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Scotland Explorer: Self Drive

Prices From:
US$ 1,551

Embark on a first-class journey to Scotland’s most famous cities and highlights off the beaten path. This self-drive tour takes you on a winding route from Glasgow to Edinburgh, stopping off at Loch Ness, Aberdeen, and St. Andrews to walk through old towns, explore castles, and learn about the nation’s fascinating history.


This 9-day Scottish vacation takes you across the country from Glasgow to Loch Ness, Aberdeen, and Edinburgh.

Your Scotland vacation begins in Glasgow, the largest city in Scotland and its cultural capital. Glasgow was an important trade hub during the Industrial Revolution, which fueled the construction of its gorgeous old town awash with stately Victorian architecture. However, even in the midst of prosperity, the city has never forgotten its working-class roots. Thus, it’s a great city to visit museums and sample high culture while also kicking back and taking a load off along with the fun-loving locals. Take advantage of the Hop-On Hop-Off bus tour to zip around the city and see the most famous landmarks, from Glasgow Cathedral to the buildings designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh to the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum.

In Glasgow you’ll pick up your rental car and head north. Visit Stirling Castle and see the National Wallace Monument on Abby Craig, dedicated to Scottish hero William Wallace. Continue to Inverness, the administrative centre of the country’s north. Located on the River Ness and near Moray Firth, Inverness dates back to the 12th century, when King David of Scotland issued a Royal Charter and founded the city. However, despite its long pedigree, the earliest of the remaining buildings date back only to the early 19th century. Regardless, it’s a charming city and your gateway to Loch Ness. During your time in Inverness, you’ll head to Loch Ness to cruise across the famous lake and learn about its mythical monster. You’ll also visit Urquhart Castle and learn about the Jacobite Rebellion.

From Inverness, drive through the Scottish Highlands on route to Aberdeen on the east coast. As one of Scotland’s most significant port cities, Aberdeen has always attracted a diverse international population, drawn to its robust industry and the petroleum refineries off shore. It’s also known as the “Grey City,” as it’s defined by its grey-stone buildings that fill the old city. Spend a day in Aberdeen strolling through the picturesque downtown and seeing its landmarks like St. Machar’s Cathedral and The Tolbooth, a preserved 17th-century jail. Continue on to St. Andrews, known for its championship golf courses and charming medieval architecture. It is home to the British Golf Museum, which charts the history of the game, the medieval University of St. Andrews, which was founded in 1413, and several championship golf courses, including the world-famous Old Course. Stroll the university grounds and admire the picturesque landscapes that attract golfers from all over the world.

The final stop on your Scottish vacation is the nation’s capital, Edinburgh. Drop off your rental car and then spend a couple days exploring this gorgeous city full of medieval and Georgian architecture. Glasgow might be larger, but Edinburgh remains the most popular city in Scotland and a great spot for food and history. Use the Hop-On Hop-Off bus tour to dart around the city’s hills and visit the medieval Old Town and Georgian New Town. Tour Holyrood Palace and climb Calton Hill to see its series of monuments and enjoy gorgeous views of the city below. Also be sure to experience the city’s world-famous food and drink. Sample Haggis, snack on delicious charcuterie, and taste some of the world’s finest single malt whiskey. At the end of your stay, connect to the airport to continue your onward journey.


 

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Prices From:
US$ 1,551

Itinerary View Trip Map

Day 1

Arrive Glasgow

On arrival at Glasgow Airport, transfer to your centrally located hotel.

The balance of the day is at your leisure to begin discovering this charming city

Duration2 Nights
Accommodation

Hilton Glasgow

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    Hilton Glasgow



    Location to begin your adventures. Take in stunning views from a guest room, enjoy seasonal dishes at Morblas Seafood and Grill, and savor a Gin & Tonic in Connich Bar. LivingWell Health Club offers an indoor pool and spa. For your next meeting or event, ...

    Location to begin your adventures. Take in stunning views from a guest room, enjoy seasonal dishes at Morblas Seafood and Grill, and savor a Gin & Tonic in Connich Bar. LivingWell Health Club offers an indoor pool and spa. For your next meeting or event, our hotel has space for 1,000 delegates and is just 20 minutes from Glasgow International Airport.

    Facilities

    • 24 Hour Restaurant
    • Air Conditioning
    • Bar
    • Bar(s)
    • Beauty Salon
    • Business Centre
    • Concierge
    • Electric Service
    • Elevator
    • Fax/Photocopying
    • Fitness Rooms
    • Foreign Currency Exchange
    • Laundry
    • Lounge
    • Luggage Storage
    • Multi-lingual Staff
    • Newspapers
    • Non-Smoking Rooms
    • Pool
    • Restaurant
    • Room Service
    • Safety Deposit Box

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Day 2

Glasgow Hop On/Off Bus Tour

City Sightseeing bus tours are the perfect way to see Glasgow. The double deck open top buses operate regularly from 09:30 until 16:30, and the complete tour lasts one hour and fifty minutes, taking in the best that Glasgow has to offer. There's a choice of multilingual commentary in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Swedish, Russian, Portuguese and Mandarin via headphones, or live English speaking guides on selected journeys. The "Ghoulish Glasgow" kid's commentary is also available on all multilingual tours. There are 28 stops, and you can hop-off at any of the stops on our tour route. Look out for the branded bus stop signs around the City. Passengers please note that some stops are 'request' only and you should signal if you wish to board or leave the bus.

Meal Plan Full Breakfast
Day 3

Glasgow to Inverness - 272 km/169 mi - Approx 3.5 hours

This morning, pick-up your rental car.

You'll enjoy plenty of scenery on your drive outside Denny, just until you get near Stirling. In Stirling, you can stop to see Stirling Castle, Doune Castle, and the National Wallace Monument on the Abby Craig. Or if you're an art lover, then you'll want to add a visit to the Stirling Smith Art Gallery & Museum to your itinerary.

On arrival at Inverness, the balance of the day is a leisure to explore the largest city and the cultural capital of the Scottish Highlands. Its Old Town features 19th-century Inverness Cathedral, the mostly 18th-century Old High Church and an indoor Victorian Market selling food, clothing and crafts. The contemporary Inverness Museum and Art Gallery traces local and Highland history.

Meal Plan Full Breakfast
Duration2 Nights
Accommodation

Macdonald Drumossie Hotel

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    Macdonald Drumossie Hotel



    Set in nine acres of parkland with spectacular views over the Moray Firth, the listed art deco Macdonald Drumossie Hotel is an oasis of peace and elegance. In close reach of several of the finest links golf courses in the world, this welcoming Highland destination ...

    Set in nine acres of parkland with spectacular views over the Moray Firth, the listed art deco Macdonald Drumossie Hotel is an oasis of peace and elegance.

    In close reach of several of the finest links golf courses in the world, this welcoming Highland destination is located ten minutes from Inverness centre. Perfectly positioned for the rich, local heritage of Culloden, Loch Ness and the Cairngorms, Macdonald Drumossie Hotel is perfect for a relaxing weekend break or a romantic wedding in true Scottish style.

    Boasting some of the best conferencing facilities in the Highlands, our Inverness hotel is also ideal for business meetings and conferences.

    After a busy day of leisure activities or business meetings, dine in our award-winning Grill Room Restaurant and wind down in the traditional comfort of The Lounge, before retreating to one of our stylish, soothing rooms.

    Facilities

    • Function Room
    • Reception
    • Restaurant

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Day 4

Inverness – Loch Ness Cruise

Discover everything there is to know about the Loch Ness Monster with this activity-filled Jacobite experience. Sit back and enjoy a guided coach tour through the Great Glen and a cruise on Loch Ness. Over 20 miles long, a mile wide and 700 feet at its deepest, Loch Ness is the largest lake in Scotland by volume. Fuel your imagination with fascinating history and famous legends. Enjoy a 1 hour visit to ancient Urquhart Castle and a trip to the Loch Ness Monster Exhibition. Urquhart was once one of Scotland's largest castles. Its remains include a tower house - the most recent building on the site - that commands splendid views of the famous loch and Great Glen. The castle's history is told in the exhibition and audio-visual display in the new visitor centre. The centre features an outstanding array of medieval artefacts found at the castle. It also tells the stories of the noble families who held the castle at different times: the Durwards, MacDonalds and Grants.

Meal Plan Full Breakfast
Day 5

Inverness to Aberdeen - 173 km/107 mi - Approx 3 hours

This morning's depart the Highlands and travel to Scotland's east coast. Aberdeen, a port city in northeast Scotland, where the Dee and Don rivers meet the North Sea. With an offshore petroleum industry, the city is home to an international population. It's also known as the ‘Granite City’ for its many enduring grey-stone buildings. 

This afternoon is at leisure to explore Aberdeen. In addition to the many fine landmark buildings, Aberdeen has many prominent public statues, three of the most notable being William Wallace at the junction between Union Terrace and Rosemount Viaduct, Robert Burns on Union Terrace above Union Terrace Gardens, and Robert the Bruce holding aloft the charter he issued to the city in 1319 on Broad Street, outside Marischal College.

Meal Plan Full Breakfast
Duration1 Night
Accommodation

Macdonald Pittodrie House

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    Macdonald Pittodrie House



    One of the finest 4-star hotels in the Aberdeen area, Macdonald Pittodrie House is set within its own ancient grounds and offers the best in breathtaking scenery and fine facilities. The hotel's picturesque setting within 2,400 acres of scenic estate land means we're a popular ...

    One of the finest 4-star hotels in the Aberdeen area, Macdonald Pittodrie House is set within its own ancient grounds and offers the best in breathtaking scenery and fine facilities. The hotel's picturesque setting within 2,400 acres of scenic estate land means we're a popular choice for family holidays, business and weddings.

    This Aberdeenshire hotel is a perfect venue for celebrations, events and conferences - boasting superb guest accommodation, stylish meeting and function rooms, plus breathtaking gardens and surrounding woodland.

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Day 6

Aberdeen to St Andrews - 127 km/79 mi - Approx 1.5 hours

St Andrews is also known worldwide as the "home of golf". This is in part because The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews, founded in 1754, exercised legislative authority over the game worldwide and also because the famous links is the most frequent venue for The Open Championship, the oldest of golf's four major championships. Visitors travel to St Andrews in great numbers for several courses ranked amongst the finest in the world, as well as for the sandy beaches.

The town is named after Saint Andrew the Apostle. It is is home to the University of St Andrews, the third oldest university in the English-speaking world and the oldest in Scotland.

Meal Plan Full Breakfast
Duration1 Night
Accommodation

Macdonald Rusacks Hotel

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    Macdonald Rusacks Hotel



    St Andrews is a must-visit destination: from being a Scottish setting for Royal romance, to its famous West Sands beach which was immortalized in the Oscar-winning movie Chariots of Fire, it's Cathedral, aquarium and boutiques, and of course golf. Macdonald Rusacks Hotel is within a ...

    St Andrews is a must-visit destination: from being a Scottish setting for Royal romance, to its famous West Sands beach which was immortalized in the Oscar-winning movie Chariots of Fire, it's Cathedral, aquarium and boutiques, and of course golf. Macdonald Rusacks Hotel is within a sand wedge of the 18th hole of the world-famous Old Course. Stylishly remodeled on a golfing theme, Macdonald Rusacks Hotel offers luxurious accommodation occupied by some of the great names in the game's history. Unquestionably Scotland's greatest golfing hotel, we even have a dedicated Golf Concierge so you won't miss a thing.

    Facilities

    • 24 Hour Reception
    • Coffee Shop/Cafe
    • Concierge
    • Elevator
    • Internet Access
    • Laundry/Dry Cleaning Service
    • Luggage Storage
    • Restaurant

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Day 7

St Andrews to Edinburgh - 90 km/56 mi - Approx 1.5 hours

On arrival in Edinburgh, drop your rental car at the centrally located deport.

Edinburgh is the capital of Scotland and is a city which interestingly combines both the old and the new on a UK vacation. It was listed as an UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995 and In 2004 became the first member of theUNESCO Creative Cities initiative when it was designated a City of Literature. With over 4,500 listed buildings, Edinburgh is world-renowned for its rich architectural heritage. The two main areas of particular interest in this historic city are the Old Town which includes the medieval fortress of Edinburgh Castle and the neo classical New Town which dates back to the 18th Century. The combination of medieval architecture with neo classical terraces gives Edinburgh its own unique character. on Scotland vacations.

One can find here medieval palaces, Georgian architecture, contemporary avant-garde buildings and Gothic churches all in one city. Then there are the museums and galleries, the parks, the nightlife and the amazing annual festivals, all to be enjoyed on a United Kingdom vacation.

This afternoon join an hour long 7-language tour introducing the best sights in Edinburgh. Edinburgh is a wonderful city - from sights to shopping and culture to City Sightseeing! Buy your 24 hour ticket and then you can enjoy the freedom to "hop on and hop off" until the same time the following day. The Edinburgh Tour will operate the following route: Waverley Bridge, Princes Street, Lothian Road, Bread Street, West Port, Grassmarket, Victoria Street, George IV Bridge, Chambers Street, South Bridge, High Street, Canongate, Horse Wynd, Queens Drive, Holyrood Gait, Our Dynamic Earth turning circle, Holyrood Gait, Queens Drive, Horse Wynd, Abbeyhill, Abbeymount, Regent Road, Waterloo Place, Princes Street, South St David Street, George Street, Hanover Street, Queen Street Gardens East, Heriot Row, Queen Street Gardens West, Frederick Street, George Street, Hanover Street, The Mound, Market Street, Waverley Bridge. Join the tour at Waverley Bridge, Lothian Road, Grassmarket, Royal Mile, Princes Street, or Princes Mall.

Meal Plan Full Breakfast
Duration2 Nights
Accommodation

Hotel Macdonald Holyrood

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    Hotel Macdonald Holyrood



    Macdonald Holyrood Hotel in Edinburgh is situated in the city's historic and beautiful old town, just a couple of minutes' walk from the world famous Royal Mile and the Scottish Parliament building. The hotel's convenient location in the city centre also means that you're within ...

    Macdonald Holyrood Hotel in Edinburgh is situated in the city's historic and beautiful old town, just a couple of minutes' walk from the world famous Royal Mile and the Scottish Parliament building. The hotel's convenient location in the city centre also means that you're within easy walking distance of Waverley Railway station and the bustle of the city's main thoroughfare, Princes Street. Macdonald Holyrood Hotel is the ideal base for exploring this fascinating and unique city.

    Facilities

    • 24 Hour Reception
    • Bar/Lounge
    • Bellman/Porters
    • Business Centre
    • Conference Facilities
    • Express Check In/Out
    • Fireplace
    • Health Club
    • Indoor Pool
    • Laundry/Dry Cleaning Service
    • Lift/elevator
    • Luggage Storage
    • Multi-lingual Staff
    • Parking (Valet)
    • Restaurant
    • Sauna
    • Smoke Free Hotel
    • Spa Treatment Room(s)
    • Turkish Bath
    • WIFI- Charge

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Day 8

Edinburgh

A full day at leisure to discover Scotland's compact, hilly capital. It has a medieval Old Town and elegant Georgian New Town with gardens and neoclassical buildings. Looming over the city is Edinburgh Castle, home to Scotland’s crown jewels and the Stone of Destiny.

Meal Plan Full Breakfast
Day 9

Depart Edinburgh

Follwoing breakfast, transfer to the railway station or airport for your onward journey.

Meal Plan Full Breakfast

Other Information

DEPARTURES:

Daily.

PRICE INCLUDES:

  • Airport transfers
  • 7 nights' first class accommodation
  • 4 day manual standard category car rental
  • Breakfast daily
  • Glasgow Hop on / hop off bus tour
  • Loch Ness Cruise
  • Edinburgh Hop on / hop off bus tour
  • Edinburgh Castle entrance ticket

PRICE EXCLUDES:

  • Travel insurance
  • International and domestic airfare & airfare taxes
  • Visa fees if applicable
  • Meals and beverages not mentioned
  • Gratuities
  • Items of a personal nature

TERMS AND CONDITIONS:

Prices are "from" per person based on twin/double share accommodation and for travel in low season. Seasonal surcharges and blackout dates may apply. Limited seat/spaces and all pricing is subject to change and availability. Rates for single or triple travellers are available on request - please inquire.


10 Feb 2019
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