• Edinburgh, Glasgow & the Scottish Highlands & Islands

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    September 9th – September 18th, 2018- $4,950 for Royal Oak members, $5,100 for non-members

    * No single Supplement- limited availability

    The dramatic west coast of Scotland is home to a swathe of unspoilt islands full of breathtaking natural beauty, ancient monuments and a diversity of wildlife, with every isle having its own distinct personality. We mix the historical and natural appeal of these islands with fascinating stories of Scottish clans, iconic castles, vibrant Scottish cities and one of the most scenic rail journeys in the world.

    Day 1: Arrival 


    On arrival at Glasgow airport, a private transfer will take you to the Cameron House Hotel where we stay for four nights. In the evening you are invited to join the group for a welcome drink and canapés, followed by dinner.

    Day 2:Glasgow and Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum


    Kelvingrove Art Museum

    Kelvingrove Art Museum

    Our first visit is to Glasgow, Scotland’s largest city. Situated on the River Clyde, Glasgow has recently evolved to become a vibrant and cultural city with a mix of striking architectural styles, a rich industrial heritage and a unique Celtic charm. We enjoy a guided coach tour to see the city’s highlights.

    In the afternoon, we visit Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum which houses one of Europe’s great art collections. 22 themed galleries display an astonishing 8,000 objects, ranging from Dutch Old Masters and Scottish Art to Natural History and ancient Egyptian artifacts.

    Later, we dine together at a restaurant in Glasgow before returning to our hotel.

    Day 3: Hill House and Loch Lomond Cruise


    Loch Lomond

    We start with a private morning visit at Hill House. Developed by wealthy Victorian Glasgow merchants, this exquisite building, complete with original furnishings, is renowned as the finest domestic masterpiece of the famous Scots architect, Charles Rennie Mackintosh.

    We then embark on a cruise of Loch Lomond, the largest expanse of fresh water on mainland Britain. The loch is situated amidst one of Scotland’s most idyllic and unspoilt areas in the Trossachs National Park and boasts a stunning mountain backdrop and a variety of wildlife.

    After dinner back at the hotel this evening, we enjoy a fascinating talk by a guest speaker.

     

    Day 4: Mount Stuart House


    Mount Stuart House

    Mount Stuart House

    A special day awaits us as we catch the ferry to the Isle of Bute to visit Mount Stuart House. This magnificent 19th-century Neo-Gothic palace was the architectural fantasy of the 3rd Marquess of Bute and his architect Sir Robert Rowand Anderson. A highlight of this lavishly designed house is the majestic Marble Hall with its vaulted ceiling. Mount Stuart was also one of the most technologically advanced houses of its age, being the first house in Scotland to be purpose built with electric light, central heating and a telephone system.

    Mount Stuart also houses the Bute Collection, one of the foremost private collections of artwork and artifacts in the UK, especially notable for its British portraiture from the 18th and 19th centuries, 16th-century Italian masterpieces and Dutch and Flemish Old Masters. Our day here includes a guided tour of the house, a private collections talk and afternoon tea.

    We enjoy dinner together back at our hotel tonight.

    Day 5: Inveraray Castle and Isle of Mull


    Inveraray Castle

    Checking out of the hotel, we head first to Inveraray Castle. Ancestral home of the Duke of Argyll, Chief of the Clan Campbell, this magnificent castle stands on the shores of Loch Fyne. Built between 1745 and 1790, the castle’s opulent interiors contain a superb armoury collection, French tapestries, fine furniture, precious artworks and family heirlooms which span the many generations of the Campbells, which we learn about on our guided tour. The castle also featured in the much-loved Downton Abbey TV series.

    Afterwards, we travel to Oban and board the ferry to Craignure on the Isle of Mull. We then check in to the Isle of Mull Hotel, our base for the next two nights. This classic Scottish Isles standard hotel offers a warm welcome with outstanding views. We dine together at the hotel tonight.

    Day 6: Duart Castle and Isle of Iona*


    Isle of Mull

    Isle of Mull

    13th-century Duart Castle is one of the most iconic castles in the Highlands with a long and often bloody history, which we learn about on our introductory talk. Seat of the Clan Maclean, the castle stands proudly on a rocky outcrop guarding the Sound of Mull and was completely refurbished in 1911 by Sir Fitzroy Maclean. The ancient keep, battlements and dungeons contrast with the magnificent Banqueting Hall and Edwardian State Rooms.

    We then travel to Fionnphort to catch the ferry to the Isle of Iona. This tiny island is only 1.5 miles wide by 3 miles long but is steeped in history, being the cradle of Scottish Christianity. Ancient historical sites include Iona Abbey and the picturesque ruins of Iona Nunnery. The island is also home to stunning white shell-sand beaches, turquoise waters and interesting wildlife.

    We return to the Isle of Mull by ferry and enjoy dinner together back at the hotel.

    *Please note: The visit on the Isle of Iona will be on foot and is therefore unsuitable for those with limited mobility.

    Day 7: Jacobite Train


    We catch the morning ferry back to Oban and head to the bustling port of Mallaig. From here we board the famous Jacobite Train, featured in the Harry Potter movies, which takes us across the mountainous west coast of Scotland to Fort William, the largest town in the Highlands and known for its breathtaking location on the shores of Loch Linnhe. This iconic railway is one of the top rail journeys in the world and takes in such wonderful sights as the Glenfinnan Viaduct. We enjoy afternoon tea aboard the train.

    Later, we rejoin the coach and head to the Hilton Glasgow Hotel, our base for the last three nights of our tour.

    The evening is left free for you to make your own dinner arrangements in the city.

    Day 8: Edinburgh


    Edinburgh

    Edinburgh

    We catch the train to Edinburgh. On arrival, we enjoy a guided walking tour of Scotland’s vibrant capital city. Most of the city’s sights can be found within the medieval Old Town and the elegant Georgian buildings of the New Town, all overlooked by the iconic castle perched high above the city. The afternoon is free to explore the city at your leisure.

    Back in Glasgow, the evening is left free for you to make your own dinner arrangements.

     

     

     

    Day 9:  Ayr and Robert Burns Birthplace Museum


    We travel to Ayr, a popular seaside resort situated on the Firth of Clyde. The resort boasts a charming seafront with an esplanade and long sandy beach plus a wide range of independent shops, bars and restaurants.

    Our final stop is the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum. We discover the humble cottage where the famous Scottish poet was born and lived with his family, side by side with their farm animals. We also have time to explore the museum which displays the world’s most important collection of Burns’ original works and personal belongings. While here, we are led by a bagpiper to enjoy lunch of a re-creation of a traditional Burns Supper featuring an address to the haggis and a whiskey toast to the Bard.

    The evening is left free for you to make your own dinner arrangements.

    Day 10: Departure


    A private transfer will take you back to Glasgow airport for your return flight home.

    Your Accommodation

    On the first and last night of our tour, we stay at the Holiday Inn, Glasgow Airport. We’ll also stay at a selected hotel in Inverness and the Royal Hotel in Thurso.

    We have one daytime and two overnight sailings on Northlink Ferries ships. Overnight accommodation will be in simple cabins with en-suite washbasin, toilet and shower plus tea and coffee-making facilities. Other on board facilities include a bar, restaurant and shop.

    **Some cabins are bunk style with higher and lower berths. You may be required to climb a short set of steps into your bunk.

    Your Trip Includes

    • 4 nights at the Cameron House Hotel
    • 2 nights at the Isle of Mull Hotel
    • 3 nights at the Hilton Glasgow Hotel
    • Welcome drink and canapés
    • Full English breakfast each day
    • 6 dinners
    • Services of a tour director throughout your stay
    • Travel to and from all excursions
    • Ferry journeys
    • All entrance costs
    • Porterage*supplement applies for transfers from all other airports

    Special extras included in your itinerary

    • Guided coach tour of Glasgow
    • Private morning visit at Hill House
    • Boat cruise on Loch Lomond
    • Guided tour, private collections talk and afternoon tea at Mount Stuart House
    • Guided tour of Inveraray Castle
    • Introductory talk at Duart Castle
    • Afternoon tea aboard the Jacobite Train
    • Guided walking tour of Edinburgh
    • Burns Supper at Robert Burns Birthplace Museum
    • Themed evening talk by a guest speaker

    Your Hotels

    Nights One to Four – Cameron House Hotel

    The Cameron House Hotel is a stunning Scottish Baronial mansion situated on the shores of Loch Lomond within the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park, offering luxurious accommodation in picturesque surroundings. The hotel features classic, individually styled bedrooms plus a spa with rooftop infinity pool offering spectacular views over the loch.

    Nights Five and Six – Isle of Mull Hotel

    The Isle of Mull Hotel is situated in Craignure on the scenic south east coast of the Isle of Mull. Offering a more simple style of accommodation, the hotel features a bar, restaurant, indoor pool, sauna, steam room and outdoor hot tub. Spa treatments are available at an extra cost.

    Nights Seven to Nine – Hilton Glasgow Hotel

    The Hilton Glasgow Hotel enjoys a central location in the city of Glasgow. The hotel offers stylish and spacious rooms with stunning city views, a bar, restaurant and tea lounge. The health club features an indoor pool, whirlpool, sauna, steam room and gym. Spa treatments are available at an extra cost.

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