Scottish Highlands Adventure: Castles, Casks, and Clans
Be swept up in the romance of the Scottish Highlands, where history and legend blur, whisky flows, and mystical beauty abounds.
Are you caught up in the Outlander series, dazzled by stories of King Arthur, or dream of exploring William Wallace’s Highland hideouts? Departing from Edinburgh, our tour journeys north through the “Gateway to the Highlands,” then into the northern extremes and breathtaking west country. Experience the romance of Scotland’s rugged northern region while traveling the legendary countryside,mysterious lochs, scenic glens, and sleepy villages. Visits to ancient stone castles, world renowned whisky distilleries, and infamous glens are weaved with vivid tales of castles and clans, whisky and war, tartan and turbulence; bringing to life the legends, lore, and history of the Scottish Highlands. Your lead docent, Wanderlust Tours owner and author, Shawnie Kelley Foy takes you off the beaten track, sharing historical highlights and architectural insights acquired during years of architectural and historical research with Historic Scotland. Family-owned inns and boutique hotels are our lodging of choice, while inclusive meals showcase Scotland’s finest local and seasonal ingredients from land and sea.
Features & Attractions
- Edinburgh Castle
- Holyrood Palace
- Scotch Whisky Heritage Center
- Stirling Castle and Bannockburn Battlefield
- Doune Castle
- Black Watch Museum at Balhousie Castle, Perth
- Scone Castle, Perth
- Blair Castle
- Cawdor Castle
- Several Highland Distillery Tours, including tastings
- Fort George, Highlander Museum, and Culloden Battlefield
- Inverness Highland Games
- Loch Ness Boat Tour & Urquhart Castle
- Dunrobin Castle
- Eilean Donan Castle
- Driving Tour of the Isle of Skye
- Linlithgow Heritage Trail
- Linlithgow Palace
- Pre-travel consulting services with one of our Travel Consultants
- Full-time services of two travel guides
- First-class accommodations of cultural or historical interest
- All meals noted in itinerary
- Limited wine with meals
- Food or drink tastings
- Tour guide book and reading list
- Itinerary with an emphasis on history, culture, and regional cuisine
- Luggage transfer between destinations
- All ground transportation as noted in itinerary (taxis, private vans, trains, etc.)
- All taxes and gratuities at hotels and restaurants
Settle into our Edinburgh hotel with a welcome cocktail followed by a walking orientation of the Old Town and a traditional pub lunch. We’ll toast the tour with a wee dram of whisky and light dinner of hors d’oeuvres.
Explore the Royal Mile from Castle Hill to Holyrood Palace with your Wanderlust docent – a former Historic Scotland architectural historian; be schooled in Scottish single malts and taste fine local seafood with dinner in the waterfront neighborhood of Leith.
After a leisurely morning, we are privately transferred to Stirling for a tour of the castle and free time in the village. Spend two nights in the lower Highlands, visiting castles and countryside associated with William Wallace, Robert Bruce and Doune Castle where parts of Outlander were filmed. Spend the next two nights in a country castle hotel, where we have dinner together this first night.
Spend the morning in the ancient royal city of Perth, where we tour the museum of the famous Black Watch regiment and learn how kilts are made. After a filling lunch, we tour Scone Palace where centuries of Scottish kings were crowned then make a few photo stops at scenic lochs before a country inn dinner.
We make our way through rugged Highland’s scenery to Inverness, stopping for more photo-ops, lunch in the Victorian spa town of Pitlocherie, and a tasting tour at Blair Atholl distillery. Explore seven centuries of history at Blair Castle with links to Mary Queen of Scots and the Jacobites, then dinner together in Inverness.
History and legend blurs during a tour of Cawdor Castle made famous in Shakespeare’s MacBeth. A visit to coastal Fort George, the Highlander Museum and Culloden Battlefield brings to life the Jacobean Rising and helps to put many scenes from Outlander into context.
Spend the day at Scotland’s oldest Highland Games in Inverness. Revel in traditional song, dance, piping, and food then marvel at kilted athletes pitching hammers, stones, and cabers and other field and track events. Spend the evening and dinner at your leisure. The day is yours
A focus on legendary men and monsters carries us north of Inverness to Castle Dunrobin, one of Britain’s oldest continuously inhabited houses and ancient earldoms. After lunch at Kincraig Castle, we return to Loch Ness for a boat ride and visit to Urquhart Castle on its shores. Our day ends with dinner at a lovely countryside guesthouse, where we spend two nights.
Embark on a scenic drive to Scotland’s most photographed castle, Eilean Donan, situated on the evocative Loch Duich. Continue on to the Isle of Skye, where we enjoy a superb local lunch with magnificent views, tour the famed Talisker distillery, and spend a leisurely afternoon exploring some of Scotland’s most soul-stirring scenery. We continue back to our inn where dinner awaits.
Return to Edinburgh through the romantic scenery of West Scotland and the hauntingly historic Glencoe. Enjoy lunch at your leisure and a stroll through the royal city of Linlithgow, birthplace of Mary Queen of Scots. After a tour of Scotland’s finest medieval palace, we return to Edinburgh for a farewell dinner together at Jamie Oliver’s Italian restaurant.
We are happy to help you make arrangements from the hotel to your next destination or airport.
The best of Scotland’s town and country experiences. We begin this tour in one of the world’s most beautiful cities, Scotland’s capital of Edinburgh. After a few days on the Royal Mile, we travel north through Stirling and Perthshire, the “gateway to the Highlands” and into the Inverness region, where we embark on a monumental tour of iconic castles, world-class distilleries, and soul-storring scenery. We return to Edinburgh through the staggeringly beautiful landscape around Glencoe.