Scotland's Highlands, Islands and Cities Summer 2024

Scotland's Highlands, Islands and Cities Summer 2024

205 Views
13 Days From

$4475

$3846

Scotland's Highlands, Islands and Cities Summer 2024

13 Days Starting in Edinburgh and ending in Glasgow

Visiting: Edinburgh, Jedburgh, Melrose, St. Andrews, Glamis, Dundee, Pitlochry, Culloden, Inverness, Thurso, Orkney Islands, Ullapool, Isle of Skye, Fort William, Oban, Isle of Mull, Iona, Glencoe, Glasgow, Stirling

Tour operator:

Brendan Vacations

Tour code:

BHLDZN19

Guide Type:

Fully Guided

Group size:

25 - 45

Physical rating:

Low

Age range:

6-99

Special diets catered:

Vegetarians

Tour operated in:
English
Trip Styles:

UK tours by Coach

From:
$4475
$3846 Operator discount: -$448 Exclusive Tourhub Members Discount: -$181 -14%

NB: Prices correct on 27-May-2024 but subject to change.

This tour is no longer available, please see similar tours below or send an enquiry

Tour Overview

This unforgettable Scottish Highlands trip travels into the far-reaches of Scotland’s rugged countryside. Keep your eyes peeled for Nessie, delve into the history of the kings and warriors and join the Wood family for a ceilidh and lunch in the ‘presence’ of Rob Roy.

Highlights

  • Edinburgh Castle and the Royal Mile

  • The ruins of Jedburgh Abbey and Melrose Abbey

  • St. Andrews, the celebrated home of golf

  • Glamis Castle, the childhood home of the Queen Mother

  • The tragic battlefield of Culloden and Inverness, the cultural capital of the Scottish Highlands

  • Mystical Loch Ness and Dunrobin Castle

  • The Orkney Islands, including the Italian Chapel and Skara Brae

  • The Isle of Skye and its dramatic landscapes

  • Sailing to the Isles of Mull and Iona

  • Exploring Glasgow's sustainable secrets and Stirling Castle's royal history

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Itinerary

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Day 1: Welcome To Edinburgh

Location: Edinburgh

Accommodation: Voco Hotel Haymarket Edinburgh, Novotel Center, Delta Hotels by Marriott.

Meals Included: Dinner

Embrace the allure of Auld Reekie and explore its labyrinthine lanes, before joining your fellow travelers and Travel Director for a Welcome Dinner to kick-start your tour through an unimaginably beautiful part of the world.

Day 2: Discover Enchanting Edinburgh

Location: Edinburgh

Accommodation: Voco Hotel Haymarket Edinburgh, Novotel Center, Delta Hotels by Marriott.

Meals Included: Breakfast

Let your Local Specialist take you on an informative sightseeing tour of Edinburgh. See the regal Palace of Holyroodhouse, the new Scottish Parliament Building and the Royal Mile, delving into the heart of the city, before visiting Edinburgh Castle, perched atop Castle Rock. Stroll through the grand New Town with its Gothic façades enjoying the rest of the day at leisure. Tickets to see the Edinburgh Tattoo are included on departures that coincide with performance dates.

Day 3: A Day Of Abbeys, Landscapes And History

Location: Edinburgh, Jedburgh, Melrose, Edinburgh

Accommodation: Voco Hotel Haymarket Edinburgh, Novotel Center, Delta Hotels by Marriott.

Meals Included: Breakfast

A scenic day's excursion brings us to the ruins of the 12th-century Augustinian Jedburgh Abbey, which we will have an opportunity to view. Continue to nearby Melrose Abbey, said to be the final resting place of the embalmed heart of Robert the Bruce. We take the scenic route back to Edinburgh this afternoon, following the lush green landscapes along the Tweed River.

Day 4: Explore Glamis Castle And On To Creative Dundee

Location: Edinburgh, St. Andrews, Glamis, Dundee

Accommodation: Apex City Quay

Meals Included: Breakfast

This morning, we cross the Firth of Forth to the celebrated home of golf - St. Andrews, to view its ancient university and famous golf course. Shakespeare's Macbeth takes center stage as we visit Glamis Castle, once the home of the beloved Queen Mother and birthplace of Princess Margaret. Enjoy a guided tour of the castle and explore its beautiful gardens, before we travel to the waterfront city of Dundee, distinguished for its status as the first UNESCO City of Design, and the original home of marmalade.

Day 5: Venture To Culloden And Inverness Dive Into Culture

Location: Dundee, Pitlochry, Culloden, Inverness

Accommodation: Columba

Meals Included: Breakfast

Today we wind our way to the tragic battlefield and Visitor Center at Culloden, past rugged landscapes and the imposing Cairngorms Mountains. Visit the site where Bonnie Prince Charlie's Jacobite army was defeated. Our final stop for the night is Inverness, the cultural capital of the Scottish Highlands, where we’ll overnight.

Day 6: Journey To Loch Ness And Thurso

Location: Inverness, Thurso

Accommodation: Pentland, Norseman

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

The mystical haunt of Nessie is our first stop today en route to Dunrobin Castle. This stately home and its magnificent gardens, inspired by the Palace of Versailles, comes straight from the pages of a fairy tale. Spend your afternoon exploring its château-like structure and surrounds, once home to the Clan Sutherland. Dive Into Culture and learn about the local whisky industry at a distillery, including a tasting of Scotland's much-loved golden nectar. Arriving in Thurso, our home for the next two nights, we enjoy dinner at our hotel.

Day 7: A Day On The Orkney Islands

Location: Thurso, Orkney Islands, Thurso

Accommodation: Pentland, Norseman

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

After stopping at John o' Groats, we board a ferry to South Ronaldsay in the Orkney Islands. Visit the ornate Italian Chapel, built by Italian prisoners of war. See the prehistoric free-standing stones of the Ring of Brodgar before visiting Skara Brae and delving into the stories of the Neolithic village. We stop at beautiful Kirkwall Cathedral for a photo opportunity before returning to our hotel for dinner.

Day 8: Over The Sea To Skye

Location: Thurso, Ullapool, Isle of Skye

Accommodation: Kings Arms

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Dramatic landscapes accompany our scenic drive along the rugged north-west coastline of the Scottish Highlands to remote Ullapool on the shores of Loch Broom. We journey to Eilean Donan Castle, built in the 13th-century perched on a tiny island where three sea lochs meet, then continue to the Isle of Skye where we'll stay overnight and enjoy a delicious dinner in our hotel.

Day 9: Onwards To Oban

Location: Isle of Skye, Fort William, Oban

Accommodation: Royal

Meals Included: Breakfast

We return to the mainland following a beautiful route that takes us past the Glenfinnan Viaduct, along which Harry Potter's Hogwarts Express once crossed to his beloved school of magic. We pass Fort William on the shores of Loch Linnhe, renowned as the gateway to Ben Nevis, before continuing to Oban, our Highland home for the next two nights.

Day 10: Sail To The Isles Of Mull And Iona

Location: Oban, Isle of Mull, Iona, Oban

Accommodation: Royal

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Set sail from Oban to the Isle of Mull, disembarking at Craignure. Cross the pretty island countryside to catch a ferry from Fionnphort to the island of Iona, which was once the home of a Gaelic monastic community in Iona Abbey. Before our journey back to Oban, we'll have the chance to view Rèilig Odhrain, the final resting place of many Scottish kings.

Day 11: Off To Glasgow Make Travel Matter

Location: Oban, Glencoe, Glasgow

Accommodation: Leonardo Royal Glasgow, Courtyard by Marriott SEC.

Meals Included: Breakfast

A solemn reminder of the MacDonald clansmen, who were massacred at the 'Glen of Weeping', marks our morning journey south to Glasgow. Join an expert guide to unlock Glasgow’s sustainable secrets on a MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience.

Day 12: Uncover Stirling Castle’S Secrets Connect With Locals

Location: Glasgow, Stirling, Glasgow

Accommodation: Leonardo Royal Glasgow, Courtyard by Marriott SEC.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Venture to Bannockburn, where King Robert Bruce of Scotland defeated Edward II of England during the First War of Scottish Independence. Mary, Queen of Scots and several Scottish kings and queens have made Stirling Castle their home over the centuries. Enjoy a visit to its grounds and delve into the history of this royal residence and fortress, besieged by Bonnie Prince Charlie in the 18th century. We'll visit the splendidly decorated Royal Palace of King James V and view the renowned Stirling Heads. Later, we Connect With Locals, joining the Wood family this afternoon for a memorable Be My Guest experience at their 15th-century farm, on the shores of Loch Ard, amidst tales of Rob Roy. This evening, we return to Glasgow for time at leisure to enjoy true Scottish hospitality.

Day 13: Farewell Glasgow

Location: Glasgow

Meals Included: Breakfast

Our epic journey across Scotland’s highlands, islands and cities has come to an end. It’s time to say a fond farewell to our travel companions and Travel Director as our memorable holiday comes to an end.

What's Included

  • An expert Travel Director and professional Driver

  • Cherry-picked hotels, all tried and trusted

  • All porterage and restaurant gratuities

  • All hotel tips, charges and local taxes

  • Breakfast daily and up to half of your evening meals

  • Must-see sightseeing and surprise extras

  • Audio headsets for flexible sightseeing

  • Luxury air-conditioned coach with Wi-Fi in most countries or alternative transportation (such as rail journeys)

  • Return ferry to the Orkney Isles

  • Ferry from the Isle of Skye to Mallaig

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What's Not Included

  • Airfare

    International airfare to/from the start/end of your tour is not included in the price.

  • Optional Experiences

    Optional Experiences are enhancements to your tour and can be booked through your Travel Director while on trip.

Mode of Transport

Luxury air-conditioned coach with Wi-Fi in most countries or alternative transportation (such as rail journeys), Return ferry to the Orkney Isles, Ferry from the Isle of Skye to Mallaig, Return ferry to the Isle of Mull and Iona.

Accommodation

Cherry-picked hotels, all tried and trusted. On occasion, hotels of similar standard and location may be utilized.

Check out our Q&As

  • Is there seat rotation on the coach?

    Yes, your Travel Director will implement a seat rotation system, whereby all guests will rotate their seats on the coach daily. This allows for everyone to experience the spectacular views from different seats, and you’ll have a better opportunity to get to know your fellow travelers.

  • Is luggage handling provided?

    On Guided Vacations and Private Chauffeur Vacations, all luggage handling is provided at no extra charge. One suitcase per person will be brought to your hotel room.

  • Will the accommodation included meet local health and safety regulations?

    Yes! Our hotels are personally selected by Managing Director Catherine Reilly and personally known for their quality, impeccable service and comfort, with the majority of them having air-conditioning. Note: A few hotels may not have air conditioning due to the colder climate.

  • What are the coaches like?

    We pride ourselves on having the finest fleet of fuel-efficient, fully air-conditioned coaches – all with reclining seats and on-board restrooms. The high vantage point from your coach’s window means you can take in all the glorious scenery, whether it’s a vast rural landscape or an urban city center. We also have on board WiFi.

  • Am I contributing to any charity by booking the tour?

    Brendan Vacations is an active supporter of the Treadright® Foundation, a not-for-profit organization established in 2008. So far, the charity has donated more than $2 million to help underprivileged communities and support sustainable tourism around the world.

  • How many people will be on my trip?

    You’ll find an average of 40 to 45 guests on trips throughout Europe.

  • Who will be my travelling companions on the tour?

    The beauty of taking a guided vacation with us is you’ll have the opportunity to meet and travel with people from all over the globe.

  • Will I have free time?

    Each itinerary offers the perfect balance of downtime and discoveries. We also give you the opportunity to tailor your trip with Optional Experiences.

  • Do you operate a “single share” option and how does it work?

    Yes. If you are travelling solo but would be happy to share your rook with another traveller of the same gender, we offer 'Twin-share' pricing on our trips. However, if you prefer the privacy of your own room, you can opt for our single supplement. The cost will depend on your trip and can be found in the pricing section of the itinerary.

  • How much luggage can I bring?

    On Guided Vacations, you can bring one suitcase per person with the dimensions of 76cm x 46cm x 25cm (30" x 18" x 10") and weight not exceeding 23kg (50 lbs) due to the limited space on the coach. You can also bring one piece of hand luggage, provided it is small enough to take on the coach and does not have telescopic handles.

  • What is a Travel Director?

    Our Travel Directors come from a variety of backgrounds, but they all share a passion for travel and their homelands. These experienced professionals show you what the guidebooks can't - a true insider's perspective of Ireland and Scotland. Each Travel Director has been through a bespoke training program, and many have at least five years' experience under their belt.

  • What documents will I receive before I travel?

    Travel documents (important information, itinerary and any relevant vouchers) will be provided 7-10 days prior to your trip's departure.

  • What if I have special dietary requirements?

    We can accommodate guests who are vegetarian and can assist with diabetic, gluten-free and other medically-recommended diets. Please advise us at time of booking. Unfortunately, we're unable to supply meals in accordance with strict religious requirements. We cannot provide salt-free, Kosher, Halal, requests for specific dietary supplements such as soy milk, and high protein or low-carb meals.

Reviews of this operator

Krista Erickson (Google Reviewer)  

Do you want to see...

23-Apr-2020

Do you want to see Ireland your way? Brendan Vacations did an amazing job setting us up with a Self-Drive through the county. They reserved a Hertz vehicle which we found the rental process to be seamless, placed us in wonderful hotels near city centers per our request and even suggested some places to visit and eat. We tend to be bucket list seekers so climbing Ireland’s country highpoint Carrauntoohil in beautiful County Kerry was a highlight of our trip. Our next stop is Scotland and hiking up Ben Nevis with the help of Brendan Vacations the true Celtic Experts.

Mackenzie Gerber (Google Reviewer)  

Brendan Vacations made all my...

23-Apr-2020

Brendan Vacations made all my Ireland dreams come true. My husband and I took a Private Chauffeur trip last August and we think back on it almost daily. The level of service and detail from our Chauffeur to the people behind the scenes scheduling our activities and hotels made it easy for us just to relax the entire time. Thank you to the amazing Brendan team for an unforgettable vacation.

Katie Jessup (Google Reviewer)  

This last summer I planned...

23-Apr-2020

This last summer I planned a trip to take my family to Ireland, being from England the United Kingdom has always been very special to me I just love the outdoors and the people. Living in the US my family have never visited Ireland before so I decided I wanted to plan with them a trip where we could explore this this amazing place. When we started writing down the key places that we wanted to visit we realized it was a lot from Belfast to Derry, Dublin to Galway and Killarney to Cork I was just not sure how I could piece all of this together. I decided I would look for help and the team at Brendan vacations were my superstars, all I had to do was give them my itinerary and they took care of everything else for me. They made our trip so easy and effortless to plan and they offered little extras because they knew we were a multi-generational family traveling together. They even helped us book and plan activities while we were visiting Ireland from the Cliffs of Moher to the Giants Causeway. By far my favorite moment was seeing my 7 year old daughter's face when we had the opportunity to take a horse drawn carriage ride through Killarney National Park, without my Brendan vacation specialist recommending this to me we would have missed out and I know it was a highlight for little Charlie. Thank you Brendan vacations for taking our trip personally and truly helping create memories that will last us a lifetime. We are already talking about going back to Ireland and our next adventure.

Tara Ward-Burgess (Google Reviewer)  

We recently took a 13...

16-May-2024

We recently took a 13 day chauffeured tour of Ireland. Brendan Vacations scheduled our chauffeur through Pat Keough Tours and our driver, Andy Burke, was outstanding. If we mentioned particular places of interest along the way Andy would find a way to make it happen. He has the best sense of humor, is professional, and very knowledgeable. We hope to use Andy for future trips.

Tam (Google Reviewer)  

Brendan Vacations is amazing!!! In...

28-Apr-2020

Brendan Vacations is amazing!!! In my opinion it was the only way to fully experience Ireland. We did a private chauffeur trip with our family. There were 4 adults and 3 children ranging from 7 to 12 years old and all of us were completely entertained the entire time. From the moment we were picked up at the airport it was clear that then attention to details was unmatched. We were able to be completely immersed into the incredible culture and people of Ireland. The tour took us around most of the country from the city of Dublin to the picturesque town of Killarney. We experience the Majestic Cliffs of Moher from a unique perspective taking a ferry ride along the coastline which was beautiful. Next we went to the AMAZING Ashford castle which was straight out of a story book. There were so things to do, our family loved fishing, zipplining, horseback riding and falconry. Throughout our trip we went on walking tours in the cities, stayed in enchanting castles and manars, and even horse drawn carriage ride through a historic park surrounded by lakes and beautiful scenery. Everyday we saw unbelievable countrysides, had yummy stews and Irish ales. The people were all welcoming and nice in every city and town. Our chauffeur made us feel comfortable and was professional which made the trip fun and relaxing throughout our many adventures. Ireland was full of rich history, memorable landscapes, music and dancing. We can't thank Brendan Vacations enough for making our vacation stress free and so unforgettable, what an adventure!

Amy Yarruhs (Google Reviewer)  

I did the Irish Highlights...

02-Feb-2024

I did the Irish Highlights tour last October and it blew any expectations I had of guided tours out of the water! It was my first time out of the US and they made it so easy and comfortable. Our Travel Director, Maeve, and Driver, Stevie, were absolutely wonderful and super knowledgeable. The whole trip was very organized and well-planned. There were 2 main experiences that stand out to me as different than other tour companies. The first were the Make Travel Matter experiences which were hosted by locals and focused on sustainability (a huge plus for me) and their Be My Guest experience where we got to eat in celebrity chef, Catherine Fulvio's farmhouse! I still dream about her cooking months later. All in all, I would highly recommend Brendan Vacations and I can't wait to visit Ireland again.

1 Dates & Availability

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Monday - Saturday

Jun 10, 2024 - Jun 22, 2024
$4795 $4121

Operator discount: -$480

Exclusive Tourhub Members Discount: -$194

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Monday - Saturday

Jun 17, 2024 - Jun 29, 2024
$4795 $4579

Exclusive Tourhub Members Discount: -$216

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Saturday - Thursday

Aug 03, 2024 - Aug 15, 2024
$5295 $5057

Exclusive Tourhub Members Discount: -$238

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Monday - Saturday

Aug 05, 2024 - Aug 17, 2024
$5295 $4298

Operator discount: -$794

Exclusive Tourhub Members Discount: -$203

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Saturday - Thursday

Aug 10, 2024 - Aug 22, 2024
$5295 $5057

Exclusive Tourhub Members Discount: -$238

Instant Booking Available

Monday - Saturday

Aug 12, 2024 - Aug 24, 2024
$5295 $5057

Exclusive Tourhub Members Discount: -$238

Instant Booking Available

Saturday - Thursday

Aug 17, 2024 - Aug 29, 2024
$5295 $4298

Operator discount: -$794

Exclusive Tourhub Members Discount: -$203

Instant Booking Available

Monday - Saturday

Aug 26, 2024 - Sep 07, 2024
$5125 $4160

Operator discount: -$769

Exclusive Tourhub Members Discount: -$196

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Saturday - Thursday

Aug 31, 2024 - Sep 12, 2024
$4925 $3998

Operator discount: -$739

Exclusive Tourhub Members Discount: -$188

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Monday - Saturday

Sep 02, 2024 - Sep 14, 2024
$4925 $4233

Operator discount: -$493

Exclusive Tourhub Members Discount: -$199

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Saturday - Thursday

Sep 21, 2024 - Oct 03, 2024
$4775 $4104

Operator discount: -$478

Exclusive Tourhub Members Discount: -$193

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Saturday - Thursday

Oct 05, 2024 - Oct 17, 2024
$4475 $3846

Operator discount: -$448

Exclusive Tourhub Members Discount: -$181

Book with Confidence

  • Low Deposit

    Brendan Vacations requires a minimum deposit of 200 USD per person or the full booking value, whichever is less, with the final balance not due until 60 days before departure.

  • Cancellation Policy

    We don't charge a cancellation fee, here is a summary of brendan vacations charges.

    Up to 60 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of deposit.

    At 59 days before tour starts: Forfeit 50% of booking price.

    At 29 days before tour starts: Forfeit 80% of booking price.

    At 1 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of booking price.

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