3 days on the Royal Deeside Tourist Route, 16 days across Scotland with the Grand Tour, perhaps one of the best road trips in the world, Classic Scotland & the Orkney Islands package, BEST TIME AND PLACE TO SEE THE NORTHERN LIGHTS IN SWEDEN. Spend your whole day exploring before getting some well-earned rest in Kirkwall. A journey of contrasting scenery that starts by following the path of an old Military road that climbs through Glen Shee. ScotRail Scottish Grand Tour M-Pass suspended for 2020. From Loch Leven to Skye we provide 3 different journey options to get to Skye by either the bridge or the ferry. Please note that Balmoral is only open for a few weeks a year. Covering 2580 miles (4152 km), this route is the ultimate Scottish road trip. We found so many hidden and not so hidden gems, and everything was perfectly laid out for us so that all we had to do was decide how much time we had and what we wanted to see next. You can either drive the direct route, or head along the scenic coastal road. And you could enjoy a very expensive afternoon tea at the luxurious Gleneagles hotel. Unsurprisingly, it’s ranked by independent sources such as Condé Nast as perhaps one of the best road trips in the world. Spend the day exploring Perth’s charming old town, where you can visit the Perth Museum and Art Gallery and the Black Watch Museum located in the Balhousie Castle. When you "Checkout", you will have the option to buy the Accommodation Guide. Just like pictures of Scotland can’t do justice to the magnificence of the actual landscape, words can’t do justice to the brilliance and sheer volume of work you put in your guide. So glad we did. Mike and Aurey from Secret Scotland prepared a fantastic itinerary for us. Best Scottish road trip for: sea lovers, beachgoers and Harry Potter fans. Along the route you can explore some great beaches and test your courage by crossing a 200 feet deep gorge on a bouncy little foot bridge. We can't say enough about how much the detailed information enhanced our experience in Scotland. We guide you to all the famous sites of Orkney (Ring of Brodgar, Maeshowe, Skara Brae, Italian Chapel, Old Man of Hoy), plus lots of quieter attractions that the are missed by the mainstream tourist trail. Riding some 230 miles (370km) on quiet and spectacularly scenic roads you will experience an incredible range of trip highlights. The landscape of Inverpollaidh is defined by the distinctive peaks of Stac Pollaidh, Suilven and Canisp. I can't recommend it enough and wish more guides like this existed! Stretch your legs with a walk up the Old Man of Storr and admire the stunning Kilt Rock and Mealt waterfall. We recommend their services wholeheartedly. Consider making the detour along the banks of Loch Morar to try to spot the infamous Morag monster, or continue directly to the quaint fishing village of Mallaig. From Ullapool, catch the ferry to the Isle of Lewis and Harris. Back on the Scottish mainland, head south through Kilmartin Glen, an area rich with Neolithic and Bronze Age sites. Make your way back to Edinburgh by driving along the shores of Loch Lomond and through the Trossachs National Park. This is a drive through a truly wild landscape where nature rules and you can drive for miles without seeing a house. Add a Plot » Star: Paul Murton. Mike is also very responsive if you have any questions. My best go at recreating the route from this week's show in the Scottish Highlands. You continue up the West coast through a landscape of magnificent Highland scenery to the active fishing village of Ullapool. I feel so much more prepared for our trip and can now just look forward to our approaching vacation! In the future we intend to plan and arrange drives and events of which the proceeds will go to the charity Race2Recovery. In the last episode of The Grand Tour, the trio drove three yet-to-appreciate classics through Scotland on what’s called the NC500 rally. If you’re planning a Scottish road trip, read on for our guide on the 5 best driving tours in Scotland, as recommended by our Edinburgh-based consultants. Driving on the opposite side of the road from the opposite side of the car was a little easier without having to worry about how to get there! Devote two entire days to exploring everything Skye has to offer, walking its many trails and learning about local history. Please select Yes to allow this. The route includes Edinburgh, Glasgow, Fort William, the Isle of Skye, Inverness, Aviemore and … Get ready for the adventure of a lifetime with our pick of the best Scottish road trips. From Edinburgh, you’ll drive into the Highlands and up to the most northerly part of mainland UK to take a ferry to Orkney. Simply use the Secret Scotland code when you book via the Arnold Clark website and your car hire discount will automatically apply. Our Grand Tour of Scotland route takes you on a comprehensive journey from the rolling hills and ruined abbeys of the Borders, to the standing stones of Orkney. By way of contrast, you could also visit Floors Castle, the palatial home of the Duke of Buccleuch and his family. As you travel southwards, the landscapes change from the mountains of the Cairngorms to the rolling hills and woodlands of Perthshire. Today, you’ll spend the day driving through and exploring the stunning scenery of the Cairngorms National Park, a haven for hikers, bird watchers, nature lovers and in winter, skiers. If you really want to explore away from the “beaten track”, you can follow an alternative longer route around the remote Applecross Peninsula using a road that was only completed in 1975!!! On the final day, check out the medieval Drum Castle with its charming Garden of Historic Roses and ancient woodlands. From Durness, you travel east along the northern coast of Scotland and the landscape becomes gradually flatter as you approach Thurso. Allow a minimum of 11 days to drive this tour route. To help you book the best places to stay, we offer a guide to Recommended Accommodation along the route of this tour. 208 votes, 26 comments. Complete - sites, restaurants, pubs and experiences.” That is how I would describe what they do and provide. For the last leg to Inverness, we propose a choice of routes that let you choose between visits to a pretty Victorian spa town where you can sample the mineral waters, OR a short ferry crossing to the Black Isle where you may see some wild dolphins in the Cromarty Firth. The North Coast 500 (also known as the Scotland 500) is Scotland’s answer to Route 66 and is the ultimate Scottish road trip. The PENIS 287 is a circular route from Inverness, following the A838 in its entirety, before following the NC500 clockwise back to Inverness. Single participant per tour £1395.00 p/p. The Grand Tour in Scotland: Richard Hammond's unmentionable, James May's bagpipes and Jeremy Clarkson gets on his bike In the funniest episode of the series so far, the presenters return to the UK for a classic car ride across the sensational North Coast 500 in Scotland. Of course, The Borders is famous for its Abbeys and we give you a tour that lets you visit the religious ruins in Melrose, Dryburgh, Kelso and Jedburgh. We felt like we belonged in Scotland, we knew what we were doing and what it all meant at every step. On the way to Fort William, you could stop off at Castle Stalker, Ardchattan Priory Gardens, and the Scottish Sealife Sanctuary. Scotland is such a marvelous place. We had such a wonderful time we are going back again this year, and we will be using his itineraries again for our planning. Eilean Donan castle is a “must see” on this route, but we also supply directions for a small detour to one of the best viewpoints in Scotland. We thought the information provided was fantastic and allowed us to see things I am sure we would have missed. Exceptional accommodation recommendations. Paris, France was the most popular stop of the Grand Tour for its cultural, architectural, and political influence. S1, Ep2. There are several good museums that tell the story of the people that once lived here. The boys take three classic cars on a road trip across Scotland; Jeremy Clarkson compares the BMW M5 and Alpina B5 at the Eboladrome; Episode Guide. We recommend visiting the museum of Black Arnol Museum, and don’t miss the mysterious Callanish Standing Stones. Spend the day exploring the Isle of Harris to the south, including the quaint village of Tarbert and the dramatic scenery along the Golden Road. To comply with data protection regulations (2018), we are unable to store and use your information unless you give us your permission. The level of detail provided on each stopover sheet, in all the different itinerary options and on all the B&B features exceeded even my most crazy expectations. The wealth on display is quite astounding and it is incredible that all of this can still belong to one family, Driving Distance: ~47 miles to Melrose / ~64 miles to Jedburgh. The Grand Tour is a British motoring television series for Amazon Prime Video, presented by Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May.The programme focuses on conducting reviews of various models of car, new models and vintage classics, as well as tackling motoring-styled challenges and races, and features the use of studio segments between pre-recorded films. Here you’ll also find tropical-looking beaches with white sand and turquoise waters. The guide includes suggestions for 4 days trips to explore the Orkney Mainland and the smaller islands of Hoy and Rousay. But, as the episode begins, the trio aren’t overly complimentary about the country. Along the way, visit the beautiful Smoo Cave, the largest and most dramatic sea cave in Britain. We provide directions for a choice of 3 walking routes for discovering the Capital City. Best Scottish road trip for: castle-spotters, trendy travellers and … He loves nerding out over writing, SEO, board games and sci-fi. Scottish Grand Tour. Despite lying further north than Moscow, the mild west coast climate enables all sorts of sub tropical plants to thrive in this Highland oasis. View our data protection policy for details, © Copyright 2021 Secret Scotland - Header Images by Ed Duncan Photography, This site uses cookies. Would definitely recommend this site. Located just off the Isle of Mull, today we recommend visiting the tiny islands of Iona and Staffa. In the following video, you can see the boys in the city of Inverness in their cars; an Alfa Romeo GTV6, a Fiat X1/9, and a Lancia Gamma: Allow a minimum of 11 days to drive this tour route. We used Mike's Flexi Days East to West itinerary last July and it was truly indispensable. We suggest a journey break in the picturesque Victorian spa town of Pitlochry where you will find a cluster of interesting tourist attractions such as Blair Castle, the famous Salmon Ladder, the woodlands of Killiecrankie Pass and a couple of Whisky distilleries. From there, walk up to “The Old Man of Storr” and witness the beautiful Kilt Rock Waterfall. It was a huge ingredient in the success and huge enjoyment that we got from our trip. We'd love to give you the same amazing travel experiences as you read about in our blog! The traditional circular loop covers over 500 miles (830 km) of iconic scenery, historic villages, castles and coastline. Ready for the ultimate road trip? Don't forget to explore Urquhart Castle, resting on the loch shore. Make a detour to Easdale Island, where you could go on a whale-watching trip and visit a local seal colony. The last section of the drive takes you through Speyside, which is home to over half the whisky distilleries in Scotland. Expect rocky cliffs, golden beaches (perhaps a surprise?) Highlights along the route are Dunrobin Castle, the ornate home of the Dukes of Sutherland, the opportunity for a whisky tasting at Glenmorangie Distillery and a wander around the picturesque village of Dornoch with its charming little cathedral and famous golf course. To visit the destinations and attractions mentioned in this post - and to discover a few new highlights along the way - check out these recommended Nordic Visitor tours. Best Scottish road trip for: nature lovers, golfers and history buffs. These mountains emerge like icebergs from an expanse of wild moorland. Best Scottish road trip for: seafood lovers, wildlife watchers and Munro baggers. We are so confident that you’ll be delighted with your guide that we offer a full Money Back Guarantee. 110 Reykjavík Our Grand Tour of Scotland is a classic road cycling tour connecting the Highland capital of Inverness to the Scottish capital of Edinburgh. One of the “must sees” is the impressive cavern at Smoo Cave. Sample seafood, explore the ancient kingdoms and admire the Scottish Highlands on the Argyll Coastal Route. Start at the Kilmartin Museum and then, drive to Carnasserie Castle, a 15th-century tower house, that played a role in Argyll’s rebellion against James VII. The day ends in the historically important town of Stirling, which has been the focal point of two of the most decisive battles in the Scottish Wars of Independence. Of course, Scotland can hardly let anyone down, but this guide truly made it an adventure. The Grand Tour: Jeremy Clarkson breaks down while filming North Coast 500 route ... Richard Hammond and James May, have been tackling the North Coast 500 route round the north of Scotland … The Grand Tour was the 17th- and 18th-century custom of a traditional trip through Europe undertaken by upper-class young European men of sufficient means and rank (typically accompanied by a chaperone, such as a family member) when they had come of age (about 21 years old).. After the high plateau of the Cairngorms, you descend to the neat little villages of Ballater and Braemar in Royal Deeside. Our recommended route takes in Orkney and Skye as well - both should not be missed if you are in this neighbourhood! You can even sample whisky at Talisker Distillery. Other highlights include the Quiraing, An Corran Beach and the Fairy Glen. Among his top travel experiences are sailing along Geirangerfjord with classically trained singers providing the soundtrack, seeing the northern lights twice in one Reykjavík weekend, and enjoying 9:00am honey mojitos at a tobacco farm in Viñales, Cuba. Visit historic sites like McCaig's Tower or Dunollie Museum, sample fresh seafood or whisky at Oban Distillery. The guide also contains extra day trip suggestions for extending the tour to 3 – 4 weeks. After this epic 16-day drive, you’ll feel like you’ve genuinely seen our beautiful country. From Pitlochry to Stirling, the route follows the fast main roads to allow you more time for sightseeing. Driving Distance: ~120 miles – Oban to Skye Bridge. The 2500 exotic plants and flowers within manage to flourish thanks to warmth provided by the Gulf Stream, which nuzzles against the coastline here. View Map. If you don't have time to stay a few nights on Orkney you have the option of a day trip visit. My wife and I chose this tour because we wanted to visit some of the more remote locations of Scotland. Skye is a large island with many of the places of interest located at the end of single track roads. The guide also details a choice of attractions that can be visited around Edinburgh by bus and train. Here you’ll be able to learn about its Gaelic culture and history. One of the shortest routes, the Royal Deeside Tourist Route is only 108 miles (174 km) so can easily be driven in a day or two. Thank you so much. Returning towards Edinburgh, you follow the path of an old Roman Road to the outskirts of the capital. We also recommend a small detour to a very interesting little castle that most tourists miss. The NC500 route offers visitors the opportunity to see rugged landscapes, frolic on sandy beaches, spot wildlife, visit museums and heritage sites, stay in castles, sip whisky, sample the local produce, and get to know the people who live there. End your day in Glenfinnan, along the shores of Loch Shiel. Start anywhere on this circular route, and hop on and off at stations along the way. For more information, please see our, Grand Tour itinerary can be done in 14 days, Driving Distance: ~87 miles (plus a ~40 minute ferry crossing) – Oban to Mallaig ferry via Fort William, Driving Distance: ~98 miles (plus a ~40 minute ferry crossing) – Oban to Mallaig ferry via Sunart, Driving Distance: ~120 miles – Oban to Skye Bridge. Before you reach Skye, we suggest a pit stop at the photogenic village of Plockton, near the shores of Loch Carron. As always, we recommend walks, picnic spots, the best value attractions and restaurants. Read More. It is possible to take guided walks into the caves, but to do this you first need to take a small boat ride. Kick off your route at the iconic Inverness Castle, crossing the Black Isle Peninsula in early morning. The writer died here in 1832 and his family preserved the main rooms of the house in almost exactly the same state that he had left them in. …. You’ll even be able to call them 24/7 on our emergency helpline in case a ferry is delayed or you otherwise need assistance during your trip. Get acquainted with Orkney, with its jaw dropping scenery and ruins dating back to the Stone Age. Travel through the enchanting landscape of the Cairngorms National Park on your drive from Perth to Aberdeen on the Royal Deeside Tourist Route. Best Scottish road trip for: seeing it all, history buffs, nature lovers, whisky connoisseurs, and those with a deep Scottish pride. After breakfast, start by visiting the breathtaking mile-long Corrieshalloch Gorge. The drive includes a visit to the very pretty village of Plockton and the famous botanic gardens at Inverewe. The route passes the Bronze Age burial cairns at Clava, the 14th century Cawdor Castle, which is still home to the Countess of Cawdor, and Culloden Battlefield, where the tragic events of 1746 changed the Highlands forever. : thegrandtour. Many ferries leave from here, making it the perfect starting point for island hopping. Add to Watchlist. Kilchurn castle is an impressive stronghold that guards the eastern approaches of this historically strategic passage to the west coast. But the better option, in our opinion, is to take your time and stretch it across a long weekend, making sightseeing stops along the way. I would also recommend his accommodations guide. You’ll drive through the mighty Highlands, past rumbling rivers, travel to iconic islands like Orkney and Skye, and have plenty of opportunities to stop off along the way. View map. Grand Tour of Scotland. minimum 1 / maximum 4 participants. We recommend setting aside a couple of hours for a look around, before heading on to seaside Scrabster. Catch the ferry to the Isle of Skye and then explore the northern part of the island, the beautiful Trotternish Peninsula. We’ve put together this comprehensive North Coast 500 guide to help you plan the perfect North Coast 500 road trip in Scotland. Driving Distance: ~55 miles (Gairloch to Ullapool). We recommend that you allow ~2 hours for a full tour of Stirling castle so you may prefer to leave this attraction until the morning of the following day. Argyll Coastal Route. Driving north, stop to visit the UNESCO City of Design, Dundee, before heading up to Aberdeen. In the upcoming episode of The Grand Tour we follow Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May on their journey on the Nort Coast 500 in Scotland. Grand Tour of Scotland & Ireland. It runs along the north coast of Scotland, taking in clifftop castles, beaches with white sands and turquoise waters, famous film locations, and much more. It’s 500 miles of gorgeous road that run almost parallel to Scotland’s North Coast. Scotland & Ireland. HIGHLY RECOMMEND. You may wish to stop by Inveraray, a lovely village on the banks of Loch Fyne. From Thurso, we guide you across empty moorlands to the North Sea where you turn southwards to follow a road that hugs a coastline of rugged windswept cliffs. Continue west to Inveraray, a charming village known for its whitewashed houses, historic jail and fairytale castle. Continuing along the route of an old Cattle Drover’s road, you arrive at Loch Awe, the longest loch in Scotland. Absorb stunning mountain landscapes and glittering loch views as you travel … Visit the colourful village of Portree, then drive around the northern part of the island and take in the impressive Trotternish Peninsula along the way. We have just got back from an EXCELLENT holiday following the Borders to Orkney route suggestions. We also recommend a small detour to the photogenic Falls of Dochart in Killin. The Grand Tour: Jeremy Clarkson breaks down while filming in Scotland Venturing down Castle Street, Inverness, the hosts were seen driving a new collection of cars. The properties were amazing and the meals were gourmet quality. Press J to jump to the feed. You can end the drive in Ullapool, but we also provide directions for a visit to Lochinver via the Inverpollaidh Nature Reserve. The former Top Gear presenters began a journey around the scenic North Coast 500 (NC500) route in … This tour takes in the full diversity of Scotland’s landscapes with a route that stretches from the fertile fields and rolling hills of the Borders all the way up to the windswept islands of Orkney. Start the day exploring Fort William, where you could pop into the Ben Nevis Distillery Visitor Centre. Greg Perkins is from Edinburgh but he adopted Iceland as his second country when Scotland (typically) managed not to qualify for football's Euro 2016. Watch on Prime Video included with Prime. Participants and fees. As a result, you are limited in how much you can cover in a day and you need to schedule at least a 2 night stopover. You'll enjoy spectacular views of the Old Man of Hoy during your crossing. The Scottish Grand Tour is one of the great rail journeys of the world. Reviews 3 user. The grand tour of Scotland takes you to all of the country’s best sights and places. The directions for the return to Edinburgh include the option of a visit to South Queensferry, to get up close to the iconic Forth Rail Bridge, and a small detour to discover a charming little village hidden in the city’s suburbs. Stop along the way at the picturesque Eilean Donan Castle, drive along the mystical shores of Loch Ness (try to spot the famed Loch Ness monster! The route takes you to the famous Rosslyn chapel and the charming market town of Peebles. The Grand Tour itinerary can be done in 14 days, but we include lots of day trip options so you can use this guide for planning a trip of a much longer duration. Travelling southwards, the road passes through the Spey valley where you have options for detours to explore the whisky distilleries that Speyside is famed for. The Grand Tour: Series 3, Episode 7: ‘Well aged Scotch’ Share 1. We then guide you to skirt past Edinburgh to pick up the motorway that speeds you across to Stirling and the start of a drive through the Trossachs. Today, you’ll explore the stunning Scottish Highlands by driving the Deeside Tourist Route through the Cairngorms National Park (like in route #3). Travel between Glasgow, the Isle of Skye, Inverness and Edinburgh on some truly dramatic rail lines: the West Highland Line, Kyle Line, and Highland Main Line. Travelling west, you can break the journey with a visit to Doune Castle, which starred as “Castle Leoch” in the “Outlander” TV show. AMAZON Prime's The Grand Tour has been criticised after Jeremy Clarkson and co-hosts mocked independence supporters and a Scottish town during a recent episode. This is a great road with wide open vistas and fast sweeping bends. Secret Scotland's itineraries, accommodations guides, and other resources are incredible value with great attention to detail. It may help you choose which route to take and get the most out of your Scottish trip! Walk through Edinburgh’s UNESCO World Heritage site of the Old Town and New Town. Best Scottish road trip for: castle-spotters, trendy travellers and coastal views. I know part of the route was along the NC500, however I can’t remember where the detour/shortcut route that Richard had them take, simply beautiful! Wake up early and catch the ferry to Scrabster, before rejoining the famous North Coast 500 route and heading for Ullapool. +354 578 20 80 You start with a drive north to Loch Leven where you may wish to detour into Glen Coe for a photo stop. Today drive down to Oban and take a ferry across to the Isle of Mull, where you’ll find white sandy beaches, towering mountain peaks and stunning nature. Our Grand Tour of Scotland route takes you from the bottom to the top of the country. This region is synonymous with Queen Victoria and still has strong connections with the Royal family. 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