Tour based on Diana Gabaldon's Outlander Books
Arrive into Scotland, and met at the airport by the guide and transferred into Edinburgh. We will do a short city tour of the Scottish Capital, before checking into the hotel. The rest of the day/evening is free.
Overnight in Edinburgh
A full day to explore and enjoy the World Heritage City of Edinburgh. The day will start with a visit to Edinburgh Castle, the towering fortress of Scotland – housing the crown jewels, the Stone of Destiny and the Military Museum. Our guide will then take you through a thousand years of history in one mile – with a walking tour down Edinburgh’s famous Royal Mile, stopping along the way to hear of life in the olden days and see the narrow alleyways (closes), the grand gothic St Giles Cathedral, Parliament Square and the Canongate Kirk. At the bottom of the mile you will have the opportunity to visit the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the official residence of HM the Queen in Scotland.
The rest of the day is free for you to explore both the Old and New Towns
Overnight in Edinburgh
From Edinburgh we’ll drive the short distance to South Queensferry for fantastic views over the famous Forth Bridges, before crossing the bridge into the Kingdom of Fife and north to the Highlands. The first stop after reaching the rolling hills of Atholl will be the Cathedral City of Dunkeld, Gateway to the Highlands. It was here in 1689 that the first Jacobite rebellion came to an end, and we’ll spend some time looking around this picturesque village-city and its 700 year old cathedral church.
We will continue north to Blair Castle, seat of the Dukes of Atholl and their Private Army, the Atholl Highlanders – the last private regiment in Europe. We’ll also take a look at the ruins of St Bride’s Kirk, where the great Jacobite leader John Graham of Claverhouse (Bonnie Dundee) is buried. After lunch we’ll cross the bleak Drumochter Pass, where Highland clans used to muster before heading south. Then, on to Loch an Eilein, where the guide will take you for a walk in the ancient Caledonian Pine Forest – and step back in time to the world of the old Highlands.
Overnight in Inverness – We’ll stay at Bunchrew House, where the drawing room takes us back to a world of the Frasers of Lovat. We’ll arrange for a local story teller to come and describe life as a Jacobite.
The morning begins with a visit to the bleak Culloden Battlefield, site of the last battle ever fought on British soil, when in 1746 the armies of Charles Edward Stuart were annihilated by the Government forces led by the Duke of Cumberland. We’ll spend time examining the battle, and taking in the haunting beauty of the place as we visit the Fraser Stone, among many others. It is then a short drive to Clava Cairns, where over 4000 years ago our Neolithic ancestors with ancient wisdom erected these wonderful standing stones and burial chambers. Were these stones a portal between worlds, a gateway to travel in time. Don’t get too close.
Afterwards we will cross over into the Black Isle and visit Fortrose, and the ruins of its old cathedral and the burial grounds of the mighty MacKenzies of Seaforth. Hear too of the tale of Brahan Seer, a prophet executed at nearby Chanonry Point for telling the truth. We’ll visit the site, where if you are lucky we’ll see the dolphins and porpoises. After some lunch, we’ll head on to Castle Leod, seat of the current MacKenzie Chief, where we will get Lord Cromarty himself to guide you round the halls of his ancestors, and let you into a few local secrets. There will be a short stop to see the infamous Eagle stone (Clach an Tiompain) again from the local lore of the Brahan Seer. We’ll then make the short trip up to Loch Garve in search of Kelpies and Water Horses, and go for a fantastic walk at the Rogie Falls.
We will finish the day by heading through the Aird of Lovat in the heart of Fraser country to Beauly, and back to Inverness.
Overnight – Inverness
We start the day by taking a boat trip down eerie Loch Ness to Urquhart Castle. Loch Ness, long the gateway south and west to the Atlantic coast, holds many dark secrets apart from its infamous monster, and the ruined castle, tells of many wars and warlords right up until the Jacobite rebellion. From the castle the trip will then head west through the high peaks of Kintail, and the stunning views and landscapes of the Mam Ratagan Pass. From the pass, the road winds down into the almost hidden valley of Glenelg. We’ll visit the ruins of the old Redcoat Barracks at Bernera close to Glenelg village itself, and make a detour up Gleann Beag to see the wonderful Dun Telve Broch. This Iron Age fortress is the best preserved Broch on the mainland, and takes us back to birth of the Celtic world of Scotland.
After crossing the small, and very charming ferry to the Isle of Skye we will make our way south to the Clan Donald Centre at Armadale. Here you will learn not only about the power of the medieval Lords of the Isles, and the rise and fall of the MacDonald clan, but also the troubled yet fascinating history of this most beautiful of islands. The day finishes with a drive through the stunning Cuillin Mountains (with a wee stop for a dram) to Portree, the picturesque harbour-capital of Skye.
Overnight on Skye
This is a full day to explore the wonderful Isle of Skye. The morning begins by heading north to the Trotternish Penisular to see the bizarre landscapes of the Storr and Cuithraing Hills (if the groups is up for it, we can walk up into this Tolkien-esque landscape), and the wistful beauty of the Kilt Rock waterfall, and the spectacular views across to the high mountains of Wester Ross. We will also take a walk out to the ruins of Duntulm Castle, once keenly fought over by both MacDonald and MacLeods alike. It held the key to the Western Isles, clearly visible on the horizon. We shall also stop nearby at the Museum of Island life to hear a little on the day to day world of the ordinary islanders in days gone by. No visit here is complete without paying homage at the grave of Flora MacDonald, who so gallantly saved the life of Charles Edward Stuart by sailing him in secret from Uist to Skye to escape the Redcoats. We finish our visit to Trotternish with a detour into the bizarre world of the Fairy Glen: a place that has to be seen to be believed.
After some lunch at Dunvegan (option to visit the castle, seat of the MacLeod chief), we’ll go for a great walk out to the prehistoric Coral Beach, with its magic views over blue seas to North Uist, and back to the peculiar shaped hills known as MacLeod’s tables. The tour then goes for a beautiful drive down the island’s west coast, and back to Portree.
Overnight on Skye
We depart Skye by way of the Bridge at Kyleakin, and make our way to Eilean Donan Castle, one of the most famous in Scotland (used in the filming of Highlander). The castle has some outstanding Jacobite armoury and memorabilia, as well as being about as picture perfect as is possible. We then cross the high Carr Brae Pass, and on to Glen Garry (we’ll make a stop overlooking Loch Garry, a unique photo opportunity) and Fort William. Not much remains of the Fort that once ‘housed’ Jamie Fraser, but we’ll take a look around and also visit the ruins of Inverlochy Castle.
From Fort William, we make our way south to stunning Glencoe. Amid these spectacular peaks and ridges is the infamous story of the massacre of 1692, when the MacDonalds were brutally murdered by their guests the Redcoat soldiers of the Duke of Argyll. We’ll also get you to try and solve a 260 year old murder mystery – known simply as the Appin Murder.
The tour returns to Edinburgh (Glasgow optional) by way of bleak Rannoch Moor and Stirling Bridge (photo stops en route).
Overnight in Edinburgh or Glasgow
Airport transfer and bon voyage to Scotland.
For more information, or to set sail on this wonderful voyage of discovery, please get in touch with us at - firstname.lastname@example.org
It's time you came home!