Explore the Scottish highlands with a post conference tour, featuring beautiful sights, scenery and cuisine of Scotland.
This tour departs from Glasgow at 9:00 am on Thursday, 21 July and returns to Glasgow at 2:00 pm on Monday, 25 July.
Explore the full agenda below.
Today we depart from Glasgow and head towards Fort William, travelling through some superb countryside. Our first stop will be at the delightful village of Luss where we will board one of the many cruise vessels for a cruise on Loch Lomond. Described by many as Queen of Scottish Lochs and 'Gateway to the Highlands', Loch Lomond measures 23 miles long and five miles wide, making it the single largest expanse of fresh water in Great Britain.
Lunch will be served at Colquhon's Restaurant at the Lodge on the Loch, a fabulous waterfront restaurant with panoramic views of the Loch and Ben Lomond. The menu is inspired by the fantastic local produce available from Scotland's larder!
Colquhoun's Restaurant has achieved the Visit Scotland’s – 'Taste Our Best' accreditation, which recognises businesses that provide and promote quality Scottish food & drink. The Menu highlights all the Scottish produce that the restaurant endeavours to use as part of your dining experience.
Continuing our journey north we will travel through eerie Glencoe, with some spectacular scenery and site of the infamous "Massacre of Glencoe". Glencoe is a village in western Scotland which lies in the Glencoe valley in the Scottish Highlands. The deep valley and mountains of Glen Coe were carved out centuries ago by icy glaciers and volcanic explosions. The village is located in the Lochaber Geopark, between the banks of Loch Leven and the mouth of the famous glen. Glen Coe is one of the most beautiful and other-worldly places in Scotland. It has even been featured in films such as James Bond's Skyfall and several Harry Potter movies. We will make a stop at the Glencoe Visitor Centre where you can learn more about the history, flora and fauna of the area.
Our last stop tonight will be at the Isle of Glencoe Hotel located on the shores of Loch Leven. This evening guests will be able to dine in the 'Waters Edge' restaurant at the hotel where dishes are inspired by land and sea, using the best ingredients from the local area. All served with uninterrupted views over Loch Leven. So, sit back, take it all in and watch the sun set over Loch Leven.
This evenings accommodations will be at the Isles of Glencoe Hotel.
Departing the Isles of Glencoe hotel this morning we will continue our journey north passing along the shores of Loch Lochy and then Loch Ness before arriving at Urquhart Castle where you will discover 1,000 years of drama, experience a glimpse of medieval life and enjoy stunning views over Loch Ness from the ruins of the greatest castle in the Highlands.
Climb the Grant Tower that watches over the iconic loch, peer into a miserable prison cell, said to have held the legendary Gaelic bard Domhnall Donn, and imagine the splendid banquets staged in the great hall.
The castle has a distinctly Highland heritage and the site has witnessed some of the most dramatic chapters in our nation’s history. This is where St Columba is said to have worked miracles in the 6th century, where acts of chivalry and defiance provided inspiration during the Wars of Independence and where the MacDonald Lords of the Isles struggled with the Crown for power.
Following our tour of Urquhart Castle we will continue along the shore of Loch Ness, eventually arriving into Inverness itself where lunch will be taken are one of its many restaurants.
After lunch we will visit the Culloden Battlefield, the site of the last great battle on British soil. The battle took place in April 1746, where the forces of the Young Pretender, Bonnie Prince Charlie (known as the Scottish Highlanders or Jacobites) were defeated by the “British Army”. The Jacobites sustained heavy losses and the side was entirely decimated in a battle that lasted barely an hour.
The award winning visitor’s centre lets the story of the battle unfold and you cannot help but feel the emotion evoked from standing on the once bloody battleground.
The centre features state of the art interactive exhibitions as well as weaponry displays conducted by costumed characters during the day.
A walk on the battlefield itself is an eeire experience as you walk amongst monument and markers to the fallen Clansmen.
This evening guests will be able to explore Inverness on their own and enjoy dinner in one of its many restaurants in the city. There are plenty to choose from for the more formal to the casual.
This evenings accommodations will be at Glenmoriston Townhouse.
On Saturday morning, we will depart Inverness and begin our journey south passing through some stunning scenery along the edge of the Cairngorms National Park before arriving at the Atholl estate where we will visit Blair Castle.
Blair Castle is a large white turreted Baronial mansion and the home of the Dukes of Atholl, which stands in wooded parkland in the midst of the Perthshire Hills. With surviving architectural roots going back as far as 1269, Blair Castle is one of Britain’s oldest continuously inhabited houses. The castle embraces an inspirational mix of architectural styles, so whatever the occasion, there is a space that will bring your event vividly to life. Visit the contemporary Banvie Hall with the design accent on glass, enjoy the Georgian splendour of the State Dining Room, or the sumptuous delights of the Victorian Ballroom.
The Duke of Atholl is the only person in Europe who has his own private army, the Atholl Highlanders. The Atholl Highlanders are a Scottish ceremonial infantry regiment and act as the personal bodyguard to the Duke of Atholl.
Lunch at be taken at leisure at Blair Castle in their excellent restaurant and time permitting you might also enjoy a stroll in the grounds.
Blair Athol Distillery stands at the gateway to the Scottish Highlands in the picturesque town of Pitlochry, Perthshire. Founded in 1798, Blair Athol is one of Scotland’s oldest working distilleries. Set in open moorland south of the town, in the foothills of the Grampian mountains, Blair Athol’s ancient source of water – the Allt Dour – flows through the grounds from the slopes of Ben Vrackie, contributing to the whisky’s, mellow quality and smooth finish.
Visit the distillery and learn about the secrets of malt whisky distilling and blending on a guided tour. Of course, no visit would be complete without enjoying a dram of their Blair Athol Single Malt Whisky from the water of the Allt Dour burn.
After the distillery we will head to Perth, the 'Fair City'. There has been a settlement at Perth since prehistoric times. It is a natural mound raised slightly above the flood plain of the river Tay, at a place where the river could be crossed on foot at low tide. The area surrounding the modern city is known to have been occupied ever since Mesolithic hunter-gatherers arrived there more than 8,000 years ago.
Close to Perth is Scone Abbey which formerly housed the Stone of Scone, also known as the Stone of Destiny, now housed with Edinburgh Castle on which the King of Scots were traditionally crowned. This enhanced the early importance of the city, and Perth became known as a 'capital' of Scotland due to the frequent residence there of the royal court. The city became one of the richest burghs in the country, engaging in trade with France, the Low Countries (Holland and Belgium) and the Baltic countries and importing goods such as Spanish silk and French wine.
The day concludes with dinner at Lynedoch Brasserie located in the hotel. The Lynedoch Brasserie serves delicious cuisine, lovingly prepared by the hotel's award-winning chef and his passionate team. Located in the main house, offering stunning views over the estate and surrounding Perthshire countryside, the restaurant serves a mixture of traditional and modern dishes using local, seasonal ingredients.
This evenings accommodations will be at Murrayshall Hotel and Golf Course.
This morning we will depart from Perth and start to make our way South to the capital City Edinburgh. Our first port of call this morning will be to Scone Palace for a tour.
Scone Palace, the home of the Earls of Mansfield, is located 30 minutes from Gleneagles and was the coronation place of Scottish kings until 1651 when the last king of Scotland, Charles II was crowned here.
We will be given a private pre-opening tour of Scone Palace followed by coffee and shortbread served in a private Room. Each guest will also receive a copy of the Scone Palace guide book.
From here we will continue to Edinburgh, passing through "Bravheart" Country en route.
High up on a huge promontory of rock stands Stirling Castle with commanding views out across the plain below and often referred to as “the key to the highlands”. With most of the buildings dating from the 15th and 16th centuries, it is truly a magnificent example of military and domestic architecture on a royal scale. It was in the Chapel Royal at Stirling that James VI of Scotland, later to become James I of England was baptised, and where Mary Queen of Scots was crowned at the age of nine months.
You will also be able to see in the distance, the moument to William Wallace. It was here on Abbey Craig that Wallace and his followers camped the night before their decisive victory at Stirling Bridge.
After lunch, we will visit Edinburgh Castle. Built on seven hills, Edinburgh is sometimes known as 'The Athens' of the North; proud guardian of a nation’s heritage, Edinburgh is one of the world’s most attractive capitals. The dramatic grandeur of its setting, its wealth of noble architecture and a long and stirring history combine to make an appropriate introduction to the romance that is Scotland. The brooding magnificence of Edinburgh Castle stands sentinel over the city from high atop the volcanic crags, which Ice Age glaciers formed into a near-perfect defensive site. Iron Age man made the first encampment here with its splendid views over the surrounding lochs and valleys. Dun-edin – the fort on the hillside – as the settlement came to be known, gradually spread down the ridge of the rock to become the city whose streets have witnessed all that is central to Scotland’s history.
The Old Town, leading from Edinburgh Castle to the Palace of Holyroodhouse, sweeps eastward along the windy ridge known today as the Royal Mile. For many centuries this bustling thoroughfare was the hub of the city’s life.
During the tour we visit the Castle where we will see the Scottish Crown Jewels, known officially as The Honours of Scotland and older by far than those of England, as well as the Stone of Scone on which Kings and Queens have been crowned for over a thousand years, the present Queen included.
The evening will conclude with a group farewell dinner at an esteemed local restaurant.
This evenings accommodations will be the Kimpton Charlotte Square Hotel - Edinburgh.
White-harled houses with red-tiled roofs line the steep cobbled streets which run from the market cross to the hilltop abbey. In the centre is the ochre-coloured palace, built by wealthy coal merchant, George Burns, with its beautifully reconstructed period garden, complete with herbs, fruit and vegetables, and rare Scots Dumpy hens. Guests will get a sense of what it would have been like to live in Culross Palace in its prime, with original painted woodwork and beautifully restored 17th- and 18th-century interiors.
Take a stroll up a cobbled alleyway known as Back Causeway, which is complete with a raised central aisle that was formerly used by noblemen to separate them from the ‘commoners’. This leads up behind the magnificent Town House to the Study, a restored house, built in 1610, that takes its name from the small room at the top of the corbelled projecting tower.
Culross has been used for many different films, most recently as a location in the Outlander TV series.
Following a tour of the Palace and wander around this remarkable & atmospheric village, lunch can be taken at one of the restaurants/pubs in the village.
Following our visit to the village of Culross this morning we will then make our way back to Glasgow and the end of the tour.
Set along the River Clyde in the south west of Scotland, Glasgow boasts award-winning museums, excellent restaurants, world-class entertainment and much more, making it an ideal destination for travellers of all backgrounds.
The city mixes distinctive architecture and lush green areas, with beautiful Victorian buildings and a wealth of peaceful parks and gardens. Busy and dynamic, you will find that Glasgow has a great atmosphere and is also one of the UK’s top shopping destinations with major designers in Merchant City and Princes Square mall and dozens of high street shops on the pedestrianised Style Mile.
Glasgow has produced many of Scotland’s finest artists, including Turner Prize winner Martin Boyce and architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh. House for an Art Lover in Bellahouston Park, designed by Mackintosh himself, is a lasting testament to his unique style and vision. Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum is free to enter and houses an outstanding collection, including works by the Scottish Colourists and the Glasgow School.
|$5,900 USD per couple|
|$3,725 USD per single|
- All ground transportation from Thursday, 21 July to Monday, 25 July
- Driver Accommodations, Driver Meals and Gratuities
- A qualified Blue Badge Scottish Guide throughout plus their accommodations, meals and gratuities
- All accommodations at hotels indicated above, based on two people sharing
- All entrance fees for museums, castles, etc.
- Meals Included
- Four (4) Two-Course Lunches on 21, 22, 24 and 25 July
- Lunch at leisure on 23 July
- Does not include beverages
- Three (3) Course Dinners on 21, 23 & 24 July
- Dinner at leisure on 22 July
- Does not include beverages
- Dinner at leisure on 22 July
- Four (4) Two-Course Lunches on 21, 22, 24 and 25 July