I recently returned from the Discover Scotland Tour and I’m really excited to share some details about my experiences with you! I found Scotland to be a really great place full of terrific food, friendly and entertaining people, loads of history and gorgeous scenery. Here are a few highlights from my trip that I think you’ll enjoy.
The Hotel in Scotland
The hotel was in a perfect location right in the Grassmarket, which is surrounded by pubs and restaurants and within walking distance to the Royal Mile, Edinburgh Castle and even the Holyrood Palace. It was very modern and they were very accommodating—trying to get guests into their rooms early on the first day.
Edinburgh and Holyrood Palace
Edinburgh is an awesome city! I would go back to Scotland just to spend more time there. The first full day is a tour of the Holyrood Palace and Edinburgh Castle. The local guide was a lot of fun and very informative. We spent about half the morning touring Holyrood and then boarded the coach to go over to the castle where we toured until around lunchtime. At this point you have the rest of the day to either continue exploring the castle (you can go see the Great Hall, the Crown Jewels, or just hang out in the café there) or you can make your way back into town. It is about a 15-minute walk from the castle to the Grassmarket. This day had the most walking on the trip, but it’s at your leisure and not overly strenuous.
Visiting a Scotch Distillery
I really enjoyed visiting the Scotch distillery. Even if you’re not a Scotch drinker, this is still an interesting tour. You get to learn about the history of the distillery and the process of making the Scotch. The guides are very entertaining and made the experience even more fun and interesting.
We visited Culloden Battlefield where I think history buffs will have a fantastic time. We had the opportunity to walk around the fields to see where the battle took place, and we got to go through the museum on site where they have a lot of interactive exhibits and historical artifacts. After that, we continued on to Loch Ness where we cruised on the Loch over to Urquhart Castle.
The cruise was about thirty minutes on the water and there was an enclosed section if you didn’t want to go up to the top deck. We had about an hour or so to explore the castle and get lunch. Climbing the castle steps up to the tower was challenging, but you can choose to walk around the main level if you aren’t up to it. There’s plenty to see there too.
In Loch Ard we stayed at a beautiful lakeside resort. After we settled in, we walked around to the back of the hotel where we visited a farm. We met up with the owner who showed us all the sheep and goats he had, and gave everyone a chance to take pictures with them. We then toured the rest of the farm where we got a history of some of the important figures that came through there like Rob Roy. We also had tea and a ginger/whisky drink while the farmer played some music for us. The sheep dog demonstration was a lot of fun! We watched as the dogs actually herded ducks instead of sheep, which everyone really enjoyed.
Dinner on the last night
The farewell dinner at the resort was delicious and the hotel itself was beautiful. They have a spa that you can use if you decide not to spend as much time over at the farm. It was a great hotel to end the tour and definitely left me with nice memories of my stay.
This was a really fantastic tour! I found that the food was really good everywhere we went. I enjoyed a lot of fresh seafood and local dishes along the way. The people are super friendly and entertaining. There is a ton of history in Scotland, everywhere we went there were really interesting stories about battles and famous figures. Finally, the scenery is breathtaking. I highly recommend taking this tour. Scotland is an absolutely terrific place!
by Adam Trybus