Uncovering Historic Scotland

Uncovering Historic Scotland

British Heritage Travel Magazine


  • Historical


  • British Heritage Travel Magazine

Uncovering Historic Scotland

British Heritage Travel Magazine

Prices From $2,290p/p

The history of Scotland is as fascinating as it is complex. On this engaging tour, we discover the iconic buildings of Scotland’s capital of Edinburgh, as well as Royal residences, fine castles, stately homes and atmospheric ruins. We also delve into the intriguing stories of Scotland’s Wars of Independence where historic figures such as William Wallace and Robert the Bruce earned their places in the history books. We will be joined by a British Heritage Travel Magazine journalist for part of the tour.

Special extras included in your itinerary
• Guided walking tour of Edinburgh
• Audio guided tour of the Royal Yacht Britannia

Day 1

On arrival at Edinburgh airport, the public shuttle bus will take you to Waverley Station in the centre of Edinburgh from where it is less than a two-minute walk to the hotel. In the evening you are invited to join the group for dinner.

Please note you will be provided with a return shuttle bus ticket prior to departure which will allow you to take the shuttle bus from the airport at your leisure.

Day 2
Edinburgh, Palace of Holyroodhouse and Edinburgh Castle

We start the day with a guided walking tour of Scotland’s vibrant capital city of Edinburgh. Most of the city’s sights can be found within the medieval Old Town and the elegant Georgian buildings of the New Town, all overlooked by the iconic castle perched high above the city.

Next, we visit the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the Queen’s official residence in Scotland. Here we can visit the State Apartments as well as the Queen’s Gallery which hosts a program of changing exhibitions from the Royal Collection.

After free time for lunch we head up to Edinburgh Castle. As one of the most important strongholds in the Kingdom of Scotland, the castle has witnessed many of the defining events of Scottish history. Highlights include the Crown Jewels of Scotland, the Royal Palace and the 16th-century Great Hall.

The evening is free for you to make your own dinner arrangements.

Day 3
St Andrews Castle, St Andrews Cathedral and Anstruther

Our destination today is the lovely town of St Andrews. We visit the picturesque ruins of St Andrews Castle, once the main residence of the Archbishops of St Andrews and the focal point of the church in medieval Scotland. Here we can explore the underground 16th-century siege mine and counter mine and the ‘bottle dungeon’, one of the most infamous castle prisons in medieval Britain.

We also discover the spectacular ruins of St Andrews Cathedral, which only hint at the vast grandeur of what was once the largest church in Scotland. The museum houses an outstanding collection of medieval sculptures and other relics found on the site.

We return to our hotel via Anstruther, a charming, old-fashioned fishing village with a busy harbour and pretty cobbled streets.

This evening is free for you to make your own dinner arrangements. There is also the option to book onto a literary pub tour (details on request).

Day 4
Rosslyn Chapel and Abbotsford

This morning we head to Rosslyn Chapel, home to some of the most exquisite carvings and portrait scenes in the whole of Europe. Dating back to 1445, the chapel gained worldwide fame thanks to the increasing interest in Freemasonry and the Knights Templar (it was one of the filming locations for Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code). Watch out for the intricate ‘musical’ boxes and green men carved throughout the chapel.

We continue to Abbotsford, the home of Sir Walter Scott, one of the great romanticists and the foremost literary figure of his day. Created by the writer himself in the Scottish Baronial style and set in beautiful formal gardens, the house contains an impressive collection of historic relics and an extensive library.

We then return to the hotel with the evening free for your own dinner arrangements.

Day 5
Battle of Bannockburn Centre, National Wallace Monument and Stirling Castle

We head to the site of the Battle of Bannockburn, where we participate in a 3D experience of what it was like to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with medieval warriors as they prepared for Scotland’s most historic battle. In 1314, the tactics of two opposing kings, Robert the Bruce and Edward II, changed the path of Scotland’s history forever.

Our next stop is the National Wallace Monument, built in the 1860s to commemorate Sir William Wallace who led the struggle for Scottish independence at the end of the 13th century. One of Scotland’s most celebrated landmarks, this stunning tower overlooks the scene of Scotland’s victory at The Battle of Stirling Bridge and tells the story of Wallace through exhibits and displays.

Finally, we travel to nearby Stirling Castle. Originally built in the 12th century, with additions and renovations undertaken over the years, the castle has played a key role in Scottish history. As well as being an important outpost during the Wars of Scottish Independence, the castle was once home to the doomed Mary Queen of Scots, who is said to haunt the castle to this day.

The evening is free for you to make your own dinner arrangements. There is also the option to book a trip to a whiskey bar (details on request). 

Day 6
Hopetoun House and Royal Yacht Britannia

We make our way to Hopetoun House, one of the finest examples of 18th-century architecture in Britain. Designed by William Bruce and then extended and changed by Scottish architect William Adam, it is widely recognised as Scotland’s finest stately home. The magnificent interiors reflect the elegance of the Georgian era and are decorated with the best period furniture, paintings, tapestries and clocks, with beautifully crafted finishes of carving, gilding and plaster work.

We then step aboard the Royal Yacht Britannia, the Queen's floating Royal residence for over 44 years, used not only for state visits and official receptions but also for family holidays. Our fascinating tour with audio guides includes the Bridge, the State Apartments, Royal Bedrooms, Crew's Quarters and the Engine Room.

The afternoon is left free to explore at leisure. There are plenty of museums, art galleries or the Royal Botanic Garden to choose from.

Tonight, we enjoy a farewell dinner together at our hotel.

Day 7

The public shuttle bus service will be available from Waverley station to take you back to Edinburgh airport for your return flight home.

What’s Included

• Return shuttle bus tickets from Edinburgh airport to Waverley station*
• 6 nights at the Jurys Inn, Edinburgh
• Full English breakfast each day
• 2 dinners (with after dinner tea and coffee)
• Services of a tour director throughout your stay
• Travel to and from all excursions
• All entrance costs
• Porterage

*Please note Waverley station is located approximately two minutes’ walk from our hotel

Special extras included in your itinerary

• Guided walking tour of Edinburgh
• Audio guided tour of the Royal Yacht Britannia

Jurys Inn, Edinburgh
The Jurys Inn is located just off the famous Royal Mile in the Scottish capital of Edinburgh, in the heart of the Old Town. The hotel features comfortable bedrooms with TV and tea and coffee-making facilities, a stylish bar and contemporary restaurant and offers stunning views of some of the city’s famous landmarks.