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Essential Scotland: Castles, Lochs, and Whiskey

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Fly into: Glasgow Fly out of: Glasgow
Total Duration: 12 days

Scotland's beauty can be rugged, mysterious, and sometimes stark, thanks to the country's famous lochs, craggy moors, and castles—all of which you'll experience on this comprehensive journey. Start in history-rich Edinburgh and head north to the St. Andrews, the birthplace of golf. Then take in the dramatic landscapes near Inverness and on the enchanting Isle of Skye. End on a high note with an invigorating walk around Loch Lomond before exploring the lively city of Glasgow.

    This Trip's Top Experiences:

  • Art and Culture
  • History
  • Natural Beauty
  • Architecture
  • Shopping
Days 1-3
davidhills/istockphoto

1 Edinburgh

Scotland's Prettiest City

  • Walk the Royal Mile, home to Old Town's most impressive buildings
  • Hit the shops of George Street to explore New Town
  • Stop at National Gallery of Scotland with its old-master paintings and great Scottish art
  • Architecture
  • Shopping
Discover Edinburgh »
Days 4-5
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jean morrison/shutterstock

2 St. Andrews

All About the Golf

  • Learn all about golf and its birthplace in St. Andrews at the British Golf Museum
  • Couldn't get a tee time at the Old Course? Take your pick from the area's other courses
  • St. Andrew's Castle features a gruesome dungeon and secret tunnels
  • Walk around picturesque St. Andrew's University
  • History
  • Shopping
Discover St. Andrews »
Days 6-7
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Neil_J/istockphoto

3 Inverness and Loch Ness

Nessie and Macbeth

  • Try and find Nessie in Loch Ness, Scotland's deepest lake
  • Visit Cawdor Castle in Nairn, home of Macbeth in Shakespeare's play. It's still occupied today
  • At Fort George, explore Europe's best-preserved 18th-century military fortification
  • Natural Beauty
  • Food and Wine
Discover Inverness and Loch Ness »
Days 8-9
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Lukas Kaffer/wikipedia.org

4 Isle of Skye

Misty Mountains

  • En route to Skye, visit Eilean Donan Castle, the most picturesque in Scotland
  • Look out for dramatic geological formations such as the curious Old Man of Storr and Kilt Rock
  • See spectacular mountains in Glen Brittle or take a hike in the Cuillins
  • Buy locally made crafts, including pottery and jewelry
  • Art and Culture
  • Natural Beauty
  • Shopping
Discover Isle of Skye »
Days 10-12
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Abubakr Hussain/wikipedia.org

5 Loch Lomond and Glasgow

Lochs and High Design

  • Hike along the banks of Loch Lomond, the largest loch in Scotland
  • Glasgow is home to some of Britain's best museums, including the Kelvingrove
  • Walk around to admire the unique architecture of the city
  • Explore the shops and restaurants of this design-conscious city
  • Nightlife
  • Shopping
  • Art and Culture
Discover Loch Lomond and Glasgow »

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