Day 01, U.S. to Edinburgh
Depart U.S. for overnight flight to Edinburgh. Package begins on day 02.
Day 02, Edinburgh
After arrival at Edinburgh airport, cross the impressive suspension bridge over the Forth Estuary and head into the ancient Kingdom of Fife. Following the East Coast pass through the quaint small fishing villages of Largo, Pittenweem, Anstruther and Crail. Overnight in Fife.
Touring Tip! Anstruther is famous for Fish & Chips but the locals would choose Pittenweem Fish and Chip Shop instead!
Take some time this morning to discover St Andrews, Scotland’s famous university town and center of golfing history. Continue to travel north via Dundee on to Coupar Angus, where you may want to visit 17th century Glamis Castle, childhood home of the Queen Mother. Later travel via Blairgowrie and the Pass of Glenshee to Braemar, where the Royal Highland Games take place each year, attended by the Royal Family. Overnight in the Royal Deeside area.
For a day excursion in the area follow the A92 coastal road to Stonehaven. Take a walk and visit nearby Dunnottar Castle, a ruined fortress perched on a rocky cliff 160 feet above the sea. Return inland towards Banchory. Here you could visit Crathes Castles which is famous for its beautiful gardens, before you follow the A93 road, pass Aboyne and arrive in Ballater. If open, see nearby Balmoral Castle, the family holiday home of the Royal Family for over a century. Returning back to your hotel in the area later in the afternoon. Overnight same as Day 03.
This morning it is time to leave the Royal Deeside and travel through the Spey Valley, with its many famous Malt whiskey distilleries, such as Cardhu, Glenlivet, Glenfiddich and Tamdhu, to name only a few. Continue via Nairn, popular seaside resort famous for its golf course and beautiful sandy beaches, to Inverness. Heading further northwest from here and into Wester Ross. You will pass beautiful Loch Maree, if time allows stop for a short nature walk here. Later arrival at Gairloch for overnight.
Today you have all day to spend in this beautiful part of the world. You can drive through Badaco on the B8056 to Red Point beach where you can go for a walk between the beautiful high sand dunes. On a clear day you will be able to look over to the Isle of Skye. Or visit Rua Reidh Lighthouse – leave the car behind at the signposted parking spot and walk the last 3 miles to the lighthouse. There is a small visitor center and the option to look over the Atlantic from the viewing area. Overnight in the Gairloch area.
Touring Tip! The seafood platter at the Old Inn in Gairloch is excellent and comes straight off the ships from the harbor across the road. There is also a good selection of beers available!
Time to leave Wester Ross and travel through some spectacular scenery this morning. You head back to Loch Maree and turn onto the A896 to Torridon and Shieldaig. Traveling along the A896 there is a turnoff to Appelcross, a beautiful little highland village worth visiting. Be careful though, the single track road leading there is not for the faint hearted. Later continue to Loch Carron and to Dornie. Here you can visit Eilean Donan Castle which has been made famous by the film ‘the Highlander’. Continue on to Fort William, which lies in the shadow of Ben Nevis - Britain’s highest mountain at 1344 meters. If you travel via Invermoriston and Fort Augustus you can also take a glance at the south end of famous Loch Ness! Overnight in Fort William area.
After breakfast, take the A861 road towards the West Coast, passing Glenfinnan Monument. Onto Arisaig and Mallaig where you take the ferry to Armadale on the Isle of Skye, the largest of the Inner Hebrides islands. Return to Fort William for overnight.
Leaving Fort William today, follow the A828 which takes a winding route through beautiful coastal scenery. At Connel turn off to travel over the Pass of Brander. At the north side of Loch Awe is Kilchurn Castle which is worth a visit! Continue past Tyndrum and later follow the banks of Loch Lomond on at the A82, Scotland’s largest and probably most beautiful loch. Make a stop at the conservation village of Luss. Overnight in the Stirling area.
Day 10, Edinburgh - Home
After breakfast, return your car rental to the airport, for your return flight back to the U.S.