Magical Festive Scottish Explorations

Rebecca, Adam & Gideon

Tuesday 12th December – Wednesday 20th December 2023

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

Overview

Take a family journey that you will never forget as you adventure in the Highlands of Scotland with your expert guide and soak in the festive fun of the capital city. Experience the thrills of meeting the local reindeer herd and hear the stories of the landscape as you explore. You will discover that the magic isn’t just in the cobbled streets where Harry Potter was written, it is in the shared moments of discovery and the wonder of the hidden gems awaiting you. Take away special memories of your time in this bonnie wee country that will make you all smile for years to come.

Highlights

  • Experience the real Scotland with local insights from your private Highlands guide
  • Soak in the festive atmosphere as you wonder at the twinkling beauty of city lights and starry skies
  • Discover fun family memories with active adventures in special locations
  • Relax in welcoming self-contained apartments where you can enjoy your own space

Day by Day

Day 1 - Tuesday 12th December - Welcome To Scotland!

Welcome to Scotland! On arrival in Inverness Airport you will be met by your private guide (who will also act as your driver) for your time in the Highlands.  Depending on your arrival time you can chat over lunch, or head straight down to the Cairngorms National Park to settle into your accommodation. Maybe stopping to expend some energy exploring a nature reserve on route if you would like, your guide will be able to share some of their favourite spots with you.

Overnight: Kingussie - Cairngorms National Park | The Seelies - Aparthotel
Room Type: Two Bedroom Self-Catering Apartment

Day 2 - Wednesday 13th December - Cairngorms National Park & Cheeky Reindeer

This morning you get to properly start your explorations of this beautiful National Park with the local insights of your guide (who will ensure that you get a great cup of coffee to start the day with!). The gentle trails that wind in-between the ancient Caledonian Pine forests are at their most magical when they are sparkling with frost and you can hear the red squirrels bustling about. A gentle hike will take you adventuring to a lochan which has an amazing green colour which legend says comes from the faeries washing their clothes there! Then it is time for a different kind of magic, a festive visit with the local reindeer herd. Most of the adults are out roaming the hills. but you will get to see some of these cheeky characters up close here in the lower paddocks.

Enjoy a free afternoon to relax, knowing that your guide will be available if you do want to pack in some more adventuring!

Overnight: Kingussie - Cairngorms National Park | The Seelies - Aparthotel
Room Type: Two Bedroom Self-Catering Apartment
Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 3 - Thursday 14th December - Inverness, Leakeys Bookshop & Stargazing Storytelling

Today would be a good chance to head up to Inverness if you want to get a sense of this Highland city. Discover the history and culture of the local area as you explore, and stop into the wonderful world of Leakey’s Bookshop. This family-owned store is one of the largest used and antiquarian bookstores in Scotland, and it is easy to lose hours browsing here. You may want to save some time to also head out of town a bit though, maybe taking a cruise on the deep waters of Loch Ness to see if you can spot the monster!

When you are ready after lunch your guide will take you back to your accommodation to relax. Then early this evening head out on a fascinating nighttime adventure with a local storyteller. Take a short walk and hear local legends and the tales of the sparkling stars overhead (fingers crossed the weather is in your favour, if you are really lucky you may even catch a glimpse of the ‘Northern Lights’!) before returning to your cosy apartment to snuggle up for the night.

Overnight: Kingussie - Cairngorms National Park | The Seelies - Aparthotel
Room Type: Two Bedroom Self-Catering Apartment
Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 4 - Friday 15th December - Local Artisans & Wintery Fun

Today is flexible for you to explore more of the local area with your guide. The wintery trails will be beckoning, maybe even some snow to fly over on a sledge if you are lucky. No matter where you head there is sure to be fun and frosty beauty to admire before a delicious lunch in a local cafe. Today could be a good day to maybe discover the festive offerings of some local artisans before heading back to your accommodation. The afternoon is free for you to relax, pack and get organised before heading south tomorrow.

Overnight: Kingussie - Cairngorms National Park | The Seelies - Aparthotel
Room Type: Two Bedroom Self-Catering Apartment
Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 5 - Saturday 16th December - Transfer to Edinburgh

Transfer south to Edinburgh today with your guide. Take a wee bit of a detour so that you can stop to explore the mighty Stirling Castle, which was the childhood home of Mary Queen of Scots. This castle has withstood a turbulent history, so there are plenty of tales to discover before you carry on to Edinburgh and your welcoming apartment. It will be dark early, so you will likely get a chance to admire some of the beautiful festive lights decorating this unique capital city when you head out for dinner. Wrap up cosy!

Overnight: Edinburgh | The Rutland Apartments
Room Type: 2 Bedroom Apartment
Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 6 - Sunday 17th December - Explore Edinburgh & Botanic Gardens Festive Lights

This morning your Guide will give you a wee introduction to give you a sense of where things are in Edinburgh (like where the Christmas Market is!), maybe head up Carlton Hill for great views & then will depart before lunch. Enjoy a free afternoon and rest up to save energy for a special exploration of the Botanic Gardens all lit up for the season (there may even be a glimpse of Santa along the way!).

Overnight: Edinburgh | The Rutland Apartments
Room Type: 2 Bedroom Apartment
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 7 - Monday 18th December - Magical Edinburgh Explorations with Expert Guide

Enjoy a relaxed start to the day with a free morning today. After lunch an expert local guide will lead you on a private wonderful walking tour exploring the traces of magic that linger in all the cobbled streets and alleys of Edinburgh’s Old Town. Hear the stories and see the places where the Harry Potter books came to life as you discover hidden corners of this city. Discover the inspiration behind Diagon Alley and wonder at the crazy ancient architecture. 

Finish the day on a high with a late afternoon whirl on the Big Wheel. The sun will already have set, so you will have the best view of all the festive lights and the incredible city skyline as you enjoy the ride.

Overnight: Edinburgh | The Rutland Apartments
Room Type: 2 Bedroom Apartment
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 8 - Tuesday 19th December - Ice-Skating & Free Day For Festive Self-Guided Explorations

This morning make your way along George Street to the festive ice rink, all lit up and sparkly for a special toddlers session at 10am. Glide your way around the ice, ticking something else off your holiday list! The rest of the day is free for you to use as you wish. This is the last chance to wander the Christmas Markets and pick up those last festive souvenirs, take in all the decorations and sip one last festive hot beverage. So take time to spend in your favourite places and soak in the special atmosphere of this unique capital city.

Overnight: Edinburgh | The Rutland Apartments
Room Type: 2 Bedroom Apartment
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 9 - Wednesday 20th December - Depart

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

Meals Included: Breakfast

Trip Details

Inclusions Read More
  • 8 nights accommodation, as stated in the itinerary above
  • Some meals, as stated in the itinerary above
  • The services of a qualified and experienced guide from Day 1 to Day 6
  • All transfers in a private vehicle driven by our guide on guided days
    • With appropriate child car-seat
  • Airport Transfer on Departure Day
  • All guided hikes mentioned in the itinerary
  • Entrance fees and activities mentioned in the itinerary, specifically:
    • Paddock Visit With Cairngorm Reindeer Herd
    • Cruise on Loch Ness OR Another Entry Fee as per interest
    • Private Evening Starry Storywalk Experience with Local Storyteller
    • Activity or Entrance Fee as per interest on Day 4
    • Entry to Stirling Castle
    • Entry to Edinburgh Botanic Gardens Festive Lights
    • Private Afternoon Walking Exploration with Expert Local Guide, Harry Potter Focus
      • Includes entry to Edinburgh Castle (or another entrance fee as per interest)
    • Festive Big Wheel Ride
    • Ice Skating – Toddler Session, includes skate hire & ‘penguin’ stabiliser for infant
  • Personalised trip design and delivery
  • 24/7 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
Notes Read More
  • All suggested accommodations and services are subject to availability at the time of booking.
  • A 20% deposit is required before any accommodation and services will be confirmed.
  • This quote is valid for 14 days from the date quoted, after this time pricing may be subject to revision.
Pricing Read More

The NET price for this itinerary, based on 3 clients rooming as per the itinerary, and including a £12 per person conservation contribution is:

  • £11,650 GBP Total Cost

 

Conservation Contribution

This voluntary donation of £12 per person goes towards conservation projects in the locations we operate.  If you would like to opt out just let your trip designer know.

Click here for more information.

Terms & Conditions Read More

Please see our booking terms here.