- Discover the charming Old Town of Edinburgh
- Visit Stirling, Cawdor, and Urquart castles
- Explore Inverness, capital of the Highlands
- Take a boat trip across Loch Ness
- Experience one of the world's most scenic steam train journeys
|Day 1||Arrive to Edinburgh||Edinburgh|
|Day 2||Walking Tour of Edinburgh||Edinburgh|
|Day 3||Inverness and the Highlands||Inverness|
|Day 4||Culloden, Clava Cairns & Cawdor Castle||Inverness|
|Day 5||Loch Ness & Fort William||Fort William|
|Day 6||The Jacobite Express Steam Train||Fort William|
|Day 7||Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park||Glasgow|
|Day 8||Depart from Glasgow|
Day 1: Arrive to Edinburgh
After settling into your accommodation, the afternoon is yours to get acquainted with Edinburgh. Explore the cobbled alleys and steep streets of the medieval Old Town, walk the Royal Mile to the looming Edinburgh Castle, or wander the elegant Georgian squares and gardens of New Town.
Day 2: Walking Tour of Edinburgh
Today you’ll join a private walking tour which takes you back in time, narrating the history of Edinburgh and its relevant landmarks as you meander through the city. You’ll wander the grand halls of Holyrood Palace, explore the hidden 17th century underground street of Real Mary Kings Close, and climb Calton Hill for spectacular views across the city and Arthur’s Seat. In the evening, explore Edinburgh's vibrant culinary scene before ending your night at a cozy traditional pub.
Day 3: Inverness and the Highlands
Day three takes you north into the rugged beauty of the Highlands. Leaving Edinburgh, you’ll pass the dramatic clifftops of Stirling Castle, where Mary Queen of Scots was crowned in 1542. Stop for lunch in the gloriously situated town of Pitlochry, take a tour around the Georgian halls of Scone Palace, and end your day in the Highland capital of Inverness.
Driving time: 3 hours
Driving distance: 156 miles (251 km)
Day 4: Culloden, Clava Cairns & Cawdor Castle
Set in the heart of the Highlands, Inverness is surrounded by crucial sites from Scottish history. Start today with a moving tour of Culloden Battlefield, where the final conflict of the Jacobean Uprising in 1746 changed the shape of the Highlands forever. Nearby Clava Cairns takes you further back in time, with Bronze Age standing stones and cairns arranged in peaceful ancient woodland. Just 15 minutes north lies Cawdor Castle, which holds a hallowed place in both history and literature as the home of Macbeth. After a morning devoted to history, head back to Inverness for the afternoon, where you can visit the area’s many excellent whisky distilleries for impromptu tastings and tours.
Day 5: Loch Ness & Fort William
Today you’ll bid a fond farewell to Inverness and head southwest, skirting the mist-shrouded shores of Loch Ness. Stop for an hour’s boat trip around the lake, explore the ruins of Urquhart Castle, and keep a sharp eye out for Nessie sightings. Continue south to end your day in the outdoor adventure haven of Fort William. Set on the calm shores of Loch Linnhe, the town offers spectacular views of snowcapped Ben Nevis, the UK’s highest peak.
Driving time: 1:45
Driving distance: 66 miles (106 km)
Day 6: The Jacobite Express Steam Train
Take a break from driving today and hop aboard the Jacobite Express Steam Train. Considered one of the most beautiful train journeys in the world, you'll follow the historic track past rugged mountains, rolling heather, and glassy lochs before reaching the seaside village of Mallaig on Scotland's western coast. Stop for a wander around the harbor and a lunch of local seafood before catching your return train back to Fort William. If the scenery looks familiar, it might be from its starring roles in the Harry Potter films—the Jacobite Express Steam Train is better known as the Hogwarts Express.
Day 7: Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park
The penultimate day of your journey takes you south through some of the Highland’s most beloved landscapes. Take in the rugged volcanic landscapes and brutal history of Glencoe, before stopping for lunch in the delightful coastal village of Oban. Turning east, you’ll pass through the stunning Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, skirting the misty banks of the largest freshwater loch in the UK. Your final stop is Glasgow, Scotland’s vibrant second city.
Driving time: 3.5 hours
Driving distance: 140 miles (225 km)
Day 8: Depart from Glasgow
This morning you'll head to Glasgow or Edinburgh airports to catch flights home or continue with your travels. Say farewell in true Scottish style: "haste ye back."