Heart of Scotland

Wednesday 8th July to Tuesday 14th July 2020
7 - Days


Prices from: £1455


Scotland is a rugged country full of scenic and cultural surprises, as you’ll discover for yourself on this highlight-packed holiday tour to its wild, spectacular heart.


Departure Date: 08-Jul-2020
Book Now

 

  • With stays in historic Inverness, the city of Stirling, then Rothesay on the Isle of Bute, you’ll explore all the unique cultural and natural attractions grouped around the Trossachs, the Cairngorms, and Bute.
  • Steam highlights include a cruise on Loch Katrine aboard steam launch ‘Sir Walter Scott’, and a trip on the Strathspey Steam Railway heritage line in the shadow of the Cairngorms.
  • Visit Culloden near Inverness and explore the scene where the Battle of Culloden took place in 1746, in the final confrontation of the 1745 Jacobite Rising.
  • Enjoy a cruise on Loch Lomond, sailing past the lands of some of the ancient Scottish Clans, followed by lunch and a ferry transfer to the Isle of Bute.
  • You’ll also discover the diverse wildlife in and around both of Scotland’s National Parks, showcasing the variety of flora and fauna in the rugged Scottish landscape.
  • From unspoilt beaches to inspiring coastlines, with convenient point-to-point transfers on ScotRail service trains and by private coach included, this is a unique holiday opportunity for seasoned traveller and newcomer alike.

 

Wednesday 8th July
London to Inverness on the ‘Highland Chieftain’
From the comfort of the First-Class Lounge at London’s King’s Cross Station you join the ‘Highland Chieftain’ passenger train for the journey north to Scotland, following the route of the scenic East Coast Main Line (ECML). A light lunch will be served at your seat as you travel First Class in relaxed, spacious comfort, as nearly the length of Britain rattles past. Your train stops at York, taking on those connecting by service train from Peterborough before continuing via Newcastle and Edinburgh to historic Inverness, where you will spend the next two nights at the Best Western Hotel & Spa. A welcome dinner is served at your hotel this evening. (L D)

Thursday 9th July
Sightseeing in Inverness; Tour of the Battlefield at Culloden
Today you have a free morning to sightsee in Inverness, the northernmost city of Scotland and famous for its Victorian-era marketplaces, cathedrals, and museums. A visit here should also include a walk over the Ness Bridge and a stroll along the banks of the river, which offers beautiful views of this bustling city. You’ll be able to have lunch before you have a trip to Culloden in the early afternoon. The last ever pitched battle to be fought on British soil took place here on 16th April 1746 on Drummossie Moor, overlooking Inverness. You’ll enjoy a private tour around the battlefield and a visit to the feature packed Museum. On the way back to Inverness, you’ll also visit Clava Clairns, an ancient burial site dating back over 4000 years. Once again, dinner will be served at your hotel this evening. (B D)

Friday 10th July
Strathspey Steam Railway
This morning you travel from Inverness to Aviemore before joining a steam train on the Strathspey Railway. This heritage line shares the main line railway station at Aviemore and runs to Boat of Garten and Broomhill (‘Glenbogle’ in the BBC series Monarch of the Glen). The return trip on the railway offers wonderful views of the Cairngorm Mountains. You re-join the road coach to travel from Aviemore into the heart of the nearby Cairngorms National Park and stop for a short stroll along the banks of Loch Morlich. Afterwards your road coach transfers you to Stirling, where you check in to the Stirling Highland Hotel, where dinner will be served. (B D)

Saturday 11th July
Steam Cruise on Loch Katrine and Stirling Castle
This morning you transfer by coach from Stirling along scenic roads to nearby Loch Katrine, set in the Centre of the Trossachs National Park. You’ll then enjoy a 2-hour lake cruise on the world-famous steamship ‘Sir Walter Scott’ to Stronachlachar from Trossachs Pier, taking in the inspiring landscape that influenced Sir Walter Scott, Coleridge and Wordsworth. On returning you’ll take a light lunch at the restaurant on the Pier. Afterwards you transfer by coach again to Stirling Castle for a guided tour of the grounds of one of the largest castles in Scotland, surrounded on three sides by steep cliffs. The castle sits atop Castle Hill, an intrusive crag, which forms part of the Stirling Sill geological formation. After your tour there’ll be time to look around Stirling, taking in the historic Old Town and the picturesque Back Walk footpath that encircles it. Dinner will be taken at your hotel this evening. (B L D)

Sunday 12th July
Loch Lomond
After a leisurely breakfast at the hotel, you transfer by road coach to Loch Lomond. Enjoy a scenic cruise on Loch Lomond taking in the breathtaking beauty of the loch and the surrounding scenery whilst enjoying refreshments on board the boat. Afterwards you travel to a lakeside venue to enjoy lunch. You’ll spend the afternoon sightseeing by coach before travelling over to the Isle of Bute on the Calmac ferry from Wemyss Bay. On arrival in Rothesay you check in to your conveniently located hotel where you will spend the next two nights. Dinner will be served at the hotel this evening. (B L D)

Monday 13th July
Mount Stuart and the scenery of Bute
Today you discover the outstanding natural and cultural highlights on the Isle of Bute, 33 miles from Glasgow and the most accessible of the westerly isles from the Scottish Central Belt, including the famed sea colony at Scalspie. The reddish sand of Scalpsie Bay is set against the backdrop of the Isle of Arran, and there are two viewpoints from which you can see the area’s fascinating resident wildlife and take in the amazing landscapes. At Seal View you can watch the large colony of seals on their rocky perches, and enjoy panoramic views over to Arran, the sandy beaches at Ettrick Bay and the remote scenery of North Bute as far as Rhubodach. In the afternoon, you visit the impressive Victorian Gothic Revival estate at Mount Stuart and the scenic beaches and coves at Kilchattan Bay. The spirit of nineteenth-century invention is embodied in Mount Stuart, and this neo-gothic mansion was one of the most technologically advanced houses of its age. It was the first home in the world to have a heated swimming pool and be purpose-built with electric lights and central heating. Kilchattan Bay is a settlement of Victorian houses and villas that lies on the south west shore of a largely east facing bay with a mile-wide mouth offering views to the isle of Great Cumbrae, three miles to the east. After your rewarding day out, dinner will again be served at your hotel in Rothesay. (B D)

Tuesday 14th July
Ferry crossing to Wemyss Bay, train to Glasgow Central, return to London
In the morning you’ll have some leisure time in Rothesay before taking the lunchtime CalMac ferry from Rothesay to Wemyss Bay. From Wemyss Bay you take the direct ScotRail service to Glasgow Central, changing onto a Virgin Trains Pendolino and continuing in First Class luxury over the entire length of the West Coast Main Line back to London Euston. For extra excitement his route passes through outstanding scenery at the mountain summits of Beattock and Shap. You arrive back in London in the evening. (B L)


Details

Price

  • Tour price £1455
  • Single supplement £195

All prices shown are per person based on two persons sharing.

Price Includes

  • First Class rail travel from London King’s Cross to Inverness by East Coast express train and from Glasgow Central to London Euston by Virgin Pendolino service
  • Standard Class rail on Scotrail services
  • 6 nights hotel accommodation with breakfast
  • 4 lunches and 6 dinners
  • All rail and boat trips as detailed in the itinerary
  • All road coach transfers as detailed in the itinerary
  • All seat reservations and transfers
  • The services of a tour manager

Meals included each day are shown as:
B = Breakfast - L = Lunch - D = Dinner

 

Map feature coming soon!