Castles and Wildlife of Scotland
Save up to £60pp when booking on or before 31/10/2018.
A small group tour to Scotland means you have access to some of the country's most spectacular sights and experiences that just aren't possible with a larger group. Enjoy accommodation at two bespoke hotels, step back to the golden age of rail travel with an overnight journey on the Caledonian Sleeper Train, and meet the local wildlife.
Meet your Tour Manager, and the rest of your small group party at London Euston station this evening, where you'll board the only overnight service running between London and Scotland, the famous Caledonian Sleeper Train. (There is also the option of joining the train at either Preston Crewe.) The train's inaugural journey took place back in 1873, and since then it's become a bit of a clandestine institution, something many have heard of but few have experienced. Settling into our comfortable club cabins, we enjoy a night on the rails.
Following breakfast on the train, we pull into Inverness at the end of a comfortable and relaxed overnight journey. At the station we are met by a coach which will transport us to the quayside for a magical dolphin spotting cruise along the Moray Firth. After an hour or so at sea, hopefully spent admiring pods of energetic cetaceans, we continue by coach further into the Highlands making our way to Tulloch Castle, our unique accommodation for the next two nights. On arrival we can expect a warm welcome which includes a talk and guided tour of the historic property. After time to unpack, tonight we meet in the hotel's dining room for a sumptuous meal.
We spend the day discovering Scotland's treasures with an excursion to the beautiful Eilean Donan Castle on the tiny island in Loch Duich, beginning our day with a journey from Inverness on the acclaimed Kyle Line. One of Scotland's most scenic railway lines, notable stops en route include Achanalt, where the marshlands surrounding Loch Achanalt have been declared a site of Special Scientific Interest and provide a habitat for several rare and interesting plant and bird species, as well as Achnashellach Forest, reputedly the site of an historic battle between three Scottish clans in 1505.
We disembark at the end of the line, transferring to Eilean Donan Castle, perched atop a tiny island at the confluence of Loch Duich, Loch Long, and Loch Alsh. This iconic castle has been filmed and photographed numerous times over the years, most famously being featured in the film 'Highlander'.
Originally built in the 13th century, the fortress was destroyed 400 years later during the Jacobite rebellions, and we learn more about the property's long and fascinating past during a guided tour before some free time to explore. Afterwards we return to Tulloch Castle by coach for dinner.
We say a fond farewell to Tulloch Castle this morning after breakfast, travelling further north by coach to Alladale Wilderness Reserve. Along the way we stop off at Dunrobin Castle, a turreted stately home set within rolling landscaped gardens, and the seat of the Earl of Sutherland - a member of the Sutherland Clan. There's time to wander round the house and gardens before we complete our journey to Alladale itself, a 23,000 acre Highland retreat, home to rare and endangered animals such as the red squirrel and Scottish wild cat.
Surrounded by rugged terrain, woodland dells and heather-tinged valleys, Alladale is a very special destination, offering remote, rural experiences amidst incomparable landscapes that have been used in many high-end commercial shoots by the likes of Vogue and Rolls Royce. After checking in we have the chance for an easy introductory hike with the hotel's longest-serving ranger, making our way to historic Croick Church. Afterwards we enjoy a real treat, dinner cooked by our own private chef who specialises in traditional Scottish cuisine, such as wild smoked salmon and locally caught venison, with a twist.
This morning we fortify ourselves with a hearty breakfast ahead of our full-day excursion. Being collected from Alladale's main lodge by expert rangers, we will embark on a 4x4 adventure through the winding valleys and craggy peaks as our guides try to get us up close and personal with some of the native wildlife. Watch out for herds of red deer roaming the lush terrain and eagles catching a ride on the thermal currents high above us. The hotel will have sent us off with a packed lunch, and a day of fresh air will certainly have helped us work up an appetite. On our return to the lodge we enjoy coffee and tea, served alongside cake as we participate in a talk about the history of the reserve and surrounding area.
You have a leisurely morning today, perhaps to unwind in Alladale's cosy surroundings or to head back into the wild for a walk before we make the trip back to Inverness by coach. Spend the afternoon sightseeing independently, perhaps visiting the city's red sandstone castle, St Andrew's Cathedral - which dates back to 1869 - or Inverness Museum & Art Gallery, which tells the fascinating story of the Highlands through a range of impressive exhibits. This evening we re-board the Caledonian Sleeper, making the return overnight journey back to London Euston, where your tour comes to an end.
Provisional departure and return times, where available, can be found together with our dates and prices by clicking on the 'Prices & Availability' button. We write to all booked customers approximately 10 weeks prior to the start of their tour to advise the exact departure and return time for their particular group.
An escorted experience and all travel arrangements
Characterful accommodation in your destination
Delicious meals included
Exciting excursions and free time to explore
Enhancing your tour
This tour may be suitable for reduced mobility passengers, please call for further information.
Enjoy accommodation at two bespoke hotels