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Few countries can boast a traditional culture as distinctive as Scotland. From haggis and whisky, to men in kilts playing the bagpipes, this proud country's local customs are recognized throughout the world. Scotland is a land of hilltop castles, formidable fortresses, and mist-cloaked glens. Over the course of your tour, you will have an opportunity immerse yourself in the unique sights, sounds, flavors, and history of this enchanting land.
June 14-23, 2024 (departing USA June 13, 2024)
July 12-21, 2024 (departing USA July 11, 2024)
August 2-11, 2024 (departing USA August 1, 2024)
August 16-25, 2024 (departing USA August 15, 2024)
From $6695 Per Person; Double Occupancy: Single Supplement: $1800**
Highlights of Edinburgh (3 Nights)
Day 1: Edinburgh. Arrive Edinburgh Airport where after clearing customs we meet our Driver & Guide. Enjoy a Panoramic Tour of Edinburgh. Travel along the Grassmarket, a paradise of independent merchants and eateries with a rich history. Stop to visit Greyfriars Bobby, the loyal Skye Terrier who remained by his master's grave for fourteen years. Travel down the Royal Mile past St Giles Cathedral, the historic City Church of Edinburgh with its famed crown spire. Also known as the High Kirk of Edinburgh, it is the Mother Church of Presbyterianism and contains the Chapel of the Order of the Thistle (Scotland's chivalric company of knights headed by the Queen). Continue past The Scottish Parliament building to the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the official residence of the Queen in Scotland. The palace was home to Mary Queen of Scots for six years and houses beautiful tapestries and paintings. Now take the opportunity to compare the old and the new by taking a trip around the New Town through Charlotte Square to the Georgian House to experience the elegance of 18th-century living in Edinburgh’s New Town. Designed in 1791 by Robert Adam, Scotland’s foremost 18th-century architect, Charlotte Square was one of the most fashionable and desirable residential addresses in the New Town. The rest of the day at leisure. Overnight Apex Waterloo Hotel (or similar).
Day 2: Private Day Tour Edinburgh Today we meet our private guide in the lobby of the hotel for a delightful Walking Tour. At the top of the Royal Mile and overlooking Princes Street Gardens and the New Town is Edinburgh Castle. We take the fast-track VIP entrance to tour to castle. In 1566 Mary Queen of Scots gave birth to James VI in the royal palace within the castle and the tiny bed-closet still survives. Most importantly to Scots, in 1996 the Stone of Destiny, Scotland’s coronation stone, was placed in the Crown Room alongside the nation’s Crown Jewels, (the Honours of Scotland), following its return from Westminster after a space of 800 years. We make our way to visit Ocean Terminal and view the Royal Yacht Brittania where presidents, kings and queens were entertained. It was, first and foremost, the home from home of the Royal family when entertaining abroad. Afternoon at leisure. Tonight, we enjoy the “Taste of Scotland” dinner show at The Prestonfield House in Edinburgh. Overnight Apex Waterloo Dinner this evening @ The Prestonfield House (Taste of Scotland).
Day 3: Edinburgh-St Andrews-Edinburgh. We meet our Driver & Guide in the lobby of the hotel. Travel north over the Forth Road Bridge into the Kingdom of Fife and east to take in the sights of St. Andrews. St. Andrews Cathedral ruins - the Cathedral dominated the history of the medieval church in Scotland from its construction in the 12th century until the Protestant Reformation in 1560. Scotland’s largest and most magnificent medieval church, the cathedral was the seat of Scotland’s leading bishops. St Andrews Castle is the ruins of the castle of the Archbishops of St Andrews, dating in part from the 13th century. In the town centre on North Street see the stunning St. Salvator's Chapel, the chapel is a rare and beautiful example of Late Gothic architecture. You cannot miss St. Andrews University, the educational location of the William and Kate, as St Salvator’s Quadrangle sits behind the Chapel. Travel to South Street and The Tower of Holy Trinity, a Category ‘A’ listed building, and the most historic church in St Andrews. This was where John Knox first preached in public in June 1547. Take the opportunity to stroll along Market and South Street where there are many unique shops and good restaurants for you to enjoy some refreshments. Return to Edinburgh where rest of the day is at leisure. Overnight Apex Waterloo.
Highlights of Inverness (2 Nights)
Day 4: Edinburgh-Inverness. You will begin your tour by travelling over the Queensferry Crossing and north to Dunkeld for a short stop before continuing north to the estates of Balmoral, where you can visit Her Majesty the Queen’s current Scottish home and summer residence of the Queen, Balmoral Castle, set amongst the magnificent scenery of Royal Deeside and in the shadows of Lochnagar. Purchased by Queen Victoria in 1848, the Estate has been the Scottish Home of the British Royal Family ever since and covers about 20,000 hectares of heather clad hills and ancient Caledonian woodland. Glenfiddich Distillery in the Valley of the Deer for a tour. Start the story with a short film and get closer to their family spirit. Walk through the Mash House with the knowledgeable guides, where the highest quality raw ingredients are being prepared for fermentation. Here you will learn how their signature pear flavour is created. Step into our Still House, where shining copper stills are fired, and a precious distillate is condensed and end in Warehouse 1 where hearty earthen aromas from whiskies that have been gently maturing for generations fill the air. Finally spend time nosing and tasting the beautifully aged and crafted Glenfiddich 12, 15 and 18-Year-Old whiskies. We enjoy lunch here at the Malt Barn. Continue to Inverness. Overnight Culloden House (or similar).
Day 5: Inverness-Nairn-Culloden-Inverness. Morning at leisure. This afternoon we head towards Nairn to visit Cawdor Castle which dates from the late 14th century and was built as a private fortress by the Thanes of Cawdor. The ancient medieval tower was built around the legendary holly-tree and is not another cold monument, but a splendid house and the home of the Campbell family to this day. You may enjoy afternoon tea with some home baking in the Courtyard Café. Round off today with a visit to Culloden Battlefield where the last hand-to-hand battle was fought on British soil which takes on a whole new meaning with the opening of an exciting new visitor centre and interactive exhibition. The battlefield itself is now restored to as close as possible that marched on by the two sides on that fateful day. Next you may stroll along the Ness Islands before returning to Inverness. Dinner and overnight Culloden House.
Highlights of Inverlochy (2 Nights)
Day 6: Inverness-Oban. This morning you will travel the short distance to the Clansman Harbor for a 2-hour Jacobite Cruise to enjoy the stunning views of the surrounding mountains from the loch and sail the deepest part using the Jacobite sonar then alight at Urquhart Castle where you will have the chance to explore for an hour before cruising back up the loch to the Clansman Harbour. We then continue south Visit the Ben Nevis Distillery where you will get a chance to take a guided tour around the 178-year-old whisky distillery, meet a giant of a man, Hector McDram, visit the whisky shop and restaurant then 'take a dram' and savor the Uisge beatha - the water of life. We then ride on the Nevis Range Gondola for spectacular views of Britain’s highest mountain. Travel over the Ballachulish bridge to Glencoe to enjoy some of the most spectacular mountain scenery anywhere. This area is steeped in history, and at the Visitors Centre you will hear about the infamous 1692 massacre of Clan MacDonald and view the Paps of Glencoe from the vantage point. Just south is Oban, the unofficial capital of the West Highlands and a busy working port as fishing and pleasure craft rub shoulders in the harbor. Often described as the ‘Gateway to the Isles’, Oban is the main port for ferries departing to the Inner Hebrides. This thriving community boasts one of the most picturesque settings to be found, with houses clinging to steep hillsides surrounding the calm bay and dominating the skyline is McCaig’s Tower, a coliseum-style monument Overnight Perle Oban Hotel (or similar).
Day 7: Jacobite Steam Train- Fort William. After breakfast, all aboard! The Jacobite runs 41 miles between Fort William and Mallaig, passing through an area of great scenic beauty including alongside 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. Once we arrive in Mallaig we enjoy a lunch of Fish & Chips. Our Driver meets us and we return to Oban. Overnight Perle Oban.
Highlights of Loch Lomond (2 Nights)
Day 8: Oban-Bishopton. Some free time in Oban to explore. Turn inland to travel down Loch Awe passing Kilchurn Castle, a four-story tower built in the mid-15th century by Sir Colin Campbell, 1st of Glenorchy. Continue to Inveraray, a picturesque small town on the banks of Loch Fyne where you can visit Inveraray Castle or ‘Duneagle Castle’, home to the Duke of Argyll and the recent Downton Abbey, with beautifully preserved interiors spanning many generations of Campbells Travel south along Loch Lomond, the loch renowned for its incredible beauty and tranquility and much written about in both song and verse. Almost 25miles long, Loch Lomond is the largest fresh water lock in in the UK. We then arrive in our accommodation. Dinner and overnight at Mar Hall Hotel, Golf & Spa Resort.
Day 9: Mar Hall Resort. Day at leisure. Overnight at Mar Hall Hotel, Golf & Spa Resort (or similar).
Day 10: Private Transfer to Glasgow Airport (One Group Transfer).
**IMPORTANT INFORMATION: Itinerary subject to change. Premier Tours & Travel reserves the right to modify programs and itineraries (including arranged sightseeing, accommodations, dining experiences, aircraft, trains, vessels, and so forth) at any time due to unforeseen circumstances or circumstances beyond Premier Tours & Travel’s control, including force majeures. In the instance our Expert host cancels due to unforeseen circumstances, Premier Tours & Travel has the right to substitute another Expert host, such as a chef, in such an emergency (timing allowed) and/or the tour will continue in its entirety. Every effort is made to operate our itineraries as planned but alterations may need to be made after the final itinerary has been issued. Airfare is not included. Deposits are utilized to secure services on your behalf and are nonrefundable. Deposits are transferrable to a future Expertly Done Culinary & Wine Travel tour. Wine is included as noted otherwise alcoholic beverages are the responsibility of each adult guest. Guests are limited to one carry on and one checked baggage and will be responsible for any additional fees charged for additional luggage. Please see Key Items to Know Before You Leave Home in Terms & Conditions. One glass of wine is provided with the Welcome and Farewell Dinners; additional beverages will be the responsibility of each passenger at the time of service. Airfare is not included. Transportation is provided if your flight arrives during the designated time for group transfers; if not, transportation from the airport will be your responsibility.
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