An Insider’s Look: Scotland
IN A NUTSHELL
- 12-14 days is the best length of time for a visit
- For the best weather, April – September
is the best time to visit
- Travel in August for the Royal Military Tattoo
Was it the hit television series Outlander or the recent blockbuster film, Mary Queen of Scots? Whatever the impetus, we’ve been getting more calls about Scotland every day. There’s no doubt the glorious, sense-assaulting geography, cities that resonate with rich history and towns and villages that invite you to stop for a pint (or two, or three…) are calling this summer. You’ll find Scotland more hospitable than ever before; hotels are more luxurious and gone are the days when a gourmand would be hard-pressed to find someplace interesting to eat: many traditional pubs, long the heart of Scottish city and village social life, have upped their game with fresh takes on regional cuisine and there are wonderful restaurants, including Michelin-starred, from coast-to-coast. And those other great Scottish pleasures, beer, and scotch can now be savored at ultra-cool distilleries and micro-breweries.
Few European cities transport you back in time like Edinburgh does. Scotland’s mesmerizing beautiful capital is flanked by rolling hills and at its center, the towering Edinburgh Castle, a must-visit to capture the story of Scotland’s passionate and violent history. Walk the centuries-old cobblestone streets of the Old Town and New Town with its Edwardian and Victorian grandeur. Visit Mary Queen’s Close for a fascinating revelation of life in the 17th century and, of course, Rosslyn Chapel. Built-in 1446, it added to its fame by appearing in The Da Vinci Code and reveals the pious life of the Middle Ages.
- Visit Edinburgh Castle for spectacular views across the city, and insight into Scotland’s rich and often violent past
- Just an hour from Edinburgh…the famed St. Andrews Links. Book a round of golf…or two.
- Board the Royal Yacht Britannia from the Queen’s entrance, and enjoy private access to the Yacht and tea and scones on the Deck
- Have a drink at the famed Scotch Malt Whiskey Society – or a 5-course dinner with whiskey pairings
- Stay at the spectacular Rocco Forte Balmoral Hotel
Here it is – the wild romance of Scotland. The undulating grasslands of the lower Highlands’ moss-covered, arched bridges, winding village roads and thatched houses give way to the rising mountains of the upper highlands with shimmering lochs and jaw-dropping crevasses. Wonderful experiences await you in either and the ideal itinerary will afford time in both.
- Stay at the famed Gleneagles Hotel or the recently refurbished Cromlix House in the lower Highlands or at Inverlochy House in the upper Highlands, outside of Fort William
- Embark on a Private Highland Land Rover Safari, forging rivers and streams atop mountains in search of grouse, deer, and stags
- “Whiskey, please.” Sample at any of several iconic Whiskey Distilleries
- Trek with horses in the Highlands and explore the backroads and unchartered valleys
- Experience luxury glamping, salmon fishing, and clay shooting
- Learn to drive off-road, at the Land Rover Experience – taking a new Range Rover Sport to its limits
- Board a private seaplane and fly through the many lochs and valleys of Scotland’s iconic West Coast
THE ROYAL SCOTSMAN
As soon as the Belmond Royal Scotsman leaves the station it’s clear: Scotland is one of the most beautiful countries in the world to see by rail. Let the plaintive sound of bagpipes from the platform set the mood as you settle into a window seat in time for high-tea as the country begins to reveal itself. The Royal Scotsman gives you an impeccable Scottish experience with unforgettable views and opportunities to explore truly magnificent scenery, historic towns and iconic cultural landmarks.
- Chart your own course with various round-trip itineraries
- Cross the famed Glenfinnan Viaduct, as featured in the Harry Potter films – the route of the infamous Hogwarts Express
- Enjoy selected excursions from the train, like the pristine Isle of Mull, in the wild and alluringly beautiful Hebrides
- Dine-in style at night, unwind to live music, relax in the spa car…before the rhythm and the rustle of the train lulls you to sleep
– The Tully Team
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