14 Day Scottish Highlands & Islands – Globus
Globus Coach Tour starting in Glasgow and finishing in Glasgow
This is our most comprehensive Scotland guided tour! After a welcome dinner in Glasgow, head through the picturesque Trossachs region to Stirling for a visit of the castle and the Bannockburn battlefield before arriving in Edinburgh for a three-night stay. Your sightseeing in the Scottish capital includes Edinburgh Castle and Holyrood Palace, and an excursion takes you to Sir Walter Scott’s Abbotsford House. Next, travel north, and stop at St. Andrews, the mountain resort of Pitlochry to visit a whisky distillery, and the Highland capital of Inverness. An included excursion takes in Culloden Moor and Cawdor Castle, setting for Shakespeare’s Macbeth. Also visit majestic Dunrobin Castle and enjoy a falconry display before boarding a ferry for the Orkney Islands. Here, a Local Guide shows you the unique sites, including a 5,000-year-old Neolithic village and the Ring of Brodgar, the area’s very own Stonehenge. Skirt the northwestern coastline, where stunning scenery delivers you to the isles of Skye and Mull for two-night stays on each. Return to Glasgow for one last overnight and the end of your Scottish adventure.
Day By Day
Day 1 Arrive In Glasgow, Scotland.
Welcome to Glasgow! Check into your hotel. The rest of the day is free to relax in Scotland’s largest city. At 6 pm, meet your Tour Director and travelling companions for a welcome dinner with wine at your hotel. (D)
Day 2 Glasgow – The Trossachs – Stirling – Bannockburn – Edinburgh.
Start your grand tour of Scotland with an interesting drive into the picturesque forested region known as The Trossachs. Stop in Aberfoyle, the charming village on the banks of the River Forth, then follow the route along the Lake of Menteith and through Callander to Stirling. Take photographs of the Wallace Monument, testimony to William Wallace’s victory over Edward I of England’s troops at The Battle of Stirling Bridge in 1297, as re-enacted in the film Braveheart. Next, visit STIRLING CASTLE, a great symbol of Scottish independence and favored residence of Scotland’s kings and queens. Today’s final highlight is the new BANNOCKBURN VISITOR CENTRE, commemorating the key battle in the Scottish Wars of Independence on June 23-24, 1314. Drive on to Edinburgh, your base for the next three nights. (B)
Day 3 Edinburgh.
Morning city sightseeing with a Local Guide introduces you to the 200-year-old “New Town” and famous scientists, inventors, and novelists. In the “Old Town,” drive up the narrow Royal Mile to EDINBURGH CASTLE to admire Scotland’s Crown Jewels, then explore HOLYROOD PALACE (except when the Queen is in residence). The afternoon is free to enjoy the Scottish capital at your own pace. Don’t miss our optional Scottish evening with Highland dancers, bagpipers, and the Ceremony of the Haggis. (B)
Day 4 Edinburgh. Abbotsford Excursion.
Today’s excursion brings you into parts of the Scottish Lowlands and Border Counties. First, take your photographs of Melrose Abbey, the burial place of Robert the Bruce’s heart, then enjoy a guided tour of Sir Walter Scott’s newly refurbished ABBOTSFORD HOUSE which contains an impressive collection of historic relics, weapons, and armor, as well as an extensive library with over 9,000 rare volumes. On your way back to Edinburgh stop in Peebles, an attractive and bustling town on the Tweed River. This afternoon, join a unique optional experience: board the former Royal Yacht Britannia to see how the Royal Family and crew of 240 lived and worked on board. Dinner rounds off this optional evening. For departure numbers 0808, 0815, and 0822, tickets are included for tonight’s performance of the world-renowned MILITARY TATTOO. (B)
Day 5 Edinburgh – St. Andrews – Pitlochry – Inverness.
Over the elegant Forth Road Bridge and through Fife to St. Andrews. Cross the Firth of Tay and via Dundee, head into the Highlands with a lunch stop in the Victorian mountain resort of Pitlochry. Then, visit a WHISKY DISTILLERY before you drive through the Grampian Mountains to the Highland capital, where you spend the next two nights. (B/D)
Day 6 Inverness. Highlands Excursion.
Fascinating visits on today’s excursion. At CULLODEN VISITOR CENTRE the story unfolds of the crushing Hanoverian victory over Bonnie Prince Charlie’s Scottish clans. Then, call at romantic, fairy-tale CAWDOR CASTLE, set in stunning grounds with beautiful gardens and home to the Thanes of Cawdor since 1370. Back in Inverness, the rest of the day is at leisure. Our recommendation for this afternoon would be to join the Loch Ness optional excursion, which includes a cruise on the loch. (B)
Day 7 Inverness – Thurso.
Continue an unforgettable journey and follow the coast road to majestic DUNROBIN CASTLE, for centuries the seat of the Dukes and Earls of Sutherland. Visit the formal gardens and enjoy a fascinating FALCONRY DISPLAY. Before dinner you may want to join an optional excursion to a local pub. (B/D)
Day 8 Thurso. Excursion To The Orkney Islands.
A fascinating day full of adventure. At John o’Groats, board a FERRY for the 45-minute crossing to South Ronaldsay, one of the Orkney Islands, where a local coach and driver-guide await you. Cross the four Churchill Barriers and overlook Scapa Flow, where the German fleet scuttled itself in World War I. Visit the ITALIAN CHAPEL/ built by prisoners of war in 1943 from scrap metal, concrete, and other materials. After a light LUNCH at the Tasting Hall cafe, take a guided tour of the award-winning ORKNEY BREWERY and sample the local ale. Then, head for SKARA BRAE, where you see the fascinating remains of a 5,000-year-old Neolithic village and visit SKAILL HOUSE. Yet more highlights: the Ring of Brodgar, the Orkneys’ Stonehenge, and finally Kirkwall, the small and picturesque island capital. Return to the mainland by FERRY in the late afternoon. (B/L/D)
Day 9 Thurso – Ullapool – Isle Of Skye.
A day to sit back and enjoy the breathtakingly wild and unspoiled scenery, some of the finest in Britain. The northern coast is lined with miles of yellow sandy beaches and pretty estuaries, and the hills and mountains take on a purple hue as the summer progresses. This is Scotland at its best! Make a lunch stop in the quaint fishing port of Ullapool and enjoy traditional FISH & CHIPS at a local restaurant. Late-afternoon arrival on the Inner Hebridean Isle of Skye. (B/L/D)
Day 10 Isle Of Skye.
Striking landscapes, weird rock formations, and dramatic waterfalls will capture your attention on your drive around the Trotternish peninsula. Visit the thatch-roofed cottages at the MUSEUM OF ISLAND LIFE, close to the last resting place of Highland heroine Flora MacDonald. Then, follow the spectacular coast route, stopping for photos of waterfalls and gorges, to the island capital of Portree. On the way back to Broadford, take in the views of the jagged and dark peaks of the Cuillin Hills. (B/D)
Day 11 Isle Of Skye – Glenfinnan – Isle Of Mull.
Call at the Clan Donald Centre for a visit to its MUSEUM OF THE ISLES and insight into 13 centuries of clan history before boarding your FERRY at Armadale to sail across the Sound of Sleat. Rejoin the mainland at Mallaig and follow the “Road to the Isles,” passing Glenfinnan. Take the FERRY to the Isle of Mull, where you conclude your day with a visit to the quaint island capital of Tobermory. (B/D)
Day 12 Isle Of Mull. Iona Excursion.
A leisurely day to relax and enjoy the best of the Scottish western isles. Drive across Mull for a visit to the beautiful and fascinating Isle of Iona. Time to visit the ABBEY and explore the religious settlement before returning to the hotel in the early afternoon. An exciting optional excursion will be available before dinner tonight. (B/D)
Day 13 Isle Of Mull – Inveraray – Glasgow.
The final island FERRY crossing brings you to Oban. Then, over the Pass of Brander and from Inveraray to the “Bonnie Banks” of Loch Lomond. Back in Glasgow this afternoon your orientation city tour takes in the fine 12th-century cathedral, imposing university buildings, and elegant Georgian squares. Time for last-minute shopping before enjoying a farewell dinner with wine at your hotel. (B/D)
Day 14 Glasgow.
Your holiday ends with breakfast this morning. (B)
- GLASGOW: Welcome dinner; orientation drive; farewell dinner.
- STIRLING: Visit Stirling Castle; take pictures of the Wallace Monument.
- BANNOCKBURN: Visit the innovative new visitor centre commemorating Robert the Bruce’s victory.
- EDINBURGH: Guided sightseeing, visit Edinburgh Castle and Holyrood Palace.
- ABBOTSFORD: Guided tour of Sir Walter Scott’s house.
- ST. ANDREWS: Visit the home of golf.
- HIGHLANDS: Guided tour of a whisky distillery.
- INVERNESS: Visit the Highland capital.
- CULLODEN MOOR: Visit the battle site’s visitor centre.
- CAWDOR: Visit the castle and gardens.
- DUNROBIN: Visit the castle, see a falconry display.
- JOHN O’GROATS: Take the ferry to and from the Orkney Islands.
- ORKNEY ISLANDS: Board a local coach for a driver-guide commentary and visits to the Churchill Barriers, Italian Chapel, Skara Brae and Skaill House, and Kirkwall; visit the Orkney Brewery and enjoy lunch at the Tasting Hall cafe.
- ULLAPOOL: Fish & chips lunch.
- ISLE OF SKYE: Visit the Museum of Island Life and the Museum of the Isles.
- ARMADALE-MALLAIG: Cross the Sound of Sleat by ferry.
- GLENFINNAN: Take pictures of the monument.
- LOCHALINE-FISHNISH: Take the ferry to the Isle of Mull.
- ISLE OF MULL: Visit Tobermory.
- ISLE OF IONA: Take the ferry to the island and visit the centre of Celtic Christianity.
- CRAIGNURE-OBAN: Take the ferry back to the Scottish mainland.
- LOCH LOMOND: Take photographs of this stunning beauty spot.
- TRANSPORTATION: Motorcoach; ferries to/from the Orkney Islands, the Isles of Skye, Mull, and Iona.
- FREE WI-FI: Available on your motorcoach and in most hotel lobbies.
- HEADSETS: Throughout the tour.
- Inside visits and special features are shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description, including admission charges where applicable.
- In Dunrobin see a falconry display
- Enjoy lunch at the Tasting Hall cafe on Orkney Islands
- Full Scottish breakfast (B); 2 lunches (L); 9 three-course dinners with wine (D) and choice of menus, including a welcome dinner and a farewell dinner in Glasgow.
- Hotel Classifications: Deluxe (D), Superior First Class (SF), First Class (F)
- GLASGOW Novotel (F), EDINBURGH The George (SF), INVERNESS Mercure Inverness (F), THURSO St. Clair (F), ISLE OF SKYE Dunollie (F) at Broadford, ISLE OF MULL Isle of Mull Hotel (F) at Craignure