Day 1 - Arrive In Glasgow, Scotland. Welcome to Glasgow! Check into your hotel. The rest of the day is free for you to relax in Scotland's largest city. At 6 pm, meet your Tour Director and traveling companions for a welcome dinner with wine at your hotel. (D)
Day 2 - Glasgow. Trossachs, Stirling & Bannockburn Excursion. Start your day with a drive into the picturesque, forested region known as The Trossachs. Stop in Aberfoyle, the charming village on the banks of the Forth River, and then follow the route along the Lake of Menteith and through Callander to Stirling. Take photographs of the Wallace Monument, testimony to William Wallace's victory over Edward I of England's troops at The Battle of Stirling Bridge in 1297, as re-enacted in the film Braveheart. Next, visit STIRLING CASTLE, a great symbol of Scottish independence and favored residence of Scotland's kings and queens. Today's final highlight is the new BANNOCKBURN VISITOR CENTRE, commemorating the key battle in the Scottish Wars of Independence of June 23-24, 1314. Back in vibrant Glasgow, an orientation drive takes in the fine 12th-century cathedral, imposing university buildings, and elegant Georgian squares built by wealthy tobacco barons. (B)
Day 3 - Glasgow - Fort William - Glenfinnan - Isle of Skye. Drive along the "Bonnie Banks" of Loch Lomond, then proceed via Rannoch Moor, scenic Glen Coe, and Fort William, and follow the "Road to the Isles" to Glenfinnan. At Mallaig, board your FERRY for the crossing to the Isle of Skye then visit the MUSEUM OF THE ISLES at the Clan Donald Centre. Before dinner tonight, why not join an optional excursion to the spectacular Eilean Donan Castle, followed by a drink at a local pub? (Some tours may stay on the mainland.) (B,D)
Day 4 - Isle of Skye - Culloden Moor - Pitlochry - Dunkeld. Return to the mainland this morning and trace the shores of Loch Ness on your way to the CULLODEN VISITOR CENTRE, where you hear the story of the crushing Hanoverian victory over Bonnie Prince Charlie's Scottish clans. Then, a unique treat: admire a champion shepherd at Leault Farm as he manipulates his flock with up to eight border collies in a [LF] SHEEPDOG DISPLAY. Enjoy more spectacular Highland scenery as you drive through Cairngorms National Park and Glen Garry to the Victorian mountain resort of Pitlochry. This afternoon, visit a WHISKY DISTILLERY, where your guide explains the ancient art of converting barley, water, and yeast into a heart-warming liquor. (B,D)
Day 5 - Dunkeld - St. Andrews - Edinburgh. Look forward to a special visit to SCONE PALACE, the stately home of the Earl and Countess of Mansfield. Join your guide on a private tour of the Murray family home and hear about the crowning of Scottish kings, including Macbeth and Robert the Bruce, then enjoy [LF] COFFEE and SHORTBREAD. Plenty of time later to explore the palace grounds. Continue on to St. Andrews, whose Royal and Ancient Golf Club, founded in 1754, has given us the rules of golfing. Cross the mighty Forth Road Bridge to Edinburgh and tonight, don't miss our optional Scottish evening with Highland dancers, bagpipers, and the Ceremony of the Haggis. (B)
Day 6 - Edinburgh. Morning city sightseeing with a Local Guide introduces you to the 200-year-old "New Town" and famous scientists, inventors, and novelists. In the "Old Town," drive up the narrow Royal Mile to EDINBURGH CASTLE to admire Scotland's Crown Jewels. The afternoon is free to enjoy the Scottish capital at your own pace. Later, a unique experience: board the former [LF] Royal Yacht Britannia, once the perfect royal residence for the Queen's glittering state visits and family holidays. Tour five decks and see how the Royal Family and crew of 240 lived and worked on board. Dinner rounds off this exceptional evening.NOTE:For departures August 6, 13 & 20 tickets are included for tonight's performance of the world-renowned MILITARY TATTOO, a vast spectacle of massed Scottish pipe bands that takes place in an arena on the esplanade of Edinburgh Castle.
Day 7 - Edinburgh. Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (B)