HOLD ON TO YOUR KILT! WE’RE TRAVELLING TO SCOTLAND THIS OCTOBER!
As always, the trip will be full of luxurious accommodation, outstanding cuisine, incredible adventures, and unique spiritual experiences.
Called Mists, Mystics and the Whisky Trail, we’ll travel from Glasgow to Edinburgh with stops at a variety of magical places in between.
Our Scottish adventure starts the moment we touch down in Glasgow. We’ll get a first-hand look at the rugged beauty of the Scottish Highlands on the way to Loch Lomond, Great Britain’s biggest lake, which is situated by the majestic Ben Lomond, one of Scotland’s most famous Munros, or mountains.
WHERE LUXURY MEETS THE GREAT OUTDOORS
Then it’s on to Fort William where we’ll be staying for two nights at the Inverlochy Castle (a Relais & Châteaux Hotel), a beautiful 19th century castle nestled in the foothills of the mighty Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in the British Isles. The scenery is so beautiful that in 1837 Queen Victoria spent a week there sketching, painting and writing in her diary, “I never saw a lovelier or more romantic spot.”
The next day will be spent indulging in your choice of classic Scottish pursuits – from clay shooting and archery to sheep dog herding – or jumping on a gondola to check out the view from atop Ben Nevis. You can also opt for a nature walk by the Highland Glen and Loch Leven, or a bike ride along the Caledonian Canal. You’ll discover why Fort William is known as the outdoor capital of the UK, as there is no shortage of waterfalls, trails and forests to explore.
The next morning we’ll venture further into the Highlands and on to the Inner Hebrides towards the Isle of Skye – a journey that will take us into the mystical side of Scotland.
We’ll travel first class in the iconic Jacobite Steam Train, enjoying tea and scones as we pass by such famous sites as the Glenfinnan Viaduct, – nicknamed the “Harry Potter Bridge” after the Hogwarts Express travelled over it in several movies – on your way to Mallaig to board the ferry to Skye.
ONWARDS TO SKYE
Situated off the west coast of Scotland, Skye is known as The Misty Isle, home to dinosaur fossils, abundant wildlife, and Clan castles, as well as “thin places” – where it is said the earthly veil is pulled back to reveal where heaven meets our world.
While on Skye we’ll stay at the delightfully shabby chic Skeabost Isle of Skye Hotel, which was originally built in 1871 as a fishing lodge. The wonderfully named River Snizort runs through the grounds of this charming 18-bedroom hotel, and you can find two small chapels associated with St Columba, the first Christian missionary to Scotland, on an island in the river.
The first night we’ll gather in the hotel’s own chapel, which is now a private dining room, for a fireside dinner complete with music by the local talent.
The next day Skye is yours to explore. You can hike down to the fairy pools, filled with water in an other-worldly shade of blue-green that is believed to have healing powers, or visit the many local artists and artisans who live and work on the island.
No matter what adventure you decide to embark on, we’ll end up at the Talisker Distillery, Skye’s oldest working distillery, for a private whisky tasting of its alluring, full-bodied single malt. Then it’s off to the award-winning Three Chimney’s Restaurant for lunch.
In true Divine Destination Collection fashion – there might be a surprise or two waiting for you during your stay on Skye.
OUTLANDER FANS REJOICE
The following day we’ll travel back to the mainland for our next stop on the itinerary, the famous five-star Gleneagles Hotel (a member of the Leading Hotels of the World), a magnificent countryside estate in the heart of Scotland that was described as a “Riviera in the Highlands” when it opened its doors in 1924. It also has the only restaurant in Scotland to hold two Michelin stars.
But before we get to Gleneagles there is a real treat in store for Outlander fans. We’ll stop at the Culloden Battlefield, the site of the 1746 battle of Culloden that brought an end to Bonnie Prince Charlie’s Jacobite rebellion and was featured prominently in Outlander. We’ll then move on to the mystical site of Clava Cairns, a prehistoric cemetery full of passage graves and cairns – mounds of rough stones built as memorials and landmarks. These hallowed grounds were the inspiration for Craigh na Dun, the ancient stone circle where Claire travels from 1945 to 1743.
Once at Gleneagles we’ll get the chance to try your hand at falconry, or play a round on one of the hotel’s championship golf courses – one of which, the PGA Centenary Course, hosted the 2014 Ryder Cup.
In the evening you’ll go back in time to the roaring 20s as we transform the hotel’s American Bar into an exciting underground speakeasy…you’ll need a special knock to enter and enjoy the thrill of partying during prohibition.
THE ROYAL TREATMENT IN EDINBURGH
The last two nights are spent in Edinburgh, at the city’s most prestigious address – No. 1 Princes Street. This is the incomparable Balmoral – A Roco Forte Hotel, known as the grand dame of Edinburgh.
Only in Edinburgh can you feel part of history as you walk along the cobbled alleyways of the Old Town with Edinburgh Castle looming overhead, then venture into the Georgian splendour of the New Town for a shopping trip full of all the most luxurious and posh brands. To get a real sense of what it is like to live in this enchanting city, we’ll get the unique opportunity to dine with a local family and experience some delicious home-cooked Scottish cuisine, a dram of two of the finest local whisky, and some great conversation.
A special treat awaits on the last day in Edinburgh – a private visit to the stunningly beautiful Rosslyn Chapel, the setting for the final scene in Dan Brown’s The DaVinci Code. Then it’s on to experience Edinburgh Castle and raise a pint or two at a local pub before an exclusive farewell evening aboard the Royal Yacht Britannia.
You’ll feel like you are in an episode of The Crown as you sip champagne in the State Drawing Room before strolling through the ship – it’s all ours this evening – to see where Charles and Diana honeymooned, and then enjoying an elegant dinner fit for a king or queen, complete with Scottish dancers. You are truly in the Footsteps of the Royals!
ARE YOU READY TO GIVE INTO THE CALL OF BAGPIPES, ROYAL HISTORY, AND SOME OF THE MOST HAUNTING LANDSCAPES ON EARTH?
Take a look at the full Scottish itinerary and click on the Book Now button to register!
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