of Scotland’s famed regiments, it’s emotional. Spectacular displays from almost a thousand performers – pipers, drummers, singers, and dancers – keep the Tattoo fresh, exciting, and alive for the faithful fans who return every year. This unforgettable night is brought to a heart-stirring and poignant close as a lone piper, spotlit high on the castle ramparts, plays a haunting lament. Fireworks, a mass chorus of Auld Lang Syne from the audience, and the roar of military jets overhead bring the curtain down on this truly memorable night.
Return airfare from Toronto, airport transfers in Scotland, motorcoach transportation, 12 nights accommodation, 12 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 12 dinners, all highlights listed, a DeNureTours Tour Director, Connections Program and all taxes.
Prices are in Canadian dollars, are per person and include HST.
• Dumfries House
• Ferry to Isle of Bute
• Mount Stuart House & Gardens
• Falkirk Wheel
• The Battle of Bannockburn Visitor Centre
• Doune Castle
• St Andrews
• Lindores Abbey & Distillery
• The Scottish Crannog Centre
• Guided tour of Glencoe Forest
• Jacobite Steam Train
• Ferry to Isle of Skye
• Flora MacDonald Grave
• Free time in Portree
• Fairy Pools
• Tour of West Coast Highlands
• Culloden Battlefield
• Clava Cairns
• Loch Ness and Urquhart Castle
• The Hermitage
• St. Andrews
• Free time in Pitlochry
• Guided tour of Edinburgh
• Free time in Edinburgh
• Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo
Troon: Piersland Hotel (2 nights)
Crieff: Crieff Hydro Hotel (2 nights)
Oban: Moorings Hotel (1 night)
Isle of Skye: Sligachan Hotel (2 nights)
Inverness: Jury’s Inn (1 night)
Pitlochry: Atholl Palace Hotel (2 nights)
Edinburgh: Novotel Hotel (2 nights)
(click to enlarge)
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Scotland and the Edinburgh Tattoo – 14 Days
Day 1-2: Overnight flight to Glasgow, Dumfries House
Upon your arrival at Glasgow Airport, you will be met by your DeNureTours Tour Director. Travel south of Glasgow to Dumfries House. This Palladian country house in Ayrshire is noted for being one of the few houses with much of its original 18th-century furniture still present. Both the house and the gardens are listed as significant aspects of Scottish heritage. You will have a guided tour of the house, enjoy lunch on the property and have time to explore the grounds. Not to be missed is the beautifully restored walled garden.
A short drive takes you to your hotel in Ayrshire. Get to know your fellow travellers over an included dinner at the hotel.
Stay: Piersland Hotel, Ayrshire
Meals: L, D
Day 3: Ferry to Isle of Bute, Mount Stuart House & Gardens
This morning you will take a ferry ride to the Isle of Bute. It is an island in the Firth of Clyde, divided in two by the Highland Boundary Fault. Here you will have a guided tour of Mount Stuart. The original house was built in 1719 but rebuilt following a fire in 1877. The main part of the house is a flamboyant example of 19th-century Gothic Revival architecture. Enjoy free time to explore the gardens. They are a rich tapestry of design and great planting artistry. The formal areas exude a strong Mediterranean feel and resemble an Italian villa landscape; the wooded areas support a range of plants from all corners of the world.
Meals: B, D
Day 4: Falkirk Wheel, Kelpies, Doune Castle
Today travel into the heart of what was Industrial Scotland.
Start your day with a photo stop at the Falkirk Wheel. Marvel at this perfectly balanced structure – the world’s first and only rotating boat lift. The unique shape of the structure was inspired by various sources, Celtic double headed spear, a vast turning propeller of a Clydebank built ship, or the ribcage of a whale. Your next stop is The Kelpies. The name reflects the mythological transforming beasts possessing the strength and endurance of 100 horses. The Kelpies follows the lineage of the heavy horse of industry and economy. Each stands over 30 m tall and weigh over 300 tons. The stainless-steel skin reflects the light of day and night making it and amazing sight in all weather.
Your day of touring continues with a visit to Doune Castle, a medieval stronghold. The castle was originally built in the thirteenth century, then damaged in the Scottish Wars of Independence, before being rebuilt in its present form in the late 14th century. Today the castle has taken on new life. Parts of the film Monty Python and the Holy Grail was filmed at Doune Castle and it has become a place of pilgrimage for fans of the movie. Recently Doune Castle has been used as Castle Leoch for Outlander series.
Stay: Crieff Hydro Hotel
Meals: B, D
Day 5: St. Andrews, Lindores Abbey & Distillery, Scone Palace
Today you will visit one of Europe’s finest towns, St. Andrews. It is a place of history, learning and culture, a wonderful coastal resort and the world’s home of golf. St Andrews University, founded in 1410, dominates the centre of town. Enjoy free time exploring the cobbled streets, the ruined castle and abbey, or walking the west sands and watching the golfers tee off at the Royal and Ancient.
This afternoon you will visit Lindores Abbey & Distillery. It was founded in 1191 by David Earl of Huntingdon on land overlooking the Estuary of the River Tay. The distillery is being created by converting and enlarging the old Abbey farm steading. Helen & Drew the now “Custodian of Lindores” look forward to welcoming visitors to Lindores and share its history with whisky-lovers from around the world.
Meals: B, L, D
Day 6: Crannog Visitor Centre, Rannoch Moor, Glen Coe Forest
This morning revisit Loch Tay at The Scottish Crannog Centre. At this site there is a unique reconstruction of an early Iron Age loch-dwelling. This authentic recreation is based on the excavation evidence from the 2,500 year old site of ‘Oakbank Crannog’, one of the 18 crannogs preserved in Loch Tay.
You will then cross the Great Moor of Rannoch, one of the last remaining wildernesses in Europe. The area is a vast stretch of land composed of blanket bog, lochans, rivers, and rocky outcrops which makes it a very challenging environment which still supports varieties of flora and fauna.
Continuing your days’ journey, you come to Glencoe, Scotland’s most famous and most scenic glen. Glencoe is also Scotland’s most historic glen, and it was recently voted as Scotland’s most romantic glen. Stroll the Glencoe Forrest with a local guide and learn all about the important reforestation and ecology of the area.
Stay: Moorings Hotel, Oban
Meals: B, D
Day 7: Jacobite Steam Train, Ferry to Skye
All Aboard! This morning you leave Fort William aboard the Jacobite Steam Train. The Jacobite runs 41 miles, passing through an area of great scenic beauty including Loch Eil, Glenfinnan Viaduct and Arisaig. The route is also the same shown in the Harry Potter films. The company running the Jacobite service provided Warner Brothers with the train used as the Hogwarts Express in all the movies and allowed them use of the Jacobite’s route for filming.
You arrive in the sea port town of Mallaig in time for lunch. Fish and Chips are a local favourite. The restaurants get the fresh fish every morning form the boats arriving at the pier. After lunch, a short ferry ride takes you to the beautiful Isle of Skye. It is the largest and best known of the Inner Hebrides. It’s renowned for its natural beauty and offers plenty of wildlife, history, geology, mind-blowing scenery and hillwalking. The Cuillin mountain range is the most outstanding feature on Skye and the peaks are visible from all over the islands. Your hotel here on Skye is situated in the middle of these gems.
Stay: Sligachan Hotel, Isle of Skye
Meals: B, D
Day 8: Tour Skye, Kilt Rock, Flora MacDonalds Grave, Free time in Portree
This morning tour the island by coach, taking you past some amazing geological marvels: the Old Man of Storr, the astounding sea cliff of Kilt Rock. Flora MacDonald is a Jacobite heroine, during the Jacobite Risings, in June 1746, at the age of 24, she helped Bonnie Prince Charlie escape the island.
Enjoy some free time in the island’s capital, Portree. It has a picturesque, pastel cottage-lined harbour, some interesting shops and lots of lovely restaurants.
This afternoon enjoy a hike into the hills to visit the Fairy Pools. They are a natural waterfall phenomenon in Glen Brittle. The vivid blues and greens of the pools suggest an unnatural origin.
Meals: B, D
Day 9: Culloden Battlefield, Clava Cairns
Enjoy the stunning scenery as you journey to Inverness the capital of the Highlands. Along the way, stop at the The Culloden battlefield. Find out more about the events leading up to, during and after the Battle of Culloden. With over 1,200 dead in just one hour Culloden was a short but bloody battle – the last to be fought on British soil. The site has been restored to as close as possible to that seen by the forces on that fateful day in April 1746.
On a gravel terrace above the River Nairn stands one of Scotland’s most evocative prehistoric monuments. The Clava Cairns make up an ancient cemetery, which is dominated by a line of three cairns enclosed by stone circles. Throughout four millennia, the Clava Cairns have been regarded as a special place.
Stay: Jury’s Inn, Inverness
Meals: B, D
Day 10: Loch Ness, Urquhart Castle, Pitlochry
Enjoy a morning cruise down Loch Ness, which contains more fresh water than all the lakes in England and Wales combined, and is the largest body of water in the Great Glen. It is best known for alleged sightings of the cryptozoological Loch Ness Monster, also known affectionately as “Nessie”.
Explore the wild natural beauty of Urquhart Castle., where 1,000 years of history awaits you. A taste of the Highlands at their most dramatic. The castle has a distinctly Highland heritage. This is where St Columba is said to have worked miracles in the 6th century, where acts of chivalry and defiance provided inspiration during the Wars of Independence and where the MacDonald Lords of the Isles struggled with the Crown for power.
Stay: Atholl Palace Hotel, Pitlochry
Meals: B, D
Day 11: The Hermitage, Pitlochry
After a morning visit to The Hermitage, Pitlochry is yours to explore as you wish with plenty of free time today. It’s a popular town with great scenery and home to Scotland’s smallest distillery. It benefits from a lovely setting on the River Tummel, backed by Ben Vrackie. Visit Pitlochry Power Station and Dam which has the unusual attraction of a salmon ladder. Why not pop into Edradour Distillery, Scotland’s smallest distillery, for an intimate tour and a wee dram. The main street has lots of souvenir shops.
Meals: B, D
Day 12: Bannockburn, Guided tour of Edinburgh
This morning brings you to the Battle of Bannockburn centre which is situated at one of the most important historic sites in Scotland. During your visit, you will experience medieval combat like never-before. The parkland around the centre allow visitors to appreciate the battleground and commemorative monuments.
Then it’s onward to hilly Edinburgh, Scotland’s capital. The city has a medieval Old Town and an elegant Georgian New Town, with gardens and neoclassical buildings. It’s home to Arthur’s Seat, an extinct volcano in Holyrood Park with sweeping views from its peak. Looming over the city is hilltop Edinburgh Castle, home to Scotland’s crown jewels and the Stone of Destiny, traditionally used in the coronation of Scottish rulers. Enjoy learning about the history of this fascinating ancient town on a city tour with a local step on guide.
Stay: Novotel Hotel, Edinburgh
Meals: B, D
Day 13: Free day in Edinburgh, Royal Military Tattoo
Today you have the whole day to take in the sights and sounds of this fascinating city. The town comes alive during festival time with many plays and concerts going on, some right in the middle of the street. Edinburgh has a great shopping area, lots of historical sights, museums and of course the Castle all within easy walking from your hotel.
This evening the “HIGHLIGHT” of your tour it the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo. Set against the spectacular backdrop of the floodlit Edinburgh Castle, almost a thousand musicians, pipers, drummers, singers and dancers perform on the cobbled Esplanade. This unforgettable spectacle is brought to an emotional and poignant close each evening as a lone piper, spot-lit high on the castle ramparts, plays a haunting lament. Fireworks, a mass chorus of Auld Lang Syne from the audience bring the curtain down on a truly memorable night’s entertainment.
Meals: B, D
Day 14: Return flight home
After breakfast at the hotel you will be transferred to Glasgow Airport for your return flight home.