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Scotland – Royal Residences and Retreats

  • Scotland
  • OVERVIEW
  • ITINERARY
  • HIGHLIGHTS


Scotland – Royal Residences and Retreats

Eight Days

A land of castles, cashmere, and rugged landscapes, Scotland has a rich and proud relationship with the British Royal family and has inspired the Windsor’s for generations.

 This bespoke programme is specially designed to allow you to walk in the footsteps of royalty; whether you are having breakfast in Edinburgh Castle, gaining exclusive after-hours access to parts of Holyrood Palace not open to the public, or sampling a dram or two of whisky, at a distillery personally approved by Queen Victoria herself, in the heart of Royal Deeside.

 Luxury accommodation, an experienced chauffeur-guide, and exclusive access will ensure a thoroughly regal exploration of this wonderful country.

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HOLIDAY ITINERARY



Day One: Arrival to Edinburgh

Day Two: Edinburgh’s Old Town

Day Three: The Spirit of Scotland

Day Four: The Kingdom of Fife

Day Five: The Lowlands to The Highlands

Day Six: Royal Deeside

Day Seven: Perfect Perthshire

Day Eight: Onward Travel

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HIGHLIGHTS

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Day One: Arrival in Edinburgh

On arrival into Edinburgh Airport, you will be met and welcomed by your experienced chauffeur-guide who will provide a safe and comfortable transfer into the city centre.

Edinburgh, sometimes referred to as the “Athens of the North”, is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. It has two distinct areas: the Old Town, dominated by a medieval fortress; and the neo-classical New Town, dating from the 18th century. The harmonious connection of these two contrasting historic areas, each with many important buildings, is what gives the city its unique character and saw it awarded World Heritage Site status by UNESCO in 1995.

Check into your first luxury accommodation. Situated in a stunning Victorian building with Scottish baronial influences, it is a luxury hotel in the true sense of the word. While many Edinburgh hotels claim to have Edinburgh’s landmarks on their doorstep, few can say their own doorstep is a landmark.

Spend the rest of the day at leisure, resting and relaxing following your international flight

Day Two: Edinburgh's Old Town

An early start is required this morning for your pre-opening private guided tour of Edinburgh Castle. From its volcanic rock, it towers over the city, every inch a mighty fortress and defender of the nation.

Step inside the ancient walls and learn of the royalty who lived and died here, the battles fought over it and the struggles for control of the nation. See the Stone of Destiny – a powerful and ancient symbol of Scottish monarchy – and, of course, no visit would be complete without a private viewing of the Honours of Scotland, the Scottish Crown Jewels.

Your private guided tour concludes with a breakfast served in the castle. It promises to be a unique and incredibly special experience.

Thereafter, take a walk down arguably one of the most famous streets in the world, the Royal Mile. Characterised by narrow closes and cobbled paths, it is best explored on foot.

The day concludes with an exclusive post-opening visit of the Palace of Holyroodhouse.  The Palace is the official residence in Scotland of HM, The Queen and is closely associated with Scotland’s rich history.

Accompanied by a specialist guide, enjoy a private tour; this provides a unique and special opportunity to ‘go behind the ropes’ in selected rooms, including the West Drawing Room. This is used by members of the Royal Family as a private sitting room and is not normally open to the public

Day Three: The Spirit of Scotland

Leave the city behind for the day, travelling north.

Stirling is dominated by its former royal castle. Once a major power base of the Scottish monarchs, it is perhaps one of Scotland’s most important castles; whoever ruled here, often ruled the nation and it was here that the infant Mary, “Queen of Scots”, was crowned.

It was the favoured residence of the Stewart kings and queens. For generations the Scottish Royal Court gathered here to revel in its impressive buildings, superb sculptures, fine craftsmanship and beautiful gardens. Today it is meticulously restored to its original Renaissance glory.

Your guide will take you on a tour of this fascinating complex including visits to the Chapel Royal and the Great Hall, which has been painstakingly restored. The Castle overlooks the site of the Battle of Stirling Bridge where William “Braveheart” Wallace defeated the English in 1297. On the other side of the valley, the view is dominated by the Wallace Monument.

Whisky has been lovingly crafted in Scotland for centuries, and there can be no better place to sample the “water of life” than at Scotland’s oldest working distillery.

Found nestled in the foothills of the Highlands, it is home to Glenturret, a very popular malt, in addition to one of the world’s most popular blends and reputedly the best-selling whisky in Scotland; The Famous Grouse which was first made in 1896 following a royal banquet with Queen Victoria in attendance.

Enjoy a privately guided tour of the distillery. Learn how the single malt is produced and the art of blending, before sampling two whisky tastes – one from The Glenturret range and one from The Famous Grouse Range. Following your tour, sample three further whiskies from the Famous Range.

Return to Edinburgh for a final evening.

Day Four: The Kingdom of Fife

Today travel into the Kingdom of Fife. It is known as the ancestral home of Scottish monarchs, and as such has always been at the heart of the nation’s history.

Head to Dunfermline; it was Scotland’s capital until 1603, and is dominated by the ruins of the 12th century abbey and palace. It is the final resting place of King Robert Bruce, notably minus his heart, along with seven other Scottish kings.

To follow, travel the short distance to Broomhall House. For the first time since it was built more than 300 years ago, Broomhall House, the ancestral seat of the Earls of Elgin and the Fife home of the family of the aforementioned King Robert the Bruce, has opened its doors.

A private guided tour conducted by Lord Bruce, the heir of the 11th Earl of Elgin will showcase this remarkable and fascinating property, bringing his extraordinary family history to life. The most legendary family member is King Robert the Bruce, who successfully defended Scottish independence in 1314.

As you enter the hall, some say it rivals walking into the British Museum with casts of the Elgin marbles lining the wall and a Roman sarcophagus standing by the fireplace. To follow, admire the stately drawing room with its magnificent 18th century French mirrors before continuing to the dining room complete with an oversized fireplace, reputedly made from the marital bed of James VI of Scotland.

In St Andrews, check into a world-renowned hotel, recognised as one of Europe’s leading resorts; this prestigious property borders the 17th hole of the Old Course, and features a combination of classically elegant and contemporary interiors.

Day Five: The Lowlands to The Highlands

Travel north to magnificent Glamis Castle, which is famed for its connections to the British royal family and many other myths and legends in British history and literature.

As you enter through the Queen Mother Memorial Gates and drive along the mile long drive, the stunning castle and its beautiful pepper pot turrets will come into view; few could remain unmoved in the face of such splendour. On arrival, enjoy refreshments in the 16th century chambers before your specialist private guide takes you on a tour of the castle.

It has been the family home of the Earls of Strathmore and Kinghorn since 1372, when Sir John Lyon was granted the land of Glamis by King Robert II. In 1376, Sir John married the King’s daughter, Princess Joanna. Since then Glamis has been visited and lived in by many members of the Scottish and British royal families. It was the childhood home of HM Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother and the birthplace of HRH The Princess Margaret.

Inside, each room is steeped in its own history and secrets; a highlight for many is Duncan’s Hall, one of the oldest parts of the castle, which features in William Shakespeare’s Macbeth as the setting for the slaying of King Duncan by Macbeth.

 Continue north to Aberdeen, where you will check into your home for the next two nights. It is a relaxed and elegant five-star hotel set in its own picturesque grounds. Despite being well-established with past guests including Prime Ministers and British Royalty, the property retains the charm of an intimate, boutique hotel.

Day Six: Royal Deeside

Royal Deeside has been a favourite holiday destination of the Royal Family ever since Queen Victoria and Prince Albert first visited and fell in love with the Balmoral Estate around 1850. Since then successive generations of the Royal Family have adopted the area as their tranquil retreat.

 Accompanied by one of the Estate Factors, enjoy a guided Landrover tour of the Estate, which encompasses some 20,000 acres in total. Your private journey takes you through the manicured parkland and gardens at the front of the Castle deep into the forest – a haven for wildlife.

Opposite the gates to Balmoral Castle, stands Crathie Kirk. This pretty granite kirk was built in 1895 with the proceeds of a bazaar held at Balmoral Castle.

One of the most fascinating stories about Queen Victoria’s personal life was her relationship with her personal attendant John Brown. His grave is located in Crathie Kirkyard where he lies alongside his family and siblings.

Adjacent to the Castle is the Royal Lochangar Distillery.

Enjoy a privately guided tour of the distillery, filling store and warehouse, before making the short 10 minute walk up to the Top Dam, the distillery’s water supply.  Here, enjoy a taste of the award-winning Royal Lochnagar 12 Year Old Single Malt and Royal Lochnagar Distillery Only Edition, 48%, from European oak casks, and a limited run of 1800 bottles.

 Travel south into Perthshire. Your hotel is a castle first built in 1892, which has been impeccably restored to combine its historic past with contemporary design to create a unique and luxurious retreat. Situated in the heart of Highland Perthshire, the property benefits from a beautiful location just a short walk from the charming town of Pitlochry and surrounded by woodland with views overlooking Loch Faskally and Ben Vrackie.

Day Seven: Picture Perfect Perthshire

Spend the day exploring Perthshire. In the words of Sir Walter Scott, Perthshire is “the fairest portion of the northern kingdom“. Taking in the region’s beauty, from its serene glens and endless expanses of lush forest, to its bleakly beautiful moors, rushing rivers and tumbling waterfalls, it’s impossible to argue with him.

Enjoy a visit to Blair Castle. Situated in the heart of Highland Perthshire, the iconic white castle has acted as a gatekeeper to the Scottish Highlands for over 700 years. The castle’s fascinating history encompasses visits from key figures in Scottish history, including Mary Queen of Scots, Bonnie Prince Charlie and Queen Victoria.

Inside the castle there are over thirty impressive rooms to explore; in the Entrance Hall find weapons used at the Battle of Culloden, while The Tapestry Room is home to a bed which once occupied Holyrood Palace and tapestries which belonged to King Charles I. As you enter the Drawing Room, remember to look up – the ornately decorated ceiling is one of the finest in Scotland.

 Prior to returning to your hotel, perhaps make a stop at the famous ‘Queen’s View’. This famous viewpoint overlooks Loch Tummel, and is said to be one of the most photographed views in the country. It is said to be named after Queen Victoria following her visit to the area in 1866, however it has been suggested it may in fact have been named in honour of King Robert the Bruce’s wife, Queen Isabella of Scotland, over 550 years earlier.

Regardless of the origin of the name, the view is sure to inspire.

 

Day Eight: Onward Travel

Your chauffeur-guide will transfer you to Edinburgh Airport for onward travel.

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HIGHLIGHTS

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THINGS TO DO

BLAIR CASTLE

A castle full of fascinating history due to visits from key figures like Mary Queen of Scots, Bonnie Prince Charlie & Queen Victoria.

GLAMIS CASTLE

Glamis Castle is famed for its connections to the British royal family and many myths and legends in British history and literature. It has been the family home of the Earls of Strathmore and Kinghorne since 1372.

THE PALACE OF HOLYROODHOUSE

Is the official residence in Scotland of HM, The Queen and The Royal Family.

GLENTURRET DISTILLERY

Nestled at the foothills of the Highlands, Glenturret is Scotland’s oldest working distillery.

EDINBURGH CASTLE

Known as the “Jewel in Scotland’s Crown”.

BROOMHALL HOUSE

For the first time since it was built more than 300 years ago, Broomhall House, the ancestral seat of the Earls of Elgin and the Fife home of the family of King Robert the Bruce has opened its doors.

A private guided tour conducted by Lord Bruce, the heir of the 11th Earl of Elgin will showcase this remarkable and fascinating property plus bring his extraordinary family history to life.

PLACES VISITED

ST ANDREWS

Ancient coastal town widely regarded as the spiritual home of golf boasting 8 magnificent courses and also where the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge first met, whilst studying at the world-renowned university. The town is also home to several iconic historical sights, St Andrews Castle and St Andrew’s Cathedral.

EDINBURGH

Scotland’s historic capital city. Edinburgh, sometimes referred to as the “Athens of the North”, is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. It has two distinct areas: the Old Town, dominated by a medieval fortress; and the neo- classical New Town, dating from the 18th The harmonious connection of these two contrasting historic areas, each with many important buildings, is what gives the city its unique character and saw it awarded World Heritage Site status by UNESCO in 1995.

The Royal Mile, which lies at the heart of the Old Town is arguably one of the most famous streets in the world. Today, it is peppered with stores selling cashmere goods and hand crafted silver jewellery. However, in centuries gone by it was a different story: delving into the Old Town is like leafing through the pages of a dusty historical novel, as each era unfolds with its own legends and characters.

PERTHSHIRE

In the words of Sir Walter Scott, Perthshire is “the fairest portion of the northern kingdom“. Taking in the region’s beauty, from its serene glens and endless expanses of lush forest, to its bleakly beautiful moors, rushing rivers and tumbling waterfalls, it’s impossible to argue with him

ROYAL DEESIDE

Royal Deeside is an area that is characterised by a blend of moody mountains, lofty crags, tumbling rivers and moors and forests. Nearly 160 years ago, it was an area that captivated Queen Victoria; she surely spoke for future generations of visitors when she wrote: “Every year my heart becomes more fixed on this dear paradise.”

  • Accommodation

    From private stately castles, historic manor houses and country club resorts to luxury city hotels and Georgian townhouses, Dream Escape will find you the perfect place to call “home’ during your stay.

  • Accommodation

    From private stately castles, historic manor houses and country club resorts to luxury city hotels and Georgian townhouses, Dream Escape will find you the perfect place to call “home’ during your stay.

  • Accommodation

    From private stately castles, historic manor houses and country club resorts to luxury city hotels and Georgian townhouses, Dream Escape will find you the perfect place to call “home’ during your stay.

  • Accommodation

    From private stately castles, historic manor houses and country club resorts to luxury city hotels and Georgian townhouses, Dream Escape will find you the perfect place to call “home’ during your stay.

  • Accommodation

    From private stately castles, historic manor houses and country club resorts to luxury city hotels and Georgian townhouses, Dream Escape will find you the perfect place to call “home’ during your stay.

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