From echoing bagpipes to fine whiskey, from highland music and games to historic castles and ancient stone cities, Scotland offers a unique experience to every visitor. From wondrous natural landscapes to refined country gardens, from sheltered lochs to the remote and rugged beauty of the outer isles, Scotland displays a rich geological diversity. But there is so much more! This is a country with a rich and dramatic history, the stuff of movies like Brave Heart.
August is the best time to visit Scotland, when the heather is blooming and the military Tattoo is in full swing. We began our exciting tour of this picturesque land in Glasgow before heading to the quaint town of Alloway – the birthplace of poet Robbie Burns and home to a national museum and park dedicated to his works. The small village also hosts Kirk Alloway and the Brig-o’Doon bridge, both featured in the bard’s poems.
After visiting two fabulous castles – Culzean and Stirling, we headed to the lovely coastal city of Oban, the seafood capital of Scotland, where we sampled fresh fish and shellfish. The following morning we enjoyed a ferry ride to the Isle of Mull before making the trek to view the haunting Abbey on Iona – often referred to as the cradle of Christianity in Scotland. The next day we drove onto the Isle of Skye, passing some of the most beautifully rugged terrain, before settling into a wonderful little hotel in Uig overlooking the sea. Continuing our journey through the Outer Hebrides Islands, we caught the ferry to the Isles of Harris and Lewis, famous for the Harris Tweed cloth. After several stops to view the magnificent coastal bluffs, we arrived in Stornoway, the epicentre of Gaelic culture and the main port on the island.
A smooth ferry ride back to the mainland brought us to Loch Ness where we went by boat in search of the monster before touring legendary Urquhart Castle. After spending time in the port cities of Inverness and Aberdeen, we headed south to St. Andrews, home of the famous Royal and Ancient Golf Club. Arriving on a Sunday, we were able to walk on the course!
Our tour ended in Scotland’s cosmopolitan capital city where our group explored the medieval Old Town before visiting the famed Edinburgh Castle. The last evening found us seated in bleachers on the esplanade of the castle to watch the world famous Military Tattoo. For over two hours we were treated to performances by dozens of pipe bands, precision riflemen, dancers, and horsemen with the incredible Edinburgh Castle as a backdrop. The sound, colour and pageantry as they entered the parade grounds was so spectacular that it brought some of us to tears. It was a fitting end to what had been a wonderful tour of this hypnotic land.
For a travel experience unlike any other, circle August on your calendar and sign-up for this fantastic adventure where you can explore the natural beauty, wonders and history of superb Scotland.
Start planning now for Scotland's Highlands and Isles August 2022.