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Classic Scotland

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To book this holiday please contact our Travel Experts directly on

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THE IMPERIAL HEART OF THE HIGHLANDS

This pleasant taster of the Highlands showcases the United Kingdom’s imperial heritage in the form of visits to Balmoral Castle, Crathie Kirk church, and the Victorian village of Ballater.

Further nods to the past are seen in outings to a whisky distillery, Culloden Battlefield, and a ride on the Strathspey Railway through the countryside. Opportunities to immerse yourself in the wilderness encompass a stop-off to view Cairngorm Mountain, a chance to learn about the local reindeer herds, and a cruise across the legendary waters of Loch Ness.



What does this price include?

  • Four nights’ half-board accommodation at the three-star Highlander Hotel
  • Three breakfasts and four dinners
  • A tour of Balmoral Castle
  • A visit to Crathie Kirk
  • A tour of Ballater
  • A journey on the steam-hauled Strathspey Railway
  • A visit to the Highland resort of Aviemore
  • A visit to Cairngorm Reindeer Herd Centre
  • A visit to Cairngorm Mountain Visitor Centre
  • A cruise across Loch Ness
  • A visit and tasting at the renowned Glen Ord Distillery
  • Return flights from Inverness
  • Transfers throughout
  • Fully escorted by a friendly, experienced tour manager

Your Itinerary

View a full breakdown of your holiday to help you plan your trip

  • Arrive in Inverness, meet your tour manager at the airport, and board the coach for the scenic journey to your hotel.

    If you decide to arrange your own travel, and book our tour-only package, you'll need to meet your tour manager at the airport in time for the coach transfer to your hotel (exact times will be confirmed closer to departure).

  • Enjoy breakfast this morning before venturing on a morning drive to the famous Balmoral Castle, the Scottish holiday home of the Royal Family since 1852. You’ll get to enter the castle to see the ballroom (the largest room in the castle), view the exhibitions and wander the gardens. The castle’s ballroom is the only area open to the public and where many members of the Royal Family have been pictured hosting events.

    Near the castle is Crathie Kirk, a small parish church in the village of Crathie. Best known for being the regular place of worship of the Royal Family, this church was built in 1895 and looks over the Dee River.

    The tour will then continue to the beautiful Victorian village of Ballater, located near Cairngorms National Park. You can stroll around the speciality shops and seek out one of the delightful cafés for lunch (on your own account).

    You’ll then return to the hotel. This evening, you’ll have time for dinner and to relax.

  • Tuck into breakfast before travelling to the famed and mysterious Loch Ness. You’ll then board a two-hour cruise across the legendary waters, learning about the loch’s intriguing history and observing the historic Urquhart Castle and wildlife on the banks. You can even keep an eye out for the Loch Ness monster with the vessel’s onboard sonar.

    Back on land, you’ll pay a visit to the Glen Ord Distillery – the only remaining single malt scotch whisky distillery on the Black Isle. You’ll then tour the distillery, learning about the art of whisky-making and the Singleton’s signature ‘Slow Craft’ process before tasting three unique Singleton expressions.

    You’ll then return to the hotel for dinner.

  • After breakfast, you’ll head to Aviemore for another rail journey. You’ll join your tour manager and fellow guests to board the Strathspey Railway, a splendid reminder of the golden days of steam. This scenic run takes you through unspoilt Highland scenery, passing great sweeps of the Spey River, moorland, and ancient forest. 

    You’ll then return to Aviemore, where you’ll explore this famous resort town backed by the Cairngorm Mountain Range and have lunch (on your own account). The next stop is the Cairngorm Reindeer Herd Centre, home to around 150 reindeer, which you can see up close with their handlers.

    After this excursion, you’ll drive through twisting mountain roads to the Cairngorm Mountain Visitor Centre, where you can take in spectacular views of the surrounding region. There will also be time to ride the Cairngorm Mountain Railway, Scotland’s only funicular railway and the highest in the UK.

    Dinner will be enjoyed back at the hotel.

  •  Once you’ve had breakfast, you’ll be transferred to the airport in Inverness for your flight home.  

Dates & Prices

To book this holiday please contact our Travel Experts directly on

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Hotels

Highlander Hotel, Newtonmore

We're sure that you will be delighted with the friendly service and warm hospitality that are the hallmarks of a stay at the Highlander, which is always popular with Newmarket guests.

View Hotel

Further Information

  • Please note that the Cairngorm Reindeer Centre has closed for building renovations; reopening should commence Autumn 2024. A visit to the Cairngorm Alpacas has been arranged as an alternative

  • In the unlikely event of a steam locomotive breaking down on the Strathspey Railway, we reserve the right to substitute the engine with a diesel locomotive. All train journeys are single journeys.

  • If you have notified us of any special requirements, please check that they have been noted and acknowledged. This is especially important with any dietary needs you may have.

  • The majority of our tours involve a certain amount of walking, including a short walk from the coach stop to the town, attraction or venue you're visiting. If you are bringing a wheelchair, please let us know at the time of booking so that appropriate arrangements can be made.

  • Occasionally, for operational reasons, we may have to change the order of the excursions on your holiday. The final day-by-day itinerary will be confirmed on your Final Travel Documents, which you will receive approximately three weeks prior to your departure.

  • Rules may have changed since you last travelled to European Union countries as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. The following are useful guidelines which will help you prepare for your next adventure. You do require government issued passport to travel.

    Names - It is very important that all passenger names are exactly as per your passport although we do not require middle names.

    Passport - Your passport must meet two requirements to travel to an EU country and to Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein. It must be: Less than 10 years old on the day you return home (please check the "date of issue") and valid for at least 3 months after the day you return home (please check the "expiry date").

    Visa - You do not need a visa for short trips to most EU countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. You’ll be able to stay for up to 90 days in any rolling 180-day period.

    European Travel Information & Authorisation System (ETIAS) - Commencing in late 2023 or 2024, all citizens of the United Kingdom will require a ETIAS electronic form completed prior to their arrival into the EU and Schengen member countries. The cost for this travel authorisation will be €7.00 per person with exceptions for under 18’s and over 70’s. The latest information and further details can be found at www.etias.com.

Why book with us

The smallest details are what matter the most when it comes to your holiday, and we aim to elevate every experience you encounter on each one of our award-winning tours.

Complete financial protection

We offer complete financial protection through our membership of ABTA and our ATOL licence, giving you total peace of mind with regards to your money.

Dedicated tour managers and local guides

Every one of our holidays is escorted by friendly, dedicated tour managers and local guides. It's their local knowledge that will turn your wish-list holidays plans into lifelong memories.

Award-winning service

We've won more than 70 awards during our 40-year history, and best of all, you've voted us winners at the British Travel Awards 11 years in a row.

Available 24/7

Wherever you are in the world, you'll be able to contact us. There are many ways to get in touch, and we promise you'll always be speaking to a human, not a computer.

So much included

The price you pay includes all your travel, accommodation, touring itinerary, tour manager and much more. There's no need to pay for annoying extras you weren't expecting with us either.

Holding your hand

Wherever you choose to go next, our team of experts are on hand to assist you before, during and after your holiday, so you can focus on relaxing and enjoying your experience.

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