Tauck's Scotland tour begins: 5:00 PM, The Principal Blythswood Square Hotel. A transfer is included from Glasgow International Airport to The Principal Blythswood Square Hotel a historic landmark property in the heart of Glasgow. Please join us for a welcome cocktail reception followed by dinner at the hotel this evening.
Stirling Castle & Glenturret Distillery
Visit Stirling Castle, an example of Scottish Renaissance architecture and a town that developed around the castle. At the historic Glenturret Distillery, a tour takes you behind-the-scenes in the Highland's oldest single malt distillery; witness the art of whisky making and enjoy a tasting. Attend a falconry presentation before journeying into the wilderness of the Trossachs, also known as Rob Roy country; return to your hotel for dinner at your leisure this evening.
Cruise on Loch Lomond and a journey to Inverness and the Highlands
Travel through Highland moors, lochs, forests and craggy mountains, from Fort William to Loch Ness, where Scotland's 200-year-old network of inland waterways and canals connects the countryside. At Fort Augustus, you'll see the dramatic locks of the Caledonian Canal before continuing to Inverness. A lively Scottish evening lies ahead, with bagpipers, dancers, and a tartan and kilt making demonstration at dinner
Culloden, Cawdor Castle, and Scottish traditions
Accompanied by a local guide, explore centuries of Scottish history today on visits to the famous fields where the pivotal 1746 Battle of Culloden was fought, dividing families and clans; the ancient burial site at Clava Cairns; and medieval, slate-roofed Cawdor Castle, with its magnificent gardens, woods and connections to Shakespeare's tragedy of Scottish kings, Macbeth. Return to your hotel in Inverness for dinner. Tonight, learn about the history of clan tartans and Scottish kilts during a festive Scottish evening complete with bagpipers and Highland dancers.
Along the Yellow Roads to Blair Castle en route to Edinburgh
Visit a country farm today for a sheepdog demonstration then travel Tauck's Yellow Roads through the huge granite Cairngorm mountains and the soaring peaks of the Grampian range to Blair Atholl, the site of majestic Blair Castle. Your visit to the great white house, lying on forested slopes above the River Garry, contains more than 30 rooms superbly furnished with historical art and artifacts giving insights into seven centuries of Scottish life. Continue to Edinburgh; your hotel sits in the heart of the city on Princes Street.
A day in Edinburgh including Edinburgh Castle and Holyroodhouse
Drive along the Royal Mile this morning to the Palace of Holyroodhouse for a private visit - the home of Mary, Queen of Scots and the Queen's official residence when in Edinburgh (subject to closure). City sightseeing continues on a visit to the medieval fortress of Edinburgh Castle, a witness to many defining moments in Scottish history including the "Stone of Destiny" on which Scottish kings were crowned. A special Tauck highlight: If you choose a departure date for your Scotland tour July 30 - August 20, you'll have the unforgettable thrill of attending the world-famous Edinburgh Military Tattoo, performed by Scottish military units against the magical backdrop of Edinburgh Castle.
Edinburgh at leisure, or a visit to St. Andrews, ending the day with a banquet dinner
Today is yours to pursue what interests you most. In Edinburgh you'll find a treasure trove of atmospheric cobbled streets, Georgian architecture and hedged closes, along with museums, galleries and gardens. In seaside St. Andrews, where you can also go exploring, discover the coastal town known for having hosted some of the greatest names in golf and as the home of the third oldest university in the English-speaking world. Join us this evening for a toast and the warmth of Scottish camaraderie at a farewell cocktail reception and banquet dinner.
Tour ends: Edinburgh. Fly home anytime; a transfer is included from The Balmoral to Edinburgh Airport. Please allow a minimum of three hours for flight check-in.