The Scottish Collection: Castles, Highlands & Whisky

10 days

From days out exploring rugged landscapes and watching for rare wildlife and lake monsters to cosying up with a malt whisky by the fire, Scotland is an alluring blend of atmospheric landscapes and ancient heritage. From the Scottish capital to the wilds of the Highlands, this 10-day self-drive adventure introduces you to some of Scotland’s unique landscapes, flavours and traditions. Experience luxurious castle hotels and dramatic lakeside ruins, marvel at majestic landscapes from the Cairngorms to the Isle of Skye, and savour the tastes of Scotland’s natural bounty from innovative Scottish cuisine to the ‘Water of Life’.

Trip Highlights

  • Experience the wild, rugged landscapes of the Cairngorms National Park, and watch for the rare and spectacular wildlife that lives there

  • Discover the nuances of Highland whiskies and taste a range of malts with two tutored tastings on a full-day chauffeured whisky tour of Speyside

  • See if you can spot Nessie, as you cruise past dramatic ruins and spectacular scenery on the legendary waters of Loch Ness

  • Discover sweeping vistas and magical landscapes on a private guided tour around the Isle of Skye

  • Witness the impressive Glenfinnan viaduct, and watch for the Jacobite steam train that inspired the Hogwarts Express

  • Admire rocky peaks, wooded nooks and glistening waters, as you drive through the Trossachs National Park and along the banks of Loch Lomond

  • Stay in a selection of luxurious hotels including a whisky-inspired boutique hotel and one of Scotland’s most impressive castle hotels

  • Savour Scotland’s incredible larder through a variety of mouth-watering meals including a historic restaurant in Edinburgh and a communal dining experience

  • Travel at your own pace and stop when you want with use of a hire car throughout the 10-day tour

from $5,996 per person

This is a guide price based on 2 people travelling with a car-hire and sharing a room.


From days out exploring rugged landscapes and watching for rare wildlife and lake monsters to cosying up with a malt whisky by the fire, Scotland is an alluring blend of atmospheric landscapes and ancient heritage. From the Scottish capital to the wilds of the Highlands, this 10-day self-drive adventure introduces you to some of Scotland’s unique landscapes, flavours and traditions. Experience luxurious castle hotels and dramatic lakeside ruins, marvel at majestic landscapes from the Cairngorms to the Isle of Skye, and savour the tastes of Scotland’s natural bounty from innovative Scottish cuisine to the ‘Water of Life’.


Enquire online now

Trip details

Day 1

Upon arrival at Glasgow Airport, you’ll be met and assisted with your hire car for the next 10 days.

Enjoy a leisurely drive to Edinburgh, Scotland’s compact and hilly capital, presided over by the imposing Edinburgh Castle. Spend the afternoon relaxing in your boutique hotel or wandering the cobblestone Royal Mile, before a truly special dining experience.

We’ve made dinner reservations at a historic restaurant set in a sixteenth-century building at the gates to the castle. Choose between two atmospheric dining rooms, while you savour the very best of Scotland’s larder.

Day 2

After a hearty Scottish breakfast, jump in your car and head north into the Highlands. Your destination is Ballater, a picturesque Victorian village at the eastern edge of the Cairngorms National Park.

Your drive time is approximately 2hr 45, but we have a few recommended stops along the way. A slight detour takes you to Pitlochry, home of the famous hydroelectric dam and accompanying fish ladder where more than 5,000 salmon pass each year en route to their spawning grounds. While you’re in the area, continue to the House of Bruar to stock up on luxurious Scottish clothing and gourmet produce in this prestigious independent store.

Alternatively, simply enjoy your drive through the UK’s largest national park, marvelling at the spectacular scenery and watching for rare wildlife, including wildcats, red deer, red squirrels, pine martens, golden eagles and the elusive capercaille.

Upon arrival, check into your cosy Highlands retreat, an intimate 10-bedroom boutique hotel, and relax amid stunning woodland views.

Day 3

Today is all about Scotland’s famous ‘Water of Life’ – so you can leave the car behind, as your private driver-guide collects you after breakfast for a full-day whisky tour around two of Scotland’s most notable distilleries.

Discover how the simple ingredients of barley, water and sugar combine to create this beloved spirit, as you tour the distilleries and learn about their unique histories. Then enjoy tutored tastings of some of their favourite expressions, guided by your private whisky sommelier.

Along the way, refuel with a gourmet lunch in Aberlour. If you’d like to round off the day in style, we’ll make dinner reservations at The Fife Arms, where you can sample exquisite Scottish cuisine amid an extraordinary collection of art and antiques (dinner not included).

Day 4

Savour a leisurely breakfast in your Highlands hotel, and enjoy a relaxing morning before setting off for your next destination – perhaps you might like to go walking or wildlife watching in the Cairngorms, or visit the nearby royal castle of Balmoral?

Continue your journey north to the Tain Peninsula, a drive of around 2hr 30. Today’s destination is a true sensory playground, a hotel that celebrates the flavours and textures of Glenmorangie whiskies throughout its flamboyant and eye-catching interior design. Relax after your journey before settling down for a communal dining experience of innovative Scottish cuisine with a whisky-inspired twist.

Day 5

Following another hearty Scottish breakfast, hop in your car for an hour’s drive south to Dochgarroch Loch. Today’s adventure is a two-hour cruise along the Caledonian Canal and across the mysterious waters of Loch Ness. We can’t promise you’ll see the world’s shyest monster, but we can promise exquisite scenery and breathtaking views of the castles and monuments surrounding the loch, including the dramatic ruins of Urquhart Castle.

We recommend stopping at Inverness en route back to your hotel. Known as the Capital of the Highlands, this small city has a wealth of historic buildings, museums and galleries to explore, or simply enjoy a stroll along the banks of the River Ness. Alternatively, head just out of town to delve into Scotland’s impressive history with a visit to the Culloden Battlefield.

Day 6

Following breakfast at your hotel, pack up your car for the scenic drive to Portree on the Isle of Skye. We recommend taking the slightly longer route – with a journey time of 3hr 25 – to get an alternative view of Loch Ness. Stop at Urquhart Castle for superb lake views, and keep your eyes peeled for Nessie as you drive long its northern shores.

Relax after your journey in your boutique hotel, set within mature gardens with superb views over Portree Bay and the Cuillin Mountains.

Day 7

Known as ‘Cloud Island’, the Isle of Skye is rich in culture and filled with wild, remote and atmospheric landscapes. After breakfast, your guide will collect you for a full-day private guided tour. With so much to see, today’s itinerary will be planned around what you want to do.

Natural wonders include the enchanting Fairy Pools, crystal-clear pools in the shadow of the Cuillin Mountains, and the Quiraing, a striking landscape of rock formations and coastal views. The Old Man of Storr is an iconic rock formation, while Fairy Glen is a magical spot with mysterious circles drawn in the grass.

Nature lovers will adore Neist Point, one of the best spots to watch whales, dolphins and sharks offshore, while castles and distilleries add some culture and flavour to your adventure.

Day 8

You’re heading back to the mainland today, but there’s time for one final visit on Skye – Armadale Castle on the southern peninsula. Discover 1,500 years of history at the spiritual home of Clan Donald, as you explore romantic castle ruins and stroll around magnificent gardens, before driving on the ferry to Mallaig.

Back on the mainland, it’s about an hour’s drive to Fort William. Make sure you stop at the Glenfinnan viaduct to admire this feat of Victorian engineering – and see if you can spot the ‘Hogwarts Express’ crossing its impressive structure.

Your destination today is Inverlochy Castle Hotel, a 19th century Scottish castle set amid glorious scenery on the outskirts of Fort William. Unwind in your opulent room and treat yourself to dinner at the cosy ‘Seasgair by Michel Roux Jr’.

Day 9

After a leisurely breakfast and maybe a stroll around the castle’s wooded gardens, you’ll swap one castle for another as you travel south to the outskirts of Glasgow.

This 3-hour drive passes rocky peaks, wooded glens and glistening waters as you traverse The Trossachs National Park, before skirting along the western shores of picturesque Loch Lomond. Be prepared for scenic stops along the way – and keep your camera ready to capture the majestic scenery.

Your final destination is a 17th century castle that’s been transformed into a five-star boutique hotel. Conveniently close to the airport, this lavish property gives you one final taste of warm Scottish hospitality and classic Scottish cuisine before your adventure ends.

Day 10

Your exploration of the castles, Highlands and whiskies of Scotland draws to its conclusion today. Drop your hire car off at Glasgow Airport, before boarding your onward flight.

Enjoyed your English tasting experiences? Extend your trip and explore the new world of wines on mainland England!

All of the holidays we create are completely tailor-made to you

This sample itinerary is intended to give you a flavour of what we can do.

Enquire Now +44 (0) 20 8877 4940
Inverlochy Hotel

Nestled in the foothills of Ben Nevis with dreamy views over a loch, meadows, forests and mountains, Inverlochy Castle Hotel sits amid some of Scotland’s…

United Kingdom, Scotland

“Thanks for taking the time and trouble to call. You really have set the standard by which we compare all other companies!! Thank you so much for organising a fantastic itinerary with such an interesting and varied range of stop-overs. We are already starting to think about next year’s trip to France so would welcome any suggestions.”

Hilary Alder

Start Planning Your Holiday

Speak to our experienced travel consultants.

020 8877 4940    Enquire online

Book with confidence, we are fully ATOL bonded and ABTA members.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Sign up to our newsletter to receive inspiring travel ideas and offers.
We won't share your email address with anyone.

    Contact our team

    Start creating your tailor made wine-tasting tour today.
    Call our team on +44 (0)20 8877 4940

    Or enquire online