Aye, Scotland is full of wild heath covered landscapes, haunting bagpipe music, romantic castles and distinctive kilts. However, it's also the land where golf began and where some of the finest whiskies are blended. Gritty Glasgow is as well known for its art as for its urban environs and Edinburgh is full of intrigue with its narrow passageways and layered history concentrated in one mile of the old city.
- View the Burrell Collection with over 9,000 works of art
- Visit the cottage of Robert Burns, Scotland's favorite poet
- Cruise Scotland's famous lochs
- Visit the home of golf - St. Andrews
- Enjoy a Scottish Banquet of traditional food and bagpipe music
- Castle stay
- Narrow gauge steam railway ride
- See the location from which the Titanic sailed its only voyage
- View the Book of Kells at Trinity College, Dublin
Glasgow - 2 nights
Day 1: Arrive Glasgow
Upon arrival at Glasgow airport, collect your luggage and proceed to the arrivals hall. A representative will be there to meet you and direct you to your motor coach. After boarding we will take a city tour, passing the monuments in George Square, the Royal Concert Hall and Glasgow Cathedral: a magnificent medieval structure built in the 14th century. This afternoon there will be an opportunity to visit the Burrell Collection, a private collection of over 9000 works of art that was donated to the City of Glasgow. This evening we will enjoy a welcome drinks reception followed by evening dinner together.
This morning after breakfast we will travel south along the Ayrshire coast and into poet Robbie Bur's country, where we will visit Burns Cottage in Alloway where you can walk in the footsteps of Tam O'Shanter in Alloway's "auld haunted kirk" and across auld Brig O'Doon, where Tam's mare, Meg had her narrow escape from the witches. We continue on to the 18th century Culzean Castle, which overlooks the Atlantic coast. Part of this Castle was gifted to General Eisenhower who resided here during his presidency and retirement on several occasions. We return to Glasgow for your included dinner at the hotel.
Inverness - 2 nights
After breakfast we head to Glengoyne Distillery where you will be welcomed with a wee dram of Scottish whiskey followed by a tour of the distillery. Continue into the sample room where you will learn the art of being a master blender, then before leaving you will have the opportunity to create your own special blend to bring home. We continue on to the "Bonnie, bonnie banks of Loch Lomond" where we will stop for a short cruise on this famous Loch. So much myth, legend and history precedes a visit to the expanse of Glencoe and Loch Leven, that many visitors are unprepared for the sheer beauty and breathtaking serenity of this vast sweeping pass. We will pass Urquhart Castle, a stronghold on a rocky peninsula overlooking Loch Ness, where we will stop for pictures. Continuing on to Inverness, the capital of the Highlands and our hotel tonight, we will enjoy evening dinner together.
After a leisurely breakfast we visit a local kilt maker where we can learn all about the famous tartans (plaids) and then continue to Dunrobin Castle where we will enjoy a tour of the castle. In the afternoon we will enjoy a wonderful exhibit of Peregrine falcons and eagles that are native to Scotland. This afternoon take the time to explore Inverness with its suspension bridges across the River Ness, old stone buildings and Ben Wyvis soaring above the skyline. This evening after your included dinner you are free to enjoy the local pubs and nightlife.
Edinburgh - 3 nights
Leaving the Highlands behind us, we travel southward where we visit a Scottish shepherd at work with his faithful sheepdog. We continue our drive to ancient St Andrews, home of Royalty and birthplace of golf. Here we will stop to enjoy one of Scotland's favorite foods Fish and Chips. See St Andrews University; founded in 1413 - it is the oldest university in Scotland! There will be time in the quaint village of St. Andrews, which is full of traditional Scottish craft shops, pubs and restaurants, or perhaps you will prefer exploring the ruins of St Andrew's Cathedral. We then travel to the imposing city of Edinburgh and our downtown hotel. Tonight you are free, why not round the evening off in one of the many pubs & wine bars?
This morning's tour takes us along Princes Street with its fine shops and through the lovely Georgian squares and terraces of the new town. We continue along the historic Royal Mile to the palace of Holyrood, the official Scottish residence of Her Majesty the Queen. Our tour concludes at Edinburgh Castle where we will enjoy a hearty Scottish lunch in the castle before we view the Scottish Crown Jewels and take in the breathtaking views of the city from the castle ramparts. This evening we will enjoy a wonderful dinner at Edinburgh Castle.
This morning after breakfast we will travel south to the Scottish Borders where we will visit a section of Hardrian's wall. Built by the Romans this ancient wall was once intended to keep the uncivilized Scots out of England. We return to Edinburgh via Roslyn Chapel started in 1446; this chapel is only one section of the church that was originally intended to be built. Roslyn was most recently featured in the Da Vinci Code film. This evening enjoy an optional farewell Scottish Banquet where you can sample some haggis and enjoy traditional bagpipe music, songs and dancing.
This morning we transfer to the Edinburgh airport with ample time to check your luggage and board your flight back to the USA.
- Accommodations: Glasgow 2 nights, Inverness 2 nights, Edinburgh 3 nights
- Meals: Continental breakfast daily. Lunch and dinner as noted in itinerary
- Ground transportation via air conditioned luxury coach
- English speaking assistants and guides
- Admission tickets as outlined in itinerary
Download the Scotland At Its Best pdf file.