Experience one of the world’s best military performances, as well as castles, a scenic rail journey and more on this tour of Scotland.
About the Tour
Based out of Edinburgh, this quick jaunt exposes visitors to the beautiful traditions of Scotland. The pinnacle of this journey is the Edinburgh Military Tattoo, a series of incredible performances set against the background of Edinburgh Castle. With bagpipes humming and the beat of drums vibrating through your body, the British Armed Forces, Commonwealth and international military bands are sure to amaze with their skills. In addition to this grand event, travelers enjoy a scenic ride on the Bo'ness and Kinneil Railroad along the shore of Forth; a journey on Falkirk Wheel, a rotating boat lift that connects three of the area’s canals; and a guided visit to Stirling Castle. Four days of adventure in one amazing location.
Your vacation start or end can be tailored to meet your travel needs.
- Rail travel on Scotrail
- Scenic rail journey onboard Bo'ness & Kinneil Railroad
- Hotel accommodations for 3 nights
- 5 meals
- Edinburgh Military Tattoo
- Visit to Falkirk Wheel
- Visit Stirling Castle
- Transportation by deluxe motorcoach
- Services of a professional tour escort and knowledgeable local guides for touring
Day 1 - Edinburgh
Arrive in Edinburgh, Scotland’s cosmopolitan capital, and make your way to the luxurious Doubletree by Hilton Edinburgh Queensferry hotel to meet your group and Tour Manager. The afternoon is yours to get acquainted with this lovely city. You may wish to peruse the shops on Princes Street or wander through Old Town. St. Giles’ Cathedral is a favorite of tourists, as are Edinburgh Castle, the National Museum of Scotland and the Scottish National Gallery. This evening, we rejoin at our hotel for a welcome dinner. Overnight Edinburgh. (D)
Day 2 - Edinburgh & the Edinburgh Tattoo
A grand adventure along the River Forth awaits today as we depart our hotel by coach and make our way to Bo’ness. This city is located on the shores of the Firth of Forth and is home to the Bo'ness and Kinneil Railroad - our guide through the Scottish Central Lowlands. As we board one of the lovingly restored locomotives at the Bo’ness Station, we enjoy views of the water, the hills and the beautiful forests as we travel to Kinneil Halt and continue our climb to Birkhill Station. Birkhill is a picturesque countryside town that is set against a serene wooded backdrop. Thanks to its scenic splendor, it has been the location of several movies and television shows.
Enjoy some free time to further explore the city as we return to Edinburgh. Later this evening, we settle into our stadium seats for the crowning jewel of this tour: the Edinburgh Military Tattoo. As the sounds of bagpipes begin their hum in the distance, the Scottish regiments march onto the esplanade of Edinburgh Castle. Masses of pipes and artfully pounded drums fill the air with traditional music, and overhead, fireworks decorate the sky. All of this combined with views of the castle, perched high above the ancient city of Edinburgh, make this experience one that is not easily forgotten. Overnight Edinburgh. (B)
Day 3 - Falkirk Wheel and Stirling Castle
After a leisurely morning, our coach takes us to Falkirk for an excursion on the amazing Falkirk Wheel. Connecting the Forth and Clyde Canal with the Union Canal, this rotating boat lift is a marvel of engineering. Amazingly, as the boats are lifted nearly 115 feet (35 meters) into the air, the wheel only uses as much power as it takes to heat eight household tea kettles. Our journey proceeds to Helix, and en route, we pass by the 98-foot tall (30-meter) Kelpies sculptures, which are situated next to the Forth and Clyde Canal.
As we arrive in Stirling this afternoon, we visit Stirling Castle. This Renaissance masterpiece is perched upon a hill overlooking the city of Stirling and was the childhood home of Mary Queen of Scots. Take some time to marvel at the impressive architecture of the castle, including the Great Hall and the Chapel Royal. In the Queen’s Inner Hall of the Royal Palace, seven amazing handwoven tapestries cling to the walls, and throughout the castle, period furnishings hint at life centuries ago. Other points of interest within the castle include the vaults, the kitchens and the Queen Anne Gardens, which offer a soft, tranquil retreat against the imposing backdrop of the castle. Following our time at the castle, we return to the hotel for our farewell dinner. Overnight Edinburgh. (B, D)
Day 4 - Tour Conclusion
Our Scottish voyage comes to a close after breakfast this morning. You are free to depart Edinburgh at your leisure to make your way home. (B)
Doubletree by Hilton Edinburgh Queensferry
Located on a peaceful campus on the outskirts of Edinburgh, the DoubleTree Queensferry is set just outside the historic village of North Queensferry. The hotel is situated amongst 10 acres of picturesque parklands and enjoys fantastic views of the River Forth. Just a short walk from the hotel is the iconic Forth Road Bridge, which presents even more glorious water views. Easy connections by road and rail make accessing downtown Edinburgh convenient. The hotel features a fitness center and a fantastic restaurant that serves steak and locally caught seafood. In the rooms, complimentary Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, mini-fridges and tea and coffee-making facilities make each guest’s stay one of comfort.
Bo’ness & Kinneil Railroad
The atmospheric Bo'ness & Kinneil Railroad immerses passengers in the beauty of the Central Lowlands as it travels from Bo’ness to Birkhill. This railway follows along the Firth of Forth, through rolling hills and into the lush canopy of the forest during its journey. Perhaps the most unique thing about this railway is that unlike many heritage railroads that have been preserved, this line has been rebuilt near its original railway and has had period station buildings sourced from around the country. The route takes passengers from Bo’ness Station to the nature reserve at Kinneil Halt and then onto the Birkhill Station, offering views across the clear blue waters and out to Ochil Hills along the way.
Connecting the entirety of mainland Scotland, Scotrail is a convenient commuter service train that reaches even the furthest reaches of this rugged country. This rail line has been in service since 1983, providing numerous travel routes throughout Scotland, including one from the tip, Thurso, down to Edinburgh. Included in the Scotrail family are some of the most scenic rail lines in the world, such as the Kyle Line, the West Highland Line, and the Hadrian's Wall Line.
Comfortable and modern trains, with features such as spacious carriages and large panoramic windows, make each trip enjoyable aboard Scotrail. In the coming years, new stock will be introduced that offer even more services, wireless Internet, power sockets and improved accessibility.
Tour Dates & Prices
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