The British Royal Family have called Scotland home for generations. Discover why, with this unique journey through the places they hold dear, including their summer holiday home, Balmoral. Walk in their footsteps from the rolling hills of Angus to the rugged mountains and ancient Caledonian pine forests of Cairngorms National Park; from the coastal university town of St Andrews to the thriving Highland villages of Royal Deeside.
Believing in nothing but the best, we continue our tour by taking the time to sample food and drink from some of Scotland’s top producers. We’ll meet Speyside whisky distillers, enjoy the boom in our craft gin industry and share a unique culinary experience high up along the old whisky smugglers’ route. And for a quick snack? We’ll drop in on the Queen’s favourite local butcher for a delicious pie!
With options to extend your tour with more whisky, fabulous food, outdoor activities, or simply relaxing, we feel sure that you will fall in love with this part of Scotland just as generations of our Royal family have done before.
Your own experienced driver-guide with vehicle for the duration of your trip
Walking/hiking tours where listed (including historical, cultural, town & hill walks)
Unique culinary experience in a Highland home
All accommodation – we will discuss this with you and provide recommendations, but it is your responsibility to book all accommodation yourselves before the tour can be confirmed.
All food & drink unless specifically specified as an inclusion.
Admission fees to suggested attractions – these can be included within pricing on request, but we usually keep them out in case you change your mind and just want to put your feet up.
Optional adventure activities where arranged through our trusted, brilliant and fun local suppliers. Again, we can include these within pricing on request, but we usually keep them out unless we specifically have to confirm your participation with the adventure providers a certain number of days, weeks or months in advance (they are so brilliant that they can often get booked up early!)
Starting in our iconic capital city, Edinburgh, we head into the historical Kingdom of Fife, passing both the ancient home of King Robert the Bruce and the island prison of Mary Queen of Scots before arriving in the ancient ecclesiastical and university town of St Andrews.
After a gentle walk around the streets where the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge first met, perhaps reward yourself with a delicious seafood lunch in a renowned local restaurant.
We drive to Glamis Castle in the afternoon, childhood home of the late Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother. Follow a fascinating tour of the castle with a walk around the beautiful grounds and gardens. You might even come face to face with a Highland cow!
Late afternoon we head north into the mountains, awash with stories of clan battles and fairy folklore, before arriving in Royal Deeside, our home for the next two nights.
Royal Deeside sits within the Cairngorms, the UK’s largest National Park. The highest village is the historic settlement of Braemar, home to the celebrated Braemar Gathering, the Highland Games attended every September by The Queen and her family.
From Easter until the end of July, The Queen’s own private residence, Balmoral Castle, is open to the public (*) and even outside this period, you never know who you might catch a glimpse of as we explore the local area! The history of the Royal connection with this area is fascinating in its own right, and your guide will really help you get under the skin of the management of a Highland estate.
The nearby village of Ballater also comes alive during the summer – take some time to explore the shops visited by the Royals themselves, and pop into the local butcher’s for a tasty lunchtime snack with a Royal seal of approval!
With such beautiful scenery, there are many walking and hiking options, or simply relax before settling down to a delicious dinner in a local pub or restaurant.
(*) When Balmoral Castle is open to the public it is possible to visit the ballroom inside the castle as well as the beautiful gardens and a number of fascinating exhibitions. Hiking trails take you around the Estate to some of the Royal Family’s most special viewpoints. Due to the private family nature of the castle however, it is not possible to visit any other rooms.
Waking up in beautiful Royal Deeside we have many more options to explore this morning with hiking routes to extraordinary viewpoints, wildlife safaris, local arts and crafts, food and drink – there’s even an option to go foraging!
Later today we set off across the “Snow Road” to the western side of Cairngorms National Park. One of the highest roads in Scotland, the views are breathtaking – have your camera at the ready.
This is also an area notorious for illicit whisky smuggling over hundreds of years, and you may choose to enjoy a unique culinary experience in a Highland home high up on the old smugglers’ trail before descending into the Spey Valley, now home to over 50 (entirely legal!) distilleries for us to visit.
OvernightSpey Valley: Grantown on Spey/ Carrbridge/ Boat of Garten/ Aviemore
On our final day, and depending on your onward travel, we will either journey north to Inverness or south to Edinburgh. In either direction there are yet more fabulous sites to explore with a wealth of history from Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Jacobites at Culloden Battlefield to Bronze Age standing stones at Clava Cairns; or from the earliest Christian remains in Scotland in Dunkeld to the crowning place of Kings at Scone Palace.
Alternatively why not extend your tour in the Cairngorms National Park?
You might choose to discover some of Scotland’s new and exciting craft gins; or enjoy beautiful low-level hiking options rife with wildlife and local history; or perhaps go for a gentle pony ride or more adventurous bike ride.
The River Spey is famous for its fishing – try casting a line into the bubbling waters. Or for a little more adrenaline, how about a whisky tour with a difference – canoeing down the Spey!
Alternatively why not try your hand at baking traditional Scottish scones in your own private cooking class? Or if you want to jump straight to the finished article, check out the many independently owned fabulous local cafes with top notch home baking.
Putting your feet up is also an option of course!
The warm welcome and beautiful scenery will mean you might never want to leave.
With options to extend your tour with more whisky and fabulous food, walking, fishing, discovering your Scottish heritage, or simply relaxing in the beauty of Cairngorms National Park, we feel sure that you will fall in love with Scotland just as generations of our Royal family have done before.