This 5-day tour of Scotland is designed for history and whisky enthusiasts. Begin with a private walking tour in Edinburgh. Next, a driver accompanies you to the Highlands to enjoy your first toast at Dalwhinnie Distillery and a tour of the renowned Culloden Battlefield, followed by more distillery stops in Dufftown. Then, embark on the Skye & Raasay Whisky Trail—accompanied by stunning scenery—a beautiful architecture tour of Glasgow, and a final historical stop in Bannockburn.


  • Embark on a private walking tour to explore the best of Edinburgh 
  • Visit the historical battlefields of Culloden and Bannockburn
  • Tour and taste at Dalwhinnie and Balvenie and hit the Skye & Raasay Whisky Trail
  • View C.R. Mackintosh's architectural wonders in Glasgow

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Edinburgh, Private Walking Tour & Edinburgh Castle  Edinburgh
Day 2 Dalwhinnie Distillery Whisky Tasting & Culloden Battlefield Private Tour Inverness
Day 3 Private Tour of Inverness & Dufftown Balvenie Distillery Tastings Isle of Skye
Day 4 Skye & Raasay Whisky Trail Isle of Skye
Day 5 Glasgow & C.R. Mackintosh Tour, Visit Bannockburn & Depart  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Edinburgh, Private Walking Tour & Edinburgh Castle 

Edinburgh Castle
Edinburgh Castle as seen from Princes Garden

Welcome to Edinburgh! Meet your driver for a transfer to the city. Settle into your hotel and head out on a private, 2.5-hour walking tour with a local historian. Learn about the city's history and trace the Royal Mile that runs between the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the official residence of the Queen, and the Edinburgh Castle. This part of the city is overflowing with old mansions and other landmarks that provide the perfect backdrop for examining social history, political intrigue, and even ghost stories. This walk is ideal for first-timers or those looking to develop a more comprehensive view of the city.

Following the private walking tour, head to Edinburgh Castle. Set in the heart of Scotland's dynamic capital city, the scenery will take your breath away. Edinburgh Castle is alive with exciting tales of its time as a military fortress, royal residence, and prison of war. As you climb Castle Hill, walk in the footsteps of soldiers, kings, and queens—and even the odd pirate or two.

Enjoy a libation and a hearty meal before turning in for the night. 

Day 2: Dalwhinnie Distillery Whisky Tasting & Culloden Battlefield Private Tour

Tour Culloden Battlefield
Tour Culloden Battlefield

Today, your driver and guide joins you through the duration of your trip to lead you to some of the finest whisky distilleries and historical sites in the country. Leave Edinburgh and head for your first stop: Dalwhinnie Distillery. Enjoy a 1.5-hour, fully guided tour, followed by a whisky masterclass of six Dalwhinnie single malts—including the distillery's exclusive bottling and special release—individually paired with chocolates from Highland Chocolatier.

Next, head out on a private, two-hour tour of Culloden Battlefield, which sits on top of a ridge 4 miles (6 km) from Inverness. It is where the last battle on British soil was fought, and the Jacobite Army met a chilling end. This historical event is well-told in the multimedia center onsite. With your private guide, take a walk on the battlefield, to the Well of the Dead, the Main Cairn, and the Clan Graves where the fallen clansmen are buried. Because so many Highland families ended up leaving Scotland—whether by choice or force—Culloden has become a focal point for their returning descendants. 

After the tour, your guide will drive you to your accommodations in Inverness to spend the night.

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Day 3: Private Tour of Inverness & Dufftown Balvenie Distillery Tastings

Tour Balvenie Distillery and enjoy a single malt whiskey tasting
Tour Balvenie Distillery and enjoy a single malt whisky tasting
With your guide, you'll further explore Inverness today. Embark on a six-hour tour, including visits to the distilleries in Dufftown, such as Glenlivet, Balvenie, Glendullan, Glenfiddich, Kininvie, and Mortlach.

At Balvenie Distillery, enjoy a 2.5-hour tour and tasting experience. Discover how whisky is made, and meet and interact with the makers of these fine single malts. Learn about the five rare crafts of whisky-making they proudly maintain, explore the famous warehouse, and participate in an intimate group tasting with a selection of whiskies from the distillery.

Following the tour, continue to the Isle of Skye and spend the evening at your leisure. 

Day 4: Skye & Raasay Whisky Trail

Skye & Raasay Whisky Trail
Beautiful scenery along the Skye & Raasay Whisky Trail

Get ready to embark on an imbibing adventure today: the Skye & Raasay Whisky Trail. The full-day tour takes you on an exciting whisky journey that includes visits to three distilleries over two Hebridean islands. There are two distilleries in the Isle of Skye—Talisker and Torabhaig. When you include the Raasay distillery, which totals three within a 50-mile (80-km) radius of each other, together, they make up the Skye & Raasay Whisky Trail.

Discover this collective of distilleries located in the most magnificent of settings. With your private driver at your disposal, you can sit back and enjoy your visit, complemented by the beautiful scenery. As an added perk, enjoy a ferry ride to the Isle of Raasay. Plus, there are surprise whisky stops and delicious whisky and chocolate pairings to savor along the way. 

Day 5: Glasgow, C.R. Mackintosh Tour, Visit Bannockburn & Depart

The spiral staircase inside The Lighthouse, Scotland's Centre for Design and Architecture
C.R. Mackintosh's spiral staircase inside Scotland's Centre for Design and Architecture

Today, transfer to Glasgow for the three-hour "C.R. Mackintosh Tour," which takes you through the city's heart to explore Mackintosh's work as an architect, artist, and designer. Begin your walk at The Lighthouse, the former offices of the Glasgow Herald. Designed by architect John Keppie with a young Mackintosh as his apprentice, the building now houses Scotland's Centre for Architecture and Design. This includes the Mackintosh Interpretation Centre to see brilliant examples of Mackintosh's work as a designer while giving you a holistic picture of his career. Before moving on, take in the spectacular view from Mackintosh's water tower.

Take a short break at the Willow Tearooms to experience one of Mackintosh's total designs, followed by the Glasgow School of Art, badly damaged in a 2014 fire but currently being restored. Conclude your walk with a visit to the last public commission Mackintosh was awarded: the Scotland Street School. In addition to the fascinating design and twin-windowed, Scottish-Baronial-style tower staircases, the museum offers a glimpse into the past, with recreated school rooms telling the story of Scotland's educational history. 

Next, join a historian on a guided, 3-hour walk of Bannockburn, just south of Stirling, to conclude the trip. Follow the route taken by the Scots to the English camp on day two of the Battle of Bannockburn. Learn about the tactical decisions made by the king, a military genius and innovator, who won Scotland its freedom. Following the tour, your private guide will drive you to the airport in Edinburgh to catch your return flight home. Cheers!

More Great Scotland Itineraries

Looking for more inspiration for your trip to Scotland? Check out these other Scotland itineraries, with outdoor adventures, castle visits, and best-of tours to hit the highlights or explore different ways to spend 5 days in Scotland.


Map of Whisky & History in the Scottish Highlands - 5 Days
Map of Whisky & History in the Scottish Highlands - 5 Days