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Edinburgh Tattoo

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Edinburgh and the traditions of the Highlands

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2020 Tour code: 20ETE


Day 1 - Blair Atholl

Your tour begins in the pretty Highland village of Blair Atholl, where you meet your Tour Manager and the rest of your group at the 3* Atholl Arms Hotel. Blair Atholl is a picture-perfect village in Cairngorms National Park, an area of spectacular natural beauty filled with the stunning scenery that makes Scotland famous - dense forests, wild moorlands, mountains, lochs, and quaint country villages.

  • Dinner
Atholl Arms Hotel
Day 2 - Edinburgh Military Tattoo

Travel by coach this morning to one of Scotland's most famous and most photographed lookouts, Queen's View. Supposedly named after 14th-century Queen Isabella, wife of Robert the Bruce, after she used the picturesque spot to have a rest when travelling through the area. Queen's View offers stunning lake and mountain panoramas, stretching out across glimmering Loch Tummel to the beautiful Glencoe Hills in the distance.

Continue to Pitlochry where you have some free time for lunch, before transferring to Edinburgh, Scotland's cosmopolitan capital. Here you have some time at leisure to explore. 

The heart of the city is a UNESCO World Heritage site, delightfully blends the old with the new with its medieval Old Town, Georgian New Town, and award-winning modern architecture. It is easy to see why Edinburgh was once regarded as the 'Athens of the North'.

Why not visit the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, where you can learn more about Scotland's unique history, displayed visually through portraits of those who influenced and inspired it?

You will also be able to visit Edinburgh Castle before the festivities kick off this evening. Set overlooking the city, the castle offers fantastic views of the surrounding area and over to the Firth of Forth. The buildings date from between the 12th and 20th centuries, reflecting the castle's changing role as fortress, royal palace, military garrison, and state prison. You can also view the Scottish Crown Jewels and the city's oldest building, the 11th-century St Margaret's Chapel which lies within the castle grounds.

This evening, settle into your seats for the highlight of your trip, the Edinburgh Military Tattoo, set against the magnificent, floodlit backdrop of Edinburgh castle.

The Tattoo is an incredible, annual musical spectacular combining music, entertainment, ceremony. The first official Edinburgh Military Tattoo took place in 1950 with around 6,000 spectators. Today, over 200,000 people flock each year to watch the performances, which include the Massed Bands of Her Majesty's Royal Marines, and a fantastic firework display.

  • Breakfast
Edinburgh Tattoo
Day 3 - At leisure in Blair Atholl

Today you are free to enjoy Blair Atholl and its wonderful surroundings. Nearby Blair Castle is a fairytale castle with stunning white-washed stone walls and exquisite landscaped gardens, and is a delight to explore. It also boasts a fascinating history dating back to 1269, and is most famous for being besieged during the Jacobite Rebellion of the 18th century.

Another option is to travel by rail to Pitlochry, one of Perthshire's main tourist destinations. This beautiful town has been a favourite spot of tourists since Victorian times, and this historic heritage is still evident to this day, with an array of Victorian stone buildings found dotted about the town.

Alternatively, discover the beauty of the Scottish countryside and follow one of the many local trails for a scenic walk.

  • Breakfast
Blair Castle
Day 4 - Strathspey Steam Railway

Take the spectacular mainline rail service through the Cairngorms to Aviemore, where a nostalgic railway ride on the Strathspey Steam Railway awaits. This line is one of the most scenic in the country, and runs through the spectacular scenery of the Cairngorms National Park. Enjoy passing views of lush forests and moorland as you follow the winding route of the River Spey on this delightful return journey.

Next, board a coach which takes you to the Royal Highland Wildlife Park in the heart of Cairngorms National Park. Run by the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, the 260-acre park has been open since 1972, and is noted for its dramatic setting, as well as the vast range of wildlife that are housed.

On arrival, enjoy a guided drive around the main reserve of the park, followed by some time at leisure to look around the park at your own pace. Say hello to the native Scottish wildcats, and visit the polar bears, tigers, wolves, and snow leopards.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Strathspey Steam Railway
Day 5 - Homeward bound

This morning, your tour concludes. You are free to depart after check out.

  • Breakfast
Blair Atholl