- Take a street art walking tour of Glasgow and discover the modern city
- Join a wildlife cruise to see one of the rarest birds of prey in the United Kingdom
- Explore the Isle of Skye at your pace and tour a whisky distillery
- Visit the Neolithic Callanish Standing Stones on the Isle of Lewis
|Arrive in Glasgow, Street Art & Culture Walking Tour
|Drive to Oban, Wildlife Exploration Boat, Traditional Ceilidh Experience
|Whisky Tasting at Torabhaig Distillery
|Isle of Skye
|Explore Isle of Skye & Portree, Ferry to Isle of Harris
|Isle of Harris
|Visit Callanish Standing Stones & Gearrannan Blackhouse Village
|Isle of Harris
|Ferry from Stornoway to Ullapool, Drive to Inverness
|Drive to Pitlochry, Hike Ben Vrackie
|Visit the Highland Folk Museum, Drive to Edinburgh, Depart
Day 1: Arrive in Glasgow, Street Art & Culture Walking Tour
Welcome to Scotland! You've landed in Glasgow, a modern, creative city that its rich industrial heritage has shaped. Scotland's largest city is a mix of grand Victorian architecture juxtaposed with modern structures. On arrival at the airport, take a taxi to your hotel. Drop your bags, refresh, lace up your walking shoes, and get ready to explore a different side of Glasgow.
This afternoon's walking tour takes you on an offbeat route across the city, exploring the best street art and modern culture with a local. Over 90 minutes, you'll skip past the cathedrals, grand buildings, and monuments to experience the real Glasgow. Your local guide will lead you down alleys and under bridges to uncover some of the city's most beautiful pieces of art painted by world-renowned heroes and local artists. You'll hear the stories and inspiration behind each piece while learning about how the art scene in Glasgow has developed dramatically over the last decade.
Day 2: Drive to Oban, Wildlife Exploration Boat, Traditional Ceilidh Experience
Today you'll hit the road north. Collect a rental car and make the three-hour drive to Oban. This waterfront town is set on a delightful bay with sweeping views of Kerrera and Mull and is considered the main gateway to the Hebridean Islands. Here you'll join a wildlife cruise to witness one of the rarest birds of prey in the United Kingdom—the white-tailed sea eagle. With a wingspan exceeding 6.5 feet (2 m) and distinctive white head and tail feathers, the once-endangered sea eagles are a sight to behold. Keep an eye on the Firth of Lorn, where they hunt for fish and seabirds.
While out on the water, you might also see great northern divers, black guillemots, common guillemots, and Manx shearwaters, plus playful dolphins, porpoises, and even perhaps a minke whale. Refresh at your hotel then return to town for a ceilidh. Pronounced "kay-lee," tonight, you'll experience this traditional Scottish social gathering with live music, folk dancing, and an energetic and inclusive atmosphere. Get swept up in the music and dance, and learn to "Strip the Willow" and other common ceilidh dances as bagpipes ring out.
Day 3: Whisky Tasting at Torabhaig Distillery
Today you're destined for the dramatic and ethereal Isle of Skye, which is known for its rugged, mountainous terrain and the iconic Cuillin Range. The island's coastline is scattered with high cliffs, sea stacks, and picturesque fishing villages. To get there, make the two-hour drive to Mallaig for the 40-minute ferry across to Armadale. From the ferry terminal, it's a short drive to Torabhaig Distillery, where whisky-making traditions have thrived for nearly two centuries.
This historic distillery, only the second licensed single malt Scotch whisky distillery on Skye, pays homage to its natural surroundings and draws on the island's pristine water, land, and distinct climate. Join a distillery tour to uncover the painstaking process of crafting fine Scotch whisky, from mashing and fermentation to distillation and aging in oak casks. The history-rich stone building, once part of a 200-year-old farmstead, adds a sense of timelessness to the experience. If you're the designated driver, ask for "driver drams" to enjoy later at your accommodation.
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
Day 4: Explore Isle of Skye & Portree, Ferry to Isle of Harris
Explore the beauty of the Isle of Skye before this afternoon's ferry to a more remote island. You could use your time to hike to the blue-hued Fairy Pools in Glen Brittle or trek through the otherworldly landscape of the Quiraing. Tour the historic Dunvegan Castle, or see the Neist Point Lighthouse, perched atop a dramatic cliff. Pull into picturesque Portree, Skye's bustling harborside town and island capital, for lunch. Here you can stroll around the colorful fishing village and venture into a cozy pub for a bite to eat.
Day 5: Visit Callanish Standing Stones & Gearrannan Blackhouse Village
Explore Scotland's most magnificent and best-preserved Neolithic monuments, the Callanish Standing Stones. Thought to date from 4000 to 2600 BCE, these are a group of 13 standing stones that form a circle about 42 feet (13 m) in diameter. The circle lies almost an hour north of Tarbert on the west coast of the Isle of Lewis. Some refer to these stones as the Fir Bhreig (The False Men). One folk tradition is that the stone pillars are said to be giants who refused to build a church for St. Keiran and were therefore turned into stone.
Afterward, visit the Gearrannan Blackhouse Village, a historic croft village from the 1800s that has been painstakingly restored to recreate an authentic settlement of times gone by. Admire the thatched roofing of the original croft houses and enjoy lunch or afternoon snack at a tea room. From here, you could walk to the beautiful Dalmore and Dalbeg beaches before returning to your accommodation.
Day 6: Ferry from Stornoway to Ullapool, Drive to Inverness
This morning, after breakfast, make tracks for Stornoway to catch the ferry back to the mainland at Ullapool. The ferry takes two hours and 45 minutes, and from Ullapool, you'll drive 80 minutes to Inverness, a city rich with historical sites. Enjoy a late lunch in town, drop your bags at your accommodation, and then keep exploring the capital of the Highlands.
Inverness offers a great range of activities. You could visit Inverness Castle, perched on a hill overlooking the River Ness. Seek out a show at the Eden Court Theatre or visit a local art gallery. Beyond the city limits, venture to the legendary Loch Ness to spot the famous Loch Ness Monster, or "Nessie." Or visit the Culloden Battlefield, the site of the final Jacobite Rising, the last pitched battle fought on British soil where around 1,300 men were slain (more than 1,250 of them Jacobites).
Day 7: Drive to Pitlochry, Hike Ben Vrackie
Steer your way south to Pitlochry, a quaint Victorian town 90 minutes away at the southern edge of Cairngorms National Park. Pass through the charming main street to grab supplies, and stop by Queen's View, just outside town, to take in the landscape over Loch Tummel and the mountains of Glen Coe before today's big hike.
Day 8: Visit the Highland Folk Museum, Drive to Edinburgh, Depart
It's your final day in Scotland, so squeeze in one last adventure. For a touch of culture and history, visit the Highland Folk Museum, a 50-minute drive north of Pitlochry. Britain's first open-air museum takes you on a journey into the past with heritage buildings and highland cows. Wander around the various townships exploring how life in Scotland was in centuries past. See a tailor shop and sweets shop, and then explore the 1700s-era township. A highlight of any visit, the authentic thatched houses were even used in the "Outlander" TV series.
Finally, just back in the car one last time for the 2.5-hour drive south to Edinburgh. Arrive at the airport with enough time to drop off your rental car ahead of your flight home or next destination. Safe travels!
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