Imagine a Highland setting for Christmas, with lochs, glens and rugged mountains. Then add a traditional Christmas dinner with all the trimmings followed by a Ceilidh (Scottish party!) and a dram or two! A wee bit different to sitting by the TV… A real Christmas cracker, the magnificent Scottish Highlands covered in a blanket of snow, as well as having the time of your life with Christmas Day spent in a Highland hotel fit for the Royals. This is one truly traditional Scottish Christmas to remember!
We say goodbye to the capital at 8.45am and head out on our Christmas adventure. Our route takes us past Stirling, home to Scottish legends like William Wallace and Robert the Bruce and the scene of many famous and bloody battles in the Wars of Independence. Further north, we travel through dramatic Glencoe, the ‘Weeping Glen’ and the site of the massacre of 1692, more recently used as a backdrop in James Bond Skyfall and Harry Potter movies. This place is seriously awesome, not only for the deep history that will give you goosebumps but the scenery too. We pass under the shadow of Ben Nevis and enter the Great Glen arriving at Fort Augustus on the banks of Loch Ness for the evening. Tonight get to know your fellow tour mates over a pint or two in the vibrant wee hostel bar.
We head west through the stunning Glen Shiel and on towards the Isle of Skye, passing beautiful Eilean Donan Castle, the most photographed castle in all of Scotland. Spend the day exploring the magical island also known as the ‘winged isle’ or the ‘Isle of Mist’. Famous for its ruined castles, jaw-dropping scenery and legendary MacLeod and MacDonald Clans, Skye should be on everybody’s bucket list. Your local Guide will immerse you in Celtic myths, Viking legends, and tell you tales about faeries. We return back to the mainland and travel to Inverness, the capital of the Highlands, for the start of our Christmas festivities at the Royal Highland Hotel where Queen Victoria once stayed! You’ll be greeted with a warm welcome and some true Highland Hospitality; enjoy a glass of Mulled wine by the stairs that inspired those in the Titanic before heading into town to sample the local night life!
Merry Christmas! We’ll head out with our packed lunches for a morning of adventures, snow-capped mountains and rugged coastlines. Breath in that fine crisp Scottish air (it will cure any hangovers) and enjoy the beautiful surroundings while your Guide talks passionately about the history and stories of the area. Snow permitting, your Guide will do their best to find a spot to have a little clan battle of your own, with snowball balls! Build a snowman or make some snow-angles, go on indulge your inner child, it’s Christmas after all! After some fun in the snow, we return to our warm Victorian hotel for a scrummy Christmas meal, turkey, tinsel and brussels sprouts galore (sprouts optional). Then it’s time to work off some of that meal by grabbing a partner to join in with traditional Scottish Ceilidh dancing in ‘The Wallace Ballroom’. The Hotels classic furnishings, antique portraits, elegant works of art and glorious crystal chandeliers make this a truly memorable Scottish Christmas!
Rise and shine! Outlander fans will enjoy today as we travel to sweeping and eerie Culloden Moor, the site of the last major battle on mainland British soil where the 1746 Jacobite Rising came to a brutal end, changing world history. Then we journey into the remote Highland wilderness to explore more of the hidden gems, majestic mountains, spectacular glens and shimmering rivers. Have your cameras at the ready, Scotland looks really bonnie in winter! Travel along the banks of Loch Ness (make sure to search for the monster as we go!) and pass Urquhart Castle as we make our way to our home for the night, back to the fantastic Morag’s Lodge in Fort Augustus. Grab your Tartan Toga, as tonight it’s time to party!
Sadly, all good things must come to an end. We say farewell to mysterious Loch Ness and head cross country through the Cairngorms National Park; into the forests and following the rivers of Perthshire. We stop at the town of Dunkeld in Macbeth country with its impressive Cathedral on the banks of the River Tay, before arriving back in Edinburgh at approximately 5pm. Make sure to have some Mulled wine at the sparkling Christmas Market and check out all the winter festivities in the capital before you continue your journey. You’ll leave Scotland with many more friends than you started with and no doubt have fallen in love with our beautiful country.
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Trip Name: Mega Highland Christmas
Duration: 5 Days
From Price: $1,189
Supplier Tour ID: XM3/159618
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