At Hammond Tours, we are specialists in orchestrating luxury tours. We are known for creating some of the best tours of England, Scotland, and Ireland—and our Scotland and Skye Adventure is one of the most popular.
Travel Scotland and Skye, two of the U.K.’s most historic places to visit, on one of our 7-day custom tours to Scotland from the US. Including historic landmarks, such as the Stirling Castle to Scotland’s capital city, Edinburgh, you will experience both the ancient and modern wonders that this great state has to offer.
Transportation, breakfast and of course nightly accommodations in luxuriant castles and hotels are included in our tours to Scotland from the US. This is a chauffeur-driven and private guided tour, but you may take it as a self-driven tour if you prefer.
Your Distinguished Private/Chauffeur Driven Tour Includes:
- Professional Scottish Driver Guide with Deluxe Vehicle from depart Edinburgh till arrive Bonnyrigg at the end of the day
- Accommodations for 6 Nights as follows or similar:
- Breakfast Daily
- Fully escorted sightseeing, as per itinerary
- All Driver’s Expenses
- Hotel tips and taxes (Except to Driver/Guide)
- Any items of a personal nature
- Dinners and suggested optional sightseeing that is mentioned in itinerary. All admissions suggested in the itinerary are not included in the rate are paid directly to sightseeing venues unless otherwise requested prior to departure. As a Chauffeur- Drive Tour is meant to be flexible it is our concern
Rates Determined By Number Of Passengers And Dates Of Travel.
Example private/chauffeur driven tour itinerary
In Edinburgh on Own
Arrive Edinburgh where you transfer on own via taxi to your hotel. Spend the rest of the day exploring the capital. There’s no better way to find out about Edinburgh’s majestic and inspiring history than by a hop-on hop-off bus tour. Each tour is tailor-made to offer a distinctive and entertaining experience and provide a great introduction to Scotland’s Capital City.
At the top of the Royal Mile and overlooking Princes Street Gardens and the New Town is Edinburgh Castle. In 1566 Mary Queen of Scots gave birth to James VI in the royal palace within the castle and the tiny bed-closet still survives. Most importantly to Scots, in 1996 the Stone of Destiny, Scotland’s coronation stone, was placed in the Crown Room alongside the nation’s Crown Jewels, (the Honors of Scotland), following its return from Westminster after a space of 800 years.
Travel along the Grassmarket, a paradise of independent merchants and eateries with a rich history. Stop to visit Greyfriars Bobby, the loyal Skye Terrier who remained by his master’s grave for fourteen years. Travel down the Royal Mile past St Giles Cathedral, the historic City Church of Edinburgh with its famed crown spire. Also known as the High Kirk of Edinburgh, it is the Mother Church of Presbyterianism and contains the Chapel of the Order of the Thistle (Scotland’s chivalric company of knights headed by the Queen).
Continue past The Scottish Parliament building to the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the official residence of the Queen in Scotland. The palace was home to Mary Queen of Scots for six years and houses beautiful tapestries and paintings.
Now take the opportunity to compare the old and the new by taking a trip around the New Town through Charlotte Square to the Georgian House to experience the elegance of 18th-century living in Edinburgh’s New Town. Designed in 1791 by Robert Adam, Scotland’s foremost 18th-century architect, Charlotte Square was one of the most fashionable and desirable residential addresses in the New Town.
Alternatively, you may wish to visit Ocean Terminal and view the Royal Yacht Brittania where presidents, kings and queens were entertained. It was, first and foremost, the home from home of the Royal family when entertaining abroad. Overnight Apex Waterloo Place, Edinburgh.
This morning your driver will collect you at 0900hrs and you will depart for the west coast of Scotland. Travel to Stirling, once known as the ‘Key to Scotland’, with its imposing position in the center of the country, to Stirling Castle.
For centuries this was the most important castle in Scotland and the views from the top make it easy to see why. Stirling Castle played an important role in the life of Mary Queen of Scots. She spent her childhood in the castle and Mary’s coronation took place in the Chapel Royal in 1543. From the ramparts you can see the Wallace Monument, perched high on the Abbey Craig around where Wallace camped before his heroic battle of Stirling Bridge in 1297, built in 1869 to commemorate Scotland’s hero.
Travel west around the banks of Loch Lomond where you will have the opportunity to make a brief stop in Luss to take in the stunning views of the Loch from the pier. There has been a settlement on this site since medieval times although much of the current village dates from the 18th and 19th centuries, having been developed to house workers from nearby slate quarries.
Around Loch Long and over ’The Rest and Be Thankful’ to Inveraray. Take a wander around The Edinburgh Woolen Mill for a wonderful selection of traditional and contemporary knitwear, high street fashions and many gifts and souvenirs or browse some of the unique shops situated on the main street, especially the Loch Fyne Whisky Shop where you may even be offered a dram. You may wish to stop at Brambles for refreshments and some home baking – they boast they have the best coffee in town.
Finally, you will reach Oban, the unofficial capital of the West Highlands and a busy working port as fishing and pleasure craft rub shoulders in the harbor. Often described as the ‘Gateway to the Isles’, Oban is the main port for ferries departing to the Inner Hebrides. This thriving community boasts one of the most picturesque settings to be found, with houses clinging to steep hillsides surrounding the calm bay and dominating the skyline is McCaig’s Tower, a coliseum-style monument.
Retreat to your overnight accommodation at The Manor House Hotel which was built for the Duke of Argyll in 1780 and is situated in a Georgian Villa overlooking Oban Harbour. Overnight Manor House, Oban.
Your destination today is Skye or in Scots Gaelic ‘Eilean A Cheo’ meaning Misty Isle. It has a wild mountainous interior where the peaked, ridges and pinnacles of the Cuillin Hills are among the most breathtaking in Europe and the coastline, with all its coves and inlets, is said to stretch a thousand miles.
First call this morning is a brief stop at the Glenfinnan Monument, where Bonnie Prince Charlie landed in 1845. You will also see from here the Glenfinnan viaduct used in the Harry Potter films. Catch the 1100hrs ferry and once on the island you will travel north to Broadford and set off for the west coast of the island for lunch at The Three Chimneys (on own) world-class Restaurant, situated on the shore of Loch Dunvegan at Colbost. Accomplished head chef, Michael Smith, has won numerous awards and accolades and the restaurant holds 3 AA rosettes continuously for 15 years. The Restaurant is housed within the bare stone walls of an original crofter’s cottage around 120 years old. With 3 small dining areas covering the whole of the ground floor, it has an intimate atmosphere.
After lunch visit Dunvegan Castle, the oldest continuously inhabited castle in Scotland and the stronghold of the Chiefs of MacLeod for nearly 800 years. Take a tour to see important clan relics such as the famous Fairie Flag of Dunvegan which was given to the Clan who helped a Fairy Queen. It is said to help the Clan in times of need if waved but can only be used three times. So far it has been used twice.
Another of the castle’s great treasures is the Dunvegan Cup, a unique ‘mazer’ dating back to the Middle Ages. It was gifted by the O’Neil’s of Ulster as a token of thanks to one of the clan’s most celebrated Chiefs, Sir Rory Mor, for his support of their cause against the marauding forces of Queen Elizabeth I of England in 1596. Overnight Kinloch Lodge Skye
This morning you may wish to walk in Glenbrittle Forrest where you can see the stunning Fairy Pools; beautiful crystal clear blue pools on the River Brittle, at foot of the Black Cuillins.
Although a suitably adventurous hike of over 2 km these famous pools entice visitors from all over the world, as they make some great ‘Wild Swimming’ for those brave enough to enter the cold water. For the less adventurous these magical Fairy Pools make some fantastic photos.
Return through Portree and continue north past The Storr the highest point on the Trotternish Ridge, the longest geological landslip in Britain which has exposed the innards of an ancient landscape sculpted by volcanic activity. Below The Storr is The Sanctuary, home to the extraordinary rock pinnacles the Old Man of Storr and the Needle Rock.
Travel further around the coast where in Autumn, Spring and the wet season the Mealt Waterfall drops 300 feet into the sea often never reaching the ocean, but getting blown away by the wind. The spot is also a popular viewpoint for the Kilt Rock where columns of dolerite form what appear to be pleats, like a kilt, in the cliff. If you fancy stretching your legs and enjoying a fabulous view, then a drive over The Quiraing is a must. It is a place of wonder and amazement. It is outstanding by any measure. If you are fit enough to walk the narrow path and scramble up and down the steep slopes – you must do it. Go on a bright and clear day for views of the Outer Hebrides and the Scottish mainland, framed by the pinnacles, cliffs and great buttresses. We’ll stop so you can walk through a landscape that dates from Jurassic times! See if you can identify the rock formations that are known as the “Needle”, “Table” and “Prison”.
Visit the Skye Museum of Island Life where a township of thatched cottages has been preserved, depicting the conditions on the island at the close of the nineteenth century. You may also wish to visit the cemetery behind the museum where Flora MacDonald is buried. Overnight Kinloch Lodge Skye
Today you will travel to Inverness making your way over the Skye Bridge to Eilean Donan Castle, situated on an island at the point where three great sea lochs meet, and surrounded by some majestic scenery.
Originally a stronghold of the Mackenzies of Kintail, but having lost control in the 14th century, the Mackenzies obtained a charter of Eilean Donan in 1509 and in 1511 the Macraes, as protectors of the Mackenzies, became the hereditary Constables of the Castle and it has been home to the Clan Macrae ever since. Travel through some of the most stunning mountain scenery towards Fort Augustus on the southern tip of Loch Ness, stopping for some lunch and to marvel at Thomas Telford’s feat of engineering. The flight of 5 locks transport sailing vessels and boats from Loch Ness at the north end into the Caledonian Canal.
Continue up the west side of Loch Ness to the Clansman Harbor for a 2 hour Jacobite Cruise to enjoy the stunning views of the surrounding mountains from the loch as you sail to Urquhart Castle, the site of many battles led by the Clan MacDonald, which stands on a rocky promontory on the north shore with stunning views of the glen and a chance to spot the famous Loch Ness Monster. It has a turbulent history: seized by the English in 1296, sacked in 1545 by MacDonald Lord of the Isles and later left to decay after 1689. Overnight Culloden Hotel
Today you will return south traveling through the mountains of the Cairngorms National Park. Before leaving the Highlands you will visit Culloden Battlefield where the last hand-to-hand battle was fought on British soil which takes on a whole new meaning with the opening of an exciting new visitor center and interactive exhibition. The battlefield itself is now restored to as close as possible that marched on by the two sides on that fateful day.
Your route now takes you over the Drumochter Pass (1500ft above sea level). Your first stop is at House of Bruar, nestling at the side of the famous Bruar Falls, for a variety of shopping opportunities in Scotland’s most prestigious country store. There is also an extensive range of Scottish foods for the gourmet and a fabulous ‘country kitchen’ restaurant.
Travel through beautiful Blair Atholl to Queens View, generally believed to be named after Queen Victoria who took tea here in 1866, the viewpoint actually commemorates Queen Isabella, wife of Robert the Bruce who ruled Scotland between 1306 and 1329. The stunning view across Loch Tummel to the Munro, Schiehallion is one of the most famous in Scotland. Rosslyn Chapel where the Da Vinci code was filmed. It took 40 years to build. The stone carvings are stunning masterpieces of the stonemason’s craft and make the church unique. Practically every surface of the Chapel is covered in handcrafted stone. People travel from all over the world to see the intricate carvings, and there are many different interpretations of their meanings. Myths, legends and Hollywood fiction writing have given Rosslyn a unique sense of mystery and wonder.
Your overnight accommodation at Dalhousie Castle a magnificent 13th century fortress set within acres of wooded parkland on the picturesque banks of the River Esk. The castle was the seat of the Earls of Dalhousie, the chieftains of Clan Ramsay. Overnight Dalhousie Castle, Bonnyrigg.
Transfer via taxi to Edinburgh Airport for your onward journey.
Haste ye Back!
Actual locations dependent upon itinerary