Scotland Tour for Solo Travelers: Edinburgh, Glasgow, St. Andrews, Inverness & Loch Ness

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Total Trip:

8 Days
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Countries Visited:

Scotland
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Places Visited:

Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness, St. Andrews, Glencoe, Fort William, Loch Ness
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Departure Dates:

Dates are flexible and customizable for private departure.
When you travel alone in Scotland you are never lonely. Mountains tower over lush valleys and forests are filled with grazing deer. Locals crowd into the coziness of charming pubs to find comfort in conversation and laughter. Lakes sparkle with iridescent light. Castles are set high on the hills and cast shadows over the lowlands. Everyone welcomes you with a smile and is ready to hear your story. This Scotland tour for solo travelers is handcrafted to ensure you make the best of your time there,

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Customizable Itinerary

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Day 1

Beauty in the Unfamiliar

Edinburgh is a city of history and festivals, cobblestone streets and cozy pubs. You arrive at the airport and your private transfer is already waiting for you. The city charms you from the moment you step out of the airport. The Royal Mile stretches from Edinburgh Castle gate to the Holyrood Palace, fewer than 110 yards away. The wide street gives way to narrow alleyways that house small pubs, hidden restaurants, and historic homes. Near the Royal Botanic Gardens is 8 Howard Place, once home to Robert Louis Stevenson, the author of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. The remainder of the day is yours to enjoy the city at your leisure.

Relax in a classic pub, such as The Last Drop, and sit in the shadow of Edinburgh Castle with the locals. Stroll along the colorful facades of Royal Mile near Scottish Parliament and listen to the bustling city wrap itself around you. UNESCO has recognized Edinburgh as a City of Literature; the Writer’s Museum is dedicated to the literary figures and rich cultural endeavors from the likes of Robert Burns to J.K. Rowling. The interior feels like an antique bookstore. The aroma is ripe with leather-bound books and lacquered wood. Kids and adults roam through the collection of works and memorabilia in utter fascination, remembering their connection to a variety of inspiring fiction.

What's Included:

included

Transfer

included

Breakfast

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Day 2

Connecting the City

The day begins when you feel ready, but the city you wandered through the previous day makes you eager to experience more. Edinburgh Castle contains over a millennium of history. A castle, in some form, has stood atop Castle Rock since the 8th century. Today Edinburgh Castle is Scotland’s most famous, home to both the nation’s Crown Jewels and the crowning seat of the Scottish Monarchy. The powerful edifice is inspiring in its persistent strength and opulent interior. In the Great Hall you stand beneath a hammerbeam roof, an open timber truss that arches at the center. The beams are painted black and contrast against the red velvet walls and carpet.

Dangling chandeliers add a golden light to the windows. Everyday at one in the afternoon the One O’Clock Gun is fired. The roar takes you aback. Your guide explains the tradition that dates aback to the 1860s and the necessary time signal for shipping and maritime clocks. Your guide leads you along the Royal Mile and you once again view the charm of the city’s skyline and ancient settlement. Crowds form at Grassmarket. Jovial conversations filter through the air. Edinburgh Castle lingers above the neighborhood. The image of the castle seems to be present wherever you turn.

What's Included:

included

Tour

included

Accommodation

included

Breakfast

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Day 3

More than A Single Site

North of Edinburgh is the quaint town of St. Andrews. Golden sands run along the shores until the banks rise into small bluffs. Manicured grass borders the outskirts of the city opposite the sea. The aroma of fresh grass blends with the salty scent of the water. You can hear the gentle spritz of the sea lulling against the shore. St. Andrews is the birthplace of golf, and the Old Course at St. Andrews is part of the rotation that hosts the British Open.

Beyond golf, the town contains a grand history held in its charming streets and the remains of its once magnificent cathedral. The cathedral’s remnants run along its original architectural design. The edifice was first constructed in the 12th century and attacked during the Scottish reformation in the 16th century. The towers at the main entrance continue to stand around 108 feet tall. Arched windows focus the sunlight in beams onto the grounds. The view from St. Rule’s Tower, constructed in the 11th century, offers a remarkable panorama of the grounds and city beyond the old cathedral walls.

The nearby village of Anstruther looks like a recreation of a Dutch settlement. The houses are painted an array of colors and fishing boats wade in the calm cobalt waters. The scent of freshly battered fish from the fish and chips shop lingers in the salty air. In the evening you can hear the university students roaming the streets in collective amusement. The aromas of decadent dinners drift from restaurants and pubs. Infectious calls of excitement fill the sleepy city.

What's Included:

included

Tour

included

Accommodation

included

Transfer

included

Breakfast

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Day 4

Taste of Freedom

Your time in Scotland is filled with the freedom to explore what you want, when you want. The sunshine washes over the shoreline and spreads over the cathedral ruins. You depart the city and venture to Edradour Distillery, one of the smallest whisky distilleries in Scotland. The grounds are set on the banks of Edradour River in the Pitlochry. The distillery resembles a quaint village. The buildings are painted white and have a semblance of a thatched roof. Indulge in a guided tour around the grounds, complete with a tasting. You don’t have to be a connoisseur to distinguish the seductive scent of sherry and vanilla. You taste subtle toasted almonds and a spiced fruity finish. Continue onward into the Highlands and find Rothiemurchus Highland Estate.

The grounds run from The River Spey to the Cairngorm plateau and are home to the largest remaining Caledonian forest in the country. Rent a mountain bike to explore the bicycle trails or journey along the footpaths to experience the region’s natural majesty. You can even jump in a 4x4 for a safari-style discovery of the estate. Rare plants grow in the underbrush and wood grouse, whose wingspan can reach up to 49 inches across, forage. Their feathers are black and silver with an undercoat of light yellow. Red and Roe deer romp under in the forestry. They nibble on the foliage and step with a graceful aura.

What's Included:

included

Tour

included

Transfer

included

Accommodation

included

Breakfast

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Day 5

Hearth of the Highlands

Inverness will charm you with its riverside location at the north end of the Great Glen. Rolling verdant hills reach out from the city’s borders and nearby Loch Ness hums with historic mythology. Ness Island is connected to the city proper by a series of Victorian bridges. 18th century Inverness Castle watches over the riverbanks with a classic style made of pink sandstone that replaced the medieval edifice. After your morning exploration of the city you make your way to Culloden Battlefield. The famous battle took place in the 1746 and was the last pitched battle on English soil.

When you arrive you see a vast plain that leads to the distant tree line. Rocks are placed intermittently with a purpose around the old battlefield. A small tower made of mortar and stone acts as a marker for the fallen British. You then notice that the rocks around the battlefield contain names etched into their faces. The rocks are memorial stones marking where a particular clan fell while in battle. After your visit to Culloden you will continue to Loch Ness to discover the indescribable beauty of the landscape, along with a chance of finding the elusive Loch Ness Monster.

What's Included:

included

Tour

included

Transfer

included

Accommodation

included

Breakfast

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Day 6

Finding Glen Coe

The Highlands converge in the emblematic landscape of Glen Coe. The River Coe has carved the land in a gorge that brims with splendor. The mountains look like hills, easily overtaken, but the closer you get the more you realize how rugged and tall they are. The hills almost build on one another, rising higher into the sky and overlooking the trees and calm water of the river. The village of Glencoe was also where they filmed part of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Golden Eagles soar through the sky.

A singular wing of the Golden Eagle can measure an average of 28 inches when bent at 90 degrees. Bluebells bloom by the riverbed and dangle in an explosion of bell-shaped color. The delicate blossoms, graceful wildlife, and reflective waters offset the natural ruggedness of the mountaintops. When you reach the visitor center you have a sweeping panorama of the towering mountains. You pull up a chair, order a cup of tea, and indulge in the pure vision of the Highlands. The aroma of fresh baked tarts and crumbles fills the Visitor Center. In the late afternoon you will arrive in Glasgow, Scotland’s largest city.

What's Included:

included

Tour

included

Transfer

included

Accommodation

included

Breakfast

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Day 7

The Many Faces of Glasgow

Glasgow cannot be defined by a single architectural style and instead has embraced the varieties of its design. The Victorian architecture provides and elegant skyline and lines the streets of antique neighborhoods. Vibrant glass windows bordered by contemporary steel outlines mark the newer edges of the city. In the morning light you first notice the handsome Victorian structures that offer a stoic and calm exterior. However, the interiors are filled with trendy bars and award winning restaurants. The vitality of the city is captivating and the friendliness of Glasgow’s edgy people is captivating.

Glasgow Cathedral was constructed in the traditional English Gothic style and dates back to the 15th century. The entry nave is topped with large arched windows, including a circular rose window that touches the edge of the curved and pointed roofing. The roof was initially made of wood and elements of the original roofing remain. You enter the church and find an aromatic fragrance wafting through the hall. Head to the lower church and discover a forest of pillars that encompass St. Mungo’s tomb.

The air inside of the cathedral is cool and refreshing. The vaulted ceilings create a euphonious acoustic. When you look at the pillars from a particular angle they seem to run on eternally. Stroll through Merchant City, one of the oldest neighborhoods in Glasgow and the cultural heart surrounded by the shopping precincts of Argyle and Buchanan Streets. An independent clock tower rises over the plaza and the cobblestone streets are filled with bustling restaurants at all hours of the day.

What's Included:

included

Tour

included

Accommodation

included

Breakfast

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Day 8

Never Unaccompanied

The morning is once again yours to enjoy in the splendid city. The streets brim with locals and visitors alike. The Macintosh Home I, connected to the Hunterian Art Gallery, is famous for its quiet elegance. The interior was reconstructed with the original furniture that dates back to the early 20th century. The proportions were designed to allow natural light through the windows from many angles while at the same time keeping the structure austere. The house is characteristic of Glasgow, a city in touch with its historic roots while constantly pushing forward with an edge. Your private transfer meets you at your hotel and escorts you to the airport. Your time in Scotland has been filled with exceptional natural beauty in both the landscape and the people.

Visit the tour packages of Europe page to see more itineraries to help plan your next trip.

What's Included:

included

Transfer

included

Breakfast

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Trip Highlights

  • Visit exceptional castles throughout the countryside, including Blair Castle
  • Cruise around the pristine waters of Mystical Loch Ness 
  • Witness the unique characteristics that make the Scottish Highlands a treasured landscape
  • View the wondrous wildlife on Rothiemurchus Highland Estate
  • Explore the valley and gorge of Glen Coe
  • Traverse the historic streets of Edinburgh
  • Experience the legendary kindness of the locals in Glasgow
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Detailed Description

The Highlands have been known through history for its untamable landscape and rowdy communities. On this 8-day tour of Scotland for the solo traveler, you will find truth in some characteristics of the landscape and learn that the people are filled with an indelible kindness. Curious locals greet you with warm smiles. Historic edifices are filled with contemporary shops. The past images of Scotland merge with a modern experience that brings the untamed mountains to treasured ruins, battlefields to paved streets, and distilleries to luxury hotels. You can stroll along the cobblestones at your own pace and immerse yourself in the unique and quintessential Scotland.

Edinburgh expands to the edges of the sea and outwards to the foothills of extinct volcanoes. When you arrive you can see the inherent beauty of one of Great Britain’s most popular cities. Let yourself meander the streets and neighborhoods on your own to get a sense of the energetic areas, both youthful and vintage. Your guide meets you at your hotel and escorts you through the city’s historic and modern mesh of neighborhoods, some dating back thousands of years. North of the capital is St. Andrews, the birthplace of golf and home to one of the world’s most famous courses.

You have the opportunity to play a round, but the city has so much more to offer than just golf. Discover the beauty of the university town and the quaint ambiance of nearby fishing villages. En route to Inverness you can stop at Edradour Distillery for a tour and a sample of the handmade single malt Scotch whisky. Tour inside the pristine façade of Blair castle and wander the lush grounds of the Rothiemurchus Highland Estate. Spend time relaxing in Inverness before discovering the historic pasture of Culloden Battlefield.

Following your tour you head out onto the waters of Loch Ness and indulge in the exceptional scenery often shrouded in mystery and overlooked. Traverse the extraordinary mountains and valley of Glen Coe on your way to Glasgow. The visitor center provides a tremendous view of mountain peaks and waterfalls. Once in Glasgow you have the entire city at your whim, from its proud Victorian buildings to its cosmopolitan Art Nouveau galleries. In Glasgow your private transfer will meet you at your hotel and escort you to the airport for your flight home. There is no better place to explore on your own than Scotland, a country where you always feel comfortable and at home.

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Starting Price

$2395 per person (excluding international flights)

This trip is customizable for your private travel.
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What's Included

  • Accommodations
  • In-country transportation
  • Some or all guided tours and activities (dependent on season)
  • Expert trip planning
  • 24x7 support during your trip
The starting price is based on travel during the low season for a minimum of two travelers staying in shared 3-star accommodations. Please inquire for a custom trip quote based on your travel preferences and travel dates.

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