Dabton and Aldourie

The Quayle Family

July 2025

Number of Travellers: 17
Duration: 8 Days / 7 Nights

Overview

Enjoy a wonderful summer break in Scotland, with a bespoke and thoughtfully crafted itinerary . Arrive in Glasgow and travel to Dabton, a splendid Georgian country house set on the picturesque Queensberry Estate in Dumfriesshire, close to Ayr. With a kitchen garden and heritage vegetable plot, to stay at Dabton means to eat fantastically and deliciously well. With a head chef who studied under Gordon Ramsay and with previous experience working in a Michelin-star restaurant, every meal in the elegant yet charming dining room is going to be one to be savoured. During the day, enjoy fishing, hiking, and a private tour of the magnificent Drumlanrig Castle. By night, recline by the crackling fire, with a glass of fizz in hand. For the second half of the week, head north into the beautiful bounds of the Highlands. Arrive at Aldourie Castle – perhaps your quintessential fairytale castle – and relax in the light-filled, exquisitely decorated rooms and peaceful, mature gardens. When dusk approaches, sit by the shores of Loch Ness and enjoy watching the late sunset. Where every aspect of your adventure has been meticulously taken care of, spend time with those you love best surrounded by the bewitching beauty of Scotland.

Highlights

  • Stay in an exquisite country house and a historic Scottish castle.
  • Enjoy a boat trip on the dark waters of Loch Ness, witness the spectacle of a falconry display and learn to ceilidh dance.
  • Visit the family's ancestral home of Ayr.
  • Experience the famed hospitality of the Highlands

Day by Day

Day 1 - Arrive in Scotland

Land in Glasgow today, where you will meet your guide at the airport. Just over an hour’s drive south will take you to the much-loved home of the 10th Duke and Duchess of Buccleuch – Dabton House. With many relaxed, family-orientated spaces, it’s a comfortable and easy place to feel at home. Settle in and take a tour of the grounds. You may wish to play tennis, croquet or boules, or relax with a massage treatment or sauna after your flight. Before dinner, enjoy an expert lead whisky and gin tasting, then make use of the games room to play snooker and cards or just relax and read before an early night.

Overnight: Dumfries and Galloway | Dabton House
Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 2 - A Round of Golf & Outdoor Pursuits

After breakfast this morning, head into Ayrshire. There are options for the day; some of the family may like to play a round at Royal Troon Golf, with beautiful views of the coast. Others might visit Ayr to explore and connect with the family roots. We’ll visit Alloway Auld Kirk, Burns cottage and museum, walk the poet’s path to Brig O’ Doon, then pass by the house your family once lived in. Back at Dabton you’ll enjoy a delicious dinner. For those who want, and who don’t mind a late night, you can head out into Galloway Dark Sky Park with a ranger who will take you star gazing in this designated dark sky area.

Overnight: Dumfries and Galloway | Dabton House
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 3 - Fishing & Games

This morning experience a private tour of the magnificent Drumlanrig Castle – or the Pink Palace – the ancestral home of the Duke Of Buccleuch before it opens to the public. Completed in 1691, it has played host to many famous figures in history. The castle is home to an impressive art collection, including Rembrandt’s An Old Woman Reading, and is still used by the family to host special occasions. Later, there is a choice of activities. Those who wish can head out with a local ghillie to fly fish for salmon on the River Nith. Others may want to go horse riding, seek out adrenaline with river tubing and canyoning or head out for a hike or bike ride in the nearby rolling hills. Alternatively, you can choose to stay back at the house and enjoy a flower arranging or cooking workshop. Later get up close with some incredible birds of prey with a falconry experience where you can fly these incredible birds.

Overnight: Dumfries and Galloway | Dabton House
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 4 - North to Aldourie Castle

Leave Dabton House today and travel north to Aldourie Castle. The scenic drive takes you from the rolling hills of the borders through the central belt and into the heart of the Highlands. The journey takes around 4 hours, so there will be plenty of stops along the way. We’ll stop to visit Wallace Monument and further on the Highlight Wildlife Park, which includes native Scottish animals as well as tigers, polar bears and snow leopards. Arriving at Aldourie Castle, you can relax before a BBQ dinner. For those who wish today, we can leave early and travel to St Andrew’s to play 18 holes before transferring on to Aldourie Castle, this does add around 1 hour 40 to the journey.

Overnight: Loch Ness | Aldourie Castle
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 5 - A Scottish Experience

After a relaxed morning, spend the day exploring the grounds of Aldourie. Take some time learning the art of bushcraft – foraging, shelter building and fire starting; alternatively, expert guides will be on hand to accompany anyone who wishes to hike, cycle or paddle in the local area. If you’re feeling adventurous brave the cold waters of Loch Ness for some wild swimming – warming up afterwards in the castle’s floating sauna. Or relax with a private yoga session and massage treatment. Later this afternoon, the whole family will gather together to experience a tradition that has been part of Scotland’s history for hundreds of years, the Highland Games. Listen to the skirl of the bagpipes while competing in events such as haggis hurling, shot put, tug o’war or even try your hand at archery. Later, enjoy making botanical cocktails in the ornate greenhouse, which are festooned with fairy lights and tucked within the bounds of a beautiful walled garden. Enjoy dinner here in this magical setting under the twinkling lights.

Overnight: Loch Ness | Aldourie Castle
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 6 - Loch Ness and the Moray Coast

After breakfast, the golfers can head of to Royal Dornoch Golf Course to play a round. Others may wish to head to Inverness to visit the poignant Culloden Battlefield and interactive visitor centre, as well as the well-preserved Bronze Age burial cairn and standing stones of Clava Cairns (the same standing stones that inspired Outlander). Later in the day, head to Johnstons of Elgin. Famed for its luxury cashmere and used by fashion houses across the world, you’ll experience a private tour of the mill, including the impressive archives, and then enjoy a 5* personal shopping experience. Back at Aldourie this evening, indulge in a celebratory gala dinner, ceilidh dancing and fireworks, bringing your time in the Highlands to a perfect end.

Overnight: Loch Ness | Aldourie Castle
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 7 - South to Edinburgh

After a leisurely breakfast, depart Aldourie and return to Edinburgh. As you drive, look out for red deer and the distinctive silhouette of red kites. Stop at House of Bruar, an impeccably organised Aladdin’s cave of Scottish produce, which includes a beautiful collection of traditional tweeds, leathers and Scottish produce. Arrive in Edinburgh later this afternoon. Perhaps walk up the Royal Mile and visit St Giles’ Cathedral, a working church for over 900 years, before winding your way back through the cobblestone streets for a delicious dinner, a nip of whisky, and a good night’s sleep.

 

Overnight: Edinburgh | Balmoral Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast and Dinner

Day 8 - Depart

After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your journey home.

Meals Included: Breakfast

Trip Details

Inclusions Read More
  • All accommodation from Day 1 to Day 8
  • Most meals as indicated above
  • Services of an experienced and knowledgeable qualified guide from Day 1 to Day 8
  • Ground transportation from Day 1 to Day 8
  • All guided hikes and activities mentioned in the itinerary
  • 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
  • Golf
  • Helicopter transfers (if needed)
  • Activities and entrance fees not mentioned in the inclusions
  • Gratuities for the guides and staff
Pricing Read More

The price for this trip based on a group of 17 is £258,000.

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