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Luxury Scotland: Edinburgh & The West Coast View Full Screen Itinerary

6 NIGHTS 7 DAYS, SCOTLAND'S CAPITAL CITY EDINBURGH & THE STUNNING WEST COAST BY LAND ROVER'S ALL-NEW DISCOVERY INC. THE ISLE OF SKYE, CASTLES, PRISTINE BEACHES, MARINE SAFARIS AND GREAT FOOD

Your superb trip takes in some of the very best of Scotland including two nights in our bustling capital city right at the beginning of our world famous festival season. Experience the electric atmopshere of Edinburgh with buskers, street performers and much more as you enjoy two days exploring this unique city before leaving for the splendour of the Highlands. Whilst in Edinburgh you will be staying at one of the city's most famous hotels, overlooking famous landmarks and stepping out right into the heart of the action. 

On leaving Edinburgh, you will be issued the keys to your fantastic, All-New Discovery by Land Rover. These vehicles offer the perfect luxury touring experience and we find our guests are total Land Rover fans after an incredible few days touring the Scottish Higlands with our Land Rovers. Pushing west to the coast, the next few days of your trip sees you enjoy incredible landscapes and scenery, marine safaris, castle stays and visits, distillery visits and much more! We can't wait to hear your stories from this incredible trip!

Dates: 22nd June to 28th June 2019.

N.B. Price based on two adults sharing.

In association with:

ITINERARY HIGHLIGHTS

  • The historic Balmoral Hotel, Edinburgh 
  • Michelin Star Restaurant and Dinner Reservations in Edinburgh. 
  • Edinburgh Castle Tour.
  • Edinburgh underground city vaults tour with local expert guide.
  • Relais & Chateaux Dining at West Coast castle stay. 
  • Marine Safaris with local expert guides around West Coast islands and features.
  • Land Rover's All-New Discovery 5 from Sandgrouse Travel & Expeditions
  • Chance to visit famous whisky making distilleries
  • Pristine West Coast beaches and views to the Inner & Outer Hebrides
  • Stay on the Isle of Skye
  • Incredible food throughout at renowned accommodation. 
Day 1

Day 1: Arrival into Edinburgh

Today you will arrive into Scotland at Edinburgh International Airport. On arrival you will be met at the 'Arrivals Terminal' by your Sandgrouse Travel representative who will make sure you have your luggage before walking you out to your private transfer vehicle. A short 20 minute drive into...

Today you will arrive into Scotland at Edinburgh International Airport. On arrival you will be met at the 'Arrivals Terminal' by your Sandgrouse Travel representative who will make sure you have your luggage before walking you out to your private transfer vehicle. A short 20 minute drive into the city centre sees you dropped off outside the imposing and impressive Balmoral Hotel in the heart of this most vibrant of capital cities. 

Checking-in to The Balmoral, at an agreed time once you've settled into your room (complete with incredible caslte views), your Sandgrouse representative will sit down with you over a coffee at the hotel, and go through your itinerary making sure you are completely happy with the exciting days ahead of you. At this point you can also ask for any further tips on life in Edinburgh! 

This afternoon you have free to enjoy exploring this magical city. Famed the world over for it's character and atmosphere, you are in Edinburgh the start of what is called Festival Season so Edinburgh's party hat is really on! Take a stroll out from the hotel, the New Town (Georgian portion of the city) is ahead of you with it's wide open streets, shops and stunning architecture. Between the New Town and the move obvious 'Old Town' lies the green Princes' Street Gardens. Looming high above of course is Edinburgh Castle dominating the city skyline. What a place to be! The great thing about Edinburgh is that everything is really within 30 minutes walk of each other, from Old Town allayways lit by lantern to New Town avenues! 

This evening you have dinner reserveations at the michelin starred Number One restaurant at The Balmoral Hotel. Your table is booked for 8pm so you will most likely want to be back at the hotel early this evening to get ready for this fantastic dining experience. 

Accommodation: The Balmoral Hotel, Edinburgh. Junior Castle View on Bed & Breakfast basis. 

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Day 2

Day 2: Exploring Edinburgh

Today you will wake up looking out across one of the world's most beautiful cities. After a sumptious Scottish breakfast at The Balmoral Hotel you will be hitting the streets for a fantastic day of exploration and discovery.

Edinburgh is a city with so much energy, a...

Today you will wake up looking out across one of the world's most beautiful cities. After a sumptious Scottish breakfast at The Balmoral Hotel you will be hitting the streets for a fantastic day of exploration and discovery.

Edinburgh is a city with so much energy, a special historic city that is even more alive at this time of year with throngs of visitors from around the world, not to mention performers and street artists! Soak up this vibrant atmosphere as you walk from point of interest to point of interest. Today you have a time slot (please refer to your tickets) to visit Edinburgh Castle, make sure you head up early to avoid the crowds which build through the day. 

This afternoon continue exploring the best of Edinburgh, from the Royal Mile, to Holyrood Palace and even a climb up Arthur's Seat (the extinct volcano within the heart of Edinburgh - Holyrood Park). 

This evening at 7:30pm you will meet at a rendez-vous outside the front doors of St Giles Cathedral on the Royal Mile. Here you will be taken on a group tour of the city's Old Town streets, vaults and passageways - covered up centuries ago these historic parts to the city are hidden from view but now clients are able to catch a glimpes into the dark past of this historic city. 

Your tour will finish around 9pm. At 9pm your table is booked at The Witchery By The Castle restaurant, right at the top of the Royal Mile. Here you will be enthralled by a unique restaurant setting, as if plucked from a gothic castle or the set of a Harry Potter movie, dining at The Witchery is a great experience to enjoy whilst in Edinburgh. 

Accommodation: The Balmoral Hotel as per your previous evening. 

 

 

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Day 3

Day 3: Edinburgh to the West Coast via Glen Coe

Today you will be checking-out of The Balmoral Hotel in the heart of Edinburgh. After another cracking breakfast to fuel you up for the day ahead, it will be time to vacate your room. At 9:30am, outside the front door of the hotel a Sandgrouse Travel & Expeditions representative...

Today you will be checking-out of The Balmoral Hotel in the heart of Edinburgh. After another cracking breakfast to fuel you up for the day ahead, it will be time to vacate your room. At 9:30am, outside the front door of the hotel a Sandgrouse Travel & Expeditions representative will be waiting to hand over the keys of your Sandgrouse Land Rover Discovery 5. After a short briefing to making sure you are happy with the functions of the vehicle, it will be time to hit the road. Enter into the GPS the waypoint of Glen Coe and follow the directions north. Your routing will likely take you via Stirling where you will see Scotland's second largest castle (and a castle of great historical importance to our country). Just off to the side of the castle, another famous landmark stands tall, The Wallace Monument, built in the Victorian era as a memorial to Sir William Wallace this seems a fitting memorial to one of Scotland's great folk heros. 

Moving on from Stirling the roads become more and more mountainous until eventually you are snaking your way through incredible, dramatic glens calved out by the last ice age. These mountains lead you up to Rannoch Moor, one of the most remote and isolated places in the British Isles. Heading across Rannoch Moor (once owned by Sir Ian Flemings family - author of the James Bond books) you will run straight down into Scotland's most dramatic glen. Glen Coe is quite simply breathtaking. The mountains rise on either side of the road with great vertical ramparts. The history of Glen Coe is well-known from being the home of the MacDonald clan. Sadly the scene of a great massacre (when government forces made an example of the clan for not signing an agreement in time but murdering nearly all of the clan in their beds at night!). A few of the clan escaped, taking to the hills in the glen, many of those who escaped hid in what is known as the 'Lost Valley' - a hidden valley in Glen Coe where the clan used to also hide the cattle they had stolen from nearby land owners and rival clans. 

Thankfully, Glen Coe is littered with suitable lay-bys and parking spots for you to stop and take photos, if you have your walking bookts on today, it would be a nice plan to take a wee rucksack and a sandwhich and stretch the legs here. Within a few minutes of parking up and getting away from the road you have great elevation and the glen takes on a very special feel (even more so I should say!). Leaving Glen Coe you will drop down to the coast. Here take signs or follow your GPS towards Oban. Just before you arrive at Oban, you can check-in to your new hotel, located on a private 300 acre island, accessed by a small road bridge. Tonight you are staying at the Relais & Chateaux, Isle of Eriska Hotel & Spa. Once you've dumped your bags off and sussed out your surroundings, you will have time still to head into the quaint harbour town of Oban. 

Oban is a product of Victorian vision. Built originally as a town to serve the distillery, the harbour sprang up around the distillery's need to export the barrels of whisky! Amazingly, the town blossomed and now serves as an important hub from which the Cal Mac ferries serve the Hebrides and many fishing boats operate from this bustling little seaside town. You have x2 tickets to enjoy a visit at the distillery this afternoon - please refer to your travel vouchers for the alloted time slot (please also consider that there is a zero tolerance for drink and drive in Scotland - so it is best to take away your dram at the end of the tour - or let who ever is not driving have them both!!). Once you have enjoyed a good mooch around Oban, it will be time to head back to Isle of Eriska and really make the most of your time here in this hidden paradise. Take a stroll on the beaches, the golf course or in the wonderful grounds. Play a game of croquet on the lawns or simply enjoy relaxing before dinner is served in the main Dining Room. Diner here is fairly formal affair, so don something smart and enjoy the great food that awaits. 

Accommodation: The Isle of Eriska Hotel & Spa, Deluxe Room on a Bed & Breakfast basis

Glen Coe in summer.

Glen Coe in winter. 

Castle Stalker on your route to Oban and the Isle of Eriska - a stunning stop for a photo!

Check-in to your hotel, before heading out to Oban for an exploration and whisky tasting session. 

 

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Day 4

Day 4: Marine Safari followed by The Road to the Isles

Today starts with a relatively leisurely morning at The Isle of Eriska Hotel & Spa. Enjoy a great breakfast and if you have time, a spa treatment which can be arranged prior to arrival. Your first commitment of the day today is at 11:45am (however we advise working...

Today starts with a relatively leisurely morning at The Isle of Eriska Hotel & Spa. Enjoy a great breakfast and if you have time, a spa treatment which can be arranged prior to arrival. Your first commitment of the day today is at 11:45am (however we advise working to the time of 11:20am as it is best to arrive early.

At 11:45am, you will be suiting up with your local guides down at Easdale, a wee fishing port about 20-minutes south of Oban. provided with warm overclothes and life jackets, you will be heading out for a 2.5-hour marine safari on a fast boat RIB. The owner of the company who is operating the tour is a personal friend of ours at Sandgrouse Travel & Expeditions, and the tours are well-known across Scotland as being some of the very best and exhilerating tours by boat. You will hopefully see some fantastic wildlife from seals, whales and dolphins, to eagles and even otters! Beyond the wildlife, you will learn a lot about the history of the area and gain a unique appreciation for this incredible coast line from the water (always a different and very enjoyable thing!). 

On finishing your marine safari, it will well and truly be time for lunch. You can either enjoy the local restaurant on a island adjacent to the port where you start/finish your boat trip, or head back to Oban and enjoy a seafood snack at the aptly named "Seafood Hut" by the harbour. If this is full, do not worry, there are plenty of eateries in Oban. 

This afternoon is a drive you will never forget. Heading north your next waypoint is the town of Fort William. Fort William itself is not a town to rave about (despite having a great name!) however looming behind the town is Ben Nevis, at 4406ft this is Britain's highest mountain and certainly if the peak is visable it is a pleasure to marvel at this giant which dominates the skyline from the town. If you have time, we recommend taking a short drive down Glen Nevis, a dramatic glen hidden behind the town of Fort William where we have seen many a Golden Eagle sighting!

Pushing on from Fort William, your GPS should be tuned in for Arisaig. Arisaig is a small village on the coast, a few miles before the once bustle fishing town of Mallaig. This route was once-upon-a-time serviced only by the steam train (which still runs today). The route today is known by rail enthusiasts as one of the most beautiful railway journeys in the world - and fortunately for you, the road mirros the exact same route! You will be snaking your way through mountains and glen, eventually passing by the world famous Glenfinnan Viaduct before dropping down to the coast and to Arisaig itself. Tonight you are staying at the very charming Arisaig House Hotel, owners of which we are great friends of and we are sure you will love a stay here, in this magical part of Scotland. 

After you have enjoyed dinner, either at the hotel or in the nearby town of Mallaig - we wholeheartly recommend you take a drive out of the hotel and try to catch sunset from one of the local beaches. Cammasdarach beach is famous due to its incredible views across the sea to the Small Isle, Rum, Eigg, Muck and even Canna. 

Accommodation: Arisaig House Hotel, Superior Double Room on Bed & Breakfast basis. 

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Day 5

Day 5: Marine Safari - Loch Nevis Exploration

Today you will wake up on the stunning West Coast of Scotland and be embarking on a fantastic marine safari with a local legend and well respected figure. This is a unique experience, that only a handful of visitors to Scotland each year are able to experience! 

Today you will wake up on the stunning West Coast of Scotland and be embarking on a fantastic marine safari with a local legend and well respected figure. This is a unique experience, that only a handful of visitors to Scotland each year are able to experience! 

Billy, your guide will take you on a private 2/3's of a day marine safari in his converted fishing boat. You will have an amazing experience with Billy discovering one of Scotland's most beautiful and remote sea-lochs including its wildlife and history. At various points on the day with Billy you be able to get off the boat for a leg stretch either with a walk on a remote peninusla, magical beach or perhaps even visiting the UK's most remote pub on the Knoydart peninsula - accessed only by boat! Lunch is served today either on the boat, or on a remote beach and will include local freshly caught seafood, much of it by Billy himself - being an ex-fisherman Billy has not only great tales from the area but still a lot of lobster pots in the nearby waters! 

Heading back to Mallaig, it will be time to reconnect with your Land Rover and catch the ferry to the Isle of Skye. Here you will have only a short drive to your hotel, the renowned Kinloch Lodge Hotel. 

Check-in and enjoy an incredible dinner (included in the rate) tonight and this remote location at the southern tip of the famous Isle of Skye. 

Accommodation: Kinloch Lodge Hotel, Isle of Skye. Suite on a Dinner, Bed & Breakfast basis. 

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Day 6

Day 6: Isle of Skye Exploration

Today you will wake up at the southern tip of one of the world's most famous islands. The Isle of Skye is steeped in history and folklore and we recommend choosing one or two must dos for your days agenda. Skye is a large island and it will...

Today you will wake up at the southern tip of one of the world's most famous islands. The Isle of Skye is steeped in history and folklore and we recommend choosing one or two must dos for your days agenda. Skye is a large island and it will be important today to not be too ambitous with your travel, however with incredible daylight hours, there is lots of time to enjoy a long day of discovery. 

After an amazing breakfast (the breakfasts at Kinloch Lodge are superb!), we recommend hitting the road and heading north towards the Cuillin mountains and beyond. Talisker Whisky Distillery is a possible visit today, and the near-by Fairy Pools are now famous the world over thanks to Instagram and alike. However, we think a visit to Dunvegan Castle and grounds is a lovely addition to a day exploring Skye. Depending on your interests, and of course the weather, getting out of the car and enjoying an a great walk today is very much an option! With the 'right to roam' in Scotland you can park up more or less anywhere and head into the hills for a great walk through the heather. Make sure you are armed with a good map (available at most wee shops and post offices on the island) though as you do not want to get lost! 

Through your own research you may also have an agenda on Skye to follow? Nearby on the mainland, just a short drive over the bridge near Broadfoot, is the chocolate box castle, famous the world over, Eilean Donan. We love this castle and despite the large visitor number each day in the summer, it remains a worthwhile attraction to see and visit. With self-guided tours of the interior costing about £8 per adult, taking around an hour. 

Accommodation: Kinloch Lodge as per previous evening. 

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Day 7

Day 7: Early Departure for Edinburgh

Today you will enjoy an early breakfast at Kinloch Lodge before hitting the road for Edinburgh. With a reasonably large distance to cover today you will want to keep an eye on the clock, however you should have good time setting off early to reach the airport for...

Today you will enjoy an early breakfast at Kinloch Lodge before hitting the road for Edinburgh. With a reasonably large distance to cover today you will want to keep an eye on the clock, however you should have good time setting off early to reach the airport for your check-in. Once at the airport, a Sandgrouse Travel & Expeditions representative will be waiting to greet you to take the car keys. 

Today we recommend travelling towards the A9, and then south to Edinburgh this way. This is because this is a relatively fast road to travel on. 

Thank you for choosing to book with Sandgrouse Travel, we thoroughly hope you have had an amazing time whilst here in Scotland. 

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Kinloch Lodge

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