V3 – Trufflepig – Highlights of Scotland and Ireland

Saturday 21st September – Friday 4th October 2024

Duration: 14 Days / 13 Nights


Overview

From the bright lights and bustling streets of the capital city to the remote stillness of the mountains, this trip will showcase some of the brightest jewels in the wild and rugged crowns of both Scotland and Ireland.  Explore the hidden gems of their capital cities with your knowledgeable guides, hike in some of the most rugged landscape in Scotland’s west coast, scan the seas for whales and dolphins off the coast of Skye and experience the quaint and remote luxury of Ireland’s premier country house hotel. With handpicked accommodations and an expert guide at your side, get under the skin of this ancient land and create memories that will last a lifetime.

Highlights

  • Get to know the real Scotland with your knowledgable expert guide
  • Visit Rosslyn Chapel and the Royal Yacht Britannia
  • Hike in some of the most beautiful landscapes with just the wildlife for company
  • Stay in and experience Ireland's premier 5-star country house hotel

Day by Day

Day 1 - Saturday 21st September - Welcome to Scotland

Private transfer drivers will collect you from the airport as your flights and transfer you to your boutique hotel in the heart of the city.  Once everyone has arrived and you have freshened up, you can either just relax at the hotel for the evening or head out into the city to sample some of the wonderful delicacies and maybe take a tour of the catacombs of the Royal Mile and see how people lived and worked many years ago.

Overnight: Edinburgh | The Bonham
Room Type: 2 x Deluxe King Rooms
Meals Included: None

Day 2 - Sunday 22nd September - Exploring Edinburgh

After breakfast, meet your guide in the foyer of your hotel and head out for a day spent exploring the beautiful cobblestone streets of the city. Full of history, the capital is very accessible by foot. Wander up the Royal Mile, stopping to visit the architecturally stunning St Giles Cathedral, and enjoy panoramic views from Edinburgh Castle. Pick up a coffee and a pastry from one of the wee artisan shops, dipping into local galleries, cheesemongers and bookshops. This afternoon, enjoy a hike up Arthur’s Seat and take in the breathtaking views from the top where your guide will point out the sites you saw this morning and the places you are still waiting to visit.

Overnight: Edinburgh | The Bonham
Room Type: 2 x Deluxe King Rooms
Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 3 - Monday 23rd September - New Town and the Royal Yacht Britannia

Spend the morning with your guide exploring the New Town (although it is still old by our standards!) take a walk up Calton Hill to see the iconic skyline stretching away before you and spend some time learning more about the difference between the Old and New Towns and also the stories about how Edinburgh was envisioned as the “Athens of the North” back in the 19th Century.

This afternoon, you’ll head to Leith where you’ll enjoy a fascinating afternoon exploring the floating palace that is permanently moored here after her decommission in 1997.  This was the only one of the late Queen’s homes that she furnished herself so you can see why this was her favourite place to be as the Royal Family travelled the world.

Overnight: Edinburgh | The Bonham
Room Type: 2 x Deluxe King Rooms
Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 4 - Tuesday 24th September - Edinburgh Castle and Rosslyn Chapel

Edinburgh castle stands high above the city as a protector to this ancient city.  Spend the morning exploring this incredible landmark with your guide, from the Scottish Crown Jewels to St Margarets Chapel and the Stone of Destiny.  Your guide will bring this place to life with stories of royalty that lived here and the part the castle has played in various battles over the years.

This afternoon, you will head out of the city this afternoon to visit one of the most remarkable landmarks in this part of Scotland, the enigma that is Rosslyn Chapel, made famous by The Da Vinci Code. Dan Brown called this chapel “the most mysterious and magical chapel on earth” and there are certainly lots of unanswered questions about this unique building. Originally founded in 1446, the chapel features intricate carvings and decorations which have prompted many different theories connected with the Knights Templar and the Freemasons amongst others.

Overnight: Edinburgh | The Bonham
Room Type: 2 x Deluxe King Rooms
Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 5 - Wednesday 25th September - To The West

After a hearty breakfast, it is time to head West and your base for the next 3 nights.  Leaving Edinburgh you will head towards Loch Lomond where you can stop off to enjoy a short hike into the glen with just the sound of birdsong for company.  Continuing on, the road winds through the epic scenery of Glencoe where the mountains rise up from the valley floor and eagles soar high in the sky above your head.  If time allows, you could enjoy a short hike here too, perhaps to where legend has it, the signal was given to start one of the bloodies battles in the country’s history.  Your final destination is the former home of Lord Strathcona where you will stay in a decadent 2 bedroom suite and enjoy a private dining experience in the comfort of your own room.

Overnight: Glencoe | Glencoe House
Room Type: 1 x Two Bedroom Suite
Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 6 - Thursday 26th September - Hiking in the Nevis Range

Ben Nevis – the jewel in the UK’s mountain crown.  Revered by people to be THE mountain to climb it is by no means an easy feat.  Setting out early, you will climb up through the dramatic landscape and alongside the lochs before reaching the top and celebrating with a warming drink.  Arriving back down from the summit in the late afternoon, settle down with a wee dram at a local walkers tavern to get lost in tales from days gone by with a local storyteller.  Let their words wash over you as you are transported to a place of magic, myths and legends while the fire crackles in the grate and the golden liquid warms your body.  The perfect end to an iconic day.

Overnight: Glencoe | Glencoe House
Room Type: 1 x Two Bedroom Suite
Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 7 - Friday 27th September - Over the Sea to Skye

After a leisurely breakfast, head west to the Isle of Skye along the famous Road to the Isles.  As the road meanders from mountains to the sea, keep your eyes peeled for a glimpse of the steam train thundering over the famous viaduct.  You’ll catch the late morning ferry across to Skye and once on the Misty Isle will head north to the pretty town of Portree with its iconic colourful harbour. Spend the afternoon browsing the shops or grabbing a coffee and watching the world go by after a busy for days before settling into your accommodation this evening and falling asleep to the sound of the sea.

Overnight: Isle of Skye | Cuillin Hills Hotel
Room Type: 1 x Premier Room with Sea View for Double Occupancy and 1 x Turret Deluxe Room for single occupnacy
Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 8 - Saturday 28th September - Exploring the Misty Isle

Spend the day exploring the incredible landscape of the island and the history that is woven into the very fabric of life here.  Heading west you will enjoy a hike out to Neist Point – one of the best places on the island to spot marine life such as whales, dolphins and porpoises.  If you’re lucky you may even see some Orca’s breaching the surface as the pods move through the waters.  Your guide will also know other hidden gems where you can see some of the local wildlife and perhaps even drop in on a local weaver on your way home and watch how they create beautiful fabrics with the use of pedal power!!

Overnight: Isle of Skye | Cuillin Hills Hotel
Room Type: 1 x Premier Room with Sea View for Double Occupancy and 1 x Turret Deluxe Room for single occupnacy
Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 9 - Sunday 29th September - Fly to Dublin

Your guide will transfer you to Inverness airport this afternoon for your flight to Dublin where the next part of your adventure will start. A private transfer will pick you up from the airport and whisk you into the city to your 5 star hotel in the city centre. You should arrive into the city just in time for dinner to get first-hand experience of the capital city’s ever-expanding foodie scene.

Overnight: Dublin | The Fitzwilliam
Room Type: 2x Signature Rooms (1 for single occupancy)
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 10 - Monday 30th September - Explore Dublin

Dublin is yours to explore today, solo and at your own pace. First, however, we have arranged a private walking tour with a local guide through Dublin’s vibrant streets, with its mix of 1,000 years of architecture from the mediaeval to Georgian to modern. See the Georgian style Merrion Square, lush St. Stephen’s Green and Fitzwilliam Square, as well as O’Connell Street, the site of the ‘1916 Uprising’ that led to Ireland’s independence in 1922. Your guide is also a historian who will bring the city to life with colourful tales of life in the city in times gone by.

After lunch, we recommend visiting The Little Museum of Dublin where you can either join their scheduled guided tours or take your own time perusing their incredible collection that will bring the city’s social history to life. There is a cafe just next to the museum which is perfect for lunch, and after your visit you can enjoy the live music ever amplifying the alleys of Grafton Street and St. Stephens Green. Be sure to stop into STABLE, where we can arrange for the owners to give you an in-depth introduction to their fine traditional Irish knitwear.

Overnight: Dublin | The Fitzwilliam
Room Type: 2x Signature Rooms (1 for single occupancy)
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 11 - Tuesday 1st October - Ballyfin and Sheep Farm

Leaving urban Dublin this morning, a private luxury transfer will collect you in the lobby of The Merrion to drive you into the Irish countryside. We recommend an early start to make it in time for lunch and avail of the full board stay we have arranged for you at your next destination, Ballyfin Demesne.

Enroute to the estate, you will stop at a locally run working sheep farm in the Wicklow Mountains, where you will meet the owner and get to see their sheepdogs in action as they demonstrate how they masterfully herd the sheep. Just next door to the farm is a museum dedicated to the history and practice of Irish agriculture, where we would recommend a walkthrough before continuing down to Ballyfin.

Overnight: Ballyfin | Ballyfin Demesne
Room Type: 2x Deluxe King Rooms (1 for single occupancy)
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 12 - Wednesday 2nd October - Onsite at Ballyfin Demesne

You are encouraged to relax and enjoy the grounds and surroundings at Ballyfin today with the onsite amenities available. Should you wish to have a more active day, you can try your hand at clay pigeon shooting or archery, or meet the local birds of prey in a falconry demonstration amid the beautiful estate grounds. The Vitality Pool and Sauna with treatment rooms offer you the chance to pamper yourself or perhaps an art and architectural tour of the house and grounds.

Please let us know if you would like us to book any experiences in for you, and we will be happy to do so.

Overnight: Ballyfin | Ballyfin Demesne
Room Type: 2x Deluxe King Rooms (1 for single occupancy)
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 13 - Thursday 3rd October - Return to Dublin

Take your time this morning to enjoy a relaxing breakfast at Ballyfin – perhaps taking one more chance to wander the estate’s grounds –  before leaving the countryside to return to Dublin. You are booked into the 5-star Fitzwilliam Hotel again, and will have the day to continue exploring Dublin at your own pace.

Overnight: Dublin | The Fitzwilliam
Room Type: 2x Signature Rooms (1 for single occupancy)
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 14 - Friday 4th October - Departure from Dublin

A private driver will take you directly to Dublin Airport this morning with plenty of time ahead of your departure flight home. We do hope your time in Ireland has been memorable and we once again have the opportunity to welcome to our shores.

Meals Included: Breakfast

Trip Details

Inclusions Read More
  • All accommodation from Day 1 to Day 13
  • All meals as outlined in the daily itinerary
  • Services of an experienced guide from Day 1 to Day 9
  • Ground transportation from Day 2 to Day 9
  • Private airport transfers on arrival and departure
  • All guided hikes mentioned in the itinerary
  • All entrance fees and activities, specifically:
    • Tour of Edinburgh Castle
    • Tour of the Catacombs of the Royal Mile
    • Entry to Rosslyn Chapel
    • Public audio tour of the Royal Yacht Britannia
    • Private Storytelling Experience in Classic Mountaineering Pub
    • Private historical tour of Dublin city
    • Private tour of the Little Museum of Dublin
    • Locally guided hike of the Slieve Bloom Mountain
    • Arrival and departure airport transfers to and from Dublin Airport
    • Private transfer from The Merrion Hotel to Ballyfin Demesne
  • Personalised trip design and delivery
  • 24 hour in-country support
Exclusions Read More
  • Flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Meals not mentioned in the inclusions
  • Activities and entrance fees not mentioned in the inclusions (e.g. onsite activities at Ballyfin TBC)
  • Services of a dedicated guide during your time in Ireland, aside from those included in private guided experiences
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.
Terms & Conditions Read More

Please see our booking terms here.