Scotland is waiting - for you!
In Scotland's castles - 8 days/7 nights
Individual round-trip in a hired car with accommodation in excellent private guest houses or B&Bs which are already booked for you. Discover Scotland's beauties, majestic sceneries, historic buildings, cultural wonders, and archipelagos on your own account and get in touch with the friendly people there.
And here is our trip plan for you (can be, of course, modified!):
Edinburgh - Airth Castle (app 50 km or 32 miles)
Individual arrival in Edinburgh. Pick up you hired car and leave Scotland's capitalon the motorway M9 leading to Stirling and leave it at junction 7. Take the M876 to Kincardine Bridge and, after a roundabout, the A905 to finally reach Airth Castle Hotel which is on the left side of the road. There is a good sign so you cannot miss it.
After your breakfast in Airth Castle Hotel drive back to the M9 motorway to Stirling. Shortly before you reach this ancient town there is the famous historical battle field of Bannockburn with a big visitor centre. Here you can inform yourself about the fierce and bloody battle of 1314 that gave Scotland back its independence.
The next few hours you should spend in Stirling, the "Gate to the Highlands" with its turbulent and battle-rich past. Leave your car in front of the castle gate and visit this great fortification. Then go down to the busy city centre with the medieval "Old Stirling Bridge" and visit the William Wallace Monument on a wooded hilltop outside the town.
Now take the goof and broad A811 leading to the west to wonderful Loch Lomond - for many people the most beautiful Scottish loch. Follow the A811 as far as you reach the junction with the A813 leading to Dumbarton with its mighty castle hill on which there are the remains of the ancient Scotish capital of Dalriata. Now take the A814 to Helensburgh and drive along the sea lochs Gare and Long down to Tarbet where there is the junction with the A85 to Tyndrum. On the northern shore of beautiful Lach Awe you can visit the ancient and romantic ruins of Kilchurn Castle.
Now drive app 2 miles back to the junction with the A819 and follow this road to reach your next highlight - the
little town of Inveraray with its nice snow-white
houses, the famous Jail and the fantastic palace of the Dukes of Argyll. Then enjoy the great view across Loch Fyne.
After you discovered Inveraray and its beauties leave the little town on the A83 to Lochgilphead
and continue on the shores of the sea loch Fyne to Tarbert where noble Stonefield Castle
Hotel dating from 1837 will be your accommodation for the next two nights.
erreichen. This beautiful castle is throning on a hill overlooking the fishing village of Tarbert. It once was the
residence of the chiefs of the Campbell clan.
Today you have to choose if you want to explore a trip to the Kintyre peninsula or discover the isle of Arran or Islay. In the case you choose Kintyre you should make a round trip on the A83 leading southwards along the Gigha Sound to nice little Campbelltown or you can take the B842 and B843 to reach the southernmost point of the peninsula - Paul McCartney's famous "Mull of Kintyre". Then take the minor and narrow road along the Kilbrennan Sounds back north.
If you want to visit the isle of Insel Arran take the 30-minutes-ferry at Claonaig. Arran is often discribed as "Scotland en miniature" because on this island you can find everything typically Scottish - mountains, green hills, picturesque glens, quiet lochs. Arran is 20 miles long and 10 miles wide. There is a good ring road running along the shores and an east-west connection in the middle of the island so that you can easily explore it within a day. Brodick Castle on the east coast is of particular interest.
In the case you choose die isle of Insel Islay you'll have
to consider that the ferry passage from Kennacraig to the south of Tarbert will be a lot longer (almost 3 hours to Port
Askaig or almost 2 hours to Port Ellen!).
No matter whatever you have chosen for this great day in the evening you'll be back at Stonefield Castle Hotel .
Today you have to wave farewell to Stonefield Castle Hotel and Tarbert. Take the A83 north and branch off
at Lochgilphead taking the A816 to Oban.
Near Kilninver you should visit the small but wonderful Isle of
Seil which is connected to the Scottish mainland by the medieval Clachan Bridge.
Oban is a colourful and busy little town. Allow yourself
an one-hour walk through the town centre and go up to the hilltop above the town to visit the strange "Oban Folly".
Now follow the A82 north along the sea loch Linnhe as far as Fort William. Don't pass by but stop here for a relaxing walk through the busy and colourful pedestrian zone with its many souvenir shops. Here you can buy everything typically Scottish! But here also begins the famous Caledonian Canal containing Loch Lochy, Loch Oich, and Loch Ness.
Now follow the A82 as far as Invergarry. Here, app in the middle of the smallest of the three Caledonian lochs - Loch Oich -
is your accommodation for the next night - Glengarry
Please leave Glengarry Castle Hotel on the A82 as early you can because today you have to drive app 170 miles. Your first destination is Fort Augustus where you'll come in touch with the mystic Loch Ness for the first time. Don't miss to visit the famous locks of the Caledonian Canal and the Benedictine abbey of 1832 before you continue north on the A82 along the left shore of Loch Ness.
Your next stop is at Urquhart Castle.
This defiant castle ruin on the shore of Loch Ness is beside Eilean Donan Castle on a small island in Loch Duich
the most famous castle and one of the largest fortifications of Scotland.
This stronghold was built in the 13th ct for the Lord of the Isles and was blown up by Clan Grant in 1692 to prevent
it from becoming a Jacobean castle.
Some miles north you should stop in Drumnadrochit. This small but very nice and picturesque village is very proud of its big "Nessie Exhibition Centre" with adjoining hotel - a little paradise for all Nessie fans! And have a closer look at a nearby pond ... you will see ... yes!!! You will see IT!
Your next destination is Inverness, the capital of the
Scottish Highlands at the head of Loch Ness. It's a vivid and modern city with a broad pedestrian zone with a lot of
excellent shops and a relatively modern but very big castle on a low hill overlooking the River Ness.
Now leave Inverness eastwards on the A96. Soon you'll pass the large area of Culloden Battlefield - a sad and gloomy stretch of moorland where the Scottish army under Prince Charles Edward was literally destroyed by the English under the Duke of Cumberland during the last battle on British soil on April 16th, 1746. Visit the tourist centre to inform yourself about this bloody disaster and walk along the lines of memorials erected after the battle by surviving clan members.
On the A96 the journey through Scotland continues to Castle Stuart, one of the finest Scottish tower houses. Shortly after passing Inverness Airport you will come to a junction. Here you can continue on the A9006 to the coast to finally reach Fort George, a large stronghold dating from the middle of the 18th ct. And/or you can also visit Cawdor Castle - one of the most beautiful medieval castles of Scotland.
Back on the A96 you will soon reach Nairn, a nice little
town on the Moray Firth with the historic battle field of Auldearn
not far away from the centre, and also maginficent Brodie
Now continue your drive on the A96 to the east coast and have your next stop in Elgin. In this nice little town you should visit the so-called "Lantern of the North" - the ruins of a huge cathedral which was burnt down by the notorious Wolf of Badenoch in 1360. You can find it a mile outside the town in a large park.
Continue on the A96 to Keith and then to Huntly which is - together with the near Dufftown - the capital of the world-famous "Whisky Trail". Nowhere on this earth you can find more whisky distilleries than in this Grampian region, aber the best thing of all? Most of these distilleries can be visited, and you'll get a glass of their product after the tour through the manufacturing buildings. Huntly is also very proud of its medieval castle, a so-called "motte".
In Huntly you should leave the A96 and take the A97 southwards. North of Rhynie you can visit one of Scotland's finest manor houses called Leith Hall. Some miles later, to the south of Lumsden, you reach the small village of Kildrummy with an incredible big castle ruin dating from the Middle Ages. Of course, you will be rather tired after such a strenuous day and so it will certainly please you to know that here is a fine room already waiting for you in Kildrummy Castle Hotel. Go for a delicious dinner and spend a relaxing night!
Today you will have to drive another 170 miles so please leave as early as possible. Go some miles back to Mossat, where the A944 is branching off the A97 and take it. Near Alford (this small village is also the site of a historical battlefield) take the A980 which will bring you to one of Scotland's most beautiful and extraordinary tower hourses, the wonderful Craigievar Castle. It was built in 1626 and can be visited. There is still no electric current in this originally preserved little stronghold - maybe a reason why the Blue Room is haunted by a ghost.
Now you can stay on the A980 which will take you to the A93 through Royal Deeside to reach great
Crathes Castle, another superb example of a typically
Scottish tower house erected in 1619 in the baronial style.
Your next stop should be in Braemar. Beside a tower house which is also well worth a visit this small village in the heart of the remote Cairngorms is world famous for its Highhland Games which are held every year on the first Saturday in September. You never get a better chance to see or even speak with Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, than here so visit this games! It's an unforgettable spectacle!
Now one of the remotest areas of Central Scotland is lying ahead. Over the often gloomy and cloudy Pass of Drumochter and the lonely village of Dalwhinnie with its famous whisky destilliery you reach another highlight of your Scotland trip - Blair Atholl Castle, the marvellous and very old tower house residence of the Dukes of Atholl who are allowed to have a private army!
Near Bridge of Garry you can have a short stop at the wonderful view point
Queens View overlooking the
great scenery of quiet Loch Tummel - don't miss it!!! Passing the little towns of
with a fine medieval cathedral and restored houses of the 16th - 18th ct you finally
reach the big city of Perth. Only
Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen have more inhabitants than Perth who gave its name to a even bigger
city in western Australia. Go for a walk through the city centre - there is a busy pedestrian zone -
and visit the cathedral of St John. A few miles north-east of Perth you then should visit
Palace and the near Moot Hill where the ancient Scottish kings
were crowned. Also within only a few miles are the medieval tower houses of
and Huntingtower Castle.
From Perth you can take the motorway M9 southwards. Passing the nice little province town of Kinross and the former capital of Scotland, Dunfermeline, you reach the famous Forth Road Bridge crossing the Firth of Forth. After some miles there is Scotland's capital Edinburgh to the left of the motorway.
Don't miss the exit to the A90 and follow this road eastwards as far as Musselburgh. Here take the A6094 to Dalkeith. Soon you'll reach Bonnyrigg and a mile or so outside this small town there is your last noble accommodation - Dalhousie Castle Hotel
This day is completely reserved for exploring Scotland's capital Edinburgh. Go for a long walk down or up the historical Royal Mile, go shopping in Princess Street or say a prayer in the medieval
cathedral of St Giles. Then visit the old castle and stroll down to famous Holyroodhouse at the other end of the Royal Mile.
• 7 nights in rooms with bath or shower and
You will be pleasantly astonished how cheap a Scotland trip can be this year!
from EUR 640 = app $ 865 = app GBP 531 per person
for a double room