Scotland & Southern England
16 DAYS, 15 NIGHTS | Edinburgh, St. Andrews, Scottish Highlands, Isle of Skye, Oban, Cotswolds & London
PRIVATE TOUR ITINERARY
Enjoy the best of Scotland & England in 16 Days with your private chauffeur-guide! You'll walk the Royal Mile in Edinburgh; study the fairways at St. Andrews; learn how whisky is made; experience the Highlands of Scotland and cruise Loch Ness. You'll go back in time as you explore Stirling Castle and Henry III's Hampton Court. Visit the villages and stunning gardens of the Cotswolds, the colleges of Oxford, Windsor Castle, historical sites, charming towns and the very best of London. This 16-day private tour gives you the best of Scotland and England!
Day 1) Arrive in Edinburgh & Royal Britannia
Arrive at Edinburgh airport where you will be met by your chauffeur-guide. On your way into Edinburgh, visit the Royal Yacht Britannia, the former yacht of the Royal family. From the elegant State Apartments to the gleaming Engine Room, see where the Royal family spent their summer holidays. You may enjoy refreshments or a light lunch at the Royal Deck Tea Room. Next, arrive at your hotel for a 3-night stay. Welcome dinner at a local restaurant with whisky tastings.
Day 2) Edinburgh
Today, your local kilt-wearing guide will take you on a private whole-day tour of Edinburgh. Learn all about Edinburgh’s long history—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 the many prominent Scottish inventors, doctors, and writers for whom Edinburgh is famous. Visit the majestic Edinburgh Castle to tour this historic military stronghold, the birthplace of the city, and soak up the dramatic views. This afternoon, wind your way through the medieval streets of the Royal Mile. For Outlander fans, you’ll see the Bakehouse home to Alexander Malcolm’s print shop. It is here that we see Claire reunited with Jamie after years of separation. Visit the impressive Palace of Holyrood, home to many kings and queens and where, recently, Queen Elizabeth lay in state before being transferred to Westminster Abbey in London. David I founded the impressive palace as an Augustinian monastery in 1128. In 1501, James IV built a Palace for himself and his bride, Margaret Tudor— the sister of Henry VIII. Mary, Queen of Scots spent most of her turbulent life in the Palace.
Day 3) Stirling Castle & Blackness Castle
This morning, visit Stirling Castle, just an hour away. The last stronghold of Scotland, Stirling Castle was besieged by William Wallace and Robert the Bruce and residence to the Stewart monarchs including Mary Queen of Scots and King James. You’ll tour the castle, including the newly restored Renaissance Palace. This afternoon, on your return to Edinburgh, visit Blackness Castle on the south shores of the Firth of Forth. Built in the 15th century, and massively strengthened in the 16th century as an artillery fortress, Blackness Castle has been a royal castle, prison, armaments depot and film location for Outlander, where it was depicted as Fort William.
Day 4) St. Andrews
This morning, depart Edinburgh for the beautiful medieval city of St. Andrews, set on the stunning north coast of the Kingdom of Fife. View the Old Course and enjoy a private-guided walking tour of historic St. Andrews—packed with history and charm. You’ll also visit the university (founded in 1413) and the ruins of the 12th-century cathedral and castle. This afternoon, depart St. Andrews for the Scottish Highlands, where you’ll arrive at your hotel in Inverness for a two-night stay. Dinner is included tonight at a local restaurant in Inverness.
Day 5) Scottish Highlands: Glenfarclas, Culloden & Cawdor Castle
This morning, learn about how whisky is made on a distillery tour and sample a “wee dram” of single malt, at Glenfarclas Distillery. Afterward, visit the Culloden Battlefield—the powerfully emotive and atmospheric battlefield where the 1745 Jacobite Rising came to a tragic end. You’ll discover the true story of the 1745 Rising, from both the Jacobite and Government perspectives, in the newly accredited and highly interesting museum where unique artifacts from the time are displayed. Walk the battlefield and explore the key areas of action on Culloden Moor. Continue to Cawdor Castle & Gardens, a traditional Scottish Castle built and privately owned by the Cawdor family for over 600 years. The castle also features a beautiful walled garden. Tonight, dinner is included at Cawdor Tavern.
Day 6) Loch Ness, The Western Highlands & Isle of Skye
This morning, leave for Loch Ness, famous for the legendary Nessie. You’ll enjoy a cruise on this beautiful loch and be treated to panoramic views of the Highlands as you approach Urquhart Castle, visiting this famous castle perched majestically above the shoreline. Then, follow the long straight valley called the Great Glen to Fort Augustus, where Loch Ness meets Thomas Telford’s Caledonian Canal featuring a series of stepped locks that connect the Scottish lakes and where you will enjoy lunch. Continue to Loch Duich, where you will visit the romantic Eilean Donan Castle before crossing by bridge to the Isle of Skye. Arrive at a former hunting lodge for Clan MacDonald and now a delightful family-run inn where you are assured a comfortable, relaxing stay with loch views. Enjoy dinner at the lodge serving delicious home cooking and lounge in the bar and living room, all with a waterfront view.
Day 7) Isle of Skye
Today, set out to explore the Isle of Skye beginning with a drive to the Sligachan, with views to the Black Cuillin mountains. Then journey along the west coast where you will visit Dunvegan Castle, seat of Clan MacDonald. Continue to the harbor town of Uig for lunch and this afternoon tour around the stunning Trotternish peninsula with visits to include the Museum of Island Life, the Old Man of Storr, and Kilt Rock with its magnificent views from Quiraing. Return to Sconser through Portree, the largest town and capital of the Isle of Skye. It is here at Portree that Flora MacDonald aided Charles Edward Stuart’s (Bonnie Prince Charles) escape after his defeat at the Battle of Culloden. Dinner at the lodge.
Day 8) Loch Ness & Western Highlands
Depart for Armadale where you will board the ferry to Mallaig on the mainland. Continue by the silver sands of Morar, the Glenfinnan Tower Monument, where Bonnie Prince Charles rallied support for the Jacobite Rising of 1746, and the shores of Loch Linnhe to Glencoe. This afternoon, visit Glencoe, where you will learn about the Glencoe Massacre and visit a replica 17thcentury turf and creel house, before arriving in Oban, known as the seafood capital of Scotland, for a one-night stay at a superb Georgian House built in 1780 by the 5th Duke of Argyll and offering spectacular views over Oban Bay and the Isles of Kerrera, Lismore and Mull. This owner-run hotel and restaurant combines understated elegance along with the traditional values of Scottish hospitality. Dinner tonight is included at the hotel.
Day 9) Edinburgh & London
This morning, depart Oban for Edinburgh Airport from where you will catch the British Airways flight to London Heathrow Airport at which you’ll be met by your driver/guide for your transfer to the Cotswolds. Arrive in the pretty village of Stow-on-the-Wold for a 3-night stay. Stow is an attractive Cotswold village featuring a mixture of quaint shops, tea rooms, local pubs and restaurants set amongst period house and picturesque honey-colored Cotswold stone cottages. Dinner is included tonight.
Day 10) Sudeley Castle & Chasleton House
This morning, visit Sudeley Castle, a 15th-century country house where Henry VIII, King Edward VI, Queen Elizabeth 1, amongst others, all have connections. The centerpiece is the Queens Garden, so named because four of England’s queens—Anne Boleyn, Katherine Parr, Lady Jane Grey and Elizabeth I—all admired the hundreds of varieties of roses found here. Continue to Chastleton House, a fine unaltered Jacobean manor house with gardens laid out the same way for 400 years, also setting of the costume drama Wolf Hall. This afternoon, a full afternoon English tea will be waiting for you at a local treasure, an award-winning restaurant with spectacular views across the peaceful Cotswold valleys.
Day 11) Hidcote Manor, Chipping Campden & Sezincote
This morning, visit Hidcote Manor & Gardens, the greatest of all gardens, created by the talented American horticulturist, Major Lawrence Johnston. Enjoy lunch in the pretty honey-colored stone village of Chipping Campden. This afternoon, visit Sezincote House, featuring a renaissance-style garden beautifully set in the rolling Cotswold countryside. If time permits, you may also enjoy an optional one-hour country walk from Dover’s Hill to Chipping Campden, prior to departure to Sezincote.
Day 12) Blenheim Palace & Oxford
Today, depart for Blenheim Palace and the famous university town of Oxford. In the morning, visit Blenheim Palace, a magnificent estate set on 2,100 acres of beautiful parkland—landscaped by Lancelot “Capability” Brown—and home of the 12th Duke and Duchess of Marlborough as well as birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill. On departure, stop in Bladon, the resting place of Winston Churchill, alongside other members of the Churchill family, at St Martin’s Parish Church, just outside Blenheim Palace grounds. This afternoon, enjoy a private-guided walking tour of Oxford, known as the “City of Dreaming Spires” and home to England’s oldest university. Walk through the impressive campus buildings that are still home to the university’s main ceremonial and educational functions, admiring the impressive architecture. Arrive at the Randolph Hotel in the heart of Oxford for an overnight stay. This grand historic five-star Victorian hotel has long been Oxford’s landmark hotel in the heart of the town.
Day 13) Windsor & Hampton Court
Today, depart for a whole-day private guided tour of Windsor Castle and Hampton Court. At Windsor Castle, explore the interiors of this famous palace, setting of some recent Royal weddings. Afterwards, enjoy lunch at The Mute Swan by the Thames before visiting Hampton Court where, through a private-guided tour you’ll experience the public dramas and private lives of Henry VIII, his wives, and children in the world of the Tudor court. Discover the spectacular baroque palace built for William III and Mary II and explore Hampton Court Palace’s outdoor spaces and magnificent gardens. Continue your journey to central London for a three-night stay at a Mayfair hotel within walking distance of Buckingham Palace and many other top London sights.
Day 14) Westminster Abbey & Churchill War Rooms
Today, meet your local guide for a whole-day private guided sightseeing tour of essential London, learning about the history of the city and some of its famous residents. After seeing the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace, you’ll tour the interior of Westminster Abbey, one of the United Kingdom’s most notable religious buildings where Kings and Queens have been crowned and buried since 1066, and where recently Queen Elizabeth II lay in state. This afternoon, visit the Churchill War Rooms, the underground nerve center where the British government directed the Second World War. Afterwards, you may either visit Buckingham Palace (if open) or enjoy a ride on the London Eye with a champagne toast.
Day 15) Kensington Palace & Tower of London
This morning, your local guide will take you on a visit to Kensington Palace, situated within Hyde Park, and the favorite residence of successive sovereigns until 1760. It was also the birthplace and childhood home of Queen Victoria, as well home to recent royals Prince William and Prince Harry and their wives. Tour the opulent State Apartments and walk in the footsteps of royalty in the beautiful gardens. This afternoon, your local guide will take you to the Tower of London, home to the Crown Jewels. From the Tower of London, depart by ferry along the Thames—admiring the best views of Tower Bridge and London’s skyline— to Westminster Pier, from where you’ll be transferred back to your hotel.
Day 16) Depart for Heathrow Airport
Depart by private car for Heathrow Airport for your return flight.
Just a few tour highlights:
Stirling and Edinburgh Castles
Oxford and Blenheim Palace
Loch Ness & Scottish Highlands
Whisky distillery tour and tasting
Windsor and Hampton Castles
In this category, we have hand-picked five-star guest houses or smaller luxury hotels. These lodgings are often family owned and offer a truly unique, authentic and welcome atmosphere where you are more likely to engage with local people than in a higher-end hotel. Some tours involve a mixture of both Superior and Luxury Boutique.
Through years of travel experience, we have hand-picked luxury boutique hotels which are not only very comfortable in the traditional sense, but as importantly offer gourmet food and an ambience of lasting memory. All our hotel choices are of unique character, range from 4-star to 5-star, and are either downtown or enjoy a spectacular rural or village setting.
Our detailed offer to you will specify the hotels recommended.
Subject to availability, you may choose
your own dates. Price is determined by season, accommodation, and the number
of people in your group.
$8,490 per person (group of 6 people)
$9,890 per person (group of 4 people)
$12,890 per person (group of 2 people)
All prices are per person (USD) and for Superior Boutique Lodgings, except in Edinburgh, Oxford and London which are Luxury Boutique, based on sharing a room for double occupancy
For a full itinerary with details of all lodgings, and everything included in the tour price, please enquire.
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 private tour:
15 nights hotel accommodation
5 gourmet 3-course dinners
Luxury afternoon tea
Your own professional chauffeur-guide
Airfare from Edinburgh to London
Airport meet & greet
All entrance fees
Private-guided walking tours
Loch Ness cruise
We would like to thank you for organizing a great trip that gave us a good overview of the different parts of Scotland. Thank you also for all your efforts as I researched some family history too. We would definitely suggest to anyone your company and appreciate all the attention to details and great communications along the way. Hopefully we can get back sometime soon in the future.
Brian Livingstone - Tennessee
Scotland & England
If we had all of the money in the world to purchase a vacation and had all of the time in the world to plan a vacation, we would not have traded it for the vacation that Hugh Barnes and his team at Wanderlust planned for us. It was the absolute trip of a lifetime and one of the best parts of it is that since we were together for 2 weeks; Hugh and his team became like a part of the family. The attention to details, the seamless transitions from place to place, the extra information, and the ability to make last minute changes as we went along are invaluable. Hugh and his team took care of all the flights, all the meals, all the driving and coordination, and provided us with the leeway to tweak things as we went. All we had to do was to make sure that we had ourselves on a plane in Columbus, Ohio to start the trip and Hugh and his team took over from there. We didn’t have to think or worry about anything; we just sat back and enjoyed our vacation. Perfectly seamless. On top of Hugh’s knowledge of the areas and sites that we visited; his connections and network of folks that are part of his team are amazing. Private tour guides in each of the major cites that we visited were all set up for us. The specific guides that Hugh uses have boundless energy and information about specific cities in England, Scotland, and Ireland!! The hotels that he chose for us were amazing. The restaurants that he chose for us were incredible. We could not have scripted a better vacation and we cannot wait to book our next trip to the UK with Wanderlust!!
The decision is easy; there is no other company that we would even consider using again. Hugh Barnes and his team at Wanderlust makes future decisions very easy; just call Hugh!!
Ryan Hatfield and the Hatfield family - Ohio and Georgia
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