Experience the Ultimate Vacation
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A land of bonnie lasses and bagpipes, Scotland offers visitors a genuine taste of the classic imagery you may expect to find on postcards. Hills of heather and men in kilts really do exist, and are not muted by the mighty mountain scenery of the Highlands or the burgeoning arts and culture scene in Edinburgh. Castle ruins dot the landscape while sheep-herding pastures sweep out to sea, and thrill-seeking bikers are tackling tricky mountain passes while country pubs are filled to the brim with patrons discussing golf or debating the poetry of Robbie Burns while sipping the country's signature single malts.
Day 1 - Glasgow: Glasgow was coaxed from its humble beginnings as a rural settlement by the establishment of a landmark university, and it soon became a centre of Scottish enlightenment. It is a city of perpetual evolution, with a feisty fervor for reinvention that has been nourished by its rich maritime history and its dedication to great entertainment; here is where you'll find one of the best music scenes in all of Great Britain. Enjoy the hospitality and humour of this humble metropolis while you tour its red sandstone Victorian buildings, amazing green spaces and the Glasgow Cathedral. Then you'll visit the historic River Clyde and the newly reopened Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum before settling down at the modern Menzies Glasgow and Leisure Club.
Day 2 - Loch Lomond Cruise and Inveraray Castle: While driving along the north banks of Loch Lomond it's not hard to appreciate why countless Scottish ballads pay homage to its beauty. Embark on a cruise amongst the islands of this freshwater loch while enjoying amazing views of the iconic Scottish Highlands. From there tour Inverarary Castle - home to Clan Campbell and fairytale turrets that pierce the impressive skyline. The castle's collection of fine tapestries, porcelains and portraits are juxtaposed with the muskets and axes you'll find lining the walls of the Armoury Hall - a collection once used to defeat warring clans on the spectacular Glen Coe. Explore this glen and then enjoy your accommodations at the spacious and spectacular Isles of Glencoe Hotel.
Day 3 - Isle of Skye and Clan Donald Centre: Named by its Norse inhabitants to mean "Cloud Island", Isle of Skye is a spectacular showcase of imposing peaks, lavish lochs and thoughtful moors where the Cuillin Hills guard a rich Viking history. Clan Donald also boasts a long history as Lord of the Isles, and you can visit the Clan Donald Centre dedicated to this narrative before moving on to picturesque Eilean Donan Castle and the famous Loch Ness. Legends of the Loch Ness monster are partially responsible for keeping the country of Scotland in people's vernacular, but the stunning scenery is equally noteworthy and today you'll enjoy a drive along its shores before retiring to your hotel in Nairn. Here you'll be charmed and challenged by a Scottish Highland evening full of bagpipe music and haggis feasting before turning in at the historic, castle-inspired Newton Hotel.
Day 4 - Culloden Battlefield and Glennfiddich Distillery: Enrich your knowledge of essential Scottish history with a visit to the Culloden battlefield where British Government forces made their mark in 1746. Continue on through the rolling hills of the Speyside region that will deliver you to some of Scotland's most famous whiskey distilleries including the Speyside Cooperage and the Glenfiddich Distillery. Here you can enjoy a "wee dram" of the oft-referenced malt that has become a standard against which all other scotch whiskeys are held.
Day 5 - Royal Deeside and Afternoon Tea: Though Scotland has shed many of the imperial influences of its past to forge a unique identity, it still retains some British influences - the best of these being the classic English tea you'll enjoy today - and it remains a favourite place for the Royal Family to visit. Drive along the River Dee Valley to view the summer home the Royals make at Balmoral Castle, and stop in Braemar where they annually attend the Highland Games. Then head to the Falls of Feugh to sample some afternoon tea and warm buttery scones. In the evening you'll relax at Ardoe House Hotel Blairs, a 19th century manor house.
Day 6 - Glamis Castle and St. Andrews: Travel south through Aberdeen where you'll be humbled by Glamis Castle, the childhood home of the late Queen Mother and legendary setting for "Macbeth". Then you'll move on to explore a landmark of Scottish leisure - the "Home of Golf". In the medieval town of St. Andrews you'll find a sweeping bay and thriving cafe scene all cradling a treasured golf culture that can be accessed at the Ancient Clubhouse or the British Golf Museum. In the evening you'll drive into the capital of Edinburgh to enjoy a true Scottish evening of music and dance at a traditional ceilidh before making your home at the sleek Holyrood Hotel.
Day 7 - Edinburgh: A city of high culture and lowbrow comedy boasting equally enchanting old and new towns, Edinburgh is a city of colourful contrasts. It is also home to the world's most dynamic festival which spews fireworks across the rocky crags that house its medieval tenements and lively pubs. Explore the mansions of the Georgian new town, and the narrow medieval streets of the old. Browse for tartan and shortbread along the popular thoroughfare of Princes Street, and then finish your tour with an amble around the battlements of the unbelievable Edinburgh Castle.
Day 8 – Tour Ends at Glasgow Airport
|Flight Date||Route||Flight Number||Departure Time||Arrival Time|
|Oct 13, 2012||Toronto to Glasgow||TS198||20:40||08:15|
|Oct 21, 2012||Glasgow to Toronto||TS199||10:00||12:25|