Highlands, Lochs, Glens and Whisky
xA journey through the Celtic heartlands in the central Highlands taking in the waterfalls in Birnam forest, Pitlochry, the Queen's View and the splendour of Loch Tay, an area abundant with standing stone circles.
Departure Days: Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday & Sunday
Depart Edinburgh at 09.00 and travel north over the Forth Road Bridge, passing one of Scotland's great engineering wonders - the Forth Rail Bridge. Continuing north into the Kingdom of Fife you pass Loch Leven castle where Mary Queen of Scots was imprisoned in 1567 and forced to abdicate from the throne.
Further on you will also pass Perth, the medieval capital of Scotland, before crossing the Highland Boundary Fault line, and the point where the scenery changes from the rolling farmland of the Lowlands to the forested hills and mountains of the Scottish Highlands. Surrounded by this beautiful scenery and on the banks of the River Tay is the Cathedral town of Dunkeld, your first stop of the day. Dunkeld was for many centuries the capital of the Christian Celtic Church, and its 13th century Cathedral reflects the once great importance of this quaint Highland village. From Dunkeld it's a short drive to the Hermitage, a fantastic woodland walk leading up to the Black Linn Falls where the River Braan cascades into a narrow gorge. Surrounded by some of Scotland's tallest trees and changing spectacularly in appearance throughout the seasons it's a great place at any time of year. You may even have the chance to see the spectacular sight of Salmon attempting to leap up the falls and on towards their spawning grounds.
Leaving the Hermitage you follow the wide valley of the River Tay towards the Victorian resort town of Pitlochry. You will spend around 1 hour here and you can visit the many great shops and restaurants or maybe even take a walk down towards Loch Faskally.
After lunch you take a scenic drive through the mountains of Highland Perthshire, first crossing over the Pass of Killiecrankie before a short stop at the Queen's View overlooking Loch Tummel. On a clear day the view here is stunning, looking over to the unmistakable peak of Schiehallion and beyond to the mountains of Glencoe. Continuing alongside Loch Tummel you then head over the hills and past the spectacular sixteenth century Castle Menzies towards the town of Aberfeldy and Dewars Whisky distillery*, where you can discover the secret of how Scotland's national drink is made. No visit to Scotland is complete without sampling a 'wee dram' and you will get the chance to taste some of the finished product. Known in the Gaelic as Uisge Beatha (or 'water of life') whisky has been produced for centuries in Scotland and the art is now close to perfection. Later you travel West into the ancient lands of Breadalbane, or the ‘High Country’ surrounding Loch Tay and make your way along the loch towards Killin. The small town is situated on the edge of the River Dochart and has the fantastic Falls of Dochart at its heart, flowing under the old bridge and past the ancient burial ground of the Clan MacNab who once dominated the area. After Killin you take a drive over the Braes of Balquhidder, the resting place of Highland outlaw Rob Roy MacGregor before passing Stirling Castle and Linlithgow Palace on your return journey to Edinburgh.
- Transportation by top of the range minicoach for a more personal experience.
- Services of a professional driver/guide
- All ferry and bridge crossings.
- Lunch and refreshments.
- Entrances to all Visitor Attractions.
On this tour you will be travelling on our purpose-built minicoaches with large windows, good air circulation and clear PA systems so that your professional guide can escort you comfortably through our wonderful country. Our itineraries are carefullly planned (with many years of experience) so that you discover as much as possible, without spending too much time on the road.
As we travel in smaller vehicles, we normally use the most scenic routes, where large coach are prohibited from travelling. Additionally, as our group sizes are smaller we are able to more time out of the vehicle. We also employ a the very best driver/guides.
Friendly and Professional Guides - Small Groups - More Scenic Routes - More Time Sightseeing - Great Value for Money
- 10.00am (check-in at 09.45am) 1 Parliament Square, Royal Mile, Edinburgh
- Returns to Waverley Bridge opposite Waverley Train Station by 7 pm approx.
How to travel to Edinburgh using public transport from other parts of the UK:
Train: Rail is normally the easiest and fastest method travel to Edinburgh. Services take you directly into the city centre (Waverley Train Station). For information on rail services visit National Rail Enquiries. Typical train journey times between London and Edinburgh are 5 hours.
Coach: Coach travel is normally the least expensive method of travel but journey times are much longer (typlically 10-11 hours from London). Services are operated by National Express and also Megabus.
Air: Regional services operate from most of the main UK Airports. Low-Cost carriers normally offer the best deals and include: Easyjet.com, Flybe.com, bmibaby.com. If you are travelling from London Heathrow try flybmi.com. For a full list of the domestic and international carriers serving Edinburgh click here. Edinburgh is easily reached by coach and train from Glasgow Airport - click here. It is worth noting that most journeys to Edinburgh by train from London are as fast as by air, due to travelling to the airport, check-in and security and then obtaining luggage and getting from Edinburgh Airport to the city, which takes approximately 30 minutes.
Link into an International Friends tour departing from England - Edinburgh by train
Why not link into one of our regular rail package tour departures from London, Cambridge, Oxford, or Kent. Our package tours include train tickets, accommodation, sightseeing and are fully escorted. We can extend your rail travel so that you can participate in our extended tours in Scotland. Our specialist staff in our Cambridge office are experts on Edinburgh and Scotland and will be happy to discuss your exact requirements. We can be contacted by telephone on 0044 (0)1223 244 555 or by email to [email protected]
To find great deals on hotels in Edinburgh click here. Obtaining accommodation in Edinburgh can be extremely hard due to city's popularity and limited supply of hotels. Booking early is strongly recommended.
- We recommend you bring suitable clothing and footwear for your tour. Scotland can be a wet place!!
- Infants and children under 3 years old cannot be carried on this tour.
- This tour is operated by Highland Experience Tours who are our preferred tour partners for small group travel in Scotland.
- Student/child/senior discounts can be selected at the booking stage (see orange box at top right of this page).