Enjoy a comprehensive tour of some of the best bits of ‘bonnie Scotland’. We visit the second city, Glasgow – the industrial heart of the country with its shipbuilding and engineering past. Today Glasgow boasts world class museums, impressive architecture and a plethora of boutiques and artisan eateries.
Heading out of the city we arrive at Trossachs National Park, just a short drive from Glasgow but you could not feel more removed from the hustle and bustle. We drive through rolling hills and glens to the glistening waters of the largest lake in United Kingdom, Loch Lomond.
Here we enjoy a leisurely cruise on the calm waters before we drive through the northern end of the park towards the highland town of Dunkeld.
This charming town is our base from where we explore the magnificent Queens View, Blair Athol Distillery and meet the Highland Chocolatier.
Departing the highlands, we stop at Scone Palace the crowning place of the Kings of Scots before arriving in Leith for a visit aboard the Royal Yacht Britannia and a wonderous overnight stay aboard Fingal, a luxury floating hotel – a truly unique experience. Our final stop is the Scottish capital, Edinburgh where we explore the iconic Edinburgh Castle, Palace of Holyroodhouse and the world-renowned Edinburgh Botanic Gardens.
Our tour concludes with a visit to the Scotch Whisky Experience to learn about and sample this iconic tipple
What You’ll Love
- Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum and Glasgow Panoramic City Tour
- Cruise on Loch Lomond and Blair Athol Distillery Tour
- Chocolate tasting with the Highland Chocolatier, Iain Burnett
- Tour of the Royal Yacht Britannia
- Visit to Edinburgh Castle, Palace of Holyroodhouse and Edinburgh Botanical Gardens
- Meals – as per the itinerary
- Comfortable coach travel throughout
- Services of a professional tour manager
Travel independently to Glasgow where we begin a Panoramic City Tour to discover the wonders of Scotland’s largest city. During its colourful past the city has had many guises from a religious community, a fishing village and from a medieval university town to the second city of the British Empire.
In 1990 Glasgow was voted Europe’s City of Culture whilst more recently (2014) Glasgow hosted the Commonwealth Games. Most notably in its recent past the city has been famed for its shipbuilding and engineering. Our tour takes us around the city exploring the most notable attractions and museums as well as some fantastic architecture including works by the Scottish designer Charles Rennie Mackintosh.
This morning we head to The Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum which was first opened in 1901 as the Palace of Fine Arts for the International Exhibition that year. It is today one of the most visited attractions in Scotland featuring 22 themed galleries displaying over 8,000 artifacts. The collections that are housed at Kelvingrove are wide-ranging and are of international significance, covering areas of interest such as natural history, arms and armour and a variety of art from various schools and movements, notably the so-called ‘Glasgow Boys’.
The afternoon will be at leisure to explore the city; you may choose to discover some of the cities other wonderful attractions including the recently re-open Burrell Collection, the Riverside Museum, the Gallery of Modern Art, the Science Centre or the gothic Glasgow Cathedral.
Today, we say farewell to Glasgow and travel northwards into the Trossachs National Park enjoying the scenery and glittering lake waters as we pass by. Our destination is the charming village of Tarbet perched on the banks of Loch Lomond from where we will depart on a scenic cruise exploring the largest “lake” in Great Britain in the shadow of Ben Lomond.
After our cruise we depart for a scenic drive continuing through the northern end of the national park, along the banks of the river and Loch Tay towards the historic town of Dunkeld.
Today we take a scenic drive to Queens View where, lying at the heart of highland Perthshire, it is a stunning viewpoint looking westward along Loch Tummel. Once thought to be named after Queen Victoria who visited in 1866, it is now believed to have been named after Isabella, the first wife of Robert the Bruce some 500 years previously.
Later this morning we are joined by the Highland Chocolatier, Iain Burnett for a chocolate tasting session on board our coach. Iain is an award-winning master chocolatier of the Belgian, French and Swiss schools and is world renowned for this velvet truffles and spiced pralines. After the tasting, you are free to venture into the chocolate shop to purchase some tasty treats.
This afternoon we head to the Blair Athol Distillery located in moorlands to the south of Pitlochry where we can take a sneak peek at the ins and outs of a working distillery. After we are guided through the distillery, we can enjoy a tutored tasting of six exceptional whiskies. The tasting includes a cask strength whisky and the distilleries exclusive bottling.
We depart this morning for Scone Palace, perched above the River Tay in Perthshire. Its enviable location overlooks the routes northwards to the Highlands and eastwards through Strathmore to the coast. The Grampian Mountains make a dramatic backdrop and across the river you can gaze upon the city of Perth. Scone Palace throughout its history has been the seat of parliaments as well as the crowning place of the Kings of Scots including both Macbeth and Robert the Bruce.
Later, we continue southwards to Leith where we step onboard the Royal Yacht Britannia. This former royal “residence” sailed some 1,000,000 nautical miles on over 950 state visits with the Royal Family. Our tour takes us around the ship discovering the many stories of life at sea for not only the Royal Family but also the crew who served them onboard.
In the early evening we head to Fingal our home for the evening. This luxurious floating hotel is berthed on Edinburgh’s vibrant waterfront and combines sumptuous accommodation; the style of a superyacht with an old-world sophistication that will surely make it a night to remember. We are treated this evening to an exquisite fine dining experience in the ballroom, where we can enjoy a delicious three course menu including wine, tea, coffee and petit fours all handmade by the talented team of chefs onboard.
This morning, we depart for the heart of the Scottish capital where we find one of the country’s most exciting historical sites, Edinburgh Castle. Perched atop of Castle Rock this mighty landmark stands sentinel over the capital and dominates the city’s skyline for miles. The castle has played pivotal roles throughout its 1,100 year history having been involved in conflicts such as the Wars of Scottish Independence in the 14th century and the Jacobite uprising in the 18th century. Today the castle is a symbol of Scotland and remains one of the most visited sites in the United Kingdom. We have the chance to experience this magnificent fortification, exploring the Great Hall, St Margaret’s Chapel and the Scottish National War Memorial.
This afternoon we head to the official royal residence of The Queen when in Edinburgh, the Palace of Holyroodhouse. Located at the end of the Royal Mile, it has been associated with notable figures throughout history including Mary Queen of Scots and Bonnie Prince Charlie. On our visit we can explore the 14 historic and state apartments, the ruins of the 12th century Holyrood Abbey and the manicured gardens.
We start today at the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh, one of the finest botanic gardens in the world. The gardens offers fantastic views of the capital’s skyline and we can discover its fascinating history, which dates back 300 years, learn about its plantings and walk around 70 acres of beautiful landscaped grounds. The world-famous Rock Garden is a particular highlight. James McNab built the first rock garden at Inverleith in 1871 which comprised of numerous small, straight-sided compartments, each planted and distinctly labelled. In 1914 a new Rock Garden was completed using conglomerate rock from the Callander area in Perthshire, and red sandstone from Dumfries. Today there is approximately 5,000 species planted at any one time.
Later, we head to the Scotch Whisky Experience where we have a guided tour as well as a nosing and tasting of a single or blended Scotch Whisky. Throughout the tour we can appreciate the world’s largest collection of Scotch Whisky and have an introduction into the production of this iconic tipple.
This morning is at your leisure before the group disperses.