As your tour leaves Edinburgh admire magnificent views across the Firth of Forth as you drive north to Fife. Keep a look out for the UNESCO-listed Forth Bridge as you cross the Forth Road Bridge, then soak up the scenery as you wind through the countryside.
Scone Palace was the crowning place of Scottish kings where Macbeth, Robert the Bruce and Charles II were once crowned. Scone breathes history like nowhere else in Scotland. It is the family home of the Earls of Mansfield and the ancient crowning place of Scottish kings on the stone of Scone. See where the Stone of Scone, known as the Stone of Destiny, once stood. Admire the needlework skills of Mary Queen of Scots bedhangings that she worked on while in prison on Loch Leven. Discover the desk at which Frances’ tragic young Queen, Marie Antionette, wrote her letters prior to the days when the guillotine beckoned. You can also see the State Rooms where Queen Victoria was entertained on her way to the Highlands in 1842, and the bedroom in which she slept. If you are a lover of fine things, Scone is a treasury of furniture and paintings, porcelain and other objets d’art.
Discover Blair Castle, the ancient seat of the Dukes and Earls of Atholl and home to Europe’s last remaining private army, the Atholl Highlanders. Blair Castle is nestled in the landscape of Highland Perthshire and has been home to 19 generations of Stewarts and Murrays of Atholl. Unique amongst Scottish castles, the story told here will take you from a visit by Mary Queen of Scots to the Civil War and from the Jacobite cause to the disaster of Culloden following Bonnie Prince Charlie’s own stay in the castle. You’ll hear how the lucky inheritance of a smuggler-infested island helped turn the castle into a comfortable home and how a visit from Queen Victoria led to the creation of Europe’s only surviving private regiment, the Atholl Highlanders.
Widely acknowledged as Scotland’s most prestigious independent store, and its regal stature at the gateway to the Highlands makes it clear to see why. Situated on the A9, a short drive north of Pitlochry, The House of Bruar offers an extensive range of high quality products in both the Men’s and Ladies clothing halls. There is also a taste of luxury from gourmet produce, artisan treats and a fine selection of whisky and spirits in the Food Hall – which also homes the award winning in-store butchery and delicatessen. Housing the largest collection of Cashmere in the UK, you will be spoilt for choice in the Knitwear hall – which carries a large variety of high quality natural fibres. The use of natural fibres extends further into their ample offerings of Tweed garments and accessories, reflecting the Scottish heritage within the brand.
Overlooks Loch Tummel and is said to have been named after Queen Victoria, following her visit to the area in 1866. The Queen’s View Visitor Centre lies at the eastern edge of Loch Tummel and is surrounded by part of the Tay Forest Park. As well as a stunning viewpoint overlooking the loch and beyond to the iconic Schiehallion, the area offers a range of woodland walks suitable for all abilities. One of the most photographed areas in Scotland, Queen Victoria is said to have remarked that the spectacular view was named after her, when she visited the area in 1866. However, it has also been suggested that the view was in fact named after King Robert the Bruce’s wife, Queen Isabella of Scotland, over 550 years earlier.
One of the oldest working distilleries in Scotland. After enjoying a leisurely conducted tour, you can mull over the distinctive character of the finished article as you sip your dram of Blair Athol 12 Year Old. Blair Athol Distillery stands at the gateway to the Scottish Highlands in the picturesque town of Pitlochry, Perthshire. Set in open moorland south of the town, in the foothills of the Grampian mountains, Blair Athol’s ancient source of water – the Allt Dour – flows through the grounds from the slopes of Ben Vrackie, contributing to the whisky’s, mellow quality and smooth finish.
The majestic Dunkeld Cathedral dominates this picturesque Perthshire village. Today, part ruin and part parish church, the cathedral features the tomb of the notorious ‘Wolf of Badenoch’! Nearby, walk along Atholl Street’s variety of specialist shops or take a walk down by the river, which provides excellent views of Thomas Telford’s Dunkeld Bridge.
The itinerary above is only a guide as other historical sites can be incorporated into a tailored sightseeing tour of your own making. The tour price does not include your entrance fees, lunches, dinners or the chauffeurs gratuity.