THE PRIVATE TOUR OF THE SCOTTISH HIGHLANDS (Inverness, Clava Cairns, the Isle of Skye and Glencoe)

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Tour snapshot

 

Come and be transported to another world – one full of majesty, enchantment and unbelievable beauty.  Let me show you the wildness and drama of the Scottish Highlands. Discover what is often referred to as the last true wilderness in Europe.  

 

Discover renowned Scottish  castles, such as Blair , Urquhart and Dunvegan and Royal Stirling Castle.  Be mesmerised by their history and drama.

 

Visit  Culloden Battlefield, the site of the last ever battle to be fought on British soil. Relive the  day in April 1746 when Bonnie Prince Charlie and his Jacobite army finally confronted the Duke of Cumberland and the government troops.

 

Embrace and absorb the mystery and beauty of Clava Cairns.  Hug a Neolithic Standing Stone and let your imagination run wild.

 

Enjoy a night in the capital of the Highlands, Inverness.  Do you fancy a hooley in a local pub? It’s wild, crowded and amazing fun.

 

Loch Ness and Nessie await you as we drive through the Great Glen.  Enjoy spectacular scenery as we traverse the country from East to West.

 

Eilean Donan, ancient stronghold of Clan McKenzie and MacRae awaits us on the shores of Loch Duich.  One of the most photographed and visited castles in Scotland. This wonderful castle will enchant and fascinate you.  Thereafter we will travel over the bridge to the magical Isle of Skye, where you will spend two nights.

 

The Isle of Skye will exceed your expectations.  Enjoy the stunning landscapes, lochs, castles, folklore and legends.  Marvel at the Cuillin mountains,  Dunvegan Castle, the Trotternish Peninsula, Skye Museum of Highland Life, the dramatic Geology of the Old Man of Storr and Kilt Rock.

 

We take a short ferry ride to Mallaig, where the famous steam train, the Jacobite Express awaits you. This fabulous experience isn’t just for Harry  Potter fans!

 

Glencoe will remain in your memory forever. This hauntingly beautiful valley, its topography and waterfalls will mesmerise you. Weather permitting, enjoy a short walk along the West Highland Way.

 

Stirling Castle, home to the Stuart Dynasty, a final highlight. Be transported back in time to the majesty of mediaeval Scotland.

 

Highlights

  • Enjoy the breath-taking scenery of the Scottish Highlands; the Cairngorms, the Great Glen, Kintail, the Isle of Skye, Glencoe and the West Highland Way

  • Visit some of the most famous castles in Scotland, dating back to the 13th century.

  • Discover the natural beauty of numerous Scottish Lochs, such as Loch Ness and Loch Lomond.

  • Relive the Battle of Culloden and walk back in History across Culloden Moor.  Experience the magical aura of Clava Cairns, wander through stone circles and ancient burial chambers.

  • Try to catch a glimpse of the elusive Nessie, as we drive along Loch Ness.

  • Experience the magic of the beautiful Isle of Skye.

  • Travel on the Jacobite Express through stunning scenery along the west coast.

  • Marvel at the majesty of Glencoe, the Valley of Tears.

  • Visit Stirling Castle and be taken back in time to the Age of the Stuart Dynasty.

 

Full Itinerary

 

Day 1

 

We leave Edinburgh and head north towards Blair Athol, where we will visit the ancient home of the Dukes of Atholl.  Blair Castle, dating back to the 13thC, is one of the best preserved private castles in Scotland and is famous for the large armoury, banqueting hall and 18th century interiors.  The gardens are spectacular.

 

After lunch, we will continue driving through the Cairngorms until we arrive at Culloden, where the last ever battle was fought on British soil. Relive the drama of this momentous battle, fought in 1746 between the Jacobites and the government army.  This moment would mark the beginning of the destruction of the Highlands and lead to the virtual annihilation of the Clans.

 

A short distance away we will arrive at the hauntingly beautiful Clava Cairns burial chambers, a revered Bronze Age prehistoric site, featuring both ring and passage graves and standing stones.  Wander through this beautiful valley and let your Imagination run wild.  Embrace a Standing Stone, discover the mysterious cup markings beautifully formed thousands of years ago on Pre-historic burial cairns.

 

Thereafter we will head up towards Inverness, where we will spend the night.

 

Day 2

 

The following morning, we will begin our drive through the Great Glen and hopefully catch a glimpse of Nessie as we visit Urquhart Castle, a former Royal residence and a formidable  stronghold that once controlled passage along this vital waterway that bisects the Scottish Highlands. Wander down to the waters of Loch Ness and try to capture a magical photo of the elusive Nessie.

 

We continue driving through the spectacular scenery until we arrive at Eilean Donan, one of the most photographed castles in Scotland.  This 13th century castle appears frequently in films and television and was once a stronghold of Clan MacKenzie and later Clan MacRae. Late afternoon, we will continue across the only bridge spanning the Atlantic to the Isle of Skye, where we will spend two nights.

 

Day 3

 

Today we will explore this Inner Hebridean Island, home to the Cuillin mountains, narrow lochs and a stunning volcanic landscape. The highlights  of our tour today are  numerous, but will feature a visit to Dunvegan Castle, home to the chiefs of Clan MacLeod for over 800 years. 

 

We will also drive around the Trotternish Peninsula, visit the Skye Museum of Highland life and witness the dramatic geology of the Old Man of Storr and the Quirang.  You will also marvel at the dramatic 200ft waterfall and geological phenomenon known as Kilt Rock. Bring those walking boots with you!!

 

Day 4

 

This morning we will explore the southernmost peninsula of Skye and visit Armadale Castle, home of Clan Donald and the seat of power of the Lords of the Isles for many centuries.  Although the ancient castle is only a romantic ruin, the Clan Donald Centre is a magnet for all visitors seeking to discover more about their Scottish roots and heritage.

 

Later in the day we will catch the  ferry across to the small harbour called Mallaig, where you will board the famous Jacobite Steam train that will take you through to Fort William, where we will spend the night. This train journey was featured in all of the Harry Potter films and one simply must book tickets in advance.  Enjoy a cream tea, maybe some champagne or even a Butter Beer Cocktail as you travel through some of the most absorbing, outstandingly beautiful scenery along the west coast. 

 

Day 5

 

This morning we will hopefully be able to catch a glimpse of the tallest mountain in the UK, Ben Nevis, before we head off down south through Glencoe.  Each time I drive through this magical valley, I get goose bumps.  The scenery changes daily according to the weather.  It is known colloquially as the Valley of Tears and is famous throughout the land for the Massacre of Glencoe, the Three Sisters, its waterfalls and trails.  The West Highland Way, a 155km hiking path,  is accessible at several points along our route today and you will have the opportunity to walk along a stretch of this former drover road.

 

The final highlight of our tour will be a visit to the magnificent Stirling Castle, perched on top of a volcanic rock.  Home to the Stuart Dynasty, this ancient castle resonates with history, drama, romance, betrayal and intrigue.  From the ramparts, you will also enjoy a wonderful view across to the Wallace Monument (weather permitting).

 

Thereafter, we will make our way back to Edinburgh, where our tour will end. 

 

Inclusions:

 

  • Qualified Scottish Tourist Driver/Guide

  • Comprehensive Hire and Reward Insurance

  • Unlimited mileage

  • Parking

  • Live commentary on board

  • Private tour

  • Hotel/airport/port pick-up and drop off

  • Bottled water

 

Exclusions:

 

  • Food and drink

  • Accommodation, although I would be delighted to offer you recommendations 

  • All entrance fees to Visitor Attractions

  • Jacobite Express tickets, although I will naturally make the necessary reservations

 

Tour price:

 

From £585.00 per day for up to 4 passengers.  Please contact me for a detailed quote.

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