Multi-Day Tour | Private

Simply Scotland (14 days)

Dream Escape - United Kingdom

Glasgow, United Kingdom To Edinburgh, United Kingdom

Valid for Departures Now Through: 02 Mar 2019

Itinerary

DAY LOCATION(S) HOTEL MEALS DESCRIPTION
Day 1
Glasgow, United Kingdom
Inverlochy Castle Hotel Breakfast

Day One: Arrival in Scotland

On arrival at Glasgow Airport you will be met and greeted by an experienced chauffeur-guide who will provide a safe and comfortable transfer into the Highlands, where you will find your first accommodation.Nestled in the foothills of Ben Nevis, Scotland’s highest mountain, it is a spectacular castle more than worthy of its incredible setting. This renowned Relais et Chateaux property was built in 1863. In 1873, Queen Victoria visited the area, spending a week sketching and painting. She wrote in her diaries, 'I never saw a lovelier or more romantic spot'.
Day 2
Lochs, United Kingdom
Inverlochy Castle Hotel Breakfast

Day Two: The North-West Highlands

Visit Glencoe, Scotland’s most famous glen. It lies in the heart of an ancient volcano; glaciers and fiery explosions carved out the rugged and forbidding mountain peaks. It is often considered one of the most spectacular and beautiful places in the country and certainly one of the most dramatic; thundering waterfalls tumble down the sides of mountains into sparkling lochs.

Reserved privately, a local Ranger will take you on a guided walk.

Scenery and geology aside, the glen has its place firmly in the history books due to its savage history. It was the site of the infamous massacre of Clan Macdonald of Glencoe by government troops in 1692. The atrocity saw thirty-eight members of the clan pursued and killed, and a further forty women and children died of exposure after their homes were burned.

Perhaps take the time to visit the tiny village of Glencoe itself.

The local folk museum, housed in 18th century thatched cottages, although small is very personal and provides a rich and unrivalled insight into the area and its people. Some of the most fascinating treasures include weapons found in the thatched roofs of local houses, concealed after the massacre for more than 200 years.

Day 3
Fort William, United Kingdom
Kinloch Lodge Breakfast

Day Three: Over the Sea to Skye

At Fort William, board what has been described as one of the world’s great train journeys. Sit back and relax in first class seats on a one-way journey aboard the Jacobite Steam Train.

Your journey will take you over the 21 arches of the Glenfinnan Viaduct; here, admire views towards Loch Sheil and the Glenfinnan Monument, a poignant reminder of the final Jacobite Rising. A lone kilted Highlander surveys the area from atop an 18m column, standing in memory of a way of life which was cruelly extinguished.

Your route continues along a beautiful stretch of Highland coast where, on a clear day, the enchanting Small Isles of Muick, Eigg and Rhum are visible.

Disembark at Mallaig, the end of the line, where your chauffeur-guide will be waiting to accompany you on your ferry journey to the Isle of Skye, unquestionably the most popular isle of the Inner Hebrides. Voted by National Geographic as one of the world’s top five islands, it is rich in history and romance, famed for its natural beauty, traditional charm, breath-taking scenery and wildlife.

Drive the short distance to your accommodation, a beautiful retreat from the modern world with spectacular views, wonderful hospitality and incredible food. It is recognised internationally, having been praised by publications including Condé Nast Traveller, British Vogue and National Geographic.

It is owned by Lord Macdonald, Godfrey Macdonald of Macdonald, High Chief of Clan Donald and his wife Claire Macdonald, an award-winning cook and food writer. Together they opened the property in the 1970s, and today it is run by their daughter Isabella. Chef Director Marcello Tully continues Claire’s food ethos today, bringing to it his own influence and world-class experience.

Day 4
Isle of Islay, Scotland, United Kingdom
Kinloch Lodge Breakfast
Day Four: Simply SkyeSpend the day exploring the island; there is much to be discovered.A turbulent geological history has given it some of Scotland’s most varied and dramatic scenery. Dominating the skyline is the country’s finest mountain range, the Cuillins; it was formed 60 million years ago during the Ice Age; today the ice-sculpted peaks raise more than one jagged edge to the sky. It is the mist that often veils the mountain range which inspired the isle’s name which comes from the old Norse sky-a, meaning ‘cloud island’.Visit Portree, the island capital and setting for Bonnie Prince Charlie’s last days in Scotland, where he famously gave the recipe for Drambuie, a golden coloured liqueur made from whisky, honey, herbs and spices, to Clan MacKinnon. He had fled from Uist on the Outer Hebrides disguised as Flora Macdonald’s maid. Perhaps take a stroll down to the harbour to take a closer look at the iconic brightly painted houses.In the south of Skye find the 20,000-acre Highland Estate of Clan Donald which boasts one of the most romantic places in Scotland - Armadale Castle and Gardens. The ruins of the Castle provide a wonderful backdrop to the 40 acres of woodland garden. The Estate is also home to the award-winning Museum of the Isles. Discover the history of the Highlands and Islands through the story of Clan Donald, its most powerful clan. Six interconnecting galleries, each with their own theme, cover 1500 years of the history and culture what was once known as the Kingdom of the Isles.
Day 5
Nairn, United Kingdom
Boath House Breakfast

Day Five: Loch Ness

Return to the mainland, travelling over the architecturally stunning Skye Bridge.

Continue to one of Scotland’s noted stretches of water – Loch Ness. There can be no better way to see the water than from aboard a luxury motor cruiser which, with a capacity for less than ten guests, would be reserved exclusively.

Sumptuous platters of Scottish delicacies are served as you sit back and admire the spectacular scenery, including impressive Urquhart Castle, dating back to the 13th century. Once one of Scotland’s mightiest strongholds, it is now nothing more than atmospheric ruins overlooking dark waters.

During your trip you may even catch a glimpse of the loch’s elusive fabled resident…

Thereafter, your chauffeur-guide will transfer you to your home for two evenings, located near Nairn on the Moray Coast.

Once described as the most beautiful Regency House in Scotland, it is set on 20 acres of well-tended lawns, walled gardens, woodland and streams. A series of well-kept paths connect with the house, enabling guests to explore the gardens and rest and relax in secluded seating areas or on sunny terraces.

The hotel is a winner of many accolades; it has held 4AA rosettes continuously for 12 years and a Michelin star for a decade. This evening, gather in the lounge to enjoy canapés and aperitifs before taking your seat in the elegant dining room. Savour a delicious menu, specially designed to showcase the very best of seasonal Scottish produce. The hotel’s kitchen gardens provide much of the organic fruit, herbs and vegetables; the focus is on creating dishes combining these with produce of local, artisan growers, breeders, producers and foragers.

Day 6
Culloden Battlefield, United Kingdom
Boath House Breakfast
Day Six: Highland HistorySpend the day exploring the local area. The region is famed for its turbulent history, spectacular scenery and skilled whisky distilling. There is a wealth of places to visit.Perhaps travel to Cawdor Castle and Gardens. A fairy-tale castle best known for its role in Shakespeare’s Macbeth, the castle’s most unique feature is the living holly tree it was built around. The beautiful grounds are also well worth exploring. Enjoy a visit to the Clava Cairns, a Neolithic burial site and standing stones said to be one of Scotland’s most evocative sacred prehistoric sights, believed to be around 4000 years old. Fans of Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series may recognise the site as the inspiration for the Craig na un stone circle through which Outlander’s Clare Randall travels back in time in. You may like to visit Culloden Battlefields, the moving site of the infamous 1746 battle where, in less than 60 minutes, the Jacobites of Scotland lost to the armies of the British throne. Nearby Fort George was built by George II to try and discourage further uprisings and unrest by the Jacobites. It was the mightiest artillery fortification in Britain, if not Europe. 
Day 7
Pitlochry, United Kingdom
fonab Castle Breakfast
Day Seven: The Spirit of ScotlandWhisky runs deep in Scotland’s veins, from the peaty bogs to the pure streams that combine to create its myriad aromas and variations. The art of whisky distilling has been perfected for generations. Distillers take pure water from Scotland's crystal-clear streams and plump, golden barley from the fields and transform them into a precious spirit, which is then poured into oak casks and tucked away in warehouses to mature. Most whiskies wait for decades till they're perfect - a long sleep before their moment to shine.Travel the short distance to Speyside. This famed region is awash with whisky and is home to more than half of the country’s working malt whisky distilleries, including some of the world’s best-sellers. Guided visits and tutored tastings at some of Scotland’s most distinctive distilleries will ensure that when it comes to take your leave, you will depart with an appreciation and a great understanding of this timeless spirit; what we affectionately call the water of life. Continue south to your home for two evenings. This turreted property was first built in 1892 and has been impeccably restored to combine its historic past with contemporary design to create a unique and luxurious retreat. Situated in the heart of Highland Perthshire, the castle benefits from a beautiful location just a short walk from the charming town of Pitlochry and surrounded by woodland with views overlooking Loch Faskally and Ben Vrackie.
Day 8
Pitlochry, United Kingdom
Fonab Castle Breakfast
Day Eight: Picturesque PerthshireThe day begins with a special visit to the picturesque base of the internationally-renowned Highland Chocolatier. This award-winning chocolatier is the creator of the Velvet Truffle which was previously only available to Michelin-starred chefs and has been judged the “Best Dark Chocolate Truffle in the World”. Learn what makes gourmet chocolate so unique, and by special arrangement meet with the master chocolatier himself. The highlight of the visit is perhaps a personal tasting of the artisan chocolates – each is created with the finest ingredients to ensure a sumptuous taste experience that will not soon be forgotten.To follow travel to the Pass of Killiecrankie, a magnificent wooded gorge with the River Garry flowing along its base. In July 1689 the Battle of Killiecrankie was fought here between Highland Scottish clans supporting King James VII of Scotland and Government troops supporting King William of Orange. The peace and tranquillity of this beautiful gorge was shattered when the first shots in the Jacobite Uprising were fired. Although it was a stunning victory for the Jacobites, it had little overall effect on the outcome of the war and left their leader dead. Reserved exclusively for you, a local Ranger will take you on a private guided walk through this hugely historical part of the country.
Day 9
Saint Andrews, United Kingdom
Old Course Hotel, Golf Resort & Spa Breakfast

Day Nine: Glamis Castle and The Home of Golf

Travel to Glamis Castle, which is famed for its connections to the British royal family and many other myths and legends in British history and literature.

As you enter through the Queen Mother Memorial Gates and drive along the mile long drive, the stunning castle and its beautiful pepper pot turrets will come into view; few could remain unmoved in the face of such splendour. On arrival, enjoy refreshments in the 16th century chambers before your specialist private guide takes you on a tour of the castle.

Since then Glamis has been visited and lived in by many members of the Scottish and British royal families. It was the childhood home of HM Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother and the birthplace of HRH The Princess Margaret.

Inside, each room is steeped in its own history and secrets; a highlight for many is Duncan’s Hall, one of the oldest parts of the castle, which features in Shakespeare’s Macbeth as the setting for the slaying of King Duncan by Macbeth.

Thereafter travel to the ancient coastal town of St Andrews, which has its place firmly in the history books as being the home of golf.

Enjoy the opportunity of a private guided walk on the famed fairways of the Old Course. Commonly known as ‘The Old Lady’, it is one of the world’s greatest courses. As one of the oldest courses in the world, it continues to challenge and delight even the very best golfers of the day.

Based around the 1st, 17th and 18th holes of the course, the walk follows the footsteps of golfing greats, allowing you to experience a player's eye view of the fabled links, and perhaps take a photo on the iconic Swilcan Bridge.

Check into a world-renowned property in the heart of the town. Recognised as one of Europe’s leading resorts, this prestigious property borders the 17th hole of the Old Course, and features a combination of classically elegant and contemporary interiors.

Day 10
Dunfermline, United Kingdom
The Balmoral, a Rocco Forte hotel Breakfast

Day Ten: The Kingdom of Fife

The Kingdom of Fife has the moniker as the ancestral home of Scottish monarchs and as such has always been at the heart of the nation’s history.

Dunfermline, Scotland’s capital until 1603 is dominated by the ruins of the 12th century abbey and palace. It is the final resting place of King Robert Bruce, notably minus his heart, along with seven other Scottish kings.

Substantial parts of the abbey buildings remain, including the vast monks’ refectory. The foundations of Queen Margaret’s church are under the present nave, built in the 12th century its Romanesque architecture is said to be strikingly similar to that of Durham Cathedral.

Following the Protestant Reformation of 1560, Queen Anna of Denmark – wife of King James VI - created an imposing palace with the monastic guesthouse at its heart. Charles I was delivered here in 1600 – the last monarch to be born in Scotland.

Without a doubt, it is one of the country’s most important cultural sites.

Day 11
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
The Balmoral, a Rocco Forte hotel Breakfast

Day Eleven: Edinburgh – Part I

Edinburgh, sometimes referred to as the ‘Athens of the North’, is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. It has two distinct areas: the Old Town, dominated by a medieval fortress; and the Georgian New Town, dating from the 18th century. The harmonious connection of these two contrasting historic areas, each with many important buildings, is what gives the city its unique character and what saw it be awarded UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995.

Meet your guide in the hotel foyer and set off to spend the day exploring the city. Commence with a visit to Edinburgh Castle – from its volcanic rock, it towers over the city. Step inside the ancient walls and learn of the royalty who lived and died here and the struggles for control of the nation.

To follow, walk along the Royal Mile which lies at the heart of the Old Town and is arguably one of the most famous streets in the world. Today, it is peppered with stores selling cashmere goods and hand crafted silver jewellery. However, in centuries gone by it was a different story: delving into the Old Town is like leafing through the pages of a dusty historical novel, as each era unfolds with its own legends and characters.

Day 12
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
The Balmoral, a Rocco Forte hotel Breakfast

Day Twelve: Edinburgh – Part II

Discover the city on your own. Your guide from the previous day will ensure you set off in the right direction, with advice for visits that might interest you and helpful hints for off-the-beaten-track experiences.

Day 13
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
The Balmoral, a Rocco Forte hotel Breakfast
Day Thirteen - The Scottish BordersSpend the day in The Scottish Borders, an area often missed by visitors to Scotland. The Borders are situated north of the dividing line with England and cover a swathe of Scottish Uplands. Fall under the spell of their beauty and enthralling history that features bloody battles, literary greats, magnificent castles and abbeys. Travel to Traquair House which will be opened exclusively. The 21st Lady of Traquair will personally conduct a guided tour of her home. The house dates back 900 years and was originally a hunting lodge for the kings and queens of Scotland. It claims to be the oldest continually inhabited house in Scotland. It has hosted 27 Monarchs including Mary, Queen of Scots. Later a refuge for Catholic priests in times of terror, the Stuarts of Traquair supported Mary, Queen of Scots and the Jacobite cause without counting the cost.To follow, walk across the courtyard to the Traquair House Brewery which lies directly underneath the Chapel. It dates back to the early 1700s; Peter Maxwell Stuart rediscovered the brewery in the early 1960s and began brewing again, using all the original equipment and fermenting the ales in the original oak tuns, some of which were over 200 years old. Enjoy a tasting before departing.Before returning to Edinburgh you may wish to explore one of the four abbeys that are the Scottish Borders’ greatest claim to fame. Melrose Abbey is a magnificent ruin on a grand scale, with lavishly decorated masonry. It was founded by King David I in 1136, as the first Cistercian monastery in Scotland. The abbey is also the burial place of King Robert the Bruce’s heart, which is marked with a commemorative carved stone plaque.
Day 14
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
None Breakfast

Day Fourteen – Homeward Bound

Your chauffeur-guide will provide a transfer to Edinburgh Airport where you will board your flight for onward travel.

End of Services

Tour Features

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Description

A land of cashmere scarves and finely aged whiskies, Scotland is internationally renowned for its beautiful lochs, rugged landscapes and enduring traditions.

Specially designed to showcase the country at its finest, this journey traverses the country; taking you from the rugged North-West Highlands to the romantic Isle of Skye before returning south to the Perthshire countryside and concluding in the historic capital.

Your chauffeur-guide will ensure you are taken off the beaten track and that you delve into the depths of Scottish life. With local knowledge and a gift for talking like no other nation, they will explain and expand on the country’s rich history and cultural heritage like no book can.

From shimmering lochs to spectacular highland landscapes, luxurious private cruises to exclusive access to historic homes and castles, this experience promises to entertain, enlighten and impress throughout.

About Us

Dream Escape is your Virtuoso on-site providing the ultimate luxury tailor-made travel service in England, Scotland & Ireland, specializing in the following experiences: Private boxes at events including the Edinburgh Royal Military Tattoo; Country pursuits and golf with access to private clubs and estates; Equestrian - Stud visits, polo and racing; Whisky Experiences. Private distillery visits and tastings; Exclusive Villa Collection; Incentive and board meetings; Private Castle stays; Celebrations and Events; Bespoke City breaks in London, Edinburgh & Dublin, ; Shorex; Chauffeur guided touring; 'Set Jetting.'

Insider Tip

Our in-house Head of Guiding, Rosie Peattie, is the Mary Poppins of guiding. She knows everything and everyone and adds extraordinary vibrancy to each programme she accompanies!

Terms & Conditions

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Reviews and Recommendations for Dream Escape - United Kingdom

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Perfect Itinerary

By: Jordan D


Reviewed on: 12 Sep 2016

Dream Escape put together a wonderful array of activities, lodgings, and restaurants for us to enjoy on our first trip to Scotland. Not being familiar with the lay of the land, it was nice to have expert help in ensuring we experienced a great deal of the pleasures the country has to offer. We would highly recommend using them for your next trip.
Travel Advisor:  Susan Sparks

Scotland Ireland

By: lola


Reviewed on: 01 Oct 2017

We had a terrific experience but our van in Scotland could have been better..
Travel Advisor:  Michael Distler

Excellent Escape

By: Lisa


Reviewed on: 28 May 2018

We really appreciated the detailed plan they gave us, the attention to the details of what we wished to do and see, and their choices for accommodations that were outstanding, a driver for our 12 days that was wonderful, and well informed guides along the way. It was truly a dream escape in all ways.
Travel Advisor:  Dottie DeSisto