Healey - A Foodie Tour Of The Highlands

Greg Healey

Autumn 2024

Number of Travellers: 2
Duration: 14 Days / 13 Nights

Overview

Embark on an unforgettable culinary odyssey through Scotland’s breathtaking landscapes with Wilderness Scotland. From the moment you arrive in Edinburgh, you’ll be immersed in the country’s rich gastronomic heritage. Explore historic landmarks, including Balmoral Castle, Culloden Battlefield and the mysterious Loch Ness, while indulging in wild picnics and gourmet meals curated by renowned chefs like Ghillie Basan. Trek through the scenic Cairngorms and fly fish for Rainbow Trout with Skye Ghillie on the iconic Isle of Skye. Relax in charming and luxury accommodations such as the Fife Arms Hotel and Kinloch Lodge, culminating in regal elegance at Inverlochy Castle. This foodie adventure promises unforgettable flavours and experiences at every turn.

Day by Day

Day 1 - Welcome to Edinburgh

Arrive in the architecturally stunning city of Edinburgh today and settle into your lovely accommodation. Depending on your arrival time, you may wish to head out and explore the winding alleys and cobblestone streets. Full of history, the capital is very accessible by foot. Wander up the Royal Mile, visiting St Giles’ Cathedral (which has been a working church for over 900 years) and Edinburgh Castle, which offers sweeping views over the city. This evening, enjoy dinner and a good night’s sleep.

Overnight: Edinburgh | The Balmoral Hotel
Room Type: Deluxe Old Town View
Meals Included: None

Day 2 - Northward Bound and a Wild Picnic

Meet your friendly and knowledgeable Wilderness Scotland guide at your accommodation this morning and begin your journey northward. Enjoy a picturesque transfer towards the Cairngorms National Park and relish a delightful wild picnic in a remote hut amidst the natural beauty of Straloch Estate. Later, settle into the historic charm of the Fife Arms Hotel for a relaxing evening.

Overnight: Braemar | The Fife Arms
Room Type: Nature and Poetry
Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 3 - Unique Foodie & Whisky Workshop

Set out into the whisky hills to a private remote kitchen this morning and spend a fascinating day in the home and kitchen of the charismatic writer, broadcaster and ‘food anthropologist’ Ghillie Basan. Set in an idyllic location you will discover a colourful and well stocked kitchen with inspiring views over the local hills. Ghillie will guide you in cooking a delicious feast (including local ingredients foraged from the surrounding hills) while you share stories and learn about the dishes you are creating. 

Overnight: Braemar | The Fife Arms
Room Type: Nature and Poetry
Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 4 - Balmoral Castle and Royal Lochnagar Distillery

This morning, head out with your guide to the beautiful Balmoral Estate. A Highland residence of the Royal Family since it was bought for Queen Victoria in 1852. Visit Balmoral Castle and wander through the exquisite gardens. If time allows, you may fancy going for a mellow circular walk nearby. After lunch, enjoy a tour and tasting at the Royal Lochnagar Distillery, which was issued with a royal warrant by Queen Victoria in 1848. Learn about the history of Scotland’s most famous tipple while also having the chance to indulge in a tasting.

Overnight: Braemar | Fife Arms
Room Type: Nature and Poetry
Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 5 - Visit Culloden Battlefield and Clava Cairns

Head north this morning to visit Culloden Battlefield and its richly researched and engaging visitor centre. Learn about one of the most harrowing battles in Scottish history and walk across the rough moor where the Jacobites and the Government fought in 1746. Take the opportunity to visit Clava Cairns – a well-preserved Bronze Age cemetery complex of passage graves, ring cairns, kerb cairns and standing stones. After lunch, a short transfer will take you to Fort Augustus, nestled on the shores of Loch Ness, and your lovely Highland accommodation.

Overnight: Fort Augustus | The Lovat Hotel
Room Type: Grand Master
Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 6 - Cruising on Loch Ness

Enjoy a boat trip on Loch Ness today, keeping an eye out for the elusive Nessie herself. There is an easy going cruise option, or if you fancy something a little more thrilling, a speed cruise option. Marvel at the breathtaking scenery surrounding you as you learn more about this mysterious loch. Afterward, unwind at The Lovat Hotel, and enjoy a delicious evening meal featuring local Scottish fare.

Overnight: Fort Augustus | The Lovat Hotel
Room Type: Grand Master
Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 7 - Glorious Glen Affric

Discover the ancient woodlands and solitude of Glen Affric today. There are several options for stunning walks – perhaps circumnavigating Loch Affric or following a route through the ancient forest of the great wood of Caledon to explore the flora and fauna of this wonderful glen, one of the most beautiful in Scotland, particularly in Autumn. This is an incredibly photogenic place and you’ll have ample time to try and capture the scene before returning to the hotel to relax for the evening.

Overnight: Fort Augustus | The Lovat Hotel
Room Type: Grand Master
Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 8 - Over the Sea to Skye

After a relaxing breakfast, bid farewell to Fort Augustus and transfer West to the enchanting Isle of Skye. You may wish to stop on the way for a short walk or a visit to the iconic Eilean Donan Castle. Arrive at the picturesque Kinloch Lodge and settle in for a cozy night and what is always bound to be a delectable meal from resident chef Jordan Webb.

Overnight: Skye | Kinloch Lodge
Room Type: Luxury Double
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 9 - Fly Fishing with Skye Ghillie

Spend the day getting off the beaten track and fishing for Rainbow Trout with Skye Ghillie. Learning traditional techniques and enjoying the serene beauty of Skye’s landscape in the great company of your friendly and incredible experienced and knowledgeable guide. Return to Kinloch Lodge where you can enjoy a hot shower and settle in for another blissful evening.

Overnight: Skye | Kinloch Lodge
Room Type: Luxury Double
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 10 - Skye's Clearance Villages

Head out today and hike along the coast, past the ruins of two villages abandoned during the Highland Clearances. Chat with your guide about this incredibly dark time in Scottish history as you explore the mossy walls of the old houses. As the soft breeze carries the smell of salt and sunshine across the heather, follow the rocky shore below cliffs that lurch towards the sea. Gradually ascend above the white-flecked waves, listening to the raucous call of seabirds, before returning for your final night on the island.

Overnight: Skye | Kinloch Lodge
Room Type: Luxury Double
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 11 - Road to the Isles

A short transfer this morning will have you arrive at Armdale where you’ll board the ferry to the small fishing village of Mallaig on the mainland. Travel along the ‘Road to the Isles’, taking in the spectacular scenery along the way, and passing the iconic Glenfinnan Viaduct. Arrive in Fort William and your luxury castle accommodation and settle in.

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

Day 12 - Hiking in Glencoe

Enjoy breakfast before meeting your guide and heading out to explore Glencoe. The spectacular Glencoe, carved out centuries ago by glaciers and volcanic eruptions, offers some wild and scenic hiking. One great option is to hike along a narrow rowan-hung gorge until you reach the Lost Valley. This enclosed meadow – high, green, and hidden by precipitous tors, is said to be where the Macdonald clan used to conceal their rustled cattle. Surrounded by jagged peaks that shift in and out of mountain mist, visit the Glencoe Center to learn about the landscape’s haunting history.

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

Day 13 - Transfer to Edinburgh

After a relaxing breakfast, depart Inverlochy castle and transfer to Edinburgh with your guide. You may wish to stop off to stretch your legs on a short walk along the way, perhaps in Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park. After arriving in Edinburgh, your guide will make sure you are checkin in at your central city accommodation before bidding you farewell. You have the rest of the day to explore Edinburgh at your own pace.

Overnight: Edinburgh | The Balmoral Hotel
Room Type: Deluxe Old Town View
Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 14 - Depart Edinburgh

After breakfast, head to the airport and depart for home.

Meals Included: Breakfast

Trip Details

Inclusions Read More
  • All accommodation from Day 1 to Day 14
  • Most meals as indicated above
  • Services of an experienced and knowledgeable qualified guide from Day 2 to Day 13
  • Ground transportation from Day 2 to Day 13
  • All guided hikes and activities mentioned in the itinerary
  • Wild Picnic on Straloch Estate
  • Private ‘Whisky Food Safari’ with chef Ghillie Basan
  • Entry to Balmoral Castle and Grounds
  • Expressions tour at Royal Lochnagar Distillery
  • Entry to Culloden Battlefield
  • Boat trip on Loch Ness (cruise or speed trip – for you to decide at time of booking)
  • Fly fishing with Skye Ghillie
  • Personalised trip design and delivery
  • Snacks throughout the trip
  • 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
Pricing Read More

The price of this trip is £14,175 per person and is based on availability at the time of booking.

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