Discovering Scotland

Sunday 27th July – Sunday 3rd August 2025

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

Overview

Immerse yourself in the enchanting beauty of Scotland on this 8-day journey through its most captivating regions. Explore the historic wonders of Edinburgh, a UNESCO World Heritage site rich in history. Feel the vibrant energy of this bustling city with its characterful cobbled streets and dynamic atmosphere. Explore the thriving arts and crafts scene on the picturesque Isle of Skye. Delve into the secrets of a historic formal garden and experience the excitement of a traditional Highland Games. Guided by an experienced and knowledgeable leader, this carefully crafted tour promises an unforgettable adventure through this fascinating country.

Throughout this journey, you’ll not only create lasting memories but also form connections with fellow travelers. Sharing experiences like exploring vibrant cities, discovering local crafts, and enjoying traditional events adds a special touch to the adventure. The friendships and memories made along the way will stay with you long after the tour ends.

 

Start / Finish – Edinburgh / Edinburgh 

Edinburgh is easily accessible, connected by regular flights from various cities in the UK and Europe, as well-as some direct flights from the US. It is also on the UK mainline rail network, with the sleeper train being an attractive option for the journey to/from destinations in the south of the UK. The airport is approximately 30 minutes from the city center and is connected by tram, bus and taxi.

Highlights

  • Delve into the heart of Scotland’s capital, marvel at its majestic castle and visit the private yacht of the late Queen
  • Explore the breathtaking landscapes and local crafts of the Isle of Skye
  • Indulge in a day of traditional Highland Games festivities
  • Visit Blair Castle, a historic gem

Day by Day

Day 1 - Sunday 27th July - Welcome to Edinburgh

Arrive in Edinburgh at your leisure, with check-in available from late afternoon. Meet your guide for a welcome briefing over drinks before dinner, followed by a delightful meal at a beloved local restaurant.

Overnight: Edinburgh | Kimpton Charlotte Square
Room Type: Executive rooms
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2 - Monday 28th July - Cobblestone streets and floating palaces

Accompanied by your guide, you will stroll along the historic Royal Mile, pausing to admire iconic landmarks such as St Giles’ Cathedral and Edinburgh Castle. Inside the castle, explore the grand Great Hall, the Royal Palace, St Margaret’s Chapel, and the impressive six-ton siege gun, Mons Meg.

After a delightful cafe lunch, we leave the city center for the outskirts, the port of Leith, where you will tour the Royal Yacht Britannia, the magnificent floating palace that served Queen Elizabeth II on her global voyages.

In addition to renowned high street brands, Edinburgh boasts numerous quirky side street stores offering a treasure trove of unique finds. Take some leisurely time to browse these charming shops or consider treating yourself to a drink at one of the city’s stylish bars, adding a touch of local flavor to this memorable day of discovery.

Tonight, enjoy the evening at your leisure, exploring the many diverse dining options that Edinburgh has to offer.

Overnight: Edinburgh | Kimpton Charlotte Square
Room Type: Executive
Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 3 - Tuesday 29th July - North to Skye

Today, we journey north into the majestic Scottish Highlands and set our sights on the legendary Isle of Skye. Our first stop is the charming riverside village of Dunkeld, known for its historic cathedral and quaint shops along a traditional high street. Be sure to visit the Aran Bakery and Deli for local treats.

For lunch, we’ll treat ourselves at the renowned House of Bruar, often referred to as the “Harrods of the North,” celebrated for its Scottish country wear and locally sourced products within the splendid foodhall. After dining, take your time to explore the diverse offerings, it truly has something for everyone.

Continuing our drive north, the landscape becomes increasingly dramatic. We’ll pause for a photo stop at Eilean Donan Castle, a stunning fortress set on its own island. Crossing the graceful Skye Bridge, we’ll reach our country house hotel by late afternoon, where you can unwind and enjoy the serene beauty of Skye’s landscapes.

Overnight: Skye | Skeabost Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 3 - Transfer Details Read More +

| Approx Duration: 5.25 hrs

Day 4 - Wednesday 30th July - Exploring Skye

Today, explore northern Skye, taking in the Waternish and Trotternish Peninsulas, and meeting some of the local craftspeople who call this region home. Together, these peninsulas paint a picture of Skye’s diverse landscape, where every curve of the coast and every crag of the cliffs whispers of the island’s enduring magic.

The Trotternish Peninsula is a rugged masterpiece, where cliffs stretch skyward and ancient rocks tell tales of ages past. On the tranquil shores of the Waternish Peninsula, a different kind of beauty unfolds. Here, gentle bays cradle sandy beaches, and sleepy villages offer a glimpse into Skye’s peaceful soul.

On Waternish, we’ll visit a local tannery,  to discover the age-old craft of leather making, witnessing the meticulous process of transforming raw sheepskins into supple, durable leather using time-honored methods passed down through generations. Here there is a beautiful, original showroom and shops selling these high quality items.

Afterwards we’ll have the pleasure of meeting an award-winning Scottish landscape digital artist and photographer based on the Isle of Skye, who draws inspiration from the serene beauty of Scotland’s landscapes. Not always an artist, learn of her interesting back story and what drew her to the island she now calls home.

Her work captures the essence of wide open spaces, vast skies, and the unique colors of the Scottish land and sea. Through her art, she conveys a sense of simplicity, space, and solitude that resonates with viewers. After pausing for lunch in Portree, we explore the captivating expanse of rugged beauty located in the northern part of Skye, the Trotternish Peninsula. Known for its dramatic landscapes and unique geological formations, Trotternish enchants with its iconic, wild and untamed scenery. There will be plenty of opportunity for photos today, as we take a short walk on the coast or into the legend-filled valley.

Overnight: Skye | Skeabost Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 5 - Thursday 31st July - Plockton and Attadale

Returning to the mainland of Scotland, our morning begins with a delightful stop at the charming fishing village of Plockton. Here, take your time exploring its picturesque streets or simply relax with a coffee at a local café, soaking in the serene atmosphere.

Afterward, we continue our journey to Attadale Gardens for a private tour. With a history spanning over 250 years since the construction of the manor house, these gardens are constantly evolving and offer a fascinating glimpse into horticultural creativity. Our private tour will showcase the garden’s highlights, followed by a relaxing coffee break in the historic house.

Following our garden visit, we’ll embark on a short transfer to Inverness, the capital of the Highlands. Our accommodation for the night is at a luxurious 5-star hotel, nestled in a tranquil setting next to the picturesque River Ness.

Overnight: Inverness | Nesswalk Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 5 - Transfer Details Read More +

| Approx Duration: 3 hrs

Day 6 - Friday 1st August - Highland Games

Before we head north to Dornoch, take some time to explore Inverness. You might enjoy browsing through the city’s charming souvenir shops or visiting the Museum & Art Gallery. If you have a passion for books and history, don’t miss a visit to Leakey’s, a renowned bookstore that is a must-see in Inverness.

Upon our arrival in Dornoch before noon, we will be just in time to witness the Chieftain’s Parade, a historic march that ceremoniously inaugurates the Dornoch Highland Games. Originating as a test of strength and bravery among clans, the Highland Games also celebrate the talents of musicians and dancers, who strive to honor their clans with their performances. It promises to be a memorable and culturally enriching experience as we delve into the traditions of this vibrant Scottish event.

Today’s Highland Games follow a Victorian-era format, drawing athletes from around the globe to compete in traditional “heavy events” like “Tossing the Caber” and “Stone Putt.” Spend the afternoon immersed in the excitement, watching these impressive displays of strength, while also enjoying the graceful movements of the dancers and the lively music that accompanies this quintessential Scottish event. Later, we’ll transfer back to Inverness.

This evening is free to relax and unwind back at the hotel or venture out to discover Inverness’s vibrant restaurant scene at your own pace, rounding off a day filled with cultural experiences and sporting traditions.

Overnight: Inverness | Ness Walk
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 6 - Transfer Details Read More +

| Approx Duration: 2 hrs

Day 7 - Saturday 2nd August - Blair Castle

As we begin our journey southward, and a last chance to savor the stunning landscapes of the Cairngorms National Park, heather clad mountains and panoramic views. Our next stop is Blair Castle, a historic gem, home to Europe’s only private army. Here, we’ll immerse ourselves in the storied halls of this iconic building, and the beautiful surrounding gardens. If time allows, we’ll visit a renowned local chocolatier, celebrated for exquisite hot chocolate and truffles, adding a sweet touch to our day.

Our accommodations for the night are in a charming, unique hotel nestled along the banks of the River Tay. Here, we raise a glass to the adventures of the past days and cherish the memories crafted amidst these mystical lands, knowing they will linger in your heart long after our journey concludes.

Overnight: Perthshire | Grandtully Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 7 - Transfer Details Read More +

| Approx Duration: 2 hrs

Day 8 - Sunday 3rd August - Return to Edinburgh

Awakening in these serene surroundings after a delightful breakfast, your guide will accompany you back to Edinburgh Airport this morning, ensuring you arrive in time for your onward connections. Expect to reach Edinburgh Airport by 12 noon, concluding your memorable journey through Scotland’s enchanting landscapes and cultural treasures.

Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 8 - Transfer Details Read More +

| Approx Duration: 2 hrs

Trip Details

Inclusions Read More
  • 2 nights at Kimpton Charlotte Square Hotel (Executive Rooms for double occupancy and Standard Rooms for double occupancy)
  • 2 nights at The Skeabost Hotel, Toradale, Skye
  • 2 nights at Ness Walk Hotel at Inverness (Laurel rooms)
  • 1 night at Grandtully Hotel
  • 7 x Breakfast
  • 5 x Lunches (Days 2, 3, 4, 5, & 7)
  • 5 x Dinners (Days 1, 3, 4, 5 & 7)
  • A glass of fizz/wine with each included dinner
  • Services of an experienced guide throughout
  • Ground transportation from Day 2 to Day 8 in a private vehicle driven by our guide
  • All activities described in the itinerary, specifically:
    • D2 – Walking tour of Edinburgh including Edinburgh Castle & the Royal Yacht Britannia; including local transfers in Edinburgh as required
    • D3 – Short walking tour around Dunkeld, photo stop at Eilean Donan Castle*
    • D4 – Visits to local craft makers on Skye, and some short, scenic walks
    • D5 – Walk around Plockton; Private tour of Attadale Gardens
    • D6 – Entry to Dornoch Highland Games
    • D7 – Entry to Blair Castle; visit to local chocolatier
  • Personalized trip design and delivery
  • Gratuities for included meals and accommodation

* Note that we do not go into Eilean Donan Castle, it’s just a photo stop from a viewpoint

Exclusions Read More

 

  • Day 1 Airport transfers – available on request (from £165 per transfer)
  • Post trip extra nights in Edinburgh (to catch the Edinburgh Fringe Festival)
  • Flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Meals not mentioned in the inclusions
  • Activities and entrance fees not mentioned in the inclusions
  • Gratuities for the main driver guide
Pricing Read More

The NET price for this itinerary, based on single occupancy rooms, is as follows:

    • 4 paying travelers – £5,700pp
    • 5 paying travelers – £5,450pp
    • 6 paying travelers – £5,350pp
    • 7 paying travelers – £5,300pp
  • Deduction for twin-share room: £1,400 per person 
  • Prices for 1-3 travelers are available on request

 


Meet Your Guide

Helen Ord

Contact Number: +44 (0)7714 331 786

Born and bred in Scotland, I nonetheless spent 20 years living in exile (strangely self-enforced) both “down south” (ie. England!) and overseas. Having spent so much time living and working away from home, including in some countries you wouldn’t normally find on a bucket list (Afghanistan for one), I realised that, regardless of location, I would always be the person enthusiastically regaling colleagues and friends with tales and descriptions of the most exciting and beautiful country in the world… Their trips, real or imagined, would be entirely organised by me and of course, I would be the one showing them around.

From an early age, I was brought up in some of the most beautiful and iconic locations we have to offer. The Cairngorm mountains and Western Highlands hold a particularly special place in my heart, but having called Edinburgh, St Andrews, fairy-tale Glamis and beautiful Royal Deeside “home” at various points in my life, my love of our amazing landscape, history and culture runs deep.

So although I didn’t realise it 20 years ago, of course, it was inevitable that I would end up returning to my beloved Scotland and making guiding my profession. And I love it! I get to explore my own extraordinary country and watch the delight on others’ faces as I help them discover it for themselves too. You could say that I truly am living the dream.