Scotland has long been known for it's history and culture, but it is also a land of amazing scenery. From purple heather covered mountains to a coastline peppered with islands and sea lochs, the West Coast has amazing vistas at every turn and views last seen on the lid of a Shortbread tin! This trip covers some of the country's must see spots, as well as some out of the way places that you may not have heard of.
Day 1 - Arrive Edinburgh
- You will arrive in Edinburgh today, and settle in to your hotel.
- There are no activities planned for today, but if you arrive early we recommend getting out and exploring some of Edinburgh's iconic sights.
- You may wish to visit Edinburgh Castle, Hollyrood House, the new Scottish Parliament building, the Royal Yacht Britannia at Leith, or the Museum of Scotland.
- Another lovely way to spend your time is taking a walk up Calton Hill for a great view over the city and the Firth of Forth. Similarly wandering around the beautiful Georgian terraces of Edinburgh's New Town is a great option.
Day 2 - Edinburgh to Oban
- You will leave Edinburgh today and head west.
- Your journey will take you to Stirling Castle, the Wallace Monument commemorating Sir William Wallace's victory at Stirling Bridge, and Bannockburn battlefield site.
- In June 1314, King Robert the Bruce routed the forces of King Edward II to win freedom for the Scots from English domination.
- From Bannockburn, you will carry on via the Trossachs National Park and the pretty village of Crianlarich to Oban, the gateway to the Isles. On arrival, the energetic among you might enjoy a short but steep hike up the hill to visit McCaig’s Tower, the Colosseum lookalike which stands above the town and provides spectacular views over the bay and islands.
Day 3 - Oban to Tobermory
- This morning, you will take a ferry from Oban to the Isle of Mull before jumping on another boat for a coastal tour around Mull, Iona and Staffa.
- This area is a haven for a huge variety of wildlife including whales, dolphins, seals, sea otters and huge numbers of sea and water birds. Iona is known as the burial place of Kings and many ancient kings lie there including Macbeth. It also has a beautifully restored Benedictine Monastery.
- Staffa is tiny island formed from basalt columns. It is home to a puffin colony and the famous Fingal's Cave. Felix Mendelssohn, visited here and was inspired to compose the Hebrides Overture, also known as Fingal's Cave.
- You will sleep overnight in the beautiful village of Tobermory with its many coloured houses.
Day 4 - Tobermory to Fort William
- You will leave the Inner Hebrides behind today and return to the mainland by ferry.
- From here you will travel on to the spectacular Glen Nevis, a valley that nestles in the shadow of Ben Nevis, the highest peak in Scotland.
- There are walks of various lengths and gradients to choose from with plenty of time to enjoy the stunning scenery.
- You will travel on to Fort William for the night, via the Commando Memorial at Spean Bridge. This commemorates the site where commandos who trained at nearby Achnacarry Castle, had to get off the train and march in full kit.
- If they didn't make the 11 km's in 60 minutes, they were out.
Day 5 - Fort William to Skye
- This morning you will take the Jacobite Steam Train from fort William to Mallaig, described as one of the most spectacular train journeys in the world. The scenery is stunning.
- You will cross the Glenfinnan viaduct that was used as a location in Harry Potter on your way to Mallaig.
- Here, you will swap train for ferry for the short crossing over to Skye. You will embark on a tour of Skye upon arrival, which includes a visit to the Tallisker distillery for a Whiskey tasting and distillery tour.
Day 6 - Skye to Drumnadrochit and Loch Ness
- Before leaving Skye this morning, you will visit Dunvegan Castle, home to the chiefs of the Clan Macleod for the last 800 years.
- You will cross the bridge over Loch Alsh to the mainland before carrying on to Loch Ness.
- Here you will visit Urquhart Castle in its magnificent setting on the banks of Loch Ness before staying overnight in Drumnadrochit.
Day 7 - Loch Ness to Glasgow
- This morning, you will leave the Highlands for a journey south to Glasgow.
- First you will travel down the length of Loch Ness through beautiful Highland scenery.
- You’ll then skirt the Western edge of the Trossachs National Park before driving along the banks of Loch Lomond.
- There will be time for a detour to the coastal town of Helensburgh for a visit to Hill House.
- Charles Rennie Macintosh, an architect in the Arts and Crafts style, who was prolific in the West of Scotland during the early 20th Century, designed Hill House.
- From Helensburgh, it's just a short drive into Glasgow where you will have a last meal together.
Day 8 - Glasgow - Tour ends after breakfast
- Your tour will come to an end today after breakfast.
- If you're staying on in Glasgow, we recommend a visit to the Burrell Collection. A huge eclectic collection of art and artifacts assembled by the millionaire philanthropist Sir William Burrell, which sits in a glass structure in Pollock Park. It is like viewing art in a forest.