Scotland Highlights: Highland Lochs & Castles

8 days from $5,264 per person*
  • See ancient castle ruins on the stunning Isle of Skye.
  • Search for Nessy as you sail across Loch Ness on a cruise.
  • Visit a traditional whisky distillery for tastings with expert guide.
  • Led by private guide, embark on a city tour of Edinburgh and its hilltop castle.
  • Featuring expertly selected premium hotels.
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Explore the treasures of Edinburgh and the Scottish Highlands on this expertly crafted tour. Cruise Loch Ness, explore the Isle of Skye, visit a legendary whiskey distillery & much more.

The quintessential imagery of Scotland almost always involves castles, whisky, tartan, highlands, and lochs. Scotland is indeed all of this, and so much more as you’ll find on this journey. Immerse yourself in the cosmopolitan feel of Edinburgh, soaking in its history as you stroll down the Royal Mile with your private guide, and explore the hilltop Edinburgh Castle. Visit a whisky distillery, the medieval town of Stirling – site of the William Wallace Monument (Braveheart), and take Duke’s Pass along some of the most beautiful lochs in Scotland. Cruise along the infamous Loch Ness, and explore Urquhart Castle by foot. Admire the iconic Eilean Donan Castle, and discover the miraculous Isle of Skye. Take a traditional steam train (of Harry Potter fame) from Fort William, along one of the great railway journeys of the world through ever changing vistas from the highest mountain in Great Britain, to beautiful freshwater lochs and rivers. Enjoy a blend of private and small group activities, as well as time to explore on your own. This is your perfect Scotland discovery. ... Show More »

Enjoy a personalized vacation that best suits your needs, developed by one of our experienced destination experts. Relax during your trip with our 24/7 support and expert local guidance. « Show Less

Day
Activities Hotel & Meals
Hotel & Meals
  • Day 1 Edinburgh
    Edinburgh
    • Private Transfer - Airport with Meet & Greet - Vehicle/Assistant/Driver
    • Scotland - Welcome Package
    • Private Tour - 1/2 Day Walking Tour with Edinburgh Castle (4 hrs) - Guide
  • Day 2 Edinburgh
    Edinburgh
    • Private Tour - Castles, Lochs & Whisky (9 hrs) - Vehicle/Driver-Guide
  • Day 3 Edinburgh to Inverness
    Edinburgh to Inverness
    • Private Transfer - Train Station - Vehicle/Driver
    • Train - Edinburgh - Inverness [3.5 hrs] - First Class
    • Private Transfer - Train Station - Vehicle/Driver
    Breakfast
  • Day 4 Inverness
    Inverness
    • Shared Tour - Loch Ness Cruise & Urquhart Castle (2.5 hrs) - Vehicle/Driver
    Breakfast
  • Day 5 Inverness
    Inverness
    • Small Group Tour - Eilean Donan Castle & Isle of Skye (12 hrs) - Vehicle/Driver-Guide
    Breakfast
  • Day 6 Inverness to Fort William
    Inverness to Fort William
    • Private Transfer - Inverness - Fort William [1.5 hrs] - Vehicle/Driver
    • Local Taxi (not included)
    • Afternoon on the Scenic Jacobite Steam Train (6 hrs) - First Class
    • Local Taxi (not included)
  • Day 7 Fort William to Edinburgh
    Fort William to Edinburgh
    • Private Transfer - Fort William - Edinburgh [3 hrs] - Vehicle/Driver
    • Afternoon at Leisure
  • Day 8 Edinburgh
    Edinburgh
    • Private Transfer - Airport - Vehicle/Driver
We can customize this private tour just for you. Any element can be tailored – activities, length, hotels and destinations.
Call us at 1 888 903-2001 or request a quote.
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Day 1: Edinburgh

For your added comfort, a Meet and Greet assistant will welcome you upon your arrival at the airport. They'll be waiting for you outside of customs, holding a sign with your name on it. Your assistant will help to co-ordinate meeting up with your private driver at the airport, and accompany you to your hotel for check-in.

A welcome package with a city map, train tickets (if relevant), and any other touristic information that we deem you may find useful, will be provided to you on your first day in destination.

Meet your private guide at your hotel and depart on foot for a half-day walking tour through Scotland’s hilly capital, Edinburgh, founded over 1,200 years ago. The New Town, co-listed with the Old Town as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, features the famous Princes Street with its ornate 200-foot-high Scott Monument, along with historic Georgian and neo-classical architecture. With a structure-free south side of the street, Princes offers panoramic views back across the scenic Old Town, considered one of the most beautiful skylines in Europe. Stroll the renowned Royal Mile in the UNESCO-listed Old Town, bookended by the 12th century Edinburgh Castle at one end, and the 16th century Holyrood Palace at the other, residence of the British monarch in Scotland. Spot the prominent St Giles’ Cathedral, a religious focal point for nearly 900 years. Pass the National Museum of Scotland, and learn of the city’s hidden subterranean passages running below street level. Visit the iconic Edinburgh Castle, perched on Castle Rock with an imposing stance upon the historic old town below. Stroll the courtyard and learn about the historic royal residence from the outside before leaving your guide while you visit the inside of the castle, where you can see the lavish interiors, and even the Crown Jewels. 

Accommodation: Kimpton Charlotte Square Hotel

Overlooking one of Edinburgh’s prettiest private garden squares, Kimpton Charlotte Square Hotel  — formerly The Principal — consists of seven inter-connecting Georgian townhouses in the heart of Edinburgh's New Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. After a large scale restoration, all guestrooms and suites have been given a smart, new look, inspired by the golden age of travel, and a genuine sense of Scottish hospitality. The beautiful internal courtyard, an oasis of calm featuring a glass roof, is now open from breakfast through to the wee hours, while a full range of spa treatments is available alongside a pool, sauna, steam room and fully equipped gym. Stay connected with complimentary wifi internet access provided throughout the hotel. 

Scotland Highlights: Highland Lochs & Castles Tours 2019 - 2020 -  Edinburgh Castle
Edinburgh Castle
Scotland Highlights: Highland Lochs & Castles Tours 2019 - 2020 -  Edinburgh
Edinburgh

Day 2: Edinburgh

Meet your private guide and transportation, setting out on a full day tour to celebrate the highlights of Scotland - castles, lochs and whisky! Admire the UNESCO-listed Forth Bridge over the Firth of Forth as you head north from Edinburgh, traveling through Stirlingshire where you'll be regaled with history and lore of the famous warrior William Wallace, dramatized in the film Braveheart. Arriving to the city of Stirling, you'll have an opportunity to see the towering Wallace Monument, overlooking the city below. Stroll the beautiful city streets, and enjoy a visit of the remarkable 12th century Stirling Castle, with an imposing view of its own, perched atop Castle Hill. A former Scottish royal residence, it has survived at least 8 different sieges over its period of use. Heading out along the Duke's Pass, you'll have spectacular views to the peaks of the Trossach Mountains, passing some of the country's most stunning lochs, coming to a midday pause at Loch Lomond where you can walk the shores of the largest body of fresh water in the UK. On your way back to Edinburgh, you'll make a stop at the renowned Glengoyne Distillery for a taste of the true spirit of the country - a Highland Malt Whisky.

Accommodation: Kimpton Charlotte Square Hotel
Scotland Highlights: Highland Lochs & Castles Tours 2019 - 2020 -  Wallace Monument
Wallace Monument

Day 3: Edinburgh - Inverness

Your driver will meet you at the hotel lobby for a private transfer to Edinburgh train station.

Depart by train from Edinburgh to Inverness. Approximate travel time is 3.5 hours.

Meet your private driver and vehicle for a train station transfer.

Accommodation: Kingsmills

Set in the beautiful Scottish Highlands, the Kingsmills Hotel is a fabulously historic retreat tucked away just one mile from the city center of Inverness. The hotel, much like its on-site dining, combines the perfect mix of classic and contemporary features. Between the gardens of the historic mansion house, the lavish Kingsclub and Spa, and 134 guestrooms, many with private balconies and patios or views over the neighboring golf course, your relaxation and comfort are always in mind. Take a stroll in the hotel grounds with scarcely a hint that you’re in the middle of the Highland capital. The Kingsmills Hotel offers authentic Scottish hospitality, along with dashes of character and panache, only delivered by genuine hoteliers.

Scotland Highlights: Highland Lochs & Castles Tours 2019 - 2020 -  Inverness
Inverness
Scotland Highlights: Highland Lochs & Castles Tours 2019 - 2020 -  Kingsmills Hotel
Kingsmills Hotel

Day 4: Inverness

Meet your private driver for a transfer to the Clansman Harbor, where you'll board the 250-passenger Jacobite Warrior boat for one hour of cruising on the mysterious waters of Loch Ness, enjoying on-board audio bursting with fascinating facts and legends as you sail. During your voyage, you'll also hop ashore for a one-hour visit to explore the historic 13th-16th century ruins of Urquhart Castle and its turbulent past - serving a role in the 14th century Wars of Scottish Independence. Re-board the ship and set sail back to the harbor where your private transfer will take you back to your hotel. Along with the help of an on-board sonar system, be sure to keep your eye out for a potential Nessie spotting as you cruise, the legendary (mythical?) monster that is said to take refuge in the depths of the Loch.

Accommodation: Kingsmills
Scotland Highlights: Highland Lochs & Castles Tours 2019 - 2020 -  Urquhart Castle Ruins
Urquhart Castle Ruins

Day 5: Inverness

As a small group of no more than 16 participants, head out on a full day adventure thorough some of Scotland’s most iconic scenery. Driving along the shores of Loch Ness, you'll stop at the village of Invermoriston, where you can take in the serene views, see a delightful ruined bridge, and keep an eye out for 'Nessie', legendary creature said to take refuge in the depths of the loch below. Your journey then winds past the Five Sisters, a stunning range of mountains that dominates the surrounding landscape. You’ll then arrive to the Isle of Skye, making a stop so to admire the picturesque beauty of the 13th century ruins of Eilean Donan Castle - easily recognized as one of the most iconic sights in the country. There will be time for an optional visit of the castle on its separate tidal island, though admission (if desired) is payable on the spot. Your experience on the Isle of Skye will have you brought along the stunningly beautiful road through Glen Suardal, see the iconic Red Cuillin Hills, and enjoy views of Bla Bhein - often considered Scotland’s prettiest mountain. The road then drops to hug the banks of Loch Slappin where you’ll be able to stop and enjoy some beach combing, before your journey takes a steep climb over Strathaird to reach the little community of Elgol, offering superb views of the Black Cuillin Hills and the stunning seascapes towards Rum and other small isles. Return to Inverness via the scenic Black Isle, with views over the Moray Firth.

Accommodation: Kingsmills
Scotland Highlights: Highland Lochs & Castles Tours 2019 - 2020 -  Eilean Donan Castle
Eilean Donan Castle

Day 6: Inverness - Fort William

Meet your private driver and vehicle for a transfer to Fort William. Approximate travel time is 1.5 hours.

Transfer by local taxi. Please note that this service is not included, and is payable locally.

This afternoon, travel back in time on a legendary Jacobite Steam Train as it takes you on a scenic journey to the west coast. The 84-mile round-trip journey features old-fashioned carriages and compartments, a pure nostalgia of traveling under the power of steam, as the locomotive winds through Highlands valleys and beside lochs and glens. Starting in Fort William, travel along the shores of Loch Eil, stopping for half an hour at Glenfinnan. One of the main highlights of the journey is crossing the 21 arches of the Glenfinnan viaduct, memorably captured in the Harry Potter films and overlooking Loch Shiel. After, the train passes through the villages of Lochailort, Arisaig, and Morar before reaching the end of the line in Mallaig, the ferry port for the Isle of Skye. Views from Mallaig stretch across the water to the islands, and the little harbor town is small enough to explore on foot after the train ride. You will have about an hour and a half to explore Mallaig before the return journey to Fort William commences, arriving back at approximately 8:30pm.

Transfer by local taxi. Please note that this service is not included, and is payable locally.

Accommodation: Inverlochy Castle

Fort William's grand Inverlochy Castle is a stunning 19th century castle-turned-hotel, surrounded by the lush glens, lochs and mountains of the West Highlands. As Scotland's finest country hotel, every detail for your comfort and enjoyment has been carefully considered. The castle's 17 elegant guestrooms offer individual design and character, with spectacular views of the grounds and private loch. Enjoy first class dining on-site from a 3 AA Red Rosette-awarded restaurant featuring furniture presented as gifts to Inverlochy Castle from the King of Norway, creating a unique experience in unrivaled surroundings.

Scotland Highlights: Highland Lochs & Castles Tours 2019 - 2020 -  Crossing the Glenfinnan Viaduct
Crossing the Glenfinnan Viaduct
Scotland Highlights: Highland Lochs & Castles Tours 2019 - 2020 -  Fort William
Fort William

Day 7: Fort William - Edinburgh

Meet your private driver and vehicle for a transfer to Edinburgh. Approximate travel time is 3 hours.

This afternoon, enjoy time at leisure to explore at your own pace, or relax at your hotel.

Accommodation: Kimpton Charlotte Square Hotel

Day 8: Edinburgh

Meet your private driver and vehicle for an airport transfer.

Accommodation: Depart (Int`l Airport) (standard)

Depart from International Airport. End of itinerary.

We can customize this private tour just for you. Any element can be tailored – activities, length, hotels and destinations.
Call us at 1 888 903-2001 or request a quote.

Trip Terms & Conditions

  • Your deposit is due immediately on booking (30% of program price, minimum $350). The balance is due 90 days prior to departure.
  • Cancellations of confirmed bookings 90 days or more prior to departure will receive full refund minus a $350 (per person) administrative fee and any non-refundable paid fees (e.g. non-refundable airfare, cruise or hotel deposits). 60-89 days will be subject to loss of 30% of program price. 30-59 days will be subject to loss of 50% of program price. 29 days or less will be subject to loss of 100% of program price.
  • Tour quotes do not include airfare to/from the trip start point unless noted on the itinerary
  • Cost increases in currency exchange, government fees, taxes, surcharges or hotel/lodge tariff increases between quote date and start date are payable by the client.
  • Availability cannot be guaranteed until booked. We will exercise best efforts to book hotels per the itinerary, however, in busy seasons and with client bookings made within 90 days of tour date we may be forced to offer substitutes.
  • Payment of the program price constitutes your acceptance of the terms and conditions set out at www.kensingtontours.com/terms-and-conditions
  • Living Standards and practices at destination may differ from those in North America with respect to provisions of utilities, services and accommodation.

Kimpton Charlotte Square Hotel: Edinburgh

Overlooking one of Edinburgh’s prettiest private garden squares, Kimpton Charlotte Square Hotel  — formerly The Principal — consists of seven inter-connecting Georgian townhouses in the heart of Edinburgh's New Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. After a large scale restoration, all guestrooms and suites have been given a smart, new look, inspired by the golden age of travel, and a genuine sense of Scottish hospitality. The beautiful internal courtyard, an oasis of calm featuring a glass roof, is now open from breakfast through to the wee hours, while a full range of spa treatments is available alongside a pool, sauna, steam room and fully equipped gym. Stay connected with complimentary wifi internet access provided throughout the hotel. 

Scotland Highlights: Highland Lochs & Castles Tours 2019 - 2020 -  Principal Edinburgh Charlotte Square
Principal Edinburgh Charlotte Square
Scotland Highlights: Highland Lochs & Castles Tours 2019 - 2020 -  Principal Edinburgh Charlotte Square
Principal Edinburgh Charlotte Square

Kingsmills : Inverness

Set in the beautiful Scottish Highlands, the Kingsmills Hotel is a fabulously historic retreat tucked away just one mile from the city center of Inverness. The hotel, much like its on-site dining, combines the perfect mix of classic and contemporary features. Between the gardens of the historic mansion house, the lavish Kingsclub and Spa, and 134 guestrooms, many with private balconies and patios or views over the neighboring golf course, your relaxation and comfort are always in mind. Take a stroll in the hotel grounds with scarcely a hint that you’re in the middle of the Highland capital. The Kingsmills Hotel offers authentic Scottish hospitality, along with dashes of character and panache, only delivered by genuine hoteliers.

Scotland Highlights: Highland Lochs & Castles Tours 2019 - 2020 -  Kingsmills Hotel
Kingsmills Hotel
Scotland Highlights: Highland Lochs & Castles Tours 2019 - 2020 -  Lounge
Lounge

Inverlochy Castle : Fort William

Fort William's grand Inverlochy Castle is a stunning 19th century castle-turned-hotel, surrounded by the lush glens, lochs and mountains of the West Highlands. As Scotland's finest country hotel, every detail for your comfort and enjoyment has been carefully considered. The castle's 17 elegant guestrooms offer individual design and character, with spectacular views of the grounds and private loch. Enjoy first class dining on-site from a 3 AA Red Rosette-awarded restaurant featuring furniture presented as gifts to Inverlochy Castle from the King of Norway, creating a unique experience in unrivaled surroundings.

Scotland Highlights: Highland Lochs & Castles Tours 2019 - 2020 -  Inverlochy Castle
Inverlochy Castle

Depart (Int`l Airport) (standard): Global Location

Depart from International Airport. End of itinerary.

We can customize this private tour just for you. Any element can be tailored – activities, length, hotels and destinations.
Call us at 1 888 903-2001 or request a quote.
We can customize this private tour just for you. Any element can be tailored – activities, length, hotels and destinations.
Call us at 1 888 903-2001 or request a quote.
  • Anish K — July 10, 2019 — Europe

    Everything A to Z was perfectly planned. The quality of the tours, guides and hotels was excellent! There were no hiccups and always numbers to call with any questions. It was a trip of a lifetime!

  • Robert G — May 25, 2019 — Europe

    We spent 14 days in Athens and three Greek islands. We took eight excursions and had four transfers from ports to hotels. Every transfer was on time, welcoming and eager to provide as much information as they could about the island. Every excursion and guide we had was punctual, polite, professional and very knowledgeable about the toured area. The vacation was everything we had hoped for. Kensington, and in particular Alyssa, were wonderful in helping us plan our trip and make it a wonderful success.

  • Barbara F — May 14, 2019 — Europe

    We could not have chosen a better company. The professionalism of all involved in planning our trip was beyond our expectation. We were so pleased that we have already booked our next trip with Kensington.

  • Claudia C — June 07, 2019 — Europe

    Alyssa Page did a marvellous job. We couldn't have been more pleased with her suggestions and arrangements. She booked the right amount of time in each of 4 places, and wonderful hotels and tours, timely responding to my multitude of questions pre-trip. She made all logistics easy and it all flowed so smoothly. I give her five stars.

  • Pamela W — June 07, 2019 — Europe

    My mom and I had such an awesome trip. It was the best thing we could have done together. We celebrated her 79th birthday in London and the guide and driver were awesome. It was also nice to have the same driver for all the tours. In France, our guide and driver went above and beyond for us. They were both so amazing. I can't believe the experience we had and I'm sure this will be my new way of travel.

  • Mary W — May 05, 2019 — Europe

    My Kensington Tours Destination Expert, Jessica Clements, was so helpful and patient as we planned our trip. She was so helpful in recommending things based on her experience and so patient as our dates changed, and we had more ideas about what we wanted to see. Once we got to Greece, our pickups and transfers were seamless. Our tour guides, drivers and destination greeters were all so warm and welcoming. The hotels were fantastic in terms of service and location. Overall, it was a wonderful experience and I have already recommended Kensington to several friends.

  • Rita B — April 24, 2019 — Europe

    Our entire visit to Poland was outstanding, first-class. Booking the tour with Karolina Stringer made it so easy. All I did was tell her the places we needed to visit and what was the feel we wanted for the visit. Not only did we want to see the landmarks of Poland, but we also wanted time to walk the squares, sit in the cafes, take public transportation. Everyone we encountered in Poland was top-notch. Our guide for Gdansk was Ewelina Danecka. This amazing woman enchanted us with her knowledge and her joy in sharing her country with us. On our first day, I requested we reverse the first two days of our plan and she was totally flexible. I gave her the name of a very obscure town and she and the driver found it! Ewelina acted as my interpreter with the parish priests of the two towns we specifically needed to visit for our family research. She and our driver stayed with us an extra two hours after they were scheduled to be done for the evening and because of their generosity we saw Wawel Castle, which wasn't on our schedule, we loved it! Our three days with Ewelina were so intense and emotional that we felt we were leaving family when we said goodbye to her. The Hanza Hotel was wonderful, overlooking the riverfront. Warsaw was waiting for us and so was Agnieszka Tomazuk. Agnieszka was wonderful. We were specifically interested to visit the Warsaw ghetto and the war monuments commemorating the valor of the Poles during the WW2. And we were very interested to know about the Polish life under communism. I specifically requested a "good" Chopin concert. We didn't get good, we got a brilliant concert given by Agnieszka Przemyk-Bryla, in the Szuster Palace, not some impersonal concert hall. Her passion for the music combined with her technical ability made that evening unforgettable. The Polonia Palace Hotel was very nice, though not quite within walking distance to the Warsaw town square. On the way to Krakow we stopped at Jasna Gora to see the Madonna. We were guided and educated by one of the nuns of the Monastery. Totally awesome. We could not have done Krakow without our guide, Marta Bochenek. She made sure we knew not just what we were getting into when we went into the Wieliczka Salt Mine, but how to get out and meet up with her, since there were not one, but two exits from the mine. And when we went to Auschwitz, Marta very wisely said that she would be waiting if we decided not to go to the Birkenau portion of the concentration camp visit. Respectfully and reverently done as it was, Auschwitz was so powerful, we decided not to go on to Birkenau. I'm so glad we did go to Auschwitz. The Sheraton Krakow was very fine. Our first cup of "real" coffee in Poland. Most of the hotels' coffee is made from Nescafe or some instant coffee. The coffee at the Sheraton Krakow was really whole roasted coffee. Kensington Tours is contracting with the first class tour agency in Poland. We could not be more satisfied with our entire experience. The mood of our tour exactly matched the attitude I relayed to Karolina at the very beginning of our planning. This trip felt like it was planned just for us. This is our second time using Kensington Tours. Like the first trip, this was OUR tour.

  • Marilyn R — April 22, 2019 — Europe

    The absolute best trip to Europe we have ever taken. The entire process was flawless: best hotels, best guides, etc. This experience was new to us, but now it’s the only when I will travel! Kensington tours was the best. A truly 5-star experience from beginning to the end!

  • Sharayu T — May 13, 2019 — Europe

    The Eastern Europe trip was fabulous. Everything went smoothly. The guides and drivers were excellent. We enjoyed the trip immensely. To begin with, our arrival at Budapest train station and meeting up with Mr. Sandor went flawlessly. We were a little anxious as the main train station was closed, but when we got down at Budapest Kelenfold, it was such a relief to see Mr. Sandor waiting for us. All our guides, Sandor, Bozena, Agnieszka, and Sandra were very knowledgeable, friendly, and adaptable. They intermixed personal stories and anecdotes that made understanding the history and culture at each place very gratifying. The accommodations were comfortable, and the locations were perfect. Eastern Europe with its old traditions and architecture, and the suppressed existence during Nazi and Russian occupations offers a very different and distinctive experience. Thanks to Jessica Clements for facilitating a unique travel itinerary.

  • Mary Ann C — April 09, 2019 — Europe

    Courtney was wonderful. She worked through all of my concerns and was very flexible when Delta caused a plan change. Her responses to my requests were promptly answered and her communication with me was excellent. Petur, our guide, was a delight. We enjoyed Iceland and his thorough knowledge helped us to experience all the country had to offer.

We can customize this private tour just for you. Any element can be tailored – activities, length, hotels and destinations.
Call us at 1 888 903-2001 or request a quote.

* USD per person, double occupancy. Custom designed personal tour. Prices subject to change.

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