The Heart of Scotland
8 DAYS, 7 NIGHTS | A compelling tour taking in the best of Scotland: Edinburgh, The Highlands & Isle of Skye
PRIVATE TOUR ITINERARY
The Heart of Scotland — see the best of Scotland in 8 days with your very own chauffeur-guide! This beautifully guided journey starts and ends in royal Edinburgh. Visit Scotland’s must-see historical sites, charming towns, gourmet restaurants, spectacular mountain scenery, and beautiful isles. You'll enjoy visits to Edinburgh, Stirling and Urquhart Castles, the Isle of Skye, the Highlands, Culloden, Loch Ness, walking tours of Edinburgh and St. Andrew’s, dinner at Culloden House (where Bonnie Prince Charlie dined the night prior to that fateful battle), Clava Cairns prehistoric burial chambers, a whisky distillery, and much more. Enjoy the Heart of Scotland!
Day 1: Edinburgh & Blackness Castle
Arrive Edinburgh Airport where you will be met by your private chauffeur-guide for a short drive outside of Edinburgh to one of Scotland’s most impressive strongholds: Blackness Castle, built in the 15th century on the south shore of the Firth of Forth by one of Scotland's most powerful families. This afternoon, visit the Royal Yacht Britannia, the former yacht of the Royal Family, and arrive in central Edinburgh for a two-night stay.
Day 2: The Historic Heart of Edinburgh
Today, enjoy a private-guided tour learning about Edinburgh’s long history. You’ll see how the medieval townhouses along the Royal Mile contrast with the fine Georgian architecture of the 200-year old New Town and learn about many prominent Scottish inventors, doctors and writers for whom Edinburgh is famous. Then climb up to the imposing Edinburgh Castle, to tour this historic military stronghold, the birthplace of the city, and soak up the dramatic views. In the afternoon, wind your way through the medieval streets, ending at the impressive Palace of Holyrood, the Scottish residence of The Queen.
Day 3: St. Andrews
Depart Edinburgh across Firth of Forth for the beautiful medieval city of St. Andrews, set on the stunning north coast of the Kingdom of Fife. You’ll enjoy a private-guided walking tour visiting Scotland’s oldest university (founded in 1413), the ruins of the 12th century cathedral and castle, the historic town, packed with history and charm, and the oldest golf course in the world. This afternoon, continue your journey to the Scottish Highlands for a two-night stay in Culloden. Tonight, enjoy a gourmet dinner at Culloden House where Bonnie Prince Charlie dined the night prior to that fateful battle.
Day 4: The Highlands and Whisky
Tour the powerfully moving site of the final Jacobite Rising — the Culloden Battlefield, where, in 1746, Bonnie Prince Charlie's defeat ended decades of Scottish rebellion against the British government. Stop to look at the nearby Clava Cairns, an impressive collection of prehistoric burial chambers, and continue to the turreted Cawdor Castle for lunch. This afternoon, enjoy a scenic journey through the Cairngorms National Park for a visit to the Glenlivet Distillery (first licensed distillery of the Highlands) to learn about how whisky is made, and sample a “wee dram”.
Day 5: Castles and Loch Ness
This morning, enjoy a panoramic cruise of Loch Ness before the boat drops you at the shore to explore the dramatic ruins of Urquhart Castle. Continue to Fort Augustus, where Loch Ness meets the Caledonian Canal. In the
afternoon, continue your journey, through magnificent mountain scenery to one of Scotland’s most iconic images, Eilean Donan Castle. You’ll then cross the bridge to the Isle of Skye for a two-night stay.
Day 6: Isle of Skye
Today, explore the Isle of Skye. You’ll first have an opportunity to climb to the Old Man of Storr, a large pinnacle of towering rock with views over the Islands of Raasay and Rona, and beyond to the mainland. Then continue to Kilt Rock, a sea cliff with huge, vertical basalt columns, and to the top of the spectacular Quiraing mountain pass. Enjoy lunch in Flodigarry, where Flora MacDonald (who aided Bonnie Prince Charlie's escape) once lived. This afternoon, step back in time at the Skye Museum of Island Life, and visit the ruins of Dun Beag iron-age broch, a circular dry-stone tower, large enough to serve as a fortified home.
Day 7: Glencoe & West Coast
Today, say goodbye to the Isle of Skye and leave by ferry from Armadale to Mallaig. Follow the coast south, by the silver sands of Morar, stopping at the Arisaig Land Sea & Island Center, and the Glenfinnan Tower Monument, where Bonnie Prince Charles raised the Scottish flag. Continue your journey to Glencoe, site of Scotland's most infamous massacre, and the National Trust for Scotland Glencoe Visitor Centre. Continue to your accommodation by the shores of Loch Linnhe, for an overnight stay.
Day 8: Stirling Castle and Edinburgh
Leave through the beautiful and mountainous landscape of Glencoe and Rannoch Moor on your way back to Edinburgh. En-route, visit Stirling Castle, including the newly restored Renaissance Palace (last stronghold of Scotland, besieged by William Wallace and Robert the Bruce, and residence of the Stewart monarchs including Mary Queen of Scots and King James). Arrive Edinburgh Airport, or your chosen location, where the tour ends.
Edinburgh (2 nights)
Five-star luxury guesthouse. Carefully appointed bedrooms, deeply comfortable king-sized beds with Egyptian cotton bedlinens, home-baked goods, enthusiastic friendly and informative host, and delicious Scottish breakfast. Located just east of the city center, close to Calton Hill and Holyrood Park.
Culloden (2 nights)
An award-winning luxurious 5-star gold bed and breakfast just a short distance from the Culloden Battlefield. This Highland lodge enjoys a tranquil setting, luxuriously appointed rooms, old fashioned Highland hospitality, and beautiful country views. Delicious home cooked breakfast awaits you. A stay to remember.
Isle of Skye (2 nights)
A former hunting lodge for Clan MacDonald, and now a delightful family-run inn where you are assured a comfortable, relaxing stay. The lodge has 8 en-suite rooms, a dining room serving delicious home cooking of fresh local produce; a bar and a comfortable lounge, all with loch views.
Barcaldine (1 night)
A boutique castle hotel of only six guest rooms in the beautiful surroundings of Argyll’s only ancient castle with bed and breakfast facilities, or a nearby award-winning luxurious 5-star gold bed and breakfast. Set on the shores of Loch Linnhe, both offer the spectacular raw beauty of the magnificent west coast.
$2890 per person (for a group of 6 people)
$3290 per person (for a group of 4-5 people)
$4290 per person (for a group of 2-3 people)
All prices are in US dollars and based on sharing a room for double occupancy.
This tour can be customized to your wishes. Simply call, or email us with your specifics and we'll plan a program that's right for you.
Included with this tour:
Seven nights' accommodation in luxury hotels or guest houses
Daily Scottish breakfasts
Five 3-course gourmet dinners
All transportation in a luxury van or SUV
Professional Chauffeur-Guide each day
Airport meet and greet
All entrance fees
Professional local guides
Ferry fares, tolls & taxes
Each day customizable and flexible
Scotland & Ireland
Great trip...can't say enough about Wanderlust. Their professionalism and service is top notch. Highly recommend them.
John A. - Massachusetts
Heart of Scotland
The scenery of Scotland was breathtaking! Your attention to detail and service made our trip even better. Loved it!
Bob. S - Florida
Just a few tour highlights:
Edinburgh's Royal Mile & Castle
Stirling and Urquhart Castles
Isle of Skye
Learn how whisky is made
Loch Ness cruise
Scotland & Ireland Grand Tour
The Best of Both Countries
15 Days | 14 Nights | From $5,690
Why not add Ireland to your itinerary? Click here for details of the above tour.