* Aberdeen * Deeside * Strathspey * Jacobite Express * Isle of Skye *
Saturday 5th - Sunday 13th October 2019
9 daysDeposit: £75pp
Travel Insurance: £32pp
Single supplement: £199
Our exciting two-centre holiday explores the wonderful scenery of Scotland’s west coast, the delights of the east coast, and so much in between.
Your Holiday Hotel
The Holiday Inn, Gosforth Park is a modern Hotel in quiet grounds close to Newcastle. Rooms are spacious and well furnished.
The Altens Hotel is located 4 miles south of Aberdeen. A large contemporary Hotel, the Altens offers its guests comfortable, well appointed bedrooms and inviting public areas. Rooms are reached by lift and have Wi-Fi and tea/coffee making facilities. There is an indoor pool, Jacuzzi, steam room and gym.
The 3-star Alexandra Hotel close to the centre of Fort William is an imposing Victorian building offering traditional Scottish hospitality. There is a lift to all floors. Due to the age and nature of this building, the bedrooms are individual in size and shape, with tea and coffee making facilities. Thre is free Wi-Fi in the public areas.
(DAY 1) Saturday 5th October
We journey via the Great North Road through Lincolnshire, Yorkshire and County Durham, reaching our overnight Hotel by late afternoon. The Holiday Inn Gosforth Park is a modern Hotel in quiet grounds close to Newcastle. Rooms are spacious and well furnished, and there is a lift.
(DAY 2) Sunday 6th October
After breakfast we continue north, travelling through the Scottish borders and crossing the Forth Bridge to the Kingdom of Fife. Passing Perth and Dundee we reach the North Sea coast and arrive at Altens Hotel to the South of Aberdeen for a three night stay.
(DAY 3) Monday 7th October
This morning a Guide joins us for a fascinating coach and walking tour of The Granite City. Aberdeenshire is famous for its granite, and in the city you will see stunning buildings made from this silvery-grey stone packed with tiny sparkling crystals. It is Scotland's biggest fishing port and the ferry terminal for the Orkney and Shetland Islands. Aberdeen is also known as 'The Flower of Scotland' due to its parks and gardens. Later there will be free time to find lunch and explore further at your own pace before we return to the Hotel for dinner.
(DAY 4) Tuesday 8th October
Today we follow in the footsteps of Kings and Queens, driving along Royal Deeside for a stop in the picturesque village of Ballater. Our main visit today is to Crathes Castle. A magnificent 16th century tower house, Crathes has an intricate maze of turrets, towers, oak panels and painted ceilings.
(DAY 5) Wednesday 9th October
We leave Aberdeen and set off on a drive from East to West across Scotland. Our tour would not be complete without including a distillery and we will stop in Rothes to discover the magic of the single malt whiskey at the Glen Grant Distillery. Founded in 1840, Glen Grant is unique in being the only distillery named after its owners. After our visit we drive through Strathspey for a ride on the Cairngorm Mountain Railway, Scotland's only funicular railway. It takes just 8 minutes to reach the top station at nearly 3,600 feet, with panoramic views, a restaurant, shop and the highest post box in the British Isles! We will then drive to Fort William, where our Hotel for three nights is the Alexandra.
(DAY 6) Thursday 10th October
A holiday highlight today, as we take a journey on the West Highland's Jacobite Steam Train, regarded as one of the best railway journeys in the world. Setting off in the shadow of Ben Nevis, the line winds its way through the countryside and across the 21 - arched Glenfinnan Viaduct (made famous in the Harry Potter films) to the end of the line at Mallaig. In this busy little fishing port and ferry terminal there will be a short time to find lunch before hopping back on board for the return journey.
(DAY 7) Friday 11th October
Another day of magnificent scenery, as we head further into the Highlands. Passing Loch Lochy and the famous Five Sisters of Glen Shiel we arrive in Kyle of Lochalsh. This used to be where the Ferry departed for the Isle of Skye, but there is now a bridge. We will cross to Skye for a short while retracing our steps back to Fort William.
(DAY 8) Saturday 12th October
Via Glencoe, Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park to skirt Glasgow before continuing through the Borders. Our final Hotel is the comfortable Preston Marriott, overlooking the Lancashire countryside. Time to relax and perhaps take a dip in the pool before dinner.
(DAY 9) Sunday 13th October
Home to Sussex today, arriving for late afternoon taxis to your door.