Highlandsis the epitome of Scotland. Scotland Edinburgh and the Highlands Tours are simply out of this world. Think big skies, sparkling countryside, great food, and guests and you have the Scottish Highlands. Therefore there is a natural playground that begins to be explored, while some of the finest and most romantic castles in the world have survived from the turbulent history of the region. Edinburgh is the inspiring capital of Scotland where hundreds of years of history unite an unforgettable city of world class. The magnificent architecture of the city is shifting from the enclosures of the medieval Old City to the grace of the new Georgian City. Above all, Edinburgh Castle stands with its magnificent splendour. Furthermore, Edinburgh is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, a compact and lively town but home to the world’s largest arts festival. Edinburgh is truly an award-winning city with excellent food and drinks and unforgettable experiences. Lush and beautiful land is full of green areas, luxuriant forestry of the Highlands with their sweeping mountains and deep lochs, and its compact wildlands, the islands with lots of beautiful beaches and vast views of the sea.
We can start the tour from anywhere you wish between zone 1 to 4
Midnight / Overnight Journey (This can be changed)
Prices are based on 10 participants per person (Less than 10 people required recalculation, please ask us)
Professional guidance services throughout the tour in English (For other languages, please ask us)
Meet & greet/drop off service (Door to Door service from Zone 1 to 6)
Operation of the entire tour agenda under expert and professional tour management services with +30 years’ experience
4 Star or country-style hotel accommodation and breakfasts
Admission tickets for the places of interests are all included in our Scotland Edinburgh and the Highlands Tour (Please refer to itinerary)
Public liability insurance
Reservations where necessary to ensure quick site access (Advanced notification required)
Ground transportation by private A/C vehicle depending on the number of people in the party
Parking fee, tax, toll fees, fuel surcharge and driver expenses
Personal Expenses & souvenirs
Meals, snacks and a soft/fizzy drinks along the meal/packed lunch where available
Guidance services request in other & rare languages based on availability (Please ask us)
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Day 1 – Overnight Travel to Scotland – Edinburgh Sightseeing and City Tour
Your tour starts at midnight because you will have more than 400 miles to go and for your own comfort and sake, you will start your journey with dual driver or fast train service depending on the number of the participants for this tour. Welcome to Scotland's inspiring capital, a world- class city in unforgettable surroundings, with centuries of history. After a hearty breakfast, you will start your day in Edinburgh. Here in this tour you will see some of the finest and cultural highlights of Edinburgh.
Your sightseeing tour commences at famous Waverley Bridge which connects the Old Town Market Street and the New Town Princes Street in Edinburgh. The Bridge forms part of the Edinburgh Waverley Roof and is situated on Princes Street Gardens' eastern frontier. Blyth and Westland built the current bridge between 1894 and 1896. Scott Monument which was opened in 1846 and is a Gothic monument built to honour Sir Walter Scott, the Scottish author. The tower is blackish on Princes Street and it is very beautiful. The spire features 64 characters from the novels.
The spire depicts several characters. The white marble statue of Sir Walter Scott shines when compared to a blackened building. Next landmark in Edinburgh would be the Scottish National Gallery. This spectacled collection of fine art in the country dates from the early Renaissance to the late 19th century is all in here. The masterpieces from Raphael, Vermeer and Van Gogh, Monet and Gauguin are the most important artefacts in this immaculate art museum. The collection is rightly considered to be one of the best in the world for a nation of Scottish size. While proceeding you will notice a very pretty Floral Clock. Not only is the clock an impeccably tended floral appearance in the form of a clock, it also indicates the right time. It was the first of its kind in the world to be commissioned in 1903.
The hands of the clock, numbers and the display are a growing, while photosynthesizing life. In 1973, the clock hands had a power engine installed. The mechanism of the clock had to be wound daily before that. Your next stop is two iconic Churches of Edinburgh: St. John’s & St. Cuthbert’s. The first mention in the 8th century was created from St. Cuthbert's chapel. It is thought that there was a church at the same site that had been in use since 850 AD and therefore it was Edinburgh's oldest foundation building.
As for prosperous Scottish episcopal church St John’s, the masterpiece dominates the skyline of the West End of Princes Street and features beautiful stained-glass Ballantyne with numerous architectural features. St John 's can be considered a new building with history dating back to 1792. Passing by the live and premiere venue for the music events Usher Hall, you will then proceed to famous Grassmarket which is one of the most vibrant, picturesque and lively areas of Edinburgh's historic Old Town, behind Castle Edinburgh.
The Grassmarket is a paradise for self-employed businessmen, designers and craftsmen. It is simply bursting with some of Edinburgh's best shops. Some of Edinburgh's best restaurants as well as some of its most lively and eclectic bars are well-known. Further down you will notice McEwan Hall. In 1897, William McEwan presented the McEwan Hall not only as a ceremonial room for graduates, but also as a gift to the Edinburgh people. Sir Rowand Anderson designed this iconic Grade A building, featuring sophisticated interiors of William Palin.
Actually, the building was completed in 1894 but the interior designs took another three years, with the centerpiece being 15 marvellously painted wall panels which form the vast dome.Heading through the heart of Edinburgh, you will arrive at Edinburgh Castle. Edinburgh Castle is a world-renowned Scottish icon and is a part of Edinburgh's World Heritage Site, both Old and New. The British Travel Awards were recently voted the UK's Top Heritage Attraction and the number one tourist attraction paid for by Scotland. This famous Scottish castle has a complex history of construction.
The oldest part, the Chapel of St Margaret, dates back to the 12th century; around 1510, James IV built the Grand Hall; the Regent Morton's Half Moon Battery of the late 16th century and and the First World War the Scottish National War Memorial was built. The castle is home to the Honours of Scotland, the Stone of Destiny, Mons Meg, the well-known arms of the 15th century, the One O'Clock Gun and Scotland's National War Museum. Your next stop is just for over 25’s. You know Scotland is renowned for its whiskies. Scotch whisky has three different types: malt whisky (a single malt), grain whisky and whisky blends. But how different are they?
You will find so many answers in The Scotch Whisky Experience. Take a bubbled ride through the virtual distillery, and become part of the whisky process. Edinburgh offers a mind-blowing experience in the heart of the city, Camera Obscura and the World of Illusions which is the perfect afternoon activity, and is five floors of stunning optical illusions and visual delicacy for all ages. There's something for everyone from the legendary Magic Gallery an interactive space to shine the senses, to exquisite views from the rooftop terrace to Edinburgh's famous Royal Mile and Castle. It takes around 2 hours for usual visits. Therefore, this will be left for a later visit if the time permits. In the adjacent building you will notice the Hub.
The beautiful setting and architecture of the Hub are not only an ideal place for holidays, weddings, gala dinners and truly unique events, but also for the world-famous Edinburgh International Festival. Make sure to stop at the Café Hub for delicious cakes, coffees and delicious Scottish lunches on-site. Next, you head to the Gladstone’s Land. A 500 year-old building is a stone's throw from the Castle, a testament to Edinburgh's old town tenement life.
It was once owned by Thomas Gladstone, a merchant who extended the building and remodelled it into opulent apartments. There are several important features in the Gladstone Land. This building is one of the oldest on the Royal Mile where rich residential and businessmen live. You will hear about the inhabitants of the property's fascinating and sometimes scandalous lives. You will notice the Renaissance interiors from the 1620s are rarely hand-painted, really impeccable. You will also notice golden prey bird hanging outside the house.
You will learn the very sad but true loyalty story while passing the statue of Greyfriars Bobby. A warm and heartfelt story of true friendship. Your next stop is National Museum of Scotland where the wonders of nature, art, design, fashion, technology and science, are all part of the diverse collections, which will take you through the history of Scotland and around the world all under one single roof. This is an impressive museum that you will come and visit after your sightseeing tour. You will visit St. Cecilia’s Hall & Music Museum, the collection of well-preserved instruments from early keyboards on display in a concert hall of the 18th century before heading to the Childhood Museum, which is indeed the Museum of every age.
The collections contain teddy bears and lovely dolls dressed in the clothes of the period from the 18th century. Visitors like you will discover, among many other treasures, puppets, toy soldiers and small rudimentary cars with pedals. Some of the toys that are especially interesting for visitors are a 21-bedroom dollhouse and more than 2000 objects inside or a miniature 80's butcher and a little butcher inside. When you observe the evolution of toys in centuries, you come to the conclusion that children always have a soft spot for teddies and those with good imagination use a wooden spoon as a toy for centuries, despite the evolution of more and more realistic video games and dolls.
Proceeding to John Knox House that was one of Scotland's greatest cultural treasures and has become one of the dramatic events in Scotland's turbulent history since 1470. The house has been incorporated now in the Scottish Storytelling centre. Just enter this beautiful 15th century palace to explore the conflicts of the oldest house in the Royal Mile. Walk in the footsteps of renowned people and listen in every room to the drama of the Reformation of Scotland. Look for the tricks and traps to fool intruders, hunt for the devil hiding in the ceiling of The Oak Room and try our portrait jigsaws that many visitors had stunned in the past.
Through the Royal Mile, The People’s Story Museum will greet you. The name implies that the story tells the lives, work and leisure history of the ordinary people of Edinburgh from the late 18th century until today through oral history, reminiscence and written sources. These shows include pictures, original objects, photographs and personal stories to show their fascinating city history. The collections concentrate on Edinburgh's history, culture, craft and trade, as well as more contemporary issues, events and views. On way of Royal Mile that lies in the heart of city, Canongate Church will appear which is an ecclesiastical and historic building of post-reformation significance for the City of Edinburgh.
In 1691 the church was opened, and James Smith's design was unique among Scottish churches from the 17th century. Just across Canongate Church, you will notice the Museum of Edinburgh. The museum is housed in the huge and splendid Huntly House mansion of the sixteenth century. Because of the Latin inscriptions on its façade the building is known as The Speaking House. The vast manor house contains a range of objects linked to the history and legends of Edinburgh including silver, ceramics and glass objects. In addition, several noteworthy articles exist, such as the original New Town or Old Town drawings from the sixteenth century, that date back to the time of Mary, Queen of Scots.
In honor of GreyFriars Bobby there is also an exhibition which is sad but shows loyalty. Just less than a minute ahead is the Scottish Parliament and the building was opened in 2004 and has since hosted more than 3 million visitors in the heart of Edinburgh's Old Town and UNESCO World Heritage Site. We would be pleased to arrange a visit to the Scottish Parliament if this tour is booked in advance. Advanced booking is therefore advisable.
Your journey takes you to the journey of life in the earth. Get ready for the science experience of your life: Dynamic Earth is not a natural history museum, but it hits you. There is nothing different or more fascinating than the strange and beautiful world in which we live, which is what Dynamic Earth is going to tell you. Edinburgh's top visitor attraction will take you on a journey that takes you through time to witness planet earth's history. This interactive tour senses the heat and freshness of the polar ice at your fingertips before the collapse of the tropical rainforest and facing dinosaurs!
As if this is not enough to take you into the nature of Scotland's only full-dome movie theatre of 360 degrees with a whole-round visual experience. Next to Dynamic Earth, Palace of Holyroodhouse greets the tourists. Holyroodhouse Palace is the official residence in Scotland of Her Majesty The Queen. This fine palace is the home of Scottish royal history at the end of the historic Royal Mile in Edinburgh. Visitors can explore 14 wonderful historical and state apartments at the Holyroodhouse Palace, romantic ruins of the Abbey of Holyrood, the 12th century and amazing gardens with the guide. Most famous as the home of Mary Queen of Scots, the Palace was the setting for a lot of dramatic events.
The Queen now regularly uses the State Apartments for public ceremonies and official entertainment. This is another culture visit venue to make your Edinburgh tour memorable. Proceeding to Regent Street will take you to Burns Monument. This is a small round temple of Neo-Greek style typical of the Edinburgh era in Georgia, built in honour of Robert Burns (1759- 1796), the Scottish national bard. Situated on the slopes of the Calton Hill overlooking the city centre of Edinburgh, this monolithic art decoration building you will see is St.
The House of Andrew. In 2016, the Scottish Office was originally home and remains an important office building of the Scottish Government. Three important sights such as Nelson Monument, National Monument and City Observatory are located on the Calton Hill overlooking the city. The House of St Andrew is the H.Q. Founded East of Princes Street at Calton Hill by the Scottish government would be our next landmark in Edinburgh. The imposing Orwellian hulk, built on the site of the old Calton Jail, was Europe's largest metal framed structure when it was completed in 1939. The building was also occupied by the government departments that served Scotland in Edinburgh for the first time.
Through the Waterloo Place you will reach the bus which will take you in front of Edinburgh Castle and you can explore this magnificent landmark in the heart of the city. Inside of the castle it’s just like a treasure. One o’clock Gun, (a tradition itself), National War Museum where the Scottish battle history goes back to 400 years, Regimental Museums, focusing on the proud history of Scotland, including the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards, which in the 17th century were raised by order of Charles II to fight religious dissidents.
The Scots Gris, whose fervent courage was best demonstrated during the battle of Waterloo, The Great Hall full of ancient weapons and suits of armours, The Royal Palace that saw many tragic moments in the lives of the royalty of Scotland, The Stone of Destiny an enigmatic stone, Crown Jewels including scepter, state sword - British islands' oldest and most dazzling ones, what’s more? The Queens Embroideries, Scottish National War Memorial, Half Moon Battery, St Margaret’s Chapel and Mons Meg.
Edinburgh Castle is an ancient city. Visitors definitely need to reserve some more days to explore them all. It’s huge and magnificent. After dinner guests can enjoy Scottish Whisky Experience (optional) as well as spending free time in bustling Grassmarket. Rest of the night is yours or you may wish to join one of the spooky ghost tours. A spinal night with shimmering tales of torture and gamesmanship as you learn about the ghostly past of Edinburgh! Boo!
Day 2 – The Best of Highlands & Loch Ness
Today you will visit the highlands where you will be shocked by the spectacular view of the untouched beauty of nature and culture together. Simply the best of both worlds. After breakfast, your journey to the capital of the Highlands starts. After a 4 hr journey, you will arrive in the capital, Inverness, that is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Scotland. It has all the advantages of urban living, but with all its beauty and nature right on the edge of the Scottish Highlands.
No visit to the Highlands of Scotland is complete without a stay in Inverness they say. So true! Inverness means a "Mouth of the river Ness" a Gaelic word. The Ness River flows from Loch Ness into the Moray Firth, known by its Bottlenose Dolphin resident. After spending quality time and touring the capital you will travel along the scenic route for embarking point for your boat. Welcome aboard. You will join a cruise to see the iconic and pretty beautiful monster Ness on the famous Loch Ness.
You will glide on the Loch and see the castle as well as passing by the deepest and most mysterious parts of Loch Ness during this one-hour spectacular journey. Now get your camera ready from here for breathtaking views of the historic Urquhart Castle. There are plenty of facts and legends you will learn on the trip. Don’t forget to have a quick look with onboard sonar for Nessie. After your boat tour you will head towards to your next stop, Urquhart Castle with its impressive medieval fortification in the region. The Castle of Urquhart has a long and bloody history, and is one of the largest castles and fortresses of medieval Scotland.
Like so many of the Scottish castles, Urquhart is beautifully situated in terms of defence. It is located at the very edge of Loch Ness on a rocky peninsula high above. Excavations have shown settlements in this area as early as in 2000 BC, and a simple fort may have existed in the present castle during the 6th or 7th centuries. Your tour in the Highlands continues with Glencoe, a tourist destination that is one of Scotland's most visited, is regarded by visitors as one of the most beautiful regions in Scotland. It was also the scene of one of the most brutal and killing episodes in Scottish history.
The deep valley and robust mountains of Glen Coe, located in the beautiful Lochaber Geopark in the Highlands, were carvings of ice glaciers and volcanic explosions centuries earlier. The village of Glencoe is located pictured between Loch Leven's banks and the mouth of its famous glen. The village is the ideal base for visits to the Outdoor Capital of the UK, Lochaber. Just take a deep breath of the fresh air and admire mother nature. Your next stop is the key to the lochs of the Highlands, Rannoch Moor viewpoint. Here you will see the entrances of Loch Ba grabbing like fingers in this country by looking out over Rannoch Moor.
Turn around slowly, and you'll see water from almost every angle whether loch (the lake), lochan (small lake), stream or bog. While some spots may look dry, the wetland will soon become clear on a short walk without proper boots. Rannoch Moor is 82% water or bog, which makes it the biggest bog area, the Everglades of Britain. Your next stop in the Highlands is an honourable landmark. The National Wallace Monument is a tower standing on Craig Abbey's shoulder and overlooking Stirling in Scotland.
This stylish monument pays homage to Sir William Wallace, a Scottish hero from the 13th century with his three monument galleries. 2019 will be an unforgettable monument year as it marks the 150th anniversary of the Monument with a completely renovated interior gallery and a vast program of events not to be missed. If the time permits, you may be able to visit Keepers Lodge, The Hall of Arms, The Hall of Heroes, The Royal Chamber and the Crown together. Well it was a very long but a very nice day. After dinner you definitely deserve a very nice rest for tonight. Enjoy your rest of the night with the wonderful memories in your mind.
Day 3 – Glasgow City Tour – Returning to London
Today is our last day of your tour. After breakfast you will depart to explore the jewel of Scotland, that’s Glasgow. You know you will have a warm welcome in Glasgow, officially the most-friendly city worldwide, and so much to explore and enjoy in this lovely, dynamic town. Regardless of your visit, world-class visitors will find attractions, various neighbourhoods, impressive architecture, a constantly evolving food and drink environment and a legendary nightlife. The city also has a seam stroke of amazing events and festivals throughout the year.
An hours journey will bring you to Glasgow. You will start with the main square in Glasgow, that’s George Square. The name is given to King George III. George Square was laid out in 1781 and today houses the Glasgow City Council 's central headquarters and boasts a large collection of statues and landmarks including Robert Burns, James Watt, Sir Robert Peel and Sir Walter Scott. Your next stop is Glasgow Cathedral. This medieval cathedral has been constructed and marks the birthplace of Glasgow's town on the site of St. Kentigern's tomb. Glasgow is the only one in the Scottish continent that survives the Reformation of 1560, one of Scotland's most beautiful medieval buildings.
Next, you will head to Merchant City. When roads come to life with an atmosphere of carnival during the annual Merchant City Festival (July / August), the area is vibrant and most colourful. The festival is a centerpiece of the cultural calendar of the city and it offers some of the best international and Scottish arts and activities and great activities for families. Proceeding to The Barras, in the eastern end of Glasgow, Barras is the main street and indoor weekends market. The term barra means "barrow "in the glass path, which relates to the early years of the market, when traders sold their goods by cart. The district itself, where the market is located, is sometimes described by Barrowland, officially known as Calton.
Proceeding further a bit is Glasgow Green which is by far the oldest park in the city and is located a few steps east of the Saltmarket city centre. The Lottery Heritage Fund, which provides a catalyst for local district restoration, is now undergoing a Renaissance with major investments. It’s not for now, but, we would like to let you know that St. Enoch Centre, home to many major brands such as H&M, Superdry and Topshop, with essential fashion accessories Folli-Follie, Moriconi and Fossil will be your final stop for some personal free time and shopping before you return to London.
Fashions from all over High Street would wait to you here. St. Enoch Center is home to some of Scotland's most iconic children's shops, including Hamleys alone, Disney alone in Glasgow, and Mothercare 's largest city. Fashion shows, visits to characters, food events and celebration visits and exciting events always occur in St. Enoch. Your next stop will be Glasgow’s largest exhibition centre in Scotland in the Finnieston district on the north bank of Clyde River SECC. SEC Centre was originally known as the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre. It is one of the three most important venues on the Scottish Event Campus. SECC has hosted concerts such as Luciano Pavarotti, Bolshoi Ballet and the Opera and Bryan Adams.
The SECC is also considered one of the hubs of Glasgow's European City of Culture. You like cars or other transportation vehicles? Here is the place: Riverside Museum, Glasgow's award-winning Transportation Museum by the River Clyde. More than 3 000 objects, from skateboards to locomotives, paintings to handkerchiefs and cars to storm trucks, have been on display. Interactive displays are simply fun. Take the streets of Glasgow to the shops, bar and metro. Climb on a train, tram or bus and feel for old public transportation. Discover the rich history of Glasgow ship buildings, explore the walls of cars and motorcycles and help fire our interactive fireworks.
Next, we head to Kelvingrove Museum Opened in 1901, Kelvingrove Museum is a favourite of local citizens and visitors. The architecture is amazing and family friendly. Ancient Egypt to Charles Rennie Mackintosh and other 22 galleries from art to animals are simply impeccable. Also, the museum has a new temporary exhibition and other important displays for art lovers in Glasgow. Your next stop is a green way of Glasgow, that’s Kelvin Way.
On the northern bank of the Kelvin River, Kelvin Walkway extends from Belmont Bridge in the middle of the western end to the abandoned railway bridge over the river that once went from Maryhill to the Botanical Gardens along a dissolved route. On this stretch of the river, the footpath crosses some very interesting and picturesque sites. It's a little-known treasure from the west end of Glasgow, just a stone's throw from the centre at Byres Road across the Botanical Gardens. Unfortunately, your time is limited so you will have to come back to visit to this jewel of Scotland sometime with us again. (Please also don’t forget that we can always customise this trip based on your expectations).
You will also pass Byres Road during your sightseeing. Byres Street is the heart and soul of the West End of Glasgow, with a rank of bars, restaurants and shops to suit all tastes, and is by far the most cosmopolitan and eclectic street the City has to offer. Your next stop is Charing Cross. A major highway crossing in Glasgow is Charing Cross. It also was the site of a series of sensational murders that scandalized the Victorian society in the so-called Square Mile of Murder. Let’s skip quickly. Close to George Square is the very yummy and traditional spot that’s Willow Tea Rooms, honoured by the visit of the Royal Family in 2017.
Tea rooms are the catalyst for the restoration of the part of Glasgow’s Scottish culture and will be attracting domestic and international visitors as a focus of Cultural Tourism. The Tea Rooms are modelled on the fabulous interior from the White Dining Room and the Chinese (Blue) Room in the early 1900s in Ingram Street Tea Rooms in Kate Cranston. You definitely wish to try their signature tastes in a very traditional atmosphere. You will then head to the Theatre Royal Glasgow.
The Royal Theatre belongs to the Scottish Opera and is the oldest and longest opera theatre in Glasgow. Currently 1,541 people work in the theatre and it was named in 1867. Your final stop is Royal Concert Hall of Glasgow, that is one of the best-known venues in Scotland, with almost 250 concerts per annum at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, located in the heart of town. This is why Glasgow is called one of the cultural and natural jewels of Scotland.
Now that you have seen the landmarks of Glasgow on a tour, it's time to let you see and visit the most desirable places you want. After a while, you will meet up in front of Glasgow's trendy shopping mall St. Enoch Centre. Time is yours, town is yours. Go visit and explore. In the afternoon, you will either depart by coach or high-speed train (depending on the number of participants in your group) from Glasgow to London. We want to be in London no later than midnight. Hope you enjoyed our cultural and nature trip to Scotland.