Day 1 - To the Highlands, to Oban:
Leaving Edinburgh we speed off on this wonderful Highland adventure. On the way we stop at the Wallace Monument in Stirling with it’s views over the Forth Valley, here we tell the story of William Wallace’s heroic campaign to rid Scotland of English oppressors in the thirteenth century. The sites of the battles of Stirling Bridge and the later battle of Bannockburn where, after Wallace’s death, Robert the Bruce finally gained independence for Scotland, lie below us in this valley. Stirling Castle sits across the river – Scotland’s most strategic fortress.
Then we travel into the Highlands and through Rob Roy country (the Trossachs), with many tales of this rogue who invented the word “blackmail”. Then to Campbell country – you will be hearing more about the Campbells later on the tour – stopping to view the beautiful ruin of Kilchurn castle. Getting away from all this dark history we end the day on a “Hairy Coo Safari” a gentle trail through winding Glen Lonan with countless Highland cattle scattered through this quiet Glen. And then to the bustling harbour town of Oban by night-fall, we spend 2 nights in Oban.
Day 2 - Ancient Scotland:
Learn of Scotland's beginnings as a nation. South of Oban lies the remains of the dark ages hill fort, Dunadd, where the Scots in the 5th century, newly arrived from Ireland, set up their capital.
We travel through Kilmartin Glen which is packed with Neolithic standing stones, obelisks and tombs that are 2000 years older than the Egyptian Pyramids. Soak up the seriously ancient history and the roots of this Celtic nation.
Day 3 - The West Coast, to Skye:
We head north out of Oban up the west coast, pausing for a stroll along the shore to Castle Stalker, then on to breathtaking Glen Coe, scene of the infamous massacre of 1692, your guide will tell the full story of this dark feud between the Campbells and the MacDonalds. Heading through Fort William we go into Glen Nevis - perhaps Scotland’s prettiest glen and the setting for 'Braveheart'.
Then we venture westwards to the monument of Glen Finnan commemorating the Jacobites launch of their ill-fated rebellion of 1745 led by Bonnie Prince Charlie. On the hillside above you might recognise the “Harry Potter Bridge”, you may even see the Hogwarts Express crossing it. From here we head on through winding coastal roads and then over the sea to Skye. We stay the next 2 nights in the village of Kyleakin where in 1263 the Viking King Hakkon landed on the beach of this once Viking Island with over a hundred warships on his way to battle with the Scots.
Day 4 - Isle of Skye:
As we explore this spectacular island, heading to its northern tip, we pass through the mighty Cuillin mountains, stopping at amazing waterfalls and the seriously haunted ruined stronghold of the MacDonalds, perched on top of a sea cliff. We scramble up to the spectacular rock formations of the Old Man of Storr or the Quiraing and visit the enchanted Fairy Glen. We guarantee you a day of jaw-dropping beauty
Day 5 — The Great Glen, to Inverness:
Leaving Skye behind our first stop is the delightful Eilean Donan Castle, famous from the film “Highlander” and then through the mystical lands of Kintail where every mountain has a story. Gliding through the plethora of colours that blesses Glen Sheil and into the largest fault line of Scotland, The Great Glen — home of Loch Ness. After a bit of monster spotting and possibly a dip in the murky mysterious waters we travel on to the 'Capital of the Highlands' — Inverness for the night. This night we go to a Ceilidh to enjoy Highland music, dancing and drinking.
Day 6 — The Southern Highlands, to Pitlochry:
On leaving Inverness we take time to visit the emotional Drumossie Moor scene of the Highlanders last stand of Culloden battlefield. We descend through the passes of the Grampian mountains and stop at the commanding ruins of Ruthven Barracks, an 18th century government fortress built to control the lawless Highlanders.
Next we journey to the lands of Atholl and the pass of Killicrankie where woodlands take over from the desolate Grampian mountains. Our last stop of the day is at the gates of the quaint and curious Edradour Distillery, Scotland’s smallest, where their guide will teach you all you need to know about whisky before giving you a free “dram”. We rest the night in the charming town of Pitlochry, here it is just a stroll from our lodgings to gorgeous tranquil loch-side scenery or to watch the Salmon leap up the river.
Day 7 — St Andrews and the East Coast:
Our last day takes us first to visit the Dunfallandy Stone, a twelve hundred year old Pictish carving – we tell you of these Picts, the original Celtic tribe of Scotland who were eventually absorbed by the Scots under the first king of all Scotland – Kenneth McAlpine in 843AD. We stop in Dunkeld — the ancient religious capital of Scotland and then out to the Kingdom of Fife.
The tour at this point stops at St Andrews and gives you the time to discover not only the home of golf, but also an ancient university town steeped in history and amazing silver sands beach. Leaving the world famous Old Course behind we travel south-easterly through the coastal fishing villages with their own unique beauty and on to the Firth of Forth.
Crossing the Firth gives you the perfect view of the Forth Rail Bridge — the greatest engineering Achievement of the 19th century, heading back to Edinburgh we tell you of the “enlightenment” when, a couple of hundred years ago, Edinburgh was at the forefront of European intellectual progress - this then led to the period where Scotsmen seemed to invent everything worth inventing from the steam engine and the bicycle to the television.
Returning to Edinburgh on the Saturday evening for a fond farewell drink.
Price includes 7 full days of touring on our comfortable mini buses, with our friendly fun guides
Departs weekly in summer on Sunday's and monthly in winter. Extra departures on demand
Accommodation is not included, but we do book it for you at our cosy wee hostels
Tour departs Sundays at 9.00am
Arrives Back to Edinburgh Every Saturday between 5pm/6pm
Departs on Sundays 9.00am
Telephone Booking Reference BAC MAC 7DSS
note that this tour does not include accommodation.
Accommodation is reserved for you at Scotland's
Top Hostels priced £10 - £12
per person per night.