Celebrate the very Best of the Scottish Highlands – the land of open skies, rugged mountains, sparkling lochs, romantic castles, culture and history.
From the stunning Road to the Isles and legendary Loch Ness to the mysterious Black Isle, this holiday features a host of Highland highlights. Take a ride on the Strathspey Steam Railway, visit a 16th-century castle and a whisky distillery, and take a cruise on the Moray Firth, home to around 190 resident bottlenose dolphins and a wealth of bird life. Discover the beauty and variety, and warm welcomes, that this very special part of the world has to offer in the company of our friendly, knowledgeable tour manager.
- Spot dolphins on a cruise on the Moray Firth
- A tour of the Black Isle
- Enjoy a ride on the nostalgic Strathspey Steam Railway
- An unforgettable journey on the Road to the Isles from Fort William to Mallaig
- Discover the beauty of the Moray Coast and visit Brodie Castle
- Enjoy the chance to go monster hunting on a boat trip on Loch Ness
- An opportunity to join a tour and tasting at the Dalwhinnie whisky distillery
- Six nights’ dinner, bed and Scottish breakfast accommodation at the three-star Carrbridge Hotel
- Visits to Inverness, Aviemore, Elgin, Loch Ness and Dalwhinnie
- A dolphin cruise and Strathspey Railway journey
- A tour of the Black Isle Visit to Brodie Castle (entrance payable locally by non National Trust members)
- Return flights to Inverness
- Coach travel throughout your time in Scotland
- Escorted by a friendly, experienced tour manager
Single supplements apply. Offer is subject to availability.
Day One – Fly to Inverness
Following your flight into Inverness airport you will be met by your tour manager and make the short transfer to Carrbridge. Depending on your flight time you might be able to explore Inverness before checking in to your hotel.
Spend the rest of the day relaxing at your hotel or in the pretty village. Opposite your hotel, you’ll find the famous Packhorse Bridge, which dates back to 1717 and is reputed to be one of the oldest bridges in Scotland.
Day Two – Included Brodie Castle and Moray Coast tour
This morning we head to the rose-coloured, turreted Brodie Castle (entrance payable locally but free to National Trust members), the ancestral home of the Brodie clan for over 400 years and a treasure trove of priceless antiques and artefacts. The castle building reflects the changing needs of the residents over the centuries – from the impenetrable 16th-century guard chamber to a sprawling Victorian extension with some magnificent rooms. A guided tour will help you make the very most of your visit. The beautiful grounds, which boast a dazzling display of daffodils in the spring, are also well worth exploring.
Later in the day you’ll have the chance to see some of the renowned Moray Coast, and to explore the fine, historic town of Elgin with its warren of alleys and closes, and awe-inspiring cathedral ruins.
Day Three – Inverness, the Black Isle and Dolphin Cruise
Explore the capital of the Highlands today as we visit Inverness. This thriving city is home to a delightful Victorian Market, an excellent museum and art gallery, and some attractive riverside walks. We’ll also enjoy a short tour of the Black Isle, which is neither black nor an island, but rather a delightful scenic peninsula surrounded by three bodies of water. We’ll stop at Fortrose and the charming nautical town of Cromarty.
Your day ends as you board the Dolphin Spirit to enjoy a cruise around the inner Moray Firth in the hopes of spotting the Firth’s resident bottlenose dolphins. A specialist guide will give a full commentary so that you don’t miss anything.
Day Four – Visit to Loch Ness
No holiday to the Highlands would be complete without visiting beautiful, mysterious Loch Ness. We’ll head to Fort Augustus, at the southern tip of the loch, where a series of locks join it to the Caledonian Canal, and the Caledonian Canal Heritage Centre gives a fascinating insight into the history and operation of the canal. From here, we’ll head past the dramatic ruins of Urquhart Castle to Drumnadrochit, where you may like to visit the Loch Ness Exhibition Centre, which is packed with information about the loch, or perhaps take a boat trip (payable locally) to go monster hunting. Nature lovers are in for a treat as the wooded shores of the Loch are home to an abundance of wildlife, including cormorants and ospreys.
Day Five – Strathspey Steam Railway and visit to Dalwhinnie
This morning you’ll take a ride on the nostalgic Strathspey Steam Railway through the Cairngorm National Park, home to five of Scotland’s six highest mountains. Sit back and relax as your vintage train spends 45 minutes steaming through the lovely Spey Valley, following the River Spey past heather-clad moors and forests.
Your day also includes a visit to the Highland village of Dalwhinnie where you can explore, or visit the Dalwhinnie Distillery to enjoy a guided tour and the chance to sample three different single malts (entry and tour payable locally).
Day Six – The road to the Isles from Fort William to Mallaig
We head west today, following the evocatively named Road to the Isles from Fort William to Mallaig. On this wonderfully scenic day we’ll pass landscapes ranging from sandy beaches to flowering heather moors and dense woodland. We’ll stop at the Glenfinnan Visitor Centre, from where you can see the lone Highlander atop the Glenfinnan Monument looking out over Loch Shiel. Take the short uphill walk from the centre to get a wonderful view of the famous Glenfinnan Viaduct.
The road ends at the thriving fishing port of Mallaig. Don’t miss the town’s heritage centre, and if you’re fond of kippers you’ll go a long way to find any that taste better than those found here.
At the end of a long but incredibly scenic day we’ll return to the hotel.
Day Seven – Fly back to your local airport
Today you’ll travel back to Inverness airport to catch your flight home at the end of a wonderful break in the Highlands. Those not flying until the afternoon will also enjoy a short visit to the Victorian seaside town of Nairn, where pretty walking trails run alongside the river and a seafront promenade overlooks the Moray Firth.
Best of the Scottish Highlands
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