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Highlands & Islands of Scotland

9 nights Price from £2,996 per person
Departs: 08 Jun 2021
Departs: 08 Jun 2021

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From St Columba to the Lords of the Isles, Bonnie Prince Charlie, Samuel Johnson and beyond, the Highlands and Islands fire the imagination like no other region of Britain. On this tour we follow in the footsteps of some of Scotland’s most famous characters – and meet some of their descendants. Like them, we will discover how the Highlands confronted the modern world, and the tragedy and romance that followed. Starting and finishing in Edinburgh, we will explore the Highlands in the company of an expert in the history and culture of the West Highlands and Finlaggan Pursuivant – herald to the chiefs of Clan Donald.

What's included

...when you travel with Kirker

  • Nine nights’ accommodation with breakfast
  • Four lunches and three dinners
  • All entrances fees and gratuities as described
  • The services of tour lecturer Tom Miers and the Kirker tour escort

Itinerary

  • Day 1 - Edinburgh

    Arrive in Edinburgh – please ask about flights from your local airport, train tickets or perhaps an overnight cabin on the Caledonian Sleeper – and spend a relaxed afternoon and evening in the Scottish capital. There will be free time to visit one of the excellent small museums – perhaps the National Museum of Scotland with its superb collection of West Highland artefacts. We will then meet at our comfortable hotel in the centre of town for a welcome drink followed by dinner.
  • Day 2 - Travel north to the Isle of Mull

    Tom will meet us this morning at 9.30 and we head north and west into the Highlands, past Stirling with its magnificent castle and through the Trossachs into Argyll. We take ship at the port of Oban for the Isle of Mull where we find our cosy hotel. We will enjoy an evening dram at Castle Duart, headquarters of Clan Maclean, on its crag overlooking the Firth of Lorne.
  • Day 3 - Iona & Mull

    “That man is little to be envied, whose patriotism would not gain force upon the plain of Marathon, or whose piety would not grow warmer among the ruins of Iona” said Samuel Johnson, and we follow his pathway across to this sacred isle, celebrating this year the 1,500th anniversary of St Columba. The monastery and celtic crosses overlook the graves of ancient kings and the Lords of the Isles. Returning to Mull we visit lovely Lochbuie and Castle Moy, like Johnson and Boswell, visiting the home of another Maclean chief.
  • Day 4 - Morvern

    We cross the sound of Mull to Morvern, passing the castles of the Lords of the Isles along this strategic waterway. There, we visit the Raven family’s Ardtornish estate with its outstanding West Coast gardens, setting for one of the best examples of a grand Victorian Highland house and Kinlochaline Castle, a late mediaeval tower house. There will be time for an optional lunch of freshly-caught seafood before travelling through the wild landscape of the ‘Rough Bounds’ into Moidart to visit the romantic ruin of Castle Tioram, ancient stronghold of the Macdonalds of Clanranald, which stands on an islet accessible at low tide.
  • Day 5 - Glenfinnan

    We are in the heart of the West Highlands. The old Lordship of the Isles held sway here and Columba’s disciples founded hermitages in the glens. This is where the last Jacobite rebellion began. We follow Bonnie Prince Charlie’s boat trip up remote Loch Shiel to Glenfinnan to meet one of today’s preeminent scholars of those times, and view the monument to the Prince’s failed endeavour.
  • Day 6 - Isle of Skye

    Crossing the sea to the Isle of Skye from the fishing port of Mallaig, we shall take in Armadale Castle, seat of the Macdonalds and home of the Museum of the Isles. The current chief’s family is renowned for its culinary expertise so we will lunch in style nearby.
  • Day 7 - Inverness

    We return to the mainland via remote Glenelg ferry and the extraordinary Iron Age brochs nearby. Then over the Ratagan pass for a glimpse of the famously picturesque Eilean Donan Castle. Travelling north up the Great Glen and Loch Ness we reach Inverness and the climax of our journey, as it was for so many Highland adventurers. Here we will meet another descendant of one of the key players in the Jacobite drama for an evening dram in his castle.
  • Day 8 - Culloden & Fort George

    By way of denouement, we tour the poignant battlefield at Culloden where Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Jacobite clans came to the bitter end of their adventure. Then, in total contrast, the victor’s extraordinary monument at Fort George, still a military base in its beautiful symmetrical perfection on the Moray Firth.
  • Day 9 - South to Edinburgh

    We make our way back south, stopping at some interesting sites on our way to the Forth crossing: lonely Ruthven barracks, pretty Dunkeld with its ruined cathedral by the river and maybe Blair Castle, home of Europe’s last private army. You may like to visit the shops at House of Bruar before we end with a final relaxed evening in Edinburgh.
  • Day 10 - The tour concludes

    The tour concludes this morning after breakfast.

Flight Details

Contact the Kirker team to discuss your flight or rail requirements.

Departure Dates and Prices

08 Jun 2021

Status Available

Price from£2996

Single Supp.£290

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