Discovering Solstice Scotland

Lee and Eleanor

Monday 17th June – Friday 28th June 2024

Number of Travellers: 2
Duration: 12 Days / 11 Nights

Overview

On a carefully crafted, fully bespoke trip, embark on a mystical journey that will lead you through the captivating and untamed beauty of Scotland, where ancient rituals and meditation await. Accompanied by your expert Wilderness guide, begin your mid-summer adventure in the twinkling, theatrical city of Edinburgh, discovering it’s ancient past. Afterwards, travel west to the magical Isle of Mull. Explore shores kissed by turquoise waters and venture to far-flung islands accessible only by private boat, where time seems to stand still, and a profound connection with the past is palpable. Back on the mainland, journey into the evocative folds of Glencoe, hiking to a hidden valley listen out for spirits that are said to wander below a sky awash with stars whispering tales of Scotland’s ancient past. Spend time in the spectacular Cairngorms National Park discovering the abundant wildlife that makes this landscape home. Explore by foot and by boat as you connect with the landscape’s ancient history. Embrace the natural wonders that surround you, as each moment offers an opportunity to relax, meditate, and immerse yourself in the beauty and wisdom of Scotland’s bewitching crown. This tailor-made adventure allows you to experience the essence of mysticism, and the spiritual connection with nature and yourself, leaving you with cherished memories and a profound appreciation for Scotland’s captivating allure.

Highlights

  • Experience the magic of the Summer Solstice with a visit to an ancient stone circle, deepening your connection to Scotland's mystical heritage.
  • Hike in Glencoe's hidden valleys and spend time in Cairngorms National Park, discovering abundant wildlife and Scotland's ancient history.
  • Journey to Mull in the footsteps of ancestors
  • Embrace relaxation throughout the journey as your guide takes care of everything, allowing you to unwind in hand-picked accommodations and connect deeply with Scotland's natural allure.

Day by Day

Day 1 - Monday 17th June - Welcome to Scotland

Arrive in Edinburgh today and be met at the airport by your Wilderness guide Susie, who will be joining you for the duration of your trip. Check into your welcoming hotel and take some time to relax before heading out to explore the vibrant, cobbled streets of the capital city. After stretching your legs and admiring the incredible architecture, perhaps enjoy a traditional afternoon tea, chatting with your guide about the adventure ahead. This evening, savour dinner and a relaxed early night.

Overnight: Edinburgh | The Bonham
Meals Included: None

Day 1 - Guide Details - Susie Hill Read More +

Name: Susie Hill
Contact Number: +44 (0)7952 594213
Meeting Place: Edinburgh Airport Arrivals | Meeting Time: 08:25

Susie will be at Edinburgh Airport arrivals gate waiting for you when you arrive. We will track your flight in case of time changes or delays.

Day 2 - Tuesday 18th June - Explore Edinburgh

This morning, after a leisurely breakfast, Susie will take you to meet an expert Edinburgh guide who will take you on a walking tour of this ancient city, each winding close, gothic spire, and tumbling monument, each steeped in a rich tapestry of history. In the afternoon, visit Edinburgh Castle and immerse yourself in the fascinating history of this prestigious fortress, discover the home of Mary Queen of Scots, visit the oldest building in the city and see the Scottish crown jewels. Return to your hotel this evening to freshen up and relax before heading out for dinner.

Overnight: Edinburgh | The Bonham
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 3 - Wednesday 19th June - To the Coast

This morning, leave the cobbled cloisters of Edinburgh behind and travel to the sea-blown beauty of the west coast. Along the way, stop at Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park and enjoy lunch beside the shimmering water. Afterwards, head to a bird of prey centre where you can see these incredible raptors up close and witness their elegance, power and precision in the air. Continue your journey west and arrive in Loch Melfort this afternoon. Spend the night in your quiet hotel, relaxing in the peaceful tranquillity of nature.

Overnight: By Oban | Loch Melfort Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 3 - Dinner Details Read More +

Hotel: Loch Melfort Hotel | Location: Oban
Reservation Time: 19:00
Phone: +44 (0) 1852 200 233 | Website: https://www.lochmelfort.co.uk

Day 4 - Thursday 20th June - The Solstice in Kilmartin Glen

After a leisurely breakfast, head out with your guide to explore Kilmartin Glen. An ancient and evocative place, human history here can be traced back an incredible 5000 years. Begin with a visit to the newly renovated museum, observing the fascinating artefacts and exploring enigmatic stone circles, burial chambers, standing stones, and rock carvings. Today is the summer solstice –  the longest day of the year and a time to celebrate after the long months of winter. The importance of this day to our ancestors is evident in the way many stone circles and other ancient monuments are aligned to the sunrise for this day. Throughout Scotland, folk come together in these ancient places to celebrate the sun and the life it sustains. Depending on how you feel, we can return to the standing stones in time for sunset – 10:15pm with twilight lasting until 11:30pm.

Overnight: By Oban | Loch Melfort Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 4 - Dinner Details Read More +

Hotel: The Kilmartin | Location: Argyll
Reservation Time: 19:00
Phone: +44 (0) 1546 510250 | Website: https://www.kilmartin-hotel.com/index.htm

Day 5 - Friday 21st June - RIB Trip to Mull

After waking to the rhythmic, melodic sound of the sea, head out for a private RIB trip to the remote island of Eileach an Naoimh, Gaelic for ‘rocky place of the saint.’ With a fantastic and attentive skipper, skim over the smooth sea to explore quiet, uninhabited islands. Keep an eye out for seals, porpoises, dolphins and even minke whales, enjoy the deep peace that comes from being far from busy streets. The monastery on Eileach an Naoimh was established in AD542 and was a site of both pilgrimage and burial in the middle ages, and is said to be the place where St Columba buried his mother. Now home to ruins of monastic buildings, including two chapels, beehive cells, and a graveyard, it is only accessible by private boat, so is one of the best-preserved monasteries in Scotland. Discover the mystical and somewhat intangible beauty of this special place arriving on Mull and heading to your cosy Highland accommodation.

Overnight: Mull | Pennygate Lodge Guesthouse & Restaurant
Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 5 - Dinner Details Read More +

Hotel: Pennygate Lodge | Location: Mull
Reservation Time: 19:00
Phone: +44 (0) 1680 812333 | Website: https://pennygatelodge.scot/

Day 5 - Boat Trip Read More +

Susie will take you to the dock to meet the experienced skipper for your boat tip today. With the skipper, you will visit some incredible islands while Susie takes the car on the public ferry to Mull. Susie will be waiting for you on Mull where your boat trip ends.

Day 6 - Saturday 22nd June - Exploring Iona

As the morning sun slides across the water, enjoy a day of exploring the wonderful Isle of Iona – the birthplace of Christianity in Scotland. Susie will drive to the southern westerly tip of Mull and together catch the small passanger ferry over to the island. Once ashore, visit Iona Abbey – one of Scotland’s most sacred sites and the burial place of ancient kings as well as the Nunnery. This afternoon walk from the shore to the highest point on Iona, keep a look out for otters slipping through the waves as well as sea eagles soaring through the endless sky. Enjoy the stunning turquoise water and the beautiful views before catching the ferry back to Mull and returning to your charming hotel for dinner.

Overnight: Mull | Pennygate Lodge Guesthouse & Restaurant
Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 6 - Dinner Details Read More +

Hotel: Pennygate Lodge | Location: Mull
Reservation Time: 19:00
Phone: +44 (0) 1680 812333 | Website: https://pennygatelodge.scot/

Day 7 - Sunday 23rd June - Duart Castle and the West

After a leisurely breakfast this morning, set out with your guide to visit Duart Castle. Perched on a high crag at the end of a peninsula, the castle presides over the channel between the island and the mainland. A 14th Century Keep, it was left to ruin before being fully refurbished at the beginning of the 20th Century. Visit the magnificent Great Hall and the Clan Exhibition, learning about the castle’s history and some of the dark tales that shroud its past like thick cobwebs. Later, leave the beautiful island of Mull behind and travel back to the mainland. Wind your way along the coast, where the heather-cloaked mountains rush up to meet the sky and settle into your accommodation complete with pool.

Overnight: Glencoe | Holly Tree Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 7 - Dinner Details Read More +

Hotel: Holly Tree Hotel | Location: Kentallen, Loch Linhe
Reservation Time: 18:30
Phone: +44 (0) 1631 740292 | Website: http://www.hollytreehotel.co.uk/

Day 8 - Monday 24th June - Discover Glencoe

Sigh, wind in the pine;

River, weep as you flow;

Terrible things were done

Long, long ago.

– Douglas Alexander Stewart

One of Scotland’s most famous glens, the tragic history of Glencoe is only eclipsed by its otherworldly beauty. The site of a terrible massacre in 1692 where, on a cold winter night, the MacDonald Clan offered shelter and hospitality to the Campbells only to be ruthlessly attacked in the middle of the night. Today you’ll visit the thoughtful Glencoe visitor centre to learn the history as well as ancient geology of the area before setting out with your guide to hike a rowan-hung gorge until you reach the Lost Valley. This enclosed meadow – high, green and hidden by the precipitous tors that shutter off the sky, is said to be where the Macdonald clan used to conceal their rustled cattle. As you walk, hear more tales of Glencoe, and as ethereal mists blow over the rugged peaks, listen for the eerie voices that are said to be carried upon a northerly wind. As light slides down the moor-clad mountains, return to your cosy hotel and enjoy dinner.

Overnight: Glencoe | Holly Tree Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 8 - Dinner Details Read More +

Hotel: Holly Tree Hotel | Location: Kentallen, Loch Linhe
Reservation Time: 18:30
Phone: +44 (0) 1631 740292 | Website: http://www.hollytreehotel.co.uk/

Day 9 - Tuesday 25th June - The Cairngorm National Park

Today, travel to the Cairngorms National Park. On the way, stop off at the Nevis Range to take a gondola up the flanks of Aonach Mor. At the top, enjoy a short walk with your guide, being rewarded with panoramic views of the surrounding landscape, including the mighty peak of Ben Nevis. This afternoon, visit the Highland Folk Museum and delve into Scotland’s rich cultural heritage. This mile-long open-air township has an extensive collection of historic buildings and exhibits that showcase traditional rural life in the Highlands dating back to the 1700s. See Highland cows learn about the traditional tools used to light fires and tend the land. Later, settle into your lovely accommodation this evening, surrounded by wild meadows, moors and mountains.

Overnight: Grantown-on-Spey | Dunallan House
Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 9 - Dinner Details Read More +

Restaurant: Anderson's Restaurant | Location: Boat of Garden
Phone: http://www.hollytreehotel.co.uk/ | Website: https://www.andersonsrestaurant.co.uk

Great for take away pizzas.

Day 10 - Wednesday 26th June - Clava Cairns, Culloden & the Highland Wildlife Park

This morning, visit Clava Cairns, a fascinating Bronze Age burial cairn surrounded by standing stones. Built over 4000 years ago, the opening of the chamber aligns with the midwinter sun but was also a place of celebration at midsummer. Afterwards, visit the evocative Culloden Battlefield and Visitor Center, where you can learn about the famous battle that took place in 1746 and the impact it had on Scottish history. Later this afternoon, visit the Highland Wildlife Park and encounter rare and endangered species, including tigers, polar bears, lynx, and snow leopards. The park focuses on conservation and works with programs worldwide to support reintroducing these amazing animals into their natural habitat.

Overnight: Grantown-on-Spey | Dunallan House
Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 10 - Dinner Details Read More +

There are several options for dinner in Grantown on Spey, chat to Susie about what you might fancy tonight.

Day 11 - Thursday 27th June - Hermitage Walk and Return to Edinburgh

Leave the Highlands behind today and begin your journey back to Edinburgh. Along the way, stop to wander through the forests at The Hermitage, which is home to some of the tallest trees in Scotland. In Edinburgh this evening, join a tour into the city’s past, exploring the underground vaults and winding streets where dark stories lurk in the shadows. This evening, enjoy a final delicious dinner under the city’s twinkling lights and settle in for your last night in Scotland.

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

Day 12 - Friday 28th June - Depart for Home

After a relaxed breakfast this morning, check out of your hotel. Susie will take you to the airport in plenty of time to check in and then begin your journey home.

Meals Included: Breakfast

Trip Details

Inclusions Read More
  • All accommodations from Day 1 to Day 12
  • Meals as indicated in the itinerary above (breakfast, lunch, dinner)
  • Services of an experienced & knowledgeable UK-qualified hiking guide from Day 1 to Day 12
  • All vehicle travel throughout the trip, including parking fees
  • Airport pick up and drop off
  • Guided Edinburgh tour
  • Entry to Edinburgh Castle
  • Bird of Pray flying show
  • Entry to Kilmartin Musumn
  • Summer Solstice visit to a stone circle
  • Private RIB trip to Eileach an Naoimh
  • Ferry to Iona
  • Entry to Iona Abbey and Nunnery
  • Entry to Glencoe Center
  • Mountain Gondola experience
  • Entry to the Highland Folk Museum
  • Entry to the Highland Wildlife Park
  • Entry to Culloden Center
  • Evening catacomb tour
  • All guided hikes and activities mentioned in the itinerary
  • Personalised trip design and delivery
  • Trip dossier and map
  • Snacks throughout your 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
Important Contact Numbers Read More
Wilderness Scotland Office | 9:00am – 5:30pm

UK: +44 (0)1479 420 020
US: 866 740 3890


Out of Office Hours | 5:30pm – 9:00am

+44 (0)7766 794 640


Emergency Services

999

Get in Touch


Accommodation

The Bonham

35 Drumsheugh Gardens | Edinburgh | Midlothian |
EH3 7RN | Scotland
Phone: 0131 226 6050
Web: thebonham.com

Loch Melfort Hotel

Arduaine | By Oban | Argyll |
PA34 4XG | Scotland
Phone: +44 (0) 1852 200 233
Web: lochmelfort.co.uk

Pennygate Lodge Guesthouse & Restaurant

Craignure | Mull | Argyll |
PA65 6AY | Scotland
Phone: +44 (0) 1680 812 333
Web: pennygatelodge.scot

Holly Tree Hotel

Kentallen Pier | Glencoe | Argyll |
PA38 4BY | Scotland
Phone: +44 (0) 1631 740292
Web: hollytreehotel.co.uk

Dunallan House

Woodside Avenue | Grantown-on-Spey |
PH26 3JN | Scotland
Phone: + 44 (0)1479 872 140
Web: dunallan.com


Meet Your Guide

Susie Hill

Contact Number: +44 (0)7952 594213

Originally from Edinburgh I moved to the West Highlands in 2010 leaving behind a staff nurse post to go back to university. Four years later I had a degree in Adventure Tourism Management (a degree in having fun) and had started working as a guide.

I now spend much of year guiding and the rest working as a technician in theatre and live events. How I got into this work is a whole other story!  Nursing was a career that I am really glad to have experienced however the chance to follow a passion was too great and I am now really happy in everything I do for a living.

Full Web Bio