Titan’s VIP door-to-door travel service collects you from home for your flight to Glasgow. On arrival you will be transferred to the Glynhill Hotel (4T) in Renfrew. The remainder of the afternoon at leisure, before dinner.
The 10th Earl of Cassillis was keen to impress with his wealth and status. He ordered Culzean Castle to be built on a clifftop, an opulent vision decorated with the battlements and turrets of a Gothic fortress, on a glorious 260-hectare estate of flamboyant gardens and wild woodland contained on one side by an unforgiving coastline with hidden caves. The castle’s highlights include the sweeping Oval Staircase and a fine collection of paintings and furniture, plus the Armoury Hall, filled with one of the world’s finest collections of flintlock firearms and historic swords. Later, we head to the Burns Museum. In the humble cottage where Robert Burns was born, discover how he rose from a ploughman to a hugely important historical literary figure, leaving a legacy of hundreds of poems and songs, some of which are still enthusiastically celebrated at Burns Night and New Year’s Eve parties around the world.
Glasgow - Crianlarich
Today we experience the world’s only rotating boatlift as it was intended - by canal boat. The Falkirk Wheel is a 21st century mechanical marvel, designed to replace the long demolished lock gates that connected the Forth & Clyde and Union canals, important waterways to 19th century industries. Then enjoy the views as we continue to the Ben Doran Hotel (4T) or Crianlarich Hotel (3T), amongst the hills of Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park.
Crianlarich - Cairngorms National Park
The rugged scenery grows even more impressive as we head to Fort William, caught between Loch Linnhe and Ben Nevis. The town is renowned for adventure, and ours will be one of elegance, travelling from Fort William to Mallaig on a beautiful Jacobite locomotive through some of Scotland’s most splendid scenery, famed by the Harry Potter films. We pass the deepest freshwater loch in Britain, Loch Morar and the shortest river in Britain, River Morar, before reaching Mallaig, at the mouth of the deepest seawater loch in Europe, Loch Nevis. We travel from here by coach, following Loch Cluanie and the River Moriston to Loch Ness, where we stop at the Loch Ness Visitor Centre to learn about the stories of its famous monster. We arrive late today at Hilton Coylumbridge Hotel (4T), in Cairngorms National Park.
This morning we appreciate the beauty of the Highlands, reaching the peak of Britain’s sixth highest mountain, Cairngorm, by the Cairngorm Mountain Railway. From 1,097m above sea level, the wild mountain scenes of this ancient glacial landscape are endless. We descend for a free afternoon in this beautiful area.
Cairngorms - Aberdeen
On 16 April 1745 the Jacobite Rising came to a tragic end at Culloden. In less than an hour around 1,500 men died on the battlefield as the Jacobites, seeking to restore the Stuart monarchy to the British throne, fought the Duke of Cumberland's government troops. This morning we visit the site of one of Britain’s most brutal battles, and learn of the background to this conflict, from both sides, at the Culloden Visitor Centre. We continue to the Glenfiddich Distillery, a company that has been passed down through generations since William Grant began to realise his dream to make the ‘best dram in the valley’ in 1886, and now produces the world's most awarded Single Malt Scotch Whisky. We take a tour of the hand built distillery and enjoy a tutored taste of four of their world-renowned single malts. Tonight we stay at the DoubleTree by Hilton Aberdeen City Centre (4T).
Aberdeen - Edinburgh
Queen Victoria and Prince Albert fell in love with the Highlands and purchased Balmoral in 1852, despite not seeing it. Deemed inadequate for their needs, they commissioned a new castle, a grand estate that has been a popular home for the royal family ever since. A highlight of your visit is the Castle Ballroom. This magnificent room hosts the annual Ghillies Ball, a tradition started by Queen Victoria to thank her staff and servants, and allow them the rare opportunity to dance with the upper class. Today you can also visit a collection of Royal carriages and cars, and the fine gardens (many rooms are Her Majesty the Queen's private rooms and closed to the public). We then make our way south, crossing the famous Forth Road Bridge, to visit the Royal Yacht Britannia. Designed with a simple, 1950s elegance chosen by Queen Elizabeth II, this vessel was the floating residence of the Royal Family for 44 years, the last of a tradition of British Royal Yachts dating back to 1660. She sailed over one million nautical miles on 968 State visits, and hosted world leaders such as Sir Winston Churchill, Nelson Mandela and Ronald Reagan. Later, we check in to the Holiday Inn, Corstorphine (4T) or Holiday Inn City West (3T).
Please note: Balmoral is closed for our 6 September 2019 departure and you will visit Crathes Castle instead. Surrounded by woodland and set within glorious gardens, Crathes Castle is a great example of a 16th century tower house. In 1323, the lands of Leys were granted to the Burnett family by King Robert the Bruce, and his gift was the ancient Horn of Leys, which can be seen today in the Great Hall. Also inside you will find original painted ceilings, family portraits and antique architecture.
Edinburgh is an incredible city with a long history displayed both above and below its cobbled streets. Spend today exploring as you choose. Maybe visit the Castle; perched on a volcanic plug it guards national treasures including the Crown Jewels and the Stone of Destiny; or, marking the other end of the Royal Mile, the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the official residence of Her Majesty the Queen in Scotland. Pat the head of Greyfriars Bobby, a bronze sculpture of the dog who pined at his master’s graveside, or discover a fascinating, darker past in Mary King’s Close or the Surgeons' Hall Museums, which includes an exhibit on the infamous Burke and Hare.
Day 9 Edinburgh
Transfer to the airport for your return flight. Upon arrival your Titan vehicle will be waiting for the journey home.