Be prepared for a trip of a lifetime on this immersive journey around Scotland taking in its history, beauty and culture.

This 11 day / 10 night adventure lets you experience the iconic areas in Scotland at a relaxed pace and you can truly experience what this fascinating country has to offer. This tour starts in Edinburgh and finishes in Glasgow, taking in both cities with a huge amount of exploration in between including the Highlands and the Isle of Skye.
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Tour Route Book a Guide Tour Itinerary Hotel Suggestions

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

  • Edinburgh Castle and The Royal Mile
  • Andrews Cathedral and the Famous Old Course
  • Cairngorm National Park
  • Highland Folk Museum
  • Culloden Battlefield
  • Whisky distillery and tasting
  • Dunrobin Castle
  • Isle of Skye
  • Loch Ness (Monster not guaranteed)
  • Glenfinnan Viaduct and Monument
  • Glen Coe and Rannoch Moor
  • Loch Lomond and The Trossachs
  • Stirling Castle
  • Glasgow Cathedral and Kelvingrove Museum and Art Gallery
  • * Additional day can be added to go to Ayrshire and Robert Burns Country

 

OVERNIGHT STAYS

Arrive into Edinburgh and depart from Glasgow.

  • 2 nights Edinburgh
  • 1 night Pitlochry
  • 2 nights Inverness
  • 2 nights Isle of Skye
  • 1 night Stirling
  • 2 nights Glasgow

 

TOUR ROUTE


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HOW TO BOOK A GUIDE FOR THIS TOUR

Average 2018 Rates for STGA Guides. More About Guide Rates.

Service Average Rate
English Half Day (up to 4 hrs) £150 – £175
English Full Day (up to 8 hrs) £215 – £270
Language Half Day (up to 4 hrs) £190 – £215
Language Full Day (up to 8 hrs) £275 – £310
Driver Guide Half Day (up to 4 hrs) £320 – £370
Driver Guide Full Day (up to 8 hrs) £460 – £520

 

   Our guides can be booked through our Booking Service, or by contacting the guide directly.

 

USE OUR GUIDE BOOKING SERVICE

Please contact our Guide Booking Service on bookings@stga.co.uk or phone (+44) 01786 451 953 to discuss your requirements. In addition to guide fees above, please note that the following booking fees apply when using our booking service:

Booking Type Booking Fee
Half Day Tour £13.00
Full Day Tour £20.00
Extended Tour (more than one day) £28.00

We are open 09:00 – 17:00 Monday – Friday.

 

BOOK A GUIDE DIRECTLY

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To book a guide directly, use the guide search above to find the right guide for your tour. Contact the guide using their contact details provided, and arrange the tour with them directly.

 

 

OTHER IMPORTANT INFORMATION

  • The average fees quoted above do not include the guide’s meals or accommodation, which you must provide for.
  • The average fees quoted above do not include entrance fees to venues or attractions. Our guides do receive free entry to most venues and attractions in Scotland.
  • Other expenses, such as the guide’s travel expenses to to/from the start/finish location of the tour may apply.
  • We strongly recommend that tour operators using our guides arrange for themselves suitable travel, medical, and cancellation insurance.

 

TOUR ITINERARY

DAY 1:  ARRIVAL INTO EDINBURGH

Spend your first day exploring Scotland’s capital City and learn about its volcanic then frozen past that helped sculpt the unique landscape the city is built upon.

Edinburgh’s Old Town is based around the Royal Mile which links the Castle at the top and Holyrood Palace at the bottom. There are many closes and side streets with lots of stories to tell about Edinburgh’s colourful characters. Enjoy a visit to the Castle and a walking tour of the Old Town including Greyfriars Graveyard and St.Giles Cathedral.

09:00 –  Arrive in to EDI airport – Meet your Blue Badge Tourist Guide and driver and take the short journey into the City. Take a panoramic Tour of the City including Holyrood Park and Arthurs Seat before parking near the Castle.

11:00 – Guided Tour of Edinburgh Castle (Tickets included with Historic Scotland Explorer Pass)
Edinburgh Castle is a dominant fortress that has had a variety of purposes in its turbulent past. Some of the highlights include the Crown jewels, Stone of Destiny, St. Margaret’s Chapel, Mons Meg and the National War Memorial.
 Edinburgh Castle: 0131 225 9846

12:30 – Lunch on own in Castle or Group lunch at Maxies Bistro at the top of the Royal Mile.
 Maxies Bistro: 0131 226 7770

14:00 – Continue with guide on short walking tour of the Royal Mile and Greyfriars Graveyard.
Venture with your guide down many of the closes that make up Edinburgh’s Old Town and learn about characters such as Deacon Brodie who it has been said was the inspiration behind Robert Louise Stevenson’s ‘Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde’. Hear stories of grave robbers, ghosts, Greyfriars Bobby and discover the areas where JK Rowling got some of her ideas for Harry Potter. St.Giles Cathedral and the City Chambers are the dominant buildings that make up the High Street part of the Royal Mile and learn about Edinburgh’s once thriving and lively market place.

15:30 – Take coach or walk to hotel and check in for a 2 night stay.
Evening at leisure or Group dinner.

Overnight Stay Edinburgh (accommodation options and suggestions provided on page 18).

 

DAY 2:  PANORAMIC TOUR AND VISITS TO THE ROYAL YACHT BRITANNIA AND ROSSLYN CHAPEL

09:00 – Depart hotel for a panoramic tour of Edinburgh’s New Town with your Blue Badge guide.
Edinburgh’s New Town was designed by James Craig in 1760 and is one of the finest existing examples of Georgian architecture. Highlights include Charlotte Square, Bute House, George Street, Princes Street Gardens, St.Andrew’s Square. Your journey then takes you down to the Port of Leith where the Royal Yacht Britannia is now permanently berthed.

10:00 – Visit the Royal Yacht Britannia (Self-guided with audio tour)
Explore this wonderful ship which was the yacht for the Royal family from 1954 till 1997. During its career it travelled more than a million nautical miles all over the world. It is now an award-winning visitor attraction. You may also have time for a scone and a refreshment at the Royal Deck Tea Room.
 Royal Yacht Britannia: 0131 555 5566

12:30 – Continue by coach on your panoramic Tour back into Edinburgh and stop for lunch.

13:00 – Lunch own arrangements or Group Lunch in the New Town.

15:00 – With coach take a guided tour out of Edinburgh heading south past the University buildings to the small village of Roslin.
Here you will go past Surgeon’s Hall and University buildings before the scenery changes into open countryside with views of the Pentland Hills.

15:45 – Arrive Rosslyn Chapel *
This is a stunning 15th Century chapel which is intricately carved. Its most famous for featuring in the Da Vinci Code movie and book by Dan Brown.
There are many secrets and conspiracies related to the chapel and here you will be able to find out, discover and be enchanted by its beauty.
The Chapel has talks conducted by their onsite staff included in the ticket.
 Rosslyn Chapel: 0131 440 2159

17:00 – Depart Rosslyn and take the short journey back to Edinburgh.

Overnight stay in Edinburgh

Free time to explore the many restaurants or option for a group dinner.

*An Alternative to Rosslyn Chapel would be a Holyrood Palace visit.

Holyrood Palace is the official Royal residence in Scotland. Here you can explore the many state rooms and chambers including the Long Gallery and the apartments of Mary Queen of Scots. The ruined Augustinian Abbey founded by David I in 1128 is also within the grounds.
 The Palace of Holyrood House: 0303 123 7306

 

DAY 3:  FIFE, ST. ANDREWS, AND ENTERING THE HIGHLANDS!

09:00 – Depart Hotel and journey north out of Edinburgh.
This journey takes us to South Queensferry named after Queen Margeret, the only Scottish monarch ever to be Sainted. She established a ferry over the River Forth in the 11th Century for pilgrims on their way north to St. Andrews. There is no ferry here now but there are spectacular Bridges!

09:45 – Arrive in South Queensferry for views of the Forth Rail Bridge and the road bridges.
The Rail Bridge was built in 1890 and was the largest steel structure of its kind when first built. It is now a UNESCO World Heritage site and here you will have spectacular views.

10:15 – Depart South Queensferry, cross over the River Forth and tour around the ‘East Neuk’ of Fife.
Here you will pass through picturesque fishing villages with wonderful views of the River Forth opening out to the North Sea.

12:00 – Arrive in St. Andrews and take a short panoramic tour of the town by coach. Your guide will then take you on a walking tour of the town exploring St. Andrews Castle and the Cathedral (included with Historic Scotland Explorer) as well as the University Buildings and of course the Historic Old Course.
St.Andrews is a vibrant town with a rich history. Its famous for its University and its status as the Home of Golf.
 St.Andrews Castle: 01334 477 196

13:00 – Enjoy St.Andrews at your leisure and there are a huge variety of places to have lunch, shop and of course get great photos of the Swilken Bridge on the 18th Fairway and the West Sands Beach which is famous for the opening scene of Chariots of Fire.
Group Lunch here also an option.

14:30 – Depart St.Andrews and travel through Fife towards the Highlands.
Here you will cross over the Highland Boundary Line and you will start to see heather clad hills and forests of pine.

16:00 – Arrive in Dunkeld
The name Dunkeld means ‘Fort of the Caledonians’ in Gaelic. Here enjoy a short walking tour with your guide to the Cathedral on the banks of the River Tay and hear about the Battle of Dunkeld 1689, one of the early Jacobite battles that took place and the struggle to restore the Stuarts to the throne.

16:45 – Depart Dunkeld and travel to Pitlochry.

17:20 – Arrive Pitlochry.*

Overnight in Pitlochry. Pitlochry is a picturesque Victorian town with plenty of charm.

Free time to explore the town – Group dinner options here too.

*option of staying in Dunkeld.

 

DAY 4:  CAIRNGORM NATIONAL PARK AND CULLODEN MOOR

09:00 – Depart Pitlochry and take the short journey to Blair Atholl.
Get your first views of the Perthshire countryside. Drive past the Pass of Killiecrankie which was the site of where the Jacobites led by ‘Bonnie Dundee’ defeated an army of Williamite Royalists.

09:30 – Arrive at Blair Atholl Castle and grounds. for a visit and guided tour.
Blair Castle is the seat of the Clan Murray and the Dukes of Atholl. Enjoy its rich history and explore its stunning grounds. Look out for the Blair Atholl Highland Cattle!
 Blair Atholl Castle: 01796 481 207

11:00 – Depart Blair Atholl and travel north through the Grampian Mountains.
The scenery becomes more rugged and dramatic as you continue north.

12:15 – Lunch in Newtonmore – Group lunch options here

13:30 – Visit the Highland Folk Museum in Newtonmore.
This is an open air museum which gives visitors a flavour of what it would have been like living in the Highlands in the 1700’s. The re-constructed Highland Village was also used in the TV series Outlander.
 Highland Folk Museum: 01540 673 551

14:40 – Depart the Highland Folk Museum and travel further north towards Inverness.
Here you will get great views of the Cairngorm Mountains within the largest National Park in Scotland.

16:00 – Arrive at Culloden Moor and Visitors Centre.
The site of the last pitched battle on British soil – here you will learn about the fate of the last Jacobite attempt to put James Francis Stuart on the throne, led by his son Bonnie Prince Charlie.
Your guide will take you round this haunting moor and you will have time to visit the visitors centre and exhibition.
 Culloden Moor: 01463 796 090

17:30 – Depart Culloden and take the short journey to Inverness, the Capital of the Highlands, our base of 2 nights.

Overnight for 2 nights Inverness – explore town at leisure or group dinner options
Inverness is the largest settlement in the Highlands and is based around the River Ness and its Castle. It has an abundance of restaurants and the tourist shops in the summer months are open till 2000.

 

DAY 5:  THE BLACK ISLE, SUTHERLAND AND DUNROBIN CASTLE

09:00 – Depart Inverness taking the Kessock Bridge over the Moray Firth, Cromarty Firth towards Portmahomack.
View the rolling and fertile countryside of the Black Isle and get views of the high peaks of Easter Ross. Here we learn of the ancient peoples of Scotland and hear stories about the Picts, Scots and Vikings.

10:20 – Arrive at Tarbat discovery centre, Portmahomack.
This old church has been converted into an interactive museum with incredible ancient artefacts including Pictish carved stone slabs.
 Tarbat Discovery Centre: 01862 871 351

11:20 – Depart Portmahomack and travel over the Dornoch Firth to the town of Dornoch

12:00 – Enjoy an early lunch here in Dornoch and explore its shops and beautiful Beaches.
Dornoch also has a championship golf course as well as a stunning Cathedral which is where Madonna and Guy Ritchie were married.
Group lunch options here.

13:10 – Depart Dornoch and travel to Dunrobin Castle the seat of the powerful Sutherland Family.

13:45 – Arrive Dunrobin Castle and visit the Castle and Grounds.
This is an incredible building with many rooms to explore. There is also a falconry display at 1400 included in the ticket. Learn of the family history dating back to the 13th Century and take photographs of this Scottish Baronial style Castle.
 Dunrobin Castle – 01408 633 177

15:40 – Depart Dunrobin Castle and travel back to Inverness.
Time and weather permitting we can go via Cromarty to see Dolphins and great views of the Moray Firth.

17:00 – Arrive Inverness for an overnight stay.
Enjoy evening at your leisure – Group dining options available.

 

DAY 6:  LOCH NESS AND TRAVELLING TO THE ISLE OF SKYE

09:00 – Depart Inverness and travel south down the Great Glen with views of the Northern part of Loch Ness.

09:30 – Arrive at the Clansman Harbour and take a boat trip on Loch Ness with Jacobite cruises. Take this cruise and get the best views of the Loch – keep your eyes out for any unusual sightings!
Loch Ness is an enormous body of water some 23 miles long but over 290 meters deep. Learn of its geography as well as its legends.
 Jacobite Cruises: 01463 233 999

11:00 – Arrive by cruise at Urquhart Castle and with your guide discover this iconic ruin.
You will be able to see at first hand the turbulent history of Urquhart Castle that was a vital fortress protecting the waterway of Loch Ness. It was largely destroyed in 1690 by the occupiers at the time – the Grant family, to avoid their enemies from taking it. It is an ideal place for photos of the Loch.

12:00 – Pick up at the Castle with the coach and travel to either Drumnadrochit or Invermoriston for Lunch. Group lunch options here at both places.

13:40 – Depart the Loch Ness area and travel west along Glen Moriston.
The scenery is incredible as you go from Glen Moriston to Glen Shiel with jagged peaks and eventually opening out to a Sea Loch – Loch Duich.

15:00 – Arrive at Eilean Donan Castle for photographs and a visit.
This is perhaps the most photographed Castle in Scotland and was used in films such as the ‘Highlander’, ‘Entrapment’ and James Bond ‘The World is not enough’.
 Eilean Donan Castle: 01599 555 202

16:20 – Depart Eilean Donan and drive over the Bridge to the Isle of Skye.

Overnight in Isle of Skye – Options can be at Portree the main town on the Island or other can be on the Mainland – Balmacara.

Overnight on or near the Isle of Skye for 2 nights

Dinner included option recommended for these 2 nights.
 

DAY 7:  ISLE OF SKYE DAY TOUR

 
This day tour allows you to explore all the best sights and places on the Island at a relaxing pace. Your guide and driver will recommend places for photographs and design the day around the group.

 

09:00 – Depart the hotel and begin our journey of this magical Island.
Learn stories of the Faerie folk, the Cuillin Mountains and Clan histories. Enjoy many photo opportunities of places such as Kilt Rock, the Old Man of Storr, The Quiraing.
Skye’s is the largest of the Inner Hebrides and has a unique landscape and history. Much of its place names reflect its Norse history when the Vikings occupied the Island.

12:30 – Enjoy Lunch and a visit at Dunvegan Castle.
Dunvegan has been owned by the MacLeod Family for generations and has a fascinating history. The grounds are great to explore and look out for seals at the beach.
 Dunvegan Castle: 01470 521 206

14:00 – Depart Dunvegan and travel down the dramatic coast line to Talisker.

14:45 – Arrive at Talisker Whisky Distillery and take a guided tour at 1500.
Talisker has been producing an Island Single Malt since 1830 and here you will get a chance to try its product and learn about how Scotland’s National drink is made.
 Talisker Distillery: 01478 614 308

16:30 – Depart Talisker and further explore the Island travelling back to your hotel for the night.

17:30 – Arrive back to hotel

Overnight Isle of Skye.

Recommended group dinner option here.

 

 

DAY 8:  SKYE TO STIRLING – GLENFINNAN, FORT WILLIAM AND GLEN COE

 

08:30 – Depart Hotel.

09:00 – Visit the Clan Donald Centre in Armadale, Skye.
Here you can explore the ruins of the MacDonald Castle overlooking the Sound of Sleat. The gardens are wonderful to explore as is the museum which tells you about the MacDonald Clan and the Lords of the Isles.

 Clan Donald Centre: 01471 844 305

10:00 – Depart the Clan Donald Centre and take the very short drive to the Ferry Port at Armadale.

10:40 – Take the Ferry crossing back to the Mainland with fabulous views of the Isles of Rum and Eigg. The crossing takes around 45 minutes.

 Caladonian MacBrayne: 0800 066 5000

11:30 – Arrive at the Port of Mallaig and drive down the ‘Road to the Isles’.
This is a lovely journey looking at where Bonnie Prince Charlie first landed on the Mainland in 1745.

12:20 – Arrive at Glenfinnan for views of the Viaduct famously used in Harry Potter. Your guide can take you up to the view point or over to the Glenfinnan monument on the banks of Loch Shiel.

12:40 – Depart Glenfinnan and continue to Fort William.
Look out for views of Ben Nevis, the UK’s highest Mountain.

13:20 – Arrive in Fort William for free time to have lunch and to explore this lively town.
Fort William has a pedestrianised main street lined with shops, bars and cafes.

15:00 –Depart Fort William and travel along the banks of Loch Linnhe.
We then head east into what is perhaps the most spectacular Glens in Scotland – Glen Coe.

Stop for photographs and let your guide tell you about Scotland’s Darkest chapter – The Massacre of Glen Coe!.

16:30 – Depart Glen Coe area and travel down towards Stirling getting great view points on the way.
We cross back over the Highland Line again as we get closer to Stirling. Look out for views of Doune Castle which was used in the Film Monty Python and the Holy Grail and also in Outlander.

Approx 18:00 – Arrive into Stirling

Overnight in Stirling for 1 night. – Group dinner options or dinner at leisure.

Stirling was always a very important town in Scotland’s history. This is where many of the Battles took place that were features in the Film ‘Braveheart’.

 

DAY 9:  STIRLING CASTLE AND LOCH LOMOND

 
09:20 – Depart hotel and drive up to Stirling Castle

09:30 – Your guide will take you on a tour of the Castle (Tickets included with Historic Scotland Explorer). Highlights include the Great Hall, The Stirling Heads, The Royal Palace to name just a few.

You will get spectacular views of the Wallace Monument and your guide will be able to tell you the real story about ‘Braveheart’!.

 Stirling Castle: 01786 450 000

11:20 – Depart Stirling Castle and travel west towards Loch Lomond, Britain’s largest inland Lake and also has a famous song about it!

12:40 – Arrive at the Conservation village of Luss on the Western Shores of Loch Lomond.
We will be travelling through old Macgregor territory and you will hear about the most famous of its Clansmen – Rob Roy.

13:00 – Enjoy lunch at Luss – Lomond Arms or The Coach House are good options.
Group lunch recommended here.

14:30 – Depart Luss and travel towards Glasgow, Scotland’s largest City and our base for 3 nights.

15:40 – Arrive in Glasgow to check in and time to explore the city. Your guide will be able to give a short orientation tour of the City centre.

Overnight for 2 nights in Glasgow.

 

DAY 10:  DAY TOUR OF GLASGOW

 

This day tour explores Glasgow’s past and present and tells you about its beginnings to its industrial heritage and why it was referred to as the ‘2nd City of Empire’.

09:30 – Depart the hotel for a panoramic Tour of Glasgow
Highlights include George Square, Modern Art Gallery, High Street, Doulton Fountain.

10:30 – Arrive at Glasgow Cathedral and let your guide take you around this historic building. You will also be able to visit the St.Mungo Museum of Religious Life.
Find out about Glasgow’s Patron Saint – St. Mungo and the changes Glasgow Cathedral made throughout the ages. Get views of the Necropolis – the burial place for many of Glasgow’s wealthy Merchants.
 Glasgow Cathedral: 0141 552 8198

12:00 – Depart Glasgow Cathedral and continue on your tour of Glasgow taking in the University buildings and West End.

12:45 – Arrive at Kelvingrove Museum and Art Gallery.
Let your guide show you around some of the highlights then explore ‘Glasgow’s Portal to the World’.
Kelvingrove Art Gallery opened in 1901 and displays a huge amount of art and exhibits from all over the word. It’s most famous piece of art is Salvador Dali’s Christ of Saint John of the Cross.
Have lunch at Kelvingrove at your leisure.

15:00 – Tour back to the City Centre – Have more time to explore the city. The Modern Art Gallery and the City Chambers are recommended to visit and if shopping is needed then a walk down Buchanan Street is a must.

18:30 – Depart the hotel for farewell dinner at the National Piping Centre*
Get a short guided tour of the exhibition and learn about bagpipes through the ages.
National Piping Centre: 0141 353 5551

*Other group dinner option would be The Corinthian: 0141 552 1101.

20:30 – Arrive back at Hotel

Overnight stay in Glasgow

 

DAY 11:  FAREWELL AND AIRPORT TRANSFER


Depart hotel for short transfer to Glasgow airport.

Transfer can match any departing flight.

 

ADDITIONAL DAY OPTION

An additional day option when in Glasgow would be to tour down to Ayrshire and visit the Burns Heritage centre and Birthplace museum.  A ‘Burns Supper’ can be arranged here.

 Burns Birthplace Museum: 01292 443 700

 

HOTEL SUGGESTIONS

EDINBURGH

George Hotel – George Street – 4 star option in the heart of the New Town
MacDonald Holyrood – 4 star – great location close to Royal Mile and Parliament
Radisson Blu – 4 star – Right on the Royal Mile
Nira Caledonia – smaller, more boutique hotel
Premier Inn – Lauriston Place – 3 star option – good for groups

 

PITLOCHRY & AREA

Atholl Palace Hotel – Historic building and lovely setting
Dunkeld House Hotel – Lovely grounds – 4 star
There are other 3 star options in Pitlochry depending on budget

 

INVERNESS

Best Western River Ness – 3 star – good location
Premier Inn – 3 star – also on River Ness
Kingsmills – 4 star option with pool just a 15 minute walk to city centre
Rocpool – More boutique option
There are also many other options just outside Inverness

 

 

SKYE

Cuillin Hills Hotel – Portree – large hotel in great location
Marmalade – newly refurbished 4 star hotel in Portree
Balmacara Hotel – Located on the mainland but easy distance to Skye

 

 

STIRLING

Stirling Court Hotel – Lovely setting near Wallace Monument and University.
Golden Lion Hotel – Historic building in the centre

 

 

GLASGOW

Jury’s Inn – Very central and good standard
Glasgow Central Hotel – Right next to Central Station – Historic building
Hallmark Hotel – 10 minute walk to centre – good facilities.
Malmaison – Blythswood square – Boutique style and excellent rooms

 

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