Scotland | Edinburgh to Loch Lomond | Adult Only
Immerse yourself in the best Scotland has to offer!
9 days / 8 nights
Activity Level Activity levels are subjective depending on your general level of fitness and your experience; however, all of our trips are self-paced.
The very best experiences of Scotland, all in one itinerary; you’ll taste the whisky, hike the corbetts and other hills, walk the moorlands, canoe a loch, and ferry out to wild islands. You’ll explore castle ruins, take tea, learn of ancient burial sites, absorb history from the Neolithic times, to those of revolutionary knights, to the Industrial Revolution. From the stunning, wild countryside, to the cobblestone streets of Edinburgh, you’ll immerse yourself in the best Scotland has to offer.
This 9-day trip is a ‘master’s class’ in Scottish history, culture, geography, and lore. You’ll walk the hills, hike the battle fields of the Jacobites, and paddle the lochs. You’ll explore castle ruins, ancient loch dwellings, and the cobbled streets of historic Old Town Edinburgh. Highland scotch will find your tongue – and warm your fire. You’ll walk Edinburgh’s Royal Mile, and learn the fate of revolutionary knight Sir William Wallace. Lakeside lunches, tearoom treats, and pub fare will fuel your adventures. And you’ll explore the modern side of Scotland too, taking in engineering feats, modern sculptures, waterworks, and more.
- Learn how highland scotch is distilled – and how to taste it
- Canoe a loch and explore an ancient loch dwelling
- Explore castle ruins and learn their history
- Celebrate the life of the famed revolutionary knight Sir William Wallace
- Explore the cobbled streets and hidden alleyways of Edinburgh’s historic Old Town
- Walk the Royal Mile from the modern Scottish Parliament Building at one end to the imposing Edinburgh Castle at the other
A few more reasons why you've gotta go:
Hike the battlefields where Red Coats and Jacobites clashed.
Learn of Scotland’s modern history and engineering feats.
Hike to ancient burial cairns and standing stones.
Edinburgh, Scotland EDI
Edinburgh, Scotland EDI
Edinburgh Airport / Pitlochry
Your guide will collect you from Edinburgh Airport (or your accommodation if you chose to arrive prior). Transfer to the picturesque town of Pitlochry in Highland Perthshire. Visit local whisky distillery for a tour and tasting to ease you into highland life.
About Craigatin House
Hidden away in secluded wooded grounds in the Highland Perthshire town of Pitlochry, Scotland. This beautiful early Victorian house has now been transformed into an award winning, four-star boutique bed & breakfast. The individually designed spacious large double rooms all have comfortable six-foot-wide beds and are decorated with stylish fabrics and furnishings. The suite has all of the above with the addition of a private sitting room, two large LCD TVs and DVD player. Breakfast is served in the brand-new contemporary dining room, where you’ll also find the guest lounge, all centered around a large and welcoming log burning stove. Centrally located, private parking, a short walking distance from all Pitlochry restaurants and attractions. All rooms have a hairdryer and a hospitality tray which includes bottled water / tea, coffee, fruit teas and handmade local biscuits, large LCD TVs, Freeview, and free Wi-Fi access.
Pitlochry / Bealach na Searmoin / Killiecrankie
From our Pitlochry base, we have a choice of several excellent hikes and your guide will make suggestions based on interests, ability and weather conditions. Possibilities include:
Hike summit of a local Corbett (a mountain between 2500 and 3000 feet), taking us across moorland before a steep rocky ascent to the summit (on a clear day you see for miles and are able to identity several mountains in the surrounding areas). A lower-level option includes a hike over the Bealach na Searmoin (Pass of the Sermon) to the Soldier’s Leap at Killiecrankie. This takes us over a moorland pass before descending to a river gorge where in 1689 Red Coat soldier Donald MacBean is said to have leapt 18 feet across the river to flee from the Jacobites during the Battle of Killiecrankie.
Loch Tay / Cannog / Oban
Transfer west this morning to Loch Tay, a scenic lake surrounded by the Perthshire hills. Hit the water in open canoes, after a quick introduction to paddle strokes and techniques. Explore the waters of Loch Tay including the Crannog – a reconstruction of an ancient loch dwelling. Find a peaceful landing spot on the shore for a picnic lunch • Later we transfer to the busy harbor town of Oban on the West Coast.
About Perle Oban
Perle Oban is a new (opened May 2017) luxury hotel in Oban that boasts beautiful views over the harbor. Each of the 59 rooms are unique due to the iconic shape of the building, meaning no room will be the same. You can sip on freshly made cocktails as you watch the sunset on Oban Harbor. Their Eastern Mediterranean restaurant – BAAB – offers Greek, Turkish and Levant food. Guests can enjoy in-room Nespresso coffee machines, Bluetooth Bose sound systems, L’Occitane toiletries, 100% Egyptian cotton sheets and rainfall showers. Yoga classes are offered on Saturday mornings.
Oban / Kerrera / Gylen Castle
A short ferry crossing from Oban takes us to the wild island of Kerrera, inhabited by a population of around 45 people. A beautiful loop hike takes us to the ruins of Gylen Castle perched on the cliff tops. Continue onto a quaint tearoom for lunch. The second half of our hike gives us wonderful views over the Firth of Lorne to the Isle of Mull.
Kilmartin Glen / Loch Lomond National Park
A transfer south today takes us to Kilmartin Glen, which has one of the highest concentrations of Neolithic artifacts in the whole of Europe. We hike to ancient burial cairns and standing stones (no one knows why the glen was so significant, but we do know that people flocked to this site by the thousands!) Transfer to the Loch Lomond National Park and choose to visit either Inveraray Castle or Inveraray Jail which closed in 1889. Transfer to our hotel near Loch Lomond.
About Loch Lomond Arms
The Loch Lomond Arms Hotel is an award-winning country pub with bedrooms in the picturesque village of Luss, within the breathtaking Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park. The hotel has 14 individually designed bedrooms, a bar and restaurant, as well as a weddings and events suite. The Loch Lomond Arms Hotel dates back to the 17th Century when it welcomed travelers as a coaching inn. Named after the Scottish clans, each bedroom is unique and brings together Scottish woolen blankets with plump feather-filled pillows, antique furniture and vintage prints. High-speed wireless internet is available throughout the hotel.
Beinn Dubh / Luss
No transfer needed as our hike starts directly from our hotel! Hike the grassy path to the summit of the small mountain Beinn Dubh (meaning black or dark mountain). From the top enjoy unrivalled views of Loch Lomond and the surrounding hills and mountains. In the afternoon, we’ll either explore the village of Luss or take a short drive to a nearby shopping experience to stock up on souvenirs.
Edinburgh / Stirling / Falkirk
Transfer to Edinburgh to discover the richness of Scotland’s history and industrial heritage on the way. Transfer to Stirling where we can ascend the staircase of the National Wallace Monument, a celebration of the life of Sir William Wallace the famous knight who was one of the leaders of the Wars of Scottish Independence in the 1200s. Next, we’ll learn of Scotland’s modern history and engineering feats, first at the post-industrial town of Falkirk. We’ll take in the Kelpies, a contemporary 30-foot high sculpture depicting two horse heads that celebrates Scotland’s horse powered heritage. If there’s time, we’ll visit the Falkirk wheel – a vertical boat wheel connecting the Forth Canal to the Clyde Canal. We’ll end the day in Edinburgh where your guide departs and you have the evening free to try the city’s huge range of bars and restaurants.
Once the home of renowned surgeon Joseph Lister, The Rutland Hotel is set right in the heart of the city center and boasts exceptional views of Edinburgh Castle. An elegant boutique hotel with twelve guest rooms and nine apartments. The rooms have free Wi-Fi, hair straighteners, wall-mounted flat screen color TV (complete with Sky 1, Sports and Cinema), Bluetooth audio connectivity, in-room safe and fully stocked mini-bar. Guests’ comfort and enjoyment is at the forefront with Arran Aromatics toiletries and Nespresso coffee machines coupled with little curios and a well-stocked mini bar in every room. The Rutland Hotel is also home to Kyloe Restaurant and Grill, a steakhouse, and The Huxley, a friendly, homey bar serving great burgers & dogs with carefully crafted cocktails.
Edinburgh’s Old Town / Royal Mile
This morning you are met by a local city guide for a walking tour of Edinburgh’s historic Old Town. Explore the cobbled streets and hidden alleyways. Walk the Royal Mile spanning from the modern Scottish Parliament Building at one end to the imposing Edinburgh Castle at the other. The afternoon is free to visit some of Edinburgh’s popular sites with recommendations from your city guide based on your interests.
Following another delicious breakfast, bid farewell to Scotland. Transfers back to Edinburgh Airport for your onward flights.
*Trip itineraries are subject to change without notice due to road, weather and other factors outside of our control, for the safety and enjoyment of our guests, as deemed necessary and appropriate by Austin Adventures.
Arrival & Departure
Please plan on arriving early on the day of your trip departure (or, to be safe, at least one day prior to your trip departure). Day one of your itinerary starts at Edinburgh Airport, depending on your arrival time, or from your Edinburgh hotel. Your trip ends with a drop-off at either the Edinburgh Airport or your Edinburgh hotel.
Hiking: Moderately strenuous hiking with variable options from four to ten miles and up to 2,380 feet elevation gain
Options at Loch Lomond Arms: If you have time (and for an additional fee), you can enjoy the Carrick Spa, with sauna, steam room, aroma bath, indoor swimming pool and rooftop infinity pool. Play golf at The Carrick, one of Scotland’s most breathtaking golf courses. Tour Loch Lomond by speedboat – or luxury motorboat, take a guided hike of the national park, or soar to new heights with a helicopter scenic tour.
Austin Adventures guides are experienced facilitators and regional experts. They will take the time to explain the details of each activity, answer any questions, and demonstrate the use of all equipment. Each activity has been carefully planned to include options for all levels. Most importantly, your guides will help you select the distance that’s right for you.
Learn how highland scotch is distilled – and how to taste it. Hike the battlefields where Red Coats and Jacobites clashed. Canoe a loch and explore an ancient loch dwelling. Explore castle ruins and learn their history. Hike to ancient burial cairns and standing stones. Celebrate the life of the famed revolutionary knight Sir William Wallace. Learn of Scotland’s modern history and engineering feats. Explore the cobbled streets and hidden alleyways of Edinburgh’s historic Old Town. Walk the Royal Mile from the modern Scottish Parliament Building at one end to the imposing Edinburgh Castle at the other.
The hallmark of an Austin Adventures vacation is our exceptional dining. All meals: breakfasts, lunches, snacks, dinners, refreshments and receptions are included as indicated by itinerary. (B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner). Alcoholic beverages and related gratuities are not included in the trip price.
After receiving your reservation and deposit, we’ll send you a pre-trip planner with general information about the area you’ll be visiting, a packing list, exercise guidelines, a guest information questionnaire and a liability release agreement for you to sign and return within 10 days.
Included in the Trip Price
- Double occupancy rooms with private baths.
- Meals as listed in detailed itinerary (B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner).
- Fully trained, first-aid certified professional guides and knowledgeable local partners.
- Any necessary equipment – all safe and well maintained.
- Vehicle support and land transportation during the trip.
- Austin Adventures T-shirt and luggage tags.
- Pre-departure and packing information.
- Incidental expenses such as taxes, dining and housekeeping gratuities, local partner and expert gratuities and national park entrance and permit fees.
Not Included in the Trip Price
- Gratuities to Austin Adventures guides.
- Alcoholic beverages and related gratuities.
- Pre-and post-trip accommodations and associated expenses.
- Air and land transportation to/from host cities.
- All types of personal insurance.
- Personal expenses.
Activity levels are subjective depending on your general level of fitness and your experience; however, all of our trips are self-paced.1 Easy (1)
Activity levels are subjective depending on your general level of fitness and your experience; however, all of our trips are self-paced.2 Moderately Easy (2)
Want to know how to fully experience the depth of beauty and culture in a place? Ask Carol Austin. A Montana native who treasures the land and people in her own backyard—be it Yellowstone, the Beartooths, or the family around her dinner table—Carol knows how to embrace any destination she explores, a feat at 40+ countries and counting. And with more than 20 years in the travel industry, she’s really good at helping guests plan—and fully enjoy—their adventure vacation, too. She co-founded Austin Adventures with her husband, Dan Austin.