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|Itinerary at a Glance
|3||Loch Ness, Inverness|
|4||Speyside, Blair Athol,
|Style||Fully Escorted & Guided
Dedicated tour escorts & guides throughout
|Highlights||Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum, Cruise on Loch Ness, Culloden Battlefield Visitor Centre, Blair Athol Distillery & whisky tasting, Edinburgh Castle|
|What to Expect||This moderately-paced, escorted tour includes a reasonable amount of walking or hiking and requires an average level of physical fitness. London optional extension is independent.|
|As Seen in|
Cruise the Loch Ness in search of the elusive Loch Ness Monster and have a dram at some of the oldest whisky distilleries in the world on a legendary six-day tour of Scotland. You'll visit the capital city of Edinburgh, where the modern and medieval are both on display. Look down upon the city from Edinburgh Castle, perched upon extinct volcanoes and rocky crags. An optional evening excursion celebrates Scottish food, song and Highland dancers. You’ll enjoy overnight stays at first-class hotels in Edinburgh, the Highlands city of Inverness, and Glasgow, the country’s largest city. Visits to art galleries, woolen mills and battlefields round out this fascinating tour of Scotland.
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Day 2: Glasgow. Upon arrival in Glasgow, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Later, enjoy a panoramic city tour, taking you from George Square in the city center, past the impressive Glasgow Cathedral, and the West End’s historic university buildings, the River Clyde, City Chambers, Glasgow Green and People’s Palace. Visit the Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Musuem, one of Scotland’s most visited attractions, with over 8000 objects from natural history to modern art. This evening, enjoy a welcome drink and dinner at your hotel. Accommodations: Jury's Inn. Dinner provided.
Day 3: Glasgow & Inverness. This morning, depart Glasgow, travelling northwards along Loch Lomond, through picturesque countryside. The Loch is 24 miles long, 5 miles wide and 600 feet at its deepest point, with many small islands, some of which are inhabited. Stop in Luss for some spectacular views and a photo opportunity. Drive through the peaceful valley of Glen Coe, which is believed to have been the site of a massacre of the Mac Donald clan by the Campbell clan in the 17th century. Visit Spean Bridge Woolen Mill for a chance to buy the famous textiles, and then continue via Fort William and Fort Augustus to Loch Ness. Enjoy a cruise on Loch Ness, famous for its elusive resident, Nessie the Loch Ness Monster. End the day in Inverness. Accommodations: Thistle Hotel. Breakfast & dinner provided.
Day 4: Inverness, Speyside & Edinburgh. This morning, visit the Culloden Battlefield Visitor Center, the site of the last battle fought on British soil in 1746. See the interactive exhibitions to learn more about this historic event. Drive through the Speyside area, the famous whisky producing region that is home to over half of Scotland’s Malt Whisky distilleries, and arrive in the town of Pitlochry and visit the Blair Athol Distillery, one of the oldest working facitilies in Scotland for a guided tour and a chance to sip your dram of Blair Athol 12 Year Old. Here, learn about the process of whisky making from barley, water, yeast and peat, to create the distinctive taste, texture, color and smell of whisky. Continue to Edinburgh. Accommodations: Holiday Inn. Breakfast & dinner provided.
Day 5: Edinburgh. Today, explore Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland, perched on a series of extinct volcanoes and rocky crags rising from the flat landscape of the Lothian’s, and sheltered by the shoreline of the Firth of Forth to the north. Edinburgh is full of medieval lanes and elegant terraces, history and tradition. Edinburgh is a modern dynamic city, with international festivals, art galleries, restaurants and clubs. “Edinburgh”, said writer Robert Louis Stevenson, “is what Paris ought to be”.
Visit Edinburgh Castle, which dominates the skyline and looks down on the city spread below. The oldest part, St Margaret’s Chapel dates to the 12th century, with additions made later such as the Great Hall, the Half Moon Battery and the Scottish national War Memorial after World War I. The castle also houses the Honours (Crown Jewels). Enjoy the remainder of the day at leisure in this fascinating city. Breakfast provided.
Optional Excursion: Take advantage of an optional evening to celebrate Scottish food, song and dance at the historic Prestonfield House, including a 4-course dinner with wine, a taste of haggis and a performance of Scottish tenors and Highland dancers, and a tribute to Robert Burns and Auld Lang Syne. This optional excursion can only be purchased locally.
Day 6: Edinburgh. Enjoy a day at leisure for personal exploration of this fascinating city. You can climb Arthur’s seat, the tallest of Edinburgh’s seven hills or visit John Knox House, the founder of Scottish Presbyterianism. Visit one of the kilt specialty shops, where you can check your clan history and buy the appropriate tartan. Breakfast provided.
Day 7: Edinburgh/USA. After a final Scottish breakfast, bid farewell to Scotland as your journey comes to an end. Transfer to the airport for your return flight. You will arrive in the USA later today. Breakfast provided.
Take advantage of your already-included international airfare and spend three more exciting days in London, UK independently. You will return to the USA 3 days later than the tour dates listed.
Day 7: Edinburgh/London. Make your own way to the Edinburgh station and travel to London via train. Upon arrival, make your own way to your centrally located hotel. The remainder of the day is at leisure to explore your surroundings. Accommodations: 4 star London Hotel. Breakfast provided.
Day 8-9: London. Enjoy two days in London, one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. You can see the Changing of the Guard in London, and some of the venues built for the recent Olympic Games. Visit the London Eye for a birds-eye-view of the entire city. Other optional tours can purchased from the concierge desk at your hotel. Breakfast provided.
Day 10: Depart London/Arrive USA. Your fascinating journey comes to an end today. Make your own way to the airport for your return flight to the USA, arriving later on today.
Oh where to start. It was so over the top and wonderful and classy and just everything I dreamed it would be and more. The trip of a lifetime for this Downton fan. Thank you so much. I would not hesitate in the least to take another Friendly Planet trip. In fact, I'm keeping my eyes open for an Italy trip for the next 12 months!