The breathtaking vistas of Scotland await, as well as one of the most famous events in the world, staged on Edinburgh Castle!
Aug 4-11, 2019
Featuring musical acts from around the world, the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo has been a must-see event for nearly 70 years. Plus, enjoy city tours of Edinburgh, Blair Castle, Speyside, Isle of Skye, Glasgow and Loch Lomond.
Sunday, August 4, 2019 – On our way to Scotland!
Meet Dea and Declan at the St. Louis Airport for our included flights to Scotland. Are We There Yet? handles all the details of the tour for you. We will by flying overnight to Scotland, so make sure you pack everything you might need to sleep on the plane. We will be in Scotland tomorrow! (Meals on Plane)
Monday, August 5, 2019 – Welcome to Scotland!
We arrive this morning in Edinburgh airport and meet our local guide to transfer to the our city centre hotel for check-in. This afternoon, we partake in the wonderful tradition of afternoon tea at the luxurious Balmoral Hotel. This evening is yours to explore this amazing city, with dinner on your own at one the many restaurants the city has to offer. (Breakfast on plane, Afternoon Tea)
Tuesday, August 6, 2019 – Exploring Edinburgh!
Enjoy breakfast at our hotel before our exciting tour of Edinburgh. Edinburgh is an ancient city, with human occupation dating back to at least the Iron Age. We begin our day visiting the most prominent feature of the city’s skyline, Edinburgh Castle, which was first constructed during the 12th century and rises high on Castle Rock. While once a royal residence, it fell into disrepair, and by the end of the 17th century the castle was just another military barracks for a garrison of troops stationed in Scotland. As pride in Scottish Heritage grew during the 19th and 20th centuries, massive restoration projects were undertaken to preserve and maintain the castle, which has played a major role in Scottish history, including the Wars of Scottish Independence and the Jacobite Rising. Often dubbed “the defender of the nation,” the castle has been under siege 26 times during its 1100-year-old history, and a 2014 study describes it as "the most besieged place in Great Britain and one of the most attacked in the world."
Then it’s off to the other end of the Royal Mile to visit the Palace of Holyrood. It is still a royal residence, where the Queen typically spends a week each summer for various ceremonies. It is also home to the Historic Apartments of Mary, Queen of Scots. Then it is time for our panoramic tour of the city. Catch a glimpse of Scottish Parliament as we head to Edinburgh New Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site. A central area of Edinburgh, New Town is often considered to be a masterpiece of city planning. Built in stages between 1767 and around 1850, it retains much of the original neo-classical and Georgian period architecture.
After the tour, we return to the hotel. This evening we take in a performance of the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo. This event happens annually and is a series of military tattoos performed by British Armed Forces, Commonwealth, and international military bands and artistic performance teams. It is held every year on the esplanade of Edinburgh Castle in the capital of Scotland. Televised in 30 countries, more than 217,000 people see the Tattoo live during each August. (B)
Wednesday, August 7, 2019 – Head into the Highlands!
After enjoying breakfast at the hotel, we depart Edinburgh and travel north across the Forth Bridge, past Perth and into the Highlands. We will stop in the small resort town of Pitlochry for lunch on own. The town became popular with tourists after the visit of Queen Victoria in 1842, and was recognized as the Britain in Bloom’s Small Town Winner in 2009. Afterwards have a private tour of Blair Castle, the ancestral home of the Dukes and Earls of Atholl. Blair Castle is home to the Atholl Highlanders, the only private army in Europe, though they are now ceremonial. After our tour, we drive through the majestic Cairngorm National Park, encompassing the Cairngorm Mountains and surrounding plateau. We arrive in Speyside in the early evening, where we check into the MacDonald Aviemore Hotel. The rest of the evening is yours to enjoy. (B)
Thursday, August 8, 2019 – Inverness, Culloden and Whisky!
Enjoy breakfast at our hotel before we explore Speyside, famous for its many whisky distilleries, including one where we will enjoy a private distillery tour! Afterwards, we travel to Inverness, the northernmost city in the UK. In the 11th century, the Gaelic King Mac Bethad mac Findláich ruled this region, and his reign served as the basis for Shakespeare’s MacBeth. Things have improved in modern times, however, and Inverness was named the happiest place in Scotland in both 2014 and 2015. We visit the famous Culloden battle site, where the Jacobite rebellion was crushed by the loyalist troops. If you are a fan of Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander Series, as Dea is, you will note this as the battle Jamie struggles to cope with its bloody aftermath. Then enjoy lunch on own in lovely Inverness before traveling along the shores of the most famous body of water in Scotland, Loch Ness. We then cruise on Loch Ness where we will all be keeping an eye out for Nessie, the Loch Ness Monster! Back on land, we travel to the picturesque village of Fort Augustus, located on the southern shores of Loch Ness for home for the next two nights, The Lovat Hotel. (B)
Friday, August 9, 2019 – Isle of Skye!
After breakfast at our hotel, we travel to the Isle of Skye, where we enjoy a full day tour. The Isle of Skye is the largest and northernmost of the major islands in the Inner Hebrides of Scotland. The island's peninsulas radiate from its mountainous center, providing the most picturesque and dramatic mountain scenery in Scotland. Resident numbers declined from over 20,000 in the early 19th century to just under 9,000 by the closing decade of the 20th century, and native Gaelic speakers can still be found on the island – there is even a Scottish Gaelic College on the island! Skye has provided the locations for various novels such as To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf, and feature films such as Flash Gordon, Stardust and Prometheus have used Skye’s unique landscapes. You definitely want to have your camera ready and charged! Return back over the bridge to our hotel in Fort Augustus. (B)
Saturday, August 10, 2019 – Ft. William, Glencoe Valley, & Bonnie Banks o’ Loch Lomond
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel before we check out and travel south, through Fort William and in the shadow of Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in the UK. We then head to Glencoe, a beautiful valley known for its violent clan history during the Jacobite uprising. Our journey takes us through Trossachs National Park, travelling along the shores of Loch Lomond. You may recall it from the chorus of the traditional song Loch Lomond, “O ye'll tak' the high road, and I'll tak' the low road/And I'll be in Scotland a'fore ye/But me and my true love will never meet again/On the bonnie, bonnie banks o' Loch Lomond.” We then arrive in Glasgow, Scotland’s largest city, where we have time to explore this evening and prepare for our flight home tomorrow. Our hotel is the Grand Central. (B)
Sunday, August 11, 2019 – Return to Home
We bid farewell to Scotland as we travel to Edinburgh airport, where we fly home to the US while recalling the wonderful highlights of our Scottish Highland tour. Thank you for traveling with us! (B, meals on plane)
Round trip flights to Edinburgh, Scotland!
Superior accommodations throughout the tour
Daily breakfasts at the hotels
Afternoon tea at Balmoral Hotel
Tour of Edinburgh Castle and Palace of Holyrood in Edinburgh
Ticket to the world-famous Military Tattoo
Private tours of a Whisky Distillery and of Blair Castle
Cruise on Loch Ness
All other Activities as indicated
Professional Tour Directors Dea Hoover and Declan Rutan
All gratuities including step-on guides, included meals, driver and director
Courtesy conversion of your US Currency to British Pounds prior to the departure of the tour and exchange back of unused after return
Please note: Any notice of fuel surcharges imposed by carriers and/or attractions will be disclosed at least 30 days prior to tour departure. Itinerary is subject to change due to uncontrollable circumstances. These prices are based on 2018 pricing. As reservations are confirmed the price could fluctuate. You will be notified as soon as all pricing is confirmed. Airfare will be booked 320 days prior and the pricing will be determined then. Exchange rate of the British Pound to the US Dollar.
$5,596 per person, double occupancy $6,823 per person, single occupancy
Save 3% on this tour! Experience the world-famous Royal Military Tattoo and
the Highlights of the Highlands for $5,429 pp, dbl occ* when you pay with check or money order!
$5,429 per person, double* $6,619 per person, single*
*These prices reflect 3% savings by paying with check or money order
Make your reservation with a $1,000 deposit per person. This tour is an Are We There Yet? Select tour that will run with a minimum of 10 and a maximum of 20 travelers.
Once this tour fills, a wait list will be formed. Please send a check, or call with a credit card along with your name, address, phone number, and all roommates’ names if you are sharing a room and any dietary or walking restrictions. Due to the steep climb up to Edinburgh Castle for the Tattoo, this is a 5-Sneaker tour. If you have any questions about your ability to enjoy the tour, please refer to our blue pamphlet with the sneaker rankings. Remember, that is the highest level of activity. You may choose to sit out any events that may incur too much walking.
We encourage all travelers to purchase travel protection and pay with initial deposit.
Please remember that certain benefits are time sensitive. Plans help provide coverage for unexpected circumstances and help protect your trip and your investment. We offer several 3rd party insurance plans that we believe are the best available in the industry.
Balance on base tour price is due April 30, 2019, and per state insurance regulations we are unable to provide any refunds after that time. If you purchase travel protection and need to cancel after that date, you must file a claim with the insurance company. As we utilize a 3rd party insurance company, they are responsible for processing the claim, which typically takes 6-8 weeks. Restrictions on coverage apply, and we encourage you to read over the policy as well as call them directly with any questions prior to buying coverage, regardless of which insurance company you select.