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Bagpipe player, Isle of Skye, Scotland
Caption: Bagpipe player, Isle of Skye, Scotland
Caption: Highland Cow, Scotland
Caption: Scottish whiskey tasting
Caption: Inverary Castle, Scotland
Caption: Edinburgh Castle, Scotland

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Journey Snapshot

Activity level: Level 2 Requires moderate physical activity. You need to be able to participate in physical activities such as longer walking tours, walking over uneven terrain, climbing steps and be comfortable with some periods of standing. Not suitable if you have limited mobility or require a wheelchair/mobility scooter.
Duration: 10 days, 9 nights
Flight information: Please arrive at Edinburgh Airport [EDI] in time to meet us at the hotel at 1:00pm for the afternoon city tour. Please arrange your flights home from Glasgow International Airport [GLA] at any time on Day 10
Pickup location: Edinburgh Airport or Edinburgh Hotel as detailed for Day 1


Choose your own departure date for your group.

Touring Scotland and experiencing its dramatic beauty; castles and history, lochs and mountains, rounded out with the optional occasional Scottish whisky!

Discover Scotland at its iconic best! From royal palaces and castles to traditional food and historic culture, we explore a country of real contrasts. We'll travel through glacial glens with lochs and islands, to historic towns and cities and to experience the mountain wilderness of the Cairngorms. In addition to the stunning landscapes, the tour takes in many of Scotland's iconic attractions. Discover Edinburgh and it's royal palaces, as well as Glasgow, Scotland's Victorian capital city now famed for its vibrant cultural scene. Accompanied by your Big Journey Company Tour Director, you will experience a showcase of real Scottish culture and history.

What's more, you'll get a chance to attend the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, where the sound of the drums call troops and travellers together each day of this festival. Experience this spectacular military performance by troops from Scotland and around the world. This festival of traditional music, drill and dress comes with all the pomp and ceremony you might expect from a country that has had bagpipes as part of their armed forces for hundreds of years. All taking place in the atmospheric setting of Edinburgh's iconic hilltop castle!


Itinerary summary: DAY 1 - Welcome to Bonnie Scotland, the Royal Yacht and Edinburgh Military Tattoo
DAY 2 - Royal Edinburgh Tour
DAY 3 - Historical St. Andrews
DAY 4 - Scone Palace, A 'Wee Dram' & Balmoral
DAY 5 - Battles, Barrels & Bogbain!
DAY 6 - Over the Sea to Skye & Fort William
DAY 7 - Inveraray Castle & Oban
DAY 8 - Glens, Lochs & Mills
DAY 9 - Getting to know Glasgow
DAY 10 - Farewell to Scotland
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Full Itinerary

DAY 1 - Welcome to Bonnie Scotland, the Royal Yacht and Edinburgh Military Tattoo

Please make sure you have provided us with your flight details if you require a transfer from Edinburgh Airport to the hotel today.

Your Big Journey Company tour director will meet you in the hotel reception at 1pm. This afternoon, join us on our visit to the Royal Yacht Britannia, Her Majesty The Queen’s former floating palace for over 40 years. Follow in the footsteps of Royalty to discover the heart and soul of this most special of Royal residences. Explore Britannia’s five decks with your included self-audio guide, from the elegant State Apartments to the gleaming Engine Room. See where Prince William and Prince Harry spent their summer holidays. Discover where kings and queens, world leaders and celebrities were wined and dined; from Frank Sinatra and Liz Taylor to Nelson Mandela and Sir Winston Churchill. 

With music performed by massed pipes & drums and military band and cultural troupes, singers and the poignant refrain of the Lone Piper, tonight we enjoy a night of spectacular precision display at Edinburgh's Military tattoo. We also enjoy dinner together, to hear more about the upcoming tour and arrangements from your Tour Director and meet the rest of your tour group.

Included meals: Welcome Dinner 
Optional extras: Edinburgh Military Tattoo  

DAY 2 - Royal Edinburgh Tour

Today begins with a visit and guided tour of Edinburgh Castle, perched on an extinct volcano overlooking the city and part of the Old and New Towns' World Heritage Site. It was the scene of some of Scotland's most intriguing history and houses the Honours (Crown Jewels) of Scotland, the Stone of Destiny, the famous 15th century gun Mons Meg, the One O' Clock Gun and the National War Museum of Scotland. From here we will head down the Royal Mile for a visit and tour of the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the official residence of the Monarchy in Scotland. We will explore the Palace's close associations with some of Scotland’s most well-known historic figures such as Mary, Queen of Scots and Bonnie Prince Charlie.

There will be some free time before we depart Edinburgh and drive into Perthshire which will be our base for the next 2 nights. Dinner is included at the hotel this evening.

Included meals: Breakfast and Dinner 

DAY 3 - Historical St. Andrews

This morning we depart for the beautiful seaside town of St. Andrews, in the Kingdom of Fife. St. Andrews is renowned as the place that gave the world the game of golf. We will have a guided tour of the town itself, which is steeped in history. Sights include the Cathedral, Martyrs Monument and Blackfriars Chapel to name but a few. St. Andrews is also home to the oldest university in Scotland, founded in 1413. On a headland near to the University are the ruins of St. Andrews Castle, with its medieval bottle dungeon. From here we will go to the Ancient Clubhouse and famous Old Course for a visit and tour.
This afternoon there is the option of either playing a round of golf or free time in town for further sightseeing or shopping at leisure. Our coach will take us back to the hotel where we will have dinner together this evening.

(Note: Round of golf is subject to availability and not included in the price - please ask for details at the time of booking. https://www.standrews.com/Play/Courses/New-Course)

Included meals: Breakfast and Dinner 
Optional extras: Round of golf, subject to availability 

DAY 4 - Scone Palace, A 'Wee Dram' & Balmoral

Our first stop today will be Scone Palace. This was the crowning place of Scottish kings where Macbeth, Robert the Bruce and Charles II were once crowned. See where the Stone of Scone, known as the Stone of Destiny, once stood and which now resides in Edinburgh Castle. Admire the needlework skills of Mary Queen of Scots bedhangings that she worked on while in prison on Loch Leven. The Palace is surrounded by beautiful gardens and woodlands.

From here we will stop for a 'wee dram' at the Famous Grouse Experience, Scotland's oldest working whisky distillery established in 1775. Here we will see how this single malt is produced followed by a tasting. There will be an opportunity to make any purchases in their on-site shop or have a spot of lunch.  

In the afternoon we will drive north through the Cairngorms to another royal residence, Balmoral Castle, one of two personal and private residences owned by The Royal Family and still used by the current Royal Family today.  After and visit and tour we will enjoy an Afternoon Tea in their cafe before heading to Inverness on the coast for the next 2 nights.  Dinner is included at the hotel this evening.

Included meals: Breakfast, Afternoon Tea and Dinner 

DAY 5 - Battles, Barrels & Bogbain!

Today we will visit the location of one of Scotland's most famous battles at Drumossie Moor, site of the Battle of Culloden.  On this spot a half-hour battle changed the course of Scotland's history and we will discover the true story of the 1745 Rising from both sides.  We will be shown key areas of action on the site of the battlefield and visit the memorial cairn around which lie the graves of 1500 fallen soldiers.  From here we will drive the short distance for a guided tour of Speyside Cooperage, a centre for traditional barrelmakers with a coopering exhibition and live demonstration.  There is a cafe and shop on site.

In the afternoon we will head back to Aviemore where the rest of the afternoon will be at leisure. Then it will be time to freshen up for this evening before travelling to Bogbain Farm for a Scottish themed dinner menu together includng Scottish entertainment.

Included meals: Breakfast & Dinner 

DAY 6 - Over the Sea to Skye & Fort William

An early start this morning as we leave Aviemore and drive south along the shores of Loch Ness (look out for Nessie!), threading our way between lochs and mountains to reach Eilean Donan Castle which is one of the most iconic images of Scotland, recognised all around the world.  Situated on an island at the point where three great sea lochs meet and surrounded by majestic scenery, it is little wonder that the castle is now one of the most visited and important attractions in the Scottish Highlands.  After a visit and tour we will head 'over the sea to Skye' via the famouse Skye Bridge for a brief panoramic tour before boarding a local ferry for the short crossing to Mallaig.
We will have time for a spot of lunch and a browse around this fishing port before rejoining the coach which will take us to Fort William.  We will be driving along the route made famous in the Harry Potter films and make stops at the famous Glenfinnan Viaduct, the Jacobite Monument and Neptune's Staircase, ideal for great photo opportunities.  Dinner will be included at the hotel this evening.

Included meals: Breakfast and Dinner 

DAY 7 - Inveraray Castle & Oban

Our first stop this morning will be Inveraray Castle, located on the shores of Loch Fyne, where we will have a visit and tour of the castle and gardens.  It is the ancestral home of the Duke of Argyll and features include the Armoury Hall, State Dining Room and Tapestry Drawing Room. The castle was also featured in a Christmas episode of the TV series Downton Abbey and known as 'Duneagle Castle' in the series.  

Next, we will travel to the 'Seafood Capital of Scotland' - Oban. Its name derives from the Gaelic language and means 'little bay'. Nestled on the west coast and surrounded by miles of dramatic shores and beautiful countryside, this seaside town is a great place for a visit. There are plenty of shops, cafes and restaurants, small galleries and independent stores to browse through, as well as the centrally-located local distillery, chocolate shop and museum. Or you can wander along the seafront to the ruined Dunollie Castle.  From here we will drive back to our hotel in Fort William. Dinner will be enjoyed together this evening in the hotel.

Included meals: Breakfast & Dinner 

DAY 8 - Glens, Lochs & Mills

On our journey to Glasgow we will drive through the majestic scenery of Glencoe "The Great Glen" and over Rannoch Moor before dropping down into the Trossachs National Park and the "Bonnie, Bonnie Banks of Loch Lomond".  Here we will embark on a short, relaxing cruise to fully appreciate the natural beauty of this famous loch. Tea or coffee and a teacake will be served during the cruise.

We will then head south towards Glasgow but before we check-in to our hotel a visit will be made to New Lanark Mills, a unique 18th-century mill village sitting alongside the picturesque River Clyde.  We will see recreated millworkers’ houses, historic working machinery and the nearby ‘Falls of Clyde’ waterfalls. Under the enlightened management of social pioneer, Robert Owen, he provided decent homes, fair wages, free health care, a new education system for villagers and the first workplace nursery school in the world! Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, New Lanark has been beautifully restored as a living community. There’s a Mill Shop selling locally made textiles and the welcoming Mill Café.  Dinner is included in the hotel this evening.

Included meals: Breakfast and Dinner 

DAY 9 - Getting to know Glasgow

Glasgow, a port city on the Clyde, is famed for its Victorian and art nouveau architecture and home to the Scottish Opera, Scottish Ballet and the National Theatre of Scotland and many other acclaimed museums.  Our guided tour will include Kelvingrove Art Gallery, Glasgow Cathedral, the Necropolis Cemetery, Tolbooth Steeple and Mackintosh Queens Cross Church amongst others.  During the tour we may well come across some huge pieces of art adorning some of the city's buildings which are part of the Mural Trail.  The afternoon will be at leisure to explore the city further or do some last minute souvenir shopping.

This evening we will enjoy a farewell dinner together at one of the most well known restaurants in Scotland - prepare to experience a real Glaswegian institution!

Included meals: Breakfast and Dinner 

DAY 10 - Farewell to Scotland

After a hearty Scottish breakfast at the hotel, today we say goodbye to Scotland. You will be transferred to Glasgow Airport to meet flights for the onward travel you have arranged. 

Included meals: Breakfast 
Accommodation: none 


More information

What's includedWhat's not includedImportant information

What's included

  • Transfer from Edinburgh Airport [EDI] to hotel on Day 1 and to Glasgow Airport [GLA] from hotel on Day 10
  • All transportion in modern, air-conditioned vehicles
  • Accommodation as detailed in the itinerary
  • Meals as detailed in the itinerary - all meals include tea/coffee
  • English speaking professional local tour guides
  • All activities, visits and excursions as detailed in the itinerary
  • Services of a Big Journey Company Tour Director throughout (subject to minimum numbers being reached).

What's not included

  • Flights arriving at Edinburgh Airport [EDI] on Day 1 and departing Glasgow Airport (GLA) on Day 10
  • Gratuities 
  • All entrance fees to non-stipulated attractions - Edinburgh Military Tattoo is an optional but suggested inclusion
  • Visas, travel or personal medical insurance
  • Any personal items and anything not mentioned under included in price above
  • Any meals or drinks not mentioned in itinerary
  • Any optional activities offered
  • Any COVID tests or related entry & exit requirements

Important information

  • Please let The Big Journey Company know prior to travelling if you have any medical needs or take any medication that we need to be made aware of to ensure that you have a safe and pleasant tour.
  • Check in is after 2-3pm and check out is before 10am unless otherwise specified in the itinerary.
  • Cancellation 90 – 0 days prior to departure cancellation fee is 100%. It is your responsibility to ensure the correct travel insurance in place to protect you against the need to cancel your holiday. Deposits are non-refundable.
  • Further terms and conditions apply and will be provided upon request or at the time of booking. The Big Journey Company reserves the right to withdraw any offer prior to accepting a reservation request. This does not affect your statutory rights. This offer is subject to availability and space is limited.
  • Please consult your doctor for advice on vaccinations and innoculations before travel.

The big journey promise

The big journey company was set up with one goal in mind, to share our passion for inspirational cultures, destinations and experiences. Over the last 10 years we have had the privilege to escort thousands of travellers on awe inspiring and sometimes life changing journeys. Our promise to every guest who joins us is that we will do everything possible to make sure your journey not only exceeds expectations but delivers at least one moment of true amazement.

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Holiday tours are operated by The Big Journey Company Limited. Registered in England. Registered office: Marron Bank, Branthwaite, Cumbria, CA14 4SZ. Registered number: 6532140. The Big Journey Company Limited is a member of The Travel Trust Association member number U5675 and holds an Air Travel Organiser’s License number T7282.

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