Jacobite Steam Train crossing the 21-arched Glenfinnan viaduct
Caption: Jacobite Steam Train crossing the 21-arched Glenfinnan viaduct
Caption: A "wee dram" of whisky
Caption: Edinburgh Castle
Caption: Bagpipe player - Isle of Skye
Caption: Highland Cow

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Journey Snapshot

Activity level: Level 2 Requires moderate physical activity. You need to be able to participate in physical activities such as longer walking tours, walking over uneven terrain, climbing steps and be comfortable with some periods of standing. Not suitable if you have limited mobility.
Destination: ESSENTIAL SCOTLAND 2019
Duration: 8 days, 7 nights
Flight information: Please arrange your transport into Edinburgh Airport [EDI] to arrive in time to meet us at the hotel at 2:00pm for the afternoon city tour. Please arrange your flights home from Edinburgh at any time on Day 8.
Pickup location: Edinburgh Airport [EDI] or 2pm Day 1: Apex Waterloo Place Hotel, Edinburgh: 23-27 WATERLOO PLACE, EDINBURGH EH1 3BG


September 7, 2019
and September 20, 2019

Touring Scotland and experiencing its dramatic beauty; Castles and history, Lochs and Mountains, rounded out with the optional occasional Scottish whisky!

Uncover a wide area of Scotland on this specially tailored 8 day tour. Accompanied by your informative local Big Journey Company Tour Director, experience a showcase of real Scottish culture, exploring the bustling City of Edinburgh and Scotland's the fabled and spectacular scenery. Loch Ness, The Isle of Skye and the Jacobite Railway are real highlights. There are many opportunities to sample true Scottish food and the famous whisky in its traditional home with new-made friends.


Itinerary summary: DAY 1 - Welcome to Edinburgh & Spirit of Scotland Show
DAY 2 - Royal Edinburgh Tour
DAY 3 - Glamis Castle
DAY 4 - Urquhart Castle, Loch Ness Cruise, Glen Ord Distillery & Bogbain Farm Dinner
DAY 5 - Isle of Skye & Jacobite Steam Train
DAY 6 - Glencoe & Loch Tay
DAY 7 - Falkirk Wheel & Farewell Dinner, Edinburgh
DAY 8 - Farewell to Scotland
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Full Itinerary

DAY 1 - Welcome to Edinburgh & Spirit of Scotland Show

If you will be attending the Lake District Member Event before the Essential Scotland Escorted Journey, we will depart the Pine Lake Resort together at 9am for the journey to Edinburgh. We'll make a short stop in Gretna Green, famous for elopee weddings. Here there will be the opportunity to get a quick snack and drink. Continue onto Edinburgh and arrive in the afternoon to meet your Tour Director.
If you're not arriving from the Lake District Member Event, we will meet you in the hotel reception at 2pm.
This afternoon we spend some time familiarising ourselves with Edinburgh in the company of a local guide. We then head to Port of Leith and the Royal Yacht Britannia. We will enjoy an audio tour of the 5 decks of the yacht, giving us a fascinating insight into the lives of the Royal family when they were aboard. This evening we will enjoy a fantastic welcome dinner together at the Spirit of Scotland Show. The show is a rip roaring evening of traditional Scottish song and dance accompanied by a great selection of quality Scottish food to delight your pallet. Be amazed by the resident band and traditional Scottish Dancers that will provide entertaining performances.

Included meals: Dinner 
Accommodation: Apex Waterloo Place Hotel, Edinburgh 

DAY 2 - Royal Edinburgh Tour

Today we continue to explore Edinburgh. First stop will be the historic hilltop fortress of Edinburgh Castle, which dominates the local skyline from its position on Castle Rock. We also visit the Palace of Holyroodhouse, standing at the end of Edinburgh’s royal mile. We will explore the palace’s history and see how it is still used today by the Queen on her official engagements in Scotland.
We depart Edinburgh mid-afternoon and travel north to Dundee, officially the sunniest city on Scotland. Check in to our hotel where dinner will be served this evening.

Included meals: Breakfast & Dinner 
Accommodation: Doubletree by Hilton Hotel, Dundee 

DAY 3 - Glamis Castle

Enjoy a leisurely morning at the hotel today before checking out and travelling to the enormously impressive Glamis Castle. Best known for being the childhood home of the Queen Mother and the birthplace of Princess Margaret, Glamis Castle is steeped in Royal history. The exhibition for 2019 celebrates inspiring women of Glamis – ranging from queen, to business women, botanists, composers, novelists, poets and philanthropists – and the valuable contributions these women have made to history from 1376 to the present. We will explore the 16th Century Chambers not open to the general public for refreshments of tea, coffee & shortbread, before embarking on our private guided tour.
This evening we check in to the family-run Loch Ness Drumnadrochit Hotel, situated in the delightful Highland village of Drumnadrochit. A short five minute stroll from the hotel will take you across the River Enrick and on to the village green where you will be able to independently explore the local village.

Included meals: Breakfast & Dinner 
Accommodation: Ben Wyvis Hotel. Strathpeffer 

DAY 4 - Urquhart Castle, Loch Ness Cruise, Glen Ord Distillery & Bogbain Farm Dinner

This morning we travel the very short distance to nearby Urquhart Castle to spend some time exploring these famous ruins. From there we board our Loch Ness cruise to Dochgarroch. Loch Ness is the biggest Loch in Britain by volume and is home to famous legends of the Loch Ness Monster. We cannot guarantee Nessie will put in an appearance for our visit!
We will then have a little free time in Inverness for lunch before travelling on to the Glen Ord Distillery for our distillery tour and complimentary whisky tasting.
There will be time to check in and freshen up at the hotel this evening before travelling to Bogbain Farm, where we will enjoy a Scottish themed dinner menu together, with Scottish entertainment before returning to your hotel.

Included meals: Breakfast & Dinner 
Accommodation: Ben Wyvis Hotel. Strathpeffer 

DAY 5 - Isle of Skye & Jacobite Steam Train

In the morning we head to Armadale where we will take a ferry to the beautiful and bustling port of Mallaig. Be prepared to be amazed by your surroundings as this will be a scenic drive across the Isle of Skye. Situated on the north west coast, Mallaig is a fascinating place to soak up the atmosphere of a working fishing port. You will then board the famous Jacobite steam train (featured in the Harry Potter movies) which follows the famous Road to the Isles to Fort William. The coach will meet us at the Fort William station and transfer us to the newly rebuilt Kings House Hotel, in Glencoe. No description can re-create the impact of seeing Glencoe for the first time. It has long been one of the most famous places in Scotland, known equally for its awe-inspiring views and sorrowful past. Dinner will be served at the hotel.

Included meals: Breakfast & Dinner 
Accommodation: Kings House Hotel, Glencoe 

DAY 6 - Glencoe & Loch Tay

Glencoe is a place of history, wildlife, adventure and myth and today we will visit Glencoe Visitors Centre, a National Trust Property and site of the infamous Glencoe Masacher. The mountains were formed through violent volcanic eruptions, and then sculpted by massive glaciers. Glencoe has featured in scenes from the Harry Potter films, The 39 Steps, Braveheart, Rob Roy and Skyfall. A great location to take a woodland walk in the beautiful area try to spot some of Scotland's wildlife.
In the afternoon we'll depart for Killin where we have lunch. Afterwards we'll visit to the Falls of Dochart located amongst the unspoilt and breath-taking landscapes of Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park. Our last stop of the day is a short visit to Aberfeldy, a lovely market town located in Highland Perthshire before heading to our hotel.
Dinner will be served at our hotel this evening.

Included meals: Breakfast & Dinner 
Accommodation: Atholl Palace Hotel. Pitlochry 

DAY 7 - Falkirk Wheel & Farewell Dinner, Edinburgh

This morning you will enjoy some free time to explore the traditional town of Pitlochry before we make our way to the Falkirk Wheel. The Falkirk Wheel is an amazing feat of engineering, a rotating boat lift built to lift and carry traditional narrowboats to provide a connecting transport link from the Forth and Clyde Canal to the Union Canal. It is the only rotating boat lift of its kind in the world. In the late afternoon we check into the hotel in Edinburgh where there will be opportunity to relax before enjoying a farewell dinner together at the hotel in the evening.

Included meals: Breakfast & Dinner 
Accommodation: Malmaison Edinburgh Hotel, Edinburgh 

DAY 8 - Farewell to Scotland

After a hearty Scottish breakfast at the hotel, today we say goodbye to Scotland. You will be transferred to Edinburgh airport for your flights home.
Transport for Diamond Resort's member event in the English Lake District (Pine Lakes) will leave from the hotel foyer. Please ask your Big Journey Representative for more information on timings.

Included meals: Breakfast 
Accommodation: none 


More information

What's includedWhat's not includedImportant information

What's included

  • Transport to and from Edinburgh Airport to/from the hotel before and after the tour OR transport to/from Edinburgh before or after the English Lake District Member Event as required
  • Transport in an air-conditioned deluxe vehicle
  • Accommodation as detailed in the itinerary
  • Meals as detailed in the itinerary
  • English speaking tour guides
  • All activities, visits and excursions as detailed in the itinerary

What's not included

  • Drinks
  • Gratuities to drivers, guides or rangers etc. Our local travel service providers are paid well and fairly for their work. However, it is usual for groups to tip guides and drivers and it would be reasonable for each group member to factor in a contribution of around USD10 per day.
  • All entrance fees to non-stipulated attractions
  • Visas, travel or medical insurance
  • Any personal items and anything not mentioned under included in price above.
  • Any meals not mentioned in itinerary.
  • Any optional activities offered

Important information

  • Please let The Big Journey Company know prior to travelling if you have any medical needs or take any medication that we need to be made aware of to ensure that you have a safe and pleasant tour.
  • Check in is after 2-3pm and check out is before 10am unless otherwise specified in the itinerary.
  • Cancellation 90 – 0 days prior to departure cancellation fee is 100%. It is your responsibility to ensure the correct travel insurance in place to protect you against the need to cancel your holiday. Deposits are non-refundable.
  • Further terms and conditions apply and will be provided upon request or at the time of booking. The Big Journey Company reserves the right to withdraw any offer prior to accepting a reservation request. This does not affect your statutory rights. This offer is subject to availability and space is limited.
  • Please consult your doctor for advice on vaccinations and innoculations before travel.

The big journey promise

The big journey company was set up with one goal in mind, to share our passion for inspirational cultures, destinations and experiences. Over the last 10 years we have had the privilege to escort thousands of travellers on awe inspiring and sometimes life changing journeys. Our promise to every guest who joins us is that we will do everything possible to make sure your journey not only exceeds expectations but delivers at least one moment of true amazement.

talk to our well travelled team of experts

Call us on:1.855.624.4386

Monday to Thursday 09:00am - 8:00pm. Friday 09:00am - 17:30pm (London time)

or Send us a message

Anytime, day or night

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Holiday tours are operated by The Big Journey Company Limited. Registered in England. Registered office: Marron Bank, Branthwaite, Cumbria, CA14 4SZ. Registered number: 6532140. VAT number: 290797457. The Big Journey Company Limited is a member of The Travel Trust Association member number U5675 and holds an Air Travel Organiser’s License number T7282.