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A Scottish Journey Back Roads: Edinburgh to Edinburgh

Duration
8 Days
Prices From:
US$ 2,875

With so much to offer beyond the two major cities, this Scotland Back Roads small group tour immerses you all that’s great about this beautiful and unique country. Discover historic castles, murky lochs, and the Isle of Skye before you return to Edinburgh.


Join one of our unique small group Back Roads touring experiences (maximum 18 participants) that includes specially selected accommodations, transportation in purpose built Mercedes Benz Sprinters, sightseeing, special culinary experiences and a knowledgeable Tour Leader. Click here for all the EXCLUSIVE DIFFERENCES.

This 8-day Scotland tour takes in the best of the countryside on a round trip from Edinburgh, and is ideal for travellers wanting to experience the Highlands in detail.

Set out for the fishing villages of East Neuk on your way to St Andrews. Here, the cobblestone streets offer just a glimpse of historic sites to come. The first major one of these is Cawdor Castle, dating back to the 14th century. You’ll explore the castle and gardens, then delve even further into the past at Clava Cairns, a 4,000 year old burial site. Relive the battle of Culloden at the local museum, then settle overnight at Inverness.

A trip to the Kiltmaker Visitor Centre offers you a keen insight into the humble tartan’s proud history. Nearby of course is Loch Ness, Britain’s largest body of water, and home to the namesake Monster. Visit Plockton en route to the Isle of Skye, home to a blend of wildlife and geological formations. Cap off your sightseeing with a whisky tasting at Portree.

BRT

Pass through the dramatic scenery of the Highlands, including towering Ben Nevis, as you make your way to Glenfinnan and Fort William. Then catch your ferry to the Isle of Mull, famed for its red granite landscapes and clifftop Duart Castle, which dates back to the 13th century. Another short ferry ride takes you to Iona, home to historic Iona Abbey and Nunnery.

Return to the mainland and go on to Stirling, where the Scottish Wars of Independence were fought. Explore the castle and historic town centre before returning to Edinburgh for departure.


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Duration
8 Days
Prices From:
US$ 2,875

Itinerary View Trip Map

Day 1

Edinburgh to St Andrews and Ballater

This tour commences from The Place (34-38 York Place, Edinburgh, EH1 3HU) at 8:30am. Please ensure you are at the meeting point at least 15 minutes prior to departure.

Departing Scotland's capital, Edinburgh, you will travel to the picturesque fishing villages of the East Neuk region. You then continue to St Andrews, whose medieval centre, with its narrow alleys and cobbled streets, leads to the now ruined cathedral and the adjacent church of St Regulus. Later you will travel north towards the picturesque Victorian village of Ballater. On arrival it's time to enjoy the first dinner together.

Meal Plan Dinner
Duration1 Night
Accommodation

The Deeside Inn

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Location View map
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    The Deeside Inn



    The Deeside Inn is situated in the centre of Ballater which is a beautiful village in the heart of Royal Deeside. The panelled entrance and log fires instantly demonstrate its friendly, "home from home" atmosphere which can be enjoyed in the cosy lounge bar, traditional ...

    The Deeside Inn is situated in the centre of Ballater which is a beautiful village in the heart of Royal Deeside. The panelled entrance and log fires instantly demonstrate its friendly, "home from home" atmosphere which can be enjoyed in the cosy lounge bar, traditional restaurant and quiet lounge. Guests can take time to explore Royal Deeside including Balmoral Castle, Crathie Kirk or enjoy outdoor activities including golf, walking, fishing and cycling. The Deeside Inn sits in the centre of the picturesque Royal Deesdie village of Ballater, at the heart of the Grampian Highlands. The Deeside Inn is known for its traditional Scottish hospitality and lively music scene as much as it is for its homely lounge, open fires and welcoming bar with quality homemade food.

    Facilities

    • Bar
    • Internet Access
    • Parking
    • Restaurant

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Day 2

Ballater to Cawdor Castle, Culloden and Inverness

Today you will travel through the beautiful Cairngorms National Park to Cawdor Castle, a superb fairy-tale castle dating from the 14th century. Explore the castle and its gardens before continuing to Clava Cairns, an exceptionally preserved prehistoric burial site, built about 4,000 years ago. At Culloden, you will visit the museum which brings the famous battle that took place here vividly to life. Inverness, the capital of the Highlands, is your final destination today.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Dinner
Duration2 Nights
Accommodation

Waterside Hotel

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    Waterside Hotel



    The Waterside Hotel in Inverness is one of the best located hotels in Inverness. Situated on a tree lined avenue right on the river bank, opposite Eden Court Theatre and only a couple of minutes stroll from the city centre. The Waterside Hotel also has ...

    The Waterside Hotel in Inverness is one of the best located hotels in Inverness. Situated on a tree lined avenue right on the river bank, opposite Eden Court Theatre and only a couple of minutes stroll from the city centre. The Waterside Hotel also has plenty of free car parking which is a big bonus in central Inverness. The Waterside Hotel's Conservatory Restaurant allows guests to enjoy fine food, and appreciate the Waterside Hotels location in Inverness. The waters of the River Ness can be seen from all tables, and from time to time you can see salmon leaping and the occasional seal.

    Facilities

    • 24 Hour Reception
    • Conference Facilities
    • Restaurant

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Day 3

Inverness

After a leisurely start to the day you will take a stroll through one of Scotland's smallest cities where you will learn the history of its iconic landmarks. At the Scottish Kiltmaker Visitor Centre, discover the history of tartan throughout the centuries and see the Highland dress worn by Liam Neeson in Rob Roy and Mel Gibson in Braveheart. The rest of the day is yours to explore independently, go shopping or simply relax.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 4

Inverness, Loch Ness, Plockton and Isle of Skye

Today you will travel to the beautifully mysterious Loch Ness, the largest body of fresh water in Britain and known around the world for 'Nessie', the legendary Loch Ness Monster. In Wester Ross you will visit Plockton, a charming little village comprised of neatly painted cottages and a tiny harbour, before enjoying a seafood lunch experience in the Kyle of Lochalsh. Later today you will drive across the bridge to the stunning Isle of Skye, your base for the next two nights.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Lunch
Duration2 Nights
Accommodation

Eilean Iarmain Hotel

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    Eilean Iarmain Hotel



    This traditional hotel, in an idyllic setting, with spectacular views across the sound of Sleat to the Knoydart Hills, retains its old world charm giving each guest a truly genuine highland welcome from the moment of arrival. Hotel Eilean Iarmain on the beautiful Isle of ...

    This traditional hotel, in an idyllic setting, with spectacular views across the sound of Sleat to the Knoydart Hills, retains its old world charm giving each guest a truly genuine highland welcome from the moment of arrival. Hotel Eilean Iarmain on the beautiful Isle of Skye is small and privately owned, situated on a sheltered bay in the south of Skye, with expansive views over the Sound of Sleat to the hills of Knoydart on the mainland. People have been coming here for over a hundred years, drawn by a love for the landscape of this Hebridean island, its geology, botany, ornithology, history, culture and language.

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Day 5

Isle of Skye

Today is devoted to the Isle of Skye, renowned for its incredible scenery, wildlife, history, and some of Skye's most startling geological features including the extraordinary Quiraing, the famous Kilt Rock and the spectacular Old Man of Storr. During the day there will also be an opportunity to visit Portree, and enjoy some whisky tasting.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Dinner
Day 6

Isle of Skye to Fort William and Isle of Mull

Travelling along the sands of Mallaig and Morar you will pass through glorious Scottish Highland scenery and see Ben Nevis, Britain's highest mountain. There will also be a visit to the beautiful village of Glenfinnan, where "Bonnie Prince Charlie" raised his standard in 1745. Travelling by way of historic Fort William, the day continues along the back roads of this region before catching the ferry to the Isle of Mull, the second largest island of the Inner Hebrides and your base for the next two nights.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Duration2 Nights
Accommodation

Western Isles Hotel

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Location View map
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    Western Isles Hotel



    The 26-bedroom Western Isles Hotel is beautifully situated on the Isle of Mull on a small hill overlooking the Tobermory Bay. The views are spectacular from the public rooms and many of the bedrooms. Tobermory Bay is a working harbour with ships and boats coming ...

    The 26-bedroom Western Isles Hotel is beautifully situated on the Isle of Mull on a small hill overlooking the Tobermory Bay. The views are spectacular from the public rooms and many of the bedrooms. Tobermory Bay is a working harbour with ships and boats coming in and out every day of the year. This is the perfect base for a West Coast holiday and the opportunity to sample the unspoilt nature of the Isle of Mull. The Hotel was designed and built specifically as a hotel in 1882. As it is late-Victorian many of the rooms are spacious with high ceilings, but there is no lift.

    Facilities

    • Conference Facilities
    • Internet Access
    • Parking
    • Restaurant

    More Details

Day 7

Isle of Mull and Isle of Iona

Today is dedicated to exploring the isles of Mull and Iona. You will travel to the charming village of Fionnphort, which is famed worldwide for its unique red granite. From here you will take the ferry to Iona, a tiny island steeped in history and renowned for its natural beauty and serenity. After visiting Iona Abbey and Nunnery, one of Scotland's most sacred and historical sites, you will return to Mull to explore the 13th century Duart Castle, dramatically perched on a cliff overlooking the rugged coast.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Dinner
Day 8

Isle of Mull to Stirling and Edinburgh

After returning by ferry to the Scottish mainland, you will travel to Stirling, known as the heritage capital of Scotland, where the Wars of Independence were fought and won and three centuries of monarchs ruled. Here you will have time to wander through the old town and enter the spectacular cliff-top castle. On returning to Edinburgh your tour ends.

Drop-off 5:30pm at The Place, 34-38 York Place Edinburgh, EH1 3HU. Please bear in mind that drop-off time is an estimate only - traffic can be unpredictable!

Meal Plan Breakfast

Other Information

DEPARTURES:

2017: Jul 27, 30; Aug 6, 10, 13, 17, 20, 24, 27; Sep 3, 7, 10, 14, 17, 24, 28; Oct 1
2018: Mar 18; Apr 3, 12, 22; May 1, 6, 10, 13, 15, 17, 20, 24, 27, 31; Jun 3, 7, 10, 14, 17, 21, 24, 28; Jul 1, 8, 12, 15, 19, 22, 26, 29; Aug 5, 9, 12, 16, 19, 23, 26, 30; Sep 2, 4, 6, 9, 13, 16, 23, 25, 27, 30; Oct 7

PRICE INCLUDES:

  • Nightly accommodation
  • Driver/tour leader
  • Mini-coach transportation
  • Full Scottish breakfast daily
  • 4 evening meals
  • A seafood lunch experience
  • Ferries to Mull and Iona
  • Entrance fees (Cawdor Castle, Culloden Museum, Iona Abbey, Duart Castle and Stirling Castle)

PRICE EXCLUDES:

  • Driver/tour leader gratuity is at your discretion.
  • Lunches (unless otherwise stated), social drinks, meals on free nights, items of a personal nature and entrance fees when not listed in the schedule of inclusions
  • Occasional optional evening theatre/festival visits and entrances not detailed in the tour inclusions
  • Incidental expenses, such as room service incurred at hotels. All expenses are to be settled prior to leaving the accommodation
  • Laundry costs and any shipping charges for the return of purchases made on tour, or for the return of property lost on tour

OTHER INFORMATION:

Back-Roads Touring have hand-picked an extensive portfolio of quality properties across Europe and to ensure the very best experience on each of our tours, hotels may vary to those listed in this itinerary.

Mobility: All of our tours involve walking and require our guests to board and disembark our vehicles several times a day making this tour unsuitable for those with reduced mobility.

TERMS AND CONDITIONS:

Prices are "from", per person, based on twin share. Subject to availability. The hotels have been hand-picked from an extensive portfolio of quality properties across Europe and to ensure the very best experience on each of our tours, hotels may vary to those listed in this itinerary.

TB BACKROAEDI0115SG: BRSSHF CA
1 Oct 2017
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