Exploring Scotland and England

Joan Marks

Summer 2025

Number of Travellers: 2
Duration: 16 Days / 15 Nights


On a carefully crafted, bespoke trip, explore the pastoral beauty of England and the rugged wilderness of Scotland. Explore the soaring mountains and deep blue waters of the Lake District National Park, the ethereal beauty of the Isle of Skye and the shimmering, pine-fringed lochs of the Cairngorms. Enjoy exploring diverse landscapes on foot – hiking through ancient woodland, in the red sandstone mountains of Torridon, and on the sea-soaked shores of Skye. Enjoy the vibrance and energy of Edinburgh during the Fringe Festival and the peaceful tranquillity of old Highland villages. As the sun sinks below the horizon and the sky grows thick with stars, settle into hand-picked accommodation, carefully chosen for their relaxed luxury and traditional charm. On an adventure designed just for you, immerse yourself in the history, heritage and distinctive beauty of the British Isles.



  • Discover the storybook scenery of the Lake District.
  • Take a boat trip out to the wild Loch Coruisk, one of the more remote lochs in Scotland.
  • Enjoy the Fringe Festival – the largest celebration of arts and culture in the world.
  • Relax in charming accommodation, carefully hand-picked for their traditional character, beautiful location and delicious food.

Day by Day

Day 1 - Arrive & Travel to the Lakes

Arrive in Edinburgh or Glasgow today and meet your Wilderness guide. Begin your adventure by travelling south into the Lake District National Park – a landscape full of hanging valleys, rushing waterfalls and impressive crags cloaked in volcanic rock. The National Park is home to Scafell Pike (England’s highest mountain) and also the country’s deepest lake (Wastwater). After arriving in the verdant embrace of this beautiful region, head to your lovely hotel and take some time to relax before dinner.

Overnight: Ullswater | Another Place

Day 2 - Ullswater Steamer & Walk Glenridding

Enjoy a boat cruise across Ullswater this morning, a beautiful lake carved out by a long-extinct glacier and flanked by fells rich in prehistoric remains. Relax on deck as you glide across the shimmering water, listening to the insightful crew’s commentary on the area’s fascinating history. Disembark at Howtown, a hamlet on the eastern shores, and enjoy a beautiful walk along the lakeshore back to Glenridding. As a long, grey heron flies elegantly across the sky, enjoy chatting with your guide as you walk, identifying birds and stopping for snacks and photos. Return to your hotel, and as the hazy sunset fades across the fells, enjoy a drink before dinner.

Overnight: Ullswater | Another Place
Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 3 - Hiking Helvellyn

Head out this morning to hike up Helvellyn, England’s third highest peak, which is known for its breathtaking panoramic views. On a quieter and less arduous route than its most popular ascent, warm up steadily as you walk through old woodland, the morning light dappling leafy shadows along the forest floor. As you climb, skirt a mountain stream that snakes down the side of the fell and climb up onto the rim of the crags, soon reaching the summit and looking out across the impressive knife-edged aretes of Striding and Swirral Edge. After enjoying the views, zig-zag your way steadily down and then transfer to your next wonderful accommodation in the heart of the Lake District.

Overnight: Windermere | The Gilpin
Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 4 - Visiting Grasmere & Dove Cottage

This morning join your guide to head into Grasmere, undoubtedly one of the prettiest villages in the Lakes. Enjoy a visit to Dove Cottage, where William Wordsworth lived with his sister Dorothy from 1799 to 1808. Step back in time as you explore the tranquil rooms, still full of the late poet’s possessions. Afterwards, head out for a mellow circular walk, soaking up the stunning views that stretch across Rydal Water, Grasmere Lake and the steep surrounding fells. Arrive back in the village and spend some time strolling along the narrow streets, popping into artisan shops and perhaps picking up some famous Grasmere Gingerbread before returning to your hotel.

Overnight: Windermere | The Gilpin
Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 5 - Travel to Edinburgh

Travel north across the border into Scotland today, arriving in the city of Edinburgh, where your guide will drop you off so you can explore the city at your own pace. In the throws of the Fringe Festival, Scotland’s architecturally stunning capital city will be filled with performers, actors and musicians. This afternoon head out to explore the cobbled streets, perhaps seeing some impromptu shows and music sessions. Later this evening, relax back in the tranquillity of your hotel, maybe choosing to dine in or out at one of Edinburgh’s award-winning restaurants.

Overnight: Edinburgh | Roseate
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 6 - Fringe Festival & Tattoo Performance

After breakfast, head out to enjoy the Fringe Festival. For three weeks in August, artists and performers take to hundreds of stages throughout the city. Venues can be anywhere, from existing theatres and concert halls to repurposed spaces like bars, parks and shipping containers. From fresh, unknown artists to big names in the world of entertainment, the festival spans every genre of live performance, including theatre, comedy, dance, cabaret, musicals, spoken word, exhibitions and events. After a thoroughly enjoyable day out this evening, head to the iconic Edinburgh Castle for a special dinner at the castle and then go on to watch a fantastic performance of the Edinburgh Military Tattoo in prime seats.

Overnight: Edinburgh | The Roseate
Meals Included: Breakfast and Dinner

Day 7 - A Farmer's Life & Arrive in Glencoe

This morning, your guide will pick you up, and you’ll leave Edinburgh’s colourful, bustling streets today and make your way north to Glencoe. Along the way,  stop at Lennox of Lomond to experience a life in the day of a local farmer. Your tasks will depend on the season but will likely involve livestock tending and feeding, as well as sheep-dog demonstrations and a farmhouse lunch, all amidst the picturesque landscape. Later, arrive in the brooding melancholy of Glencoe, enjoying the stunning, arresting views of the cloud-snagged summits and heather-cloaked hillsides. Settle into your cosy accommodation this evening and relax.

Overnight: Glencoe | Glencoe House
Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 8 - Hiking in Glencoe

Enjoy breakfast before meeting your guide and heading out to explore Glencoe. This spectacular glen – carved out centuries ago by glaciers and volcanic eruptions – is full of harrowing history, fascinating geology and commanding views. With many excellent walks to choose from, settle upon a route perfectly suited to you. 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. As the day fades and light slides down the moor-clad mountains, duck into Clachaig Inn, a traditional climbers’ pub which offers hearty Scottish food, local ales and live music.

Overnight: Glencoe | Glencoe House
Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 9 - Boat Trip, Distillery Tour & Arrive on Skye

Today, join an experienced, well-seasoned skipper for a private boat trip. Zoom out onto the smooth water to visit the remarkable Eileach an Naoimh or Isle of the Saints. There is no public ferry, so these islands are rarely visited, and the unusual beehive remains of the monastery established by St Brendan around AD 542 are well preserved. Then, come ashore for lunch at Nc’Nean distillery and enjoy a whisky tour and tasting before meeting back up with your Wilderness guide to catch the small white ferry to the beautiful Isle of Skye and your cosy accommodation.

Overnight: Skye | Kinloch Lodge
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 10 - Wild Loch Coruisk & The Black Cuillin Mountains

Feeling rested, head south with your guide, arriving in Elgol – a tiny hamlet scattered along the western cliffs of the Strathaird peninsula. From a small jetty, board the charming Bella Jane and sail over Loch Scavaig into the very heart of the Black Cuillin. As the first mate provides some fascinating history about the surrounding islands, look for sleepy seals lounging on the warm rocks. Upon reaching the shore, leave the boat to explore Loch Coruisk, also known as the Cauldron of the Waters, a deep dark loch that stretches like a shadow below the impressive volcanic peaks. Choose to walk around the loch or climb the rugged mountain of Sgurr na Stri – which is considered by many to offer one of the wildest and most spectacular views in Scotland.

Overnight: Skye | Kinloch Lodge
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 11 - Applecross & Travel to Torridon

After breakfast this morning, travel to Torridon. Drive across the arching Skye bridge back to the mainland and head north, enjoying the coastal views as you weave through the rugged landscape. Stop to visit Eilean Donan castle, one of the most picturesque castles in Scotland before taking the iconic Bealach na Ba pass, a historic route once used to drive cattle over the mountains. It’s very steep and narrow, with hairpin bends and passing places, however, the views from the top are incredible. Dropping down the other side will take you to the small village of Applecross, where you can walk along the rocky shore before having lunch at the inn. Continue on to Torridon, arriving at your lovely hotel with time to relax before dinner.

Overnight: Torridon | The Torridon Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 12 - Hiking in Torridon

Join your guide this morning for a day of hiking among the magnificent sandstone mountains of Torridon. With brooding monoliths stretching towards the sky, shimmering lochs and dark rocky knolls, this is a beautiful place to explore on foot. With many options to choose from, chat with your guide about walking options for today before lacing up your boots and heading out to explore. Wind your way along a quiet trail fringed by gorse, where hardy sheep graze amongst the bracken, heather and golden grasses. Return to your hotel this evening for dinner and a good night’s sleep.

Overnight: Torridon | The Torridon Hotel

Day 13 - Clava Cairns & Arrive in the Cairngorms

Leave the red sandstone mountains of Torridon behind this morning and make your way east towards Inverness. On the way, you can choose to visit Culloden Battlefield, an interactive visitor centre and Clava Cairns, bronze age burial cairns and standing stones. Or head further along the coast to Cawdor Castle. Explore the principal rooms of the castle, including the tapestry bedroom, as well as the blooming gardens. Afterwards, head south into the heart of the Cairngorms National Park.

Overnight: Cairngorms National Park | Killiehuntly
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 14 - Hiking in the Cairngorms

Today, enjoy a hike in the beautiful Cairngorms National Park. At over 4500 sq km, it is the largest national park in the UK, and its miles of winding rivers make it Scotland’s most prolific whisky-making region. With your guide, choose a hike that suits you – perhaps head out onto the alpine plateau of the Cairngorms Mountain range and bag a sought-after Munro, or choose to explore the Caledonian pine forest, which is the oldest forest in Scotland. Roam heather-covered glens and alongside jewel-like lochs for the perfect immersion into the ancient landscape. Enjoy a drink in a Highland pub this evening while listening to traditional folk music.

Overnight: Cairngorms National Park | Killiehuntly
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 15 - Bothy Picnic & Return to Edinburgh

This morning, leave the Cairngorms behind and begin your journey back to Edinburgh. Along the way, stop in Straloch (just outside the traditional village of Pitlochry) for a beautiful walk out onto a wind-swept moor for a luxuary picnic lunch in a cosy bothy- a truly unique experience. Enjoy meeting the owner’s gentle labradors and saying hello to the grazing donkeys before continuing your drive to arrive back in the bustling streets and twinkling lights of Scotland’s capital. Here, bid farewell to your guide and settle into your lovely hotel to relax for your final night in Scotland.

Overnight: Edinburgh | The Roseate
Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 16 - Depart

After breakfast, begin your journey home. With great public transport links, you may wish to jump on the tram or take a taxi to the nearby airport. Arrive with plenty of time, feeling relaxed and refreshed after your trip and with many memories to cherish for the years to come.

Meals Included: Breakfast

Trip Details

Inclusions Read More
  • All accommodation from Day 1 to Day 16
  • Most meals as indicated above
  • Services of an experienced and knowledgeable qualified guide from Day 1 to Day 5 and then from Day 7 to Day 15
  • Ground transportation from Day 1 to Day 5 (drop off in Edinburgh) and then from Day 7 to Day 15 including all parking charges
  • All guided hikes and activities mentioned in the itinerary, including:
    • Trip on the Ullswater Steamer
    • Entry to Dove Cottage
    • Hospitality tickets for the Edinburgh Tattoo including a special dinner
    • Day in the life of a farmer experience including working with sheep dogs
    • Private boat trip
    • Distillery tour and tasting
    • Ferry to Skye
    • Entry to Eilean Donan Castle
    • Entry to Culloden visitor center
    • Luxury bothy lunch
  • 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
  • Edinburgh Festival or Fringe tickets
  • Gratuities
Pricing Read More

The price of this trip is £18,345 per person and is based on availability at the time of booking.

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