Final Information - Jones Family Scottish Explorations

Saturday 29th June – Sunday 7th July 2024

Number of Travellers: 3
Duration: 9 Days / 8 Nights

Day by Day

Day 1 - Saturday 29th June - Welcome to Scotland! Meet Your Guide & Transfer to Skye

On arrival at Inverness Airport you will be met by your private guide, who will also act as your driver for your time together. Enjoy some fabulous scenery as you make your way to Skye today, past the deep water of secretive Loch Ness and through steep sided mountain glens. Stop to explore the elegant Eilean Donan castle, set out on the water on a private island and surrounded by majestic scenery. Your guide will then take you onwards, passing over the graceful arc of the Skye Bridge onto ‘the misty isle’ itself and carrying on to your lovely hotel in the harbour town of Portree.

Drive time from Inverness Airport to Portree is around 3 hrs depending on traffic and without stops.

Overnight: Portree | Marmalade Hotel
Room Type: 1 x Premier Double & 1 x Standard Double
Meals Included: None

Day 1 - Flight Details Read More +

Airline: Delta | Flight Number: 9285
Arrival Airport: INV | Arrival Time: 10:10

Day 1 - Guide Details - Scott McCabe Read More +

Name: Scott McCabe
Contact Number: +44 (0)7840 588166
Meeting Place: Inverness Airport | Meeting Time: 10:10

Your main guide Scott will meet you at Arrivals and have a sign with your name.

Day 1 - Dinner Details Read More +

Restaurant: Chargrill Restaurant | Location: Portree
Reservation Time: 20:00
Phone: +44(0)1478 611711

Please note this is a table reservation only, please pay directly.

Day 2 - Sunday 30th June - Exploring Skye

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, 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, such as the faery flag at Dunvegan Castle. Your guide will share some of the best hidden gems and personalise the day to your interests.

The perfect finish to the day is a private sunset cruise from Portree, enjoying some nibbles and a chilled beverage as you enjoy the views.

 

Your guide will arrange a meeting time for today with you the night before.

Overnight: Portree | Marmalade Hotel
Room Type: 1 x Premier Double & 1 x Standard Double
Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 2 - Dinner Details Read More +

Restaurant: Dulse & Brose | Location: Portree
Reservation Time: 19:45
Phone: +44(0)1478 612846

Day 3 - Monday 1st July - Ferry To The Mainland & Sea Kayaking in Arisaig

A short ferry ride takes you back to the mainland this morning. Here you will take to the waters for an afternoon of sea kayaking in Arisaig with a local guide. 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 and picnic on. The curious seals and wide variety of local wildlife are sure to keep you entertained as you enjoy the views out to the small isles. At the end of a wonderful day your guide will take you along the beautiful ‘Road To The Isles’ to your hotel for some well-earned relaxation.

Your guide will arrange a meeting time for today with you the night before.

Drive time from Portree to Armadle is around 1 hour. Ferry from Armadale to Mallaig around 30 minutes. Drive time from Mallaig to Inverlochy Castle is around 1.5hrs. All depending on traffic and without stops.

Overnight: Near Fort William | Inverlochy Castle Hotel
Room Type: 2 x Large Double (1 for solo occ)
Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 4 - Tuesday 2nd July - Iconic Glencoe

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! Explore this famous valley with your guide, there are plenty of options to suit every level of energy and challenge. At the end of the day 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. 

There is also the option for additional explorations in the local area if you prefer, take the gondola up into the Mountains for easy access to the views or even head down the coast to Oban.

Your guide will arrange a meeting time for today with you the night before.

Overnight: Near Fort William | Inverlochy Castle Hotel
Room Type: 2 x Large Double (1 for solo occ)
Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 5 - Wednesday 3rd July - Transfer East Via History & Whisky

Today you transfer East into Highland Perthshire, enjoying the scenery along that way. Stop off to explore the huge open air site of the Highland Folk Museum and relive history in its painstakingly recreated buildings. This fascinating 80 acre site has over 30 dwellings “frozen in time” from the early 1700s to the mid 1900s so that you can experience the details of Highland life as it was back then. Then carry on to the picturesque Dalwhinnie Distillery. This is the highest distillery in Scotland and prides itself on producing gently warming spirits in the coldest and harshest of conditions. Raise a glass after your tour and toast your health, ‘slainte mhath’!

Your guide will arrange a meeting time for today with you the night before.

Drive time from Inverlochy Castle to Fonab Castle is around 1 hr 45 mins depending on traffic and without stops.

Overnight: Pitlochry | Fonab Castle Hotel
Room Type: 1 x Superior Lodge Room and x1 Woodland Lodge Room(solo occ)
Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 6 - Thursday 4th July - Morning Private 4x4 Safari & Afternoon Explorations

This morning you head out on a fun private Landrover safari with a kilted Ranger. Exploring private estate tracks to see what traditional gillies and estate managers drive every day. Keep your eyes open for the local wildlife, Red Deer, Mountain Hares and Eagles that are all to be found here. Once back down in the valley try your hand at the adrenaline inducing sport of axe throwing and see who has the best aim! This afternoon continue your local explorations with your guide, finishing the day with some delectable chocolates at a local award-winning specialist.

Your guide will arrange a meeting time for today with you the night before.

Overnight: Pitlochry | Fonab Castle Hotel
Room Type: 1 x Superior Lodge Room and x1 Woodland Lodge Room(solo occ)
Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 7 - Friday 5th July - Transfer To Edinburgh via Wallace Monument, Bannockburn Battlefield & Stirling Castle

Head south this morning to immerse yourselves in the history of the fiercely contested area around Stirling. Start with the imposing Wallace Monument, which celebrates Scotland’s first national hero William Wallace. Admire the huge Wallace Sword and climb the steps to gain the beautiful vista of the surrounding hills. Take a journey through time with a visit to the site of The Battle Of Bannockburn. This was the greatest victory of Robert The Bruce and you can experience that day in history in thrilling 3D at the award-winning visitor centre.

Discover mighty Stirling castle, with imposing battlements looking out from the clifftops. This is where the World’s Oldest Football was discovered, thought to be hidden by Mary Queen of Scots behind wood paneling to keep it safe from witchcraft. Your guide will then take you to your iconic hotel in Edinburgh and depart, leaving you to enjoy a relaxing evening.

Your guide will arrange a meeting time for today with you the night before.

Drive time from Fonab Castle to The Balmoral Hotel is around 1 hr 45 mins depending on traffic and without stops.

Overnight: Edinburgh | The Balmoral Hotel
Room Type: 1 x Deluxe Room & 1 x Classic Room for solo occ
Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 8 - Saturday 6th July - Edinburgh's History & Art

In the morning you will be met by your foodie specialist, to lead you on a tasteful tour of this diverse city. Walk the labyrinth of cobbled alleyways and feel the true character of the Old Town as you discover some of the lesser known sites.  Later, visit the unique buildings that house the Scottish National Gallery art collections and explore with your guide to hear the tales behind some of the highlights. This day is flexible and your guide will personalise it to your interests. 

Overnight: Edinburgh | The Balmoral Hotel
Room Type: 1 x Deluxe Room & 1 x Classic Room for solo occ
Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 8 - Edinburgh Food Tour (Full Day) Read More +

Activity: Edinburgh Food Tour (Full Day)
Expert Local Guide: Gavin Hunter
Start Location: The Balmoral Hotel | Start Time: 10:00 | Approx Duration: 7 hrs

Phone: +44 (0)7788 708896

Your local expert guide will meet you at the reception of your hotel and will have all of the information you need for the day.

Day 9 - Sunday 7th July - Depart

A private transfer will collect you from your accommodation and take you to the airport to make your onward connections. Waving farewell for now but taking with you special memories and wonderful stories of your explorations.

Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 9 - Transfer Details Read More +

Supplier: East of Scotland Chauffeur Drive
Booking Reference: 122223
Pick Up Location: The Balmoral, Edinburgh | Pick Up Time: 07:00
Phone: +44 (0) 131 370 1555

Your private transfer will meet you at the front of your hotel.

Day 9 - Flight Details Read More +

Travel Date: July 7, 2024 | Airline: Delta | Flight Number: 123
Departure Airport: EDI | Departure Time: 10:35

Trip Details

Inclusions Read More
  • 8 nights accommodation, as stated in the itinerary above
  • Most meals, as stated in the itinerary above
  • The services of a qualified and experienced guide from Day 1 to Day 7 inclusive
  • All transfers in a private vehicle driven by our guide on guided days
  • Airport Transfer on Departure Day
  • All Ferry Travel Mentioned in the itinerary
  • All guided hikes mentioned in the itinerary
  • Entrance fees and activities mentioned in the itinerary, specifically:
    • Entry to Eilean Donan Castle
    • Up to 3 x Entry Fee on Skye as per interest
    • Private Evening Sunset Cruise, includes nibbles & beverages
    • Private Half Day Sea Kayaking Experience
      • Includes Qualified local guide & all equipment hire
    • Private Storyteller Experience in Glencoe
    • Donation Entry to Highland Folk Museum
    • Tour & Tasting at Dalwhinnie Distillery
    • Private Morning Mountain ‘Safari’ with Kilted ranger
    • Private Axe Throwing Experience (approx 50 mins)
    • Chocolate Tasting led by Audio Guide
    • Entry to Wallace Monument
    • Entry to Bannockburn Visitor Experience
    • Entry to Stirling Castle
    • Private Foodie Walking Tour with Expert City Guide
      • Includes entry to Edinburgh Castle & another entry fee as per interest
      • Note: National Galleries are typically free entry
  • Personalised trip design and delivery
  • 24/7 In-Country Support from the Wilderness Team
Exclusions Read More
  • All 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

Activities are only private if specifically stated

 

Notes On Weather & Flexibility

Weather – July 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.

 

Luggage Notes

Please note that we expect travellers to bring an average of One Large Holdall or Suitcase and up to Two smaller day-bags or hand-luggage sized pieces. If you expect to bring more than this then please let us know well in advance of arrival so that we can ensure there is capacity for this (additional charges will apply if separate luggage transfers are required).

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

Please see our booking terms here.


Accommodation

Marmalade Hotel

Home Farm Road | Portree | Isle of Skye |
IV51 9LX | Scotland
Phone: +44(0)1478 611711
Web: perlehotels.com/marmalade

Inverlochy Castle Hotel

Torlundy | Near Fort William |
PH33 6SN | Scotland
Phone: +44 (0)1397 702 177
Web: inverlochycastlehotel.com

Fonab Castle Hotel

Foss Road | Pitlochry | Perthshire |
PH16 5ND | Scotland
Phone: +44 (0)1796 470140
Web: fonabcastlehotel.com

The Balmoral Hotel

1 Princes Street | Edinburgh |
EH2 2EQ | Scotland
Phone: +44 (0)131 556 2414
Web: roccofortehotels.com/hotels-and-resorts/the-balmoral-hotel


Meet Your Guide

Scott McCabe

Contact Number: +44 (0)7840 588166

Mini Bio

I have been bike mad for about 10 years now, mainly road cycling but over the last few years, I have also embraced the chunkier tyres and baggier clothes for plenty of fun mountain biking action. I enjoy cycling all over Scotland and also travel to Europe to seek out the smoother tarmac and sunny climbs when I can. I have a passion for all things outdoor and adventure. When I’m not out my bike, I’ll be out climbing or in the hills.

I have studied Physiology and Sports Science at University, worked as a landscape gardener, trained as a chef, travelled around on my bike and become a qualified Mountain Leader and Mountain Bike Guide. Instructing, guiding and introducing people to the outdoors in Scotland is now proudly what I can say I do for a living.

Place to Play

Everywhere and anywhere that there are rolling roads or scenic single-tracks for the bikes or mountains and crags to walk and climb. Having lived in different areas across Scotland there is something special and appealing to all of them but the West Coast and Islands certainly have a bit of everything for my tastes, including the food and the whisky!

Not a lot of people know this

I used to be a keen rugby player and played at a fairly high level until I realised getting broken a few times a week wasn’t the best idea