Tailor Made

We will tailor your Scottish Highland tour to your own specifications

January 29, 2015

Scotland – a land of brilliant moments

Scotland might be a small country but boy, do we pack a lot in!  For its size, Scotland is the most geologically varied country in the world  -this means that in terms of scenery we have everything from rolling hills and lush valleys, to jagged peaked mountains and dramatic sea lochs, powder soft sandy beaches and over 800 islands… Scotland is just waiting to be discovered!  We also have a vibrant and colourful heritage, here you can enjoy the view from the ramparts of a medieval castle, enjoy a wee dram at your favourite distillery or enjoy the sights and sounds of the pipes and drums at the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo…the options are endless and here at Scottish Highland Trails we would be thrilled to help you discover the best of Scotland on a tailor made tour.

Loch Cluanie Scottish Highland trails

Loch Cluanie

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January 24, 2015

Tour Guide Services

Scottish Highland Trails can provide experienced, professional guides for any and all aspects of your trip to Scotland.  We offer accompanied tours with a local guide who will be with you throughout your trip, taking care of the practical arrangements as well as providing you with lots of interesting stories along the way!  A guided tour is a great way to really make the most of your time in Scotland.  We can provide guides with foreign languages as well as specialist guides (for example, wildlife guides) depending on your interests and requirements.  Please contact us for further information.

Jill McKean, owner of Scottish Highland Trails, is an experienced guide currently working towards the Scottish Tourist Guides Association “Blue Badge”, the only professionally accredited qualification for tour guides in Scotland.  Jill is a proud Scot and is passionate about the history, heritage and culture of our beautiful country.  She would be delighted to accompany you on your tour to show you the best of Scotland!

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January 24, 2015

Day Tours

  • Edinburgh castle at duskDeparting from Edinburgh or Glasgow
  • Private chauffeur drive tours
  • Services of a Scottish Highland Trails car/van and driver/guide
  • Providing there is enough time to get you there and back in a day from Edinburgh or Glasgow we can take you anywhere!

Popular options for day tours include: Loch Lomond & the Trossachs, the Scottish Borders, Ayrshire & Burns Country or St Andrews & Fife.

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January 23, 2015

Ancestral Tours

Callanish Standing Stones Isle of LewisPerhaps you have a Scottish surname and would like to see the lands and castles associated with your clan? Or your ancestors left Irelands for the new world on the famine ships in the 1800s? We can point you in the right direction to find records and trace your family tree, and tailor make a tour itinerary to include places of importance to you and your family.  Over the centuries the Scots and the Irish have migrated to all four corners of the world – Canada, the USA, Australia, New Zealand, India, Japan…we’re everywhere! Maybe you know a little of your family history already and would like to return to the “old country” to see where your ancestors came from?

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February 28, 2014

Group Travel

Scottish Highland Trails welcomes all group travel enquiries and can provide a range of services for your group, including itinerary planning, transport, accommodation and the services of a tour manager and/or guide to ensure the trip runs smoothly (foreign language guides available on request).  You will have a single point of contact throughout the planning process.

Group travel will be tailor made to your group’s requirements and interests.  We can arrange a wide range of options from, for example, outdoor activities to whisky tastings to ceilidhs or Burns suppers…anything can be included.  As group travel specialists we pride ourselves on our professional approach, giving you flexibility and peace of mind.  In the past we have arranged group tours in Scotland and Ireland for clan societies and special interest groups, smaller groups of family and friends, youth groups and weddings.

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October 23, 2009

Tailor Made Whisky Tours

 

“Always carry a large flagon of whisky in case of snakebite and furthermore, always carry a small snake”

WC Fields

Strathisla Distillery

Uisge beatha, the “water of life”, has been distilled in Scotland for many hundreds of years and “Scotch” is now exported around the world.  At Scottish Highland Trails we can put together a Whisky Tour catering to your own personal tastes, whether it be for Lowland, Highland, Speyside or Islay malts – or a mixture of all four!  As any whisky connaisseur will tell you, whiskies can vary dramatically from distillery to distillery.  So why not explore some of the many distilleries, either on a specific Whisky Tour or as part of your Scotland vacation package.

There are literally hundreds of distilleries to visit in Scotland, and you can choose from Edradour in Perthshire (the smallest in Scotland where only 3 staff carry out the entire process) to Highland Park, the most northerly distillery in Scotland located in Kirkwall on the Orkney Islands.  The Speyside Malt Whisky Trail in Speyside in the Grampian Highlands is the only whisky trail of it’s kind in the world, and takes in 7 distilleries plus a cooperage where barrels are made in the traditional way. The Speyside region itself is home to over 50 distilleries, many of which are open to the public, including the Macallan, Glenfiddoch, Aberlour and Glenlivet.

Or why not head to the beautiful island of Islay (pronounced “aye la”) off the west coast? This tiny island is home to no less than eight working distilleries including Lagavulin, Ardbeg and Bruichladdich.  The peaty soil of the island along with the salt spray from the sea contributes to the dry, smoky, briny taste of the whiskies produced here, and they are among the strongest flavoured whiskies made in Scotland.  Not for the faint hearted!

Or perhaps your vacation in Scotland will coincide with the Spirit of Scotland Malt Whisky Festival?  Held in Aberlour every year in May this event goes from strength to strength and features pretty much everything you can think of that is whisky related, from tastings and tours to art exhibitions and cookery demonstrations.  Islay also hosts an annual Music & Malt Festival.

We are also delighted to arrange private, tutored whisky tastings with our local expert for individuals or groups.  Tastings are relaxed and informal, and usually held at the members only Scottish Malt Whisky Society in Edinburgh, and often followed by a visit to a nearby pub for some more sampling!

Whether you are a whisky novice or an experienced nose, no trip to Scotland is complete without a wee dram or two.  Slàinte mhath! (Cheers!)

Whisky Shop Sign

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A short video follows from Glengoyne Distillery which shows you a little of what you can expect from a distillery tour! Glengoyne is frequently requested as a stop on our Scotland Whisky Tours and from the film you can see why – beautiful whisky, beautiful scenery and just a short hop from Glasgow.  There are many, many more distilleries in scenic locations throughout Scotland and we are happy to advise on the best ones to visit during your stay.

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September 12, 2009

Tailor Made Scottish Castle Tours

Dunnottar Castle, Stonehaven

Any visitor to Scotland will surely come across a castle sooner or later!  Our rich and turbulent past has left a legacy of fortresses and strongholds across the country, from ruined hilltop keeps to magnificent historic buildings such as Edinburgh and Stirling Castles.

Each has a story to tell, and if you are at all interested in the history of Scotland’s people you will find a wealth of information and a real insight into life in years gone by by visiting some of our most ancient sites.  And it’s not just castles – there are ancient abbeys, cathedrals and churches to explore too!

For history buffs we can create a tailor made castle tour lasting anything from a day to a fortnight or even longer, or you might prefer just to include a few important sites on your Scottish vacation itinerary.  As ever with Scottish Highland Trails, it is up to you to tell us what’s in and what’s out!  To give you an idea of what a castle tour might look like, here are some sample itineraries:

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September 13, 2008

West of Scotland Golf

The first twelve British Open Golf Championships were held at the Prestwick Club in Ayrshire in the south west of Scotland from 1860 onwards. 

Almost adjacent to the old Prestwick Club is the Championship Course of “Royal Troon” which is one of several courses of varying degrees of difficulty in and about the town of Troon. Winners of the British Open at Troon include Arnold Palmer, Tom Weiskopf, Tom Watson, Mark Calcavecchia and Justin Leonard.

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September 13, 2008

East of Scotland Golf

St Andrews Old Course

Over to the east is Carnoustie, another British Open venue where the first record of golf being played was in 1650. The first formal course there was formed in 1842 and over the years this links course, with the wind blowing off the North Sea, has tested the greatest talents in world golf. Carnoustie was the scene of the great Ben Hogan’s only British Open success in 1953, the year he also won the US Masters and the US Open. More recent winners of the Open at Carnoustie are Gary Player and, in 1999, Scotland’s own Paul Lawrie.Muirfield, venue of the British Open Championship in 2002, and home of the ‘Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers,’ the oldest golf club in the world, is situated just east of Edinburgh. The Honourable Company originally played at Leith Links in Edinburgh, then at Musselburgh situated between the Capital and Muirfield, and actually devised the first set of rules for the game in the year 1744. In recent history, British Open winners at Muirfield include Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus, Lee Trevino, Tom Watson, Nick Faldo (twice) and in 2002, Ernie Els.

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May 8, 2008

Tailor Made Golf Tours

St Andrews Old Course

For golfers Scotland is a homecoming. The earliest reference to golf in Scotland is probably King James II’s decree in the year 1457 that “the futeball and golfe be utterly cryed down and not to be used.”

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  • About us

    Scottish Highland Trails is a family run business established in 1998 which specialises in tailor made tours of Scotland and Ireland.
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    Just received a lovely email from clients who have just returned to the US after 10 days in Scotland. Despite managing to lose a passport while they were here, it looks like they have had a great time :) :)

    "We had a wonderful trip to the UK, France, and especially Scotland!! And, of course, we have YOU to thank for the incredible arrangements that helped make our Scotland adventure so outstanding!! Over and over, we were impressed with your planning, your arrangements, your choices, and of course - your organization!! And then, I was further impressed by your patience with some of my questions - not to mention your help during the passport mess! :-) You did an absolutely incredible job, and you have another new enthusiastic fan club over here in the States! We will refer folks to you any time we hear of their interest in Scotland or Ireland!!"
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    • Wee blog post written a while back which explains why SNP will have white roses not thistles in their lapels today ,