Aug 1 – 10, 2016
Kilts and bagpipes. Plaids of the Clansmen and Scottish dances. Beautiful lakes, rolling hills, bustling historical cities and glorious castles makes this the kind of place myths are made of. But this is no myth! Peer into the mysterious depths of Loch Ness, and enter the majestic Edinburgh Castle high on its hill as you have more than a wee bit of fun and adventure on the Discover Scotland Making Memories Tour.
Our tour begins with an overnight flight to a country of stunning landscapes, lively cities, stirring history plus distinct myths and stories.
You will arrive in Edinburgh, Scotland and have your first fascinating glimpse of Edinburgh Castle on the hill and the beautiful lake down below. Tonight, Making Memories will treat you to a fun-filled Scottish evening complete with traditional entertainment. We are staying in Edinburgh for two nights. (D)
Today it’s your choice! You may choose to get acquainted with this regal city on a locally guided panoramic city tour by coach. Or, for a different perspective, you may join a local expert to explore the city on foot. Both tours include visits to Edinburgh Castle, home of the Scottish Crown Jewels and the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the Queen’s official residence in Edinburgh as well as the former home of Mary, Queen of Scots. This afternoon, enjoy free time to independently explore the city. We are staying in Edinburgh again tonight. (B)
We depart Edinburgh this morning to travel to St. Andrews, the beautiful town in the Kingdom of Fife that gave the world the game of golf. We will see the Royal and Ancient Clubhouse and the famous Old Course. Next is a stop at Pitlochry, a vibrant Victorian town. Discover its Old World appeal as you explore this popular resort town on your own. Spend time at one of Scotland’s renowned whisky distilleries. Taste and see for yourself why Highland malt whisky is considered the world’s finest before we continue to Inverness, “Capital of the Highlands,” for your overnight stay. (B, D)
Today you will visit the Culloden Battlefield. On this spot in April 1746, a half-hour battle changed the course of history. Next, make a stop at the majestic Dunrobin Castle dating back to the 1300s. Experience a fascinating falconry display in the formal gardens overlooking the North Sea. Later, soak in the breathtaking views as you drive along the windswept cliffs of Scotland’s east coast. Our overnight will be in Thurso. (B)
A day of adventure is yours as you voyage by ferry to the Orkney Islands. For many years this island was a Viking stronghold off the coast of Scotland. On the crossing you will see abundant bird life and, if you are very lucky, porpoises and seals. A local guide introduces this magical place that very few visitors to Scotland get to experience. Visit Skara Brae and discover the remains of a Neolithic village built at the same time as the Great Pyramid in Egypt. Next, pass the prehistoric Ring of Brodgar, reported to be older than Stonehenge. Finally, explore the town of Viking Kirkwall before returning to Thurso for your overnight. (B.D)
Today you depart Thurso and enjoy stunning and unspoiled landscapes as you return south through the Highlands. You will take in the panorama of Loch Ness, probably one of the best known and one of Britain’s most scenic bodies of water. But keep your eye open! You never know when Nessie will appear! Soak up the awe-inspiring view of the striking ruins of Urquhart Castle. Travel through the Great Glen, famous for its many lochs (lakes), before arriving at your hotel situated on lovely Loch Linnhe. (B.D)
Today, we will take a stunning drive along the “Road to the Isles” and over the Skye Bridge to the legendary Isle of Skye, also known in poetry and song as Eilean a’ Cheo (The Misty Isle). Also enjoy dramatic views of the Cuillin Hills. Then, we will visit Armadale Castle and Gardens and the Museum of the Isles to learn about island life and the history of Skye. We conclude the visit with views of the isle from yet another vantage point during a ferry crossing back to the mainland. While returning to Ballachulish, you’ll see Glenfinnan, the historic site where Bonnie Prince Charlie rallied the clansmen for battle during the 1745 Jacobite Rebellion. Your lodging tonight is in Ballachulish. (B.D)
Today will begin with a breathtaking drive in the heart of Scotland, passing through Glencoe and crossing Rannoch Moor. We will embark on a relaxing cruise on the famed Loch Lomond, the largest lake in the United Kingdom. This afternoon, you will get a taste of country life at a working Scottish farm, and enjoy tea and homemade scones before watching a farmer working his sheep dogs. Later, settle in to your lock-side hotel and join your fellow travelers as Making Memories Tours treats you to a farewell dinner to celebrate your time together in Scotland.
Your tour of Scotland comes to a close today as we catch our flight back to the USA. There will be plenty of time for you to reminisce over the many memories you have made discovering this magical land called Scotland. (B)