COUNTRY ROADS OF SCOTLAND SUMMER 2020
Premium Group Tour
From the great capital of Edinburgh to the Orkney Islands and Skye, you’ll travel through 8,000 years of history and become immersed in Scotland’s rich cultural heritage.
TOP RATED HIGHLIGHTS
- Edinburgh: A hush descends and eyes turn to the castle. The skirl of the pipes rises and drums crack the night air as a tide of tunics and tartan flood from the drawbridge. For a limited time in August, witness the incredible spectacle of the Edinburgh Military Tattoo.
- Edinburgh: Walk with a Local Expert within the walls of the Castle to view the Scottish Crown Jewels, Stone of Destiny and Mons Meg.
- Edinburgh: Your Local Expert reveals why this is Scotland’s City of Culture. Explore the city as you travel along Princes Street to see the Scott Memorial, the neoclassical Adam facades of New Town and the official Scottish residence of the Queen, Palace of Holyroodhouse.
- St. Andrews: Visit the university town where the famous beach scene from ‘Chariots of Fire’ was filmed and see the golf course where the sport was created.
- Pitlochry: Visit this town, famous for its salmon leap.
- Inverness: See the River Ness, Inverness Castle and take in the scenery around you as you hear about the beauty and history behind Inverness.
- Highlands: At the exciting Culloden Visitor Centre, discover why the Battle of Culloden lasted only an hour yet changed the Highland way of life forever.
- Loch Ness: Drive along the shores in search of the legendary monster.
- John O’Groats: Visit Britain’s most northerly, yet tiny, mainland village.
- Isle of Skye: See the dramatic Cuillin Hills and stay in pretty Broadford.
- Eilean Donan: Stop for a photo of this gorgeous castle.
- Fort William: Enjoy an excellent view of Ben Nevis from the World War II Commando Memorial.
- Glencoe: Your Travel Director will lead you on an orientation of this Highland village on Loch Leven.
- Loch Lomond: Enjoy time to explore the beautiful ‘Queen of Scottish Lochs’.
- Glasgow: During your orientation with your Travel Director, drive past the civic buildings and St. Mungo’s Cathedral.
- Scenic Drives: Scottish countryside is some of the most majestic in the world. Admire the beauty of the Grampian Mountains, the North West Highlands, Skye, the Valley of Glencoe and Loch Lomond.
WELCOME TO EDINBURGH.
Welcome to Scotland – land of legends and romance, from the great cultural cities in the south, to the dramatic mountains and misty lochs of the Highlands. On arrival at Edinburgh airport, transfers depart for your hotel at 09:00, 11:00 and 13:00. Then the rest of the day is yours to relax before joining your Travel Director at 17:30 for a Welcome Dinner with wine at a local restaurant. On select departures, you will also attend The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo — a colourful mix of pipes and drums, dance and display, set against the floodlit backdrop of Edinburgh Castle.
Malmaison Edinburgh. Meals:
Dinner with Wine
EDINBURGH, THE CAPITAL OF CULTURE.
Join a Local Expert to see the highlights of the city. Drive along Princes Street to the ornate Scott Memorial, then wander the 18th century New Town with its neoclassical Georgian facades. In the Old Town, visit Edinburgh Castle, home of Mons Meg, the Stone of Destiny and Scotland’s Crown Jewels, the Honours of Scotland. At the bottom of the Royal Mile stands the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the official Scottish residence of the Queen. The rest of the day is at leisure; why not visit the art treasures in the National Gallery?
Malmaison Edinburgh. Meals:
TO ST. ANDREWS AND THE HIGHLAND CAPITAL OF INVERNESS.
Cross the Firth of Forth into Fife and journey to St. Andrews, passing the Old Course, home of golf since its creation in the 15th century. Enjoy free time to explore. Perhaps stroll to West Sands Beach where the famous ‘Chariots of Fire’ scene was filmed? Alternately, wander to St. Andrews University where the love story of Kate Middleton meeting her Prince Charming began. Cross the Tay and journey to the charming Victorian resort town of Pitlochry, famous for its salmon run. Continue via Blair Atholl and pass the Grampian Mountains on the way to the sparkling Spey Valley. Stop at Ballindalloch Castle and Gardens, one of the only occupied castles in Scotland, inhabited by the same family since the 16th century. As guests of the castle you will be treated to an authentic Farm-to-Table experience, in the tradition of a Scottish Tea and Scones. Continue to Inverness, where your luxury hotel is set within four acres of manicured grounds offering the very best in Highland hospitality.
Kingsmills Hotel, Inverness. Meals:
Breakfast, Afternoon Tea, Dinner
CULLODEN, LOCH NESS AND ON TO THURSO.
See Culloden Moor in the morning, where Bonnie Prince Charlie’s Jacobite army was crushed in 1746. Visit the Culloden Visitor Centre before continuing along the shores of Loch Ness. Keep your eyes peeled for the legendary monster! Next, follow the rugged coast north to the fishing port of Wick. Pause at the Old Pulteney Distillery to taste a wee dram of whisky and learn about the production of this national drink.
The Pentland Hotel, Thurso. Meals:
A DAY IN THE ORKNEY ISLANDS.
Start the day by driving to the most northern point of the British mainland, John O’Groats. Board the ferry to the beautiful Orkney Islands where the countryside is breathtakingly majestic and the tranquility supports a quieter pace of life. Here the hardy locals say they live ‘below the wind and above the water.’ Your Local Expert accompanies you as you visit the 5,000-year-old village of Skara Brae, the mysterious Ring of Brodgar, Kirkwall and the small chapel built by Italian prisoners during World War II.
The Pentland Hotel, Thurso. Meals:
OVER THE SEA TO SKYE.
Travel through stunning, pristine landscapes along the northern coast with its white sandy beaches, and further inland to misty valleys and glens, lochs and rushing waters. Then it’s ‘Over the Sea to Skye,’ the largest and most beautiful island of the Inner Hebrides. On the way to Broadford, hear romantic tales of how young Flora MacDonald helped rescue Bonnie Prince Charlie and see the dramatic Cuillin Hills.
The Dunollie Hotel, Broadford, Isle of Skye. Meals:
DAY 7 – RELAXED START
THROUGH THE SCOTTISH HIGHLANDS TO GLENCOE.
Explore this wild and beautiful island on your own, before crossing to the Kyle of Lochalsh. Stop for a photo at remote Eilean Donan Castle, which under a clear sky offers a perfect reflection in its loch. Move on to the WWII Commando Memorial where there is a fine view of Ben Nevis, Britain’s highest mountain. You’ll enjoy more spectacular scenery en route to the Valley of Glencoe, its dramatic peaks still echoing with the ghastly cries of massacred clansmen. In the evening, enjoy market-fresh Scottish ingredients and wine as you get together with your newfound friends for a sumptuous Celebration Dinner. Don’t be surprised if, by the end of the evening, you’re ‘Toasting to the Lassies’ or singing ‘Auld Lang Syne’.
Ballachulish Hotel. Meals:
Breakfast, Dinner with Wine
DAY 8 – RELAXED START
ALONG THE BONNIE BANKS OF LOCH LOMOND TO GLASGOW.
Spend time around peaceful Loch Lomond, ‘Queen of Scottish Lochs’ according to Sir Walter Scott and the largest in Great Britain. Perhaps experience the beauty and tranquillity of the loch with an optional cruise before continuing to Glasgow? An orientation drive through the city will show you the grand public buildings, including George Square and St. Mungo’s Cathedral. Then the rest of the afternoon is at your leisure to explore as you wish.
Holiday Inn Glasgow – City Centre Theatreland. Meals:
Your travels come to an end after breakfast. Departure transfers arrive at Glasgow airport at 06:30 and 09:00.
- Ballindalloch: Visit one of the few remaining inhabited castles of Scotland and enjoy Farm-to-Table cuisine with Scottish tea and scones.
- Wick: Whisky’s are known for their distinctive flavours, often bursting with the power and subtlety of the sea. Share a wee dram with a master distiller who imparts the age-old techniques of whisky production.
- Glencoe: Your adventure culminates with a wonderful Celebration Dinner. Enjoy the best Highland hospitality and market-fresh ingredients accompanied by delicious wine or beer.
- Dining Summery: 8 Breakfasts (B), 1 Afternoon Tea (AT), 4 Dinners (D) and 2 Dinners with Wine (DW) all with tea or coffee.
INCLUDED INSIGHT SERVICES
- Our highly-skilled Travel Director will ensure your journey is seamless, serving as your expert guide, consummate organiser, and friend overseas.
- Enjoy the comfort of Insight’s luxury, air-conditioned, 40-seat coach with double the standard legroom and onboard washroom.
- Personal radio headsets give you the freedom to wander during visits to famous highlights, without missing any of your Local Expert’s fascinating commentary.
- We carry your bags for you and promptly deliver them to your hotel door.
- Hotel and restaurant tips are included – you’ll never have to worry about how much to give, nor search for foreign currency. We also include all taxes and porterage charges at hotels.
- Stay connected with friends and family with our complimentary coach and hotel Wi-Fi (where available).
- From time to time, your Travel Director will enchant you with an Insight Flourish, which is a local specialty representing the destination.
- If your arrival and/or departure flights are as per the itinerary start and end dates, then transfers are available at scheduled times. If your flights are outside these times, or you have booked additional nights accommodation with Insight Vacations, you may purchase transfers or make your own way from/to the airport.
MALMAISON HOTEL EDINBURGH
EDINBURGH (HISTORIC) – SCOTLAND
The boutique Malmaison Hotel Edinburgh resides within a former Seaman’s Mission in the heart of Edinburgh’s trendy Shore area. The hotel describes its rooms as “super-slinky,” featuring plush, funky décor and furnishings. Located just 15 minutes from the heart of Edinburgh you’ll be able to make the most of your free time in the happening capital of Scotland.
INVERNESS (HISTORIC) – SCOTLAND
Originally the mansion of a prominent local family, today the Kingsmills Hotel is a luxury accommodation in the heart of the Highlands. Renovated with contemporary rooms, the hotel is well-known for it’s impeccable hospitality.
THE PENTLAND HOTEL
THURSO (TRADITIONAL) – SCOTLAND
Centrally located in the heart of Thurso, the Peatland Hotel offers comfortable accommodation and a warm welcome from staff.
THE DUNOLLIE HOTEL BROADFORD
BROADFORD ISLE OF SKYE (TRADITIONAL) – SCOTLAND
Boasting an incredible location by Broadford Bay, The Dunollie Hotel is set at the base of outstanding mountains.
GLENCOE (TRADITIONAL) – SCOTLAND
Ballachulish Hotel offers spectacular views over the bay of Oban and the islands of the west coast of Scotland. This hotel is set in some outstanding scenery which can be used for picturesque walks.
HOLIDAY INN GLASGOW – CITY CENTRE THEATRELAND
GLASGOW (TRADITIONAL) – SCOTLAND
Holiday Inn Glasgow – City Centre Theatreland is a 4-star hotel located in the heart of Glasgow, just a few minutes from the Royal Concert Hall. It offers bright, elegant rooms.
Weekly from the 18th of April 2020 until 3 October 2020