- Discover Glasgow's exciting food scene on a walking tour
- Learn how to navigate a canoe in the Lake District
- Visit Liverpool's Maritime Museum on the Royal Albert Dock
- Explore London's dark history by night on an e-scooter tour
|Arrive in Glasgow, Eat & Walk Tour
|Private Charles Rennie Mackintosh Tour
|Drive to Edinburgh, History Lovers' Old Town Walking Tour, Edinburgh Castle
|Drive to Inverness, Stirling Castle, Pitlochry, Distillery Tours
|Culloden Battlefield Private Tour, Free Time in Inverness
|Drive to Fort William, Loch Ness Cruise, Urquhart Castle
|Ben Nevis Hike or Day at Leisure on Skye
|Self-Guided Glencoe or Loch Katrine Hike, Drive to Ambleside
|Explore the Lake District, Canoe on a Lake
|Drive to Liverpool, Maritime Museum, River Explorer Cruise
|The Beatles Classic Tour
|Drive to London, Villains of London Evening E-Scooter Tour
|Private Tower of London Visit & Tour
Day 1: Arrive in Glasgow, Eat & Walk Tour
Welcome to Scotland! After arriving at Glasgow Airport, you'll pick up your rental car and make your way to one of Scotland's liveliest cities, Glasgow. On a trip to this friendly city, you can admire beautiful architecture, walk around fascinating museums and art galleries, spot colorful street art, and listen to live music in the UK's first UNESCO City of Music.
The food scene in Glasgow is also exciting, and you'll find out all about it on a food-themed walking tour. You'll meet locals who will speak passionately about what they, Glasgow, and Scotland as a whole offer when it comes to food and drink, plus you'll visit some top-class restaurants and bars. Walk through the historic heart of Glasgow, sampling locally-sourced food and drink, and your guide will point out sites as you wander, offering advice on where to visit after your tour. At the end, you'll be given a map with all of the places you've visited marked on it, with many offering discounts should you wish to return.
Day 2: Private Charles Rennie Mackintosh Tour
Today, you'll go on a walking tour to learn about the Arts and Crafts Movement luminary Charles Rennie Mackintosh and his impact on Glasgow and the rest of the world. Mackintosh's most important works are nearly all within the city, and as you walk through its heart, you'll explore his work as an architect, artist, and designer. You'll begin at the Lighthouse, which architect John Keppie designed with Mackintosh as his apprentice. The former offices of the Glasgow Herald now house Scotland's Centre for Architecture, Design and the City and include the Mackintosh Interpretation Centre. A short visit here is an excellent introduction.
You'll then visit the Willow Tearooms, where you'll experience one of Mackintosh's "total designs," as every detail down to the light fixtures and cutlery was designed by Mackintosh. You'll also visit the Glasgow School of Art to consider the impact it's had on Glasgow's art scene. Throughout your walk, you will discuss Mackintosh's life and work within the context of turn-of-the-century, industrial Glasgow and will end your walk with a clearer understanding of how the "Father of Glasgow Style" would have been viewed by his peers while he was alive, plus his lasting legacy.
Day 3: Drive to Edinburgh, History Lovers' Old Town Walking Tour, Edinburgh Castle
Drive east today to Scotland's handsome capital of Edinburgh. After checking into your hotel, you'll head out on a guided tour through Edinburgh's medieval Old Town, learning about its famous landmarks plus the city's most intriguing hidden streets and alleyways. You'll feel like a well-informed insider by the end of the tour.In the afternoon, visit Edinburgh Castle, which looms above the city. As one of the oldest fortified places in Europe, it's a castle with many stories to tell, from its time as a military fortress and royal residence to a prison of war. On a visit, you can see The Honours of Scotland (the oldest crown jewels in Britain) as well as its Great Hall, where banquets and state events have taken place. Visit its immersive exhibition, Fight for the Castle, too, in its Argyle Tower. This tells the story of Edinburgh Castle during the Wars of Independence in the 13th and 14th centuries.
Day 4: Drive to Inverness, Stirling Castle, Pitlochry, Distillery Tours
You'll head north to Inverness today with some memorable stops en route. The first is at the grand Stirling Castle, which sits on a volcanic rock above the River Firth with a fabulous view. Famous past inhabitants include Mary Queen of Scots and James VI and I. On a visit, step into its magnificent Great Hall, imagine working in its kitchens, and talk to costumed staff in its Royal Palace, which is one of the best-preserved Renaissance buildings in the UK and looks unchanged since the 1540s. On a sunny day, take some time to relax in its pretty Queen Anne Gardens too.
To break up your drive again, you could stop in the town of Pitlochry. Take a walk down its charming main street to stretch your legs or enjoy some lunch. Alternatively, head to Queen's View just outside Pitlochry, which overlooks Loch Tummel. Here, there's a viewpoint, visitor center, café, and shop. If you're a whiskey fan, you could stop at the Blair Atholl Distillery to try the Manager's Tasting Experience or Dalwhinnie Distillery for a guided tour and masterclass. Make sure you choose a designated driver or arrange for a takeaway pack to enjoy once you arrive at your hotel.
Day 5: Culloden Battlefield Private Tour, Free Time in Inverness
You'll start the day with a guided tour of Culloden Battlefield, the site of the last battle on British soil, which took place in 1746. On top of a ridge, 4 miles (6 km) from Inverness, this is where Bonnie Prince Charlie's Jacobite army was defeated. Learn about this as your knowledgeable guide takes you on a walk to the battlefield, then to its multi-media center. You'll see the Well of the Dead, the Main Cairn, and the Clan Graves, where the soldiers are buried. The site attracts many descendants whose families were forced, or chose, to leave Scotland.
Day 6: Drive to Fort William, Loch Ness Cruise, Visit Urquhart Castle
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
Set off south to Fort William this morning, stopping on the way at Dochgarroch to board a catamaran cruise on Thomas Telford's famous Caledonian Canal and the legendary waters of Loch Ness. You'll hear stories about the loch's elusive monster and will love the stunning scenery with views of Great Glen, Aldourie Castle, Bona Lighthouse, and the spectacular Urquhart Castle.
You'll visit the ruins of Urquhart Castle in the afternoon, discovering more than 1,000 years of history. Once one of Scotland's largest castles, there was much conflict here during its 500 years as a medieval fortress. During the Wars of Independence, it passed back and forth between the Scots and the English. You'll be able to snap some fantastic photographs here over Loch Ness. You can also imagine the banquets that took place in its Great Hall, peer into the prison cell said to have held legendary Gaelic bard Dòmhnall Donn, see its full-sized trebuchet (a type of catapult), and tour the castle with an audio guide.
Day 7: Ben Nevis Hike or Day at Leisure on Skye
You'll have a free day to explore the areas around Fort William today. If you're an experienced hiker and outdoor enthusiast, climbing Scotland's highest mountain, Ben Nevis is likely to be on your wishlist. You'll enjoy fantastic views across the Highlands and lochs from its summit, which is at 4,412 feet (1,345 m). Taking the Mountain Track, the whole hike usually takes an average of seven to nine hours, depending on your fitness and the weather conditions. For the safest experience and to learn more about the mountain and its history, arrange for a local mountain guide to lead you.
Alternatively, you could set off early to explore one of Scotland's most beautiful islands, the Isle of Skye. In the north of the island, take in some of its spectacular natural attractions, such as the Mealt Falls (also known as Kilt Rock Waterfall), the otherworldly Fairy Glen, and Quiraing, which you hike to. Or head to the central village of Broadford, where you'll find a good range of places to eat and may spot various types of birds as well as otters and seals. You could also fossil hunt in the soft rocks of its bay. There are organized activities in the summer here.
Day 8: Self-Guided Glencoe or Loch Katrine Hike, Drive to Ambleside
Drive south to Ambleside in the Lake District today, crossing the border into England. If you're up early and would like to stretch your legs before your journey, you could head to Glencoe for a riverside or forest walk. Alternatively, you could plan a walk around Loch Katrine in the Trossachs en route to the Lakes.
Ambleside is in the heart of Lake District National Park, which makes it a great base if you'd like to explore this beautiful area. If you have energy once you've arrived, wander around its town center and discover handsome stone cottages and half-timbered houses, traditional pubs, and souvenir shops.
Day 9: Explore the Lake District, Canoe on a Lake
After a busy day of driving yesterday, you'll have the morning at leisure in and around Ambleside. Relax at your hotel or head out to explore. You could plan a short walk (around 1 mi/1.6 km) to the 70-foot (21 m) Stock Ghyll Force waterfall or to the National Trust-owned Stagshaw Gardens a similar distance away. Or take a cruise on Lake Windermere before enjoying a hearty lunch.
Day 10: Drive to Liverpool, Maritime Museum, River Explorer Cruise
Set off to Liverpool first thing, where you'll discover a friendly northern city with fantastic architecture, lively nightlife, legendary music, and plenty of cultural attractions. When you arrive, head to its famous Royal Albert Dock to visit the Maritime Museum, where you can learn about the city's seafaring past and life at sea. Walk around its collections, admiring model ships and learning about the world of a customs officer in the exhibition "Seized!" A highlight for many will be its Titanic collection, which tells the story of the famous ship's connection to the city. Fascinating objects include a lifejacket worn by a survivor.
Day 11: The Beatles Classic Tour
Liverpool is synonymous with The Beatles, one of the most famous music groups of all time. Today you will explore the city with an expert guide, hearing the story of how John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr took the world by storm. You'll be driven around key sites associated with the band in the city, discovering more about their lives with anecdotes and visiting big-name attractions such as Strawberry Field and Penny Lane.
You'll then have a free afternoon to look around some of Liverpool's buzzing shopping areas, visit one or both of its cathedrals, mooch around the trendy Baltic Quarter, or enjoy some downtime in one of the city's top-class cultural venues such as Tate Liverpool, The Bluecoat, or the Walker Art Gallery.
Day 12: Drive to London, Villains of London Evening E-Scooter Tour
Set off early to drive south to England's capital of London today, dropping your rental car off upon arrival. One of the most famous cities in the world, you'll recognize many of London's top sites, which include Buckingham Palace, the London Eye, the Tower of London, and Tower Bridge.
Day 13: Private Tower of London Visit & Tour
This morning, head to one of London's top sites, the Tower of London, for a three-hour tour led by a historian. You'll discuss British history and culture and will discover the many roles the Tower has played, from a strategic outpost of William the Conqueror and the execution site of two of Henry VIII's wives to a prison. Your guide will also talk about the architectural developments of the Tower and will mention famous prisoners such as Guy Fawkes. You may also see torture instruments from the past, the Tower's legendary ravens, the Crown Jewels, and the Beefeaters, who are the ceremonial guardians of the Tower.You then may enter the oldest part of the Tower of London, the White Tower, exploring the state-of-the-art Norman fortress and royal palace. Alternatively, see graffiti carved into the walls by prisoners in the Beauchamp Tower, or visit the Bloody Tower, where two young princes were said to have been murdered in 1483. You'll have the rest of the day to explore London, perhaps taking a stroll down the River Thames, visiting one of its museums or art galleries, shopping for souvenirs, or eating and drinking in its many restaurants, bars, pubs, and cafés.
Day 14: Depart London
Today is the last day of your tour. After checking out of your hotel, you'll be picked up for a private transfer to London Heathrow in a comfortable vehicle. At Heathrow Airport, you'll board your flight to your onward destination. Until next time!