We had such a wonderful time we are going back again this year, and we will be using his itineraries again for our planning. 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. Driving Distance: ~120 miles – Oban to Skye Bridge. 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!!! 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. Today take full advantage of your day on Skye, a haven for nature lovers. Best Scottish road trip for: seeing it all, history buffs, nature lovers, whisky connoisseurs, and those with a deep Scottish pride. After payment, you will receive an automated email that enables you to access your Scotland Tour Itinerary. We are so confident that you’ll be delighted with your guide that we offer a full Money Back Guarantee. The guide also details a choice of attractions that can be visited around Edinburgh by bus and train. One of the “must sees” is the impressive cavern at Smoo Cave. 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. Start in Tarbert, before exploring the many highlights of the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park. Before you reach Skye, we suggest a pit stop at the photogenic village of Plockton, near the shores of Loch Carron. Best Scottish road trip for: nature lovers, golfers and history buffs. To help you book the best places to stay, we offer a guide to Recommended Accommodation along the route of this tour. Don't forget to explore Urquhart Castle, resting on the loch shore. Start the day exploring Fort William, where you could pop into the Ben Nevis Distillery Visitor Centre. The itinerary Secret Scotland provided was a trip saver. The route is punctuated by austere little villages perched above rocky inlets that once sheltered fleets of fishing boats. 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. From Pitlochry to Stirling, the route follows the fast main roads to allow you more time for sightseeing. Along the way you could also visit the Scottish residence of the British Royal Family, Balmoral Castle. For a sense of time stood still, you can visit the oldest continually inhabited house in Scotland and learn the legend behind the gates that have been locked for over 250 years. The last section of the drive takes you through Speyside, which is home to over half the whisky distilleries in Scotland. Continuing along the route of an old Cattle Drover’s road, you arrive at Loch Awe, the longest loch in Scotland. Then drive past the Caledonian Canal and Great Glen with a quick stop at the Treasures of the Earth in Corpach, to see Europe’s finest private collection of gemstones. Travel through the enchanting landscape of the Cairngorms National Park on your drive from Perth to Aberdeen on the Royal Deeside Tourist Route. Bíldshöfði 20 Self-drive. At the end of the road, you then have the option to sail off to the Isles of Rum, Eigg, Muck, or even Skye, to continue your Scottish adventure. Kick off your route at the iconic Inverness Castle, crossing the Black Isle Peninsula in early morning. Devote two entire days to exploring everything Skye has to offer, walking its many trails and learning about local history. HIGHLY RECOMMEND. Despite lying further north than Moscow, the mild west coast climate enables all sorts of sub tropical plants to thrive in this Highland oasis. 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. Our dedicated travel consultants, based in Edinburgh, are here to help you plan the perfect road trip, including booking accommodation, arranging ferries and activities, and much more. Skye is a large island with many of the places of interest located at the end of single track roads. 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. If you aren't driving too fast, you can keep a look out for Grouse popping their heads above the heather. And you could enjoy a very expensive afternoon tea at the luxurious Gleneagles hotel. When you "Checkout", you will have the option to buy the Accommodation Guide. The road trip takes you up Scotland's West coast and then follows the NC500 route around the Northern extremes of the Scottish mainland. Stretching from the west coast of north Scotland to Mallaig, the Road to the Isles covers the short distance of 42 miles (67 km). I convinced my other half to get the Scenic Tour 4-5 Days guide (even though he very much wanted to do it all himself), and it was the best experience ever. Along the way, you can break the driving with a visit to the romantic ruins of Dunkeld Cathedral which is set in a conservation village of 18th century houses. 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. 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. Thank you Mike and Aurey... and we will be back! Complete a Scottish loop by starting at Glasgow or Edinburgh to then traverse through the picturesque Highlands. We recommend setting aside a couple of hours for a look around, before heading on to seaside Scrabster. Paul's route starts at ... Add Image. The day ends in Oban where you can indulge in a tasting session at Oban Distillery followed by a memorable dinner in one of the town’s great choice of seafood restaurants. 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. 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. You can either drive the direct route, or head along the scenic coastal road. Best Scottish road trip for: castle-spotters, trendy travellers and … By way of contrast, you could also visit Floors Castle, the palatial home of the Duke of Buccleuch and his family. Add a Plot » Star: Paul Murton. 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. Drive along the shores of Loch Lomond to the enchanting village of Luss. From Loch Leven to Skye we provide 3 different journey options to get to Skye by either the bridge or the ferry. Visit historic sites like McCaig's Tower or Dunollie Museum, sample fresh seafood or whisky at Oban Distillery. Mike is also very responsive if you have any questions. Paris, France was the most popular stop of the Grand Tour for its cultural, architectural, and political influence. Make your way back to Edinburgh by driving along the shores of Loch Lomond and through the Trossachs National Park. ... Set to air on Friday, the episode sees the trio travel along Britain's best road trip route… Grand Tour of Scotland. Inverness is a great base for exploring the Highlands and we supply you with directions for a range of day trips so you can extend the time that you spend in the Inverness area. 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. The average Grand Tourist traveled from city to city, usually spending weeks in smaller cities and up to several months in the three major ones. Ready for the ultimate road trip? 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. The route takes you to the famous Rosslyn chapel and the charming market town of Peebles. Complete - sites, restaurants, pubs and experiences.” That is how I would describe what they do and provide. On the way, visit Doune Castle, take a boat trip along Loch Katrine, and, if time allows, explore Stirling Castle. Kilchurn castle is an impressive stronghold that guards the eastern approaches of this historically strategic passage to the west coast. He loves nerding out over writing, SEO, board games and sci-fi. 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! Added to Watchlist. After the high plateau of the Cairngorms, you descend to the neat little villages of Ballater and Braemar in Royal Deeside. ), and explore the lakeside ruins of Urquhart Castle. As you travel southwards, the landscapes change from the mountains of the Cairngorms to the rolling hills and woodlands of Perthshire. 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. 3 – 4 participants per tour £995.00 p/p 29min | Documentary | TV Series (2017– ) Episode Guide. 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. North Coast 500 & Islands - 6 days. Simply use the Secret Scotland code when you book via the Arnold Clark website and your car hire discount will automatically apply. We have just got back from an EXCELLENT holiday following the Borders to Orkney route suggestions. You can end the drive in Ullapool, but we also provide directions for a visit to Lochinver via the Inverpollaidh Nature Reserve. It’s 500 miles of gorgeous road that run almost parallel to Scotland’s North Coast. We recommend visiting the museum of Black Arnol Museum, and don’t miss the mysterious Callanish Standing Stones. Mike was very helpful in sending the itinerary through again for us when we had trouble with our downloads. 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. Start the day visiting Oban, known as the “Seafood capital of Scotland” and the “Gateway to the isles”. 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).. Discover dramatic coastlines with sandy tropical-looking beaches, Harry Potter film locations, and rich Highland history on the Road to the Isles. 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. If you feel energetic, Stac Pollaidh can be done in ~3 hours, but the last ascent to the true summit of the mountain is a bit too scary and difficult for most. The North Coast 500 (also known as the Scotland 500) is Scotland’s answer to Route 66 and is the ultimate Scottish road trip. We ended up staying at nine different properties and going on two organized tours in Skye and Orkney. It may help you choose which route to take and get the most out of your Scottish trip! Take the ferry back to mainland Scotland and join the famous North Coast 500 route (see route #1). The Grand Tour: Series 3, Episode 7: ‘Well aged Scotch’ Share 1. This is a drive through a truly wild landscape where nature rules and you can drive for miles without seeing a house. Thorough in suggesting ‘must see’ venues. Travel update (Covid-19) | Book & Travel With Confidence, Iceland The landscape of Inverpollaidh is defined by the distinctive peaks of Stac Pollaidh, Suilven and Canisp. We felt like we belonged in Scotland, we knew what we were doing and what it all meant at every step. The drive ends in Thurso, but you could also catch a late ferry to Orkney and we have supplied details of the various ferry services available. A journey of contrasting scenery that starts by following the path of an old Military road that climbs through Glen Shee. Here you can explore Fingal’s Cave, and try to spot dolphins and minke whales. These mountains emerge like icebergs from an expanse of wild moorland. 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. Located just off the Isle of Mull, today we recommend visiting the tiny islands of Iona and Staffa. Allow a minimum of 11 days to drive this tour route. This is a great road with wide open vistas and fast sweeping bends. 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! If you'd like to see it, ask a travel consultant for more information. These guys really are the best. 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. Stretch your legs with a walk up the Old Man of Storr and admire the stunning Kilt Rock and Mealt waterfall. Their owners, Mike and Aury, are experienced and honest, and they helped us so much as we attempted to narrow down a very long list of things we hoped to do during our time in Scotland. Mike and Aurey from Secret Scotland prepared a fantastic itinerary for us. But, as the episode begins, the trio aren’t overly complimentary about the country. You continue up the West coast through a landscape of magnificent Highland scenery to the active fishing village of Ullapool. We'd love to give you the same amazing travel experiences as you read about in our blog! View our data protection policy for details, © Copyright 2021 Secret Scotland - Header Images by Ed Duncan Photography, This site uses cookies. 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. Swap the Isle of Skye for the Scottish Highlands. 13 Oct. 2010 ... With the trains came the tourists - all clamouring for a piece of the real Scotland. 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. 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. I can't recommend it enough and wish more guides like this existed! Scotland is such a marvelous place. I feel so much more prepared for our trip and can now just look forward to our approaching vacation! After this epic 16-day drive, you’ll feel like you’ve genuinely seen our beautiful country. : thegrandtour. From Speyside, you climb over the Cairngorm mountains. Make a detour to Easdale Island, where you could go on a whale-watching trip and visit a local seal colony. Scottish Grand Tour. Our recommended route takes in Orkney and Skye as well - both should not be missed if you are in this neighbourhood! 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. The path to Kilchurn castle is easy to miss, but our directions will guide you to this photogenic ruin. It was absolutely worth every penny and there is no way we could have seen so much and so well without their itinerary. 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. Best Scottish road trip for: castle-spotters, trendy travellers and coastal views. Finish your journey at the remaining city so you never miss a beat! We provide directions for a choice of 3 walking routes for discovering the Capital City. Route of the 287 mile Scottish road trip the boys took in Season 3 Episode 7? On your way to "closing the loop", stop by picturesque Eilean Donan Castle, made famous by many appearances on the big and small screen alike. Close map view. Overview: This tour follows the coastal roads of the iconic North Coast 500 whilst also diverting inland to explore its heartland. You may wish to stop by Inveraray, a lovely village on the banks of Loch Fyne. We also recommend a small detour to a very interesting little castle that most tourists miss. We guide you on a route through scenery that we think is the best in Scotland. Today, you’ll explore the stunning Scottish Highlands by driving the Deeside Tourist Route through the Cairngorms National Park (like in route #3). When you get to Ullapool, you can watch the fishing boat activity in the harbour and then sample the fresh catch in an award winning fish & chip shop. Please note that Balmoral is only open for a few weeks a year. 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. Other highlights include the Quiraing, An Corran Beach and the Fairy Glen. 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 … Make sure to check out the UNESCO World Heritage listed “Heart of Neolithic Orkney”, which includes Skara Brae, the Ring of Brodgar, the Standing Stones of Stenness and Maeshowe. As you leave Glenfinnan, stop at Camusdarach beach to admire its silver dunes. Today, explore the Scottish capital. Single participant per tour £1395.00 p/p. 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: Best Scottish road trip for: sea lovers, beachgoers and Harry Potter fans. We thought the information provided was fantastic and allowed us to see things I am sure we would have missed. You can also learn about Scottish history at Braemar or Crathes castles, sample local spirits at the Royal Lochnagar whisky distillery, or discover the art of cheesemaking at Cambus O’May creamery. Driving north, stop to visit the UNESCO City of Design, Dundee, before heading up to Aberdeen. The former Top Gear presenters began a journey around the scenic North Coast 500 (NC500) route in … OPTION 1: If taking the Mallaig ferry to Skye you can take a short drive via the “Road to the Isles” which will take you past Glenfinnan and the Silver Sands of Morar. 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. Argyll Coastal Route. We have been travelling for a number of years and normally would just rely on the internet and books but decided to give this a go. You can drive the North Coast 500 route in just a few days, or you can stretch it over a week or two while doing some sightseeing. Participants and fees. 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. This is a region that suffered terribly during the Highland Clearances when whole communities were destroyed to make way for sheep. The route includes Edinburgh, Glasgow, Fort William, the Isle of Skye, Inverness, Aviemore and … Driving Distance: ~98 miles (plus a ~40 minute ferry crossing) – Oban to Mallaig ferry via Sunart, OPTION 3: If travelling via the Skye bridge, you don’t need to plan your day around a ferry crossing so you might wish to schedule time for a cable car ride, or a short hike in Glen Nevis. They were sporting a … 18 episodes. The Scottish Grand Tour (formerly the Grand Tour of Scotland) rail pass lets you travel on ScotRail trains along a circular route that takes in the highlights of Scotland. 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. Check out our Scotland self-drive tours for more information. 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. JEREMY Clarkson is back to his old menacing ways as The Grand Tour winds through Scotland. Next, head along the west coast, stopping at Inverewe Garden. Add to Watchlist. You have a good chance of seeing the Jacobite steam train as the railway closely follows the path of the road. Driving Distance: ~38 miles to Edinburgh / ~43 miles to Glasgow. View map. From Edinburgh, you’ll drive into the Highlands and up to the most northerly part of mainland UK to take a ferry to Orkney. S1, Ep4. Wake up early and catch the ferry to Scrabster, before rejoining the famous North Coast 500 route and heading for Ullapool. Riding some 230 miles (370km) on quiet and spectacularly scenic roads you will experience an incredible range of trip highlights. The Grand Tour: Piloting Extremely Nicely in Scotland 287 In this episode Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May take reasonably priced classic cars to Scotland and forge a new epic driving route … Grand Tours of Scotland (2010 ... all places that enchanted and inspired visitors with the magic of Scotland's unique history and landscape. 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. Unsurprisingly, it’s ranked by independent sources such as Condé Nast as perhaps one of the best road trips in the world. Next, head for the dark and enigmatic Loch Ness, perhaps keeping an eye out for Nessie along the way. After an hour or so, you’ll be near the fairytale-like Dunrobin Castle. Spend your whole day exploring before getting some well-earned rest in Kirkwall. Would definitely recommend this site. 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. You’ll travel along the peaceful banks of Loch Lomond, past the rocky seashore of Scotland’s west coast, and through the mighty mountains of the Scottish Highlands before arriving in Fort William, Scotland’s adventure capital. 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 guide gives you directions to find a cozy waterside inn with a restaurant where you dine whilst enjoying beautiful sunsets. Stirling Castle, Wallace Monument, Bannockburn Battlefield), OR you can simply take the short drive from Stirling to Edinburgh / Glasgow. The Scottish Grand Tour is one of the great rail journeys of the world. Driving through Scotland offers you the opportunity to experience the country’s natural beauty, meet welcoming locals and explore at your own pace. Reviews 3 user. 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. Drive north into the Kingdom of Fife where you can first stop at the quaint village of Falkland, with its Renaissance palace and beautiful gardens. 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. The UNESCO-listed Heart of Neolithic Orkney, including Skara Brae, should be on any travel-lover’s wish list. Here you’ll be able to learn about its Gaelic culture and history. The scenery in this area is magnificent and it is all the better for the lack of other tourists. Back on the Scottish mainland, head south through Kilmartin Glen, an area rich with Neolithic and Bronze Age sites. When you buy a Secret Scotland Tour Itinerary you will receive a Discount Code that gets you a 10% reduction on the cost of Car Hire from Arnold Clark Rental. The drive includes a visit to the very pretty village of Plockton and the famous botanic gardens at Inverewe. So glad we did. This charming and relatively short route takes in the farmlands of Blairgowrie, mighty mountains of the Highlands, and rich rolling landscape of Royal Deeside. Depending on your schedule, you may wish to spend a morning visiting the attractions of Stirling (e.g. It has a core route but its contents can be customised and tailored to suit your own personal requirements. We can't say enough about how much the detailed information enhanced our experience in Scotland. Our Grand Tour of Scotland is a classic road cycling tour connecting the Highland capital of Inverness to the Scottish capital of Edinburgh. On the way to Fort William, you could stop off at Castle Stalker, Ardchattan Priory Gardens, and the Scottish Sealife Sanctuary. The grand tour of Scotland takes you to all of the country’s best sights and places. We loved the suggestions for sight seeing, eating, and places to stay, but the best part was the detailed driving directions. You can even sample whisky at Talisker Distillery. 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. Capital City of Buccleuch and his family book & travel with Confidence, Iceland 20. Your legs with a walk up the West coast, stopping at Inverewe (... 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