Final Information - Scottish Explorations

Darlene & Kory Judd

Thursday 9th May – Thursday 16th May 2024

Number of Travellers: 2
Duration: 8 Days / 7 Nights

Overview

Discover the true flavours of Scotland with insights from your expert guide. Explore history in the twisty cobbled alleyways of Edinburgh, stroll in atmospheric glens and admire the mountain ranges, kayak on crystal seas next to curious seals and enjoy the local produce 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.

Highlights

  • Discover hidden corners of Edinburgh’s historic Old Town with a private tour from a local city guide
  • Relax as your expert guide takes care of all the logistics and driving, so you can just focus on enjoying your holiday
  • Explore a world class paddling area with an expert local guide

Day by Day

Day 1 - Thursday 9th May - 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 as you enjoy a free evening.

Please note that check-in is from 3pm, but the hotel can keep your luggage safe during the day if you wish.

Overnight: Edinburgh | Bruntsfield Hotel
Room Type: Executive Double
Meals Included: None

Day 1 - Flight Details Read More +

Airline: UNnited Airlines | Flight Number: UA118
Departure Airport: Chicago Arrival Airport: Edinburgh | Arrival Time: 8:25 am

Day 1 - Transfer Details Read More +

Supplier: East of Scotland Chauffeur Drive
Booking Reference: 113082 - Kory Judd
Pick Up Location: Edinburgh Airport Arrivals | Pick Up Time: 8:25 am | Approx Duration: 0.75 hrs
Phone: +44 (0) 131 370 1555

Your driver will have a sign with your name on it.

Day 1 - Dinner Details Read More +

Restaurant: Leftfield | Location: 12 Barclay Terrace, Edinburgh Edinburgh, EH10 4HP
Reservation Time: 6:00 pm | Booking Reference: BNG7436L - Booked under Darlene Judd
Phone: 0131 229 1394 | Website: https://www.leftfieldedinburgh.co.uk/

Please note that this is a Table Reservation only. Please pay directly.

Day 2 - Friday 10th May - Morning Private Walking Tour. Free Afternoon

Spend the morning exploring the tales of the cobbled streets and alleyways of Edinburgh’s historic Old Town with an expert local city guide. You will visit some of the famous sights as well as discovering some fascinating lesser known gems. This afternoon is free for you to continue exploring at your own pace, maybe using some tips from your guide this morning.

Overnight: Edinburgh | Bruntsfield Hotel
Room Type: Executive Double
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 2 - Private Walking Tour Read More +

Activity: Private Walking Tour
Expert Local Guide: Euan House
Start Location: The Bruntsfield Hotel Reception | Start Time: 9:00 am | Approx Duration: 4 hrs

Phone: +44 (0) 7904 013 045

Day 2 - Dinner Details Read More +

Restaurant: The Scran & Scallie | Location: 1 Comely Bank Road, Stockbridge, Edinburgh, EH4 1DR
Reservation Time: 7:00 pm | Booking Reference: Booked under Darlene Judd
Phone: +44 (0) 131 332 6281 | Website: https://scranandscallie.com/

Please note that this is a Table Reservation only. Please pay directly.

Day 3 - Saturday 11th May - Free Day For Self-Explorations

Today is free to visit some of Edinburgh’s wonderful attractions independently; venture underneath the streets into the dark tales, discover the Georgian opulence of the New Town or go aboard the Royal Yacht Britannia, once the floating palace of Queen Elizabeth II and The Duke of Edinburgh.

Overnight: Edinburgh | Bruntsfield Hotel
Room Type: Executive Double
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 3 - Dinner Details Read More +

Restaurant: Fishers In The City | Location: 58 Thistle Street, Edinburgh, EH2 1EN
Reservation Time: 7:00 pm | Booking Reference: BRZF9LZP - Darlene Judd
Phone: +44 (0) 131 225 5109 | Website: https://www.fishersrestaurants.co.uk/fishers-in-the-city/

Please note that this is a Table Reservation only. Please pay directly.

Day 4 - Sunday 12th May - Meet Your Guide & Head North via Scone Palace

This morning your Private Guide (who will also act as your driver) will meet you at your hotel and together you will head north towards the Highlands. Stop to visit the splendours of this elegant palace that was once the crowning place of Scottish Kings and Queens. Stroll the beautiful gardens and explore the unique Murray Star Maze before you continue North. There are many options for gentle strolls taking in the beautiful scenery, which your guide will bring to life for you. A visit to an award-winning chocolatier would be the perfect place to enjoy a delectable sweet treat before your guide takes you to your accommodation with plenty of time to settle in before dinner.

Overnight: Pitlochry | Craigatin House & Courtyard
Room Type: Double ensuite
Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 4 - Guide Details - Ian Jones Read More +

Name: Ian Jones
Contact Number: 07910 717 044
Meeting Place: The Bruntsfield Hotel Reception | Meeting Time: 9:00 am

Day 4 - Dinner Details Read More +

Restaurant: Fern Cottage Restaurant | Location: Ferry Rd, Pitlochry, PH16 5DD
Reservation Time: 7:00 pm | Booking Reference: BMGW3HNF - Darlene Judd
Phone: +44 (0) 1796 473 840 | Website: https://www.ferncottagepitlochry.co.uk/

Please note that this is a Table Reservation only. Please pay directly.

Day 5 - Monday 13th May - Transfer To Fort William. Afternoon Wildlife Boat Trip

Today you head west to Fort William, the ‘Outdoor Capital’ of the UK and situated at the bottom of the highest mountain in the country. Your route takes you through the stunning scenery of Glencoe, which you may recognise as the backdrop to several big Hollywood films and TV series. Your guide will share some of the stories about this hauntingly beautiful place as you learn about the ancient treachery and cattle rustling. Then you continue your journey to Fort William. This afternoon take a boat trip to look out for the local wildlife. Seals and seabirds are almost guaranteed, but you may be lucky enough to catch a sighting of an Eagle or a cheeky otter too.

Overnight: Fort William | Nevis Bank Inn
Room Type: Suite
Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 5 - Dinner Details Read More +

Restaurant: Crannog Restaurant | Location: Crannog at Garrison West, 4 Cameron Square, Fort William, PH33 6AJ
Reservation Time: 7:00 pm | Booking Reference: BVGWQWYG - Darlene Judd
Phone: +44 (0) 1397 701 873 | Website: https://www.garrisonwest.co.uk/

Please note that this is a Table Reservation only. Please pay directly.

Day 6 - Tuesday 14th May - Road To The Isles & Afternoon Sea Kayaking

Enjoy superb views as you make your way up the coast to Fort William and then drive west along the stunning Road to the Isles, this is frequently listed as one of the most beautiful drives in the world and it is easy to see why. You may wish to stop at the historic Glenfinnan viaduct, whose graceful arches featured in several of the Harry Potter films.
On arrival in Arisaig you will take to the waters for an afternoon of guided sea kayaking. This location is a worldwide destination for paddlers due to the beautiful crystal clear waters, white sandy beaches and fun tiny rocky islands to explore, complete with a wide variety of local wildlife. At the end of a wonderful day your guide will take you back to your hotel for some well-earned relaxation.

Overnight: Fort William | Nevis Bank Inn
Room Type: Suite
Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 6 - Dinner Details Read More +

Restaurant: Browns Restaurant at Nevis bank Inn
Reservation Time: 7:00 pm | Booking Reference: Booked under Darlene Judd

Please note that this is a Table Reservation only. Please pay directly.

Day 7 - Wednesday 15th May - Transfer to Inverness via Loch Ness Cruise

Wave farewell to the west coast today as you head to Inverness via the Great Glen, the divide which splits the country with the aid of the Caledonian Canal. This takes you to the canalside village of Fort Augustus on the shores of Loch Ness. The dark waters of this infamous loch are of course reported to be the home of Nessie herself. Take to the water on a scenic cruise and look out for wildlife such as feral goats, golden eagles and of course the elusive monster! When back on shore you will drive up the northern shore of the loch and will stop at the ruins of Castle Urquhart. This large castle has a rich and bloody past that dates back centuries. Then you continue to Inverness where your guide will drop you at your hotel and wave farewell.

Overnight: Inverness | Kingsmills Hotel
Room Type: Luxury King
Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 7 - Dinner Details Read More +

Restaurant: The Riverhouse Restaurant | Location: 1 Greig Street, Inverness, IV3 5PT
Reservation Time: 7:00 pm | Booking Reference: Booked under Darlene Judd
Phone: +44 (0) 1463 222 033 | Website: https://riverhouseinverness.co.uk/

Please note that this is a Table Reservation only. Please pay directly.

Day 8 - Thursday 16th May - Depart

This morning a private transfer will take you to Inverness Airport to catch your onward travel to Ireland. Taking with you many happy memories of unique moments of your Scottish explorations, which are sure to make you smile for years to come. Now, to the Emerald Isle!

Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 8 - Transfer Details Read More +

Supplier: Inverness Airport Taxis
Booking Reference: Booked under Kory Dell Judd
Pick Up Location: Kingsmills Hotel Reception | Pick Up Time: 4:30 am | Approx Duration: 0.5 hrs
Phone: +44 (0) 1463 630 247/ +44 (0) 7886 905 665

Day 8 - Flight Details Read More +

Airline: KLM Royal Dutch Airlines | Flight Number: KLM900
Departure Airport: Inverness | Departure Time: 6:25 am
Arrival Airport: Amsterdam | Arrival Time: 9:00 am

Day 8 - Flight Details Read More +

Airline: KLM Royal Dutch Airlines | Flight Number: KLM1139
Departure Airport: Amsterdam Arrival Airport: Dublin | Arrival Time: 12:35 pm

Trip Details

Inclusions Read More
  • All accommodation from Day 1 to Day 7
  • Most meals as indicated above
  • Services of an experienced and knowledgeable UK qualified guide from Day 3 to Day 6
  • All transfers in a private vehicle driven by our guide on guided days
  • All guided hikes and activities mentioned in the itinerary
  • Airport Transfer on Arrival Day with Meet & Greet
  • Airport Transfer on Departure Day
  • Private Edinburgh Morning Walking Tour With Expert Local Guide
  • Entry to Scone Palace
  • Chocolate Treat from Award-winning Chocolatier
  • Wildlife Boat Trip (Not Private)
  • Afternoon Sea Kayaking (Not Private)
  • Boat Trip on Loch Ness (not private)
  • Personalised trip design and delivery
  • 24 hour in-country support from the Wilderness Team
Exclusions Read More
  • 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 – May 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 112NHS 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.

Important Additional Information Read More
  • Scotland General Info - PDF: View Now
  • Eat | See | Stay - Where To Eat - Edinburgh - PDF: View Now
  • Eat | See | Stay - Where To Eat - Pitlochry - PDF: View Now
  • Eat | See | Stay - Where To Eat - Fort William - PDF: View Now
  • Eat | See | Stay - Where To Eat - Inverness - PDF: View Now
Terms & Conditions Read More

Please see our booking terms here.


Accommodation

Bruntsfield Hotel

69 Bruntsfield Place | Edinburgh | Mid-Lothian |
EH10 4HH | Scotland
Phone: +44 (0) 131 229 1393
Web: thebruntsfield.co.uk

Craigatin House & Courtyard

165 Atholl Road | Pitlochry | Highland Perthshire |
PH16 55QL | Scotland
Phone: +44 (0) 1796 472 478
Web: craigatinhouse.co.uk

Nevis Bank Inn

Belford Road | Fort William | Inverness-shire |
PH33 6BY | Scotland
Phone: +44 (0) 1397 705 721
Web: nevisbankinn.co.uk

Kingsmills Hotel

Culcabock Road | Inverness | Highland |
IV2 3LP | Scotland
Phone: +44 (0) 1463 237 166
Web: kingsmillshotel.com


Meet Your Guide

Ian Jones

Contact Number: 07910 717 044

Caring | Knowledgeable | Fun

Born and educated in Edinburgh, I began my teaching career. Throughout over 40 years in education in Scotland and abroad, I have used the outdoors both as a classroom and for leisure. Some of my fondest memories are of introducing young people to the varied Scottish landscapes and encouraging them to develop their skills in a range of activities including skiing, hill walking, climbing, sailing, canoeing, and cycling. I now look forward to sharing my knowledge of Scotland with a different audience.

Places to Play

I have had the opportunity to work and travel across the world. However, from scaling mountains to strolling through its glens and along its shores Scotland is unique. Now living in Strathspey, I have the Cairngorm National Park on my doorstep and easy access to the spectacular west coast.

Not a lot of people know this

I lived and worked in Dubai for 6 years and took the opportunity to do a skydive over The Palm.