Scotland and the Scottish Highlands (Two Departures: Sept. 12-22, and Sept. 27 - Oct. 7, 2018)

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Scotland and the Scottish Highlands (Two Departures: Sept. 12-22, and Sept. 27 - Oct. 7, 2018)

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TOUR PRICE:  The price for both departures is $2749.00 per person based on double occupancy (two to a room) and a minimum number of 36 passengers in each group.  United Airlines taxes and fees are an additional $185.00 (subject to change until time of ticketing).  The single supplement is $459.00.  We have a very limited number of single rooms available.  Also, please note that you must be flexible with regard to rooming arrangements on this trip.  There may be a hotel or two where a double bed for two people is not available, in which case you would have two twin beds.  We will do our best with the rooming arrangements but we are limited to what will be available at the hotels.  

AVAILABILITY:  SOLD OUT.   

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SCOTLAND AND THE SCOTTISH HIGHLANDS TOUR ITINERARY

Day 1: Welcome to Glasgow

Arrive at Glasgow Airport. Meet your driver and English speaking guide and continue to Glasgow city centre.

Enjoy a panoramic tour of Glasgow

Overflowing with style and culture, Glasgow offers a blend of internationally-acclaimed museums and galleries, stunning architecture, vibrant nightlife, fabulous shopping and superlative wining and dining .The city tour will take you from George Square in the city centre past the impressive Glasgow Cathedral – the only mainland Scottish Cathedral to have survived the Reformation intact – to the West End to admire Glasgow’s historic university buildings before returning to the city centre.

.Continue to your hotel and check in.

Overnight, bed and breakfast at the Premier Inn Glasgow.

Day 2: Ayrshire

Today you will travel south of Glasgow to Ayrshire.

Visit the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum

Robert Burns Birthplace Museum offers a truly unique encounter with Scotland’s favorite son. The museum comprises the famous Burns Cottage where the poet was born, the historic landmarks where he set his greatest work, the elegant monument and gardens created in his honor and a modern museum housing the world’s most important collection of his life and works.

Next visit Culzean Castle

Standing on a dramatic cliff top overlooking the Firth of Clyde, the castle has been associated with the Kennedy family since the 14th century and was converted by Robert Adam between 1777 and 1792. Discover the best features of the castle, including Adam's masterpiece, the oval staircase, as well as the fine collection of paintings and furniture. The property is set in nearly 600 acres of stunning countryside and miles of waymarked paths lead visitors through majestic woodland and past secluded ponds.

Return to Glasgow.

Overnight, bed and breakfast at the Premier Inn Hotel Glasgow.

Day 3: Glasgow to Fort William

Today you will depart your hotel in Glasgow and travel to Fort William.

Travel along the beautiful banks of Loch Lomond Stop in Luss to take some photos.

Continue to Inveraray Jail.  Inveraray Jail is a living museum and visitor attraction where real people portray life in a 19th century prison. This award-winning attraction has established itself as one of Scotland's most exciting heritage attractions. Visitors can sit in the restored 1820s courtroom with lifelike models and listen to excerpts from trials of the past before passing pass on to the prisons below, and meeting with the Warder, Matron and Prison Guides, all dressed in period costumes.

Travel further north, driving through the rugged landscape of Glencoe that became famous because of the massacre in 1692, when the resident McDonalds were murdered by the Campbell soldiers.

Check into your hotel.

Overnight, dinner, bed and breakfast at the Nevis Bank Hotel in Fort William.

Day 4: Isle of Skye

Today you will travel to Mallaig and take the ferry to Armadale on the Isle of Skye.

Explore to beauty of the Isle of Skye before travelling across the Skye Bridge back to the mainland.

Visit Eilean Donan Castle

As one of the most iconic images of Scotland, Eilean Donan is recognized all around the world. Situated on an island at the point where three great sea lochs meet, and surrounded by the majestic Highland scenery, it is little wonder that Eilean Donan is now the most photographed castle in the Scottish highlands. The Isle of Donan was first inhabited around the 6th century, and the first fortified castle was built in here the mid-13th century, standing guard over the lands of Kintail. Since then, at least four different versions of the castle have been built and re-built as the feudal history of Scotland unfolded through the centuries. Partially destroyed in the aftermath of the Jacobite uprising of 1719, Eilean Donan lay in ruins for the best part of 200 years until Lieutenant Colonel John MacRae-Gilstrap bought the island in 1911. He then proceeded to restore the castle to its former glory. After 20 years of toil and labour the castle was re-opened in 1932. Today, you can explore this very picturesque castle while enjoying a journey through the history of the Highlands.

Return to your hotel in Fort William.

Overnight, bed and breakfast at the Nevis Bank Hotel in Fort William.

Day 5: Fort William to Inverness

Today you will visit Urquhart Castle

The castle is magnificently sited, overlooking Loch Ness, it is one of the largest castles in Scotland, with a long and colorful history. Built in the 1230s, seized by the English in 1296, sacked by the MacDonald Lords of the Isles in 1545 and left to fall into decay after 1689.

Next you will have a chance to spot the famous monster Nessie on a boat cruise on Loch Ness

Over 20 miles long, a mile wide and 700 feet at its deepest, Loch Ness is the largest lake in Scotland by volume. The surrounding area is filled with historic attractions, natural wonders and cosy places to stay. The Loch Ness Monster is just one of the many myths and legends to be discovered in this particularly beautiful part of Scotland.

Continue to Inverness where you will spend some time at leisure.

Later in the day you will continue to Aviemore and check into your hotel.

Overnight, dinner,  bed and breakfast at the Hilton Coylumbridge Hotel in Aviemore.

Day 6: The Highlands

First today you will visit Culloden Battlefield

Scene of the 1746 Battle of Culloden between the Jacobite and the British armies. As the last battle being fought on British soil, Culloden marks the beginning of the dismantlement of the structures of Highland society. In the aftermath of the battle, kilts and tartans were banned. It was here that the Jacobite army fought for a Stuart king in order to reclaim the throne of Britain from the Hanoverians. Today, 250 years on, Culloden is still a site that connects us intimately with Britain's past. Find out why this battle lasted only one hour but still changed the course of Scotland's history. Listen to accounts from genuine characters who were involved in the Battle, experience the battle in a 360 degrees theatre, get a bird's eye view of the forces and tactics at play.

Next stop by Clava Cairns

Clava Cairns is the site of an exceptionally well preserved group of prehistoric burial cairns that were built about 4,000 years ago. The Bronze Age cemetery complex comprises of passage graves, ring cairns, kerb cairn, standing stones in a beautiful setting. Excavations have found evidence for farming on the site before any of these monuments were built.

Return to your hotel in Aviemore.

Overnight, dinner, bed and breakfast at the Hilton Coylumbridge Hotel in Aviemore.

Day 7: Aviemore to Pitlochry

Depart your hotel in Aviemore and visit Leault Working Sheep Farm

Here the group will experience a live sheep dog demonstration. During a 45-minute demonstration amidst some of the most beautiful scenery in Scotland, you will see up to eight dogs working as a team manoeuvring sheep and ducks through various obstacles. Every dog has its own set of commands enabling visitors to see just how each of them responds to their individual whistles and each move by the dogs is explained by their handler, Neil Ross. This truly is an experience not to be missed, giving people of all ages the chance to enjoy and participate in the traditional working day of a Highland Shepherd and his dogs. Meet the collie pups, bottle-feed the orphan lambs and take part in shearing a sheep.

Continue to Pitlochry and visit Edradour Distillery

Dating back to 1825, Edradour, stands alone as the last stronghold of handmade single malt whisky from a farm distillery still in production today. Hidden in the very heart of Perthshire, this picturesque ‘little Model Village’ of Edradour is steeped in a history of intrigue to inspire the imagination. And, with matchless commitment to retaining authentic small scale production, Edradour uniquely boasts over 25 distinctive expressions of Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky with their wonderful characters and flavours.

Check into your hotel.

Overnight, dinner, bed and breakfast at the Atholl Palace Hotel in Pitlochry.

Day 8: Pitlochry to Edinburgh

First today visit Glamis Castle

Glamis Castle is a living and breathing monument to Scottish heritage. The family home of the Earls of Strathmore and Kinghorne, Glamis Castle is the legendary setting for Shakespeare's Macbeth, the childhood home of HM Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother and the birthplace of Princess Margaret. Steeped in history, Glamis Castle has evolved over the years to create a stunning architectural treasure that is full of vitality to this day. You will not fail to be touched by every painting, every piece of furniture, every little detail along the way, as they are sharp reminders that this is not a museum but an incredible family home.

Continue to Edinburgh via the famous Forth Rail Bridge

Located 9 miles (14 km) west of Edinburgh, the Forth Railway Bridge is a remarkable cantilever structure which is still regarded as an engineering marvel and is recognised the world over. The bridge was built to carry the two tracks of the North British Railway the 1½ miles (2½ km) over the Firth of Forth between South Queensferry and North Queensferry, at a height of 46m (150 feet) above the high tide.

Overnight, bed and breakfast at the Mercure Princess Street Hotel in Edinburgh.

Day 9: Edinburgh

This morning enjoy a panoramic city tour of Edinburgh

Edinburgh is one of the world’s finest cities. Its magnificent architecture shifts from the lofty buildings of its medieval Old Town, as they tumble down the Royal Mile, to the graceful houses of the Georgian New Town. City tour including the Georgian New Town and photo stop on Calton Hill to admire the splendid views of the city and the historic Old Town. Overlooking it all perches Edinburgh Castle, the medieval fortress which dominates the city’s skyline.

Visit Edinburgh Castle

The most famous of Scottish castles has a complex building history. The oldest part, St Margaret's Chapel, dates from the 12th century; the Great Hall was erected by James IV around 1510; the Half Moon Battery by the Regent Morton in the late 16th century; and the Scottish National War Memorial after the First World War The castle houses the Honours (Crown Jewels) of Scotland, the Stone of Destiny, the famous 15th century gun Mons Meg, the One O' Clock Gun and the National War Museum of Scotland. It is here that in the 11th Century, Queen Margaret, directed the defence of her adopted homeland two decades after the same Norman had slaughtered her brother and the nobles of Saxon England at the Battle of Hastings in 1066. Margaret, who was known for her saintly deeds and devotion to Christ, died during the siege and her body was lowered down the walls to prevent its capture and desecration by the Normans.

Overnight, bed and breakfast at the Mercure Princess Street Hotel in Edinburgh.

Day 10:  Farewell

Transfer to Edinburgh Airport.

 

 

 

 

 

Overnight, bed and breakfast at your Edinburgh hotel or area.

 

Day 11: Farewell

 

Transfer to Edinburgh Airport.