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Clans and castles in the highlands
Practically everything in Scotland is old and beautiful—and you’ll see plenty of both on your highland adventure. From Arthur’s Seat in Edinburgh to the dark waters of Loch Ness, these landscapes are steeped in mystery and myth. Hike the green Isles of Mull and Skye, where the world’s best fish and chips are a welcome reward after a day on the moors. Wherever you are, you’ll always find your way to an open fireplace and a hearty meal—Scotland redefines cosy.
Isle of Skye
Isle of Mull
A Scottish Journey
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Edinburgh: Scotland’s capital and the Athens of the North. Gaze over the city from the ramparts of the castle, standing on volcanic rock that has been settled since the Iron Age, before heading down to Princes Street, where the pubs are older than the USA. Drive along the coast of Fife to St Andrews, home of the oldest golf course in the world and the oldest university in Scotland.
Drive north to Ballater in the Cairngorm mountains, the heart of the Scottish Highlands. Keep a lookout for golden eagles, stags, and the Big Grey Man of Ben Macdhui, a yeti who roams these snowy peaks. After a long day on the breezy plateau, refuel with an Aberdeen Angus steak in a traditional hunting lodge, accompanied by the sounds of pipers on the banks of Loch Kinord.
Inverness is the UK’s northernmost city, a place where Mary Queen of Scots ruled with Clan Fraser of Lovat during the Tudor era. Take a trip to Culloden Moor, where the last battle on British soil was fought in 1746, or drive south to Loch Ness, home of the mysterious Nessie. Walk along the river Ness through the city centre, looking up to the intimidating presence of Inverness Castle, where Macbeth murdered Duncan.
Travel west to the Isle of Skye, one of Scotland’s island wonders. Spend a day among the green moorland and grey mountains, hiking the Quiraing, Loch Coruisk, and the Black Cuillin. Take a trip to Dunvegan Castle, the home of Clan MacLeod—they’re still proud to call this castle home. End a day with a meal of Atlantic cockles, oysters, and salmon, washed down with a dram of the finest Talisker Single Malt Whisky.
Take a short ferry ride to the Isle of Mull. Enjoy the colorful buildings on the Tobermory harbor, where fishermen have returned to the shores with their catch for centuries. Explore the dungeons and ramparts of Duart Castle, the historical seat of Clan MacLean. Hop over to Iona, a sacred island where the Lords of the Isles and clan chiefs were buried—the perfect place to round off your Caledonian conquest.
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