Scottish Highlands – THE ITINERARY
Monday 18th October | Rendezvous at Crossbasket Castle near Glasgow
Our rendezvous will be at the Crossbasket Castle late afternoon. The wonderful 17th Century castle has been transformed into one of Scotland’s most luxurious 5* hotels & will host our welcome drinks reception and give you a chance to meet your fellow guests.
We then move through into our private area of the Albert and Michel Roux Jr restaurant for a 5-course dinner with paired wines. We recommend and early night, ready for the first day of driving heading up into the Highlands.
DAY 1 – Tuesday, Glasgow to Fort William
Distance: 118 Miles
Drive Time: est. 2hr 46mins
A nice gentle start to the tour. After a hearty Scottish breakfast, our route takes us north along the shores of Loch Lomond to our lunch stop. Following lunch, we continue our drive along the banks of Loch Lomond & head toward towards Glencoe on the famous stretch of the A82 (James Bond’s Skyfall), camera’s at the ready!
On the shores of Loch Linnhe, you could take the Corran Ferry across Loch Linnhe for a cup of tea at the Inn at Ardgour. We should arrive at Inverlochy Castle late in the afternoon with plenty of time to explore this very special hotel and enjoy a drink or two by the log fire.
Inverlochy Castle Hotel, is a beautiful 19th century Scottish castle, near Fort William. You will enjoy a wonderful dinner and no doubt a few wee drams at this absolute jewel of a location.
DAY 2 – Inverlochy Castle to Isle of Skye
Distance: 153 Miles
Drive Time: est. 3hr 38mins
From Inverlochy Castle, we head north to Invergarry before heading west toward the Isle of Skye on the A87 – a fabulous road right through the heard of the Highlands. Morning coffee at the Cluanie Inn and lunch at the Kyle of Lochalsh before we cross the Skye Bridge.
We then head north on the Isle of Skye on a loop to the “Quiraing”, a single lane road across the Northern tip of Skye (plenty of passing points). As part of the Trotternish ridge it has been formed by a massive landslip which has created high cliffs, hidden plateaus and pinnacles of rock Bring your camera!
DAY 3 – Isle of Skye to Inverness
Distance: 190 Miles
Drive Time: est. 4hr 24mins
Get ready for a truly incredible day following another section of the NC500. We leave Skye and head north to Kinlochewe and along the shore of Loch Maree following the west coast. Stop for lunch in Poolewe or The Dundonnell. Follow the coastline before dropping down to the A835 to Inverness passing between the Highland peaks of Sgurr Mor & Beinn Dearg. Stop for refreshments at Aultguish Inn just past Loch Glascarnoch.
You will pass through some truly breath-taking scenery on this stage of the famous NC500. Happily we have another fantastic 5* Hotel, the Rocpool Reserve waiting to look after us this evening in Inverness.
DAY 4 – Inverness to Dunblane
Distance: 175 Miles
Drive Time: est. 4hr 35mins
Final driving day, we leave Inverness heading east to Nairn (take time to visit Culloden if you wish) and pick up the A939 – the Old Military Road heading into the Cairngorms National Park. This is one of the most spectacular in Europe. A small detour and an opportunity to visit the famous Glenlivet distillery is an option.
The Old Military Road is the highest public road in the UK. The layout is fantastic with beautiful curves mixed with some rollercoaster-like ups and downs that makes you think you maybe should have skipped that piece of cake on your last coffee stop. A road that should not be missed out on! It takes you through the kind of scenery you would expect to see on your drive through Scotland and it is one of those roads that barely has any traffic at all, because most traffic will be on the highway that runs next to the national park.
Visit Balmoral if you wish, before lunch in Braemar. And on to the magnificent Cromlix House Hotel which is owned by local tennis star, Andy Murray.
DAY 5 – Knockhill Race Circuit Option
Distance: 43 Miles
Drive Time: est. 28mins
After a fantastic few days, we will enjoy our final breakfast in the hotel. If there is enough interest, we can organise a visit to Knockhill Race circuit for half a day track experience. This will be an optional extra.
Otherwise, it brings an end to the tour and time for home. If you have a long journey ahead of you please do let us know if we can help with any recommendations on how best to break up the journey. Stay for an extra night or two at the Cromlix for the weekend or take the lovely drive and opportunity to visit Edinburgh from here for example.