• Edinburgh Castle viewed from Princes St gardens Edinburgh Castle
    Edinburgh Castle viewed from Princes St gardens
  • From Bealach na Ba looking towards Loch Kishorn Bealach na Ba
    From Bealach na Ba looking towards Loch Kishorn
  • Old Man of Storr towards Rassay and Applecross in the distance Old Man of Storr
    Old Man of Storr towards Rassay and Applecross in the distance
  • Eilean Donan Castle Dornie by Kyle of Lochalsh Scotland, Dornie, Eilean Donan Castle
    Eilean Donan Castle Dornie by Kyle of Lochalsh
  • Dunrobin Castle from the North East Dunrobin Castle
    Dunrobin Castle from the North East

A private tour around Scotland

Edinburgh, Scotland

Mainly 4+ star hotels, dinner bed and breakfast

This is a bespoke package was specifically designed to meet the desires of a couple from the USA
This tour begins in Edinburgh
We have not set dates for this tour yet and there may have added a new variant, so, check our tour diary. If you are interested in this tour or something similar then please contact us and we shall set a date, alternatively, browse our upcoming tours to see what's new.

Contact us to discuss your bespoke tour requirements.
Provisionally Book This Tour Ask for more details about this Tour Learn about our group discounts

This private tour around Scotland was specifically designed for couple from USA who are whisky connoisseurs.

As with other we guide through Scotland this couple we be delivered a captivating journey through a land steeped in history, natural beauty, and rich cultural heritage. From the rugged peaks of the Scottish Highlands to the picturesque lochs, castles, and charming villages, Scotland offers a diverse tapestry of landscapes and experiences. The enchanting streets of Edinburgh, with its historic architecture and vibrant festivals, provide a contrast to the tranquil, remote glens and countryside.

These visitors to Scotland can savor the taste of Scotch whisky, explore ancient ruins, and immerse themselves in the timeless traditions of bagpipe music and Highland games. Scotland's warm and welcoming people will help add an extra layer of charm to their journey, making touring Scotland an unforgettable adventure.

Anyone seeking a blend of breathtaking scenery, cultural exploration, and warm hospitality can contact us to lean more about our bespoke tours.

Look at this itinerary and discover some of the most interesting motorcycle routes in scotland

Edinburgh Sightseeing

Edinburgh castleYou will be collected from Airport circa 11:00 and driven into Edinburgh.

Your first stop will be to visit Edinburgh Castle (pictured right) where you will join a "fast track tour". This is a guided tour and will start at 12:00. The tour takes about 90 minutes and explores the castle highlights. You may wish to spend longer.

Leaving the Castle, you progress down Castle Hill to the High Street and just before St Giles Cathedral you will find Parliament Square where you get time alone to enjoy a romantic afternoon tea at

The Colonnades at the Signet Library"The Colonnades at the Signet Library" (pictured right, no rush but expect to be there at least an hour).

After tea you walk down the High Street / Royal Mile (this will take 15-20 minutes without stops but expect to take much longer as you may want to explore the closes and enter shops along the route).

At the foot of the Royal Mile, you will discover the Palace of Holyrood House (pictured below right) where I will regroup with you as we tour the Palace (last admission is 16:30 and it closes at 18:00).

The Palace of Holyrood House

Leaving the Palace, we head back up the Royal Mile to the Virgin Hotel where you will stay for the next two nights.

The building was erected in 1864 and named the India Building drawing reference to the East India Company. The interior is high Victorian with ornate plaster, a domed ceiling, and balconied rotunda. The multi million pound development to convert it into a hotel began in 2016 and the building now offers 225 high quality bedrooms.

View Route Guide (indicative only, actual may differ)

Edinburgh through Borders Circuit (95 miles)

Departing Edinburgh circa 10:00 we head south across Soutra and onwards to Kelso where you will tour Floors Castle and grounds (circa 11-13:00).

Floors castleFloors Castle is the family home to the Duke and Duchess of Roxburghe. It is the largest inhabited house in Scotland and the work of renowned Scottish Architect William Adam. The Duke drew inspiration from Blenheim Palace and Castle Howard both the work of Sir John Vanbrugh when instructing Adam. The property was constructed between 1721 and 1726. The building was altered between 1836 and 1847 by the Edinburgh architect William Playfair. He added several extensions, interior renovations and the coach port that enabled people to shelter when boarding their carriages.

Floors has an American connection too. The 8th Duke married an American real estate heiress, Mary Goelet, in 1903. She remodelled parts of the interior and part of what you will see as you tour the castle interior are artwork, tapestries, porcelain, and furniture introduced by her.

Kelso After the castle tour we take a light lunch in Kelso where you might also want to explore the town or view the ruined Abbey before we get back in the car to drive to Traquair (1 hour).

 

Traquair is Scotland’s oldest Inhabited House. It has been lived in for over 900 years and was originally a hunting lodge for the kings and queens of Scotland. In 1491, it was gifted by the Earl of Buchan to his son, James Stewart, who became the 1st Laird of Traquair.

Traquair

Much of the building you see today was added during the 16th century and the two wings were added in 1694.

The grounds are quite extensive and largely woodland and navigating the maze can offer a bit of light-hearted fun.

We shall visit the nearby market town of Peebles before we make our return journey to Edinburgh (1 hour) in time for dinner.

View Route Guide (indicative only, actual may differ)

Edinburgh to Blairgowrie 115 miles

The Royal yacht Britannia We leave Edinburgh City Centre about 10:000 to head to Leith where you board the Royal Yacht Britannia (pictured left, 30 minutes drive plus 2 hours to explore including a mid-way stop for about 30 minutes at the tea room).

This is the former Royal Yacht of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and was a Royal residence for over 44 years. It is now a five-star visitor attraction and was voted Best UK Attraction.

The ship was launched from the John Brown & Co. shipyard in Clydebank, on 16 April 1953 and has since travelling more than a million nautical miles to become one of the most famous ships in the world before being berthed at Whisky Quay in Leith docks near Edinburgh.

The Forth Bridges Our journey progresses to the pretty village of South Queensferry (30 minutes drive) where you will be nestled beneath the Forth Bridges (pictured right). The iconic Forth Rail Bridge opened in 1890. Its famous cantilever design is world famous. When build it was a major engineering feat. It is one of six UNESCO World Heritage Site in Scotland. The others are St. Kilda, Edinburgh Old Town and New Town, The Heart of Neolithic Orkney, New Lanark, and The Antonine Wall all except St Kilda will be visited during this tour.

Crail harbour After taking photographs of Queensferry and the bridges we cross on the newest bridge to Fife where we first visit Aberdour (20 minutes drive). From here we shall loosely follow the coast visiting some of the interesting harbour towns such as Elie, St Monans, Pittenweem, Anstruther and Crail (pictured left) before reaching St Andrews.

I suggest we break for lunch at St Andrews. You will have time to explore on your own. You might want to see the golf course, the 12th century cathedral and castle, both in ruins, or simply stroll around the town centre.

When we regroup, we cross the River Tay to Dundee where you might want to visit the V&A or the Discovery ship before we end the day at Kinloch House Hotel near Blairgowrie (1 hour drive from St Andrews).

View Route Guide (indicative only, actual may differ)

Blairgowrie to Culloden 130 miles

River Dee near Braemar As Doug is a Whisky connoisseur, I expect he already knows that Scotland has five whisky regions: Lowland, Highland, Speyside, Campbeltown and Islay. Close to Carberry is Glenkinchie, a lowland distillery which I deliberately omitted because I plan to take you to Glengoyne later in this tour. Glenkinchie is owned by Diagio and all of the production is blended with other whisky and mostly bottled as Johnnie Walker. Glengoyne on the other hand, is a family owned distillery that specialises in rare bottlings, so, of the lowland facilities I think you will prefer Glengoyne.

Glenlivet Distillery

On this day we head into Speyside where we shall take a brief stop at Braemar (1  hour drive from Blairgowrie) before crossing the Cairngorm mountains to Tomintoul (a further hour) where we stop for lunch. After lunch I though you might want to visit the Glenlivet distillery (pictured below) because this brand is the biggest selling single malt whisky in the United States. The distillery is now owned by Pernod Picard. I suggest you take the hour whisky tasting session which usually gives you four single cask whisky’s to taste. This cost about £40 each but you can opt for the best where you will sample mainly 40 year old whisky’s but that is expensive, I think about £350 per person.

Thatched cottage at Culloden From Glenlivet we continue our journey to the Culloden battlefield (about an hours drive) where you can learn about the Jacobite uprising at the visitors centre or simply stoll among the memorial stores that scatter the landscape.

We end the day nearby at Culloden House Hotel, one of many mansions that were erected around Inverness in the late 18th century. This Georgian Palladian Styled Mansion, partly the work of Robert Adam, dates from 1788 and occupies the site of Culloden Castle parts of which still remain integrated with the current property.

View Route Guide (indicative only, actual may differ)

Culloden to Orkney 150 miles

Fort George Time may be tight today because we have a ferry to catch late afternoon. If you are willing to make an early start then you might also like to visit Ft George (pictured right, about 15-20 minutes drive from Culloden). The Fort was built as the main garrison fortress in the Scottish Highlands and intended to supress the Jacobites after the 1745 rebellion. It is the finest example of 18th-century military engineering anywhere in the British Isles although the army base never fired a shot in anger. If the fort was built today it would cost nearly £1 billion.  It will take an hour or so to tour the fortress and add 30 minutes overall to our journey time.

The days journey will progress to Inverness, but unless you specifically want to visit the city, I’d suggest we press on and take our next stop at the Glenmorangie Distillery (about 1 hour from Ft George or Culloden), not necessarily for a tour but to allow Doug to inhale the fumes or browse the shop! Like so many of the well-known whisky brands the Glenmorangie company is now owned by a foreign firm; Louis Vuitton / Moet Hennessy. An interesting development as the distillery is the oyster farm that thrives on the waste wash from the plant.

Dunrobin castle Our next suggested stop is at Dunrobin Castle (pictured left, 25 minutes from Glenmorangie) The castle and gardens tour will take about 90 minutes. Dunrobin Castle is the home of the Duke of Sutherland and the most northerly of Scotland's great houses. It is the largest house in the Northern Highlands with 189 rooms. Parts of the building date from 1275 but most of what you see in the French Chateau style was designed by Sir Charles Barry, who was also the architect of the Houses of Parliament, and altered by Sir Robert Lorimer.

A further hour north brings us to the ruins of Castle Sinclair Girnigoe. which is quite a photographic spot and a good place to get out and stretch your legs though note that you need to cross a wooden bridge over a gorge to get there on foot, so, those with vertigo are best to avoid.

From there a 30 minute drive brings us to John O’Groats Britain’s most northerly town and a short distance from there we take a ferry over to Orkney where we end the day near St Margaret’s Hope. The intention is to catch the 16:30 crossing from Gills Bay to St Margarets Hope but if we miss that then take dinner in John O’Groats and cross at 21:30. The ferry takes 1 hour 10 minutes to cross. 

View Route Guide (indicative only, actual may differ)

Orkney to Scourie 155 miles

We begin with a drive to Kirkwall the islands main town and where the Highland Park Distillery is based. Now they say one distillery tour is much like another but at Highland Park they offer a 3.5  hour tasting session where you get to sample 6 whiskies including some that have never gone on sale to the public but the cost is quite extraordinary. It is £1,300 per person!

Ring of Brodgar With Doug legless after his early morning whisky tasting, we will leave him in the car, and Brenda and I will head to the Ring of Brodgar (pictured left), an ancient and massive standing stone circle believed to be over 5000 years old. It originally consisting of 60 stones though only 36 survive. There are also pre-historic burial mounds at the site. Together they form part of the Heart of Neolithic Orkney World Heritage Site,

There is much more to see in the Orkney Isles but much of this involves several short ferry crossings and we need to be mindful of time because there are only 3 ferry crossings between Stromness and Scrabster each day; 06:00, 11:00 and 16:45 or via Gills Bay from St Margarets Hope at 06:40, 10:30, 14:30 and 19:30. My recommendation is we want to catch the 11:00 crossing to Scrabster. This ferry takes 90 minutes to cross.

Once back on the mainland we will be heading west along the northern coastline of Scotland. Britain’s first nuclear plant were placed here in the 1950’s. Here they developed fast breeder reactors including the Vulcan Naval Reactor used aboard submarines. What you need to read into this is that it was far enough away from any major population that if anything went wrong casualties would be low, needless to say the journey ahead is scenic but don’t expect to see many shops.

Varrich castle The next habitations we pass through are at Bettyhill where the Strathnaver Musuem makes an interesting stop. Located in the former Parish Church of Farr the museum recounts the 8,000 years of human occupation of this region. The Bettyhill Tourist Information and Café offers a suitable refreshment stop.

As we continue we cross a causeway at Tongue where you can look over to ruins of Castle Varrich which sits on a high rocky outcrop overlooking the Kyle of Tongue. Later you can look down on old lime kilns and as we approach Durness you might want to try the Golden Eagle Zip Slide the crosses high above Ceannabeinne Beach. Next is Snoo cave and then the chocolate factory.

We shall end the day at a lochside hotel just south of Scourie.

View Route Guide (indicative only, actual may differ)

Scourie to Plockton

There is some truly wonderful scenery in this area if we break away from the main road and follow the coast, that is why the mileage about is so varied. I would recommend we spend the day taking a relaxing drive and soaking up the views, but always bear in mind that there is a more direct route we can take if you prefer.

Kylesku Bridge This north west sector of Scotland has some very interesting geology. We shall therefore take a momentary stop before crossing the Kylesku Bridge (pictured left) before deviating toward Drumbeg to visit The North West Highlands Geopark premises. They offers maps, exhibition, shop and café where you can learn more about the geology. There are also 14 information panels, like the one you will see at the Kylesku Bridge, located throughout the Geopark at strategic viewpoints. If you read these, you will soon learn that Scotland and North America were once the same landmass.

Achmelvich BayAs we follow the road around the coast there are some fantastic beaches that are often deserted. On a sunny day the azure water and white sand looks almost tropical (right Achmelvich Bay). The road will lead us to Lochinver a village that is located at the head of a sea loch, on the coast in the Assynt district of Sutherland. If you like pies, there is a great place there that makes all kinds.

Our route will continue towards the Summer Isles then onwards to Ullapool where tropical palm trees line the street. This may seem odd considering Scotland’s weather, but this area is warmed by currents from the gulf.

Bealach na ba At Loch Ewe, the Russian Artic Convoy Exhibition makes the next interesting stop and between Fearnmore and Applecross, if the weather is clear, you can look north west to Lewis, west to Rona with Skye behind, and south west to Raasay. Crossing the Bealach na Ba (pictured left) from Applecross you will have great views to Loch Carron and catch a glimpse of where we shall end the day at Plockton first we must drive around lochs Kishorn and Carron. 

View Route Guide (indicative only, actual may differ)

Plockton to Greshornish 100 miles

Eilean Donan castle We leave Plockton to explore part of the Isle of Skye though first we head to Eilean Donan Castle (pictured above, about 20 minutes drive), it is by far Scotland’s most photographed Castle, we will not take a tour but we will pass by and stop for pictures before heading around Loch Duich crossing at Shiel Bridge then through Glen Elg to take a ferry to Skye (about 30 minutes from Eilean Donan). There is a bridge but this is the last remaining turnstile ferry in the world and if we don’t support this heritage it will be lost, added to that it is a nicer way to arrive on Skye.

We then make our way to Broadford and onwards stopping momentarily to take pictures at Eas a Bhradain, a waterfall then onwards to Sligachan where the old bridge makes another nice photo opportunity and shortly after we reach Portree where we take a stroll. You might want to look at the colourful houses by the harbour (pictured left). The view of the town from the Apothecary’s Tower makes the climb worthwhile.

Portree

Leaving Portree we next stop to climb up to the Old Man of Storr (pictured below right). There are several paths some steeper than others but we shall take out time and enjoy the views. It is not much more than a mile from the car park to the rock but it is a climb and will take at least half an hour to reach. I’d suggest allocating 90 minutes to reach the rock, take pictures and return to the car.

Our next stop will be at Kilt Rock (about 15-20 minutes drive). From the Kilt Rock car park you can easily see the cliff and Mealt Falls waterfall so not so much walking there, but it will probably result in another 45 minutes stop.

Old Man of Storr

We continue around the coast to reach the Skye Museum of Island Life. The museum offers a vision of island life a 100 years ago when life had hardly changed in centuries.

We shall end the day at Greshornish.

View Route Guide (indicative only, actual may differ)

Isle of Skye day circuit

Dunvegan Castle

We begin the day with a short drive to Dunvegan Castle (pictured right), the home of Clan MacLeod, where we take a tour around the castle and grounds. The building has remnants from 1200 but most of what you see externally dates from the 1840’s. After the tour we shall grab a snack at the castle café.

Our next stop is at the Talisker Distillery, the oldest operational distillery on Skye, which is now another Diageo establishment. Diageo own about 30 other Scotch Whisky Distilleries. There are relatively few whisky distilleries that are not operated by multinationals. With quite a few distilleries already included on this tour you might want to consider the 26 that remain independent one of those is Torabhaig (Mossburn Distillers) which is also on Skye. This will enable you to see greater variety. (N.B. I have nothing against Diageo, I even own shares in them!)

Sligachan Falls

Our next point of interest, is at the Fairy Pools (pictures left) about 15 minutes drive from Talisker then a hike of 15 minutes to reach the pools. Please be aware that the pools are quite small and whilst the waterfalls look dramatic in the pictures the water even in summer can be very cold so no diving and if you plan to take a dip bring something warm to wrap up in when you come out of the water!

Our next photographic spot will be at Sligachan bridge where there are rather picturesque waterfall (pictured below)accessed down a narrow road but vehicles are not permitted so this will be another short hike. It is only a mile return trip and relatively flat.

The Fairy Pools

The final point of interest is Dun Beag Broch a type of Iron Age (circa 500 BC) round stone tower only found in Scotland. It is a climb from the car parking but not too steep. Then we return to Greshornish to end the day.

We next stop at Dunvegan Castle (pictured above) the home of Clan MacLeod, where we take a tour or the castle and grounds. The building has remnants from 1200 but most of what you see externally dates from the 1840’s. After the tour we shall grab a bite to eat at the café.

On the return journey we visit the Talisker Distillery. Although the oldest operational distillery on Skye this is another Diageo establishment who own about 30 other Scotch Whisky Distilleries. There are relatively few whisky distilleries that are not operated by multinationals. With quite a few distilleries already included on this tour you might want to consider the 26 that remain independent or those that only operate a few like Torabhaig (Mossburn Distillers) also on Skye. This way you might see greater variety. (N.B. I have nothing against Diageo, I even own shares in them!)

We will end the day at the Fairy Pools about 15 minutes drive from Talisker then a hike of 15 minutes each way. Please be aware that the pools are quite small and whilst the waterfalls look dramatic in the pictures the water even in summer can be very cold so no diving and bring something warm to wrap up in when you come out of the water!

On our return journey we shall go to the Red Skye restaurant which is based in an Old Schoolhouse building at Breakish on our way back to the Skye Bridge.

View Route Guide (indicative only, actual may differ)

Greshornish to Inveraray (175-200 miles

As we depart Greshornish en-route to Fort William, we have choices. We can head east to intersect the great glen, or head south on Skye to take the ferry to Mallaig.  There are different places of interest with each. Heading east we could progress to Invermoriston to traverse the western shore of Loch Ness to Ft Augustus and onwards past Loch Oich and Invergarry Castle and at Laggan Locks move to the east shore of Loch Lochy to Spean Bridge before reaching Ft William. This is the fastest route to Ft William all in about 2 hours ignoring stops.

Snow capped Ben Nevis

Taking the route through Skye involves a ferry crossing back to the mainland at Mallaig which will add about 40 minutes to the journey. The route past Morar. Loch Morar is Scotland’s deepest loch at 1017ft, on the Great Lakes only Lake Superior is deeper at 1333ft but unlike Superior which is 379 miles across Loch Morar is a mere 11.7 miles long and less than a mile across at its deepest point. Morar is Scotland’s fifth-largest loch by surface area. Morar is also where you find the silver sands of Morar used in the movie “Local Hero”. From the shore you can see the Small Isles of Rum, Eigg, Muck and Canna. As this route continues we reach Glenfinnan where Bonnie Prince Charlie rallied the clans for the Jacobite uprising. It is also where you find the Glenfinnan Viaduct, a railway crossing used in the Harry Potter movies. As we near Ft William you will find Neptunes Staircase at the southern end of the Caledonian canal. The staircase lock comprises 8 locks and was engineered by Thomas Telford between 1803 and 1822. This way would take about 2 hours 40 minutes ignoring stops.

Ben Nevis (pictured left), Britain’s tallest mountain, towers over Fort William and without meaning to sound too disparaging it is the towns lure because there really isn’t much of appeal in the town centre.

Glencoe

Regardless of which options was chosen above the route will be the same from now on as we pass though Glencoe. You might like to visit the memorial to the massacre, a thatched house museum or to learn more about the geography at the Geencoe Visitor Centre.

At Bridge of Orchy, I will deviate onto a single-track road along the side of the River Orchy where there are some waterfalls. We shall re-join the main road at Inverlochy and continue to Inveraray, a former royal burgh, and model town designed by William Adam for the Duke of Argyll in 1747.

We stop for the night at the Inveraray Inn. 

View Route Guide (indicative only, actual may differ)

Inveraray to Glasgow (65-170 miles)

Mull of Kintyre Lighthouse

On this final day of touring, you have another choice. Take a fairly direct route back to Glasgow via Loch Lomond stopping at the model village of Luss and later seeing some of Glasgow’s highlights, or travel south to Campbeltown, one on the main whisky producing regions. The only region we shall not visit despite being close to it is Islay.  Campbeltown has 3 remaining distilleries; Glengyle (single malts bottled as Kilkerran, Mitchell's Glengyle Ltd), Glen Scotia (single malt, Loch Lomond Group) and Springbank (a blended version on Glengyle operated by sister company). After Campbeltown you have another choice, return via Inveraray and Loch Lomond to Glasgow or take a ferry to Arran.

If we travel down the west side of the Mull of Kintyre you can look over to the Isle of Gigha and Islay and after visiting Campbeltown we can traverse the east side where you will be looking over to Isle of Arran. We cross to there by ferry arriving at Lochranza.

Arran is the largest island in the Firth of Clyde and the seventh-largest Scottish island; many say it is Scotland in miniature. There are distilleries on the island one at Lochranza and another at Lagg, both owned by Isle of Arran Distillers.

Arran Cheese Factory Shop

We can tour the island then I think it might be nice to visit somewhere different and suggest we go to Isle of Arran Cheese. The shop and dairy are located within a farm about a mile from Brodick where we catch the next ferry to the mainland.

We land at Ardrossan which is just a stone’s throw from Kilmarnock the home of Johnnie Walker. As you probably know Johnnie Walker pioneered the blending of whisky to ensure a consistently good product and today this brand is the world’s biggest seller at around 225 million bottles per annum. Now another Diageo brand. I don’t suggest we visit but thought you might want to see where it all began (right)

We complete the tour back in Glasgow at the Sherbrooke Castle Hotel for your final night dinner bed and breakfast.

View Route Guide (indicative only, actual may differ)

Day of departure

Homeward bound or onward travel. After breakfast you will checkout of the hotel and be transported to the airport or station for onward travel. Those who have come on their own bikes will ride off.

View Route Guide (indicative only, actual may differ)

Route Variation

Please note that maps are indicative because it is not always possible to enter all the waypoints and on the day of departure as we need to review our routes based upon the latest traffic and weather information available making changes as and when necessary.

Ask for more details about this Tour Provisionally Book This Tour Learn about our group discounts

Further details

Parties interested in this tour should get in touch now to intimate interest via our Enquiries Form or email hi@mctours.eu or phone +44(0)141 416 0230