7 Day Luxury Scotland drive tour including staying in deluxe hotels in Scotland, visiting Loch Lomond, the highlands and Edinburgh. Live like a Scottish laird or lady by staying in one of the country’s top luxury hotels. Book a glamorous suite as the base for the whole trip or begin and end your holiday with a night or two in opulent surroundings.
Day 1: Glasgow Arrival & Loch Lomond
Your trip starts at Cameron House Hotel on Loch Lomond. It is located 20 miles from Glasgow Airport so ensure that you have appropriate transfer arrangements. This charming deluxe property is located in extensive grounds on the shores of Loch Lomond and there is a golf course as well as a spa with a pool and fitness room. Leave your hotel at 2:30 pm to embark on a short cruise on Loch Lomond from a jetty near your hotel. Admire great views of this lovely lake which is surrounded by mountains, including Ben Lomond.
Day 2: Isle of Bute & Mount Stuart House
Get your first views of the awesome Highlands as you drive across the lovely pass of Rest & Be Thankful. A short ferry ride will bring you to the Isle of Bute where a drive around the coast will reveal stunning sea and island scenery. Take a guided tour of the highly-decorated chambers of Mount Stuart House, built in the late 1870’s for the 3rd Marquess of Bute. See the many Victorian comforts that were highly innovative for the era, such as a heated swimming pool and an elevator. After a walk through the gardens, spend some time in Rothesay, the main town on the island.
Day 3: Trossachs & Highland Scenery
Travel through the Trossachs, often called the “Highlands in Miniature” with its many lakes and mountains. Stop in Callander, the main town of the region, for a look around and continue to the town of Dunkeld, mentioned by Shakespeare in Macbeth. Most of the town was destroyed during a battle in 1689 but was rebuilt and today is one of the most complete 18th-century country towns in Scotland. Take a stroll through the picturesque grounds of Dunkeld Cathedral, which dates from 1318 and was partly destroyed during the Reformation in 1560. Continue to your manor house hotel in Royal Deeside.
Day 4: Royal Deeside & Whisky Tasting
Trade and craft guilds have left their mark on Aberdeen, noted for its cleanliness. The town is world famous for the granite upon which it is built, the linen industry failed in the 19th century. Explore Royal Deeside, a lovely valley, formed by the River Dee and surrounded by fertile farming lands and gentle hills. The region adopted the name when Queen Victoria had Balmoral Castle built as her family’s summer retreat and it is still a popular vacation area with British royalty. Visit Royal Lochnagar Distillery to see how whisky is distilled and sample some of the finished product at the end of your tour. Stop in the marketing town of Ballater, where many shops show royal warrants to indicate patronage by The Queen and other family members. Visit the many chambers of Crathes Castle and learn its history and then enjoy a special tour of the gardens.
Day 5: Glamis Castle & St Andrews
Tour Glamis Castle, the family home of the Earls of Strathmore since 1372 and has remained in the Lyon (later Bowes-Lyon) family since that time. It was rebuilt in the 15th century and is famed as being the childhood home of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother. It was also the legendary setting of “Macbeth.” Start your visit with coffee and shortbread in a 16th century chamber. Drive across the modern Tay Bridge to St Andrews, the “Home of Golf.” See the famous Royal and Ancient Clubhouse and the Old Course before sitting down to a casual lunch at the Jigger Inn, part of the Old Course Hotel. Then take a walking tour of the town center with a local guide, to view the medieval town with its ruined cathedral and castle. This is the location of Scotland’s oldest university. Drive south into Edinburgh, Scotland’s capital and enjoy a Scottish Evening with dinner and lively singing, story-telling and step-dancing.
Day 6: Edinburgh Castle & City Tour
This morning explore Edinburgh on a sightseeing tour. Compare and contrast the wide streets and elegant mansions of the Georgian 200-year-old “New Town” with the narrow lanes and medieval townhouses along the Royal Mile, the oldest part of the city. See Princes Street, the main shopping thoroughfare that separates the two areas. Learn about many prominent Scottish inventors, doctors and writers. Tour the imposing Edinburgh Castle where you can see historic buildings and enjoy splendid views of Edinburgh. The balance of the day is free for independent exploring, shopping and dining. (B)
Day 7: Tour Ends in Edinburgh
Your tour ends after breakfast. (B)
Roman Camp Loch Lomond (2 nights)
Ardoe House Hotel Blairs, Royal Deeside (2 nights)
Caledonian by Waldorf Astoria Hotel Edinburgh (3 nights)