(Edinburgh, Oban, Inverness)
Spend time in the mythical land of Scotland! From the cosmopolitan city of Edinburgh with its majestic castle, wide boulevards and stately buildings, to the wilds of the Inner Hebrides with sweeping seascapes, historical sites and quaint fishing villages to the northern cities of Aberdeen and Inverness, this private guided itinerary will enable you to see many of the country's highlights. In the company of a knowledgeable Driver-Guide, you'll get to explore this ancient land, experience the rugged beauty of the western islands, learn the secrets of whiskey making as you sip on a wee dram, and relax in luxurious accommodations throughout. Visit some of the more well known castles as well as some lesser known gems that dot the countryside, travel back in time taking an scenic paddle steamer along Loch Katine, explore the historic Abbey on Iona island, and soak in the atmosphere at the historic site of Culloden Battlefield and the garrison fortress of Fort George, dating back to 1746. There are lots of additional options to choose from - one thing is certain, you're sure to come away from your vacation with a greater appreciation and sense of awe of the rich heritage of Scotland.
Meet your driver for a private train station transfer.
The Witchery Restaurant located on the Royal Mile is a great place for dinner. The 16th century building located close to the Castle is lit exclusively by candlelight. The tapestry-draped main dining room is an ode to opulence: the seats are a rich red leather, the ceiling is gilded, and the walls are covered with oak panels salvaged from an old cathedral. The Secret Garden annex, meanwhile, is full of brass candlesticks and stone statues, and displays a series of painted doors that tell the story of Edinburgh's wine trade with France. The menu is equally sumptuous, offering dishes such as melt-in-your-mouth steak tartare, rabbit wrapped in Parma ham with tea-soaked prunes, and loin of roe deer with an earthy black pudding. But be sure to save room for the desserts — from the chocolate torte to the bramble, sherry and mascarpone trifle, they make a wickedly decadent end to the meal. Please speak to your Sales Advisor if you would like to have a reservation made for you.
You will be met at your central Edinburgh hotel by your guide to commence your walking tour. The buzz of Scotland's capital city sits in perfect contrast to the peaceful tranquility of the surrounding Lothians region. Edinburgh has one of the most beautiful cityscapes in the world, making it the ideal city break destination. From ceilidhs and science to ghost, film and food festivals there's always something going on in the festival city, and that's just for starters. Discover world-class museums and galleries, learn the history of the city or spend an afternoon pub crawling - whatever your fancy! Make sure to wear comfortable walking shoes and perhaps take an umbrella!
Entrance ticket to Edinburgh Castle.
Edinburgh Castle has dominated its surroundings with majesty for centuries. The Castle's rock has been a stronghold for over 3000 years. Learn more of the history and stories about this ancient place at your leisure.
Leaving Edinburgh this morning you will drive north to Stirling to visit the magnificent Castle perched majestically above the city. You then travel back in time taking the scenic paddle steamer along Loch Katrine, undoubtedly one of the most picturesque boat journeys in Scotland. After time at leisure for lunch, your journey will continue to the stunning west coast of Scotland. Enroute to Oban you could explore Cruachan Power Station with a train trip through the mountain.
Please note: Per Person entrances fees have not been included to allow for maximum flexibility. Please let your Sales Advisor know if you would like all entrances included and this can be added.
Take a scenic ferry journey from Oban to the magical Isle of Mull, the second largest of the Inner Hebrides and the fourth largest Scottish island. Travel to Tobermory, the largest settlement on the island. From here you can take a wonderful journey of discovery in a whale watching trip. You may be lucky and catch site of some of the wonderful wildlife which abounds on this small island.
Continue your adventure as you leave the west coast of Scotland this morning and travel eastwards towards Loch Ness, possibly Scotland's most famous Loch, known for its elusive monster. Before arriving there you will pass through Fort William and if the timings are right you would be able to take a trip on the West Coast Railway, made famous in the Harry Potter films. Visit the ruins of Urquhart Castle in their dramatic position overlooking the Loch. Or stop at the Loch ness exhibition and learn about the secrets of it or, indeed take a cruise on the loch. You might be lucky and “Nessie” will make an appearance.
Please note: Per Person entrances fees have not been included to allow for maximum flexibility. Please let your Sales Advisor know if you would like all entrances included and this can be added).
Heading south out of Inverness why not stop at Culloden Moor, scene of the last battle fought on British soil between the Jacobite and Government troops. Then cross over to Clava Cairns. The site is an exceptionally well preserved group of pre-historic burial cairns that were built almost 4000 years ago. Back to the main road and the faster road south perhaps stopping at Tomatin Distillery to discover just how the “water of life” is produced and, of course, a taste of the finished product. You last stop of the day will be the picturesque town of Pitlochry, geographical centre of Scotland. Some free time here to stretch your legs and enjoy some of the small unique shops the town has to offer. You journey head as this time you drive over the Forth Road Bridge and remember how your journey started admiring the bridge from below. Entrances not included.
The Rocco Forte Collection's Balmoral is a luxury five star hotel located in the very heart of Edinburgh. The Balmoral offers 188 opulent suites and stylish rooms, many with views towards Edinburgh Castle and the Old Town. Enjoy all the facilities The Balmoral has to offer - a Finnish sauna and Turkish steam room, 15-metre crystal-clear pool, air-conditioned fully equipped cardiovascular gymnasium and exercise room. The Balmoral recently won a place on Condé Nast Traveler's Gold List (US edition) within "The best hotels in the world for location".
The Eriska Hotel, Spa and Golf (5*) offers luxurious accommodation with a view to match. Enjoy a traditional Scottish breakfast, while taking in 300 acres of lush landscapes all from the comfort of your own bed. Carefully blending the old with the new their designer rooms & luxury suites offer the finest bed linen, rich fabrics, and warm, contemporary décor. Guests can also relax and enjoy a quiet reprieve with their favourite tipple next to the fireplace in the Isle of Eriska Hotel Lounge. Since 1997 the Restaurant at Eriska has held the award of 3 AA Rosettes and a mark in the Good Food Guide.
Rocpool Reserve Hotel & Restaurant (5*) is situated in the heart of Inverness just a few minutes walk from the High Street and Inverness Castle; yet it also has magnificent views towards the Ciarngorm mountains. With just 11 rooms, this boutique hotel is about elegance and provides guests with luxurious features in each room, including perks such as double voyeur showers, outdoor hot tubs, private balconies, and split level rooms. The hotel offers an elegant restaurant, and fantastic bar. This discreet boutique hotel, bar and restaurant offers guests wonderful luxury in the heart of Inverness, an exclusive hideaway in the centre of the city.
Vanessa Oquendo ,
April 21, 2014
"Melissa Field was extremely helpful! She was courteous, professional, knowledgeable, and friendly! She kept me updated on the status of everything and provided timely correspondence. She took ownership for any problems I had and remedied them. I had the most amazing time of my life in Iceland and Paris! I would not have experienced everything without the help of Kensington Tours."
Marilynn Weaver ,
April 21, 2014
"All of our guides were beyond fabulous! Our time in Dublin was much too short, would have loved to stay there at least one more full day. Would recommend extending this package to 15 days for any future visits. The train to Edinburgh was super! Beautiful scenery and great steak pies!"
Ann Saxon ,
November 06, 2013
"Our trip was fantastic!!! I cannot say enough good things. Lianne worked with our exact dates and time frame beautifully.Our drivers were prompt and friendly. The private guides were so knowledgeable. We left with an appreciation of the history, the culture, and the beauty of Andulasia. We were very pleased and will certainly recommend your company to friends and family."
Coby Scherr ,
November 05, 2013
"Everyone involved in our Portugal trip made it terrific. Exactly as advertised. Every event on time and most pleasant. Guides were well-informed, courteous and friendly. Really made for a great journey every time. Each hotel was clean, upgraded and staffed with knowledgeable and friendly folks. Breakfasts were complete -- almost too much to eat. It will always be a wonderful memory thanks to Kensington Tours."
Couples Dellinger & Hubbell ,
November 06, 2013
"We've been raving to everyone about the food, the friendliness of the people and the amazing history and sites in Turkey. Yes, we want to go back."
John Edstrom ,
October 22, 2013
"Overall, our tour in Spain was very enjoyable, and well planned and executed. Our private tour of the Alhambra was excellent. Virginia, tour guide for royal palace ruins outside of Cordoba, was also excellent. In Seville, we went to the Flamenco Show/dinner, and the Flamenco was outstanding!"
Kevin Wilshere ,
October 19, 2013
"Great trip to Spain! Thanks again for all your help, Lianne. The destinations, hotels, guides and everything were all top notch."
Chery Westlund ,
November 07, 2013
"My husband and I took a 3 week vacation to southern Europe and North Africa and had a great time. All the guides were very knowledgeable and bent over backwards to accommodate us. The arrangements made by Kensington went off without a hitch. This is our second trip with Kensington (we went to Peru in 2009) and we will certainly book with them again."
Randy Gramlich ,
October 07, 2013
"Thank you for your follow up, we both loved our time in Croatia. It’s really a beautiful place, especially the coast. Your choice of hotels was great. It was an incredible view from the Bellevue hotel in Dubrovnik and the Vestibule in Split was in the best possible location. We were able to relax in our room listening to the wonderful singers in the courtyard and its central location made it so easy to walk anywhere we wanted to see with ease. "
Jay Steffan ,
September 24, 2013
"We just returned from a 10 day trip to Paris and Normandy. We spent three nights in Paris and then enjoyed a seven night cruise on the Seine to Normandy with AMA Waterways. The time in Paris was well spent and has piqued our interest to return for a more thorough visit. Guide Wafaa Lankey was superb in our visit to Versailles. The Seine cruise was relaxing and beautiful. So many wonderful little towns and we wished we had more time in each one to explore and enjoy.
We traveled to Croatia and Slovenia using Kensington earlier this year which was a fantastic trip."
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