Starting the New Year off in style, we preview 20 glorious tours departing in 2020 that showcase the very best of ‘bonnie’ Scotland.
1. Grand Tour of the Outer Hebrides
Heading to the North East of Scotland, this tremendous island hopping tour follows an incredible itinerary that includes visits to North Uist, South Uist, Benbecula, Barra, Vatersay, Harris, Lewis and Stornoway.
Visiting the famous Western Isles, this scenic Scottish holiday takes care of the details leaving holidaymakers to enjoy breath-taking scenery and learn about some of the country’s most intriguing island destinations.
2. Arran, ‘Scotland in Miniature’
The spectacular Isle of Arran found in the Firth of Clyde is the best of Scotland distilled down into miniature.
Discovering the island, this tour, available from June to September, shows off the very best of the famous island.
A circular tour of Arran travelling through some beautiful scenery, a visit to the Isle of Arran Distillery and stately Brodick Castle are some of this wonderful tour’s key included experiences.
3. Mull Wildlife Experience
A natural wildlife paradise, Mull’s varied landscapes are home to a wide selection of birds and sealife.
One of the best places in Scotland to admire huge birds of prey including the Golden Eagle, holidaymakers will also have the chance to take a boat trip around the beautiful Treshnish Isles, a popular haunt for Atlantic Puffins, Gulliemots and Razorbills amongst other eye-catching birdlife that can be found nesting on the ragged coastline.
During this insightful tour, you will be given a presentation from the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust before two included sightseeing cruises and an expertly guided wildlife walk offer the chance for a spot of wildlife observation.
4. Scenic Scottish Railways
Enjoying the scenic beauty of Scotland by rail is one of the great quintessentially Scottish experiences.
A vast network of tracks, viaducts and bridges sprung up throughout the country during the Victorian era.
During this featured tour, holidaymakers will be able to enjoy a journey on the Strathspey Railway travelling through the Cairngorms and a journey on the famous Jacobite train crossing the Glenfinnan Viaduct.
Overlooking Loch Shiel where Bonnie Prince Charlie raised his standard in 1745 at the beginning of the famous Jacobite Rebellion, this is one of the world’s most famous rail journeys.
Alternative notable high points include the iconic Eilean Donan Castle and the lovely banks of the Beauly Firth.
5. Highlights of Orkney & Shetland
Following in the footsteps of the Vikings this tour takes in the beauty of both Orkney and Shetland.
After joining the coach at your chosen regional pick-up, the tour truly begins with a ferry crossing from Aberdeen to the Shetland port of Lerwick.
Touring the Isles, the former capital Scalloway is the first stop. Here, you will be able to admire the ruins of a 16th-century castle.
Moving on, the tour takes in the striking cliffs of Eshaness, the prehistoric Norse settlement of Jarlshof and the RSPB Reserve at Sumburgh Head.
Bidding farewell to the Shetland Isles, the tour crosses over to Orkney.
Enjoying accommodation in the capital Kirkwall, touring highlights include the mythical Ring of Brodgar and Stones of Stenness, the Churchill Barriers and the island’s landmark Italian Chapel.
6. Highland Wildlife Safari
A magnificent Highland Safari available next summer, this Scottish tour celebrates the renowned beauty of Scotland’s natural environment and its wildlife.
Starting at the Loch of Lowes Visitor Centre and Wildlife Reserve, close to Dunkeld, best known for its pair of Ospreys, visitors to the park can get a flavour of these birds of prey’s way of life.
Further excursions to look forward to include the Highland Wildlife Park, House of Aigas Field Centre, Beinn Eighe National Nature Reserve (the oldest of its kind in Britain) and Abernethy National Nature Reserve.
A fantastic chance to admire one of the most intelligent mammals on the planet, the closing chapters of this safari tour include a cruise on Moray Firth in search of Bottlenose Dolphins.
7. Classic Scottish Steam Break
A tour taking travellers on an exploration of Scotland’s fascinating legacy of steam sees this itinerary feature some of Scotland’s most beautiful landscapes.
The irresistible scenery of Scotland can be admired throughout this popular tour featuring a number of highlights including a journey on the SS Sir Walter Scott steamer, the iconic Jacobite train and a boat journey on the iconic Falkirk Wheel.
8. Coll & Tiree
Two stunning destiantions tucked away on the Hebridean Sea, romantic Coll & Tiree are must-visits for readers looking tick off the very best of the country’s beautiful islands.
Sailing out of Oban Bay, this featured itinerary will give holidaymakers plenty of opportunities to enjoy unspoilt beaches hidden away on Coll, visit the island’s RSPB nature reserve and explore one of the sunniest places in the UK – Tiree.
9. Highland & Island Gardens
A wonderful Scottish Garden tour available in both May and June, this 4-day short break is a wonderful option for the green-fingered garden enthusiasts amongst you.
Often found to be a real showcase of vibrant colour at these times of year, featured highlights range from the house and gardens at Mount Stuart, Benmore Botanic Gardens and on to the National Trust’s garden at Arduaine.
10. Islay & Jura
Dominated by the famed ‘Paps of Jura’, Jura is a beautiful and remote island, once home to the famous author George Orwell.
The neighbouring island of Islay has long been an archaeological treasure trove, today best known for its memorable malt whiskies.
Exploring both of these small Scottish islands with included visits to both the Bowmore Distillery and Loch Gruinart RSPB Nature Reserve, many travellers also opt to join an optional excursion to Colonsay completing the exploration of a trio of Inner Hebridean gems.
11. Grand Tour of Inner Hebrides
A grand tour of Scotland’s Inner Hebrides features a roll-call of incredible islands.
A packed island-hopping adventure, a wildlife cruise going out in search of dolphins, seals and sharks is complemented with visits to the remote Treshnish Isles, Colonsay, Mull, striking Staffa and scenic Iona.
12. Mull, Staffa & Iona
Based on the Isle of Mull, this wonderful Scottish itinerary celebrates the beauty and notable history of the fascinating part of the country.
Enjoying excursions by land and sea, intriguing highlights include a cruise going out to the Treshnish Isles and basalt column island of Staffa, and visit Duart Castle, dating back to the 13th century and the sacred isle of Iona.
13. Gardens of Dumfries & Galloway
This artistic garden tour whisks travellers off to some of the grandest buildings in the UK.
Visiting Dumfries House and Drumlanrig Castle, home to beautifully kept gardens and each with their own fine art and furniture collections to admire, other notable holiday moments include the Asian-inspired garden at Broughton House and the striking pond at Glenwhan Gardens.
14. Shetland & its Outer Isles
Exploring four of the famed Shetland islands, travellers will be able to go out in search of wildlife, travel back in time with a visit to 3000-year old Jarlshof, explore the remote island of Mousa and gain an insight into 19th century Shetland croft life before touring the northernmost islands of Yell and Unst.
Venturing out to remote Unst provides the perfect opportunity for visitors to stop Bobby’s Bus Shelter at Baltasound – one of the most famous bus shelters in the UK.
15. Pitlochry’s Enchanted Forest
Each year, part of Faskally Forest, close to the picturesque Perthshire village Pitlochry, transforms into a spectacular lights experience.
Bringing the forest to a magical, enchanted life, we are delighted to be able to offer places to this must-see and extremely popular event.
16. Stornoway, Skye & the Summer Isles
Stepping out into Scotland’s great outdoors with an itinerary venturing to Stornoway, Skye and the Summer Isles guides travellers on a holiday of discovery that, at its heart, includes time spent in one of Scotland’s most popular holiday destinations – Skye.
Enjoy stretching coastline, sample local culture, particularly in Gaelic heartland Stornoway, and take in staggering scenery during scenic drives and boat rides during an itinerary that also somehow includes visits to majestic Dunvegan Castle and amazing Standing Stones of Callanish.
17. The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo
A trip to the capital to experience one of the world’s greatest shows, The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo is the perfect short break away.
Free time in the capital provides plenty of time to visit some of ‘Auld Reekie’s’ iconic landmarks or pay a visit to the shops in search of a bargain.
18. Dunoon Island Hopping
The popular resort of Dunoon is the perfect gateway to a series of Scottish islands.
Based in the resort, this out and about island-hopping itinerary takes to the water with visits to Arran, Bute, Arran and Millport.
Catering to different interests, major holiday highlights include Britain’s smallest cathedral (at Millport), the magnificent gardens of Bute and the mighty mountains of Arran.
19. Spirit of Travel lunch aboard the Northern Belle
The perfect way to mark an occasion or simply treat a loved one, a day trip aboard the famous Northern Belle gives passengers the chance to embrace the glamour of 1930s luxury rail travel.
Available for an exclusive price, this special occasion is not to be missed!
20. Best of Norway & Scottish Isles Cruise
Our special scenic cruise sails from Dundee this June.
This 9-night itinerary explores some of Norway’s best-known ports of call before Magellan calls at Lerwick, Kirkwall, Portree and finally Tobermory, capping a memorable summer voyage.
Bonus for 2021: Up Helly Aa Fire Festival
A memorable way to celebrate the lengthening of the days, 2021 holiday packages for Up Helly Aa are now available.