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Edinburgh & the Castles of Scotland

with Edinburgh extension
  • Duration: 10 or 12 days
  • Group size: 15-38
  • Reviews: 202
Get to know the land of lochs, glens, and legends.

From its ancient castles to its rolling landscapes and blaring bagpipes, Scotland is undeniably intriguing. With plenty of time to explore, you’ll get your dose of well-known Scottish icons. Then, head a little off the beaten path, moving farther into the untamed Highlands and over craggy hills laden with lochs and Gaelic-speaking villages.

Your tour package includes
  • 8 nights in handpicked hotels
  • 8 breakfasts
  • 3 dinners with beer or wine
  • 5 guided sightseeing tours
  • Expert Tour Director & local guides
Included highlights
  • Glasgow Cathedral
  • Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum
  • Inveraray Castle
  • Loch Ness
  • Urquhart Castle
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Day-by-day itinerary
Overnight Flight1 night
Day 1: Travel day

Board your overnight flight to Glasgow today.

Glasgow2 nights
Day 2: Arrival in Glasgow
Included meal: Dinner

Welcome to Scotland! Meet your fellow travelers at tonight’s welcome dinner.

Day 3: Sightseeing tour of Glasgow
Included meal: Breakfast

Set out to explore Scotland’s “second city” today with a local as your guide.

• Drive past the Burrell Collection Museum and admire the city’s university

• Visit the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, which features everything from medieval suits of armor to a collection of work by Scottish artists

• Discover local highlights, including George Square and the River Clyde

• Stop outside the city’s medieval cathedral for photos

Spend a free afternoon in Glasgow or add an excursion.

Historic Scotland & Stirling Castle
Excursion (additional cost)
Scottish Highlands3 nights
Day 4: Transfer to the Scottish Highlands
Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Continue on to the Scottish Highlands, admiring incredible sights as you go.

• Pass Loch Lomond as you drive through scenic Trossachs National Park

• Stop to explore Inveraray Castle and its gardens

• Take in stunning scenery as you travel through the Scottish Highlands

This evening, sit down to an included dinner with your group.

Day 5: Urquhart Castle, Loch Ness & Inverness
Included meal: Breakfast

Surrounded by legend and lore, Loch Ness is one of Scotland’s most mysterious sites. Today, get to know the country’s largest loch as you explore the area.

• Pay a visit to the medieval ruins of Urquhart Castle

• Cruise along the legendary Loch Ness, a deep, freshwater lake, and dock in Clansman Harbour

• Stop in Inverness and enjoy free time to explore the city

Day 6: Free day in the Scottish Highlands
Included meal: Breakfast

Spend the day exploring the Highlands on your own or add an excursion.

Eilean Donan Castle & Isle of Skye
Excursion (additional cost)
Edinburgh3 nights
Day 7: Transfer to Edinburgh
Included meal: Breakfast

En route to Edinburgh, stop in Perthshire, the gateway to the Scottish Highlands.

• Visit medieval Blair Castle, the former home of the Dukes and Earls of Atholl

(Please note: Entrance to Blair Castle is seasonal and runs from April to late October only. When entrance is out of season, it will be replaced with a visit to Black Watch Castle & Museum.)

• Explore Edradour distillery with a guide and enjoy a whisky tasting

Enjoy a free evening in Edinburgh or add an excursion.

Scottish Bagpipe Lesson & Dinner
Excursion (additional cost)
Day 8: Sightseeing tour of Edinburgh
Included meal: Breakfast

Get to know Edinburgh in all its medieval beauty on a tour led by a local expert.

• View the elegant Georgian New Town and the Royal Mile, two UNESCO World Heritage sites• Pass the King George statue, Bute House, and Sir Walter Scott monument

• Enter Edinburgh Castle to view the Scottish crown jewels and Stone of Scone

Spend a free afternoon in Edinburgh or add an excursion.

Abbotsford House & Melrose Abbey
Excursion (additional cost)
Day 9: Free day in Edinburgh
Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Enjoy a full free day in Edinburgh or add an excursion.

Tonight, experience an authentic cèilidh, an age-old Scottish celebration. Enjoy a farewell dinner of local specialties as dancers perform and you’re serenaded by a band playing Scottish folk tunes.

St Andrews
Excursion (additional cost)
Flight Home
Day 10: Departure
Included meal: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Transfer to the airport for your flight home, or extend your stay to continue exploring Edinburgh.

Extension to Edinburgh

Stroll Edinburgh’s Royal Mile, and you’ll soak up more than your fair share of the Scottish capital’s 1,000-plus years of history. Continue your tour to keep exploring this historic, hilly city, and discover the charms waiting at the end of every close.

Edinburgh2 nights
Day 10: Free day in Edinburgh
Included meal: Breakfast

Spend the day exploring Edinburgh on your own or add an excursion.

Rosslyn Chapel & Royal Yacht Britannia
Excursion (additional cost)
Day 11: Free day in Edinburgh
Included meal: Breakfast

Spend a full free day in Edinburgh or add an excursion.

This evening, enjoy a farewell drink as you celebrate your trip with your fellow group members.

Palace of Holyroodhouse & Afternoon Tea
Excursion (additional cost)
Flight Home
Day 12: Departure
Included meal: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Transfer to the airport for your flight home.

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Reviews
5
202
4.7 average
Memories of Glencoe
by 2nd time traveler 

One of the highlights of the Castles of Scotland tour was the time spent and accommodations at the hotel in Glencoe in the Highlands. The hotel was located on a peninsula constructed of reclaimed slate from a nearby quarry. There were interpretive trails, a slate arch and lovely view of the loch. Fo...

Read more +
Edinburgh & the Castles of Scotland
by 2nd time traveler 

My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed our tour through Scotland. We were able to see so many sites and learned so much! Meeting new people and having everything planned and organized allowed me to relax and enjoy my vacation. I loved it so much and cannot wait to choose our next tour!!!

Far exceeded my expectations!
by 2nd time traveler 

This was a trip of my dreams, I have always wanted to see Scotland. It could not have been any better, far exceeding my expectations. Over all the trip was amazing, Our tour guide Cornelius was perfect, so witty and informative. You want Cornelius if you take this tour. In addition Paul, our to...

Fantastic Scotland
by 5th time traveler 

Scotland and the Castles was my third tour with Go ahead Tours and one of my favorite! Scotland and the people are so wonderful, the Castles are out of story books. My Tour Director Reuben White, was awesome! He had our itinerary set up as soon as we arrived. He was extremely knowledgeable, helpf...

by 2nd time traveler 

Accomodations were fair to bad. The Ballachulish hotel was very poor. Bathroom smelled of ( well lets say ) of body fluids. the room had the smell of mold. Needed to be updated. tiny sink in bathroom 14 inches in diameter with no counter at all. the floor was stapled together in the bathroom. T...

Our reviews are authentic and unedited.
Hotels, flights, & FAQ

Here's the nitty-gritty—where you’ll stay, how you’ll get there, and what to know about your destination before you go.

Hotels

We handpick every hotel to strike the balance of comfort, location, and local charm. Specific accommodations will vary based on your departure date, but these are frequently used hotels for this tour and we're confident you'll be satisfied.

Novotel Glasgow City Centre

This contemporary hotel is located in the Glasgow city center. Guests enjoy a swimming pool and bar. Nearby, you'll find the Burrell Collection, Royal...

Alexandra Hotel

This charming hotel is located in downtown Fort William. Guests enjoy a bar, restaurant options, and a lounge. Nearby you’ll find the West Highland Mu...

Flights

Round-trip flights are one more thing we handle to make your journey as smooth as possible. Our team of travel experts will find the best flight itinerary for you at a competitive rate, thanks to our partnerships with top airlines.

Add our airfare package and you'll get:
  • Round-trip flight for your tour
  • Airport transfers at your destination
  • A great price locked in today
  • 24/7 support from our dedicated service team
  • Options for arriving early, staying longer, or requesting an upgrade
  • Flexible rebooking options if your tour itinerary changes
  • Find out more about flights
FAQ
Passport & visa requirements
  • In order to enter the United Kingdom, U.S. and Canadian citizens need a valid passport with an expiration date extending at least six months beyond the date of reentry.
  • We recommend having at least one blank passport page for entry stamps.
  • There is no visa required for U.S. or Canadian citizens.
  • If you are not a U.S. or Canadian citizen, you must contact your destination country’s consulate for your specific entry requirements.
Tour pace
  • You will walk for about 1 hour daily across moderately uneven terrain, including cobblestone streets and unpaved trails, with some steep hills and stairs.
  • Travelers should be healthy enough to participate in all included walks without assistance. Adding optional excursions may increase the total amount of walking on your tour.
  • You should feel comfortable managing your own baggage at times.
  • If you have any mobility concerns or physical restrictions, please contact our Customer Experience Team.
Transportation & arrival information
  • Round-trip flights booked through Go Ahead Tours arrive in Glasgow and depart from Edinburgh. A representative from Go Ahead Tours will meet you at the airport and take you to your hotel. Please remain in the arrival lounge, as the representative might be escorting one of your fellow travelers to the bus at the time of your arrival.
  • Transfers to and from the airport at your destination are included for travelers who have purchased their flights through Go Ahead Tours. Travelers who purchase their own flights may request airport transfers with Go Ahead Tours for an additional cost.
  • All other included transportation is by private motor coach.
Baggage allowance
  • Airlines have varying weight restrictions on baggage. Some airlines may impose additional charges if you choose to check any baggage; be advised that you are responsible for any such costs.
  • Contact your airline for baggage size and weight restrictions for your flight, but please note that our travelers are restricted to one checked bag per person due to storage limitations on motor coaches and other transfers, which may include train connections or flights.
  • One carry-on bag of 45 total inches (length + width + height) is also permitted.
  • Make sure you label your baggage and keep valuables, medication, and documents in your carry-on bag.
Clothing & packing tips
  • We recommend packing lightweight, loose-fitting clothing that can be easily layered to accommodate varying temperatures, as well as a light jacket or rainwear.
  • A sturdy pair of walking shoes or sneakers is recommended for sightseeing.
  • You may want to pack dressier attire if you plan to visit a high-end restaurant or attend a special performance.
  • It is preferable not to visit churches or other religious sites with bare legs and shoulders (and entrance may be denied on this basis).
Health
  • There are no major health risks associated with traveling to Scotland.
  • At least 60 days prior to departure, check with your doctor or healthcare provider for the latest updates and entry requirements, or visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website at cdc.gov.
  • If you have medication that you take daily, be sure you have enough for each day of the tour as well as any possible delays encountered.
  • If you have dietary restrictions and/or food allergies please notify Go Ahead Tours at least 30 days prior to departure by logging in to your account and updating your traveler info. To update this information closer to your departure date, please call our Customer Experience Team.
Cuisine
  • Scottish cuisine relies on readily available ingredients like game, dairy, and fish, with little use of exotic spices. Pickled kippers and smoked salmon are popular as well as hearty dishes like Scotch broth (stew of meat and root vegetables) and haggis (a savory pudding of sheep innards). Scotch whisky is a legendary local spirit, and Scottish ales are world-famous.
Electricity & air conditioning
  • Scotland operates within 230-240 volts and uses a Type G plug with three large, flat pins.
  • We recommend packing a universal adapter, as well as a voltage converter if you plan on using your own hairdryer or other electrical device without a built-in converter.
  • The strength of the air conditioning in European hotels is often not as strong or as cool as what you might be used to in the U.S. or Canada. When air conditioning is available, it is usually regulated seasonally and controlled centrally by the hotel.
  • Hotels may provide hairdryers, irons, and other small appliances, but these amenities cannot be guaranteed.
Connectivity
  • Wi-Fi is available in most hotels, though some charges may apply.
  • There is no Wi-Fi on any of the motor coaches.
  • Please contact your mobile service provider for information on roaming charges.
Time zones
  • Scotland is on Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), which is five hours ahead of Eastern Time (ET).
  • When it’s noon in New York, it’s 5pm on tour.
Currency
  • You will use the Pound sterling in Scotland.
  • Better rates of exchange are usually available overseas, although it’s worth ordering some currency from your local bank to use when you first arrive.
  • We strongly advise that you take debit/bank cards and credit cards, which can be used to withdraw cash at local banks as needed.
  • You can use most debit/credit cards at ATMs on the international networks Cirrus and Plus, but make sure to check with your home bank about withdrawal fees.
  • Inform your bank and credit card company of your travel plans so that they won’t confuse your international purchases for fraudulent charges.
  • International banks and businesses primarily accept debit and credit cards that work with the EMV chip system. If you do not already have at least one debit or credit card with a chip in it, we strongly recommend requesting one from your bank prior to your tour.
Tipping
  • At the conclusion of your tour, it’s customary to offer your Tour Director and driver a gratuity in local currency. Please keep current exchange rates in mind.
  • We recommend tipping the equivalent of $7USD to $10USD per person per day for your Tour Director and the equivalent of $3USD per person per day for your driver.
  • If applicable, we also recommend the equivalent of $2USD per local guide.
  • Tips can only be paid in cash.
Purchasing excursions on tour
  • Most optional excursions will be available for purchase while you are on tour.
  • Your Tour Director will only accept cash (in USD only), Visa, or MasterCard as payment for excursions.
  • Please be advised that if you pay for an excursion by credit card while on tour, it may take up to three months for your card to be charged.
  • Some optional excursions may only be purchased in advance. See page four of your tour itinerary for more information. International travel is, by its very nature, unpredictable. We must therefore reserve the right to change this itinerary, without advance notice, to meet with local conditions at the time of travel. We appreciate your understanding. Please refer to our website for Terms & Conditions, dates, and prices.
Choose your dates to start a quote
38 Departures
Tour prices are per person, before flights, and based on two travelers per hotel room.
Jun 27–Jul 6, 2019
Call to book
$2,949$2,749
Jul 18–Jul 27, 2019
Extension available
Join waitlist
$3,049$2,949
Sep 5–Sep 14, 2019
Extension available
$2,799$2,699
Only 3 spots left!
Sep 26–Oct 5, 2019
$2,799$2,599
Oct 3–Oct 12, 2019
Extension available
$2,449$2,349
Only 2 spots left!
Oct 17–Oct 26, 2019
$2,449$2,049
Nov 7–Nov 16, 2019
Extension available
$2,199$2,049
Nov 14–Nov 23, 2019
$2,199$1,899
Feb 20–Feb 29, 2020
$2,199$2,049
Mar 19–Mar 28, 2020
Extension available
$2,199
Mar 26–Apr 4, 2020
$2,199
Apr 2–Apr 11, 2020
$2,499
Apr 16–Apr 25, 2020
Extension available
$2,499$2,299
May 7–May 16, 2020
Extension available
$2,499
May 14–May 23, 2020
$2,499$2,299
May 21–May 30, 2020
Extension available
$2,949$2,649
May 28–Jun 6, 2020
$2,949$2,799
Jun 4–Jun 13, 2020
Extension available
$2,949$2,749
Jun 11–Jun 20, 2020
$2,949
Jun 18–Jun 27, 2020
Extension available
$2,949
Jun 25–Jul 4, 2020
$2,949$2,849
Jul 2–Jul 11, 2020
Extension available
$3,099
Jul 9–Jul 18, 2020
$3,099
Jul 16–Jul 25, 2020
$3,099
Sep 3–Sep 12, 2020
$2,799$2,699
Sep 10–Sep 19, 2020
Extension available
$2,799$2,599
Sep 17–Sep 26, 2020
$2,799$2,549
Sep 24–Oct 3, 2020
Extension available
$2,799$2,499
Oct 1–Oct 10, 2020
Extension available
$2,449$2,349
Oct 15–Oct 24, 2020
$2,449$2,299
Nov 5–Nov 14, 2020
$2,199$1,999
Nov 12–Nov 21, 2020
Extension available
$2,199$1,949
Dec 17–Dec 26, 2020
$2,199$1,899
Feb 25–Mar 6, 2021
$2,199
Mar 11–Mar 20, 2021
Extension available
$2,199
Mar 25–Apr 3, 2021
$2,199
Apr 1–Apr 10, 2021
Extension available
$2,499
Apr 15–Apr 24, 2021
$2,499
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