There is a lot packed in to our spring tour to Scotland. This Highland adventure includes a spectacular coast-to-coast railway journey, the chance to see dolphins on the Moray Firth, and follows in the footsteps of Queen Victoria at Balmoral.
Reduction of £10 for NT members
Travel Insurance £28.50 pp
Day 1 - Wednesday
An early taxi pick-up from your home to the coach. We travel through the Midlands and Cumbria to GRETNA GREEN, and stay the night at the Gretna Hall Hotel with dinner and breakfast included.D
Day 2 - Thursday
We drive through the lowlands, then pass Glasgow, Stirling and Perth, and pay a lunchtime visit to BLAIR CASTLE, ancestral home of the clan Murray. Nestled in the landscape of Highland Perthshire, it is unique among Scottish castles and has connections with Mary Queen of Scots, Bonnie Prince Charlie and Queen Victoria, whose visit led to the creation of Europe's only surviving private regiment, the Atholl Highlanders. You can visit the restaurant and take a stroll through the walled Hercules Garden. Continuing north through the Cairngorms National Park, we reach Beauly by the end of the afternoon.B, D
Day 3 - Friday
Today enjoy a memorable trip on one of the world's most scenic rail journeys from DINGWALL TO KYLE OF LOCHALSH. We join the train in the pretty market town of Dingwall and travel west through the Highlands in the shadows of mountains and forests, beside bright lochs and wide open moors. Keep an eye out for one of the most distinctive mountain ranges in Scotland, the Torridon peaks, looming out of the north. On the final stretch of the journey, the train picks its way along the coast to Loch Alsh. Here, rejoin the coach for a scenic journey back to Beauly via Glen Shiel, Loch Ness and Drumnadrochit.B, D
Day 4 - Saturday
There is no coach excursion today, allowing time to relax at the Hotel and enjoy the small town of Beauly, historical home of the Clan Fraser. You can follow the pretty riverside walk to the Priory and visit the Lovat Memorial Garden and explore Beauly's small independent shops. A 20-minute train journey takes you to INVERNESS, capital of the Highlands, with its historic Old Town, Museum and Art Gallery, and 19th century Cathedral.B, D
Day 5 - Sunday
After breakfast we will join DOLPHIN SPIRIT for a wildlife cruise on the Moray Firth. It is home to the world's most northerly population of Bottlenose Dolphins and, with luck, we will spot some of these amazing sea creatures. The skipper and crew will do their best to seek out the Dolphins, which are sometimes elusive, but there are plenty of other species of wildlife in the Moray Firth. This afternoon we will visit the rose-coloured, turreted BRODIE CASTLE (National Trust for Scotland). The Brodie family were one of Scotland's most prominent families, and the Castle houses a collection of furniture, ceramics and artworks.B, D
Day 6 - Monday
Another day of glorious scenery awaits us today as we drive through the heart of the Cairngorm Mountains to Deeside. Our lunch break has a royal flavour as we call at BALMORAL CASTLE. Balmoral has been the Scottish home of the Royal Family since it was purchased for Queen Victoria by Prince Albert in 1852. During our visit you will be able to explore the grounds, gardens and exhibitions. The second stage of the journey is equally scenic, passing Glen Shee and through the Kingdom of Fife, and taking the Queensferry Crossing over the Firth of Forth. We will spend the last night of our holiday at the Barony Castle Hotel in Peebles.B, D
Day 7 - Tuesday
Sadly, it is time to leave Scotland and travel south. We will meet the taxis during the early part of the evening.B
THE PRIORY HOTEL, BEAULY
Situated in the square of the picturesque village, the Priory provides traditional Scottish hospitality. The Hotel was originally a Co-Op building, and the 38 bedrooms vary in size and style. Rooms are on the first and second floors and are accessed by both stairs and a lift. All have tea/coffee making facilities and free Wi-Fi. Opened as a hotel in 1972, the Priory is unusual in that it is owned and run by an Employee Trust, and the friendly staff will ensure that you have a comfortable and enjoyable stay. There is a coffee lounge, and the Hotels two bars serve a wide range of local whiskies.
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