Highlights
  • Explore the beautiful islands of Mull, Skye and Iona.
  • Journey on some of the world’s most famous trains — the West Highland line and the Jacobite steam train.
  • Experience iconic Edinburgh Castle — dominating the skyline of the Scottish capital city — on a fascinating field trip to the top of the volcanic Castle Rock.

South to the cultural riches of Edinburgh and Glasgow. West to the sacred and misty island of Iona in the Hebrides. Inland to the breathtaking highlands, where clans and kings fought to defend their hearths and heritage. Discover rugged landscapes, turbulent history, romance and legend on a remarkable, sweeping journey through Scotland. From peaks to glens we’ll go, with a wee dram to fortify us along the way.

Travelers Also Viewed All similar trips

38
Road Scholar Travel Reviews & Ratings
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
89% Recommend

4.6 out of 5
Excellent 31 Great 3 Average 1 Disappointing 1 Terrible 2
Value
4.6 Guide
4.7 Activities
4.6 Lodging
4.5 Transportation
4.5 Meals
4.4
The Best of Scotland

No reviews yet for this trip. Browse other reviews below for Road Scholar .

S

Recommends

Old Cuba is fantastic and should be seen before it's spoiled by capitalism. January 2017

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 4.0
  • Lodging 4.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 3.0
This was my wife's and my first trip with Road Scholar. At the time (April, 2012), it was not possible for Americans to directly visit Cuba. You had to do it with a cultural/educational group, often associated with a university. Or, you could fly to Canada, Mexico, or Europe first and then get a flight to Cuba from there (while risking a ~$10,000 fine from the US Government). We opted for the legal route with Road Scholar.

It was a fantastic trip! We had a small-ish group of about 20 people and a wonderful guide, José Luis (who, like most Cubans, had never been off the island).
The trip began in Miami where we had an orientation and spent the night. Then we flew to Havana and stayed in the Hotel Nacional for four nights. It doesn't get more historic -- or fun -- than the Nacional:
https://vimeo.com/41612444

While in Havana, we enjoyed great history/culture lectures from experts, toured various parts of Havana (including Hemmingway's home in the hills nearby), and, on our own, had the opportunity to have dinner at a paladar -- a restaurant inside someone's home.

The Cuban people are friendly but the infrastructure of their country is in shambles. It's been a long time since Russia's deep pockets left the island (1991), and you see poverty everywhere. But not the begging-in-the-street kind. Cuba provides universal health care, education (including room and board all the way through grad/med school!), food staples, and a very modest income (~$30/month) to everyone. Most people add to that income by working on the side.

After Havana, we traveled to Cienfuegos. From there we saw the infamous Bay Of Pigs, but also the wonderful Benny Moré Art School where we learned of the fantastic support for the arts by the Cuban government. Children are identified in grade school as having artistic talent and then funneled into magnet schools like Benny Moré to study art for their entire scholastic career!

Don't go to Cuba for the food. It's edible (and won't make you sick) but rather boring. You mainly get the "three amigos": fish, pork, or chicken, along with rice and/or black beans. But the aged rum is superb and so are the cigars!

Probably my favorite thing on the island, though, was the music -- whether on the street or in a more formal setting:
https://vimeo.com/43273083

Cuba is fantastic. Go enjoy it!
Read more

Operator Road Scholar

D

Recommends

Best trip I ever took! October 2016

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Loved the variety of different hotels, the expertise of the individual tour guides, the meals and especially the beautiful countryside. All 17 of us on the t rip got to know each other well, thanks to the kindness, the personality and the organizational skill of Mark, our tour director. Keep up the good work!
Read more

Operator Road Scholar

C

Recommends

Sunrise, Sunset, Learning Photography August 2016

5.0
  • Value 4.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 4.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 4.0
Road Scholar offers many tours starting in Utah. The one I took focused of photography of the National Parks in Utah, with a professional photographer traveling with us. The schedule was set up such that we would get "the golden light" at each of the parks. Those not familiar with the term must know that the best light occurs at either sunrise or sunset, when the impact of the sun on objects is diffused by having to travel through the earth's atmosphere on a diagonal rather than vertically.

As such, you can now expect that sleep will be an issue as you will get to bed late and rise early. But the territory is beautiful at all times, and more so illuminated by the golden light.

In order to maximize your sleeping ability, the tour is only offered in the spring and the fall. Doing this in the winter would be pretty cold and require special equipment to traverse the snow. Doing it in the summer would basically mean no sleep as the daylight is so long.

A great learning experience in beautiful territory.
Read more

Operator Road Scholar

J

Recommends

Thank you Road Scholar July 2016

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Thank you Road Scholar Staff for planning a wonderful introduction to Cuba today. My previous knowledge was from people who felt they had to leave Cuba more than fifty years ago. I learned from qualified professors, tour guides and from talking to Cuban people from different parts of Cuba who work in different kinds of jobs. I could see how the Cuban people have come together to meet the challenges of the past and to prepare for a brighter future.
Read more

Operator Road Scholar

R

Recommends

Thank you Road Scholar! July 2016

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Road Scholar tours are the best bang for your buck

Operator Road Scholar

N

Recommends

Fabulous! July 2016

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
This is a fabulous program for young and old. The instructors are great with kids and adults. The activities are very well organized and varied. My grandson is already making plans for next year.

Operator Road Scholar

Itinerary

Day 1: In Transit to Program

In Flight

Day 2: Arrival Day, Glasgow

Meals: Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Copthorne Millennium Hotel Glasgow

Lunch: In the hotel dining room for those arriving by 12:30pm. A light lunch with coffee, tea and water. Other beverages are available for purchase.

Afternoon: Arrivals continue, with free time for those who have already arrived. At 5pm we will have an Orientation in the hotel. The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. This program is staffed with both a Group Leader, who will accompany us throughout the program and deal primarily with logistics, and a Study Leader who will lecture, conduct field trips and serve as an information resource on program-related topics. We will review the program theme, the up-to-date Daily Schedule and any changes, discuss safety guidelines, emergency procedures, roles and responsibilities and answer any questions you may have. We have set aside some free time in the schedule for your personal independent exploration. Please note that program activities, schedules and personnel may need to change due to local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

Dinner: A seated dinner will be taken in the hotel dining room with coffee, tea and water. Other beverages are available for purchase.

Evening: Free time to unpack, relax and prepare for the program ahead.

Day 3: Glasgow: City of Culture

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Copthorne Millennium Hotel Glasgow

Breakfast: In the hotel dining room. A breakfast buffet with a range of hot and cold items, as well as coffee, tea, water and fruit juices.

Morning: Enjoy a lecture in the hotel on “Scotland’s History”, followed by a panoramic journey by motor coach around the highlights of this magnificent city.

Lunch: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions.

Afternoon: Free time. Your Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions should you wish to further explore Glasgow.

Dinner: On your own to enjoy what you like.

Evening: Free time.

Day 4: Culzean Castle, Robert Burns, Glasgow

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

Accommodation: Copthorne Millennium Hotel Glasgow

Breakfast: In the hotel.

Morning: This morning we depart by motor coach to Robert Adam’s masterpiece, Culzean Castle – a 600 acre estate in South Ayrshire where Dwight D Eisenhower was given use of an apartment in recognition of his connection to this grateful nation. Culzean was the principal seat of Clan Kennedy, one of Scotland’s oldest families, who can trace their ancestry back to Robert Bruce.

Lunch: On your own to enjoy what you like.

Afternoon: The field trip continues to Burns Cottage in Alloway, the birthplace of Scotland’s national poet, Robert Burns. Here we will be able to explore the life and times of this Scottish icon, from his birth to his recognition as a leading writer of his time.

Dinner: In the hotel.

Evening: Free time.

Day 5: Transfer to Oban, Hill House, Cruachan Power Station, Oban

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

Accommodation: Oban Bay Hotel and Spa

Breakfast: In the hotel.

Morning: We transfer to Oban by motor coach via Helensburgh, where we will see the home created for one of Scotland’s best known publishers by Glasgow’s world famous Charles Rennie Mackintosh. Dating back to 1902, the interiors and decorative scheme were created by Mackintosh and his wife. We will then continue on into the Highlands with a scenic drive along the shores of Loch Lomond.

Lunch: On your own to enjoy what you like.

Afternoon: The transfer continues on to “the Hollow Hill”, Cruachan Power Station – one of the country’s most amazing engineering achievements. Hidden deep within the mountain of Ben Cruachan on the shores of Loch Awe, the massive cavern at its centre is high enough to house the Tower of London.

Dinner: In the hotel.

Evening: Free time.

Day 6: The Isles of Mull & Iona, Oban

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Oban Bay Hotel and Spa

Breakfast: In the hotel.

Morning: Today we take a full day field trip by ferry to the Isle of Mull, and then onto the Isle of Iona. Mull is the second largest island in the Inner Hebrides and from the rugged ridges of its coastline to its blinding white sand, Mull can lay claim to some of the finest and most varied scenery in the Hebrides.

Lunch: Served in a charming hotel on Iona.

Afternoon: Following lunch, explore the ethereal isle of Iona – a place where they say “the Veil is thin”. Iona was a centre of Irish monasticism for four centuries and is today renowned for its tranquillity and natural beauty. Return by ferry from Craignure to Oban.

Dinner: In the hotel.

Evening: Free time.

Day 7: Transfer to Fort William, A Cruise on Loch Shiel

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Ballaculish Hotel

Breakfast: In the hotel.

Morning: Today we transfer by motor coach to Fort William through “kidnapped” country, with a drive by of Stalker Castle. We’ll then take a private cruise on Loch Shiel. The loch is one of Scotland’s most historically significant and unspoilt natural treasures and its 18 mile length is only accessible by boat. It commands wonderful views of the famous Glenfinnan Viaduct.

Lunch: Taken at a nearby restaurant.

Afternoon: The transfer continues.

Dinner: In the hotel.

Evening: Free time.

Day 8: Ben Nevis, Rannoch Moor, Glencoe

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Ballaculish Hotel

Breakfast: In the hotel.

Morning: This morning take a gondola ride on Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in the British Isle. On a clear day the views from the summit stretch as far as Northern Ireland! We will then board the West Highland Line train from Fort William to Crianlarich via Rannoch Moor. The ride is considered the most scenic railway line in Britain and was voted the top railway journey in the world by readers of independent travel magazine Wanderlust in 2009.

Lunch: Taken out in Tyndrum.

Afternoon: The field trip continues by motor coach through Glencoe, with a stop at its fascinating Visitor Centre.

Dinner: In the hotel.

Evening: Free time.

Day 9: Transfer to Dingwall, The Misty Isle of Skye

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Tulloch Castle

Breakfast: In the hotel.

Morning: Today we journey by motor coach and ferry to Dingwall and the Isle of Skye – “the misty isle”. Begin by taking the 30 minute ferry ride from Mallaig to Armadale and onwards through the rugged, haunting hills to view The Cuillin, the most spectacular mountains in the Highlands.

Lunch: Taken out on Skye.

Afternoon: The field trip continues before we carry on our transfer to the hotel in Dingwall.

Dinner: In the hotel.

Evening: Free time.

Day 10: Cawdor Castle, Clava Cairns, Culloden, Dingwall

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Tulloch Castle

Breakfast: In the hotel.

Morning: We journey by motor coach to fairy tale Cawdor Castle, 124th Century home to the Thanes of Cawdor. Linked with Shakespeare’s Macbeth, the castle remains home to the Cawdor family today. The castle, whilst presenting a strong and severe exterior, is a surprisingly intimate building that radiates a friendly, family atmosphere through its interior.

Lunch: Lunch will be taken at Cawdor Castle.

Afternoon: We pay a visit to Clava Cairns, one of Scotland’s most evocative prehistoric sites. Approximately 4,000 years old, these burial cairns were perhaps the final resting place of privileged members of the local community. From Clava Cairns we move onto the battlefield of Culloden, the site of a turning point in British history and the last battle fought on British soil.

Dinner: In the hotel.

Evening: Relax and enjoy a local music group as they regale you with traditional Scottish tunes.

Day 11: Transfer to Pitlochry, Whisky Distillery, Kingussie Farm

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Fishers Hotel

Breakfast: In the hotel.

Morning: We board the motor coach and transfer to Pitlochry via one of Scotland’s famous whisky distilleries. Here we will discover not only the magic of malt whisky production, but also the history of this most famous of Scottish drinks. We may even sample a “wee dram”!

Lunch: Taken out.

Afternoon: The transfer continues as we enjoy a sheepdog display at Kingussie Leaut Farm, before travelling onwards to Pitlochry.

Dinner: In the hotel.

Evening: Free time.

Day 12: Scone Palace, The Loch of the Lowes, Pitlochry

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Fishers Hotel

Breakfast: In the hotel.

Morning: This morning we travel by motor coach to Dunkeld, one of the best preserved historic towns in Scotland. Its cathedral dominates the skyline and is over 1,400 years old, dating from a time when Celtic monks set up the base for a mission at the confluence of two rivers. Since then it has seen many changes and turbulent times, eventually becoming the beautiful, peaceful place of worship it is today. From Dunkeld we make the scenic journey to Scone Palace, the crowning place of Scottish Kings. From Kenneth McAlpin, traditionally known as the first King of Scots, through Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Robert the Bruce and Charles II – all were crowned here.

Lunch: Taken at Scone Palace.

Afternoon: We return to the hotel via the Loch of the Lowes, an unspoilt nature reserve covering 220 square acres. Take some time to reflect and enjoy the beautiful woodland, or try and spot one of the many rare, indigenous species: red squirrels, roe deer and a pair of breeding ospreys have all made this tranquil nature reserve their home.

Dinner: In the hotel.

Evening: Free time.

Day 13: Culross, Rosslyn Chapel, Edinburgh

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: The Royal Terrace Hotel

Breakfast: In the hotel.

Morning: This morning we transfer by motor coach to Edinburgh, capital city of Scotland and your final destination. En-route we will visit the delightful small town of Culross, with its Merchant’s Palace and Bishop’s Study. Enjoy the storied narrow streets and views across the Firth of Forth.

Lunch: A packed lunch of sandwiches, fruit and a drink or similar will be provided to make the most of this busy transfer day.

Afternoon: Continue on to Rosslyn Chapel, a symphony of stone carving and craftsmanship now best known for its association with the Da Vinci Code. Founded in 1446, this chapel is widely regarded as one of the most picturesque in the United Kingdom.

Dinner: In the hotel.

Evening: Free time.

Day 14: Edinburgh Castle, Independent Exploration

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

Accommodation: The Royal Terrace Hotel

Breakfast: In the hotel.

Morning: This morning we visit Edinburgh Castle to discover its rich and varied history.

Lunch: On your own to enjoy what you like.

Afternoon: Free time for you to discover more of Edinburgh. Your Group Leader will have suggestions on how you can make the most of your time in this historic city.

Dinner: Farewell dinner in the hotel.

Evening: Free time.

Day 15: Programme Concludes

Meals: Breakfast

In Flight

Breakfast: In the hotel. Some participants may depart prior to breakfast.

Morning: Transfer to Edinburgh Airport for onward flights. This concludes our program. If you are returning home, safe travels. If you are staying on independently, have a wonderful time. If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future.

Dates & Pricing
Checking price

Price From

$ 4,259

Price Per Day:

$ 284 per day
 

Select Custom Arrangements to get to and from Road Scholar-provided airfare for your program

Prices may vary due to local taxes and trip seasonality. Click "Request Info" to inquire directly with the tour operator for the final trip price.
Details
Trip Includes
  • 13 nights of accommodations
  • 2 expert-led lectures
  • 20 expert-led field trips
  • 1 performance
  • An experienced Group Leader
  • Customary gratuities throughout the program
  • The Road Scholar Travel Protection Plan, 24-hour-a-day emergency assistance coverage
  • Taxes
Meals Included:

13 Breakfasts, 9 Lunches and 12 Dinners

Flights & Transport
Only ground transport
Group Size:
Standard Group
Accomodations

Copthorne Millennium Hotel Glasgow: 3 nights  Glasgow G2 1DS

Centrally Located Hotel.

 

Oban Bay Hotel and Spa: 2 nights  Argyll

Situated on the Esplanade with views across the Firth of Lorne to Mull and Kerrea.

 

Ballaculish Hotel: 2 nights  Argyll

A baronial style country house hotel on the shores of loch Linnhe and Loch Leven and at the foot of the dramatic Glencoe.

 

Tulloch Castle: 2 nights  Ross-Shire

Tulloch Castle dates from the 12th Century, when first the Bains and later the Clan Davidson laid claim to its lands. When you arrive, you will be met with Tulloch’s countless period features including the 250-year old panelled Great Hall. As you enter the magnificent hallways you will pass by painstakingly restored original fireplaces and ceilings.

 

Fishers Hotel: 2 nights  Pitlochry

The hotel was originally built as a coaching inn. She became known as " Fisher's “ after the colourful character Donald Fisher who ran the hotel from about 1853. Mr. Fisher was evidently a charming personality who, in between farming shorthorn cattle and giving speeches, made the hotel famous and enticed the celebrities of Victorian Britain to visit. Robert Louis Stevenson lived here with his wife

 

The Royal Terrace Hotel: 2 nights  Edinburgh

This 4-star luxury hotel is on a quiet tree-lined street, 550 yards from Edinburgh Waverley Rail Station and Princes Street. It has a modern gym and a heated indoor pool. The en suite rooms have a flat-screen satellite TV, free Wi-Fi, and music. Some rooms look out towards the Firth of Forth, and many overlook the hotel's own beautiful gardens.

Start City
Glasgow
End City
Edinburgh

Trip ID#: BesScoRoa

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