Shah Scottish Explorations - V3 - Final Information

Candy and Paul Shah

Thursday 18th April – Sunday 28th April 2024

Number of Travellers: 2
Duration: 11 Days / 10 Nights

Overview

Discover the true flavours of Scotland as you explore through this beautiful landscape, both self-driving and enjoying insights from your private Highlands guide. Explore history in the twisty cobbled alleyways of Edinburgh, hike in atmospheric glens and mountain ranges and celebrate it all with a wee dram packed full of the flavours of Scotland. From the city streets to the wild Highlands, you are sure to fall in love with every inch of this character packed country and create memories to cherish for a lifetime.

Highlights

  • Hike in some of the most stunning wilderness landscapes and discover the local's favourites as you explore with your private experienced guide
  • Boat journey to a remote and wild corner of the Isle of Skye before hiking under the shadow of the dramatic Black Cuillin Mountains
  • Set your own pace and follow your curiosity as you enjoy the freedom of self-driving alongside expert insights in the Highlands & on Skye
  • Taste some of the freshest and most delicious Scottish produce in stunning locations in your luxury hotels

Day by Day

Day 1 - Thursday 18th April - Welcome to Scotland!

On arrival at Edinburgh Airport you will be met by a private driver who will transfer you to your city centre hotel. Depending on your arrival time you can choose to relax at the hotel or head out to start exploring this unique city.

Edinburgh Restaurant List

Overnight: Edinburgh | Gleneagles Townhouse
Room Type: House Bedroom
Meals Included: None

Day 1 - Flight Details Read More +

Airline: American Airlines | Flight Number: AA 7225
Arrival Airport: Edinburgh | Arrival Time: 13:10

Day 1 - Transfer Details Read More +

Supplier: Littles Chauffeur Hire
Booking Reference: 2698676
Pick Up Location: Edinburgh Airport Arrivals | Pick Up Time: 13:10
Phone: +44 (0) 141 883 2111

Notes – Your Driver will have a sign with your name on.

The transfer company will send contact details for the chauffeur 30 minutes prior to the reservation taking place, to the mobile number provided as a contact, as an SMS. If the client is unable to locate our chauffeur, they must call the mobile number provided, or call the Little’s Office on 0141 883 2111, which operates 24/7.

Day 1 - Dinner Details Read More +

Pub: Auld Hundred Restaurant
Reservation Time: 19:00 | Booking Reference: 47913, Paul Shah
Website: https://www.auldhundrededinburgh.com

This is a table reservation only, please pay directly

Day 1 - Gleneagles Townhouse Read More +

From countryside flair to Life on the Square, Gleneagles’ first luxury city hotel, all day restaurant, roof terrace and members club has arrived in Edinburgh for 2023.  Situated in the Old Bank of Scotland, this hotel has 33 rooms that have an intimate and boutique feel.  There is a Health and Wellbeing Space down in the old bank vault as well as a Cryotherapy chamber – the perfect way to start your getaway.

Number of Nights:    2 nights
Room Type: House Bedroom
Address: No. 39 St Andrews Square, Edinburgh, EH2 2AD
Tel: +44 (0) 800 917 4655
Website: https://gleneagles.com/townhouse/

Day 2 - Friday 19th April - Exploring Historic Edinburgh

This morning immerse yourselves in the winding cobbled streets of historic Old Town Edinburgh as you enjoy a private walking tour with an expert local guide. Discover the highlights of this unique capital city from the Palace of Holyroodhouse all the way up the ‘Royal Mile’ to the mighty ancient fortress which is Edinburgh Castle itself. Walk the ramparts atop castle rock and hear the tales of the One O’Clock gun and the stories of locals of times past. Your guide will leave you here so that you can spend as much time in the castle as you wish. You then have a free afternoon to continue your explorations at your own pace, pick up souvenirs or relax as you prefer.

Overnight: Edinburgh | Gleneagles Townhouse
Room Type: House Bedroom
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 2 - Private Walking Tour Read More +

Activity: Private Walking Tour
Expert Local City Guide: Shauna Ansell
Start Location: Reception, Gleneagles Townhouse | Start Time: 09:00
Phone: + 44 (0) 7989 664 023

Duration – Approx 4 hrs

Day 2 - Dinner Details Read More +

Restaurant: Fishers in the City
Reservation Time: 19:00 | Booking Reference: B3TWH7QK, Paul Shah
Website: https://www.fishersrestaurants.co.uk/fishers-in-the-city

This is a table reservation only, please pay directly

Day 3 - Saturday 20th April - North To The Highlands

Pick up your self-arranged rental car this morning and start your journey north into the Highlands. Take a small detour to explore elegant Scone Palace on the way. Then continue onwards towards your opulent castle hotel, where you will receive a warm welcome.

Fort William Restaurant List

Overnight: Near Fort William | Inverlochy Castle
Room Type: Large Double
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 3 - Entry to Scone Palace Read More +

Activity: Entry to Scone Palace
Start Location: Scone Palace, Perth PH2 6BD
Booking Reference: D5FDDZVJ8
Phone: +44 (0)1738 552 300 | Website: https://www.scone-palace.co.uk/

Start Time – Self arranged – admissions run from 10:00 am to 16:15 pm

Notes – Please ensure that you bring a copy of your pre-booked entry ticket to show on arrival.

Day 3 - Dinner Details Read More +

Pub: The Ben Nevis Inn
Reservation Time: 19:00 | Booking Reference: BYTLDRGA, under Paul Shah
Website: https://www.ben-nevis-inn.co.uk

This is a table reservation only, please pay directly

Day 3 - Inverlochy Castle Hotel Read More +

Inverlochy Castle Hotel is a beautiful 19th century castle nestled in the foothills of the mighty Ben Nevis surrounded by beautiful Scottish scenery and reflected in its own loch. In 1873, Queen Victoria spent a week at Inverlochy sketching and painting where she wrote in her diaries ‘I never saw a lovelier or more romantic spot’.

Inverlochy features unique suites and is full of wonderful historical character, from period furniture pieces, to chandeliers and a secret door. It prides itself on exceptional service where every detail for your comfort and enjoyment has been carefully considered and catered for. They offer fine dining on site in the Albert & Michel Roux Jr Restaurant, which has been awarded 3 AA Red Rosettes, through the ‘Seasgair’ Experience at 7pm each evening. Please see dinner notes following.

Number of Nights:    3 nights
Room Type: Large Double
Address: Torlundy, Fort William, PH33 6SN
Tel: +44 (0) 1397 702 177
Website: http://www.inverlochycastlehotel.com

Day 4 - Sunday 21st April - Hiking & Exploring With Your Highlands Guide

This morning your knowledgeable and qualified Highlands guide will meet you at your hotel and take you out for a day of hiking and exploring the local area. There are superb hiking options all around you, so your guide will discuss the best options to suit the weather and your energy levels. No matter what you choose you are sure to discover fabulous views and whet your appetite for more!

Overnight: Near Fort William | Inverlochy Castle
Room Type: Large Double
Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 4 - Dinner Details Read More +

Restaurant: Crannog Restaurant
Reservation Time: 19:30 | Booking Reference: BW2WKCWF,, under Paul Shah
Website: https://www.crannog.net/restaurant

This is a table reservation only, please pay directly

Day 4 - Guide Details - Scott McNeish Read More +

Name: Scott McNeish
Contact Number: +44 (0)753 335 6572
Meeting Place: Reception, Inverlochy Castle | Meeting Time: 09:00

Day 5 - Monday 22nd April - Glencoe - Landscape & Legends

The dramatic mountains and ridges of Glencoe have featured as the backdrop in many films and once you are looking up at these summits it is easy to see why! Today you will explore this famous valley with your guide, there are plenty of options to suit every level of energy and challenge. After your hike settle down with a celebratory beverage in a traditional climbers pub and listen to local legends and fascinating tales of the dark past of Glencoe told by a local storyteller.

Overnight: Near Fort William | Inverlochy Castle
Room Type: Large Double
Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 5 - Dinner Details Read More +

Pub: Ben Nevis Bar
Reservation Time: 19:00 | Booking Reference: Paul Shah
Phone: 01397 702295 | Website: https://bennevisbarfortwilliam.com/

This is a table reservation only, please pay directly

Day 6 - Tuesday 23rd April - Over The Sea To Skye

Over the sea to Skye today. Drive the beautiful Road To the Isles to take the ferry over to ‘the misty isle’, passing the elegant Glenfinnan Viaduct and the stunning white sands beaches of Arisaig along the way. Choose if you wish to make your journey completely independently, or meet up with your knowledgeable guide along the way to enjoy a hike or hear the stories of the local area.

Isle of Skye Restaurant List

Overnight: Isle Of Skye, Portree | Marmalade Hotel
Room Type: Premier Double
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 6 - Ferry Details Read More +

Operator: Calmac - Caledonian MacBrayne
Booking Reference: S2400200458
Contact Number: +44 (0) 1475 650 110

Departure Port: Mallaig | Departure Time: 11:30
Arrival Port: Armadale | Arrival Time: 00:00

Check In Time – Up to 11:00 am  – Closes 30 mins before departure

Departure – Mallaig Ferry Terminal 11:30 am Sailing

Arrival – Armadale Ferry Terminal – 12:00 noon

Booking Reference – S2400200458

Notes – Please ensure that you have a copy of your full Ferry Voucher with you. You need to show this at the departure terminal to receive your boarding tickets.

Day 6 - Dinner Details Read More +

Hotel: Antler’s Bar & Grill in Portree Hotel
Reservation Time: 19:00 | Booking Reference: BXYZRX7X, under Paul Shah
Website: https://www.theportreehotel.com/food-and-drink

This is a table reservation only, please pay directly

Day 6 - Marmalade Hotel Read More +

A luxury hotel in the centre of Portree, the Marmalade that is designed for comfort and built for pleasure.  Situated in an elevated position in the quirky town of Portree means there are some amazing views from the dining room across the bay of Portree.  The restaurant, called The Chargrill, specialises in Steak and Oysters and uses only the freshest local produce so the menu is forever changing.  With a good whisky selection and a comfortable bar, it is a wonder anyone ever leaves!

Number of Nights:    3 nights
Address: Home Farm Road, Portree, IV51 9LX
Tel: +44 (0) 1478 611 711
Website: https://perlehotels.com/marmalade/

Day 7 - Wednesday 24th April - Exploring Magical Skye With Your Guide

Today you have a full day to explore some of the special corners of this magical island with your guide. You will be spoilt for choice with fascinating history and dramatic landscape on offer, with unique hiking routes through stark and unusual rock formations and sweeping coast and mountain views to enjoy in almost every direction. This ‘misty isle’ is also home to so many curious stories and legends of fairies and islander culture, so there are many things to discover. Discuss the options with your guide and they will share some of the best hidden gems and personalise the day to your interests.

Overnight: Isle Of Skye | Marmalade Hotel
Room Type: Premier Double
Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 7 - Dinner Details Read More +

Restaurant: Caberfeidh Bar & Pizza Restaurant | Location: Caberfeidh Bar, Somerled Square, Portree IV51 9EH
Reservation Time: 19:00 | Booking Reference: BDP9FJT3, under Paul Shah
Website: https://www.instagram.com/caberfeidhbar/?hl=en

This is a table reservation only, please pay directly

Day 8 - Thursday 25th April - Loch Coruisk & The Black Cuillin Mountains

This morning you head out to explore the secretive Loch Coruisk with your guide. From the tiny fishing village of Elgol you take a boat trip to the heart of the Black Cuillin mountains which tower above the blue waters of the loch. Along the way you can spot seals and perhaps dolphins in the coastal waters. The boat will drop you at the remote southern end of the loch and you can drink in the atmosphere of this stupendous place as you hike around the loch. Today is sure to be a highlight of the trip and you would be well justified in celebrating with a wee dram when you relax in the evening

Overnight: Isle Of Skye | Marmalade Hotel
Room Type: Premier Double
Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 8 - Dinner Details Read More +

Restaurant: Chargrill Restaurant
Reservation Time: 19:00 | Booking Reference: Paul Shah
Website: https://www.perlehotels.com/marmalade/chargrill-restaurant-portree-isle-of-skye

This is a table reservation only, please pay directly

Day 9 - Friday 26th April - Make Your Way To Inverness via Eilean Donan & Loch Ness

Head over the Skye bridge to make your way to Inverness. Stopping to explore the iconic Eilean Donan Castle and take an early afternoon cruise on Loch Ness to see if you can spot the monster.

Inverness Restaurant List

Overnight: Near Inverness | Culloden House
Room Type: Suite
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 9 - Eilean Donan Castle Read More +

Activity: Eilean Donan Castle
Start Location: Eilean Donan Castle, Dornie, By Kyle of Lochalsh, IV40 8DX
Phone: +44 (0)1599 555 202

Booking Ref – Audio Tour

Notes – Your guide will discuss the best option and provide you with means for entry.

Day 9 - Loch Ness Boat Trip Read More +

Activity: Loch Ness Boat Trip
Loch Ness Cruises:
Start Location: Parking available at Nessieland, Drumnadrochit, Loch Ness, IV63 6TU | Start Time: 14:00
Booking Reference: Booking under Paul Shah
Phone: +44 (0) 1456 450 395 | Website: https://www.lochness-cruises.com/

Duration = approx 1 hour

Notes – Please arrive at least 10-15 mins beforehand. Tickets are to be collected at the ticket office down the steps on the main road.

Day 9 - Dinner Details Read More +

Restaurant: Fig & Thistle
Reservation Time: 19:00 | Booking Reference: 17745, under Paul Shah
Website: https://www.figandthistle.co.uk/

This is a table reservation only, please pay directly

Day 9 - Culloden House Hotel Read More +

At the time of the Jacobite uprising in 1745-46, Bonnie Prince Charlie used Culloden House as his lodging and battle headquarters prior to that fateful battle on Culloden Moor. Today, this handsome Inverness luxury hotel still features many beautiful historic features but also offers modern conveniences such as free Wi-Fi and digital TVs.

It also stands in nearly 40 acres where you are free to wander about the woodland and private gardens to enjoy the exceptional peace, tranquillity and majesty of the grounds.

The house features a fine dining room and their collection of whisky in their Library Bar has earned them a coveted Malt Whisky Embassy recognition by the Scottish Malt Whisky Society.

Number of Nights:    2 nights
Room Type: Suite
Address: Culloden Road, Balloch, Inverness, IV2 7BZ
Tel: +44 (0)1463 790 461
Address: www.cullodenhouse.co.uk

Day 10 - Saturday 27th April - Taste The Heart Of Whisky Country (Guided day)

Finish your trip with a special appreciation of Scotland’s favourite export, uisge beatha or ‘water of life’. A knowledgeable guide who loves sharing their favourite parts of the heart of whisky country will pick you up from your hotel this morning and take you deep into Speyside. Discover the history of the spirit as you take a stroll along a whisky smugglers pathway and take a special tour and tasting at a classic whisky distillery (with no need to worry about driving!) before your guide takes you back to your hotel to relax and enjoy one last dinner in the Highlands.

Overnight: Near Inverness | Culloden House
Room Type: Suite
Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 10 - Guide Details - Martin Tull Read More +

Name: Martin Tull
Contact Number: +44 (0) 7807 576 955
Meeting Place: Culloden House Hotel Reception | Meeting Time: 09:00

Day 10 - Dinner Details Read More +

Hotel: Culloden House Hotel
Reservation Time: 19:00 | Booking Reference: Paul Shah
Website: https://www.cullodenhouse.co.uk/

This is a table reservation only, please pay directly

Day 11 - Sunday 28th April - Depart From Inverness Airport

This morning you make your way to Inverness airport to drop off your hire car and catch your onward flight. Taking with you many special memories of your Scottish adventures which are sure to make you smile for years to come.

Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 11 - Flight Details Read More +

Airline: American Airlines | Flight Number: AA 6741
Departure Airport: Inverness | Departure Time: 11:20

Trip Details

Inclusions Read More
  • 10 nights accommodation, as stated in the itinerary above
  • Some meals, as stated in the itinerary above
  • The services of a qualified and experienced guide from Day 4 to Day 8 inclusive
  • The Services of a qualified and experienced guide on Day 10
  • All transfers in a private vehicle driven by our guide on guided days
    • Note that you can choose to drive in convoy if you prefer
  • Airport Transfer on arrival Day, includes Meet & Greet
  • All Ferry travel mentioned in itinerary
  • All guided hikes mentioned in the itinerary
  • Entrance fees and activities mentioned in the itinerary, specifically:
    • Private Morning Walking Tour of Historic Edinburgh with Expert Local Guide, includes entry to Palace of Holyroodhouse & Edinburgh Castle
    • Chocolate Tasting using Audio Guide at Highland Chocolatier
    • Private Storyteller Experience in Glencoe
    • 2 x Entry Fees on Skye when exploring with Guide, variable as per interest
    • Return Boat Journey to/from Loch Coruisk (not private)
    • Tour & Tasting at Distillery on Skye
    • Entry to Eilean Donan Castle, includes audio guide
    • Scenic Cruise on Loch Ness (approx 1hr)
    • Tour & Tasting of Classic Whisky Distillery in Speyside
    • Special Tour & Tasting of Whisky Distillery in Speyside
  • Personalised trip design and delivery
  • 24/7 In-Country Support from the Wilderness Team
Exclusions Read More
  • Car Rental
  • Flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Meals not mentioned in the inclusions
  • Activities and entrance fees not mentioned in the inclusions
  • Gratuities for the main driver guide
Notes Read More

Notes On Weather & Flexibility

Weather – April in Scotland can be a very wide range of weather, and very changeable. Suitable clothing and footwear is essential, as well as a flexible attitude. Plans may have to be changed to accommodate Mother Nature, and your guide will have back-up plans that they will discuss with you if required.

 

Essential Packing List

  • Waterproof jacket with hood
  • Waterproof over-pants
  • Sturdy hiking boots/shoes (sneakers or tennis shoes are not suitable for any hiking in Scotland)
  • Day pack 20-30 litre for carrying water and extra layers
  • Reusable water bottle
  • Warm layers
  • Warm hat, gloves and a neck gaiter
  • Hat, sunglasses and sunscreen
  • Smart casual attire for dinners

Note: If you would like us to provide trekking poles for your use then please just let us know and we will ensure these are available for you.

 

Useful Contacts

24 hour in-country support (Wilderness Scotland):  +44 (0)1479 420 020, or out with regular office hours +44 (0)7766 794 640 (urgent calls only)

Emergency services:  999 or 112

NHS 24 (24 hour free medical advice):  111

 

Tipping Guidelines

For tipping our guides – We don’t generally recommend a set amount as tipping is not expected in the same way that it is in North America. However, similar North American travel companies generally suggest something along the lines of £10-30 per person per day for your guide, which is a wide range to choose from. Generally, we would encourage you to ask yourself what you were expecting from your guide, and then think about how they have exceeded those expectations and choose an amount you are comfortable with.

For local services such as restaurants again tipping is not expected but if you receive great service then 10-15% of the bill is normal.

 

Car Rental Details – Arranged by Uproute Me

Reservation: 9934421658, Mercedes-Benz CLA Coupé or similar £721.91 paid in advance

  • Loss Damage Waiver included
  • 24/7 Breakdown assistance included
  • Tire and Glass Protection included
  • Third Party Insurance included
  • Additional driver  included

Pickup at Edinburgh City Centre:Q-Park OMNI Centre, Greenside Row, Edinburgh EH1 3AN, United Kingdom, Saturday, Apr 20, 2024 at 9 am

Return at Inverness Airport:Unit 2, Dalcross Ind. Estate, Inverness IV2 7XB, United Kingdom, Sunday, Apr 28, 2024 at 9 am

Pricing Read More

Please note that the pricing includes a voluntary Conservation Contribution

This voluntary donation of £12 per person goes towards conservation projects in the locations we operate.  If you would like to opt out just let your trip designer know.

Click here for more information.

Important Additional Information Read More
  • Scone Palace Entry Tickets - PDF: View Now
  • Ferry Voucher from Mallaig to Armadale - PDF: View Now
Terms & Conditions Read More

Please see our booking terms here.


Meet Your Guides

Scott McNeish

Contact Number: + 44 (0)753 335 6572

I work within the operations team at Wilderness Scotland and am incredibly lucky to be able to be part of the guiding team too.  After a nomadic childhood growing up in Austria, Hong Kong, Norway, and Canada I caught the bug for adventure travel and have spent a lifetime skiing, climbing and canoeing and have been lucky enough to join trips all over the world.

Following a career in the Royal Air Force I settled in the Highlands and love the wildness of a winter’s day out in the Cairngorms. To me, Scotland is the world ‘distilled’ into one great mini adventure playground and offers so much I just need to keep exploring it.

Martin Tull

Contact Number: + 44 (0)7807 576 955

Originally from Salisbury, Wiltshire I settled in the north of Scotland after completing a long and varied career in the Royal Air Force, the latter half spent in Scotland. As Aircrew, I was very fortunate to have been able to travel and explore a great deal across the globe particularly early on in my career. Now I prefer to do it by foot.

A keen Rugby player in my younger years I was a comparatively late starter to the outdoors. That moment came when I spent a weekend scrambling in Snowdonia in my late 20s. I was immediately hooked and since then I haven’t looked back. When I was later posted to Scotland I started to climb, walk and mountaineer in earnest, often organising and leading trips here and later overseas. I have also led many multi-week development expeditions for young people around the world and completed the Munros (Scottish mountains over 3000ft) in 2004. I hold a great passion for the Highlands and Islands of Scotland and love sharing it with people.