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The Scottish Highlands Grand Tour (Short) View Full Screen Itinerary

5 NIGHTS 6 DAYS, SCOTLAND'S GREATEST DRIVING ROADS INCLUDING GLEN COE, TORRIDON, GLENSHEE, HIGHLAND WILDLIFE SAFARI, LUXURY ACCOMMODATION

For clients looking to sample Scotland's best from sights, roads and experiences. Whilst enjoying some of what are arguably the UK's best driving roads our 'Scottish Highlands Grand Tour' provides you with an itinerary that is hard to top. Over 4 nights you will meander and rasp your way around Scotland's most famous and breathtaking scenery before returning to the capital city for one final night to remember. 

We have selected comfortable accommodation for this trip, all of which offer great dining experiences and are situated in accessible locations close to your routing. This is a driver's trip for sure, however we have made sure to include in the itinerary some cultural experiences not to be missed! 

Price based on 2-people per room sharing. For more information on extending your trip or to add additional nights please speak to your Sandgrouse Travel & Expeditions travel consultant. 

TTA 100% Financial Protection included and in Association with: 

     

ITINERARY HIGHLIGHTS

  • 1/2 Day Guided Highland Wildlife Safari with Land Rover 110 (Mountain Bothy Lunch)
  • Cross the Forth Road Bridge next to the Forth Railway Bridge & new Queensferry Crossing
  • VIP 'House of Bruar' pit-stop with champagne, nibbles & luxury shopping experience 
  • Glen Coe and Glen Etive, Glenshee, Plockton, Applecross, Torridon Mountains
  • Epic driving roads: UK's finest stretches of tarmac including iconic A93 Old Military Road
  • Opportunity to visit numerous Scottish Castles including Edinburgh, Eilean Donan & Blair Atholl Castle
  • Opportuntity to visit Royal Lochnagar Distillery
  • Scottish Cooking: 1-hour Masterclass with Head Chef at Ballintaggart Farm
Day 1

Day 1: Highland Attack

Today you will start your Scottish Highlands Grand Tour. This is an exciting road trip which will take you to some of Scotland's most dramatic places. You are thrown in at the deep end as soon as you start heading north out of Edinburgh. Here you quickly come to the world...

Today you will start your Scottish Highlands Grand Tour. This is an exciting road trip which will take you to some of Scotland's most dramatic places. You are thrown in at the deep end as soon as you start heading north out of Edinburgh. Here you quickly come to the world famous Forth Road Bridge. This bridge is something to marvel at in itself, however it is flanked by the iconic Forth Railway Bridge to the right, a monument to Victorian engineering and to the left the brand new Queensferry Crossing. Three beautiful bridges, each from a different century.  Before crossing the road bridge we recommend you drive down into the quaint and historic town of South Queensferry. Here you will find an excellent location for photographs of the bridges opposite the historic Hawes Inn. 

Two hours north of Edinburgh, on the the A9 just past the Perthshire town of Pitlochry, is the home of country clothing; 'The House of Bruar'. Here you will have a VIP meet and greet, with champagne and nibbles before being shown around the exclusive luxury shopping venue. The House of Bruar is a must visit and makes for a perfect lunch pit-stop (also a great place to pick up a momento or gift from Scotland).

After lunch you head west. You will be cutting across what is terrific highland scenery. Heading out on to the wild and remote Rannoch Moor it is not long before the entrance to James Bond's famous Glen Etive. The iconic view looms in the distance. To the right of the much photographed Buachaille Etive Mor, Glen Coe lays out before you. This is certainly some of the UK's most dramatic scenery. Take the time to stop in a lay-by for some photos and savour the ancient mountain views. 

After enjoying your hair-raising drive down through Glen Coe you will head north east up towards Fort William. Fort William is the final staging post before the a 10-mile stretch of road along the Great Glen to Spean Bridge. You will check-in to your first hotel here and dinner will be served at the local favourite at the hotel, Russell's Restaurant. 

4h 17mins driving time over 186 miles. 

Included: Tonight you are staying in the Bryson Suite on a Dinner, Bed and Breakfast basis. Smiddy House's Russell's Restaurant has been awarded an AA 2 Rosette Award for 10 years. 

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Day 2

Day 2: Southern NC500 Stretch

Today sees you follow much of the southern reaches of the fast becoming must-do North Coast 500. After a delicious Scottish breakfast you follow the road heading north west and on your way pass one of Scotland's most famous and most photographed castles, Eilean Donan. This castle is...

Today sees you follow much of the southern reaches of the fast becoming must-do North Coast 500. After a delicious Scottish breakfast you follow the road heading north west and on your way pass one of Scotland's most famous and most photographed castles, Eilean Donan. This castle is home to the Macrae clan. Make sure you stop here for some photographs and if you have time, a ticket for a tour around the castle is £7 per adult. We recommend allowing 1 hour for a stop, including photos and a 45-minute castle tour. 

After Eilean Donan head north past the Kyle of Lochalsh up to Applecross and then on to the stunning Torridon Mountains. Here you can aim to stop for a lunch pit-stop at the Torridon Hotel. The mountains are the backdrop to this most beautiful of highland retreats and they make for one of the most idyllic lunch stops you are likely to have in the UK. Home-made soup and bar snacks are served with friendly local service. 

After lunch you will be driving east along the initial stretch of the NC500, follow the road back towards Inverness. You will be enjoying some excellent highland roads, with twisting corners and inviting flat sections. This is one of the most enjoyable sections of road that anyone can drive. 

4h 5mins driving time over 170 miles. 

Included: Coul House Hotel, where a Large Double Room on Bed and Breakfast basis awaits. Dinner not included - circa £30pp a la carte. 

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Day 3

Day 3: Old Military Road - Glenshee's A93

After another comfortable night and an excellent full Scottish breakfast at the friendly Coul House Hotel it is time to hit the road again. Today you have a great day behind the wheel. You will be travelling essentially south via Braemar and Glenshee.

The first section the...

After another comfortable night and an excellent full Scottish breakfast at the friendly Coul House Hotel it is time to hit the road again. Today you have a great day behind the wheel. You will be travelling essentially south via Braemar and Glenshee.

The first section the day sees you head towards Ballater, just before you get here you will take a detour back west towards Braemar. Along this stretch of road is the world famous Royal Lochnagar Whisky Distillery. We recommend you stop here for an informative whisky tour. A visit to a distillery is something even those who do not drink can thoroughly enjoy. The process of making Scotch whisky is not only interesting but historic and connected to Scottish culture. Once you have passed through the tour we recommend you head to Braemar for a bite to eat (Gordon's Tearoom - one of the oldest establishments in the village serves hearty lunches). 

Heading south out of Braemar you immediately find yourself in driving heaven. Cut your way along the majestic A93 Old Military Road heading south. Flashes of heather and bubbling burns rush by your windows as the tarmac snakes its way up the glen. You are heading for one of Britain's few ski stations... Glenshee Ski Station during the winter may well have throngs of intrepid skiers or may just as well be an eerie ghost town. Either experience is something to be savoured as you crest the mountain pass. Pull over for a coffee and enjoy a Scottish ski station! 

Dropping out of Glenshee, the road retains huge character, open up the throttle but be sure to have the brakes covered. You will find a twisting, snarling stretch of tarmac with hidden crests and bumps that will test your driving skills. 

Tonight you are heading for Pitlochry where you are due to check-in to your traditional hotel.

3h 10mins driving time over 117 miles.

Included: Superior Double Room on a Dinner, Bed and Breakfast basis. 

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Day 4

Day 4: Highland Wildlife Safari and Scottish Cooking

Today is a different day from the previous days behind the wheel. Today you will leave Pitlochry early in the morning and drive a short 30 minutes across the mountain to the Aberfeldy area. Here you are going to enjoy a half-day Highland Wildlife Safari.

You will...

Today is a different day from the previous days behind the wheel. Today you will leave Pitlochry early in the morning and drive a short 30 minutes across the mountain to the Aberfeldy area. Here you are going to enjoy a half-day Highland Wildlife Safari.

You will be taken in a Land Rover 110 off-road vehicle up to 3,000 feet above sea-level. Up here the wildlife is unique. If you are lucky you can expect to see Mountain hare (pure white with their winter fur coats), Red deer hinds and stags, Golden eagles, Red Grouse and even Ptarmagin (what is effectively a snow grouse). Your guide who is an expert on the local flora and fauna will be able to explain the amazing environment you have entered today and you will learn an enormous amount about how this fragile and highly managed landscape remains as we know it. 

A safari style picnic lunch will be served today in a mountain top bothy (bothy, Scottish word for mountain hut) including a wee dram before you head down off the hills back to the lower reaches of the glen. 

On returning to your car, you have a short drive to your fantastic accommodation at Ballintaggart Farm, a foodie's dream. 

On arrival here you will enjoy an afternoon tea before being able to relax in your comfortable room. This evening you will have a 1-hour mini master class with your host and the brilliant head chef Chris Rowley. Chris will show you how to get the best out of his local Scottish ingredients before dinner is served. Tonight's dinner will be a feast of three delicious locally sourced courses. 

1h driving time over 40 miles.

Included: 1/2 day wildlife safari including mountain top bothy lunch, Afternoon tea on arrival, mini 1-hour masterclass cooking, double room on a dinner, bed and breakfast rate. 

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Day 5

Day 5: Hogmanay in Edinburgh - Happy New Year!!

This morning you will wake up in Highland Perthshire on the beautiful Ballintaggart Farm. Open up your French doors and enjoy the view across the glen before a sumptious breakfast made from local produce by the talented head-chef. 

This morning you are leaving the Scottish mountains and...

This morning you will wake up in Highland Perthshire on the beautiful Ballintaggart Farm. Open up your French doors and enjoy the view across the glen before a sumptious breakfast made from local produce by the talented head-chef. 

This morning you are leaving the Scottish mountains and heading south. Follow signs for the M90 and Edinburgh. Take the Forth Road Bridge once more which leads you back into Edinburgh. The city will have a electric atmosphere before the evenings New Year celebrations. 

On arriving in Edinburgh, check-in to your city centre hotel. Here you can freshen up or relax before thinking about heading out to start your Scottish New Year celebrations, or 'Hogmanay'! We recommend grabbing an early dinner before either enjoying the 'Street Party', a local pub, or trying to find a good vantage point from which to watch the city fireworks at midnight. Carlton Hill offers city centre visitors a brilliant hill-top viewing point of the fireworks.

Edinburgh is probably one of the most wonderful cities in the world in which to celebrate seeing-in the New Year. We hope you have a great evening out in Scotland's capital city and wish you a Happy New Year! For restaurant recommendations please speak to your Sandgrouse Travel & Expeditions travel planner. 

 

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Day 6

Day 6: Hello 2017

Whilst many in Edinburgh will be continuing to see-in 2017, we suggest you enjoy your final Scottish cooked breakfast at your city centre accommodation. This morning is your last morning in Scotland and signals the close to what has been an epic Scottish Highland Grand Tour. We hope...

Whilst many in Edinburgh will be continuing to see-in 2017, we suggest you enjoy your final Scottish cooked breakfast at your city centre accommodation. This morning is your last morning in Scotland and signals the close to what has been an epic Scottish Highland Grand Tour. We hope you have enjoyed your stay in Scotland and take home many great memories. 

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The Balmoral Hotel

LUXURY AT THE HEART OF EDINBURGH For over a century, The Balmoral has found a home at Edinburgh’s most prestigious address,...

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Coul House Hotel

NC500 - LUXURY ON THE OUTSKIRTS OF INVERNESS This beautiful 1820's MacKenzie mansion was purchased by the current owners, the Macphersons,...

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Pine Trees Hotel

TRADITIONAL CHARM IN HIGHLAND PERTHSHIRE The Pine Trees Hotel in Pitlochry is a traditional Highland hotel in Perthshire's Big Tree County. Nestled...

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Smiddy House and Russell's Restaurant

THE PERFECT HIGHLAND ROAD TRIP PIT-STOP Ideally situated in Spean Bridge, The Smiddy House is only 11-miles from Fort William, the...

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Ballintaggart Farm

A NEW AND RARE GEM WITH EXQUISITE FOOD A refined rural destination in Highland Perthshire. The farm is perfectly nestled into rolling...

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Hire a Land Rover of your choice:

With Sandgrouse Travel & Expeditions your Scottish Highlands Grand Tour route can be tailored to fit your own requirements.

"In a Land Rover the act of journeying itself is as much a part of your adventure as the places you visit." - Jonny Stage, Sandgrouse Travel & Expeditions founder. 

We are able to provide you with the choice of your very own Land Rover. Choose from a luxury Range Rover, Discovery, Discovery Sport or even a rugged Defender. Speak to your travel consultant today and discuss which of these luxurious vehicles would suit you most on your adventure around Scotland. Read our article from the Sandgrouse Traveller here: Luxury Scotland with a Land Rover.

Land Rover Holiday Scotland

Land Rover Experience Scotland with Sandgrouse Travel & Expeditions:

We can also include within your trip a Land Rover Experience Scotland adventure. We have a great relationship with the team at the centre and can arrange either a half day off-road course or full day experience on a near-by Highland estate.

Set in the heart of Perthshire, with stunning Highland scenery the Land Rover Experience Scotland centre on the shore of Butterstone Loch offers visitors the chance to fully understand the capability of these incredibly machines. Enjoy expert guiding and tuition from trained Land Rover instructors in one of the centres vehicles. 

If you are planning on doing the Scottish Highlands Grand Tour in your own sports car, let us know and we will make sure to keep you on the right roads. 

Land Rover Experience Centre Scotland

Range Rover at Land Rover Experience Scotland

 

What is included:

The House of Bruar 'VIP Welcome and Shopping Experience' en-route via A9, 5 nights luxury accommodation at Smiddy HouseCoul House Hotel, Pine Trees Hotel & Ballintaggart Farm including dinner, full Scottish breakfasts (N.B. dinner not included at Coul House Hotel). Half-day Highland Wildlife Safari with Land Rover 110 and guide including mountain bothy lunch, arrival afternoon tea at Ballintaggart Farm and mini 1-hour masterclass with head-chef Chris Rowley. Opportunity to visit Eilean Donan Castle, Edinburgh Castle and Blair Atholl Castle (with optional tours to be paid for at the door). Opportunity to visit Royal Lochnagar Distillery (with optional tour to be paid for at the door). 100% Financial protection with the Travel Trust Association. 

  

(Enjoy a wee dram in the mountain bothy after lunch on your half-day Highland Wildlife safari)

Not included: 

Your chosen hire car (please specify which Land Rover vehicle you would prefer and we will go ahead and cost this into your trip), fuel, dinner at Coul House Hotel, lunch unless specified, personal expenditure and shopping, tipping, experiences en-route (i.e. whisky tours, castle tours, guided sightseeing). Your Edinburgh-based accommodation and Hogmanay arrangments. 

Scottish Bagpipers Private Performance

North Coast 500 Luxury Driving

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