Your own guided tour of the Scottish Highlands, the Isle of Skye, Stirling and St. Andrews
Leave Edinburgh at 8.30am for Blackness Castle, a port for Linlithgow Palace, and for many years a state prison. Straddle the mighty River Forth with a visit to Stirling Bridge, views of the Wallace Monument and Stirling Castle, visit Doune Castle, home of the Duke of Albany ‘Scotland’s Uncrowned King’, a favored dowager residence and Swamp Castle and Castle Anthrax in 'Monty Python's Holy Grail'. Sauntering to the beautiful West Highlands, we recount the big Scottish storytelling, from Braveheart to Kidnapped to Outlander, drawing on history and legend. Plot out Skyfall locations and delve into the world of Harry Potter. Sauntering in the country of Rob Roy and following old drovers route through Glen Dochart, a journey across Rannoch Moor and by Glen Etive before a light lunch in the epic splendour that is Glen Coe.
In the afternoon we hear some lesser-known tales before arriving at the Glenfinnan Viaduct, ‘the Harry Potter Bridge’ and the virtual site of Hogwarts School. Tales of Bonnie Prince Charlie, and of fishing before checking in for the local catch/bag and/or seasonal and home grown vegetables and fruit at the country house comforts of Arisaig House
After awaking to the sound of the sea, and a delicious home-cooked breakfast, saunter along the Road to the Isles to Mallaig to take the ferry to the magical Isle of Skye, travel in the shadow of giants by experiencing the Tolkeinesque landscapes of the Red and Black Cuillin Mountains, walk to an Iron Age Broch (fort), tread lightly at the wonderful and enigmatic Fairy Glen (option of walk up into Castle Ewen), take in the Quirang (part of the Trotternish landslip), Kilt Rock and the Old Man of Storr; this is a day of breathtaking scenery, reading the land, and hearing a local story or two; night in Portree at Viewfield House
or Ben Tianavaig B&B
Visit Eilean Donan Castle
, a great Edwardian reconstruction of a medieval castle, along Glen Moriston and by Roderick Mackenzie''s grave, visit Loch Ness and its kaleidoscope of theories and stories, option of going out onto Loch Ness for the folklore, history, geology and the special tranquility at the centre of this loch, lunch stop at the crafty Pottery Bunkhouse
with its unmissable tartan scones, views of Blair Castle (a great fund of family lore and treasure in an ancient family home), stay at the small highland resort town of Pitlochry at: Wellwood House or Poplars Guest House.