Follow this guide to discover the culture and country that inspired the works of Scotland's great literary figures: Robert Burns, Sir Walter Scott & Robert Louis Stevenson. The tour also includes a visit to some of the bold architectural creations of Charles Rennie Mackintosh and Robert Adam.
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Day 1 – Arrive in Edinburgh and get a first taste of the city’s magical atmosphere by following our guide to the its many historical, cultural, culinary and convivial charms.The guide provides a choice of 3 walking routes for exploring the city.
Overnight in Edinburgh.
Day 2 & 3 - Edinburgh Day Trips: There are enough attractions in Edinburgh to keep you busy for several days, but we also provide you with directions for day trips that cover:
• the nearby castles of West & East Lothian,
• a longer day trip to St Andrews and the coast of Fife,
• details of various day trips from Edinburgh by bus or train.
Stopover in Edinburgh
Day 4 – Head south from Edinburgh to the Scottish Borders, where Sir Walter Scott was inspired to write many of his famous novels. You can visit the castle where the gates have been locked for 250 years awaiting the return of a Stuart Monarch. The route includes visits to the famous Border Abbeys of Melrose, Dryburgh, Kelso and Jedburgh. You also have the option of visits to some grand country houses.
Stopover in the Scottish Borders.
Day 5 – Take a gentle drive westwards through the Scottish Borders and its romantic abbeys to the Solway Coast, where you can follow in the steps of Scotland’s national poet, Robert Burns.The route includes a detour option for a visit to an unusual castle that retains its old defensive moat. The journey ends in a choice of coastal locations near the colourful "Artist's" town of Kirkcudbright.
Stopover in Kirkcudbright area.
Day 6 – A drive north-west through the quiet glens & forests of Galloway, where Robert the Bruce started his struggle to win Scottish Independence. The tour includes a visit to one of Scotland’s grandest Castles, before continuing to the birthplace of Robert Burns, Scotland's national poet.
Overnight in Ayr area.
Day 7 – You can take a break from the driving and take the train to Glasgow. Our guide helps you to explore Scotland’s largest city with directions to discover some of Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s classical building designs and some excellent galleries and museums.
Second night in Ayr, or stopover in Glasgow.
Day 8 – Heading North to the Highlands, a short detour takes you to visit the superb house that Mackintosh designed in exquisite detail. You travel along the length of Loch Lomond with opportunities to visit a 1700's coaching inn that remains virtually unchanged. From Loch Lomond, you head west on a road that passes 2 interesting ruined castles before arriving in Oban. We also guide you to the Appin area, which was the setting for Robert Louis Stevenson’s “Kidnapped”.
Overnight in Oban / Appin area.
Day 9 – From Appin, follow the path taken by the hero of “Kidnapped” through Glencoe, and then join the route that Robert Burns followed on one of his Highland Tours, and read the poem that he wrote on the wall of one of Scotland’s oldest Inns. The day ends in the Pitlochry area where you can visit a choice of distilleries, take a short drive to a grand castle or follow our suggestions from some woodland walks.
Stopover in Pitlochry.
Day 10 – We provide directions for 2 return routes to Edinburgh. You may take either:
• A direct route that allows time for exploring 2 pretty conservation villages and the very complete Palace that was the country retreat of Mary Queen of Scots.
• A journey south to Stirling for visits to Stirling Castle and the Wallace Monument before heading back to Edinburgh via viewpoints for photos of the iconic Forth Rail Bridge.
Overnight in Edinburgh.