10 Days Scotland

DAY 01: Departure from the United States for our flight to Scotland. Dinner and breakfast will be served on board.

DAY 02: GLASGOW OR EDINBURGH / LOCH LOMOND / GLENCOE / OBAN.  Arrival at Glasgow or Edinburgh airport.  A wonderful day of touring as we drive northwards along the shores of Loch Lomond, immortalized in the famous song, to Crainlarich and Tydrum.  Through Glen Coe, scene of the massacre of the MacDonalds of Glencoe by the Campbells of Glen Lyon in 1692; it is a valley of haunting beauty, perhaps he finest of all Highland Glens.  Continue to the busy holiday town of Oban.

DAY 03: OBAN / IONA / OBAN.  A full day trip of the island of Iona in the Inner Hebrides, off the southwest tip of Mill, an early centre of the Celtic Church.  St. Columba and his disciples lands here from Ireland in 536AD and founded the famous monastery.  This became a key centre for the spread of Christianity throughout the northern part of Britain.  Return to our hotel in Oban for dinner and overnight.

DAY 04: OBAN / IONA / OBAN.  Another full day trip of the island of Iona. Time at leisure today to meet with the local folk.  Return to our hotel in Oban for dinner and overnight.

DAY 05: OBAN / FT. WILLIAM / LOCH NESS / INVERNESS.  Drive northwards this morning to Ft. William in the shadow of Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in the British Isles.  We continue to Loch Ness, where a highlight will be a one-hour cruise on this loch of monster fame.  We then rejoin our motor coach and drive to Inverness, capital of the Highlands.  Our orientation tour of this fine city, delightfully situated on the banks of the River Ness which gently winds its way through the town, will show us the statue of Flora Mac Donald; we also see the castle and the cathedral and admire the summer floral displays which have regularly won top prizes in the “Beautiful Scotland in Bloom” competition.  Dinner and overnight at our hotel.

DAY 06:  INVERNESS / CULLODEN / CAWDOR / ELGIN / ABERDEEN.  Our first visit today will be to Culloden, site of the famous battle where the Highlanders were defeated by the Duke of Cumberland and his troops.  No name in Scottish history evokes more emotion than that of Culloden, the bleak moor which in 1746 saw the hopes of the young Prince Charles Edward Stuart crushed, and the end of Jacobite Rising.  Then to Cawdor village and Castle to visit the most romantic castle in the Highlands.  See the fine collection of paintings, tapestries and furniture and explore the beautiful gardens and nature walk.  Then via the pleasant coastal town of Nairn, charming Forres and Burghead.  On through Elgin and spectacular Highland scenery on our way to the gleaming granite-built city of Aberdeen, gateway to the Grampian Highlands.  Our afternoon orientation tour of this thriving North Sea oil capital city will show us the university, flow filled streets and stately architecture.  Aberdeen has a wide range of attractions including museums, art galleries and theatres.  Dinner and overnight at our hotel.

DAY 07: ABERDEEN / ROYAL DEESIDE / BALMORAL/ AVIEMORE.  A wonderful day of touring today as we drive through Royal Deeside and along the banks of the River Dee to Balmoral to visit the Highland holiday home of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.  The castle is set in a beautiful marvelous collection of paintings and works of art and we may have time to stroll in the beautiful gardens.  On through the small village of Tomintoul and through the Spey Valley to the popular resort of Aviemore, surrounded by the beautiful Caringorm countryside and Scotland’s leading winter sports centre, for dinner and overnight at our hotel.

DAY 08: AVIEMORE / BLAIR ATHOLL / DUNKELD / EDINBURGH.  We drive southwards this morning through the Grampian Mountains to Blair Atholl to visit Blair Castle, the ancient home and fortress of the Earls and Dukes of Atholl for over 725 years.  We will see he beautiful furniture, fine collection of paintings, arms, armour, china, costumes, lace and embroidery as well as Jacobite relics and other unique treasures.  Hopefully some time to stroll the extensive gardens before continuing through Pilochry to the picturesque cathedral town of Dunkeld, beautifully situated in the richly wooded valley of the River Tay.  On via historic Perth to Scotland’s exciting capital city of Edinburgh for dinner and overnight.

DAY 09: EDINBURGH.  Our morning sightseeing tour of this wonderful city will include a visit to Edinburgh Castle, the medieval fortress perched above the city as well as the Palace of Holyrood.  See the prestigious university, Greyfriars and the Mound.  The afternoon is at leisure for independent activites, dinner and overnight at our hotel.

DAY 10: EDINBURGH OR GLASGOW / USA.  Transfer this morning to the airport for our return flight to the United States – the end of a memorable journey.