Serene Lochs, Majestic Mountains and Royal Edinburgh
Travel through Scotland's turbulent and intriguing history while enjoying the contrasting and rich scenery of the Central Highlands arriving finally in Edinburgh, the ancient capital.
From Culloden Moor where Highland life changed forever, to the mountainous splendour of the Cairngorm National Park, then the dramatic contrasts of the lower hills, glens and forests, we see ancient standing stones and pass scenes of historic conflicts. We explore the estate of the Dukes of Atholl and visit their ancient family home, Blair Castle, set in the most beautiful grounds, with an option of seeing how Scotland's malt whisky is made in a nearby distillery. We finish our journey in Edinburgh first with a walk to the top of Calton Hill beside our hotel then down secluded pathways to the Old Town to explore the Royal Mile followed by a climb to the top of Arthur’s Seat for panoramic views of the capital city of Scotland.
As for refreshment, we will dine on the freshest Scottish produce including salmon and local Angus beef and - to finish on a high note - we will enjoy a private whisky tasting evening.
Walk Rating: Moderate. Gentle hill walking, woodland tracks, well laid trails. Options for more or less vigorous walking. 8-12 miles Walking per day.
US$4095 per person double occupancy
US$4095 per person double occupancy
Walk begins at Culloden with arrival at Inverness and ends in Edinburgh with departure from Edinburgh.
Early in the afternoon, we rendezvous in Inverness, and visit Culloden Battlefield to set the scene for a deeper understanding of the historical context and development of the nation of Scotland as we progress from the Highlands through to the the capital, Edinburgh. We take a walking tour of Culloden Battle site to learn more about this landmark struggle between the Highland Clans and British Government rule which pitted father against son and ended in what was tantamount to civil war. We visit the Clava Cairns, an iron age burial site with standing stones, en route to our first hotel in Boat of Garten for our Welcome Talk and Dinner.
This morning we transfer to the Cairngorm mountains, traveling through one of the few remaining areas of Caledonian pine forest and now part of a National Park much loved by locals and visitors alike for its wildlife and outdoor pursuits. If weather permits, we take a funicular from the Cairngorm base station to the Ptarmigan top station. (Those who would like, may make the hike on foot.) We walk to the summit with a mountain guide to learn about the local ecology. We lunch at the observation platform with stunning panoramic views. Our afternoon walk offers the chance to enjoy the woodlands, lochs and trails of Glenmore. We return to our hotel for dinner and overnight.
We transfer to Glen Tilt and walk to Blair Castle, the ancestral home of the Dukes and Earls of Atholl. We have lunch and then a tour of the 740 year old Castle and grounds, all in the midst of one of the most spectacular settings of Highland Perthshire. We arrive to a warm welcome at Killiecrankie House Hotel, our base for the next three nights.
We walk out from our hotel along the hillside past the golf course to the tiny village of Moulin, nestling in the hills above the town of Pitlochry. From there our route takes us past the ruins of 14th century Black Castle to admire the Black Spout waterfall then descend through the woods to Pitlochry for lunch. We walk up the River Tummel, crossing the huge hydroelectric dam and see the salmon ladder which allows the fish to bypass the dam as they swim upriver. Passing Loch Faskally the walk continues up the River Garry and ends at a spot below the hotel near the site of the Battle of Killiecrankie where, in 1689, a fleeing Government soldier is said to have made a superhuman leap of 18ft to escape the pursuing Jacobites. We return to Killiecrankie House for dinner and overnight.
Today our walking takes us to the Dunkeld area through a landscape planted by the Dukes of Atholl with a romantic viewing gallery over the River Braan. We see the remains of an ancient forest including the Birnam Oak, so memorable for Shakespeare that he wrote it into Macbeth. We visit Dunkeld Cathedral and end with a walk in the hills above the village where ospreys can sometimes be seen. You can choose to take time out to explore this delightful village.
We leave Killicrankie for our final destination - Edinburgh. With Morag Dunbar, our Walk Manager and Scottish Blue Badge Guide, we explore Calton Hill for beautiful views of the city, descending by secluded pathways into the historic Old Town of Edinburgh, enjoying some of the hidden surprises of the Royal Mile with lunch near Holyrood Park. The afternoon concludes with an invigorating walk up Arthur’s Seat to enjoy the most dramatic 360 degree views or, alternatively, the chance to do some independent sightseeing. In the evening we gather at the hotel to walk to a private Whisky Club to enjoy a Single Malt whisky tasting and Farewell Dinner.
The Walk is finished, but we recommend spending the weekend in Edinburgh taking in some of the many sights including Edinburgh Castle, Palace of Holyroodhouse and the Royal Yacht Britannia. Our Edinburgh Hotel is centrally located near the train station and conveniently placed for airport bus transfers and the new tram system.
This itinerary represents a typical Walk. We prepare itineraries well in advance of the trip and therefore we reserve the right to make changes due to weather, local events or other circumstances - but always to improve the experience of our guests.
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Killiecrankie House Hotel - Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday
Henrietta Ferguson, a personal friend of The Wayfarers, welcomes us to Killiecrankie House. Henrietta and her staff make every effort to ensure that guests feel at home and, returning to the hotel each night feels like staying at the comfortable home of a friend with classy taste! The hotel sits in four acres of wooded grounds and the front of the house faces the wooded hillside of Craig Fonvuick across the Pass of Killiecrankie and the River Garry. It is a wonderfully tranquil setting.
The hotel takes great pride in its award winning restaurant. The Scottish Hotel Awards bestowed Chef Mark Easton with the award of Real and Local Food Chef of the Year 2011 and the Good Hotel guide has given the hotel the coveted César for Scottish Hotel of the Year 2011. (The César is given to only 10 hotels in Britain each year and, known as the Oscar of hotel-keeping, is undoubtedly the accolade most hotels want to win!)
All bedrooms are ensuite and, having been recently refurbished, no detail in elegant décor or luxurious comfort has been overlooked. Every room has its own en-suite bathroom as well as luxurious Egyptian cotton bed linen, fluffy towels, TV, radio, phone, hairdryer and tea and coffee making facilities.
This hotel list is a provided as an example. We may use different hotels of the same quality and style on specific trips. The Wayfarers will notify confirmed travelers of any changes to the hotels.
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Are there any hidden costs?
Our Vacations do not include the cost of air or rail fares to and from the destination or tips for your walk leader and manager.
How large are the Groups?
Our maximum group size is 16, but groups average between 8-12 people.
Will I feel welcome as a single traveler?
Yes! Our walks are the perfect environment of comfortable camaraderie for the single traveler.
Can you accommodate special diets?
How physically fit do I have to be to do a Wayfarers Walk?
If you are in good health and reasonably fit you will be comfortable participating in a walk.
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