Scottish Castles Experience
4 day tour

  • Falkland Palace
  • Falkland in Fife
  • Brodie Castle
  • Crathes Castle
  • Dunnottar Castle

From Royals to Ruins? Peer beyond Scotland’s castle walls and chase the stories that still echo in their courtyards as you dive deep into the Highlands.

Tour map

Tour Highlights

Castles
Mountains
National Parks
Palaces
Distilleries
Film Locations

Places you explore

 

Falkland Palace - The palace was the countryside home for many of the Stuart royalty who would come here to hunt.

Royal Deeside - Once you’ve seen these moody mountains, tumbling rivers, and sweeping moors; you’ll understand why this land stole Queen Victoria’s heart and was a peaceful retreat for Queen Elizabeth II.

Dunnottar Castle - This is the archetypical Scottish castle. Mysterious, ruined, and beautiful.

Blair Castle -Gardens, antlers, and gory battles: delve into Scottish history at this famous castle.

Cardhu Distillery - The first distillery pioneered by a woman, Helen Cumming.

Culloden - A sad place to visit. It’s the location of a tragic Outlander scene, and a catastrophic battle between Jacobites and Government troops.

 

Your journey

 

Feel like a lord or lady as you wander through castles and manor houses. Stride ancient battlefields like a sword-wielding Highlander. And relive Scotland’s history defining moments of conceit and treachery as you listen to your driver-guide’s epic tales.

On this tour, you’ll join the ranks of esteemed history lovers while you travel through glens and mountain passes. You visit Scotland’s most impressive castles, tower forts, and palaces. And you even get a chance to visit a distillery that was started by one of the pioneering women in the whisky industry.

This tour is your ticket into Scotland’s medieval past and royal history.

 

Tour Details

Starts
Check-in closes at 08:30 (tour departs at 08:45) - Edinburgh Bus Station Pick Up, Gate J and Gate K, inside Edinburgh Bus Station, St Andrew Square, Edinburgh, EH1 3DQ
Finishes (approx.)
18:30 - Edinburgh Bus Station Drop Off, George St / St. Andrews Square area, (Within 5 mins of Edinburgh Bus Station), Edinburgh,
Luggage
You're restricted to 14kg (31lbs) of luggage per person. This should be one piece of luggage similar to an airline carry-on bag (approximately 55cm x 45cm x 25cm / 22in x 17in x 10in) and a small bag for onboard personal items.
Discounts

Students, seniors over 60, and children between 5 and 15 (unfortunately, we don't carry children under 5 years old)

Important information
  • Pack your waterproof clothing and walking shoes
  • Access to distillery production areas may not be possible
  • Some distilleries offer tutored tastings instead of tours
  • Distilleries may be substituted
  • Attraction tickets may need to be purchased in advance. More information is provided in your booking confirmation e-mail
Tour inclusions
  • Transport in a 16 seat Mercedes mini-coach
  • Air conditioning as standard
  • The stories and services of an English-speaking driver-guide
Tour exclusions
  • Entry fees to visitor attractions
  • Tour Accommodation

Itinerary

Day 1

  • Peer beyond the walls of Falkland Palace and find out why Mary Queen of Scots loved it
  • Walk the cobbled streets of the ‘Home of Golf’, St Andrews

You depart from Edinburgh, travel north, and cross the Queensferry Crossing into the ancient Kingdom of Fife. Your first visit of the day is Falkland Palace. It started as a hunting lodge for the Scottish kings and was later transformed into a more lavish place. When Mary Queen of Scots stayed here, she would…. play tennis on the world's oldest tennis court, which you can still see in the palace gardens. Follow in the footsteps of this tragic heroine and explore the medieval village of Falkland, which also features in the television show, Outlander.

You continue to St Andrews where you have a chance to get lunch and explore the cobbled lanes and ancient university buildings.

In the afternoon, you keep travelling north and you visit Dunnottar Castle. This ruined cliff-top fortress is one of Scotland’s megastars and adorns the front covers of travel magazines everywhere. So, it’s a great spot to take in the view and test your photo skills.

You spend your night in Aberdeen.

Day 2

  • Wander through the beautiful gardens of Castle Fraser
  • Relive the mysterious tales of Crathes Castle

Today is spent in the Royal Deeside area, famous for its many castles.

Your first visit is Castle Fraser, one of the grandest of the Scottish baronial tower houses. You can round the visit off with a walk through the beautiful 18th-century walled garden. Later, you travel to Ballater for lunch, a charming village with close associations with the British royal family.

Crathes Castle provides the highlight for your afternoon. With its pinkish façade, turrets, and a colourful garden, it looks like a fairytale castle, but it’s also haunted by the Green Lady.

You’re free to explore the house and stunning gardens at your own pace. Wandering through the outstanding, world-renowned June Borders, beautiful vistas of the castle can be seen through the fusion of colourful flowers.

You return to Aberdeen for another overnight.

 

Day 3

  • Admire the ancient tapestries at Fyvie Castle
  • Learn about Britain’s last land-fought battle at Culloden

Your tour heads further north and starts the day with a visit to Fyvie Castle. Fyvie Castle dates back to the 13th century and has a fine collection of arms and armour as well as 17th-century tapestries.

You continue, travelling through beautiful scenery to Elgin, where you have lunch. If you are a history lover, make sure to marvel at the intricated carvings of a weathered Pictish stone, standing on the grounds of the ruined Elgin Cathedral.

In the afternoon, we continue to Culloden Battlefield, where the final Jacobite Rising came to a harrowing end, bringing on the persecution of the Highland way of life. Walk around this eerie, flat, and tragic landscape and pay tribute to those who lost their lives at the last battle fought on British soil.

After the visit, you continue to Nairn for your overnight stay.

Day 4

  • Sample whisky at the heart of the Speyside Region
  • Step into Scottish history at Blair Castle

You travel south through some of the most stunning scenery Scotland has to offer.

First, you can sample the rich and slightly fruity whisky at Cardhu, which is the first distillery pioneered by a woman, Helen Cumming.

You pass Kingussie, where you may have an opportunity for a quick photo stop at the Ruthven Barracks. From here, you continue south to Blair Castle. As you explore this historic site, learn about Mary Queen of Scots, discover a ballroom adorned with 175 antlers, roam the 9-acre Georgian garden, and have lunch.

Then, you continue your journey through the lush landscapes of Perthshire, home to some of the most remarkable woodlands, and have a break in one of the picturesque towns. 

You return over the Firth of Forth to Edinburgh in the evening.

*Itinerary and distillery visits are subject to change.

Attractions

Tour Attractions

You are able to pre-purchase entrance tickets to the following attractions at the time of booking:

  • Falkland Palace
  • Castle Fraser
  • Crathes Castle
  • Fyvie Castle
  • Culloden
  • Blair Castle
  • Cardhu Distillery

Other attractions may be booked and paid locally during the tour.

Accommodation

Where does this tour stay?

Your tour stays two nights in Aberdeen and one night in Nairn.

 

How can I book accommodation?

Accommodation is not included in the price of your tour. To book accommodation, there are two options: either Rabbie’s Tours can book it for you, or you can book your own. For information on how to do this, please see the ‘Accommodation’ tab on FAQ page HERE.

Alternatively, please email us your questions at tours@rabbies.com or call us on +44(0)131 226 3133.

Information you can find on the FAQ page, under the ‘Accommodation’ tab: types of accommodation, room types, the booking process, getting to and from your accommodation, and cancellation terms.

 

How much will the accommodation cost?

We book accommodation with third-party providers on your behalf and each property sets their own rates. Rates vary considerably depending on the accommodation standard, facilities, location, and local demand. We therefore can’t tell you exactly how much your accommodation will cost until your request has been allocated to a specific property.

As a guide, you can expect to pay the following prices, per person per night:

 

Approximate prices, per person per night

Overnight Location

 

Sole Occupancy

Multiple Occupancy

 

(1 person per room)

(2+ people per room)

B&B Standard

£80 - £120

£60 - £80

UK & Northern Ireland

€80 - €120

€60 - €80

Ireland

B&B En-suite

£100 - £145

£55 - £95

UK & Northern Ireland

€100 - €145

€55 - €100

Ireland

Hotel

£110 - £190

£75 - £150

UK & Northern Ireland

€130 - €235

€75 - €150

Ireland

NOTE: Prices quoted are for guidance only and may be higher on some occasions, especially for last-minute bookings and when demand is high (E.g. peak season, weekends, holidays, special events etc)

Breakfast will be included unless otherwise noted. The type of breakfast provided will vary from place to place so you may receive either a full cooked breakfast, a continental style breakfast (E.g., toast, fruit, cereal), or a packed breakfast bag or tray (E.g., porridge pot, fruit, granola bar).

FAQs

Do you offer hotel pickups in the departure cities?

The UK and Ireland's historic city centres are full of narrow streets and winding roads. So, to speed up your departure, we only pick up from our central meeting points. What's more is leaving the city using the most direct route also reduces the carbon footprint of our tours.

Is there parking close to the departure point?

We don't recommend bringing your car into the centre of our departure cities. It can be hard to find parking, and there are excellent public transportation services.

When should I get to the departure point?

Arrive 15 minutes before your departure time. Due to waiting restrictions, we can't wait for you if you're late.

What happens if I'm late or miss the tour?

If you're late for your tour, our cancellation policy applies. 100% charges are applicable, and you will not be entitled to a refund or alternative.

What are your cancellation policies?

Your cancellation terms depend on which tour you've booked.

For one-day tours: You'll receive a full refund if you cancel 24 hours or more before the tour departure

For tours of between two and nine days: You'll receive a 90% refund if you cancel 15 or more days before the tour departure

For tours of 10 or more days: You'll receive a 90% refund if you cancel 21 or more days before the tour departure

For all European packaged tours: You'll receive a 90% refund if you cancel 42 days before the tour departure.

If you cancel inside these notice periods, full charges will apply and no refunds will be issued.

To cancel your booking, email tours@rabbies.com as soon as possible. The effective date of cancellation will be the date we receive written confirmation from you.

Click here to view terms and conditions

Can Itineraries change?

Your tour will always follow the itinerary as closely as possible. Your driver-guide will keep you up to date on the road, and we'll try to get in touch about any large changes prior to your departure.

Can I pre-book a specific seat?

Due to logistical reasons, we're unable to let you pre-book a seat on the bus. But our comfortable 16-seat mini-coaches have huge windows. So, you'll always get a good view.

Are there toilets on the bus?

Unfortunately, we have no on-board toilet facilities, but you'll have regular comfort breaks.

How do you cater for people with accessibility needs?

We aim to accommodate everyone. To read more information on how we do this, click here to go to our accessibility guide.

Do you take children on your tours?

We regret we don't carry children under the age of five on our scheduled tours.

You can ask us about the tours we recommend for younger children. And if your child is less than 1.35m tall, you should let us know, so we can provide them with a suitable booster seat.

How much time do I get off the bus?

We want you to enjoy Britain and Ireland. And we believe the best way to do this is to get you off the mini-coach and out exploring. So, we give you plenty of time to take photos, go walking, and explore ancient ruins.

Why do you exclude visitor attractions?

We exclude visitor attractions in your tour price because it lets you travel your way. It means you can pamper yourself with a luxury lunch or skip an attraction whenever you feel like it.

Do we need to bring our own lunch?

You don't need to. We stop in small towns, villages, and rural eateries where you can choose whatever meal pleases both your taste buds and your budget.

Should I tip the driver-guide?

Let's be honest, our driver-guides would never refuse a cheeky bonus. But it's up to you, and the amount is entirely at your discretion.

What about travel insurance?

We advise you take out travel insurance.

What is ABTOT?

You're protected by ABTOT when you chose to let us reserve your accommodation on a multi-day tour. This means you can claim back anything you've paid us if we become bankrupt. Read our terms and conditions for more information.

I have more questions, who can help me?

If you have any more questions, call us on +44(0)131 226 3133, email tours@rabbies.com , or check out our full FAQs .


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